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Worst Passenger of the Week

Worst Passenger of the Week: Never Work with Animals or Children

Worst Passenger of the Week: Never Work with Animals or Children
Jeff Edwards

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 – “I Had Every Right to Bring My Dog!”

W.C. Fields famously said, “Never work with animals or children.” It seems, however, that Sharknado star Tara Reid might not be in the position to turn down any sort of work at all. Her latest starring role, in footage obtained by TMZ, involves the actress apparently being escorted off of a Delta Air Lines flight which returned to the gate just before departing from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) for John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).

According to the celebrity gossip site, eyewitnesses report that the movie star threw a tantrum after being assigned a window seat, not being supplied with a pillow and then becoming even more upset that the passenger in front of her had reclined the seat. Despite reportedly confirming these details in a phone call with TMZ, Reid is calling the story fake news.

She now says that she voluntarily deplaned the flight – despite video footage clearly showing her displeasure at being removed from the flight. The American Pie actress also insists that she chose to take a later flight only because crew members told her she would need to place her dog in an overhead bin.

Delta said in a statement that the plane was forced to return to the gate “due to a customer disturbance on board.” The airline strongly denied that any crew member ever told Reid to place her pet in an overhead bin at any point.

“For the record TMZ and Delta Airlines, these stories about me being kicked off the plane because of disturbance are completely false,” Reid wrote in a late social media post. “The flight attendant wanted me to put my dog in its carry on and in the overhead bin which was an absurd request considering animals can not breathe in there, let alone an incident such as this one, which took place some time ago and that puppy unfortunately died in that very similar overhead bin, therefore I refused to comply with this ridiculous request.”

Third Place – “The Pig Weighing Nearly 2lbs Was Seized and Destroyed”

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the smuggling of contraband pork into the U.S. is a serious problem. Thankfully, “Officer Hardy” of the “Beagle Brigade” is on the case.

The beagle K-9 was on hand at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) when this Worst Passenger attempted to traffic a cooked pig into the country. The good doggy quickly sniffed out the suspicious roast pork averting a pig-headed mistake at the border.

“Our best defense against destructive pests and animal diseases is to prevent the entry of prohibited agriculture products from entering the United States,” CBP Area Port Director for the Port of Atlanta Carey Davis said in a statement praising Hardy’s good job. “This seizure at ATL illustrates the tremendous expertise of our four-legged K-9 partners in protecting the United States.”

Officer Hardy has been on the force since 2015 and is a graduate of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Detectors Dog Training Center in Newnan, Georgia. While it’s customary for law enforcement agencies to share in profits when seized items are eventually auctioned off, in this case, “The pig weighing nearly two-pounds was seized and destroyed” and the beagle was forced to settle for a more traditional doggy treat.

The Runner-up – “Where is My Child!?”

In a well-timed and bone-chilling tale of horror, comes the terrifying story of the airport security screener who looked at his x-ray monitor to catch a glimpse of the SKELETON OF A SMALL CHILD. Fortunately, in this case, the rather mischievous body on the belt was very much alive and kicking.

Footage shows the pint-sized Worst Passenger climbing unnoticed onto the conveyer belt and disappearing into the scanner along with passengers’ carry-on bags. The child’s father who momentarily took his eye off the youngster while he prepared to pass through the metal detector, appears to say the words, “Where is my child!?” (at least according to the provided subtitles). Moments later, the playful flyer emerges on the other side of the machine unscathed and grinning widely.

Thankfully, the image on the monitor was not a macabre and grizzly pile of bones, but perhaps more importantly, the child is apparently in no danger from the small amount of radiation he was exposed to during his adventure. The naughty passenger was reportedly even provided with a keepsake image of his accidental full-body-scan. If this story ends like most of the Halloween yarns we have heard before, however, then the tale will be continued when the kid begins to inevitably develop superpowers in the coming weeks.

The Winner – “This is My Girl!”

A busy public place like Orlando International Airport (MCO) doesn’t seem like the likely site of an attempted child abduction, but a tense scene played out this week near an airport security checkpoint, when a man attempted to grab an eight-year-old-girl who was traveling with her parents. Fortunately, nearby strangers alerted by the girl’s screams quickly intervened.

Despite the alleged abductor’s repeated claim, “This is my girl! This is my girl,” the good samaritans quickly rescued the girl and pinned the alleged kidnapper to the ground until police arrived. In the meantime, nearby TSA officers radioed urgently for assistance.

An arrest affidavit cites eyewitnesses who report that Alfredo Sanchez simply grabbed the child and began to walk away. The incident is said to have occurred just before security in Terminal B of the airport.

“I put him in a choke hold,” one of the men who thwarted the kidnapping attempt told reporters. “I’ve seen it on TV, but I’ve never witnessed anything like that before or seen that in real life.”

Police say the 49-year-old suspect was arrested on child abduction charges and remains in the Orange County Jail. No motive has yet been identified for his bizarre actions. According to officers, the young girl was physically unharmed during the terrifying incident, but was “obviously traumatized mentally.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (2)


  1. htb

    October 22, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Was the last guy technically a traveler in the first place?

  2. bobosing

    October 31, 2018 at 1:44 am

    if i read correctly, it was before security so might not have been. But i have read that airports are a huge problem for abductions. Especially around the luggage carousels. Parents are looking for the luggage, kids are running around as they have been couped up the airplane. Lots of people standing in a concentrated area and the carousels are usually right near exit doors with cars that are constantly moving outside. Grab a child, run out the door, jump in the car and go….

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