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Worst Passenger of the Week: The Downward Dog, the Two-headed Beast, the Red Panda and the Grounded Peacock

Iridescent Peacock Animal

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 – There are no Beverage Carts on the Path to Enlightenment
Unlike many other frequent flyers, yoga instructor Kate Kay is taking the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) seriously. Fellow passengers took video of the fitness enthusiast turning the aisle of the plane into a yoga studio on a recent flight.
The footage drew mixed reviews after being posted to social media. On one hand, it was considered somewhat refreshing to see someone on a commercial flight using yoga pants for the intended purpose for a change. On the other hand, it isn’t exactly easy to concentrate on the crossword puzzle in the inflight magazine when another flyer is practicing yoga poses just inches away.
Kay offered no apologies for her inflight yoga practice, though she insists her intention is to maintain mindfulness and health rather than to seek attention or offend. She told reporters that she repeated the stretching exercises on a flight this week with much less fanfare.
“We should all listen to our intuition and allow our health to take precedence over our need for validation through others,” she told Fox News.
Third Place – The Mile High Comedy Club
A couple of passengers are sticking to their story after being arrested following a Sun Country Airlines flight from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP). Although Teresa Kohn and Tyler Boehm are facing charges of misdemeanor charges of engaging in gross lewdness or lascivious behavior, the pair are insisting on a bold, but risky “this isn’t what it looks like” defense.
The allegedly intoxicated duo are accused of making comments abut “joining the mile high club” before 43-year-old Kohn’s head disappeared under a blanket covering 41-year-old Boehm’s lap. The two say, however, that they were simply joking around and that nothing indecent occurred on the three-hour flight.
“We are getting a lawyer,” Boehm told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It’s a joke … That’s all I can say.”
Though the frisky twosome say that the “joke” in which Kohn pretended to pleasure Boehm only lasted a couple of seconds, eyewitnesses on the flight say that the uncomfortable situation went on for much longer. One passenger on the flight said the couple were “making out” and “touching all over” for most of the journey. “It was nonstop,” the flyer later told reporters.
The Runner-up – Grand Theft Unicycle
Red Panda, an acrobat famous for performing during the halftime of NBA games, has brought joy to thousands of people over the years, but that didn’t stop a thief at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from ruining her day. An as yet still-at-large bag thief, walked away from baggage claim with the custom-built seven-foot-tall unicycle the entertainer uses in her act.
To be fair, many bags look alike and it is possible that the suspect captured in security footage mistakenly thought he had grabbed his own 7ft tall unicycle from the baggage carousel. Authorities, however, are operating on the assumption that this was an intentional act rather than a highly unlikely mixup.
Meanwhile, Red Panda has offered a $2,000 reward for the return of her prized unicycle which is reportedly valued at $25,000. The acrobat, who thrills crowds by flipping and balancing dozens of ceramic bowls on her head while seamlessly controlling her unicycle, is described as being devastated by the loss.
“She’s heartbroken,” Red Panda’s agent Pat Figley told reporters. ”It’s like her baby was kidnapped. She’s had that unicycle for 30 years. She’s doing horribly. She’s dropping bowls. She’s just not used to it. The one that was stolen was custom built for her.”
The Winner – The Dodo with a Large Flightless Bird
The odds were long, but whoever who picked “peacock” as the emotional support animal that would finally cause an airline to draw the line may have just won the office pool. This week, United Airlines reportedly cried “fowl” when a passenger arrived at the airport with an honest-to-god emotional support peacock. This time, the airline took a stand and permission to board was denied for the proud-feathered friend – even though the bird reportedly had its own ticket.
In the past, airlines have allowed passengers to fly with a bizarre cross-section of emotional support animals including pigs, ducks, turkeys, turtles and lizards. Once, a flyer even brought a therapeutic kangaroo on a plane.
United Airlines made the brave decision to ban the paying-passenger-peafowl, just days after Delta Airlines announced that it would be cracking down on customers who abuse allowances made for emotional support animals. From baggage regulations to cancellation fees and from the devaluation of frequent flyer miles to reductions in seat pitch, US carriers have a proven track record of following the leader.
Now, it suddenly as if seems the days of anything goes when it comes to passengers bringing animal companions along for the ride might slowly be coming to an end. While this is great news for air travelers with allergies or a not-entirely-irrational fear of vicious dogs, it also likely means there is no chance of reading about a therapy penguin on a flight to MIA or capturing cellphone footage of an emotional support shark on the way to PHX.
[Photo: Shutterstock]
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whherron February 7, 2018


rstruthe February 3, 2018

I see nothing wrong with the yoga, I watched the video, it doesn't go on more than a few minutes at most. Stretching on a long flight is healthy and its encouraged to get up and move. Maybe more people should consider this when its safe and not interrupting other passengers or crews ability to move about the plane. On very long flight from Dubai to Sydney I took an opportunity to stretch, but that was in the very empty and unused business class lounge at the front of the plane...