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.
If a person were to make a list of the most socially unacceptable things imaginable that a passenger could possibly do on a plane, chances are there is someone out there that has already done nearly all of those things at some point. It seems when it comes to bad behavior on airplanes, there really is no new thing under the sun.
In more than one case, passengers have urinated on seatmates. Obnoxious travelers have stripped naked, launched into racist tirades and, at least once, attempted to start a fire after being denied an in-flight cigarette. Irate air travelers have thrown violent tantrums over in-flight catering and entertainment choices. More seriously, dangerous passengers have attempted to physically and sexually assault fellow passengers out of the blue. Dozens and dozens of flyers have even tried to leave flights in midair.
Just when it was starting to look like there was absolutely nothing a passenger could possibly do to surprise us, video has emerged of a woman using the overhead air vent to dry a pair of underpants. Footage of the unidentified woman airing her dirty laundry on a packed plane was reportedly taken during a Ural Airlines charter flight from Antalya Airport (AYT) in Turkey to Moscow Zhukovsky International Airport (ZIA).
Eyewitnesses say the passenger performed her bizarre chore without shame for about 20 minutes before the undergarment was satisfactorily dry. It is not clear why the article of clothing required emergency attention in the first place.
Southwest Airlines says it will become the latest in a long line of North American airlines to reevaluate its policies regarding so-called “comfort animals.” The move comes after a passenger’s emotional support dog allegedly bit a young girl during the boarding of a Southwest flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to Portland International Airport (PDX) this week.
An airline spokesperson told reporters that the animal’s teeth merely scraped the child’s forehead. Still, the flight was delayed for about 20 minutes while paramedics treated the girl who was described as being between six and seven years old. The traumatized child was given an all-clear to continue on to her destination, but the airline says that the dog owner and his emotional support companion were not on the plane when it departed.
Southwest Airlines officials told the Chicago Tribune that it “won’t immediately be changing its animal policies ‘because we want to do it right’ after reviewing the issue.” In the past few weeks, both Delta Airlines and United Airlines announced stricter policies regarding emotional support animals. The new tougher rules for both of the legacy carriers will go into effect on March 1.
“The rise in serious incidents involving animals in flight leads us to believe that the lack of regulation in both health and training screening for these animals is creating unsafe conditions across U.S. air travel,” Delta VP John Laughter said in a statement announcing his airline’s new rules. Meanwhile, United Airlines instituted a similar policy after agents were forced to deny boarding to a passenger with an emotional support peacock earlier in the month.
In June of 2017, Delta Air Lines confirmed that a passenger was attacked and bitten by a fellow flyer’s emotional support dog on a flight from Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) to San Diego International Airport (SAN).
A passenger described only as the “farting man from Dubai” in media reports, finally exacted sweet revenge on the country that invented the Dutch oven. Unfortunately, the passenger’s persistent flatulence also caused a Transavia Airlines flight from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) to make an unscheduled landing at Vienna International Airport (VIE).
The Dutch budget carrier confirmed this week that four passengers were removed from the flight by police. According to Transavia officials, all four of the passengers who were escorted off the plane by police. They were told that they’d earned a lifetime ban from the airline and would have to make their own way to their final destinations.
The trouble reportedly started when a group of Dutch travel companions strongly objected to the farting passenger’s malodorous habits. After the victims of the man’s casual flatulence sought help from a member of the cabin crew, the conflict soon escalated (along with the methane levels in the cabin).
The situation eventually left a bad taste in the captain’s mouth and, deciding that the whole situation stunk, the pilot detoured to VIE. Once on the ground, everyone involved was shown the door and given an opportunity to get a little bit of fresh air.
In July of 2017, an American Airlines spokesperson denied that a flatulent flyer was the cause of an emergency evacuation of an aircraft at Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) despite a statement from airport officials initially attributing the emergency to a “passenger passing gas.”