Traveler Tongue Lashed for Trying to Help

November 17, 2013

in Airport Stories

Just last month my husband and I were headed out of town for a wedding. As we waited in line at airport security, a family in front of us were putting their belongings into the required screening bins, and they had so much stuff they used the last bin in the stack.

One of the sons kept complaining that there were no more bins; his father told him to just put his items on the belt. The boy was probably about 14 -16; I really didn’t look too closely at him as I was eyeballing the cart just behind us with a bunch of available bins. So I grabbed one, shifted past a few people and gave the boy a bin to use. He took the bin and started to put his things in it.

What happened next was just the strangest thing. The father approached me, got in my face and told me not to interfere with his family, that I had no right to interfere. I apologized and said I was just trying to help. He ramped up to get even more in my face, said in a very loud voice that I didn’t need to help, and to stop interfering.

At this point my husband got involved and told the guy he was being an ass and to back off. This prompted the dad to completely lose it. He started yelling, wanting to”‘step outside” to deal with my husband. TSA came over to see what the commotion was all about. I was horrified! Thankfully other passengers came to our rescue and told the agents exactly what happened, that I handed the boy an empty bin. TSA took the entire family aside (the children and mom appeared very embarrassed) while we went on ahead.

Not sure what the story was with that man; was he low on medication? Kids had gotten on his last nerve and I came along and gee, helped out? Really rattled me. I have vowed to always ask first before I ever help anyone out again!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Belle November 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Sadly it's often the case that no good deed goes unpunished. And yes, the boy's father was being a dick.


mrsjamiecbaker November 18, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I do understand the frustration a parent can have when an outsider tries to step in and fix a situation. But in this case, this man's anger was not justified. It wasn't as if you had stepped in and told the father to shut it (or something else along those lines) so there was no reason at all for him to get irate. I feel bad for the poor kids :-\


RedHead0186 December 27, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I agree that you certainly did not get what you deserved, all you were doing was trying to help and he clearly was not acting rational. Your husband calling him an ass probably didn't help, but still not justified. People these days are so rarely willing to go out of their way to help others (as you did) that it's sad when that behavior gets punished instead of rewarded.

However, and maybe this is just my soapbox, but I think your comment about him being low on medication was uncalled for. There's enough stigma around mental illness/behavioral issues that making glib comments/jokes about it don't help anything. You don't know what the man's situation was: maybe he was low on a medication, maybe he was in a great deal of pain, maybe someone had just tried to hurt his son so he was extra sensitive. It still doesn't justify his behavior, but making assumptions and glib comments like that doesn't help, in my opinion. Again, maybe just my soapbox and I'm not trying to attack you, but that's the third comment like that I've read on here today, and I felt I needed to just say something.


Kimberly January 12, 2014 at 2:35 am

Maybe he was low on his psychiatric medications or something. Nut Case!


Jessica Sear February 4, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Since he escalated quickly to physical intimidation and physical violence and his family was clearly embarrassed at his behaviour but said nothing, his behaviour is classic of an abusive male. I feel sorry for his family and hope they get the support they need to develop a safety plan and be safe.


Chris July 25, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Don't let that defer you from helping people out. Obviously, that guy was way out of line and most likely a d*uchebag, He may have been having a tough day, week, month, year…who knows, but your actions would never justify someone responding that way.


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