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Worst Passenger of the Week

Worst Passenger of the Week: Today’s Airport Evacuation Is Brought to You by the Letter “B”

Worst Passenger of the Week: Today’s Airport Evacuation Is Brought to You by the Letter “B”
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 – “A Minor Self-inflicted Head Injury”

Mark Twain famously said, “You can go to heaven if you want – I’d rather stay in Bermuda.” According to a news item in a local Bermuda newspaper, a passenger on a flight from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) to Cancún International Airport (CUN) expressed a very similar sentiment in a far less eloquent manner this week.

The unidentified passenger was taken into custody by police after his flight was forced to make an unscheduled stop at Bermuda L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA) because the 39-year-old allegedly became “extremely intoxicated and unruly.” The boisterous holiday-maker further indicated that his fellow passengers should continue on to Mexico without him by reportedly “throwing himself to the floor” causing a “minor self-inflicted head injury.”

Although the over-indulging tourist found his resort vacation cut short in Bermuda, he was fortunate enough to find himself stranded in paradise. Disruptive passengers aren’t always lucky enough to have the right wardrobe packed for the locale when they find themselves booted from the flight. Had this particular Worst Passenger started acting out just a few hours earlier, he might easily have found himself shivering on the runway at Gander International Airport (YQX).

The battle-weary flyer declined the assistance of medical personnel at the airport for his head wounds. He was instead taken for “treatment” in the backseat of a police car.

The Runner-up – “Give Me a Hug”

The TSA line at the airport can easily be the most stressful part of a trip, but for one 13-year-old girl at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), the experience was downright terrifying. A fellow passenger at an airport security checkpoint is accused of pushing TSA screeners out of the way and attacking the innocent teenager without warning.

“I’m just walking and all of a sudden I’m on the floor and there’s this man squeezing me,” Lauryn Wilson told local CBS affiliate WWL-TV. “I thought he was going to stab me, I thought he was going to really hurt me.”

A TSA spokesperson told reporters that the alleged attacker had tried to pass through a metal detector while carrying a bag just moments earlier. The assault is said to have occurred after screeners asked the man to place his carry-on items on the x-ray belt prior to passing through the screening area.

“He tackled her, landed on her back, squeezing her arm saying ‘Give me a hug,’” Wilson’s 58-year-old wheelchair-bound grandmother and travel companion Vedra Jackson later recounted. “You can’t trust things today. You can’t take things lightly today, things happen too quickly. It was so scary. I’ve never been in a situation like that.”

The incident was reportedly captured by security cameras. Police say that the violent passenger accused of the assault was taken to the hospital for a medical evaluation, but could still face possible felony assault charges pending a full investigation.

The Winner – “Bomb to Brisbane”

Knowing the official IATA airport codes can sometimes help to make certain that your checked bags are being routed to the correct destination. Double-checking baggage tags to ensure the proper three-letter code is prominently displayed on bags before departure might just save an air traveler form having to wash their underpants in a hotel sink while waiting for misdirected luggage to be delivered.

A 65-year-old passenger arriving at Brisbane Airport (BNE) this week had taken things even a step further and helpfully wrote the airport code for both her origin and destination in large letters on the outside of her checked bag. Venkata Lakshmi’s arrival from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM), however, soon became a major security incident – all because of a single extraneous letter.

Rather than denoting that her checked bag was bound from BOM to BNE, the grandmother had instead written “BOMB to Brisbane” on a large makeshift luggage tag. The suspiciously marked bag quickly caught the attention of airport workers in Australia (though for some reason, not in India).

While the mistake was innocent enough, authorities weren’t taking any chances and the baggage claim area was partially cordoned off while investigators worked to get to the bottom of things. After a brief interrogation and a simple explanation, the security threat was soon downgraded from serious to hilarious.

“She wanted to write the airport she departed from and her destination on her bag,” Lakshmi’s daughter explained to The Indian Express. “However, when she started writing it on the tag, she realized there was not enough space and tried to go with a short-form, only to lead to a great confusion. Its understandable with the extra security for the Commonwealth Games. Because she is elderly they probably believed her.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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