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.
Rocky Balboa knew he had little choice but to fight the Russian Olympian Ivan “Iron Man” Drago in the classic film Rocky IV (the honor of Apollo Creed was at stake after all). The passengers and crew on a Red Wings Airlines flight from Moscow Domodedovo International Airport (DME) to Antalya International Airport (AYT) in Turkey, however, were under no such illusions about the need to take on the rather intimidating, bloodied and screaming maniac on board their flight.
Employing a rope-a-dope tactic, the crew was reportedly content to allow the rampaging flyer to tire himself as he wailed and punched the seat in front of him for nearly an hour. A passenger-recorded video of the terrifying tantrum is itself exhausting to watch. In the footage, the unidentified passenger appears to alternate between sobbing wildly and and lashing out violently.
Once the apparently intoxicated flyer had tuckered himself out, fellow passengers and crew members eventually brought the troublemaker to heel. Unfortunately, by the time the disturbed flyer was finally restrained, several of the passengers and crew were left blood-splattered with more than a few looking as if they had gone nine rounds in the ring themselves.
A typical commercial airline flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is an approximately seven-hour journey. In that brief amount of time, an allegedly intoxicated Air Canada passenger managed to rack up an impressive laundry list of criminal charges.
According to police, Canadian passenger Adam Pitcher was arrested upon arrival in London. He was later charged with crimes that included “sexual assault on a female over the age of 16, sexual assault on a male over the age of 16, damaging an aircraft and being drunk on an aircraft.”
The out-of-control passenger was reportedly handcuffed to his seat on the plane, after allegedly attacking at least two passengers and attempting to destroy a toilet. The 36-year-old who is said to have managed the disturbingly extensive crime spree during his transatlantic flight, remains in custody pending an appearance before Isleworth Crown Court later this month.
Given the seriousness of the charges and the fact that the nightmare passenger apparently listed his address as “no fixed abode,” it seems unlikely that he will be getting out of jail anytime soon. News that should come as something of a relief for anyone with plans to return to YYZ on an overseas trip in the near future.
There were several valid reasons to remove this Worst Passenger of the Week from her American Airlines flight preparing to depart Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) for Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Allowing her small dog to run around the cabin of the plane may have even been the least of her offenses.
According to an eyewitness on the flight who recorded portions of the tarmac meltdown, the disruptive passenger refused to take her seat for takeoff. Michael Nash told Chicago NBC affiliate WMAQ that the irate woman assaulted a flight attendant and accused fellow passengers of throwing water in her face before being escorted from the flight by police.
Footage of the human drama on American Airlines Flight 218 unfolds almost like a one-act Chekhov play:
As the lights come up, a woman paces the aisle of a small passenger jet with her fists clenched. She is followed closely by a small yipping lap-dog.
Voice from the Crowd: (desperate) You’re gonna get us killed, lady!
Another Voice form the Crowd: (pleading) We just want to go home.
Worst Passenger of the Week: (picking up small dog and turning to face her accusers) You’re motherf****ing lucky I want to get home, too, cause it’s gonna be a problem when we get to Chicago.
Flight Attendant: (with absent inflection as if reciting pre-flight safety demo) No, we’re going back to the gate, we’re not going to Chicago.
(Boos and groans from chorus)
According to police, the “woman in the blue dress” was removed from the flight, but not arrested or charged at the time. American Airlines officials say that she was re-booked on a later flight that same day.