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.
An Air Busan passenger’s violent reaction to a perceived slight resulted in a flight returning to the terminal at Gimhae International Airport (PUS) this week. The plane bound for Osaka Itami International Airport (ITM) turned back shortly before takeoff after a 35-year-old passenger reportedly attacked a flight attendant.
According to the airline, the unidentified assailant became outraged after the cabin crew member inadvertently scratched his hand while attempting to assist the passenger with his jacket. The flight attendant is said to have apologized to the passenger, but moments later as she was performing the preflight safety presentation, the passenger interrupted by allegedly punching and choking the clumsy crew member.
The angry and aggressive passenger was taken into custody by police shortly after the aircraft returned to the gate. Airline officials, however, seem willing to chalk the whole affair up to a language barrier.
“Our flight attendant apologized profusely after she accidentally scratched the man’s hand, but he seemed like he did not understand,” an Air Busan spokesperson told reporters. “I guess there was a miscommunication between the two, however, it was inappropriate for the man to assault our crew member. We handed him over to police right away.”
It has been well-established that vapers are the absolute worst. Beyond being just plain smug and annoying, in the past, e-cigarette users have caused entire airport terminals to be evacuated, been responsible for a number of onboard fires, forced flights to make more than one unscheduled landing and even threatened to kill fellow passengers when denied the pleasure of inhaling flavored water vapor during their journeys. This week, however, a vape aficionado proved himself to be among the worst of the worst.
A passenger on an American Airlines flight from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to Sacramento International Airport (SMF) allegedly threatened the plane with an explosive device that later turned out to be a mere vaping device. Michael Bielinski reportedly issued the ominous warnings to his seatmate “we’re all going to die” and “the plane is going to explode” just prior to takeoff. The 28-year-old, who is said to have smelled strongly of kerosene, mused “maybe it’s a good time to cut out the bomb material,” before then proceeding to put a battery in “what appeared to be a pipe with liquid in it.”
Nearby passengers alerted crew members to their concerns and the aircraft returned to the gate where the threatening passenger was removed by police. Despite the fact that the “explosive device” ended up being mostly harmless, Bielinski was later charged with making a false bomb threat and disorderly conduct.
A passenger on a Lion Air flight from Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK) to Padang Minangkabau International Airport (PDG) had a very good reason for putting on his life vest and warning other passengers to prepare themselves for disaster. The passenger was so confident that something bad was going to happen during the journey, he also placed a life vest on his grandmother to keep her safe as well. The unidentified flyer explained that he could “see and feel” that the flight was in imminent danger.
Fortunately for everyone on board, he was quite mistaken.
Despite the crew’s best efforts to convince the soothsaying passenger to remove his flotation device and return to his seat, the man insisted that the flight was in serious jeopardy. The agitated flyer repeatedly begged crew members to turn the plane around due to an unspecified disaster that was waiting en route. Soon, several others passengers on the aircraft were soon whipped into panic as well by the man’s dire predictions.
Flight attendants and the captain worked to assure passengers that there was no threat to the aircraft despite predictions to the contrary. The plane eventually arrived at its destination safely and without incident. There was, however, a disaster of sorts waiting on the ground for the alarmist passenger. He was turned over to police as soon as the flight arrived at the gate.