Maybe it’s due to fear of flying or a bad case of cabin fever but the very act of travelling on a plane seems to cause some people to act out and go completely nuts. Or perhaps they are just kooky to begin with. Notwithstanding, plane bullies like the recent case where hot water was thrown at a flight attendant, are definitely not welcomed. So, fasten your seat belt as we fly you through a series of the worst air rage incidents that took place recently, involving some of the most arrogant, obnoxious passengers.
1. Mother of all mid-air brawls
Air China flight bound for Hong Kong, December 2014
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) December 18, 2014
The most recent air rage incident involved 3 women and a baby on board Air China. Woken up by a crying baby, two female passengers complained to the mother Chan Juan Sung. When Chan reiterated by shouting back at them, the women, sitting in front of her, reclined their seats all the way back. At one point, a scuffle broke out with Chan leaning over her seat and punching one of the women. Thankfully for the other passengers, the air crew managed to separate the fighting trio and the plane landed in its destination at the scheduled time.
Upon arrival at the airport, Hong Kong police reportedly intervened, although it was unclear whether there were arrests, Daily Mail reported.
2. Hot Watergate
Thai AirAsia bound for Nanjing, December 2014
First to take off on our list of air rage is the case of a 20-something Chinese couple who became abusive after the man was told by the flight attendant to wait for boiling water meant for his girlfriend’s instant noodles. Other passengers tried to calm the irate man down as he was shouting at the crew. As the quarrel dragged on, the man’s girlfriend threw hot water on the back of a flight attendant. When asked to apologise, the boyfriend exploded and threatened to blow up the plane, while his girlfriend kept the drama alive by yelling that she wanted to jump off the flight. The flight made an emergency landing and returned to the airport in Bangkok
Thai authorities reportedly ordered the couple to pay the flight attendant 50,000 baht ($1,500).
3. Not your regular footsie
United Airlines flight bound for Denver, August 2014
More water throwing ensued on another flight, this time involving two passengers fighting over legroom. A female passenger threw water at the passenger sitting behind her because he had allegedly installed a knee defender to his tray table, preventing her from reclining her seat.
The duo got into a fight after he refused to remove the device, causing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Chicago where both passengers were arrested.
4. Because I’m the minister’s son
Middle East Airlines bound for Baghdad, March 2014
Miffed that had missed his Baghdad-bound flight, Mahdi al-Amiri, son of Iraqi transport minister decided to get high-handed. The passenger phoned Baghdad to stop the Middle East Airlines (MEA) aircraft from landing. Twenty minutes after take off, the plane was forced to return to Beirut after the airlines received a call from the Baghdad airport station manager informing them that there was no clearance to land.
Iraq’s Transport Ministry later issued a statement saying that the airliner had been turned around due to airport cleaning and that the minister’s son had not been due to be a passenger on it.
However, this contradicts a statement from Marwan Salha, acting chairman of MEA. He told Reuters that Amiri was angry when he arrived at the gate and that he said, “I will not allow the plane to land in Baghdad.”
5. Not so fashionably late
Chinese airliner bound for Guangzhou, February 2013
Missing two flights in a day proved too much for Yan Linkun, vice chairman of a Chinese mining company and political adviser. When Yan was barred from boarding his second flight in a day, again due to late arrival, he decided to not simply accept his fate and bemoan the loss like most people would. Instead, he proceeded to smash the boarding area, including thrashing computers in sight to pieces while a crowd – and several security personnel – looked on.
Yan was reportedly suspended from his company. In a statement issued by Yan’s company, he said he would pay to replace the computers he smashed.
6. Nightmare in plane toilet
Japan Airlines bound for Kansai Japan, October 2014
Mile-high club fantasies must have got the better of 29-year-old Michael Tanouye who allegedly tried to rape a female Japanese passenger in the plane toilet. After forcing his way into the toilet, he allegedly attempted to take the woman’s clothes off, before exposing himself. The victim was rescued after pushing the emergency button. Tanouye was travelling with his mother who reportedly told a flight attendant that he suffered from depression.
The plane was forced to turn around following the incident and the matter was handled over to the police.
7. Nuts over nuts. Or just nuts?
Air Korean flight bound for Seoul, December 2014
A passenger on board Korean Air went completely nuts when she was served some Macadamia nuts without her permission. Flying into a rage, she was seen screaming and verbally abusing the attendant and demanded that he be booted off the plane. Without warning to passengers, the pilot gave in to her demands and returned back to the gate to allow the steward off. Turns out, the passenger’s father was chairman of the airline company, while the lady, Cho Hyun-ah was the carrier’s senior executive. Cho apologised and resigned from her position after the incident. Korean Air faces a fine of up to US$2 million, or a flight ban on an unspecified route of up to one month.