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A Movie Star’s “Super Bad Day”: This Week’s Worst Flyers

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.

Third Place – No Respect for Authority

There is a certain comfort in knowing that an air marshal could be hidden in plain sight quietly looking out for the safety of passengers on any given flight across the globe. The highly trained and mysterious security officers serve as a last line of defense should the unthinkable occur at 42,000 feet or, as in an incident on a Hainan Airlines flight this week, simply intervene in a heated dispute over business class seating. In this case, the elite air marshal received a bloody nose for the trouble.

The ordeal started when two passengers on a flight preparing to depart from Taiyuan Wuxu International Airport (TYN) to Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG) decided to upgrade themselves to business class seats. Rather than simply returning to steerage class when admonished by a flight attendant, the two flyers with aspirations beyond their station became combative.

Before the air marshal became involved, the pilot first attempted unsuccessfully to quell the situation. By the time the plane taxied back to the terminal, four crew and the air marshal were injured in the brawl over business class legroom and the two alleged instigators were in handcuffs.

The Runners-up – The Melee Followed the Delay

Yet another Hainan Airlines flight descended into chaos this week, this time because of a four-hour flight delay after passengers had already boarded the plane. The cabin was understandably on edge, but what happened next was not just the righteous griping of unhappy flyers that might be expected in this sort of situation; instead the behavior seemed more appropriate for a wild west saloon.

Video taken by a passenger on the flight that was stuck on the tarmac at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) documented the all-out-brawl that followed. As the stressed-out passengers begin taking their frustrations out on each other and crew members, the tense scene eventually devolves into violence. A flyer can be seen repeatedly hitting a flight attendant over the head with her carry-on bag.

In the end, the cranky and violent passengers were eventually allowed off the plane. The flight soon taxied back to the terminal where five flyers were immediately taken into custody.

The Winner – “This Sure Doesn’t Taste Like Iced Tea”

When a Hollywood celebrity causes trouble on a plane, it is normally expected that it will have something to do with a flight attendant forgetting extra avocado on the in-flight meal. In this case, however, actress Selma Blair reportedly made the mistake of mixing prescription medication and wine. The scene onboard a flight from Cancún International Airport (CUN) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Monday is said to have turned dark soon thereafter.

According to eyewitnesses, the actress, who most recently played Kris Kardashian in TV show The People v. O.J. Simpson, began sobbing uncontrollably and repeating a series of bizarre phrases. “He burns my private parts,” the actress is said to have uttered. “He won’t let me eat or drink. He beats me. He’s going to kill me.” As a precaution, Blair was taken off the flight on a stretcher and rushed to the hospital as soon as the plane landed at LAX.

The star later released an apology that was widely received as both sincere and humble — so much so that fans on social media seem to have overwhelmingly offered support and well wishes rather than the gleeful voyeurism that often accompanies this sort of fall from grace:

“I made a big mistake yesterday. After a lovely trip with my son and his Dad, I mixed alcohol with medication, and that caused me to black out and led me to say and do things that I deeply regret. My son was with his Dad asleep with his headphones on, so there is that saving grace. I take this very seriously, and I apologize to all of the passengers and crew that I disturbed and am thankful to all of the people who helped me in the aftermath. I am a flawed human being who makes mistakes and am filled with shame over this incident. I am truly very sorry.”

Fellow actress and star of Orange is the New Black, Lori Petty tweeted her support to Blair as well, writing, “@SelmaBlair all good, ma xx bad day – don’t be ashamed – just feel better. I love ya. binge #OITNB … days are way worse on there lol.”

“I love you. Super bad day,” Blair wrote in an understated reply.

[Photo: Vanity Fair]

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