Don’t be that guy: 6 unbelievable tales of fliers behaving badly

obnoxious airline passenger bad passengers
Sony Pictures Classics
It’s no secret that flying is as much fun as having a root canal done. Driving miles to the airport, standing in long check-in lines, waiting in even longer security lines, and hoping your flight leaves on-time – the frustration starts even before you board a plane. For most of us, it’s just the normal everyday of travel, but for some, modern-day flying is just too much to handle. It seems like not a day goes by without news of a passenger flipping out or behaving badly.

Although the headlines are great for a morning laugh, some events are so crazy that it’s unbelievable they happened at all. Some recent incidents include a woman stowing her child in carry-on luggage, and fliers getting into a fight over loud music.

Look, we get it: Unless you’re flying in fancy class, it’s aggravating to sit in a giant tube with hundreds of annoying people. Before you stand up and shout, though, here are a few examples of what not to do.

(Les Shu contributed to this article.)

Flight number 1 | Baby on board | Words with Alec Baldwin

Flight number 1

Last month, a man on board an Air Meditarranee flight caused a ruckus when he allegedly peed on another passenger. This was after he was reportedly upset because he was told he couldn’t smoke (no brainer) or drink alcohol during the flight – not to mention he was somehow shirtless, to boot. The pee’er and the peed-on wound up in a fight, ending with flight attendants pinning down the perpetrator. The Paris-bound aircraft diverted to Lyon, France, where both men were escorted off by police.

This bizarro incident is not an isolated case of inflight urination, however. In September 2015, a man relieved himself onto passengers in front of him during a Portland, Oregon-bound JetBlue flight. Adding insult to injury, the man lost his balance during mid-pee and showered onto passengers next to him. And, in 2011, French actor Gerard Depardieu was kick off a flight after being told he couldn’t use the lavatory until airborne, but decided to do it anyway. Depardieu forced the plane to return to the gate, and delaying other fliers while the plane was cleaned. Someone please revoke his green card.

Baby on board

(Air France)
(Air France)

French police are currently investigating the case of a child, possibly between two- and four-years-old, found inside a passenger’s carry-on bag onboard an Air France flight on March 9. The airline said the child, who was traveling with the adult female from Istanbul to Paris, did not have a valid airline ticket, and was reported by other passengers who witnessed the kid emerging from the bag. The Agence-France Presse (AFP) reports the woman was in the process of adopting the child, who is from Haiti, and had been denied boarding with the child on another flight. Officials arrested the woman at the scene once the flight arrived in Paris.

As sad as this incident of child-endangerment sounds, there have been others who have tried to smuggle humans inside luggage. In May 2015, customs officials found a young boy inside a bag as it went through X-ray. It’s believed the woman was a “carrier” who was paid to bring the child from the Ivory Coast into Spain, via Morocco. Had the boy not been discovered, he could have eventually suffocated. Two months prior, a single-mother from Papa New Guinea tried to smuggle her baby inside a backpack, only to be caught when the rucksack went through scanners at the international airport in the Philippines. And, in June 2011, a man hid himself inside a suitcase at Barcelona’s airport not to hitch a flight, but to make his way to the luggage compartment and rob the bags.

Words with Alec Baldwin

It’s not just folks in coach who cause drama. Actor Alec Baldwin caused an aviation brouhaha in 2011 when his addiction to Words with Friends forced him off an American Airlines flight, after violating the rule where passengers must turn off their electronic devices. It seems Baldwin was too busy playing the once-uber-popular game, according to his tweet, and refused to comply with a flight attendant’s request. While it sounds like a scene ripped right out of his show, 30 Rock, the situation was very real.

Despite being rebooked on another AA flight, Baldwin continued to hurl criticism toward the airline, but did write an apology to the passengers he inconvenienced, including former president and COO of MTV Networks, Michael J. Wolf, who witnessed the incident. If only Baldwin had waited until 2013, when the FAA relaxed its rule on using small electronics during take-off and landing.

Baldwin should have just done what his 30 Rock character, Jack Donaghy, would have: charter a private jet. For the rest of us, it’s best to heed the instructions from the flight crew, even if it prevents you from reaching level 266 in Candy Crush (yeah, we’re still playing it).


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