Former Senator Al D’Amato started a revolution last night. A small one. One against other airplane passengers. One that got him kicked off his flight.
D’Amato (who was a New York’s last Republican senator serving through the ‘80s and ‘90s) was on a JetBlue flight to NYC from Florida already six and a half hours delayed when flight attendants asked passengers who had paid for extra legroom up at the front of the plane to move. The attendants explained it was for “weight and balance issues,” as the New York Post reports from a passenger on the flight.
It’s not clear how much resistance these up-front passengers put up against JetBlue’s crew, but it was at this point that D’Amato got up out of his seat towards the back of the plane and started to lead the plane in a chant against the people up front. “Make them move,” D’Amato and several other passengers repeated.
The crew then asked D’Amato to leave.
Did D’Amato go easy? No, he did not.
“We can still speak in this country. And what they’re doing to me…I’m making an appeal to all you people. Stand up for what’s right and walk out with me,” D’Amato railed, recorded on video after the local sheriff was called in to back up the crew.
D’Amato ended up hauled off the plane, and while several other passengers can be seen getting up into the aisle with him, it’s not clear if they went so far as to deplane with the former senator. Everybody on the flight got a $100 refund from JetBlue for the delay, the Post notes.
Was this the hill D’Amato would die on? Was this the injustice that broke down class barriers in this country, the short-of-legroom in the back of the plane versus the spacious but stubborn patrons in the front?
I hope so. It is the revolution we deserve.