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Worst Passenger of the Week

Retch For The Sky: This Week’s Worst Flyers

Retch For The Sky: This Week’s Worst Flyers
Jeff Edwards

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.

Honorable Mention – An Especially Offensive Foul

Former NBA star and one-time “Meet the Kardashians” regular Lamar Odom was reportedly removed from a Delta Air Lines redeye flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on Monday. Eyewitnesses say that the troubled celebrity was visibly intoxicated. To make matters worse, Odom allegedly vomited on himself and in the aisle of the plane before being ejected from the flight.

The retired basketball player nearly lost his life less than a year ago after slipping into a coma follow a drug overdose at a Las Vegas area brothel. Odom has fought a very public struggle with drugs and alcohol in recent years.

In this case, it seems Delta crew members were able to head off problems and spare passengers from a very unpleasant cross-country flight. Unfortunately, there is very little the airline can do to protect the 6’10” athlete from himself.

Third Place – The Blacked Out Biter from Pago Pago

The man accused of biting a flight attendant on a Tuesday Hawaiian Airlines flight from Pago Pago International Airport (PPG) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL) says he doesn’t remember the incident. That doesn’t mean that the 35-year-old accused of violently struggling with crew members and fellow passengers doubts the accusations against him.

According to court documents, Togio Aumeaualogo told police that he is “a bad drunk.” The American Samoa resident told officials that he blacked out during the incident and that he remembers only attempting to tell a story to flight attendants before being “ambushed.” The passenger with the somewhat hazy memory admitted to police and FBI agents that in addition to two pre-flight beers, he had enjoyed several small bottles of liquor after takeoff.

Those witnesses who remember the incident a little more clearly say that Aumeaualogo “went into rages,” biting a flight attendant and assaulting other travelers before being restrained by crew members and passengers. Despite being restrained with zip-ties, the out-of-control flyer reportedly continued to struggle for the remainder of the flight.

The Runner-up – The Wizz Kid Who Just Couldn’t Wait for the Two Bell Signal

When the EasyJet flight from Copenhagen Airport (CPH) landed at Edinburgh Airport (EDI), one passenger was in a very big hurry. As soon as the plane touched down, a 26-year-old passenger reportedly made his way to the exit. When crew members ordered the eager flyer to return to his seat until the plane reached the terminal, the man, who had reportedly been drinking from his own supply of alcoholic beverages throughout the flight, reacted in a very unexpected manner.

Rather than returning to his seat and buckling his seatbelt, the defiant passenger allegedly unzipped his pants and began to urinate on nearby passengers before attempting to exit the still taxiing plane. Despite his outrageous behavior, the urinating flyer still managed to be the first passenger to exit the plane – albeit in handcuffs and in police custody.

“We can confirm that flight EZY6984 from Copenhagen to Edinburgh on 13 July was met by police on arrival in Edinburgh as a result of a passenger onboard behaving in a disruptive manner,” EasyJet officials said in an official understatement. “For the safety of all on board it is illegal for passengers to drink alcohol purchased in the airport during the flight.”

The Winner – A Cautionary Tale for Future Troublemakers

There is very little that is remarkable about the disruptive and abusive behavior that caused a Wednesday afternoon Jet2 flight bound from Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) to Larnaca International Airport (LCA) to divert to Manchester Airport (MAN). The 21-year-old passenger in this case is accused of consuming his own private stash of alcohol and threatening fellow passengers before turning his rage on crew members and physically threatening a flight attendant. According to the airline, Joshua Strickland became so irate that he needed to be restrained until police could remove him from the flight.

What is remarkable about this all-too-common incident is the fact that Jet2 used its own official website to publish details of the bizarre midair ordeal. The airline published Strickland’s name along with a photograph of the dejected traveler in handcuffs the very next day. Officials also took the opportunity to note that the accused troublemaker earned a lifetime travel ban from the airline and he would soon be receiving a hefty bill totaling £12,000 to cover the cost of diverting the flight to MAN.

“We will not tolerate anyone being threatening towards families and crew on our flights. We are committed to stamping out abusive and aggressive behavior for the safety of everyone onboard,” Jet2 Managing Director Phil Ward said in a strongly worded statement that called out the disruptive passenger by name. “Joshua Strickland’s violent outburst was absolutely unacceptable and caused a lot of distress plus significant delays for our customers. He now has to face up to the consequences of his actions and we will vigorously pursue to recover the costs incurred by this unnecessary divert.”

[Photo: TMZ]

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