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Worst Passenger of the Week: Drunk Passenger Refuses Seat Next to Child

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.

Honorable Mention – Don’t Stop Me Now

A passenger was arrested on Saturday after allegedly attempting to breach a security checkpoint at Orlando International Airport (MCO). Parts of the terminal reportedly broke into a panic after a nearby air traveler mistakenly shouted that the suspect was reaching for a gun.

The confusion forced the evacuation of nearby retail outlets and restaurants while police worked to take the 38-year-old man into custody. According to local media reports, a number of passengers were injured in the resulting chaos.

“The people, the staff of Chili’s were great,” one eyewitness told reporters. “They made us all get down, got us out. They evacuated us out of the building in a very timely manner.”

Other flyers (without the steady leadership of the waitstaff at Chili’s) mistakenly believing that there was an armed subject on the loose, themselves breached the security checkpoint to escape the perceived danger (forcing some passengers already in the terminal to be re-screened). The checkpoint eventually reopened, albeit with substantial delays resulting in more than a few missed flights.

Authorities say the man who originally attempted to breach the security checkpoint was, in fact, unarmed. He was taken to a nearby hospital under an “involuntary mental health hold,” but could still face criminal charges.


Third Place – My Funny Valentine

A passenger on a Valentine’s Day Ryanair flight from Glasgow Airport (GLA) to Málaga–Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) was removed by police after the captain made an unscheduled stop at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD). The flight was reportedly diverted after a physical altercation between two passengers.

Ryanair officials confirm, however, that only one passenger was forced to spend Valentine’s alone in Madrid. Although the Costa del Sol is often mentioned among Europe’s most romantic destinations, the fact that a lone passenger was removed from the plane would seem to indicate that his sweetheart may have just made the decision to stay on the plane and continue with the rest of the romantic getaway solo.

“The aircraft landed normally and police removed and detained an individual before the aircraft continued to Malaga,” the airline said in a statement not exactly fit to print on a candy heart. “We will not tolerate unruly or disruptive behavior at any time and the safety and comfort of our customers, crew and aircraft is our number one priority.”


The Runner-up – Tip-Toe Through the Tulips with Me

A passenger who removed his pants during a flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) caused quite a stir during the nearly 12-hour journey. The pantless passenger reportedly helped himself to wine directly from the beverage cart and the mischievous flyer even donned a puffy winter coat at one point, even while steadfastly refusing to put his trousers back on. But he didn’t really cross the line until he noticed that a seatmate had a ukulele with him on the flight.

“He just shouted at a man who boarded with a ukulele (also have questions) to COME SIT WITH ME AND MAKE SOME MUSIC,” eyewitness Lizzie Thompson wrote in her live-tweet of the bizarre in-flight antics.

In this case, the impromptu performance turned out to be a near-miss, but still much too close for comfort. There was every chance that the sort of person who brings a ukulele on a flight might have eventually been persuaded to take part in an in-flight singalong.

This was an Air France flight after all, so it is very likely the cabin crew would have allowed the on-board recital to play out unhindered. At that point, the only hope for the hundreds of souls on this transatlantic flight would have been the slim chance that an armed federal air marshal was on board to stop the half-naked ukulele serenade before it started.


The Winner – What Did I Do? What Did I Do?

A JetBlue passenger’s tantrum over being seated next to a small child predictably ended with this irate Worst Passenger of the Week no longer sitting in any seat. The hard-to-watch incident, which took place just prior to takeoff on a Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)-bound plane, was, of course, caught on video and almost immediately shared on social media.

In the footage, Valerie Gonzalez is loudly ranting about her assigned seat and appears to spit at fellow passengers before being escorted off the aircraft. As the short viral video begins, she is questioning why she was being singled out for her behavior in the first place. “I didn’t do anything wrong; I didn’t do anything wrong,” she can be heard repeating.

The 32-year-old was eventually arrested, after allegedly attempting to re-board the plane and assaulting a JetBlue crew member who stepped in to intervene. Police say she has since been charged with simple battery.

“I’m not sitting next to a f—— 3-year-old,” Gonzales announced prior to the start of the now viral video, according to arrest reports. “I’ve been drinking all day.”

By the time fellow passengers started recording her rant, the small child in question was nowhere to be found and the disgruntled air traveler had already started to focus her rage on other nearby flyers. As she gathered her belongings, Gonzalez remained defiant to the bitter end.

“Make this viral! You wanna make this viral, make it viral. What the f— did I do? I called someone old because they were? I’ll get my bags. I’ll take my f——- s—!”

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