I admit: I’ve pretty much always been a germaphobe and Covid only exacerbated it. Years before the pandemic began, I started packing face masks in my carry-on bag, just in case I was sick or my seatmate was. I would wear one out of courtesy if I wasn’t feeling well (back then, changing a ticket was expensive) or I would offer one to my seatmate if they were coughing without covering their mouth, one of, if not my biggest, pet peeves while traveling. Speaking of which, here are 10 common air travel pet peeves and how to deal with them.

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Yesterday, a passenger asked a flight attendant to remove his seatmate, who just happened to be former Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl MVP, Desmond Howard.

As you can see from Desmond’s now viral tweet and video (below), which has close to two million views, he got the last laugh. @DesmondHoward tweeted: An “Entitled” passenger tried to get me removed from @americanair flight because I was “sick”. To justify is request he told the supervisor “I am sure my status is higher than his so you should remove him.”😳 After I took this video he asked the FA if he could switch seats.😆

The funniest thing is that Desmond created the video while in the air with his seatmate still next to him, whom he shows a glimpse of near the end. Here’s the full transcript:

“So, I’m on this American Airlines flight and before we took off, the supervisor comes up and she speaks to the guy sitting next to me. She said, “You wanted to talk to me?” He said, “Yeah, I think you should remove this gentleman from the plane because he’s sick.” He’s talking about me. I said, “I’m sorry, are you a doctor?” He says, “Well, you’ve been coughing all over the place.” This is before we even took off, right. I said, “Well, you can leave the plane and take another flight because I’m not leaving. All I was doing was clearing my throat.” So Carol, the supervisor, she’s looking and guess which card he tried to play? He said, “I’m sure if you check our status, my status is higher than his.” So, I said, “Carol, check our seats and let me know whose status is the highest.” As you see, I’m still sitting on this plane. As a matter of fact, we’re in the air right now. The caucasity of him. Unbelievable. Alright everybody, have a happy Sunday! Peace.”

As you will probably agree, this does take some nerve and if you’re going to make an accusation like this, you better be 100% right and that he’s sick with something nasty.

I can understand being worried about flying next to someone who is sick but unfortunately you can’t control the situation unless you hire a private jet. On the flip side, if you do have a cough or even a tickle in your throat, it’s best to soothe it while on an airplane, which is why I always travel with a pack of Honees lozenges, which are, in my opinion, the best. In fact, here’s why you might want to travel with two packs.

What you can do is wear a solid N95 mask for protection (not a cloth one like he was wearing) and carry a WYND air purifier, which I now travel with (mostly to keep my kids safer.)

You also don’t want to pull the elite status card because you never know who you’re sitting next to because you can’t judge a book by its cover. Decades ago, I once sat next to a priest on a JFK-LAX flight (I got upgraded to first class) and one might assume that they fly more than a priest, especially since I used to make the trans-continental flight every other week to see my mother, who was dying of cancer. I thought I flew a lot until I got talking to the priest. Get this … he told me he flew to L.A. every Saturday night just to do a private mass in Latin in Malibu for Mel Gibson before taking the Sunday afternoon flight back. Now that’s a lot of flying.

Howard currently works as a college football analyst for ESPN and is a commentator for Detroit Lions pre-season games so he’s traveling a ton during the season and obviously in the off-season. Best advice is to mind your business.

Oh, and American Airlines replied to Desmond’s tweet with: “We’re always happy to have you on board with us!”

H/T One Mile at a Time


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33 Comments On "American Airlines Passenger Tries to Get Heisman Trophy Winner and Super Bowl MVP Removed From Plane for Being 'Sick'"
  1. Homer|

    “The caucasity of him.” Classy.

  2. Daequan|

    “Caucasity” eh? Apparently Mr Howard believes two wrongs make a right! Countering his cabin mates boorish behavior with a racial slur is not cool dude! Thanks for creating a brand new racial slur in this current political climate! 😎👎

  3. BJ|

    The lady is crazy as Hell. Mask do not do a thing. You will get germs anyway. We have never had the vaccine, no mask and traveling the USA and beyond not even a cold. If you are in good health and eat right you stay healthy!

  4. Matt|

    The “caucasity”. Race card much Desmond ? He was wrong and then you decided to stop to his level. If he had made a video and mentioned something about your race you would have had an emotional breakdown.

  5. JanH|

    The insanity that has happened since covid. People can present with allergy symptoms and people assume they have covid. The status statement was the real irritation!

  6. Ms. Pierce|

    Was the man Caucasian? Yes! Did he have the audacity to say DH was sick and coughing everywhere? Yes! Did he state check my status? Yes! Caucasian means some Caucasians has the unmitigated gall to get upset that those that are non Caucasian are enjoying things some whites feel we shouldn’t. Not racist calling a spade a spade.

  7. J Garten|

    Interesting, and unnecessary, derogatory racial reference. Is this what we can expect from ESPN commentators/analysts?
    And, American Airlines……. You respond to tweets that include racial slurs by saying “We’re always happy to have you on board with us”. It seems that the real story is being missed here!

  8. Lance E Holmes|

    How funny the tables have turned and you talking about him talking about race go dig up your ancestors and tell them what fine mess they left behind with their slavery making money off of black people for generational wealth because Desmond said something y’all funny.

  9. Kevin Shoaf|

    The passanger who tried to get Demond Howard removed is obviously an idiot a hole. Idiot a holes come in all colors, genders and religions.
    Desmond Howard is a racist for using the word caucasity. Racists come in all colors.

  10. Linda Watts|

    If he was not a Heisman Trophy winner I doubt this would have made the news.
    Surprised his big head fit in the plane.

  11. Red|

    Funny ,that people are saying Desmond made it about race. Umm, no, the other guy made it about race when he assumed his “status” was higher than Desmond. Why did he assume that? Oh, let me guess because he is a Black man. Just another case of some trying to use their privilege based on their biases. Fyi.. Caucasian is equalivent to white privilege.

  12. Red|

    *caucasity correction

  13. Rhonda|

    I love him so much!!!

  14. Patricia|

    Oooh the yt fragility is strong in this comment section 🤡🤡🤡

  15. Brenda|

    Why can’t we all get along, and treat others as you would like to be treated?

  16. M Enough|

    We need to stop we the nonsense. If u don’t wanna sit next to someone and possibly get sick, don’t fly. Drive!

  17. Mary B.|

    People need to be kind to others. As for race, this should not be a part of this conversation. Hello! My best friends growing up in the South were black and I could always depend on their parents to keep us safe and it was the same with them and my parents! What has happened to our Nation?

  18. Akshemo Yamazino|

    I wish you would research mask efficiency before continously spread false news. KN95 masks do not work. And you offering a mask to a stranger before Covid is highly offensive. It is as useful as me giving you parenting advice. Think before you blog

  19. TC|

    People want racism. As if a white person has never had their “status” in question. It MUST have been racist. Poor rich guy has to jump at the chance to play the victim.

  20. Johnf|

    Um .. didn’t status refer to airline miles and not race? Only a racist would comment that it meant something else because they see race everywhere.

    Personally, I think anyone, including the author of this article, who has the gaul to call out a complete stranger simply because they are coughing is a self centered, righteous ahole. There are many reasons to cough, I have GERD and do it all the time. I’m not sick, I’m not infectious. And I’m the only one that would know that. Keep your insecurities and piousness to yourself and sit there quietly.

  21. Ron F|

    Racism is still alive and well in America. I put racists in their place 🤬🤬🤬😡😡everyday and most are cowards when approached

  22. Tina|

    So, the white man was done wrong? lol. Y’all are hilarious.

  23. Nimo|

    “Caucasity” is not a racial slur idiots! It’s a racist emotion perpetuated by Caucasian people when they have the audacity to look down on someone who doesn’t look like them because of their white privilege and delusional elitist attitudes.
    Just like you guys are doing trying to change the narrative of what just happened and make the white man the victim. Shame on you! The Caucasity! 😉

  24. Skip.Levesque|

    I am a haole from Hawaii. We don’t have pro ball here and I never even know who DH is.
    But I like him. When I saw caucasity I thought he hit the wrong key on the board. Thanks for cluing me in to his keen sense of humor. Maybe you can find this humorous. I have a black friend here and his name is Y.T. Wright. We don’t bother about race too much here.
    Everyone gets made fun of.

  25. Jahaziel Maqqebet|

    Turn off the video pop up auto play.

  26. Kyle|

    According the the latest studies from the nih masks do absolutely nothing. Including n95s. And nice you forgot the part where the guy was a sick racist.

  27. Anonymous|

    DH!!! Great job brother. Stand your ground at all cost. We as black people exist, and have a voice. Racism isn’t something a person is born with, they are taught that!!! White privilege doesn’t exist everyone is equal to a certain extent!!!

  28. DB Cooper|

    By the way, what does airline status have to do with whether his wish of getting someone next to him removed from the flight was valid or worth considering? Nowhere in the airlines rules about status benefits is “Ability to get someone of lower status ejected from your flight”. That’s not even a thing. As for racism, I would suggest to the football player that based on the evidence, the white man who tried to get him ejected was more than likely a liberal himself (who else but lefties are still wearing masks on planes?? 90% of them are democrats. He’s the kind of guy you are probably voting for, Desmond. Let that sink in for a minute.

  29. HonestyandRealityGuy|

    Gotta love those Democrats. Imagine, clearing your throat is no longer OK.

  30. Trish|

    Funny he feels it necessary to be branded “Heisman Trophy winner” in every conversation. I didn’t see “Dr Desmond” listed anywhere though, yet he still felt it necessary to give medical advice.. I mean, does he take his football career advice from Tucker Carlson also? Or just his medical advice? On another note, who would he be if he COULDN’T say , “Heisman Trophy winner”? My guess is his head would be a WHOLE BUNCH less inflated if he was just Desmond. Poor Mr “I’m Nobody without a football” knew exactly how to manipulate this whole situation. Shame on the airline for basically high-fiving this arrogance!

  31. greezythumb|

    The whining passenger didn’t necessarily have to be racist. He could have just been a snob. I think it’s pretty weak to need to call EVERYTHING racist. Wrong is wrong. Whether the wrong is race based, ignorant based, selfish based, snobbery based etc etc, doesn’t make it any different one way or the other. It’s all wrong. Personally, I couldn’t care less what someone feels about my race. That’s their problem, not mine.

    Desmond didn’t have to take it there but that’s what he wanted to do. He assumed the person was racist without him actually being racially attacked.

    I was on a plane in December and saw the same thing. A little 8 yr old white girl was coughing and a white man complained to the flight attendant. The mother told the man her daughter had asthma but he didn’t care, he wanted her moved. I’ve seen an arrogant, nose in the air black woman telling the flight attendant she didn’t want anyone sitting next to her on the plane. Saying she don’t deal with low class people and want to be upgraded. Everything isn’t race.

    We are at a point that ANY negative interaction between two people of different races is ALWAYS because of race. Very sad.

  32. John|

    Complaining about an adjacent passenger coughing in a time of Covid is hardly racist. The status he mentioned referred to American’s frequent flyer program – and his place in it – not the status of his race, something I doubt American Airlines keeps. The complainer played it clumsily, but not racially. The race card was played by DH himself who should carry lozenges.

  33. Rich R|

    I didn’t think there was any overt indication that the seat mate was racist. Entitled and disillusioned perhaps, but not necessarily racist. Objectionable behavior doesn’t always equal racism when the parties are of different race / ethnicity / skin color / faith.
    It’s no wonder we are in the state we are today when EVERY conflict is construed as a social injustice of some sort.

    However, I KNOW that Desmond hurled a racial slur at the guy after the encounter in writing.

    I hope neither Desmond or his other supporters hurt themselves while patting him on the back for such a clever response.

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