Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

When your flight is delayed 8 hours, you're unlikely to get on it in a cheery spirit.

It's hardly stunning, then, that when 70-year-old Eric Miller and his 25-year-old daughter Whitney finally got on their Frontier Airlines flight from Orlando to St. Louis, they weren't in the best of moods.

Their version, as told to News 6 in Orlando, is that they commented to each other, quietly and privately, on how miserable the Flight Attendants looked.

Which is nothing compared to how they say those Flight Attendants made them feel.

The Millers say that a Flight Attendant stood behind them and overheard their conversation.

Next, they say they were confronted by several Flight Attendants, one of whom demanded: "Do we have a problem?"

Another question went: "Do you want to be removed from the aircraft?"

And they were.

If the Millers are accurately telling the story, this seems like an unseemly escalation of what may have been a slightly frustrating situation.

I contacted Frontier to ask whether its Frontiersmen and women might have overreacted. I will update, should I get a reaction.

The airline did tell News 6: "The behaviors and comments exhibited by these passengers prior to departure were inappropriate; and as a result they were asked to leave our aircraft. Safety and security of our passengers and crew is our number one priority."

An airline spokesman also told the International Business Times that the Millers used words like "stupid," "rude" and "b****."

Well now. Whom should we believe?

In these situations, a belief in democracy can be more rewarding than, you know, a belief in the political sort.

You see, another passenger, Jocelyn Praia Gonzalez, took video of the Millers being removed and posted it to Facebook.

Eric Miller seems to be trying his hardest to remain urbane, in the face of what must have been an extremely aggravating moment.

But it's Gonzalez's words accompanying her video that feel telling: "Frontier is on my dislike list. These poor people did not deserve this at all! A stewardess felt threatened after 'overhearing' a conversation between this daughter and father just trying to get back after we all sat for a 9 hour delay! You hear his reaction? Still classy after all the attacks Frontier gave them both. Never again!"

In addition, Gonzalez told News 6 that she doesn't know the Millers and didn't hear them say anything unpleasant at all.

Bystanders tend to be fairly good judges on the whole. Especially those who may not be in a fine frame of mind themselves and still support fellow passengers who likely delayed their flight even more.

Here we are, then, gawking once more at an airline customer service situation that should have been heading west, but went frightfully south.

If it's true that the Flight Attendant was eavesdropping on a conversation, you have to wonder why.

You also have to wonder about these words from Frontier: "Our flight attendants are customer service and safety professionals who are trained to recognize situations that may impact comfort and safety of passengers and crew on board our aircraft."

If they were customer service professionals, would they have allowed the situation to have become so heated? And if the passengers had truly felt unsafe, might not one or two of them have sided with the Flight Attendants?

And, who knows, in the coming days, some might.

Yet Gonzalez said the passenger applause on the video represents them supporting the words of Eric Miller.

I'll leave you with some of those words: "This is the most loathsome experience I can actually say I've indulged in 70 years of flying on an airplane. This is absolutely incredible. We have a conversation, you're threatened and we are going to have to leave after spending 12 hours in this airport waiting for this plane to leave. Absolutely shameful."

He was angry and he still found the wherewithal to utter the word "indulged."

That's one of the problems we have with airlines. We're forced to indulge their ways because we have so little choice.

Published on: Aug 19, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.