Obnoxious Passenger’s One Man Show

June 9, 2016

in Passenger Stories

It’s been a few years since I’ve truly had a flight from hell, so I guess I was due for one? Recently, my girlfriend and I got just that!

After an amazing week in Hollywood, Florida, we took our next week of our vacation to western Puerto Rico. We took advantage of the late night, $44 one-way fares on Spirit Airlines from Ft. Lauderdale to Aguadilla Airport.

We checked-in for the midnight flight around 11p.m. to a virtually deserted Terminal 4 at FLL airport. We were the only passengers in the TSA line and made it through in record speed.

We checked out of our hotel almost 12 hours earlier and had been sitting in the sun by the pool all day. We were pretty tired out and looking forward to getting a couple of hours rest on the flight to Puerto Rico, because it would be another 12 hours before we could check-in at our hotel.

We boarded on-time and got seats together. It was about a 2/3 full flight. People were tired and eager to sit down and doze off. It was the quietest airplane cabin I’ve ever experienced! No kids, very little talking, banging around, passengers scrambling for bin space, etc. It appeared it was going to be a relaxing and uneventful flight.

The captain came on to say it was clear skies and no turbulence the whole way. Said we should make good time with abnormally high tailwinds. We’d been cleared for early departure, but first we had to wait for a few connecting passengers coming in from Chicago. Their plane had just landed and it should only be 15 minutes. O.K. no big deal. People quieted down and prepared for departure.

I had made myself about as comfortable you can be flying Economy, and was starting to doze off into a half sleep when I heard a ruckus and commotion with inaudible yelling in Spanish coming down the jet way. As the last connecting passenger entered the jet, the entire plane literally bounced like a car when a person who’s severely overweight gets in!

No, there was no argument going on. Just a loud, boisterous Puerto Rican covered in tattoos, wearing White Sox attire and not making any attempt at using a quiet voice. He comes tromping down the aisle with a huge duffel bag that was smashing into half of the sleeping passenger’s seats. Not so much an an excuse me or sorry. Just an, “Oops, SHEEETZZ, LOL.”

I don’t speak Spanish and couldn’t understand what he was saying to two other passengers who got on with him. (They were behind us, he was across the aisle one row back.) I’m not sure if they were traveling with him or not, but it appeared he was making constant jokes and one-liners. After every sentence out of his mouth, the woman would let loose this ear-splitting and obnoxious tee-hee-hee. Holding it out just long enough that it was really annoying.

On taxiing out, the kicking of my seat back started. Every time this guy would open his mouth, this girl would let out this laugh while simultaneously slamming my seat with her knee from laughing so hard.

The presumed jokes and small talk was non-stop. The guy didn’t even take time to take a breath before going into the next thing. It was almost like he was bipolar on a manic phase, or drunk? He was also a hand talker, waving his arms and hands about as he talked. The whole plane rocked with his body language.

Every time the plane made a mechanical noise, like flaps and speed breaks lowering and tested, the guy would let out a joking yelp of despair. My girlfriend who understands some Spanish could make out just enough to understand he was joking about the plane breaking and how we were all going to die. Without pause, the girl behind us responded with the obnoxious laughter to every other sentence he said.

We weren’t even off the ground yet, and what I anticipated was going to be a quiet restful flight was becoming apparent it was not to be.

As the engines powered up, the guy let out a half exaggerated scream, like somebody might do on a roller coaster. Followed by loud laughter and flailing about.

As we climbed out, the jokes kept coming one after another. When the crew turned off the cabin lights, his voice raised even louder, to the point of borderline yelling!

About a half hour in, the laughs and yelling started to be intermixed with the funny voices! Yes, funny voices. I only wish I could understand Spanish. Now I don’t know if he was telling jokes, doing impressions, or telling a story, but the voices went on for the next two hours. Along with the constant giggling and seat banging.

The best way I can describe the voices was a grown man making an attempt to have a silly voice imitating a small scared child. It was almost like Adam Sandler’s funny voices combined with Speedy Gonzales and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

It appeared like he was taking turns playing two people in a story. One voice being a deep man’s voice, and the reply voice being the small child/speedy Gonzales/Sandler voices! It just went on and on and on. The girl’s laughter got louder and louder, and after an hour or so passenger’s heads started turning to see who on earth could be causing the disturbance?

At first, I thought this guy had been drinking, but it dawned on me halfway through the flight that he wasn’t drinking anything. I was close enough that I definitely would have smelled it had he been earlier. Plus, he should be sobering up, not getting louder and louder as the flight progressed! (Based on the behavior, I also assumed this guy was under 25. However, after we arrived and lights came on, I was surprised to see he was probably closer to 40!)

After two hours in the air, passenger heads were now constantly turning giving dirty looks, but the guy was still completely oblivious that he was disturbing the whole damn plane with his one man show! Perhaps he just didn’t care? By now, even the flight attendants were giving him the look and whispering among themselves.

Finally, 2.5 hours in, we start our descent in the wee morning hours. I’m sure everybody else was looking forward to getting off the plane very soon. I’d been contemplating lighting up a cigarette in my seat when the flight attendant came past and then refusing to put it out, so that we might divert to Cuba or Dominican Republic. Or anywhere. Even a Haitian jail would have been preferable at this point.

We landed and as we taxied to the apron, a tropical thunderstorm of monsoon proportions hits. The rain and lightning was coming down so hard that the pilot had to taxi in very slowly because there was little visibility. Just as we finally braked and ground power was connected, there was a massive flash of lightning and the plane went black!

The ramp workers were seen running for cover and evacuating the ramp. The pilot comes on the P.A. to say the airport has just lost power. The ramp is shut down because of the storm, and even if it wasn’t, they couldn’t get the air stairs up to unload the plane without power. We’re going to be sitting a while, while the airport tries to get emergency power up and running.

The plane sat there for 30 minutes, but after 2.5 hours of this guy, it felt like we’d just flown 4,000 miles.

The minutes crept by. I’m sure others were thinking about pulling the emergency slides by this point, just to escape this guy’s screams and silliness. By now the voices had stopped, but the yells and laughter erupted every time the lightning flashed. I prayed to God the flight attendant would ask him to quiet down, or another passenger would eventually tell him to shut the hell up, but it never happened.

After what seemed an eternity, we finally got to get off the plane. Not before I started to lose my cool. Just before the door opened, I rammed my head into the seat in front of me in exasperation and loudly muttered, “Jesus $&@$ Christ, kill me now!” To my surprise, the loudmouth spoke English. As soon as I asked the lord to take me, he imitated what I’d just said word for word, in one of his stupid voices!

I’m not sure if he realized my outburst was because of him, but just as it was my turn to stand up and exit the aircraft (and I was ready to run), loudmouth comes up the aisle smashing into me with his over-sized duffel bag, knocking me over as he eagerly plowed down the aisle like a freight train.

While at least we were off the plane, there was no jet way here, just air stairs. We deplaned in the monsoon rain and emerged into the arrival hall minutes later looking like we’d just gone swimming. Everybody was huddled inside the small terminal because nobody wanted to exit into the relentless rain!

We didn’t see the loudmouth again for the next hour while we were taking shelter in the terminal, but you could clearly hear his obnoxious yelling and voices echoing throughout the terminal.

When we got our bags, they looked like they’d fallen into the ocean and got completely submerged.

I was never so glad to be off a plane in my entire life!

I guess you get what you pay for on a discount flight at midnight to the Caribbean; inner city mainland residing Puerto Ricans drawn home for a visit by the Greyhound priced fares.

Give me screaming kids, obese seatmates, emergency landing, on board fire, BO, etc. Just not another passenger like this!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara June 10, 2016 at 7:51 am

You know you probably shouldn't wish for an emergency landing or an onboard fire. Are you serious? Those things are awful things that people die from!! You are lucky the plane didn't get hit with lightning while you were in the air. Then you would have died. Just be thankful for what you have, instead of posting a long, worthless story about an annoying passenger. Every flight has these kinds of people, so get over yourself. Do you think your royalty or something?


saffie June 10, 2016 at 10:08 pm

Do YOU realize what site you came to? Don't like the story, DON'T READ IT!


weyoun6 June 10, 2016 at 11:07 pm

His "wishing" of those events was to illustrate that they would have been preferable to this fellow passenger, that that's how terrible the passenger was. I want to know why the flight attendants were so silent…to avoid confrontation with a rowdy passenger perhaps? Still, I would have thought that they had the power to tell him to be quiet. I've been on long-haul flights with rowdy passengers who drink too much and won't shut the f**k up, after 2 hours it gets old. Yes, every flight has these kinds of people, however we should make these kinds of people aware of themselves and their behaviour so that perhaps not every flight has to have these kinds of people.


Lori Rodriguez January 6, 2017 at 11:57 am

Ugh, True, true. I flew from Melbourne Australia to LAX with a drunk rugby team. I have to wonder if this guy had some kind of mental issue


Adam June 11, 2016 at 11:10 pm

No. I wasn't serious, you nitwit. And yes, my bowl movements smell of bakery fresh cinnamon rolls. That's why I fly at midnight on Spirit Airlines.

Also, as an instrument rated G.A. pilot myself, I can assure you, lighting possesses no risk to airborn aircraft. Planes get struck everyday, It's a routine, non-event in aviation. (The plane is airborne. There's no route for the electricity to ground itself)


BJ1 June 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

Well at least most of the time, as an 18 year old I got drug into a legal action after a 310 was struck by lighting. The plane went down with a company's board of directors, the CEO was the pilot. Granted this was the outcome of a number of errors he made that day. 1. ordering fill of all 4 tanks, 2. flying into a thunderstorm (I have radar and am instrument rated). Dad was the FBO and advised him to stay on the ground, the ink on his IR was still wet.

We received a bootleg copy of the transmission to MSP enroute from a friend at the FAA. Declaring an emergency lighting strike to the plane, smoke in cockpit. Think lighting struck tip tank, hair on fire, shoes on fire plane going then boom. Witnesses on the ground said it was trailing fire and smoke and blew before the impact.

The widow needless to say sued the airplane mfg, radar mfg and installers (it wasn't working) the deicer boot mfg and installer, my dad as the FBO who owned the pumps and me since I was pumping gas that day. We were tossed out early on but for an 18 year old to have to go and give depositions it was pretty scary.

That said I have been in a Mooney with my father and had a lighting strike and nothing happened but the instruments tumbled, but this was a number of years ago prior to the more complex electronics now in use.


Tao Tao July 13, 2016 at 12:45 am

M8 I've been flying at least twice a year, for 6 years now, and I've never seen anyone like that.


Reader July 31, 2017 at 12:41 am

Just a fact, planes are designed so that if they are hit by lightning there will be little to no damage


Andrew Beagle January 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Jesús F*ching Christ!


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