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’s defiant attempt to break the rules and re-enter a secure area of Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport (IDR) in Indore was nothing compared to the line she crossed when she got into a scuffle with a pregnant Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officer guarding the entry point. The trouble started when passenger Priyanka Malhotra reportedly left the terminal soon after arriving on a flight from Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).
The flyer allegedly became enraged because she was quite properly denied re-entry into the secure terminal area. According to authorities, the determined passenger scuffled with the visibly pregnant officer who attempted to block the passenger from violating security protocols by returning to the secure area of the airport.
“The lady constable is pregnant, but was on duty,” police spokesperson Neeraj Sarvan told reporters. “We booked Priyanka Malhotra for obstructing a public servant from discharging her duties.”
According to local media accounts, Jyoti Chouhan, the constable involved in the altercation is doing just fine following the in-the-line-of-duty scuffle. Both mother and child are said to have escaped the incident relatively unscathed.
Awful airline food and lost luggage have long been a staple of comedians on late night talk shows, but now, one passenger’s outrageous behavior may have altered this time-tested television trope forever. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani used an appearance on Late Night With Conan O’Brien this week to relate the story of a seat mate who stripped down to his underpants during a recent American Airlines flight from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The comedian explained to Conan O’Brien that the unidentified passenger “took his pants off.” Suspecting that his story might be hard to believe, Nanjiani brought photographic evidence of the passenger’s uncouth behavior. The picture, which the actor and funny man took on the cross-country trip in December, shows what appears to be a boxer-clad passenger with his bare legs proudly splayed on the bulkhead in front of him.
The inflight near-nudity might not even be this passenger’s most egregious offense. According to the celebrity talkshow guest, the troublesome, but extremely comfortable passenger was also an especially aggressive species of gate louse. “He was like right in front of the gate waiting,” the comedian recounted. “People with wheelchairs had to like, try to get around him. It was as if he was like ‘I can’t wait to get on that plane and get these pants off!’”
One passenger’s emphatic critique of the in-flight entertainment options caused a Kiev Boryspil International Airport (KBP) to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV)-bound flight to be delayed for more than an hour. The crew of the flight, operated by El Al low fare subsidiary UP, reportedly convinced the ultra-Orthodox Jewish passenger to end his protest over entertainment options he deemed less than wholesome, only after providing eye masks for the scandalized flyer and his family.
Prior to the airline offering blindfolds, the would-be rabble-rousing passenger had refused to take his seat unless the aircraft’s video monitors were turned off and stowed away. According to eyewitness accounts, El Al security forces boarded the plane shortly before the unnamed flyer finally agreed to take his seat.
“After a conversation with the plane’s crew and after it was made clear to him that [the plane] could not take off if he refused to listen to instructions, the passenger sat in his seat and the flight departed.” the airline confirmed in a statement. “At his request, he and his family received blindfolds.”
If it seems that El Al was uncharacteristically lenient with this disruptive passenger, it is worth noting that the airline may have gotten off easy in this particular situation as well. In February 2016, a passenger on an El Al flight from TLV to Warsaw Chopin Airport (WAW) was arrested after objections about the “immodest” nature of the in-flight entertainment led to a violent tantrum. In this case, the flyer objected to the showing of the docudrama Truth starring Robert Redford. A year earlier, the airline took heat from the public for suspending the inflight movie over passenger objections to the immodest content of the PG-13 rated romantic comedy Aloha starring Emma Stone.