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Worst Passenger of the Week: Bad Nurses & Coddled Celebs

Worst Passenger of the Week: Bad Nurses & Coddled Celebs
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 column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.

3rd Place: Dos Bad Teresas

Two nurses returning from abroad were arrested on Monday at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). Authorities say that Teresa Dawn Phillips and Teresa Dragseth Laskowski arrived at the airport with hundreds of prescription pain killers concealed in their luggage. According to arrest records, 52-year-old Phillips and 56-year-old Laskowski were each found in possession of a large quantity of the powerful opiate Tramadol, which is described as a synthetic, narcotic-like pain reliever similar to codeine.

Despite their medical credentials, neither suspect appears to have been working in an official capacity. The two are now facing felony drug charges and the pair’s San Antonio employer was quick to distance itself from the incident.

“We learned today that two employees were arrested while re-entering the country in Houston for possession of a controlled substance,” Methodist Healthcare told San Antonio NBC News affiliate WOAI. “To prioritize patient safety and enforce hospital policy, the two employees will be reported to the Board of Nursing and have been suspended pending further investigation.”

2nd Place: The First Rule of Flight Club Is Don’t Talk About Flight Club

The thing about secret societies is that they are supposed to remain secret. This week, however, Chrissy Teigen blew the lid off a secret cabal of the rich and famous who no longer have to stand in security lines or suffer the indignity of the Chili’s in Terminal 5.

Ok, members of private terminals for the well-heeled such as the Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) aren’t exactly sworn to secrecy, but maybe those of us waiting in hours-long Uber lines at the new “LAX-it” ride-share facility would prefer not to have our noses rubbed in it just right now. At least Teigen had the decency to sound a little sheepish about the elite travel privilege granted only to the beautiful passengers of the world.

“There is a terminal a mile from the airport that you pay membership for,” Teigen wrote in a now-viral Twitter response to a fan question about how celebrities deal with the challenges of holiday travel. “They do the same security privately and take you to the plane in a car. I know. I know.”

In 2017, Teigen and her famous husband John Legend made headlines after enduring an eight-hour-long flight departing from LAX, and shortly circling back to LAX when their Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)-bound All Nippon Airways flight turned back to the airport after flying nearly four hours over the Pacific Ocean. ANA officials explained that the flight to nowhere was the result of an “administrative mix-up” in which an un-ticketed passenger was allowed to board the flight.

“A flying first for me: 4 hours into an 11 hour flight and we are turning around because we have a passenger who isn’t supposed to be on this plane,” Teigen wrote in a series of posts for her over 9 million Twitter followers at the time. “Why […] why do we all gotta go back, I do not know. Why did we all get punished for this one person’s mistake? Why not just land in Tokyo and send the other person back? How is this the better idea, you ask? We all have the same questions.”

There is no amount of VIP treatment that can make up for a travel experience like that. On the other hand, private security checkpoints and a little TLC from a dedicated hospitality staff certainly can’t make things any worse.

1st Place: The Fall of Officer Dennis Booker

Former “21 Jump Street” star Richard Grieco found himself on the wrong side of the law on Thursday when the high-flying celeb was arrested on public intoxication charges at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). According to police, the one-time teen idol was taken into custody following an argument that kicked off when Grieco was informed that he was too intoxicated to board his flight.

According to arrest records, officers were flagged over to a boarding area by an airline employee. Arriving on the scene, cops say they discovered the eighties television star hunched over the kiosk, yelling at gate agents, slurring his speech and smelling strongly of alcohol. Grieco was allegedly “unsteady on his feet” and admitted to drinking two vodka cranberries prior to boarding. Arresting officers also say the overindulging actor had Klonopin in his possession. Grieco reportedly explained that he was prescribed the medication because he is a “nervous flyer,” but authorities noted that using the drug with alcohol consumption is contraindicated.

Grieco later told TMZ, that while unfortunate, the incident was “not that big of a deal.” The performer says he was rebooked on a flight the next day. Perhaps, he should consider using a private celebrity-only terminal where the concierge might be a bit more discreet about calling the police on an overindulging client.


[Featured Image: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock]

View Comments (3)


  1. Global321

    December 15, 2019 at 7:09 am

    Ms Teigen sounds dumber and more elitist with every post.

    As for Jeff’s comment…

    “There is no amount of VIP treatment that can make up for a travel experience like that.”

    8 hours in International first on an amazing airline where they were pampered beyond belief. Oh the HORROR!

  2. BobFF68

    December 15, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    It is probably because of my (bad) proficiency in English, I really did’t get the sense of 2nd position.

  3. alphadawg

    December 16, 2019 at 6:20 am

    For clarification tramadol is not a narcotic but is used in place of narcotic medications such as Tylenol #3

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