Most obnoxious passenger of the year award goes to….

Yes, I believe this is the second time this year I’ve given out this award, but this one definitely took the cake. You can read about the last passenger that won this award here. Usually my “tweets” are in good fun, so those of you following along this morning may have seen that I saw a guy in the lounge and had hoped he wouldn’t be me seatmate. At the time I was joking around, but oh boy, was I right. Well, the good news is that he wasn’t my seatmate. As a matter of fact, I was lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me. The bad news is that he was seated right behind me.

Let’s start from the beginning. This gentleman walked into the gate lounge at London City Airport and seemed to run into someone he knew. I could immediately tell he was one of the cheesiest people on earth, especially based on the way he acted. Picture a combination of David Hasslehoff and Simon Cowell in 10 years, and you have this guy. So he chats his “friend” up (in an attempt to be charming), and they discuss all kinds of things, many of which aren’t all that appropriate. Well, we board the flight to Shannon and everything is relatively ok. As it turns out they’re sitting together, but oh well, that’s fine, or so I thought. They chat loudly and drink copious amounts of alcohol (although I wouldn’t call them drunk). Then we get to Shannon and at the departure gate I see them kissing, borderline making out. I give them a real nasty look, like “sir, I doubt your wife would approve,” and she immediately separates herself from him.

Then we reboard, and oh boy, does it get fun. They’re talking very loudly, which I can deal with. The first two hours are ok, but after lunch I decide to take a nap. I put in earplugs which usually does the trick, but in this case it doesn’t help. They guy is laughing so loudly at the movie they’re both watching that the passengers in row one turn around (he’s in row five), and all the passengers around him are rolling their eyes. Passengers that walk by just shake their heads. Furthermore, he’s kicking my seatback or something. Not sure how that’s possible with 72 inch pitch, but he manages to do it. His laughter is uncontrollable for the better part of an hour, so eventually I decide to step in. I get up and say (rather loudly) to him “Sir, you’re not the only one on the plane.” Without taking off his headphones he goes “sorry, sorry.” He continues laughing at the movie, although a bit more moderately.

I’m happy to report that he was well behaved the rest of the way to JFK.

So why does he outdo my previous “passenger of the year story?” Well, it’s clear that he should know better. He was wearing a thousand dollar suit, was rolling along a Tumi, and was flying a product where the cheapest seat is several thousand dollars. The lady flying Ted, on the other hand….

Filed Under: Travel
  1. I knew that when you spoke on twitter of him making out with somebody that the story was bound to get better.

  2. Nice job standing up to him! I am sure your fellow passengers appreciated it.

    Why didn’t the FAs say anything?

  3. So, on your flight over to London you complained because, on your flight, human beings were actually TALKING. Can’t have that, can we?

    And now you’re complaining because some random douchebag was drunk and making out with a woman who may or may not have been his mistress? So? What was the point of you giving him a nasty look?

    Seriously, why do you travel?

    There are travelers and there are FLYERS. Huge difference. I am a traveler.

  4. You didn’t mention his “friend” was a woman, so I thought it was a guy. But then when it got to the kisisng part, I was like whoa….. 🙂

  5. @Drew: If a passenger one row (let alone five rows) behind me in Business Class is speaking so loudly that I can hear him with my ear plugs in, you’re darn right I’m going to say something. God forbid people actually had the decency to respect their fellow passengers! I don’t think “Sir, you’re not the only one on the plane” is in anyway disrespectful.

    Furthermore, I don’t have to justify my reason for travel because you think there is a difference between a flyer and traveler. LOL.

    You sound bitter.

    And I know this question was directed at Ben, but I’m speaking for me, not for anyone else…

  6. how hot was this girl? There are certain types of girls who are simply attracted to douchebags, maybe he was just trying to get laid in JFK, i think we can all understand that. 😉

  7. Sounds like you were sitting in front of a banker. They are the main target market for this flight, after all….

  8. I think that the Paris Hilton videos proved once and for all that you don’t have to be poor to be trash. This fellow just seemed to confirm it.

  9. @Matthew: No, there’s nothing wrong with asking a passenger to keep it down a bit. But the impression given is that Ben let that once incident ruin his flight and trip overall.

    Annoying passengers are a part of travel. It happens. The goal is the destination anyway, yes?

    Bitter? LOL. Not sure what that meant, but, ok.

    And, yes, there is a big difference between travelers and flyers. A friend of mine is a huge flyer. He has access to seats because his mom works for an airline. He flies all over the world, and takes pictures of himself in his seats. He has a collection of over 100 photos of himself sitting in various seats and configurations.

    He’s in South Africa one week, and Peru the next. He’ll talk about the service on the flight, he’ll talk your ear off for hours, but if you asked him about the culture in Johannesburg or Lima, he looks at you like you’re crazy and says nothing. He honestly doesn’t remember. He doesn’t absorb any of the places he’s been, but he’ll talk your ear off about the flights. He thinks he’s a traveler, but he’s not. And, that’s cool.

  10. So in addition to the take-off/landing videos, did you capture the guy behind you and his kissing-mate on video, too?

  11. I don’t think Money can be tied to Manners. People are who they are, no matter how much money they spend, so I think Miss Ted should still be in the running. Really, it might be the only award she wins all year, so it would be sad to discredit her claim based on the class of product she flies.

  12. @Drew – talking is fine. Talking & laughing so loud that people four rows (premium class rows, not coach) are getting annoyed and the guy in front of you can hear you with earplugs is not. Not to mention the seat kicking.

    But of course, you’re a “traveler”…

    Looking forward to the full report, Lucky!

  13. @ Drew — Not sure what gives you the impression that it ruined my trip, as it most definitely didn’t. I had a phenomenal flight and an incredible stay in London. Actually, the reason I was so tired and wanted to sleep on the flight is because I saw so much in London and got up early to sightsee. But I guess I’m still “a flyer” in your book….

    As far as the rest of you go, wait till the trip report. 😀

  14. @Drew: The reason I used the term bitter was more to see what your reaction would be, but you did seem to express self-righteous indignation that the obnoxious passenger was disturbed. But C’est la vie!

    I still disagree with your subjective definition of a traveler. Just because someone can’t discuss the cultures of the cities he has traveled to hardly disqualifies him as a “traveler.” And being a flyer and a traveler are not mutually exclusive.

    I spent about 16 hours in Johannesburg last fall on a mileage run layover. During that time, I interacted with many locals, took in sites including the SoWeTo, ate South African dishes, and got a very basic feel for what Johannesburg was like. The point of the trip down there was for miles and I was there for literally only a handful of hours, but are you going to argue I am not a traveller because I cannot discuss South African politics and culture in great detail off the top of my head based upon my visit there?

    I don’t stay in one place very long. Four days in Russia. Three days in Hong Kong. Three days in Turkey. One day in Colombia and three days in Peru coming up next week. But even though it is airplane flights that form the primary basis for my trips (and often dictate where I travel to based on what kind of a deal I get), I consider myself a traveler–and a flyer.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *