Difficult Passenger Disses TSA And Crew

June 26, 2009

in Passenger Stories

Several years ago, flying from SYR to DCA. At the gate the TSA was doing their usual random searches, and a guy several people in front of me got randomized, and shortly thereafter I did too. They take the guy behind the security screen and start the process. A TSA agent in a stern tone informed me to stay put. The guy they were searching immediately started complaining saying they didn’t need to search that, why did he have to do this, and whatnot. I fly frequently and know when they say jump, you just do it. Anyways, after a few minutes of this the TSA agent guarding me turned around and said, “You can go ahead and board the plane.” To this I giggled to myself and boarded the plane. Note: I did want to stick around just to watch the show.

About 15 mins later we’re still sitting at the gate, and incredibly the guy boards the plane. I thought for certain we’re would leave without him. Oh well, but thankfully, the story didn’t end there.

This was small commuter plane, and the pilot had the FA move everyone to the back of the plane to balance it out. We all pretty much said whatever and got reseated by the time the man boarded the plane. He took his seat in the front of the plane and the FA immediately asked that he move to the back of the plane. He said that was his seat and he wasn’t moving. The FA tried to explain it was for safety reasons but to no avail. She informed the pilot who came back and also tried to convince him. This only led to the man yelling about how he was missing his connecting flight, this airline sucked, he’d never fly it again, and he’d see that everyone got fired.

The pilot calmly walked back to the cockpit, and 1 min later TSA showed up asking the man to disembark the aircraft. This is the weird part, I figured this would cause the guy to totally lose it. But he calmly and slowly got up, collected his things and walked off the plane. The FA closed the cabin door and we were off.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Nacho June 23, 2009 at 4:16 am

While not a flight from hell, at least it was amusing.

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GottaLoveIt June 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I like how he thought that the best way to not miss his connecting flight would be to refuse to cooperate and cause trouble for the sake of causing trouble.

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SAW June 23, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Yup.. not horror, but well worth posting here, and an interesting account. People just don't seem to think sometimes. I would also hope (evilly of course) that he checked luggage, and that it was NOT removed from the plane when you left – that would leave him without his stuff, and give him yet another headache in payment for his bad attitude

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Anonymous June 23, 2009 at 8:15 pm

"I fly frequently and know when [TSA agents] say jump, you just do it."

I am reminded — again — of the Ben Franklin quote: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

As a pilot myself, I am in a position where I can give the TSA a hard time for being stupid and not suffer the repercussions of it, but if more people were willing to stand up for themselves, we wouldn't have a Theatrical Security Administration composed of GED recipients lording their power over everyone.

The guy was certainly out of line by refusing to follow crewmember instructions, but I'm more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on the TSA thing. You should, too.

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SAW June 24, 2009 at 1:33 am

True, the TSA can be stupid – VERY stupid at that. But I have just as often, seen passengers whining and complaining about the most mundane requests. I once waited 10 minutes while a TSA agent had to have an extended discussion with a passenger about removing her shoes…

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Hugh June 25, 2009 at 2:56 am

While I always listen to TSA, thus far to me, their requests were reasonable. OK, shoes off, go here, step there…who cares, it's easier to listen, unless there is a good reason not to. This passenger seemed to be unreasonable.

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Anonymous June 26, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Hugh: the whole second-security-check-at-the-gate thing is, by definition, unreasonable.

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