Watch: Flight attendant refuses to let plane leave until passengers clean up mess in aisle

Footage of the incident has been going viral on social media, with the passenger who uploaded the clip dubbing it '#RiceGate'

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Screenshot: Twitter/Jennifer Schaper
Screenshot: Twitter/Jennifer Schaper

Published: Sun 23 Apr 2023, 4:30 PM

A Southwest Airlines flight was delayed for more than an hour after a flight attendant refused to let it take off until passengers cleaned up the mess they'd made in the aisle. The incident took place on April 15, and footage of the incident has been going viral on social media after being uploaded by a passenger.

Jennifer Schaper, the passenger who posted the incident, captioned the clip, "Because my travels seem to involve unintentional comedy: just boarded the plane and somebody spilled food. The flight attendant screamed “who spilled rice?” and is walking up and down the aisles. They are refusing to leave the gate until someone cleans the rice."

According to other passengers, the mess was made almost immediately as the plane was boarded in Atlanta, Georgia, on its way to Houston, Texas on Saturday.

Referring to the incident as "#RiceGate", Schaper added, "The people in my row and I have now the giggles and she's looking at us suspiciously."

A follow-up video posted shortly after shows the attendant apologising to passengers for the delay, saying "We’re cleaning this rice so you don’t have to walk through it and it won’t be an eyesore. We apologise, but, again, I don’t think you want to walk through it, so let us just take care of it before we leave."

"She has let us all know that we were not raised right and she is disappointed in all of us", Schaper tweeted, joking that she and other fellow passengers had nicknamed the flight "The Voyage of The Damned."

While the person who was responsible for the mess is still unclear, the rice was eventually cleaned up and the flight took off.

When the flight finally landed in Houston, Schaper joked, "There were a few bumps so they didn't give us beverage service. I think it was punishment." A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines responded n the comments, saying "We're sorry that our crew was unable to provide onboard refreshments due to bumpy travel conditions.

"Safety is always our number one priority, but we hope that we can make it up to you next time! Thank you for bearing there with us, Jennifer."

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