As airports and flights become more full, legroom becomes more spares and tempers flair; we are seeing more and more examples of bad behavior both at airports and in the air. As traveler frustrations boil over, more and more passengers are saying “delay my flight and I’ll slap your face”.
When was the last time that you arrived to your departure gate for a flight feeling harried and slightly discombobulated? When was the last time that you rushed through traffic to get to the airport on time? When was the last time that you endured long lines, both while checking in for your flight and then while passing through security? When was the last time that you schlepped along with all of your luggage in tow, meandering hopelessly through an expansive airport terminal building before finally reaching gate A666. Gate A666, the most far-flung of the airport’s many gates, because of course, why would your plane be leaving from anything other than the most remote of gates? When was the last time that you arrived at gate A666, only to then be told upon reaching said gate that your flight had been delayed? When this last happened to you, did you then respond to the pronouncement of the delay by telling the snarling, grizzled, seemingly sadistic gate agent from Hell something along the lines of, “if you delay my flight, I’ll slap your face”?
Now, I’m not asking you whether or not you wanted to respond to the news of your last flight delay like this. After all, who among has not wanted to respond to such delays by threatening to slap the messenger? Slapping the person deliverng the bad news is after all so much easier than slapping the person who is actually responsible for the bad news after all now isn’t it? But no, what I am asking you is whether or not upon hearing about your last flight delay, did you actually threatened to slap the gate agent who was tasked with delivering the disastrous news? If you did threaten him or her, how did that work out for you? Were you gifted a shiny new pair of metal bracelets that you were then required to wear as you were unceremoniously led away from the airport and to the nearest jail?
Or better yet, when you heard about your most recent flight delay, did you welcome the news by having a bonafide, genuine, first rate Michael Douglas type of “Falling Down” moment? You know the type of “moment” that I’m talking about don’t you? I’m talking about the type of “moment” where you explode! The type of moment where you absolutely and completely lose your sh*t! The type of moment where every little thing that has ever bothered you from the time of your birth up until that very second comes rushing forth like a sunami! The type of moment where your ears start to ring, your blood starts to boil and your heart starts to race uncontrollably! The type of moment where your guts violently begin to twist, your face involuntarily begins to contort as your eyes twitch and your knees begin to shake. The type of moment where you explode and spew forth the most vile of vile venoms on whatever poor sucker made the mistake of being the straw that ultimately broke this camel’s back!
When you had your Falling Down moment, did you verbally abuse, slap and throw food at the gate agent? Now, when you have a bonafide Falling Down moment, anything is possible. But still, I’m guessing that you didn’t curse, slap or throw food. Unfortunately, for a group of poor unsuspecting gate agents in China recently, 3 passengers all simultaneously had their Falling Down moments. And when they had these moments, the insults, the fists and even the food began to fly. That’s right, Chinese police recently arrested three airline passengers after a video was released of them slapping, verbally abusing and even throwing food at airline employees after it had been announced that their flight was to be delayed. This incident took place in the Chinese city of Changsha after a Capital Airlines flight from Changsha Huanghua International Airport to the city of Sanya was delayed. The passengers involved in the incident initially became enraged by news of the unavoidable weather delay. After the delay was announced, the three Chinese Michael Douglas’ each began to verbally assault airline employees. After they each let a flurry of profanity laced insults fly, one of them then began throwing food at airline employees before finally deciding to chuck his entire plate of food at one unsuspecting gate agent. From there, things really got heated. As the situation escalated, the confrontation finally reached a fevered pitch when one male passenger decided to slap a female Capital Airlines employee in the face. Ultimately, the three passengers involved in the incident were eventually arrested by Chansha police. Each now face up to 2 weeks in detention. They each will likely also be placed on China’s black list for fliers who are considered to be disruptive. This black list is public, and airlines, hotels and travel firms can use it when deciding whether or not to refuse service to customers in the future.
So next time your flight is delayed, just take a few deep, refreshing, cleansing breaths, count to 10 and then remind yourself that all flights will leave eventually. And if you find that you still must have a “moment”, please don’t let the fists or the food fly. Wasting a perfectly good plate of food, especially a perfectly good plate of Chinese food is like a crime against humanity that will get you put on MY black list for sure!