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.
Perhaps, if Ryanair had more of a reputation for empathizing with inconvenienced passengers, the carrier’s Chief Marketing Officer might have earned a slightly more sympathetic response to his tweet this week complaining that air traffic controller staffing shortages have interrupted his travel plans. Instead, Ryanair passengers seemed to revel in the airline executive’s pain and weren’t at all shy about sharing stories of times his airline seemed to be less than concerned for the needs of air travelers inconvenienced by delayed or cancelled flights.
“Sitting on runway in Dublin on flight that should have left at 0650 but will leave after 0830 because of Air Traffic Control staff shortages in Europe,” the Dublin-based budget carrier’s CFO Kenny Jacobs wrote in an early Tuesday morning post shared on the company’s official Twitter account. “The worst summer ever for delays and cancellations across all airlines and more needs to be done by EU. It’s bad for tourism, business travel and will mess up the hard earned holidays of many families. #tourism #businesstravel #airtrafficcontrol”
Rather than rallying followers to his cause, social media users appeared to take great pleasure reminding Jacobs that he might not want to throw stones from the front door of his glass house. Twitter followers helpfully responded with comments of their own, putting the airline executive’s temporary discomfort into perspective.
“Nice one @Ryanair. You retweet your CMO’s ‘caring’ tweet about delays to holiday goers but left the tweets about being stuck at Gatwick for 11 hrs yesterday unanswered and did not have a representative available for customers,“ one frustrated Ryanair passenger wrote in response, including the hashtags #badservice #whatcustomercare.
“Kind of ironic that you feel inconvenienced because of an organization not having sufficient employees to offer a professional service that it causes delays/cancellations,” another insightful flyer responded. “Remind us again how many flights you cancelled or delayed last year because you didn’t have enough staff???”
A mean old man on an American Airlines flight appears to have suffered from the mistaken idea that his flight passed through a time vortex to circa 1953 at some point while flying from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). After he allegedly assaulted a stewardess and uttered a string of misogynistic and racist insults, police officers waiting for the plane to land back in 2018 soon disabused him of the notion that this sort of behavior is permissible.
Police say that 82-year-old Gregory Alexander became annoyed that a cabin crew member was blocking the aisle when he was returning to his seat after visiting the lavatory about midway through the flight. In a misguided attempt to end the temporary inconvenience, Alexander “jabbed” her back several times. When the flight attendant, who was serving other passengers at the time, asked him to stop poking her, Alexander reportedly became enraged and used an offensive racial slur before cruelly attacking her appearance.
“You’re too big for this job!” the alleged bigot is said to have shouted during the tense exchange. “You’re too fat for this, overweight!”
Arrest records show that Alexander was released on bond after being charged with one count of “interfering with aircraft operations” and a single count of “simple assault.” He is next scheduled to appear in court on June 26.
A string of increasingly bad choices could delay a passenger who was arrested at Miami International Airport (MIA) for between 10 to 15 years. Police say 32-year-old Jacob Hume was so intoxicated when he was taken into custody that officers rushed him to a nearby hospital rather than taking him straight to jail.
Hume was initially approached by officers after he was reportedly observed “urinating in front of a column in Concourse D” by a TSA worker. According to police, the peeing passenger ignored the TSA employee’s demands that he stop peeing and instead exposed his genitals in the presence of a small child waiting for a flight nearby. It is not clear from probable cause affidavits if the indecent exposure intentionally targeted the 8-year-old girl or was incidental to the inappropriate use of the departure gate as a toilet.
When officers arrived to arrest the seriously icky passenger, Hume was determined not to go quietly. In arrest records, he is described as “yelling profanities” and “causing a scene” as he kicked the golf cart that was taking him from the scene of the crime. In addition to already serious charges of “lewd or lascivious conduct in the presence of a child” and “disorderly conduct,” the confused flyer’s antics after his arrest earned a charge of “resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.”