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.
There are distinct advantages to traveling internationally with a U.S. passport; the right to self-upgrade oneself without permission from an economy class seat to the business class cabin on a transpacific flight, however, is not one of those advantages. An unnamed passenger on an Incheon International Airport (ICN) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO)-bound Korean Air flight this week did everything but chant “U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!” to get a little bit of unearned special treatment before her eleven-hour flight departed – she failed miserably.
The passenger, who reportedly upgraded herself to a business class seat and then refused to return to her assigned seat, took a very American approach to defending her ill-gotten upgrade. As she was being dragged from the aircraft, she called on the Federal Air Marshal Service to come to her aid, unsuccessfully attempted to invoke the brand power of SpaceX and accused the help of stealing her passport.
Even though this ugly American wasn’t especially kind to her hosts and soon found herself unceremoniously ejected from her flight prior to departure, airline employees still showed the bullying passenger a measure of kindness. Despite the fact that the American flyer had already firmly wrapped herself in the Stars and Stripes, crew members generously offered her a business class blanket while she waited for the men in white coats to take her away.
Singer Bea Miller attempted to use her status as a minor celebrity and a dedicated army of social media followers to shame United Airlines over her difficulties with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The entertainer apparently received special (and somewhat time-consuming) scrutiny from airport screeners causing her to nearly miss her flight this week. Miller attributed the zealous screening to the fact that she was traveling with a “seven pound carry-on dog.” In turn, she then inexplicably blamed the airline for her treatment at the hands of The Department of Homeland Security.
“Hi @united i would like to know why i was removed from a tsa line today for having a 7lb carry on dog, told to stand around and wait somewhere else for 30 minutes, and then had EVERY single item i had with me get wiped down and inspected, causing me to almost miss miss my flight,” the former X Factor contestant wrote in a hasty Twitter post to her more than 800,000 followers.
Moments later, Miller lunged for the jugular without warning.
“I had already waited in the tsa line for 35 minutes so this entire process took me over an hour and i was not given a real explanation,” she wrote in a low-blow of a follow-up post. “Insane that you have killed animals on your flights due to incompetence yet you’re worried about me being dangerous because of mine.”
Tamar Braxton’s alleged refusal to follow a flight attendant’s instructions resulted in a Delta Air Lines captain coming back to the cabin to read the riot act to the Grammy-nominated singer, Delta Diamond member with Lifetime Elite status and sister of the arguably more famous Toni Braxton. If the pilot’s lecture had been the final scene in a John Hughes film, then a slow clap might have started before raucous applause and cheering spread throughout the aircraft. Unfortunately, the brief cellphone footage of the incident posted online by Tamar Braxton’s sister cuts off at that pivotal moment.
“Here’s how this works,” the captain can be heard explaining with a matter-of-fact tone. “My flight attendants work for me. They give orders that come from me, OK? And so if you get an instruction from a flight attendant, I need to know that you are willing and able to do what you are told to do. Are you willing and able to do what you are told to do by a flight attendant? Don’t ask me any questions… answer yes or no.”
Not having access to footage of the exchange with the cabin crew member that led to the pilot’s take-it-or-leave-it-speech, it’s impossible to say if the celebrity with elite status deserved the dressing down she received from the pilot or not. When Towanda Braxton posted a video of the pilot’s compelling lecture on Twitter, however, she wrote that perhaps her sibling’s Diamond and Double-Million Mile status should have insulated her from the consequences of her actions. She also implied that the entire affair was the result of “flying while black.”
There are a few important, yet previously unknown facts everyone should be made aware of before the most recent Worst Passengers of the Week are introduced. First, there is such a thing as French rappers. Second, French rappers have adorable stage names like Booba and Kaaris. Finally, Booba and Kaaris have beef.
Rather than settling their feud gangsta style on the streets of L.A, the Booba and Kaaris drama played out at a duty-free perfume counter at Paris Orly Airport (ORY). The airport terminal was reportedly forced to close for nearly 30 minutes this week when the rappers and their entourages, on their way to a concert in Barcelona, started brawling at the gate and in the airport shop.
Police say eleven passengers were arrested in connection with the melee. The real tragedy here is not just a few bloodied noses, a couple of broken vials of perfume and a few delayed flights, but the sad fact that Booba and Kaaris were at one time buddies and collaborators. Now, it seems that the bad blood between two of the biggest names in French rap may not be resolved until all of the duty-free shops in European airports flow with spilled Drakkar Noir.