"Open the door. I hope this crashes." Well, we've all felt like Don at some point, right? (some casual swearing)
We got excited when we saw a headline (sans photo) imagining an eccentric, aging hotel mogul having an old-person meltdown on a transatlantic flight. Sadly it wasn't to be, not least because the gentleman in question died in 1979 (it says on Wikipedia). I mean, the rantings of an elderly gazillionaire would at least have had some semblance of quaint charm. Less so when it's just torrents of abuse being distastefully ejected from the mouth of one of his more objectionable descendants, also named Conrad Hilton.
Among the delights from the 20-year old airborne charmer were the following verbal emissions:
- "If you wanna square up to me bro, then bring it and I will f*cking fight you."
- "I am going to f*cking kill you."
- "I will f*cking rip through you."
- "I will f*cking own anyone on this flight; they are f*cking peasants."
According to gossip-monging website TMZ, witnesses told officials that Hilton grabbed a flight attendant's shirt and informed him, "I could get you all fired in five minutes. I know your boss. My father will pay this out. He has done it before. Dad paid $300k last time." The sleepy little lamb then passed out, which was a cue for flight staff to promptly handcuff him to the seat. Reports say he was so out of control and aggressive that children (peasant children, presumably) on the flight were crying.
Recalling the 2002 protests of similarly wealthy flier Peter Buck (of REM fame), a rogue sleeping pill was allegedly the culprit, these little air-rage-bombs apparently the bane of celebrity flying. Buck famously attacked the flight crew on his flight with yoghurt (did any newspapers at the time go with the headline 'Everybody (yog)Hurts"? and if not, WHY not?). Presumably the HIlton millions will keep young Conrad out of official legal trouble, though as to his claims that he "buried" the flight attendants? Sure you did, bro...sure you did. - See more at: http://www.shandypockets.com/blog/conrad-hilton-will-fing-kill-you#sthash.ovxstZyj.dpuf
It's been a while since the last Cabin Pressure but what better occasion than this? Let's cut through all the hack 'pigs flying' gags and celebrate the #bravehero that gets onto a flight with their own talisman, their own live security blanket, their own porcine rock.
This lady bought her own Emotional Support Pig onto a flight, and we can only weep at the circumstances that lead to the poor animal being 'disruptive', and them both having to deplane. Deplaning is always awful, not least because it is an abhorrent word.
Let's hope for a future where we can avoid distressing scenes like this. I propose finding an emotional support animal for the emotional support pig, just so that it can carry out its duties unfettered by stress and distraction.
Journey details: Domestic US flight, LAX-Houston
The scene: A delayed, late night departure, everyone's tired. I'm thinking a three-hour nap.
Passenger description: Bedraggled, pasty, 30-something guy with very red eyes.
The review: I'm quietly looking out of the window. This guy is leaning over me, trying to crane his neck to see out.
"That's San Diego!" he says loudly, pointing to a small town.
"I don't think it is, " I say. "It's too small, plus we don't fly over it."
"It's San Diego. All cities look small from this height. Have you seen London form the air? It's TINY!" (NB: we are still climbing, and at about 9,000 feet)
That settled, he hears I'm English and - excited it's his first time in America and high on sleep exhaustion after a 12 hour flight from London to LA, he launches into a tirade about how expensive America is, how fat American women are, how fat American men are, how immigration is ruining English culture (for this, he cites, "tea", which he sees as a British institution being under threat. When I point out we stole it from India, he just laughs), how "masses of Africans" are marching up through Europe and "have no idea about our way of life". His oft-repeated line is, "I'm not a racist (one time, he replaces this with 'Fascist') but SOME people MIGHT say...(insert racist thing mostly sounding like something said between racist white men in a closed meeting somewhere)..." This lasts for a while before he laughs at himself for being "something of a reactionary". He then talks at length about how all his friends are marrying and having families, and every time he says the words "marriage" or "family", he follows it up with "and all that SHIT". He's single, and shows me his directory of screenshots of girls he deems to be unattractive that he has taken off dating sites, which seems a weird thing to collect. He stops talking and falls asleep 15 minutes from Houston.
Verdict: Passive-aggressive pseudo-racist.
Rating: 2, but only for some basic element of self-awareness.
Outside of the masochistically insane, we none of us like close connections. Granted, there's a a rush of 'living on the edge'-type adrenaline as the first plane taxis in and there's no jetway and you have 30 minutes to get across the terminal and you really wanted to grab a quick Zinger Burger from KFC and can you really just take that on the plane and you're way down the back and everyone is taking an age to get their carry-on and now you're approaching stroke-inducing levels of annoyance and it's so unlikely you're going to make it now, but it's not the despair that kills you, it's the hope...always the hope.
What's a modern traveler to do? How about take a leaf out of this enterprising chap's big book of entitlement as he tries to make a connection at London City Airport to get to Frankfurt? Getting off one plane late and looking like you might have to rebook? Never mind, simply set off an alarm to make sure that your Frankfurt plane doesn't leave and in the meantime cause the entire airport to be evacuated and NO FLIGHTS TO LEAVE AT ALL. After all, buddy, the entire European flight network is just for your convenience. What other choice did you have? THERE WAS LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE YOU COULD DO.
If we had a special ranking for negative passenger ratings, this chump would be the only person in it. It's one thing to torment and rankle your fellow passengers once you're on the move. It's quite the breathtaking other thing to decimate the travel plans of an entire airport because you might have to wait two hours to get home. You already win worst passenger of 2014. Category closed. Thank you, and goodnight Vienna. Well, Frankfurt.
Thanks for this, @SiobhanONeill
Journey details: Overnight Cancun to Madrid en route to London, zzzz...
The scene: Mid section of a packed Air Europa flight in the knees-under-your-chin class
Passenger description: Enormous, like Brando-esque, shoeless Mexican guy crammed into an aisle seat
The review: So we're all in place and the jam-packed economy section is buzzing with that curious blend of mild anticipation and people steeling themselves for nine long hours of attempting to get 40 whole minutes of sleep by jamming an ear into an arm rest. The air crew are shutting the doors when people become aware of another kind of buzz. A buzz that becomes a low, deep rumble.
Two rows back to my left an enormous in all dimensions and very shiny Mexican with a t-shirt that only partially covers his stomach and no shoes, fills the entire 18 inch seat and then some. We haven't even begun to taxi and this guy is out for the count.
As we reach the runway and the rumble begins to compete with the sound of four jet engines on full throttle, people in the surrounding seats begin to turn to attempt to locate the evident hole in the fuselage. As they realise the source is in fact our tired friend, knowing smiles and winks between passengers hide the weary knowledge that this will not be so funny when we hope to grab some shut-eye ourselves.
By the time we're at 35,000 feet, the guy's snores have reached decibels so impressive that people on the other side of the plane and several rows forward are lifting from their seats to try to identify the noisy sleeper. The poor woman in the window seat beside him has pulled her blanket over her head. Since it's clear the sound of a jackhammer playing on her iPod wouldn't drown her neighbour out, she's evidently just using it to hide her nervous breakdown.
After seven and a half hours of continuous and loud snoring during which a five metre square section of plane pauses their tossing and turning on occasion merely to wonder how this guy can get a better night's sleep in an upright position than most of us can manage on an over-stuffed superking mattress, the lights and the smell of airline panini rouses him from his baby-like slumbers. The sound of two dozen sets of teeth gritting and neck muscles straining as people attempt not to spin round to give him the evil-eye-of-fury fills the air.
But not for long. With sandwich and juice consumed our relaxed traveller drifts back into another 90db snooze for the final descent.
Rating: 1 for the early humour factor
OK, OK, I know we only just posted about CooDon / BryGan a few weeks ago in semi-breathless anticipation of their new series, but now it's almost at an end, we think some remedial appreciation is in order.
The endless (but still funny) James Bond impressions aside, it's been a very different beast to the first season. The power dynamics have shifted, with Rob Brydon in the ascendance, suddenly getting the Hollywood scripts and the young blonde - previously the sole domain of Signor Coogan.
Steve C still gets SOME action, of course (thanks, repeat offender Yolanda the photographer), but they're almost equals now, Brydon with a new strut and a swagger and a much less submissive role as he jousts with Coogan. The most joyous parts, though, are still when they revel in each others' company, egging each other on to do (vaguely obscure) impersonations. Bask in this clip, unseen on TV, but part of the DVD extras:
As cramped as airline seats can be, the obvious rule of thumb/arm/leg is not to allow parts of your body to stray into other passengers' space. It's all at a premium, and even the most basic encroachment can be a flight-ruining move (think about the constant battle of wits and elbows taking place over the middle arm rest, for instance). However, most personal space violations take place in adjoining seats - it takes real nerve and arrogance to enter the space in the seat row IN FRONT of you, as this rogue sock proves, much to everyone's disgust.
Two grown men trade improvisational comedy and impressions as they drive around the more panoramic side of northern England. If you haven't seen The Trip, then we're insanely envious because watching it for the first time...well...is this not happiness? Anyway, here at Shandy Pockets, we're barley able to contain ourselves at the thought of the upcoming sequel, set in rural Italy. Read more about the HERE and delight in the clip, below...
Yeah, we're not really sure about this one. On one hand, what's wrong with some live entertainment to liven up the grinding tedium of boarding your flight? Something to click your fingers and tap your feet to as you jam your carry-on luggage into the overhead locker, carelessly squashing hat boxes and packed lunches.
On the other hand, unless you're a fan of musical theatre, the prospect of being a captive audience as a rogue band of chorus members strike up an unavoidable rendition of a Lion King song might be a worse nightmare than substantial turbulence. All I can say is, see how many people are ACTUALLY applauding outside of the people singing. And the guy on the left at the end looks positively mortified.
Tell us about the special people you shared YOUR journey with.