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.
There are dozens of ways to kick a smoking habit. The buddy system, nicotine gum, prescription medication, the patch and even hypnosis have helped people quit smoking, but the fact remains, quitting is hard — so learned a man who recently flew from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Melbourne Airport (MEL).
After allegedly assaulting a flight attendant who told him he was not allowed to smoke aboard the Etihad Airways flight Wednesday, the unidentified addict was strapped to his seat with cable ties for the remainder of the 13-hours journey. Eyewitnesses say that it took as many as seven passengers to restrain the irate smoker and strap him to a seat at the back of the aircraft.
“We can confirm that a male passenger was physically restrained on board flight EY460 from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne on Wednesday,” said an Etihad Airlines representative. “This was necessary because the passenger had assaulted a crew member and a fellow passenger when told by the cabin crew member that he could not smoke inflight. The male was restrained by cabin crew with the assistance of other passengers.”
In the end, the man’s over-the-top nicotine fit didn’t bring the Worst Passenger of the Week any closer to flavor country. With the man securely tied to a seat, the captain decided to continue the flight as scheduled, without diverting.
The frustrated smoker remained tied down for six hours until the Boeing 777-300ER landed at MEL, where he was immediately taken into custody by Australian Federal Police.