In a Copa Airlines flight from Panama City to Lima, Peru in June, a mother by the name of Sara Celeste Farfan Garcia claims that the Panama airline kicked her and her family off the flight and arrested her for giving a complimentary business class blanket to her son in economy class.
When she went to pass a blanket to her child who was sitting in economy with other relatives, Garcia said in a Facebook post, she was confronted by a flight attendant who stopped her before “verbally assaulting and pushing her”.
She also added that the flight attendant called the police, who came to escort the family off the flight. Garcia is also a member of the airline’s loyalty scheme.
Garcia plan to take legal action against the airline seeking compensation for the “psychological damage that was caused to my child” by being taken from a plane to a police car before being held in a police station.
Copa Airlines denied Ms Garcia’s account in a statement and accused her of being “disruptive and aggressive towards the crew member and supervisor, who fulfilled her duties correctly”.
Read her account of the incident below
On June 15, 2017 I was returning from vacationing in Miami with my family and little son on flight 761 in executive class of the airline Copa Airlines route Panama Lima, I come using the service of the airline Already 8 years ago month to month, and i count with the highest rank of partner that is #presidentplatinium I find myself deeply affected and outraged, because of the ill-treatment and abuse of the staff who turns that flight, my minor child came in economic class With other relatives, my boy fell asleep, and since he was in economic class, the airline does not provide blanket service, which is why I am in the executive class and I will give him my blanket, a lady named Nelly Figueroa Herrera and abrutamente me He said he couldn’t use it, and I would throw the blanket out to my son when he was asleep, and I would ask him to have consideration since the ones we travel, we know that the air conditioning is extremely cold, he simply does not care and without my authorization I do abuse, In spite of everything that occurred, this person comes me verbally removes the identification badge, I record my child with the cell phone after that, he closed the executive class pushing me, and we discriminate, do not relizando the services to which We had right. Not according to this young lady, I communicate with the police, and through the perifoneo he made an announcement with all the passengers, saying they were going to make a stop as if my family and I were a couple of, 4 policemen arrived, if i I was taken in handcuffs, you can imagine my son how nervous he was, on top of that she says that we have assaulted her what in the video shows otherwise, and the lady walks out of the plane and disque comes limping to the commissioner, Which is a lie because I have several witnesses who have been involved with us by informing them to my relatives, to support us by telling the truth of the facts, gentlemen of Copa Airlines do not ignore this case, try to communicate with you Sending you an email which I have not received any reply I have videos where miss Nelly Herrera at the time of landing walks without any pain now I am atrevesando by a legal process my case is in the 6th court of callao please make a call where This the defense of my youngest first has done the abuse ripping a quilt sleeping my youngest second to all my family of the attention third where I leave the psychological damage that caused my minor at the time of intervention and to be taken both from The plane to a police car took us to a police station where they had us up to almost 6 pm without even having breakfast and lunch my youngest not even for bias no cup of lima peru came close to giving us his back already By means of a minor, I hope to be heard and to be able to support all witnesses who were present on that flight
See the Facebook post with videos
Excerpts from the airline’s statement;
Additionally, the incident narrated in the video about a blanket being taken away from a minor did not occur as reported. Key details of this event have been omitted by the passenger.
Furthermore, Copa Airlines never threatened the passenger with the possibility of an arrest for having given her son a business class blanket. The police’s presence on the airplane after landing, which was captured on one video, was only due to a security procedure that was activated as a consequence of the passenger’s behaviour.
Copa Airlines deeply regrets that a situation like this transpired on one of our aircraft and apologises to passengers on flight CM761 who witnessed the incident. Cases like this are totally uncharacteristic of our operations. To this effect, we would like to reiterate to all our passengers that they are our top priority and therefore, we will continue to focus and work to guarantee their safety and provide them with the service and attention they deserve.