With all the hurry and unending security checks at airports, the one thing you hope for when you finally board your flight is some peace. There are the usual disturbances of children screaming or a neighbour that snores or keeps leaning on you while they sleep but that is to be expected. However, on a flight with hundreds of people, there is always bound to be a rule-breaker that isn’t keen on civility and those are the ones that cause hell on commercial flights. From passengers that wouldn’t put on face masks to those that went full-on Floy Mayweather on fellow passengers and crew, here are the most shocking cases of passengers from hell in recent years.
United passenger that opened the emergency exit on a moving plane
It would take a suicidal man to open the emergency exit on a plane and crawl onto the plane’s wing while the plane is in motion. Flights are not short of suicidal people though, and this United Airlines flight was one of them. The United Airlines flight from San Diego to Chicago had landed safely and was headed for the gate when the impatient passenger opened the emergency exit and hopped onto the wing. Flight control was shocked as they called the police to arrest the man that had jumped off the wing onto the tarmac.
United Flight 328
US civil aviation authorities are still investigating this flight that caused a scare all over the US after debris from the engine was picked up in Denver. The plane was headed for Honolulu when passengers noticed smoke coming from one of the engines. The engine had totally broken down with pieces of it dropping to the ground while whatever was left caught fire. The incident which happened in February 2021 was the scare of a lifetime for the 231 passengers and 10 crew members on board with some passengers recording the event and sending farewells to loved ones.
A snake in the cabin
This happened back in 2016 but it is still worth the mention because the crew and passengers couldn’t believe their eyes as the serpent slithered above everyone’s head. It was like a scene from the movie Snakes on The Plane, except this time, the threat of a mid-air commotion was real but the Aeromexico flight had already reached its destination in Mexico City and only had to be given priority landing. In the videos, the snake is slithering against the luggage compartment and then drops onto the seats. It is not clear how the crew managed to maintain the calm but no one was injured as the flight landed safely.
Passenger attempts to open plane door midflight
It happened on an American Airlines flight in February 2022. The flight from LA to Washington DC was forced to seek an emergency landing in Kansas, Mo after one man attempted to get out of the plane. The man who appeared disturbed first tried to break into the cockpit and when he was stopped by attendants, went for the main exit door of the cockpit. It took the combined force of three flight attendants and three passengers to brim him down but even that wouldn’t work. The hero of the day was one smart thinking flight attendant who bashed the man’s head with a coffee pot as the cabin was descending into chaos with everyone fearing for their lives. Luckily, only the aggressive man was hurt and safely delivered to the authorities in Kansas after the plane landed.
Passengers recorded farewell messages as a plane engine caught fire
The Swoop Airlines flight from Abbotsford to Edmonton in Canada was a nightmare for passengers as everyone watched in bewilderment when the right engine burst into flames. The plane allegedly sucked a flock of geese into its engine after take-off causing the fire and subsequent explosion that left it with only two engines. The plane managed to make a safe emergency landing even after most of the passengers had recorded their farewells to loved ones.
Rowdy party-goers on the SunWing flight
The flight which was later dabbed the party flight caused concerns all over the world as the Canadian Prime Minister described the passengers as idiots. The chattered flight from Montreal to Cancun, Mexico was for a group of social media influencers and reality tv stars going for a holiday in the Mexican city. The 100 passengers on the flight turned rowdy vaping, dancing and shouting in the isles which caused flight attendants to abandon the cabin. They didn’t observe any Covid prevention measures and even went on to insult the crew when they were warned about their behaviour. When they landed in Mexico, the Canadian authorities opened an investigation into every passenger with SunWing cancelling their return flight. Airlines went ahead to refuse the group’s requests for a flight causing them to get stranded in Mexico for days.
The kid that screamed non-stop on an 8-hour flight
It is normal for children to cry from time to time on a flight which is why people hope not to get a seat next to one. No one expects a baby to scream and throw tantrums for eight hours straight through. The passengers alighting from the flight from Germany to New Jersey described their experience as a nightmare with videos recorded by passengers confirming their disappointment. The child apparently started screaming even before the plane took off and it only became worse when the plane was airborne as the boy started screaming while running through the plane. The child jumped on seats and screamed while running through the aisle throughout the flight. It is believed he had some behavioural problems but that is one flight that no one wants to get onto again.
Southwest Passenger Who punched a flight attendant
Vyviana Quinonez had flown safely from Sacramento to San Diego but as the flight descended to its destination, she refused to buckle her seat belt and wear her face mask. She also pulled her food tray and started filming the flight attendant that insisted she followed the flight instructions. When the attendant insisted, Vyviana knocked out her three front teeth with a punch and pulled her hair as she rained blows. The case was just one of many involving altercations between passengers and flight attendants since Covid 19 prevention measures were introduced on flights. She was sentenced to 15 months in prison in May 2022 and ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution for causing a commotion on the Southwest Airline flight. The FAA also banned her from boarding any commercial flights for three years.
Zealots that caused flights to be diverted Over Shabbat
Does the Judaism prevent someone from being on a flight when Shabbat approaches? Well, if that is the case, then the passengers should avoid getting onto a flight that would be airborne at that time. A group of rowdy passengers caused chaos on an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv when they learned that they wouldn’t be landing before sundown on a Friday in 2018. The passengers insulted and attacked flight attendants causing a commotion that resulted in the pilot seeking an emergency landing in Athens. The rowdy passengers sent the whole group of flight attendants crying as they shouted and screamed and even threatened to break the door and storm into the cockpit. They were a group of Orthodox believers to whom being airborne on Shabbat is a sin. The other passengers had to get involved in fighting to protect the attendants as the situation ran out of control.
Another snake on a plane
This time around, it was an Air Asia flight from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur to the city of Tawau in February 2022. Many passengers reported a snake slithering in the overhead luggage compartment causing a scare. The pilot was alerted causing him to seek an emergency landing. It is not clear how the snake managed to get into the luggage compartment but no one was hurt and the matter was turned into more of a fun experience than a near-death experience.
The Crazy Jet2 Passenger
It is rare for airlines to release the names of rowdy passengers but this one really got onto Jet2’s nerves as they slapped her with a $6,200 fine plus a lifetime ban. The woman named Catherine Bush boarded the flight from Manchester headed to Antalya, Turkey, but caused the flight to divert to Vienna for an emergency landing as Ms Bush became a nightmare for the crew and other passengers. She started shouting at the crew from the start of the flight and then went to the front of the plane to confront the crew. She shouted and slapped any passengers that tried to stop her and became even more aggressive as more passengers expressed their disappointment at her behaviour. As she was arrested and escorted off the flight, passengers clapped.
These are some truly crazy flights from hell, but do you have a similar story? Do let us know in the comments below!