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When The Skies Aren't Friendly: 10 Incidents Where Passengers Acted Out On A Plane
Is it us, or have the so- called “friendly skies” become less friendly these last few years? Some people forget that flying on a plane isn’t a right, but a privilege. People acted out on flights before 2020, but it seems like the drama is so much more prevalent now. From fights over armrests to nauseating entitlement, we have a front- row seat to the mess without being on board thanks to social media.
Respect to the flight attendants for handling difficult situations with professionalism, and for doing all they can to ensure the comfort and safety of passengers.
In no particular order, here’s a recap of ten incidents involving passengers acting out on planes.
1. Passengers Said They Were Kicked Off Flight For Political Beliefs- May 2022
A couple boarding a Jet Blue flight in West Palm Beach mocked passengers for wearing masks, which resulted in the staff asking them to leave.
The husband was quiet for the most part, but the wife, later identified as Madeleine Kelly, lost her cool in a video that made its rounds on social media.
She claimed she and her husband were being told to leave because they were Trump supporters. But nobody would have known their politics if they didn’t announce them.
After back and forth with staff and other passengers, the couple was removed by authorities. No charges were filed.
2. Belligerent Couple Kicked Off For Wearing Masks Incorrectly- September 2021
Masks aren’t required on flights these days, but in September 2021 that wasn’t the case.
A flight bound for San Diego was stalled in Fort Lauderdale due to an aggressive couple.
A fellow passenger recorded the incident and posted it on Instagram. Her caption stated that the husband, wife (who appears to be drunk) and their child weren’t wearing their masks correctly.
The husband cursed out the staff and demanded to be allowed to get his things before leaving. He also complained about having to wait “four f*****g hours” for the flight.
The wife said she didn’t know why they were being asked to leave since “we’re Americans.” She also said they would be suing Jet Blue.
The couple was banned from flying Jet Blue for life.
3. Man Slid Down Wing Of Plane- May 2022
Imagine being on a United Airlines flight, and seeing a man open the emergency exit so he can slide down the wing.
It sounds like something you’d expect in a cartoon, no?
To be clear, this happened when the plane was taxiing to the gate at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.
The man crawled over several shocked people to get to the door. The exact reason was unknown, though some joked that he was too impatient to exit the usual way.
He was arrested by the Chicago police.
4. Passenger Got Hot And Opened Emergency Door- September 2019
A woman on Xiamen Airlines either didn’t understand safety protocol, or didn’t care to follow it. Wanting “fresh air” she opened the emergency exit door.
The incident happened when boarding was concluding at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport.
The flight was delayed for an hour while the police were called.
The woman faced the possibility of a fine and a flight ban.
5. Unruly, Foul-Mouthed Couple Got Booted- February 2022
A reportedly drunk couple on Delta flight 1582 delayed takeoff to Atlanta from Ft. Lauderdale.
Fellow passengers said that they were loud and disruptive in their seats. According to one witness interviewed by NBC Miami, the woman “was screaming and cursing like a sailor.”
The crew alerted the captain, who decided to turn the plane around and head back to the terminal.
6. Two Men Fought Over Armrests- June 2021
This plane incident might rank as the most ridiculous in recent years.
A United Airlines flight was due to go to Las Vegas. Just as the plane was pulling away from the terminal, two men launched into a battle over elbow placement on the arm rest.
Real world problems here, folks.
Jack Krawczyk, who was on board, posted about the incident on Twitter. He summed up the general sentiment when he wrote, “people have lost their damn minds over the past 15 months.”
7. Passenger Tried To Break Into Cockpit- June 2021
A Delta flight bound for Nashville was indebted to one of its own staff.
Flight attendant Christopher Williams restrained a dangerous passenger who tried to break into the cockpit.
Witnesses reported that the man kept shouting “stop the plane!”
The plane landed in New Mexico where the FBI was waiting.
8. Passenger Leveled Threats After Being Reprimanded For Being Maskless- October 2021
A terrifying situation on a United Airlines flight involved a man screaming at flight crew after being told to put on his mask and turn off his phone.
The man also directed his vitriol at the passenger next to him, saying, “I will find your name, date of birth, and address. I’ll know your social security number before I get off this flight.”
He told yet another passenger who tried to intervene that he would break his neck if he didn’t mind his business.
He even leveled threats at the person who was recording and demanded that he delete the footage.
9. Passenger Waved Alcohol-Drenched Thong Around To Dry- May 2022
A model on a Southwest plane was criticized for waving her thong in the air to dry it.
She was going to the Exxxotica Expo in Chicago. Apparently, she was partying the night before and had several strong mimosas. At some point before boarding the flight, she spilled a drink on herself.
“I need to be myself,” she said. “I’m a very open person, and I don’t have much of a filter. I’m naturally goofy and I love to make people laugh. And there were people laughing on the airplane. It was perfect.”
But some people weren’t so amused, as you can see here.
10. Woman Offered Sexual Services Between Flights- December 2020
Sometimes flight attendants act out of pocket.
A British Airways flight attendant reportedly had a side gig as a sex worker. She offered to sell her panties to passengers and even more if they were interested and willing to pay.
The flight attendant was based out of Heathrow Airport in London and her employer launched an investigation.