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Opinion

Worst Passenger of the Week: The Business Traveler with a Serious Vendetta

Worst Passenger of the Week: The Business Traveler with a Serious Vendetta
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.


Third Place – So Long, Farewell, Adios

A flight from Cancún International Airport (CUN) to Manchester Airport (MAN) is a long time to be in the air with an obnoxious seat mate in the cabin loudly demanding more booze. A TUI Airways (formerly Thompson Airways) flight made an unscheduled stop this week at Gander International Airport (YQX) in Newfoundland to remove just such a seriously annoying passenger.
“On the flight the disruptive passenger kept walking up and down the aisles, trying to aggravate passengers,” one eyewitness on the flight told the Manchester Evening News, “The flight crew did refuse to serve him alcohol. He kept saying, ‘you have given it to everyone else.’ His partner with him tried to calm him down but in the end the flight crew had to separate them.”

In an apparent case of just desserts, while the inconsolable and allegedly disruptive troublemaker was booted from the flight at the airport in Canada, his partner (who had apparently spent much of the flight attempting and failing to talk some sense into an extraordinarily stubborn companion) remained aboard the plane when it departed for the UK. TUI officials couldn’t say exactly what became of the unpleasant traveler after he was escorted from the flight by authorities in Canada, but any potential legal jeopardy likely paled in comparison to the potentially awkward phone call home.

The Runners-up – “Delta Gets You There”

A pair of Worst Passengers really seemed to hit it off this week when they met on a Delta Airlines flight from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). The two lonely air travelers reportedly formed a quick bond and sometime before the plane landed, the 48-year-old woman and the 28-year-old man were caught in flagrante delicto while sexually expressing their new found affection for each other in the cabin of the aircraft.

Sadly, the two fast friends soon parted ways at DTW, as he was continuing on to Miami International Airport (MIA) and she was headed to Nashville International Airport (BNA). The star-crossed lovers were left only with the lasting memories of forbidden oral sex on a plane, a summons from the airport police and an ongoing investigation from the FBI to remember each other by.
Other passengers on the flight, however, have somewhat less romantic recollections of the couple’s May-December whirlwind relationship.
“The act itself is inappropriate in a public space,” one unhappy eyewitness on the flight told a Detroit television station. “There are children. There are families. There are seniors. These things should be respected. If people will go so far as to disrespect themselves and disrespect you, something should be done.”
Although the FBI initially said that the amorous flyers might face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies for their taboo inflight activities, it is widely believed that the bosom seat mates will escape serious criminal charges and instead each be required to pay a substantial penalty. At this early stage of a budding courtship, relationship experts generally recommend that couples “go dutch” on any incidental legal costs accrued as a result of the first date.

The Winner – Fool Me Once …

Passenger Birju Kishore Salla certainly has his issues with Jet Airways. The middle-aged jeweler, described as a “regular business class traveler” has allegedly let his frustrations with the Indian airline get him into hot water in the past.

According to the airline, Salla once intentionally brought a cockroach onto an aircraft in an attempt to embarrass the company. Jet Airways says that no charges were filed as a result of the incident, based on Salla’s assurances that he would behave himself on any future flights – a promise he broke big time this week.
While it is appears clear that the disgruntled passenger views Jet Airways as something of an arch nemesis, he may have taken things a bit too far this time. Salla was taken into custody after reportedly leaving a fake note in the lavatory of a Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) to Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)-bound flight purporting to be a hijack threat from Pakistani-based terrorists.
After the captain was alerted to the letter which promised that there were twelve hijackers aboard the flight and a bomb in the plane’s cargo hold, the plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Ahmedabad Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport (AMD). The typewritten note, composed in Urdu with an English translation, demanded that the crew divert the plane to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and ended with the phrase “Allah is Great.”
“If you put your landing gear, you will hear the noise of people dying,” a portion of the letter read. “Don’t treat this as a joke.”
Once the plane was on the ground at AMD, Birju Kishore Salla was soon identified as a chief suspect in the hoax. After more than six hours of additional security checks, the flight eventually departed for DEL without the grudge-holding frequent flyer onboard.
“Salla was detained by police after preliminary investigation,” a police spokesperson told The Times of India. “It was revealed that Salla had put the letter in the plane’s washroom. We will take necessary action against him.”
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