Though we didn't do much traveling in 2020, there was still no shortage of entitled folks taking their crazy antics to the skies. Here are some of our favorite stories of entitled people in planes.
People these days. Content has been edited for clarity.
“Frisk The Cat!”
“Before my wife met me, she had Hannah, her cat. Hannah was a chunky feline with little use for me.
If got too close to her, she would let out a low growl to say, ‘That’s close enough, interloper!’
When it had been just the two of them, my wife often took Hannah along on business trips and visits home to her family ranch, where Hannah was born.
They were experienced travelers. Soon after my wife and I married, we went to her family’s for Christmas, bringing Hannah along.
When we arrived at the little hometown airport for our return trip, we went through security.
I went first without a problem. As always, my wife took Hannah out of her carrier, put the carrier through the x-ray, and walked Hannah through the metal detector, the latter’s dark fur billowing over my wife’s arms as they went through.
So, at this little airport, the metal detector went off.
The TSA agent sent my wife with Hannah back, then they tried again.
The metal detector went off again. They then ran a wand over my wife holding Hannah, and the signal spiked when it was over the cat.
At this point, my wife put Hannah down on a table near the conveyor belt.
The TSA agent then tried to wand my wife, who was reaching with one hand on Hannah to keep her still, and the wand came up with nothing.
Because she was leaning a bit to reach her cat, the wand wasn’t quite able to scan my wife’s neck, where she had a necklace.
That didn’t seem to register with the agent. In any case, my wife thinks it’s over and we can move on, but the TSA agent held up her hand and called her supervisor over to confer.
I couldn’t make out all of what they were saying, but the supervisor finally said, ‘Frisk the cat.’
My wife’s eyes got wide.
The TSA agent looked at Hannah with trepidation. She asked my wife if the cat will bite.
My wife said, ‘This is a scared creature about to be handled by a stranger.
So probably, yeah.’
The TSA agent looked at her supervisor, who motioned to the cat.
I’m watching this from a little bit of a distance, knowing that Hannah wouldn’t let me handle her in a million years, and wondering, ‘What, exactly are they expecting to find?’
Hannah, as I said, was a big fur ball. Maybe they figured they would find a zipper on the fur to reveal, I don’t know, a smaller cat inside?
The agent, gloves donned, with her boss looking on from a safe distance, began gingerly pawing Hannah who began to growl.
The agent backed off, and looked at her boss again, who signaled her to finish the pat down.
My wife was trying to keep Hannah calm, but the supervisor warned her not to interfere with the procedure.
Somehow, the TSA agent got away without being clawed or bitten, and hurriedly told my wife she was free to go.
When my wife reached me, she shook her head and said, ‘Yeah, that was unnecessary.’
I checked on Hannah inside her case.
“I Had To Pay For My Tickets”
“Christmas Day 2010 I’d been flying from Afghanistan to Seattle for my mid-tour leave.
The entire 36 hour trip from Khandahar to Seattle was a comedy of errors most of which only those in the Military would understand.
The relevant part of this story goes like this:
DFW to Seattle myself and 2 privates are upgraded to 1st Class.
The plane is almost empty and there were seats available.
I’m in seat 1B (1st row aisle). As we’re getting settled, this corpulent neck beard of a dude sitting behind the privates says, ‘This is messed up, I had to pay for my tickets,’ implying that us plebes should sit in the back, I guess.
The filter between my brain and mouth has huge holes in it at the best of times.
Catch me after fighting season and literally flying from the opposite side of the world and that filter is gone.
I told him to close his garage and enjoy the flight.
Needless to say the flight crew heard the exchange and decided fat boy wasn’t going to get served…anything, for the whole flight.
He was told to stop hitting the call button after the 3rd or 4th time.
We landed at SEA and I was droning (asleep with my eyes open) as we taxied.
I woke up standing behind the idiot, he’d charged up to the cockpit to speak to the pilots.
When the pilot came out of the cockpit, he said, ‘This is AMERICAN Airlines,’ then he pointed to himself and his co-pilot ‘Airforce Academy ’89, Annapolis ’93.
Get off my bird.’ Fat boy started spluttering about talking to the CEO and his status etc.
Then the pilot threatened to put him on the ‘No Fly’ list and he finally shut up.”
She Ruined the Entire Flight
“I was going on vacation to Rome with my twin sister.
We rode economy. My sister had fallen asleep (she’s a heavy sleeper) and everything was fine, until I hear an ear-piercing screech coming from the seats in the aisle over.
After about 3 minutes of this very loud yelling, a flight attendant comes over and asks this Entitled Mom to please ask her to son to stop yelling in a polite and sincere tone.
Everyone near me was visibly annoyed but the Entitled Mom says, and I quote, ‘It’s not my problem.’
I was dumbfounded at that because it was clearly her child and she didn’t seem to have her husband with her as a seat was empty.
The kid stopped for a little while because the flight attendant gave him a pack of pretzels and a juice.
My sister is awake at this point and I told her what happened and she was just a bit mad her sleep was disturbed.
After a few minutes the crying began again, the flight attendant repeatedly asked the Entitled Mom to control her child.
The Entitled Mom kept shrugging it off and then finally I decide to take it in my hands and give him my Nintendo that I was bringing for my little brother to use for the flight.
It had a few games and his face lit up at the offer.
The Entitled Mom just kind of grunted in approval.
The kid was fine the whole flight and I started to realize the kid was just flat out bored and his mom was a bad parent.
I fell asleep and then when I woke up my sister said we had landed.
I looked over and the kid was still happily playing (I brought a charger and there were outlets).
I asked for it back and the kid was very reluctant and asked his mom if he could keep it.
I told his mom no that he couldn’t keep it and I need it back.
She started yelling at me that I shouldn’t be playing with a kids device and her kid could use it during their trip.
By now, it was just us on the plane. I kid you not this Entitled Mom grabbed her kid and sprinted out of the plane and into the airport.
Now, my sister and I were a bit confused for a moment and then started running after her.
There was a security guard near the exit and I told him that she had stolen some Nintendo and he ran after her and stopped her.
The Entitled Mom then claims that it’s actually her son’s Nintendo, but I had the box and warranty in my bag.
I got it out and the security guard made her give it back and told me if I wanted to, I could report her officially.
I agreed and we were taken to a police station where I have a report and she got a hefty fine.”
“Herschel Walker and I were on an American Airlines flight from Dulles to DFW.
This was after he was retired from the game. Before the details, I just want to say I was never a big American Football fan.
I grew up in Latin America so soccer was, and continues to be, a religion.
Ask me about a soccer player and I probably have heard of him or her.
Ask me about an American football player and, more often than not, I would probably not have heard of him.
Growing up, I was aware of some of the teams, watched a few games, but was never one that would look forward to Sunday and spend most of the day watching the games.
I was not very familiar with the players.
I was in first class because I used to fly a lot for a couple of jobs and I was upgraded.
I was in the first row, aisle seat, and started reading a book I wanted to finish.
Soon thereafter, this big dude comes by and sits right next to me on the window seat.
He was super fit, so I figured maybe he was a personal trainer or something like that.
It never occurred to me he was a famous athlete.
We started talking.
He asked me what I did and what I was doing in town.
I told him how I was working for a startup in Silicon Valley and visiting customers, and I asked him the same thing.
He says, very nonchalantly, something along the lines of, ‘I was here to lobby people up on the hill about an initiative we are promoting.’
I was then sure: a lobbyist of some kind!!
He then said, ‘By the way, my name is Herschel.’
I introduced myself and then asked him what he did before he was lobbying politicians and he said ‘I played some football.’
I still didn’t get it and asked him if he did that full time, he smiled and said, ‘Yes, I was a pro for a while.’
I then said something stupid like, ‘Good for you.’
We continued to chat a bit more about his initiative (don’t remember what it did), and he then asked me if I could switch seats with his wife, who was a couple of rows behind us.
I said sure, no problem. He thanked me, we arrived at DFW and said goodbye to each other.
I continued on to SFO and that was that. Very nice guy, very down to earth, no arrogance whatsoever.
It was not until I got to SFO and I was telling my girlfriend about the trip and ‘my buddy Herschel the lobbyist’ that she mentioned she thought he was some sort of famous person.
She’s also not big into football, so she knew the same or even less than me about American football.
She called her brother (who is really into football) and asked him about ‘Herschel, the lobbyist’, and he told us the story of this super popular running back.
That’s when we realized he was a celebrity.”
Woke Up To The #1 Worst Smell
“I was flying from Bangkok to NZ.
My dad was a little pale before we boarded the flight but we figured he was just tired.
I was 14 at the time and I fell asleep half an hour in and woke up a few hours later to absolute panic.
I had no idea what the heck was going on but the smell that I woke up to was the absolute worst I’ve ever smelt, even ten years later, it is still #1 the worst smell I have ever encountered.
I just remember looking over to my dad and there was blood everywhere.
On the seats, on the walls, on the floor, everywhere.
That’s what the smell was. Blood. Lots of blood.
We got moved to first class (not as exciting under these conditions) and some rich dude wearing snakeskin was more than happy to leave to give up the room.
I thought that was pretty nice of him.
I sat on one side and my father and mother were kind of towards the back away from me on the other side.
A doctor came in too (luckily) and was assisting.
Flight attendants were consoling me and telling me everything was going to be OK, but I looked over there shoulders out of curiosity and saw my dad sitting on the window seat, hand kind of knocking on the window while his eyes were rolling back and he was projectile vomiting blood.
We left the plane as soon as we touched down, since we didn’t go through any security we had our bags quickly checked in some sort of holding room, I fainted because there were so many people in the room and also what the heck just happened.
Also THAT SMELL!!
Then we all went to the hospital, my brother was getting married the next day so we all went and visited my dad after, even the bride it was pretty cool.
He turned out to have an ulcer in his stomach which ruptured due to taking certain medicine.”
Everyone Was Thankful For Him
“I was at the San Diego airport waiting in line to check in at the gate.
There’s a man asking everyone if the flight is going to be late because he can’t be late, and when I say everyone, I mean anyone he saw.
It’s crowded as that airport always is. I tell him I don’t know if it’s late; he is dressed like a 1960 basketball player in short shorts looking crazier than he’s acting.
I get my boarding pass and head towards the only open seat and sit down next to a young girl and mom on one side and a duffle bag on the other.
Suddenly, I hear, ‘Hey hey that’s my seat’ (yes it’s him again).
So I ask him if that’s his duffle bag and he said yes.
So I asked him, ‘We’ll decide do you want a seat or does your duffle bag?’
He said he wants the seat I’m in so I said ‘Move your bag then, because that seat is mine.’
So he sits down and I’m pretty angry. I begin to tell him what type of idiot he has been, and about a minute later the boarding pass lady comes over and asks me for my ID and boarding pass.
I immediately thought I just got kicked off the flight because I wasn’t very quiet while I was telling the guy he was an idiot.
So I then told him, ‘If I just got kicked off this flight, you’ll only get on it if I die first.’
The woman came back and said, ‘You have been upgraded to first class.’
They were so happy I reeled that guy in.
This was the first and only time I ever flew first class.”
A Swing And A Miss
“My friend and her two children, infant and toddler, were returning from a family vacation.
Her husband, an avid hunter, had been out earlier that morning before the flight.
It was not until they came to the TSA check line that he realized he still had a long (6″ to 8″) fixed blade knife sheathed on his belt.
He didn’t want to lose the knife as it had sentimental value.
So my friend took his knife, put it in her full diaper bag and told him to get several people behind her and the kids.
She was a former flight attendant and knew she would have a better chance, as a woman alone with infants, getting through TSA should they find anything suspicious on her.
Then, sure enough, after she walked through the detector with her and her children, they pulled her diaper bag out and motioned her over.
Back in the line, her husband knew he was getting ready to either lose his knife, or watch his wife get kicked off the flight!
In her head, my friend was rehearsing her speech about why her husband’s hunting knife was in her diaper bag etc, etc.
With a frown on his face, the TSA agent was thrashing through her bag while she stood there patiently.
He then pulled out… A CAN OF DR.PEPPER! He then began to lecture her on the TSA rules regarding liquids and how selfish/careless she was to have it in her bag.
Then my friend, who has a dry sarcastic wit that knows no bounds, could think of nothing else to do but apologize profusely.
She was utterly dumbstruck at the audacity of the situation.
TSA, confiscating her rogue Dr Pepper, then allowing her to gather her bag and be on her way.
She met up with her husband a few feet further down on the concourse and they boarded the flight; husband, wife, two children, and a 8 inch hunting knife!
Once they had boarded the plane, she looked around at the other passengers almost in amazement.
Never before had she been so happy to have retired from being a flight attendant then this very moment!
Who knows what people get on planes with!!”
“I was on an overnight flight from Houston to Paris and was seated in economy.
I had requested the first row behind business class.
Whilst this row does not have the leg room of the bulkhead, it is quiet, and I would be able to elevate my legs against the wall that divides the sections.
As it happened there was no one else next to me so I effectively had three seats to myself- I was delighted!
Whilst we were all settling and many were still boarding there was a commotion going on a few rows behind me.
A young man in his early twenties was insisting that I was in his seat.
The conversation (which was becoming very heated) was all in French, but as soon as I realized it was about my seat, I stood up, showed my boarding stub and hoped the confusion would be easily settled.
The young man, however, was still arguing with staff quite vociferously and it became clear that he was very anxious, indeed.
I wondered at that point if he was really fit to fly.
All of the staff just seemed intent on shutting him up so we would not miss our take-off slot.
If this were now, the young man would be removed from the plane as a security risk, but prior to 9/11, he was just seen as a difficult passenger.
After dinner, I settled down to sleep.
I had plenty of room and was looking forward to three or four hours rest.
I was fast asleep and was suddenly awakened by a blow to my head.
My first thought was that a piece of luggage had fallen on me, but as I sat up, I was hit again.
It was the young man who claimed I was in his seat.
He then started to pull me by the shoulders to dislodge me from my seat- of course, my seatbelt was buckled so I couldn’t move- and continued to hit and slap me.
I called for help (in truth, I let out some rather ineffectual yelps, I believe) and EVENTUALLY, one member of the crew came.
She did nothing to help me at that moment, but she did go to get help.
Two male flight attendants came and pulled him off me.
He was bundled to the back of the plane and restrained.
As we neared our destination, we were told that the police were arriving to remove him from the flight before any of us could disembark.
The point of my story is not the assault by this young man, whom I now believe was suffering from some sort of mental illness or severe anxiety, but the total lack of care, concern or responsibility shown by the Air France Crew.
Not one of them asked me if I was okay or if I needed medical assistance (I didn’t- the young man had been pretty ineffectual in his attack) and when the police came on-board, the flight attendant told me there wasn’t time for me to talk to the police, but that I should put my ‘story’ in writing and they would hand it on to the police.
I had to quickly get to my connecting flight to London so I did not have time to complain to Air France in person, at the airport itself.
Once I was settled in London, however, I wrote a long complaint to Air France.
Their response? A stock letter; anodyne, non- specific and not even very polite or well written.
A deeply disrespectful response- at all levels.
I have never, and will never, fly Air France again.”
The Supervisor Wasn’t Having It
“‘What is this?’ He says while going through my diabetes kit and found my lancet cartridges.
It’s a lancet to prick my finger for diabetes blood glucose monitoring.’
Him: ‘I can’t let you take this on the aircraft.’
Me: ‘Sir, that’s not an option of yours, TSA policies especially allow diabetes and other medical testing supplies, get me your supervisor.’
His supervisor ripped the life out of him (flat out dismissed him so he can study the policies again), apologized to me, and let me on my way.
TSA can be flat out irritating at times, but some of them at least try to not suck.”
Nothing Like A Prejudiced Seat Mate
“Had a lady sitting behind and across the aisle from my girlfriend and me on a 10-hour flight.
We’d spent the whole weekend together already and were flying to the States for leave.
Both of us were enjoying our time being alone, but together.
I’m reading a book on my phone, she’s listening to music.
This lady leans forward and taps my shoulder.
Asks me to open her soda for her. I oblige. A minute later.
Tap, tap. I politely turn around, she starts with, ‘I think something is lost.’
Then just goes into this long-winded spiel about how in her day she’d have been so excited to be with her boyfriend.
Cuddling, kissing, talking. I point out that we’ve been together every second of the last 48 hours; we’re just fine.
She disagrees wholeheartedly.
I disengage, turn back, get a page or two into my book.
I turn around again, she starts bending my ear again about ‘Today’s youth’ and how we’re just too busy to talk to each other.
Segues into the life stories of her children. Every time I turn away, I get that tap, tap again.
This goes on for almost an hour.
I can’t get a word in at all. We move from the topic of her family to the problems with our country.
Finally, it’s escalating. Do you know when someone starts trying to ease you into something, build you up with a few statements that everyone would agree with, then tie it into some crazy stuff to try to get you to agree?
Yeah, that’s where we were going.
And it finally ended on, ‘it’s the fault of the minorities and Mexicans.’
I finally told her I’d had enough, I wasn’t going to support that kind of talk, and I’d appreciate if she kept that to herself.
I was finally able to enjoy my flight in peace.”