Why a woman faked a medical emergency to get a bigger seat

American Eagle, home of cramped CRJ 200’s and about 1000 different operators. However, one thing they don’t have is bigger seats, regardless, that wasn’t good enough for one woman who allegedly faked a medical emergency in protest.

Last Friday American Eagle flight 3508 had just departed Pensacola, Florida bound for Miami when a woman claimed she was experiencing breathing difficulties about 10 minutes after departure. The pilot then quickly turned around the ERJ-145LR and diverted back to Pensacola where the aircraft landed safely. After arrival is where things start to get interesting, once on the ground the woman admitted she had completely made up her claims of “breathing difficulties” in an attempt to try and get a bigger seat, which according to Seat Guru, the aircraft doesn’t have. She then refused to leave the aircraft which in turn caused the rest of the passengers to be forced to disembark, however, after a while, she agreed to leave the regional jet after authorities and pilots convinced her to get off, she was detained by police under the Baker Act and most likely questioned

After the incident passengers then reboarded and the aircraft left minus one passenger, arriving safely into Miami about two hours late. The CRJ has an all-economy class configuration and the only “Main Cabin Extra” seats are located in the exit rows, offering slightly more legroom.

N939AE, the aircraft involved in the incident seen here at Miami International full photo credit


Well, it was in Florida. Anything can happen in Florida…


Nice post.
This shows how far people are willing to go to score an upgrade.

Also, not sure if you could consider American Eagle the “home of CRJ-200s” considering it only has 28 of them out of its 600+ aircraft fleet.

This makes me wonder about a recent flight in August this year.
Flying first class in an American 737-800 from DFW to LAX. A passenger claimed to be sick and was moved up to the front row where there were two open seats. The aircraft didn’t divert or anything but someone in a medical profession came to check on her. After a few minutes, she seemed to be fine but sat in the first row for the rest of the flight.

Obviously she was very likely feeling unwell, and seemed to have recovered. Though, this makes me wonder if anyone else has faked medical emergencies.


All the time, if they’re found to be faking and have to divert you may have a law suit on your hands.


I think this is very dangerous and not to be played around with if you want a better seat you should’ve payed for it when you booked the ticket

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The easy way to get a good seat is to pay money, not be sick.

If you don’t pay the costs of the diversion you will definitely be sued, and like you said it’s always a possibility in such cases.

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There is no way someone can recover from an “illness” that fast. Either their immune system is freakishly strong or they were really good at faking it.

By the way, the pic shows a ERJ-145 not a CRJ-200

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To every non-American on this forum:

This is just normal Florida things.


Yeah I don’t know why we are talking about the CRJ at all as this flight was operated by a 145.

Wow what a nightmare for the other passengers

Like why? It’s a short flight. People complain (fake medical) so they get what they want!

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