It’s scientifically proven that flying makes you look and feel your absolute worst. So it shouldn’t shock anybody that it can also make you act your absolute worst too. And while most of us just throw on our Beats and suffer through the experience, some passengers -- occasionally with the aid of alcohol -- absolutely lose it when they get airborne.
This year, air travelers experienced more than their fair share of weird. Here are the 14 craziest things that happened on planes in 2015.
If it weren’t for customs declaration forms, 2015 may well have been the year TSA finally banned ballpoint pens from planes too. A sleeping passenger on a Southwest flight from Chicago to Manchester, NH, awoke to a woman stabbing him in the arm with a ballpoint pen; she was trying to stop him from snoring so loudly. The attacker was escorted off the plane (it hadn’t yet taken off) and the stabbing victim was given free gin and tonics for the entire flight.
Next time you get frustrated with your girlfriend, remember, it could be worse. While on your way to Hawaii for a nice romantic vacation, she COULD pre-game the flight a little too hard, break out a vaporizer midair, and then attack a flight attendant with a soda can when asked to turn it off. Oh yeah, and then flash everybody. Because that’s what happened to the dude dating 34-year-old Kristin Sharp. Out of what we can only assume is pure fear, he defended her to the local media as “a sweetheart.”
If you saw a man -- not in an official uniform -- carrying an AR15 through an airport, what would your first reaction be? “God bless him for expressing his Second Amendment rights,” correct? Probably not. Clearly Atlanta airport police hate freedom, though, because they questioned poor Jim Cooley this November as he strolled through the terminal with a semi-automatic weapon on his shoulder. Then the cops had the unmitigated gall to follow him to his car when he left. While Cooley complained to WXIA-TV in Atlanta about the police harassment, no official complaint was filed.
You don’t get to be the coolest guy ever from North Dakota by WALKING through airports! Oh no, you do it by rolling through LAX on one of those handlebar-less Segways and refusing a police request to use your feet. Also by taking to Twitter and blasting the cops for hassling you for riding “technology everyone will be using in the next six months.” That was in August. So, only 60 days until you look pretty stupid there, Wiz.
If you’ve ever tried to fly from LAX to SFO, you know the flight’s on time about as often as the 405 is drivable. Which might explain why one man in October was a little on edge when the woman in front of him reclined her seat. It probably doesn't explain, however, why he got up and choked her. His massive overreaction was met with a swift turnaround to LAX and an even longer delay, that of course, everyone absolutely expected.
Though you can fly over three states in the time it takes to post one stinking Willy Wonka meme using airplane Wi-Fi, none of us have ever thought the infuriation that comes with slow or intermittent Internet was worth $5 million. Until this year, of course, when a woman on a flight from San Juan to Newark was appalled to learn her Wi-Fi didn’t operate outside the contiguous United States and filed a class-action lawsuit against the airline. Not surprisingly, the suit was dismissed in November.
Who says baggage claim has to be dull? Not in Russia. Nyet. At Domodedovo Airport near Moscow, passengers waiting for their bags were greeted with a surprise when that magical yellow light started to flash: an unidentified man was asleep on the carousel.
Say you’re on your way to Dubai and -- pretending your 10 -- you keep making silly jokes about it being Doo-Doo-bai, and then all of a sudden, there’s this smell. Like, a really, really awful overflowing toilet smell, and then the pilot gets on the loudspeaker and says there’s “liquid fecal matter” flowing from one of the plane's toilets. You’d think he’d really just upped the poo-joke game, right? That is, until the flight turns around, heads back to London, and sits at the airport for 15 hours until they locate a feces-free airplane. Not so funny now, is it.
One Argentine passenger who apparently still flies for the hot flight attendants was disappointed to learn that the crew aboard his Argentina Airlines plane was made up of “short fat girls.” Instead of just commenting about it to whoever the hell picked him up at the airport, though, he thought it made more sense to express his outrage ON THE AIRLINE’S FACEBOOK PAGE. The stroke of class was answered by the airline with a simple: “Prejudice doesn’t fly, we leave it on the ground.”
Not that stuff like “common sense” is much of a concept to anyone who’d fall asleep at work, but if you’re going to nap on company time, the best place to do it probably isn’t a pressurized cabin that’s about to reach 30,000ft. One sleepy Alaska Airlines baggage handler, who fell asleep on the job, learned this life lesson the hard way when he awoke midair in the cargo hold. After banging on the roof until air marshals heard him, the LA-bound plane returned to Seattle.
If you’ve ever fantasized about dating a model, consider this: one or two of them might be a little entitled. A European model on a Las Vegas-to-Frankfurt flight had, to nobody’s surprise, a “comfort” animal on the plane with her. What did surprise some passengers was her reaction when flight attendants told her the cat would need to ride in the lavatory. The woman slapped the flight attendant, threw a paper cup, and yelled that she was in the mafia and was going to take the plane down. Two F16s escorted the airliner to Denver, where the model and her feline friend were removed.
We’ve all seen those “the rules don’t apply to me” passengers who continue to stand up and futz with their roller bags after the flight attendants clearly tell everyone to sit down. Well, one FA had enough and kicked the passenger off his flight, causing said rule-breaker to burst into tears and the entire cabin to boo the flight crew. You can hear passengers saying, “That’s the last time I fly American” on this video. Riiiight. Like it’ll make any difference next time they fly and AA offers the cheapest fare.
While United’s Wi-Fi doesn’t work outside the contiguous US, we can only assume that British Airways’ does. Why else would a man who may have had a few too many $2 doubles at Heathrow try to open an emergency exit door on his flight to Boston, other than that he was reading this story and wanted to see if it was true.
If you’re tired of hearing your parents tell the same dull story about rushing to the hospital in the middle of a snowstorm so you could be born, try this one: a woman on a flight from Calgary to Tokyo went into labor somewhere over the Pacific... ON MOTHER’S DAY. Yeah, mom, we get it. You can put those four copies of the Calgary Sun from 2015 away now.