Flying is, in theory, meant to make long distance travel a faster and more streamlined experience. In reality, flying is often hectic, cramped, and perhaps even terrifying, depending on your flight’s particular model of flying metal tube and other factors mostly out of your control.
This makes for an already precarious situation even without the added variable of strangers being complete dipshits and making air travel all the worse for everyone else around them. But even so, this happens often. Perhaps even you, reader, have been this flyer.
As a recent example of one such incident, a roughly 400-passenger Pakistan International Airways flight departing from Manchester Airport last week was delayed by nearly eight hours after a passenger mistakenly opened an emergency exit while looking for the lavatory, the Guardian reported Monday. But, unfortunately for those aboard the flight, there’s more:
The travel misery did not end there. Flight PK702 was only able to take off when 38 passengers volunteered to disembark, owing to its evacuation capacity being reduced, and some of those have since complained that their baggage was left behind in Manchester.
I think we can likely agree that this is a pretty big screw-up, whether or not it was an accident.
As another example—this one apparently a more purposeful act—a man was reportedly banned from Spirit Airlines for life last week after setting off the plane’s fire alarm by vaping, a thing you are definitely not supposed to do on flights. But making the situation worse, the alarm was evidently triggered even after he was warned against vaping by a flight attendant.
A spokesperson for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office told CNN that the man “was cooperative with our deputies” once the plane landed and didn’t face criminal charges, which seems incredibly fortunate. At least it wasn’t a combustible cigarette?
These events are not isolated, and absurd or illegal flight incidents are a regular feature of our everyday news cycle. Here’s the thing, though: Causing flight disruptions—be they altercations, delays, or other disturbances outside unavoidable acts of God—make the already hellish experience of flying that much worse for your fellow passengers. Nobody wants that guy on their flight, man.
That said, shit happens. None of us is a perfect, infallible human being, and we all mess up. Some of my own colleagues copped to less-than-perfect flight etiquette. So I’d like to know about the worst thing you’ve ever screwed up on a flight, accident or otherwise. Speak your piece in the comments below and move forward as a better, more considerate flyer.