Another new day, another drunk passenger tries to open the aircraft door mid-flight

Rarely does a week go by without a flight being diverted because someone became “unruly”.

These incidents are often pretty innocent, involving a drunk passenger trying to harass fellow passengers. But every now and then the really insane (or drunk) take things to the next level, often with violence or by attempting to damage the plane.

Last night, United Airlines flight 223 from Washington to Las Vegas had to divert to Denver to drop off a passenger who had attempted to open the cabin door mid-flight.

Thankfully this is almost impossible to do because of door seals and the pressure difference, but that doesn’t change the fact that in his mind, he was ready to kill himself and many others on board the plane.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – insane and drunk passengers are a far greater danger than terrorists. See, you can use technology and profiling to spot a terrorist, but the seriously deranged are almost impossible to detect.

As usual, the culprit in this case was alcohol. He had been drinking before and during the flight, which once again shows how dangerous in-flight booze can be, and how important it is for cabin crew to stop serving intoxicated passengers.

The 129 passengers (minus one) continued on to Las Vegas arriving about two hours late.

Denver airline kitchen full of roaches, ants and listeria

Earlier today, Tom wrote how airport food scores lower on the inspection chart than airline food.

That may be true for most places, but food prepared in the LSG Skychefs kitchen in Denver doesn’t match those findings.

When an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) inspection team paid a visit to the Denver kitchens of LSG , it found the kind of mess you’d expect from a big city restaurant with bad management.

Inside a facility in charge of making our airline meals, the FDA found so many insects, that they categorized them “TNTC” – too numerous to count.

It found roaches and ants in the repack area, wash rooms, cart washing stations, silverware station and even in the “hot” kitchen. In addition to this, they observed staff handling food with bare hands, water dripping from the ceiling, standing water and several other pretty serious violations.

The worst part, and the finding that frightens me the most, is that the FDA also found samples of Listeria on the floor in the hot kitchen. With poor results like this, it was only a matter of time before planeloads of passengers got sick from the food prepared by this kitchen. You can read the entire facility report here.

LSG Skychefs has had its classification lowered from “approved” to “provisional”, which means they’ll have one chance to be re-evaluated, and a failure will force the FDA to shut down the facility.

An LSG Skychefs representative said they can’t wait for the re-inspection and that they took immediate and effective action as soon as it learned from the findings. They make the whole incident sound fairly trivial by pointing out that they had not received any reports of illnesses or complaints from travelers.

Be sure to check out our breaking news about possible
new TSA rules resulting from last week’s attempted terrorist attack.



Woman goes berserk while waiting in line for the bathroom – plane diverts

Another week, another passenger loses her mind and starts beating up fellow passengers.

This time it involves a “large lady in her 60’s” who was in line for using the bathroom on her Southwest Airlines flight.

At one point, a fellow passenger bumps into her, and all hell broke loose.

The lady accused him of touching her, so she starts beating the crap out of him. Not content with just beating him up, she starts attacking a flight attendant and the 5 or 6 guys who jumped up to defend the flight attendant

At that point, the Detroit bound plane made an emergency landing in Denver where the “lady” was removed by local law enforcement. She is currently in federal custody and will probably face federal charges for disrupting her flight.

Seriously – what is it with these people? Don’t they read the news any more? Starting a flight on your flight – bad idea. Punching the flight attendant – bad idea.

According to FlightAware, the unscheduled stop lasted just under 2 hours.