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Flight Attendant’s “We Don’t Want to Die” Not Even Worst Incident This Week

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.

Third Place -The Accidental Arms Smugglers

When traveling abroad, most passengers are careful to avoid traveling with contraband. If the film Brokedown Palace taught us anything, it’s that penalties for smuggling and the definition of contraband can vary wildly from country to country. In not one, but two separate incidents, passengers who may not have even realized they were doing anything wrong recently found themselves in serious legal jeopardy.

Twice this week passengers were arrested at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG). Both passengers were taken into custody after officials discovered a stun gun in their checked bags. In separate incidents, a 33-year-old man and a 29-year-old passenger flying home to India are now facing serious weapons charges for possessing the devices which are forbidden in Hong Kong.

It turns out that stun guns are considered to be a firearm in Hong Kong. The men were therefore each charged with the illegal possession of a firearm and could face a jail term of up to 14 years in prison.

The Runner-up – The Flight Attendant Who Was a Touch Too Honest

Flyers who wonder why airlines aren’t more forthcoming and honest about delays might want to pay attention to this cautionary tale from a Ryanair flight this week. A frustrated flight attendant may have made the mistake of giving the passengers on a delayed flight just a bit too much information.

The flight attendant on a Ryan Air flight from Glasgow Airport (GLA) to Dublin Airport (DUB) appeared to be doing her best to keep passengers on the delayed flight updated. The flight had been delayed for nearly eight hours when the crew member seemed to succumb to the stress of the situation. She explained an additional delay in departure using stark language, announcing to passengers, “We have ice on the wings; We don’t want to die.”

Fortunately, a passenger on the flight managed to capture a video of the bizarre PA announcement. Otherwise, the episode might have been relegated to just another anecdote of weird stuff flight attendants say. Instead, the passengers’ reactions to the matter-of-fact safety assessment helped to make the short YouTube video a hit on social media.

The pre-flight announcement was, strictly speaking, informative and factually correct, but that doesn’t mean that the flight attendant’s stunning lack of tact went unnoticed by her superiors.

“We will be speaking to the crew member involved and apologize for the regrettable comment she made in the heat of the moment,” a Ryan Air spokesperson wrote in a statement to the media.

The Winner – The Passenger With a Most Dangerous Addiction

The passengers and crew aboard a  certainly don’t need a reminder.

The captain of a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu International Airport (HNL) to Kahului Airport (OGG) was forced to activate the plane’s fire-suppression system and make an emergency landing after a warning light alerted the crew to a fire in the cargo hold. The flight landed safely, but investigators found charred bags in the plane’s baggage compartment. It was later determined that an electronic cigarette packed in one of the checked suitcases had overheated, causing a small fire.

Electronic cigarettes, which have grown in popularity over the last few years, are permitted in carry-on luggage but since fires, even small fires, in the cargo holds of commercial aircraft are considered less than ideal, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) bans e-cigarettes in all checked bags. At the urging of the FAA, U.S. airlines have taken steps to make passengers aware of the dangers of packing the devices in checked bags.

Based on this week’s near catastrophe and similar scary incidents in recent months, it seems flyers haven’t quite gotten the message yet. Unfortunately, it may take an even more serious emergency (or at least a series of angry tweets from Russell Crowe) before this problem gets the attention it deserves.

[Photo: Alamy]

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