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 column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.
A passenger on a Mexico City International Airport (MEX) to Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)-bound flight this week was hiding a deadly secret. Authorities say that the international air traveler identified as “Udo N” began to have seizures as a result of a drug overdose shortly after the plane departed. The captain quickly decided to make an unscheduled landing at Hermosillo General Ignacio Pesqueira García International Airport (HMO), but it was too late for the stricken flyer who died at the scene.
During a later autopsy, medical examiners made a disturbing discovery. The deceased passenger had ingested 246 plastic packets of cocaine prior to the flight. The 2.5cm by 1cm bags of illicit drugs were reportedly found in the traveler’s stomach and digestive system and are believed to be the result of an ill-fated smuggling attempt. The toxic contraband cargo inside the flyer was attributed to his sudden death as a result of cerebral edema.
Although the traveler may have appeared to be just another tourist returning from the tropics, police say Udo N caught the flight headed back to his native Japan after recently arriving in Mexico City from Bogota, Columbia. Federal officials have confirmed they are taking over the investigation.
The West Air gate agent said he was sorry about a recently delayed flight, but one irate passenger attempted to put this commonly heard, but often empty platitude to the test. Footage posted on social media this week appears to show an overwrought passenger demanding that the airline employee kneel while repeating his apology for the late departure.
“You should kneel to apologize to us,” the frustrated flyer can be heard demanding of the uniformed airline worker. “You must represent your company and apologize to us. Kneeling shows sincerity.”
In the video, the gate agent is understandably reluctant to acquiesce to the passenger’s over-the-top customer service demands. Officials at the Chinese budget airline later confirmed that the shameful scene took place following a weather-delayed flight. At least one other passenger appears to come to the worker’s defense in the cellphone footage, questioning exactly what the requested display of fealty would accomplish.
“I am a member of staff,” the beleaguered airport worker calmly responds in the short video clip. “I do carry out my responsibilities. But there is no need for you to humiliate me.”
Although the aggressive flyer seems to insist that his demands were simply made in an attempt to discern the genuineness of the airline employee’s mea culpa, it seems clear that exacting revenge was likely the true goal of the mortifying command. As enticing as the dream of making an emissary of a budget carrier kneel before you sounds, it is certainly not the most appropriate reaction to the weather-related delay of a flight.
Former WWE star, Terri Runnels (AKA Miss Alexandra York) has entertained millions with her athleticism and drama in what was arguably one of the most engaging careers in the history of televised sports, but her latest appearance in the spotlight is pushing the bounds of credulity. Following her arrest at Tampa International Airport (TPA), the former professional wrestler told police she had a good reason behind her arriving at a TSA checkpoint with a loaded firearm.
According to an arrest report, Runnels told officers that she forgot she was carrying the unlicensed handgun, which she had only purchased to “get rid of an armadillo that was digging up her mother’s yard.” Despite her compelling justification, the celebrity athlete was taken into custody. She now faces charges related to carrying a concealed weapon at an airport.
It seems unlikely that the “Slammy” award-winning, former member of the “Pretty Mean Sisters” alliance had nefarious purposes in mind when she tried to board a flight with a loaded handgun. On the other hand, employing a Glock to execute an adorable garden pest isn’t exactly a sterling example of responsible gun ownership either.
A cleaner employed at Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL) claims that there is a perfectly innocent reason for allegedly hiding a firearm and 17 rounds of ammunition in a ceiling of the terminal while he took a brief trip to Haiti. After his arrest for allegedly stashing the gun and ammo above a ceiling tile in the secure area of the airport, Mikenson Regis’s lawyers insisted that their client simply panicked when he realized that he had brought a 9mm Ruger, two magazines and a box of ammunition to work with him.
According to defense lawyers, Regis was concerned about violating company policy by returning home with the forbidden weapons during work hours and instead stashed the items in a garbage bag and placed them behind the false ceiling. He was scheduled to fly to Haiti shortly after his shift, so he left the contraband hidden in the ceiling of a utility closet until after his return.
Police say the plastic-wrapped gun and ammo was eventually found by a construction crew working at the airport. Investigators traced the firearm to Regis through the gun’s serial number – he also left the hat from his work uniform in the bag.
“Essentially what happened was no different than having someone go to the airport who doesn’t know he has a prohibited item in his bag,” attorney Jennito Simon told local reporters. “He panicked and thought the best thing to do was hide it and deal with it when he came back.”
Sometimes, it’s better to put off challenging work-related problems until getting back from summer vacation. In this case, however, the absent-minded passenger and airport janitor might have been better served to have dealt with the issue at hand before heading out of town and before the “honest mistake” triggered a massive federal investigation.
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