The July 2015 issue Harper’s magazine compiled from newspaper accounts some of the bizarre things done by passengers on planes since 2010 that required either the removal of the disruptive passengers or the rerouting of planes in order to make a quick landing. Here’s their list.
- An elderly man on a delayed Hong Kong Airlines flight struck a stewardess several times as passengers clapped and cheered.
- A woman on a Thai AirAsia flight threw hot water and instant noodles at a flight attendant after being told that she couldn’t be seated with her friends. Her companion yelled that he would “bomb the plane.”
- Moments after a Jet Airways flight landed, a passenger opened the emergency exit, jumped to the ground, and walked away.
- A Southwest passenger stabbed her snoring neighbor with a pen.
- A woman on a British Airways flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to London removed her clothing and began to masturbate.
- A Sunwing plane bound for Cuba turned around after two female passengers consumed their duty-free alcohol, smoked cigarettes in the lavatory, and began to physically fight each other.
- A passenger on a US Airways flight brought spoiled meat in his carry-on bag. The contents spilled as the flight taxied, causing maggots to fall from the overhead bin onto the heads of travelers below.
- During an EasyJet flight from Tel Aviv to London, a passenger took a two-foot-long snake from his luggage and began feeding it.
- A man flicked a scorpion that fell on him during an Alaskan Airlines flight onto a woman sitting next to him. The scorpion stung her.
- A Middle East Airlines plane turned around mid-flight to retrieve an Iraqi parliament member’s son, who had missed the flight.
- An American Airlines plane made an emergency landing after a passenger refused to stop singing “I Will Always Love You.”
I am not surprised by #3. For some reason, people are really, really anxious to get off a plane as soon as it lands. They immediately jump up from their seats, get their luggage and then stand, sometimes waiting for quite a while for the doors to be opened and people ahead of them leave. Unless I have quick connection, I tend to sit and wait until most people have got off and then get my bags and leave unhurriedly. It would be nice to have a honor system where people allow those who need to leave urgently for whatever reason to get off first but it will be hard to change the culture.
For me personally, the situation I’d like to be in least is #8 with the snake unless Samuel L. Jackson was also on the plane to take care of the situation (language advisory).
#7 would also be quite icky but the one that would annoy me the most is the singer in #11, especially with that particular song.