Every Friday, FlyerTalk looks back at the week’s most charming individuals. While there are always plenty of contenders for our Worst Passenger of the Week award, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory. Here are this week’s winners.
In a little-noticed press release in May of 2014, Spirit Airlines rolled out the trademarked slogan, “Strip Down and Save With Spirit’s Bare Fare.” The idea behind the provocative tagline and ensuing media campaign was to make consumers aware that they only need to pay for the inflight perks they want when choosing to fly on the ultra-low-cost carrier. The media release goes on to further define the deftly-coined registered trademark, explaining that traditional airfares with included amenities such as complimentary peanuts and free beverages are like “going to a movie theater and paying $25 for a ticket including popcorn and a drink, whether you want them or not.”
The passenger responsible for a delayed departure this week at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) might have taken the idea of a “bare fare” a bit too literally. The Oakland International Airport (OAK)-bound traveler reportedly stripped completely naked during boarding and approached a flight attendant while wearing only a birthday suit.
By boarding with only a smile, the flyer was certainly able to avoid any additional fees for carry-on items. When law enforcement arrived to remove the nude passenger from the plane, however, the cost savings achieved by “traveling light” were soon rendered moot.
Police are attributing the bizarre incident to a “medical issue,” so the naked passenger will likely escape serious legal repercussions for the failed attempt to fly in the buff. If the unclad passenger should need a legal loophole, Spirt may have unwittingly provided the perfect defense – after all, the buck-naked customer was simply following a clearly stated airline policy.
Authorities say the seventeen-year-old who opened an emergency exit and jumped from a plane shortly after landing at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) this week will not be criminally charged. The teenager was arrested on the airport tarmac after exiting the Copa Airlines flight from Panama City Tocumen International Airport (PTY) just moments after it touched down.
“It was as if he was like flying out, like it was really fast,” Sophia Gibson a passenger on the flight told San Jose ABC affiliate KNTV.
The incident does not appear to have been the result of a juvenile prank or an act of adolescent rebellion. Eyewitnesses say that the young passenger was in obvious distress during the flight. Fellow passengers described the unidentified teen as “anxious” and “fidgety” prior to landing. Police report that the minor was receiving treatment and on Wednesday prosecutors confirmed that no criminal charges will be filed in connection with the incident.
The South American carrier has slightly looser rules about unaccompanied minors traveling solo than its North American counterparts. Copa Airlines even warns passengers on its website that unaccompanied minors will likely face stricter rules if connecting through a partner airline. In this case, the underage passenger would likely have been permitted to travel without supervision and also would have been permitted to sit in the exit row on most commercial airlines.
It seems clear, however, that the young passenger on the international flight was having some trouble coping before he took drastic measures. A little extra attention from the cabin crew or fellow passengers might well have helped to avoid the whole terrifying ordeal.
Chickens always come home to roost and hen parties cause headaches for cabin crews. The entourage escorted from a Ryanair flight by police in Spain this week, perfectly illustrated both of these rules of thumb in dramatic fashion.
It wasn’t necessarily the allegedly loud, vulgar and drunk antics of the bachelorette party that made this group of travel companions special – obnoxious stag trips and hen parties have been the bane of low-fare airlines for years. It’s the fact that the members of this pre-nuptial getaway wore their bad behavior like a badge of honor that makes them so especially loathsome.
The reveling women on the flight from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LPL) to Alicante–Elche Airport (ALC) didn’t have to wait for police to release details of their misdeeds. The rowdy group almost immediately gave a virtual press conference of their own on social media.
“Only us that can get escorted off the plane by Spanish police, FFS,” Emma Yates, one of the allegedly disruptive flyers posted to her Facebook page, later defiantly adding, “Yes, we was drunk. Yes, we was embarrassed, but eh group of girls on holiday having fun […] so wot, not a**ed about wot people think or say!! Like u ain’t never done it!!”
Passengers on the flight report that the obnoxious travelers spent much of the journey standing in the aisle and fighting amongst themselves. One eyewitness claimed that the group made it impossible to access the lavatory during the nearly three-hour-long flight.
In video footage of the women being removed from the aircraft, one of the troublesome hen party members can be heard laughing and gathering her straggling compatriots, announcing gleefully, “Get your bags, we’re all getting chucked off.” Officers were greeted with a standing ovation when they arrived to escort the wedding posse from the flight.
Ryanair officials were in a decidedly less celebratory mood.
“The crew of this flight from Liverpool to Alicante requested police assistance upon arrival in Alicante after a number of passengers became disruptive inflight,” the airline said in a statement. “The aircraft landed normally and police removed and detained these individuals. The safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority and we will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behavior at any time. This is now a matter for local police.”