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.
It just got a lot harder to make excuses for putting off that dream vacation for yet another year. A twelve-year-old child from Australia has a thing or two to teach us about seizing the moment. The preteen didn’t allow money concerns, getting the time off or family obligations to get in the way of his once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bali.
After an argument with his parents, the pint-sized Marco Polo, identified in Australian media accounts only as “Drew,” decided that if he wouldn’t be allowed to choose the destination of the next family vacation then he would book a solo trip to Bali for himself. After “borrowing” his parents’ credit card and doing a bit of hasty research on airline rules for unaccompanied minors, he was soon airborne and on his way to the secret holiday we all think we deserve.
Drew’s mother told reporters that her son does not enjoy hearing the word “no.”
By the time his school reported his unexcused absence to his family, Drew already had quite a head start. He had managed to check into his resort of choice using only his student ID and a convoluted story about an older sister who would be arriving shortly. Instead, his mother was the one who made the trip to paradise to collect her well-traveled son once the jig was finally up.
This kid certainly appears to be going places (in fact, he’s already been places). Had the rebellious youth spent his parents’ money on a new gaming console, then he might have had to return his ill-gotten gains, but memories of a trip to paradise that will last a lifetime are something no one can ever take away – which is a good thing because this truant tourist will likely be grounded for a very long time to come.
Despite endless headlines to the contrary, it is no easy accomplishment to find yourself being dragged off of a commercial airline flight by police. It appears, however, that an American Airlines passenger managed to not only get himself physically removed from a Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Miami International Airport (MIA)-bound flight, but the uncooperative air traveler also somehow managed to get himself tased by police in the process.
Cellphone footage of the incident shows a passenger, identified by NBC News as Jacob A. Garcia, continuing to resist police even after being tased by officers, even calling one of the cops a baby and reaching for the taser before eventually being subdued. After being physically removed from the aircraft, the disruptive passenger was charged with a slew of offenses including “battery, depriving an officer of a firearm, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.”
The regrettable incident was reportedly the result of Garcia refusing a polite command from a crew member to leave the aircraft shortly after boarding. According to eyewitnesses, he was originally ordered to deplane after allegedly groping a female passenger and arguing with other travelers in the cabin.
The disruptive flyer should perhaps count himself lucky that he was involuntarily removed from the aircraft at MIA. A couple of hours later and he likely would have been in Chicago when he was removed from the flight. Police at ORD have a well-earned reputation for being slightly more aggressive when dealing with less-than-cooperative passengers.
A passenger at at Raleigh–Durham International Airport (RDU) proved beyond a doubt that she was in need of the comfort offered by her emotional support companion, considering the way she reacted when she was told that her dog would not be allowed to board her Southwest Airlines flight with her. Although the dog in question reportedly “began snapping and barking” when the commotion started, it was the dog owner who allegedly turned vicious.
According to police reports, Evian Gabrielle Villegas became incensed when an airline agent told her that her dog would not be able to accompany her on the flight because the proper documentation had not been provided. Villegas would not take no for an answer and allegedly refused to leave the ticket counter where she was “belligerent” and “cursing at employees.”
Things only got worse for the poorly-behaved pet owner when police arrived on the scene. Villegas allegedly punched an officer in the eye and followed up by spitting in his face.
It is starting to look like Villegas and her canine companion will be separated for some time yet. The Raleigh–Durham News and Observer reports a judge ordered that her bail remain at $200,000 after a courtroom meltdown in which the stubborn passenger in serious need of obedience training attempted to fire the public defender representing her and repeatedly shouted demands for her right to “one phone call.”