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Worst Passenger of the Week: Bedlam & Brawl on Budget Flight

Worst Passenger of the Week: Bedlam & Brawl on Budget Flight
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.

Honorable Mention: En Garde, Monsieur!

The TSA says that a passenger at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) attempted to bring an actual sword on a plane this week. It appears that the air traveler involved did not have any malicious intent behind his plan to bring the neatly packed weapon onto his flight as a carry-on item, but he did seem to be somewhat confused about exactly what sort of situations TSA screeners might be inclined to look the other way. The answer, by the way, is none – there are no situations in which a civilian passenger might be given permission to pass through an airport checkpoint with a sword.

“Guy shows up at @EWRairport with this sword,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said in a Tweet revealing the priceless discovery. “Says he thought he could carry it on past the @TSA checkpoint because of its value. Doesn’t matter to TSA how much the weapon is worth. No weapons should be brought in the cabin of a plane.”

Honorable Mention: The Things Some People Will Do to Get out of Florida

Twice this week, passengers at Florida airports have attempted to board flights out of the state in a most unorthodox fashion. While there are a multitude of reasons one might wish to flee the sunshine state in a hurry, nobody, but nobody should ever have to get to Newark this badly.

At Orlando International Airport (MCO), a woman without proper identification and no boarding pass made it all the way to the cabin of a Delta Airlines flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), but once the jig was up, the purported stowaway declined to leave the plane. Rather than producing a boarding pass or identification, she instead simply showed crew members a cellphone snapshot of herself to prove she belonged on the flight.

A man at Miami International Airport (MIA) took a much more aggressive approach to board his American Airlines flight without showing a ticket. The passenger was arrested after allegedly forcing his way onto the Newark Liberty International (EWR)-bound flight without producing a ticket. In this case, the trespassing would-be flyer also declined to leave the aircraft when asked as well, but according to the airline, his out-of-bounds performance was entirely unnecessary.

“During the boarding process of American Airlines flight 1060 from Miami to Newark, a ticketed passenger for that flight ran on the jetbridge, bypassing the gate agent,” an American Airlines spokesperson told Miami 7 News in a statement. “Law enforcement was summoned, who removed the passenger.”

Third Place: One More Before You Hit the Planeload?

A Southwest Airlines flight from Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was forced to divert to Tucson International Airport(TUS) reportedly because an allegedly intoxicated passenger turned violent during the scheduled 3-hour-long flight. According to police, the disruptive passenger, who appeared to be under the influence, allegedly assaulted his fellow air travelers shortly after takeoff on Tuesday evening. The ensuing fracas forced the captain to make the unscheduled stop in Arizona.

According to the airline, the flight was able to continue to its final destination after police removed the disruptive passenger from the aircraft. David Broseh was taken into custody once the plane was on the ground and the 51-year-old now faces charges of disorderly conduct and assault, but is still only the third-worst passenger this week.

The Runner-Up: Oh, for the Love of Cigarettes and Hyperbole

Three passengers on a flight from Chișinău International Airport (KIV) to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) were arrested following an exercise in increasingly outlandish behavior during the boarding process. The sordid chain of events reportedly kicked off when a flight attendant had to ask a 17-year-old member of the entourage to stop smoking on the plane.

Things only went downhill from there.

When airport security forces arrived to remove the travelers from the plane, the group soon engaged in a physical struggle with the agents. A video of a portion of the bizarre incident shows what appears to be the passengers grappling with security personnel and repeatedly shouting, “Nazi! Nazi! Nazi!”

According to press accounts, three family members were arrested but later released to the custody of Moldova’s Chief Rabbi who interceded in the case. The group had reportedly been changing planes following a pilgrimage to Uman, Ukraine over the Rosh Hashanah holiday.

“Suddenly the police came and arrested us violently and forcefully put us in a detention cell for almost 30 hours,” Nathan Shamai who was arrested along with his wife and younger brother later told reporters. He added that they were given only a “bed of stone” to sleep on and a “cesspool” as a toilet while in police custody.

Despite an obvious penchant for dramatics, Shamai said the whole incident had a rather dull start and was nothing more than a simple miscommunication. He explained that he was merely helping to translate for his younger sibling who didn’t speak English when the authorities stormed in and arrested everyone.

The Winner: Look, We Can Do This the Hard Way or the EasyJet Way

It seems a group of four EasyJet passengers on a flight this week from Manchester Airport (MAN) to Tenerife South Airport (TFS) was not going to be satisfied until they found themselves in handcuffs. Unfortunately, for their fellow travelers, the plane had to land at Faro Airport (FAO) in Portugal for this goal to be accomplished.

According to eyewitnesses, one disruptive flyer had to be separated from a seatmate following a physical altercation, but rather than remaining in his new seat, the belligerent air traveler is said to have repeatedly attempted to return to the “seat of the crime” and restart the fight. Attempts to calm the out-of-control passengers only made things worse.

“Things first kicked off when the group at the back got into a fight,” one passenger on the flight later told reporters. “Punches were thrown, and the stewardess broke them up, but then they kicked off again, and passengers actually intervened to calm them down. One woman got in the way, but a guy spat in her eye. It was disgusting. One of the guys got into trouble when he started pinching drinks from the front of the plane. It was bedlam.”

Cellphone footage of a portion of the mayhem reveals that at least two of the disruptive passengers involved looking exactly like the picture you just had in your head as you were reading about their exploits – right down to the backward-facing baseball cap and gold chains. The flight attendant in the clip, however, is unimaginably brave in her attempts to separate the two tough-guys.

[Featured Image: EasyJet]

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