- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

Alaska Airlines confirmed Monday that a woman was kicked off a flight from Baltimore to Seattle on Saturday after videos posted on social media showed her harassing a pro-Donald Trump passenger.

The Trump supporter, Scott Kotesky, posted a video of the incident on Facebook, which racked up nearly 4 million views by Monday morning.

“She has called me names and insulted me just for sitting down in this seat saying that I came here to celebrate today,” Mr. Kotesky, referring to Mr. Trump’s inauguration, is heard telling a female flight attendant in the video.

The attendant informs the woman that she doesn’t have the “right” to change seats and says she’s going to get help in removing her from the plane.

The woman then turns to Mr. Kotesky and says, “You pretend you have the moral high ground but you put that man’s finger on the nuclear button. That man doesn’t believe in climate change. Do you believe in gravity? Did you know gravity is just a theory?”

A male flight attendant then appears and instructs to the woman to exit the plane.

“I paid for this seat and I’m sitting in it,” the woman argued. “He is in my space.”

The woman insisted on staying on the plane with her husband, who sat next to her and remained quiet while the camera was rolling.

“I’m going home now. My mother-in-law, his mother, died,” the woman said.

Another video posted on Mr. Kotesky’s page, shot from a different angle, showed the couple being escorted off the plane by police. The woman continued to berate Mr. Kotesky as she gathered her belongings.

As the couple exited the plane, passengers began to clap, cheer and chant “U.S.A.” 

“Do I get a whole row to myself?” Mr. Kotesky asked, laughing.

“You earned it!” a passenger responded.

Alaska Airlines confirmed in a statement to BuzzFeed News that a “disruptive passenger” was removed from the flight prior to departure in Baltimore.

“The female passenger was insulting passengers in the boarding area and then onboard the aircraft,” the statement said. “Several passengers expressed concerns about her behavior. We stand by our employees’ decision to remove the disruptive passenger.”

When asked if the woman was kicked off the flight because she berated a passenger for being pro-Trump, an Alaska Airlines spokesperson told BuzzFeed, “That is correct.”

The airline said the couple was not rebooked on another flight and their tickets were refunded.

Mr. Kotesky said he appreciated the support he received from other passengers who didn’t share his political views.

“As the lady was removed I saw that I was surrounded by blacks, Latinos, Asians, and whites, all who had chimed in asking her to be removed and who had defended me,” he wrote on Facebook. “I was touched and moved knowing later that not all these people were trump supporters.

“The black man who took the seat next to me was a registered Democrat and he and I had a very good discussion about the beauty of free speech and coming together when people insult and commit acts of violence just for having differing views,” he wrote. “It truly was a great demonstration of AMERICA and its people coming together and standing up for one another.”

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