Photo Credit: Photo credit: Ramon Kagie
The 5 Worst Flight Etiquette Cases We've Ever Seen
Have you ever encountered an unruly or poorly behaved passenger on an airplane, and asked yourself, “who raised them?” Yes, we have, too.
Once upon a time, you not only had to dress a certain way to board a plane, you had to conduct yourself. These days, people “forget” what a privilege it is to fly. Thanks to social media, (or, no thanks depending on your perspective), you don’t have to be on the plane to get a front row seat to the foolishness. Somebody will surely record, and post it online.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are five of the worst flight etiquette cases we’ve seen.
Taking Your Shoes And Socks Off
Wanting to be as comfortable as possible at 30,000 feet makes sense. But let’s face it – no matter what you do, you’re going to feel cramped.
If you knew how filthy the floors and seats were even after a thorough cleaning, you’d think twice about taking off your shoes. In fact, Travel + Leisure published a piece explaining why taking your shoes off on a plane could be bad for your health. You could pick up a nasty fungal infection, and goodness knows what else.
One recent clip shows not one, but two women with their bare feet exposed. A flight attendant comes by and addresses them. Users on TikTok were unanimous in saying that the women were in the wrong. As one user put it, “some people think good manners are a suggestion.”
It doesn’t matter if you just got a pedicure, or if your feet don’t smell. You’re not in your living room.
Drinking Too Much
By all means, have a glass of wine, or something stronger, to take the edge off the flight. But be aware of your limits. Travel Noire has reported several less than savory incidents involving alcohol on airplanes. But we’ll focus on one for the moment.
As explained by travel writer JT Genter, a drunk man on an American Airlines flight was rambling loudly to another person about his sex life. As the plane prepared to descend into LAX airspace, he vomited on at least two passengers. One of them got the bulk of the stomach contents, and had to sit around in his ruined clothing.
American Airlines responded to Genter with the expected, generic answer on Twitter: “we appreciate you letting us know about this. We’ve shared your comments with our leadership team for review.”
Hitting A Crew Member
If you disrespect any of the crew members, or don’t do what they ask you to do, the consequences will likely be severe.
On one American Airlines flight, a man who was denied access to the First Class lavatory, punched a flight attendant in the back of the head. The passenger was restrained by others, and arrested on arrival in Los Angeles. He was banned by the carrier for life, and faced 20 years in prison for assault.
If you want to use the First Class lavatory, or any First Class facility, then pay for it. Simple.
Urinating On A Passenger
Why in the world would anyone do this?
In November 2022, a man allegedly exposed himself, and urinated on an elderly woman on board an Air India flight. The man was intoxicated, and the two were sitting in Business Class.
To add insult to injury, the crew did nothing meaningful to help the victim. As she explained in a letter of complaint: “my clothes, shoes, and bag were completely soaked in urine. The stewardess followed me to the seat, verified that it smelled of urine, and sprayed disinfectant on my bag and shoes.”
The perpetrator was arrested and then fired from his corporate position.
In 2020, a woman got the shock of her life when a pastor peed on her while she was sleeping.
Alicia Beverly was on her way to Detroit from Las Vegas, and had settled in for a nap when she felt a warm stream of urine. She screamed, and the man was restrained by an off-duty police officer until the plane landed.
The person responsible was a pastor from North Carolina. By way of explanation, his representatives said he was “suffering from a reaction to a sleep aid he took.”
Grabbing A Fellow Passenger Because A Politician “Authorized” It
Remember when Donald Trump (before he was president) bragged about grabbing a woman by a certain part of her anatomy? Well, he inspired one man to do something similar.
In 2018, a man on board a Southwest flight, touched a woman sitting in front of him along her bra line. As the story goes, she thought it was an “innocent mistake.” When she tried to go back to sleep, the man touched her again along her ribs. This prompted her to ask the crew if she could change her seat.
When the man was taken into custody, he seemed baffled that he was in trouble. He allegedly told police that it was quite fine touch a woman without her consent, because the president authorized it.