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.
Roaming around the cabin and sexually assaulting a flight attendant would easily earn a misbehaving air traveler a spot among the Worst Passengers of the Week. Punching a crew member would all but guarantee a place on the podium. Stripping naked and watching a pornographic movie on a laptop computer would certainly bear mention in this column. A passenger who urinated on a seat or pleasured himself in full view of fellow air travelers would deserve to be highlighted in this space.
This week, a passenger on a Malindo Air flight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to Dhaka Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC) is accused of doing every single one of these things just moments after his flight left the ground. Predictably, the very busy and extraordinarily inappropriate flyer spent the rest of the flight in restraints.
“[The passenger] stripped naked and started watching porn on his laptop, ignoring all those around him,” one eyewitness on the flight later told reporters. “The cabin crew approached him and politely asked him to put on his clothes. He complied with their request. A short while later there was some commotion at the toilet area and it turned out that he was harassing a stewardess.”
According to Malindo Air officials, the uncomfortable situation was brought under control almost as quickly as it got out of hand. According to the airline, the outrageous traveler was separated from society as soon as the plane landed.
“The crew on board has followed the standard operating procedure in restraining the passenger from causing further disruption on board the flight,” the airline confirmed in a statement. “The disruptive passenger was accompanied by Dhaka security team upon arrival and he has been put to jail by the authorities there. The airline will continue to stay vigilant to ensure passengers travel soundly.”
Even in cramped passenger planes, flying above the clouds can often be a majestic experience. For one nervous first class flyer, however, it appears that the experience was much too much to bear.
A passenger on a San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Boise Airport (BOI) flight is accused of attempting to open the aircraft door mid-flight. The unidentified woman, who one fellow passenger described as “trying to get over the fear of flying,” was seated in the premium class cabin of the United Airlines flight operated by SkyWest.
Without warning, the “visibly apprehensive” passenger reportedly jumped up from her seat and ran towards the cabin door. Eyewitnesses say that she then unsuccessfully attempted to open the exit door (which is physically impossible to open while the plane is in the air) several times before crew members were able to restrain her.
The disturbed passenger is said to have repeatedly uttered, “I am God! I am God! I am God!” as she tried to make an early exit from the aircraft. Police say the confused woman continued her wild rant long after being brought under control on the cabin floor. Her incoherent ramblings for the remainder of the flight reportedly included repeating the words, “God has all the data; I don’t have any data” and “We landed in Boise 15 minutes ago.”
When the high-flying passenger eventually came down to earth in Boise, Idaho, she was promptly taken into custody by police. According to local media reports, however, she was delivered for a medical evaluation rather than jail.
A passenger on an American Airlines flight from Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) certainly thought he had a number of good reasons for his outlandish behavior on board. It appears, however, that the emergencies that Colby Hilleary thought he was heroically addressing were all just in his head.
The 23-year-old is accused of suddenly jumping up from his seat and rushing toward the flight deck. When a flight attendant tried to interrupt his mission, Hilleary allegedly punched her rather than be dissuaded from investigating an imagined crisis. In fact, the agitated young man had a series of dire alerts for those on the aircraft.
“The plane has been hijacked!” the disruptive passenger reportedly warned a seat mate before springing into action. “There are no pilots on the plane! The plane is going the wrong way!”
Had any of those very serious situations actually been unfolding, then Hilleary’s actions would have most certainly been justified. By all accounts, however, the plane had not been hijacked, the pilots were securely at the controls and the plane was on course.
Instead, the would-be hero was arrested by local police on a single count of assault after the captain made an unscheduled stop at Tampa International Airport (TPA). Later this week, federal officials also charged Hilleary with the federal crime of “interfering with flight crew members.”