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Worst Passenger of the Week: Warning Signs of Intoxication

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 column, only one lucky flyer can take home the glory.

Third Place – Southern Charm

An allegedly intoxicated passenger at Monroe Regional Airport (MLU) may have done more to illustrate the value of signing up for the TSA Precheck program than any multimillion-dollar media campaign could ever accomplish. Inexperienced flyers can sometimes slow down the security lines by not being familiar with the procedures, but this 34-year-old was a whole different kind of impediment to his fellow air travelers.

Police say that Daniel Durham arrived at the airport security checkpoint “highly intoxicated and smelling strongly of alcohol.” Rather than misunderstanding the procedures, he reportedly simply refused to comply with the screeners’ requests and instead began loudly using profane language in response. Durham is also accused of referring to TSA workers with “slur words and phrases.”

When Monroe Police Department officers arrived at the scene, Durham’s behavior soon went from inconvenient to downright foolish. Cops say he not only declined an offer to simply calm down and leave, but instead responded with more abusive language. At one point, the irate traveler allegedly shouted that “he would like to see the police try to arrest him.” Officers soon obliged and Durham was eventually booked into jail. He is facing a slew of charges, including “disturbing the peace by drunkenness, disturbing the peace by disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, interference with officers and simple assault on a police officer.”

The Runners-up – The Hard Dance Appreciation Society

The “party bus” transporting attendees to the Hard Island Festival in Croatia this week, just happened to be a passenger plane operated by Ryanair. This was just fine for aficionados of hard dance, hardstyle and hardcore, but it was just a bit too hardcore for other air travelers who found themselves on the hard-partying flight. Horrified flyers captured cellphone video of the out-of-control onboard revelry in the cabin of the Manchester Airport (MAN) to Zadar Airport (ZAD)-bound plane.

The disturbing footage shows the raging festival-goers repeatedly dancing and vomiting in the aisle. The rambunctious mob can be heard loudly chanting and singing at various points throughout the nearly three-hour-long flight.

“It was like being in a jungle with wild animals,” one eyewitness told reporters. “It was hell on earth. It was the worst flight of my life. It was absolutely appalling. The only way I can describe it is like being in a nightclub without the music 10,000ft above the ground. They were shouting, chanting and the crew could not calm them down. They were uncontrollable. No one could calm them down. It was completely unacceptable. All of them were drunk. The cabin crew threatened to throw them off several times. They were basically having a party on the plane. They were animals.”

There was some indication that techno-fanatics onboard might be trouble almost immediately. In addition to a number of passengers arriving obviously under the influence, the crew reportedly had difficulty convincing large groups of passengers to fasten their seatbelts or to simply remain seated during the safety briefing. The party, however, came to an abrupt end when police boarded the plane upon arrival in Croatia.

The Winner – Crazy in Love

It has been said that love can make people do crazy things. In this case, heartbreak made a passenger at Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (HYD) do something entirely inexplicable. Authorities say a jilted lover drunkenly reported a fake bomb threat to CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) officer – in person.

The lovesick passenger, who had been drowning his sorrows, reportedly approached the elite security force officer shortly after departing a smoking lounge at the airport. The incident was taken seriously and at least two aircraft were searched by bomb squads before officials determined the report was a hoax.

Police say KV Vishwanathan initially claimed to have information about bombs placed on two departing flights. The 24-year-old had been scheduled to travel to Chennai International Airport (MAA) but had instead reportedly spent the early morning hours between 1:30 am and 6:30 am drinking in an airport bar.

“We investigated the matter and found that the information was fake – all flights are operating normally from Hyderabad,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Prakash Reddy later told reporters, adding that the situation was especially tense given that Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah was due to arrive at the airport later that day. Prakash Reddy said that other than an Indigo flight that was searched for signs of explosives and delayed for a little over two hours, airport operations continued without interruption.

The depressed flyer now has a much bigger problem than girl troubles. Vishwanathan was taken into custody and now faces charges related to the ominous-sounding “Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act of 1982.”


[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

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