Sleeping in Airports

Don’t Drink & Fly: 9 Passengers Who Prove Alcohol And Airplanes Don’t Mix

According to the latest IATA statistics, unruly passenger incidents increased more than tenfold between 2007 and 2011. The total number worldwide was just over six thousand, but at that rate airlines will soon have to turn their planes into commercial Con Airs. Barely a week goes by without some drunk causing a flight to divert, so it requires a special effort to stand out from the crowd. Read on to find out how these passengers did just that.

Get The Insanity Plea In Early

When an intoxicated Galina Rusanova first came to the attention of United flight attendants it appeared to be just another run-of-the-mill alcohol incident. However, this soon changed when the crew caught Rusanova drinking hand soap acquired from the toilet. She quickly became violent, punching and kicking anyone in range, before dropping to all fours, barking and biting like a dog. After she admitted several offences in a Maine court, the judge sentenced Rusanova to 21 days in prison. Whether these were human or dog days remains unclear.

Tick Every Box On The Police Report

Some passengers are arrested for drunkenness, some for violent behaviour and some for public nudity. This 52-year-old man decided to go for a full house, then threw in public urination to make it a Royal Flush. Stepping off an Easyjet flight in Manchester, England, he added to the existing charges of intoxication and challenging the Captain to a fight, by stripping naked and relieving himself against the terminal building. Hopefully the police weren’t standing in that puddle when they Tasered him.

Don’t Just Think It – Do It!

There can’t be many air travellers who have not suffered at the hands of a crying child. In fact, being hung-over or exhausted practically guarantees a nearby infant trying to rupture eardrums. However, whereas most of us dream up thousands of ways to silence the little treasure, they are just that – dreams. Unfortunately for Joe Rickey Hundley, his became reality when he slapped a 19-month-old boy for crying on a Delta flight to Atlanta. Despite a defence of alcoholism and recent bereavement, the judge slapped him right back… with an 8-month prison sentence.

Go For Mom Of The Year

90 minutes into her Delta Airlines flight from New York to Shanghai, Stephanie Heizmann Auerbach became aggressive when refused alcohol on the sensible grounds that she’d already consumed five glasses of wine. Several verbal cautions and one written warning later, the Captain himself told her to behave or else. She chose ‘or else’, which was rather surprising given who was sitting across the aisle. The authorities hauled off Heizmann Auerbach in Anchorage, leaving behind her two young children to carry on the flight to Shanghai.

Blame The Flight Crew

According to the sheriff’s report, this JetBlue crew had decided not to serve Trisha Sen because she was clearly under the influence. Reacting badly to this, she scratched the face of an off-duty Captain who was trying to calm her down, and was subsequently overpowered and restrained by the cabin crew. Sen later showed bruises on her arm to the media, claiming that she was the victim. According to her, the crew had beaten the crap out of her because she wasn’t quite compliant enough for them. How she expected to make the face-scratching and the small matter of a hundred witnesses go away is anyone’s guess, but God loves a trier.

icelandair drink passenger tied up
(Photo via mezane /

Get Taken Down By Your Fellow Passengers

An oldie, but definitely a goodie! An intoxicated man tried to choke a nearby passenger on board a transatlantic flight, but this time it wasn’t the flight crew who put him back in his box. Rather, it was the Iceland Air passengers themselves who grew tired of his anti-social behaviour and took matters into their own hands. Video and pictures show him duct taped to his seat, with several layers of the tape sealing his mouth. As he apparently escaped without charge, one can only hope he had a bushy moustache.

Go For The Family Jewels

When the unidentified Air New Zealand steward in this scenario arrived at the airport it’s unlikely he thought the day would end with severe testicular trauma. Unluckily for him, Tara Anne MacKay had other ideas. MacKay’s drunken tirades led to a confrontation with the crew and ended with her locked in the toilet. The Captain authorised the toilet’s opening and MacKay was restrained, but not before she had bitten one woman on the hand and scored a direct hit between the legs of the unlucky steward.

Become A Food Critic

Airline food has never been in danger of winning any Michelin stars, but most passengers just take it or leave it and look forward to an edible meal when they land. Not Gerard Finneran. When United Airlines staff said no more booze, this 59-year-old investment banker staged his own dirty protest. Climbing on the snack trolley and dropping his pants, he then proceeded to defecate on the cart in front of horrified passengers. Some might argue he did them a favour, as the meal service was immediately stopped for hygiene reasons.

Don’t Even Get On The Airplane

The only ‘official’ source for this story has since disappeared but, according to the internet, an intoxicated American Airlines passenger was found on a Dallas jet bridge, minus one shoe and covered in salad dressing. He admitted drinking vodka in an airport restaurant, but was still unimpressed at being denied boarding. The fact that a ranch dressed, shoeless drunk seems to have bypassed a security system designed to trap the most cunning terrorist makes this one of our favourites. If only it were true…

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