2005_03_jfk.jpgNewsday reports that an autopsy was found to be inconclusive as to why a man died on a flight from LA to NYC's JFK Airport. The man, 48 year-old William Lee, had been "forcibly restrained" after he angrily demanded a beer. American Airlines said Lee had ordered two beers and a vodka already, and Lee shouted at the attendants to be served immediately. When he was told he would not be served, he demanded to speak to "someone in charge," and alternated between calming down and getting angry again. It was when Lee shoved an attendant out of his way that seven male passengers ("possibly members of a rugby team from Australia or New Zealand") knocked him down to restrain him. When they landed in NYC to bring Lee to the police, they found he was unconscious and later died in a hospital.

This brings up the new social contract on airplanes that most everyone is aware of: You don't rock the boat or else you get rocked yourself. As satirized mere interrogations of flight attendants have been in Anger Management, Gothamist has to say the most powerful threats made by an airline were the words "If you get up during this 90 minute flight, we're turning this plane around." Of course that can't work for longer flights, but some sort of similar implication could be possible.