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.
A passenger who reportedly purchased a sack of potatoes from a farmer at some point prior to his Cochin International Airport (COK) to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)-bound flight managed to inadvertently show up at the airport with a venomous snake in his carry-on bag. The potentially dangerous serpent was only discovered when the bag was x-rayed at an airport security checkpoint.
The passenger was briefly detained by police and both he and the poisonous snake reportedly missed their flight. The unlucky flyer was released after convincing authorities he was completely unaware that he was being accompanied by a deadly travel companion. In this instance, the baby snake was found sealed in the bag of potatoes purchased from a local farmer.
According to Common Indian Snakes: A Field Guide by award-winning herpetologist Romulus Whitaker, the Indian krait is “commonly known as India’s most venomous snake.” In some cases, baby snakes can be more venomous than mature snakes of the same species. If the small snake had slipped past security, then passengers on the Air India Express fight would have had little hope but to pray that at least one mongoose also stowed away on the flight in a fellow passenger’s contraband mangoes.
It’s been said that flying Allegiant Air could test the patience of Job, but, in this case, it doesn’t appear that the airline was to blame for the pre-flight meltdown at St. Pete–Clearwater International Airport (PIE) that turned a Sarasota cop into an inmate. Fellow officers say the melee had more to do with alcohol than it did with customer service deficiencies.
According to arrest reports, Sarasota Police Officer Derrick Gilbert became incensed after a flight attendant decided he was too intoxicated to fly. The 54-year-old veteran law enforcement officer was reportedly so drunk that he “could neither find his seat nor tell airline staff where he was traveling.”
Gilbert is said to have disembarked from the aircraft when ordered, but he declined to leave the boarding area. A series of escalating physical altercations with airline staff, his own 18-year-old son and eventually police officers then allegedly ensued in short order. Officers on the scene report warning Gilbert that he would be arrested if he did not leave the airport, but the off-duty cop refused to depart and instead continued to hurl abuse and profanity at airport workers.
As it turns out, Gilbert didn’t really need to be privy to information about his seat assignment or final destination. In the end, the flight departed with his seat empty and the now suspended officer was booked into jail on charges of “battering airline staff, domestic battery and trespassing.”
Saving the world is hard work and a glass of wine after a job well done doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, but this Worst Passenger and self-proclaimed “international human rights attorney” was willing to trample everyone’s rights in the ugliest way after being denied a well-earned business class libation. Like any fierce advocate for the downtrodden, she simply took what she believed she was rightfully owed – seizing a bottle of wine from the beverage cart, but not before hurling racist insults (and spittle) at several Air India crew members on the London-bound flight.
Footage of a portion of the in-flight disturbance appears to show the unidentified passenger flying into rage after she was denied a glass of wine. In addition to allegedly spitting on a pilot, taking a bottle of wine without permission and ignoring repeated requests to return to her seat, the oenophile made clear that she expected a little gratitude for her missionary-like humanitarian efforts to assist the less fortunate overseas.
“I am a f****ing international lawyer,” she can be heard eloquently explaining. “Rich Indian f***ing money grabbing bastard. You f***ing stupid c**t.”
At another point, she seems to rely on her lawyerly powers of persuasion. She then quickly resorts to outright threats.
“You treat business class passengers like this?” she asks rhetorically in an opening statement delivered before the premium cabin. “I work for all you f**king people… But you won’t give me a glass of wine… You can’t give me a wee bottle of wine … I’ll turn you inside f**king out. You f***ing stupid c**t … You think I’m f***ing scared. All you have to do is give me a f**king drink but couldn’t do that could you?”
Later, the traveling humanitarian and ambassador of goodwill from the west makes it clear that it isn’t just the subcontinent that benefits from her selfless advocacy. She, for some reason, wants to make clear that she is also the savior of less advanced corners of the globe as well. She reminds the cabin that she is an “international human rights lawyer” and has “f***ing helped Palestinian people.”
In the end, it seems the unidentified passenger’s good works counted for something after all. Eyewitnesses on the flight say that crew members simply turned the other cheek and the rampaging “do-gooder” avoided being placed in handcuffs despite her best efforts.