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.
It seems that nearly every inane task anyone accomplishes, no matter how foolish, now becomes a “challenge” on social media. Dancing next to the driver’s seat of a moving vehicle, consuming caustic laundry detergent and even forcing oneself to choke on kitchen spices, all became the latest fad for imbeciles as soon as a couple of videos were posted on line.
It is entirely possible that running onto the tarmac of a busy airport and then attempting to climb onto jet aircraft and performing a feat of physical prowess might just be the latest ill-advised internet challenge. Just this week, a would-be-wing-walker was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) after climbing a fence and running towards a Delta Air Lines flight preparing to depart.
Police say that once it was clear that the jig was up and the trespasser would soon be in handcuffs, the intruder attempted to earn his 30 minutes of fame by doing pushups in front of the departing passenger plane. The Delta plane and its passengers waited, delayed on the taxiway while Luis Aguilar completed his workout routine and officers locked him in the back of a squad car.
The 23-year-old, who reportedly has mental health issues, is not alone in attempting to earn attention by performing a feat of daring on the tarmac of a busy airport. Already this summer, a man clad only in his underwear climbed a perimeter fence at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) before jumping onto the wing of an arriving Delta plane and proceeding to bang on the aircraft’s windows and challenge individual passengers to a fistfight.
When a passenger exploded in a fit of rage this week at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL), she likely didn’t realize that she was about to cause an actual explosion as well. According to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), when Malvika Tiwari threw her fit at the airport, she also threw the power bank for her computer against a wall causing the battery pack to explode at a busy screening area in the airport.
The incident reportedly resulted from the 56-year-old being called back to the counter and asked to remove the prohibited device from her checked bag. In what quickly became a real life example of why battery packs don’t belong in checked bags, the passenger allegedly became irate and roughly threw the power pack against a wall causing the explosion and a brief panic.
Although the exploding battery came as a surprise to all involved, the result wasn’t entirely unforeseeable. Following a string of onboard fires related to lithium batteries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged member airlines and regulators to ban devices containing the batteries from checked bags.
“Lithium batteries have become the preferred energy source to power a wide variety of consumer goods ranging from mobile phones to children’s toys to cars and e-bikes,” the world’s largest aviation industry trade group explains. “Though widely used, most people are not aware that lithium batteries are dangerous goods that can pose a safety risk if not prepared in accordance with the transport regulations.”
Police, who quickly rushed to the scene of the potentially dangerous incident, say that Tiwari has “apologized to the airline.” She was arrested on ominous sounding charges that include, “negligent conduct with respect to combustible matter” and “endangering the lives and personal safety of others.”
For a couple on the way back from a romantic getaway in Bali, good-natured teasing quickly turned into an out-and-out row that left the flight diverted and one of the lovebirds lashed to his seat. It seems, in this case, the pair of French amants may have had one (or more) too many champagne toasts to celebrate their good fortune.
Although the banter between the 32-year-old-male passenger and his 29-year-old travel companion started out as playful, eyewitnesses say a resulting argument soon took an ugly turn. By the time the captain of the Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) to Perth Airport (PER) flight made an unscheduled stop at Port Hedland International Airport (PHE) in Western Australia, passengers and crew members already had to physically separate and restrain the couple whose brief honeymoon period appeared to have come to an unceremonious end.
“They were completely sloshed,” one passenger on the flight told Australian TV News Service. “They were quite jovial, but he got out of control. They were having to settle him down, constantly telling him to calm down, having to use force to keep him to his chair because he obviously wanted to get out.”
The pair were both arrested on the ground at PHE and now face a slew of charges, including “interference with crew or aircraft” and “offensive and disorderly behavior.” While the newly estranged couple had considerable trouble controlling their rage during the flight, as the pair were being led from the plane and handcuffs, both were caught on cellphone footage smiling tenderly at each other. It seems, in this particular case, love and a little bit of bail money might just conquer all in the end.