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Dogs, Dolls, and Dummies: 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 – Good Doggy/Bad Photo-op

The photograph taken on a Delta Air Lines flight making the rounds on Twitter certainly requires a double-take. Never mind that the picture clearly shows a large dog patiently waiting for beverage service in the window seat of a crowded airplane cabin; at first glance, it appears the hound managed to score the extra legroom of an emergency exit row seat.

The viral canine sensation has Twitter users asking how the four-legged flyer was able to confirm that he was indeed willing and able if “called upon to open the exit and assist fellow passengers in exiting the aircraft if a crew member is unavailable to do so.” It has been suggested that perhaps a “one bark for yes/ two barks for no” system could have been put in place in lieu of the FAA-required verbal affirmative.

Upon closer inspection, it looks as if the pup was actually seated in the row just in front of the emergency exit row. The photograph still begs questions about the dog’s economy class Homeward Bound itinerary. Delta officials, it seems, also had some questions about the celebrity pup’s travel arrangements and reached out to the photographer for more details. No word yet on why the large dog was calmly perched on the plane, but social media agrees that this very good dog wouldn’t be the worst passenger to sit next to on a long flight.

The Runner-up – The Drug Smuggling “Spirit Doll”

Thai Smile Airways made news after agreeing to treat “Look Thep” or “Child’s Angel” dolls more like human passengers. So many flyers refused to be parted from their child-sized dolls that the airline agreed recently to allow them to purchase seats for the dolls.

Some believe the so-called spirit dolls are inhabited by sacred beings who promise good fortune to those who pamper the dolls. That pampering includes expensive clothing and accessories and now, apparently, first class travel. The airline not only allows passengers to purchase seats for Look Thep, but is also asking cabin crews to offer the dolls amenities such as food and beverage service as well as hot towels and in-flight entertainment.

Now that the dolls are treated like actual passengers, it was only a matter of time before a Child’s Angels copied the bad behavior of actual passengers, namely by boarding a plane stuffed to the gills with drugs. Police at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) say they seized a doll this week that was filled with methamphetamine rather than a benevolent child spirit.

The Winner – Bad Behavior and an Even Worse Defense

For some unknown reason, it seems as though a passenger attempts to open the emergency exit of a commercial aircraft nearly every single week. Fortunately, plane doors are designed not to open while an aircraft is in flight, but when a passenger attempts to exit through the emergency door, whether on the ground or in the air, delays and massive expense are sure to follow.

The reasons for these bizarre emergency exit attempts are as varied as they are numerous. In some cases, a passenger simply goes berserk in a terrifying attempt to cause chaos midair. In other cases, the attempt is simply a poorly timed joke gone wrong. One passenger even claims to have mistaken the emergency exit for the lavatory door. In perhaps the most famous incident, an overstressed flight attendant quit his job by grabbing a beer and sliding down the emergency slide to freedom and unemployment.

This week’s Worst Passenger of the Week, however, may have had the most believable explanation of all for his bizarre behavior. When the unidentified German national flying on Jet Airways was confronted by the crew after he opened the exit door when the flight arrived at the gate, he simply explained his actions by saying he did it “just for fun.“

Airline officials confirmed the all-too-common incident and noted that airport security was alerted immediately. Although the infuriating flyer clearly has a skewed definition of the word “fun,” he might not have quite as much fun dealing with the fallout of his questionable choice of amusement.

[Photo: Facebook/ Twitter/Nick Weathers / Alamy]

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