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Worst Passenger of the Week: The Low-Class Human Beings in the First-Class Cabin

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 – The Passenger Responsible for the Crappiest Flight Ever

By the end of a long-haul international flight, visiting the lavatory can oftentimes be a less-than-pleasant experience. Regrettably, sometimes fellow passengers just don’t have the common courtesy to leave the restroom in the same condition as they found it. It takes a remarkably awful flyer, however, to leave the toilets in such bad shape that the flight is forced to make an unscheduled stop halfway to the final destination .

This week, a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE) made just such an unscheduled stop at Manchester Airport (MAN) after every toilet on the aircraft became clogged. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner involved is believed to be equipped with between eight and ten lavatories.

“Toronto-Lahore flight PK-798 has been diverted to Manchester as its toilets got choked, due to something solid thrown in by passengers,” airline spokesperson Danyal Gilani explained in a statement on Twitter. “As all toilets are connected with a common drain line, the rest of the toilets were also choked. Keeping in view the convenience of passengers, the flight has been diverted to Manchester where the toilets will be serviced before the flight continues its onward journey.”

The mile-high plumbing disaster took about five hours to fix before the flight was able to continue on to Pakistan. Passengers returning to the plane were able to enjoy freshly serviced facilities for the final leg of the trip, but were carefully admonished that they should “strictly adhere to and read carefully” basic instructions and caution signs posted in the lavatories.

The Runners-up – One, Two, Forty-one-skidoo!

If one misbehaving passenger is kicked off a flight, it’s easy to conclude that the traveler was likely in someway chemically altered or disturbed. When a bachelor party finds themselves ejected from a stag weekend flight, the entourage is generally assumed to be rowdy and in most cases over-served, but when a group of 41 travel companions is ejected from a single flight, it starts to sound more like mass hysteria or even a case of onboard hooliganism.

This week, every member of a 41-person-entourage was removed from a Brussels Airport (BRU) to Alicante–Elche Airport (ALC)-bound Brussels Airlines flight, after the large tour group reportedly became “unruly” and “aggressive” towards the crew shortly before takeoff. The antics by the contingent of misbehaving passengers caused police to respond and resulted in a two-and-a-half-hour delay for the 95 passengers who were not part of the troublemaking group.

Brussels Airlines spokesperson Kim Daenen told ABC News that some of the offending passengers had been drinking prior to boarding the flight. “During taxiing, there were a few passengers who were being unruly and also aggressive toward our crew,” Daenen said. “The captain asked for them to stay calm […] We had to think of the comfort of the other passengers.”

The out-of-control travel party was not permitted to re-board the plane. The flight eventually departed 41 passengers lighter after the group’s bags were sorted and removed from the aircraft.

The Winners – The Most Disgraceful Passengers of the Week

A military family on the way to an official flag ceremony to receive the remains of a fallen soldier was reportedly booed and jeered by passengers in the first-class cabin of an American Airlines flight arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). The disrespectful passengers in the premium-class cabin were apparently not making a political statement with their boorish behavior, but were instead upset that the captain had asked the first-class passengers to remain seated while the “special military family” disembarked.

The Perry family was connecting to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and then on to Dover Air Force Base where they would collect the remains of Sergeant John Perry who was killed November 12 at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. Because the Perrys’ flight was behind schedule after being delayed departing Sacramento International Airport (SMF), the crew feared that they might miss their connecting flight and asked passengers to allow the grieving family members to exit the flight ahead of other passengers.

Sergeant Perry’s father told his hometown newspaper that this is when some passengers in the first-class cabin started to loudly boo. “Some people were saying ‘This is just baloney,’ and ‘I paid for first-class for this?’” Perry who was traveling with his wife and daughter recalled, “It was just disgusting behavior from people in first-class; it was terrible to see. You could see the disappointment from the flight crew.”

Though a few first-class passengers were irrationally and excessively outraged by the relatively minor inconvenience, the small sacrifice ended up paying big dividends. The Perry family was able to make their connecting flight and arrived in Delaware to be on-hand when a brother and son returned to the US for the very last time.

[Photo: Star Alliance]

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