flight attendant walking down aisle of plane with passengers seated on each side
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
April 30, 2024 ·  3 min read

Flight Attendant Won’t Let Plane Leave Until Passengers Clean Up Mess Dropped In The Aisle

Recently, a flight attendant refused to let a plane take off until the passengers had cleaned up a mess that they had created in the middle of the flight. This incident took place on a Southwest Airlines aircraft. And as it turns out, another passenger decided to share this story all over social media. The passenger, Jennifer Schaper, went on to claim that just after they had boarded the plane and were about to take off, it became quite apparent that someone had spilled rice all over the cabin floor. As the crew members noticed, they demanded that the culprit should step forward and clean up the mess that they had created. 

A Twitter thread was created as this situation unfolded. Ms Schaper wrote, “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.” In a second tweet, the passenger called the incident #RiceGate, and further added, “The people in my row and I now have the giggles and she’s looking at us suspiciously.” Since many of her followers asked her to keep updating the situation, Ms. Schaper typed in, “Update: They are still refusing to leave until the rice has been cleaned. They are sending out for a broom. #RiceGate.

Read: Man kicked off flight for being ‘fatphobic’ and rude

Flight Attendant Asked People To Clean Up Rice- Failing Which The Flight Was Delayed

The passenger further attached a video of the incident, where the flight attendant could be heard apologizing for the delay. She further stated, “I don’t think you wanna walk through it, the mess needs to be taken care of before the flight is able to leave.” In another tweet, the passenger mentioned that the flight attendant had started rebuking the passengers. “Rice is getting cleaned but she is MAD. She has let us all know that we were not raised right and she is disappointed in all of us.” Hilariously, the flight was further delayed because “another loud angry woman went to the bathroom during #RiceGate and we still can’t take off because she is not at her seat.” 

Ms. Schafer finally added, “My row mates have nicknamed this flight The Voyage of the Damned. Update: There were a few bumps so they didn’t give us beverage service. I think it was punishment.” After this social media post, a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines issued an apology for the lack of refreshments. 

Not The First Time An Attendant Took Matters Into Their Own Hands Over Spilled Food

Just a few days before this incident, Anthony Bass- an MLB star- divided the internet by claiming that United Airlines had made his pregnant wife clean up a mess that was created by their kids. The star tweeted, “The flight attendant just made my 22-week pregnant wife traveling with a 5-year-old and 2-year-old get on her hands and knees to pick up the popcorn mess by my youngest daughter. Are you kidding me?” His tweet definitely divided the opinion, as one former cabin crew member responded, “A flight attendant is there for safety, not to pick up after you or your children. As a former flight attendant, I speak from experience.” 

Another individual commented, “I have three kids, just flew coach 2 hours, and was able to clean up after them- for every mess. It’s called parenting. Do you expect park janitors to clean up after your pet? No; Your child, your responsibility.” While a third user mentioned, “As someone who has traveled cross-country with two small kiddos by myself before… the rule is clear up after your own gremlins.

Keep Reading: Flight Attendant Warns Why You Should Never Wear Flip Flops Or Crocs On A Plane


  1. Flight attendant won’t let plane leave until passengers clean up mess dropped in the aisle.” Yahoo
  2. Baseball star furious with United Airlines for asking pregnant wife to clean up children’s popcorn.” Independent. Zoe Griffin. April 18, 2022.