When planning a flight, add a little extra time for the disruptive passenger

If there’s a worse form of transportation than an airline flight these days, what is it?

There might be some modes that are slower, but the chances are it doesn’t come with the disruptive passenger, which has suddenly become as common on flights as the person who tries to shove a cello in the overhead bin.

Here are our latest contestants in the game.

Blake Adam Fleisig, 35, of Los Angeles, and Christine Anne Koosmann, 36, were on Delta flight 2565 to Los Angeles last night when they became disruptive. So the pilots turned back to Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport.

Delta issued this statement today:

“The flight crew of Delta 2565 from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Los Angeles elected to return to Minneapolis shortly after takeoff when two passengers refused to follow crew instructions, became aggressive and created a disruption in the cabin. The passengers were removed by local law enforcement. The flight re-departed without further incident. The safety of Delta customers and employees is our top priority.”

In November, Delta banned a passenger for life after he shouted about the election of Donald Trump.

That’s a tactic that should catch on, except that it will ruin life on Amtrak.

  • It seems pretty likely alcohol was involved…

    • Jerry

      I’ve never understood the appeal of being drunk on an airplane. Of course, I’ve never understood the appeal of being drunk most other places that are not a bar or a party.

      • Kassie

        I think people who are afraid of flying drink. Then they drink too much and do dumb shit. Or, some people are alcoholics.

        • Or you have to get to an airport now so stupidly early that there’s nothing much else to do but go have a drink or three.

          • I’ve put plenty of steps on the Fitbit at LAX & MSP. That’s a better way to spend the time.

          • Gary F

            Especially if you can expense it or someone else is paying.

      • Zachary

        plus, it drys you out and you wake up with a killer headache. Nothing like going through European security with a pounding head. I’ll have a beer with dinner, but that’s it.

  • Mike Worcester

    Disrupting a flight is a federal crime, right? I hope those two folks learn their lesson when instead of a mail-in ticket, they get taken in front of a federal judge who, if s/he has flown at all, would recognize their behavior as one they *never* hope to deal with. (I’m knocking on the nearest piece of wood that I don’t ever have to either. Flying is bad enough these days w/out a duo of village idiots ruining the experience.)

  • John O.

    It won’t ruin life on Amtrak. They will just offload that person’s sorry butt at the next stop.

    • Anna

      If you violate the smoking ban, they’ll kick your butt off. They did it on my last trip with Amtrak.

      My motto; Don’t fly unless you have to. The train is more relaxed and the people are a lot more friendly and not in a bad way.

      • rallysocks

        I traveled by train from London to Canterbury which wasn’t long enough. I really want to get the entire experience. I’m not a ‘let’s get there in the fastest possible time’ kind of traveler.’

        And frankly, the last few times we’ve flown have been miserable experiences. Being herded into a germ tube and squished into uncomfortable seats even for a couple of hours has no appeal to me. And that’s assuming the airline even HAS a seat for you. Our last flying ordeal involved overbooking and the fee we paid for our exact seats apparently meant nothing.

        I concur–do not fly unless you have to.

        • Anna

          Take a trip on the City of New Orleans from Chicago to New Orleans and arrange a sleeper berth like Kassie. You could probably do a sleeper berth from St. Paul to Chicago, too.

          I took the train to Louisiana for my father’s funeral and I had a great time and I definitely wasn’t herded into a germ tube and squished into an uncomfortable seat. My son lives across the river from La Crosse, WI and I got a regular seat for that leg of the journey which was really good.

          The conductors are great people. They ask you when you would like your bed turned down. They usually do it while you’re at supper.

          Meals are family style seating so you never know who will be at your table which is all part of the experience. I met some great people on that trip.

          The conductor on the trip down went to high school in my hometown of Baton Rouge. When we got delayed and I thought I would miss my rental car connection in Hammond, he offered to drive me to Baton Rouge from New Orleans as he was headed home for his vacation at the same time I was going to be in town.

          You can change your itinerary as long as you do it at least 24 hours before your departure time and there are no penalties.

          What’s not to like?

          • rallysocks

            New Orleans is another train trip that’s been discussed…thanks for the info!

  • Zachary

    Why do people get so hostile while flying? I hate flying, but since I have to do it for work occasionally, I just hunker down and make it go as smoothly as I can.

    • Rob

      Pro tip: taking a couple of valium right before departure helps with the hunkering down and ensures that things go smoothly.

      • crystals

        Xanax & noise canceling headphones. Don’t leave home without them.

  • Kassie

    We just booked Amtrak tickets for Portland this morning. I’m so very excited. Even if someone is being obnoxious, you can get up and move. We each get a bed and with sleeper car tickets, food is free.

    • chlost

      Please update at some point as to how you like it. I would love to travel to Portland or Seattle, and the Empire Builder going through Glacier National Park would be wonderful. But family members did not have a good experience on it. About three years ago, they were delayed several hours by ND oil trains, which seemed to have priority for track use.

      • Kassie

        We are going in February, so unfortunately, we will be going through Glacier in the dark. We are considering taking it back too, but will probably fly back since it is a 36 hour trip.

        • Anna

          Another delay in winter is frozen track switches. It can’t be avoided because Amtrak doesn’t own its own tracks. They have agreements with Canadian Pacific.

          You can be delayed for up to two hours if higher priority trains are ahead of you once the switches are working again.

          However, if you’re concerned about making transportation connections they will help you as much as they can, even calling ahead to your chosen transportation to see if they will wait for you.

          Word to the wise, get to meals right when they start serving because popular items frequently run out.

          • Kassie

            Interesting about the food. I was reading that there are three dinner services and that the earliest ones fill up fast. Since we are normally late eaters I thought we too would just go for the latest one, but maybe not.

            A two hour delay won’t bother us, though I’ve heard when there are longer delays, they run out of coffee and that would NOT be ok.

          • John

            This is why I always bring my own coffee with me when I travel. (that and poor quality hotel coffee). Portland is a coffee mecca though. YOu won’t need your own once you get there.

          • Bob Sinclair

            Correction: From MSP to the west coast the tracks are owned by BNSF. They are much better at making sure Amtrak is not delayed to much. In addition with the decline in traffic and the improvements in capacity, the delays should be minor.

        • Jack

          If you are “lucky”, the train will run late and you will get to see Glacier. We had that happen years ago and it really is awesome to see as the rails are right next to the river and the scenery is beautiful.

          Travelling by train is so much more relaxing if you don’t have to worry about getting somewhere by a certain time.

    • rallysocks

      I sooooo want to go to the Pacific NW via train. A travelogue of sorts from you would be awesome.

  • Dan

    “You better keep walking”
    “You better f**k-your-ssss-stuck-ng…Uhhhghghgh”

    Nice comeback.

    • Postal Customer

      “Why! Fer what? Fer what…”

      then: “mooooo”

  • Gary F

    You “forgot” Ivanka Trump. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q30dy5o3M8M

    • crystals

      For starters, one of these incidents actually happened in our community so I’d say that obviously makes it more relevant.

      For another, one of these individuals is a very public figure who – like it or not – is going to hear tough stuff about how people feel about her and her family. That’s what happens when you have the kind of influence that she does, and when you very publicly vouch for your dad’s qualifications to be our president. Do I think this particular incident, which happened in front of her kids, is helpful? Not really. The guy got kicked off the plane. He should have.

      Finally, not everything has to be about politics and keeping score.

    • Rob

      YAWN

  • Michelle

    My son in law was on a flight from Dallas to Mpls a few weekends ago. He sat down in his window seat and the guy in the aisle seat sat down and proceeded to pass out (alcohol induced). One hour into the flight aisle guy threw up all over himself. The crew could not rouse him. Crew could not clean him up (bio hazard) so SIL was stuck for 2 more air hours and a 50 minute tarmac delay sitting next to that. They had no place else to seat him. SIL is a platinum member for American so they reimbursed major miles to him. No amount of miles would have been enough for me! Like Zachary said–just hunker down and fly.

    • Kassie

      I’ve been on a plane where someone puked just from air sickness and the smell was terrible and almost made me throw up too. I don’t think I could sit next to someone who had puke all over them without puking too.

  • John

    Has anyone traveled by bus lately? That seems like it could be worse, but for different reasons. I’ve heard some horror stories about bus travel.

    • Kassie

      I had a friend take the Greyhound to Des Moines and I don’t think it was that bad. I’ve heard great things and horror stories about Mega Bus to Chicago.

      • Jeff C.

        Two Megabus stories I’ve heard – One was about a driver who refused to stop playing a movie on all the bus TV screens at 3am. Another was about a passenger who woke up with his earbuds still in his ears but the phone that they were plugged into was gone.

  • Rob

    Flying is a misery, mos’ def. Going first class definitely reduces the “sardines packed in a tin box” aspect, but still doesn’t raise air travel to an enjoyable experience. And as costly as first class is, it’s not something I’m able to do routinely. But if someone does hurl in first class, at least there’s room to get away from the hurler.

  • Jeff C.

    If I drive from the Cities to Boston, it takes around 24 hours plus stops – so either 2 12-hour days or 3 8-hour days. I flew there last week and I left my home at 7:45am, arrived at my destination about 12 hours later and those 12 hours included the flight as well as time in a museum, a stop to have my favorite sandwich and a few other stops along with a nice walk. Flying might not be fun but neither is every moment of a road trip. I’d rather accept that it won’t be a fun time and get the traveling done.

    • Ha. You take I-90, don’t you? Well there’s your problem.

      • Jeff C.

        It varies. I love taking I-80 through PA, which is wonderfully beautiful, especially after driving through Ohio. Once I included a stop at Letchworh State Park in NY which was a little off I-90 and one of my kids listed it as their favorite stop on the drive. Another time I took I-90 to Niagara Falls and then went north of Lake Erie, through Canada, and then through Michigan and then through the U.P. and northern WI. All had their lovely moments. But that many hours in a car is going to have its sucky moments, too.

  • Postal Customer

    Was that Christine doin the yappin?

  • ellie

    Let’s not pick on the innocent cellists of the world. I’m sure they don’t want the baggage handlers getting hold of their instrument…. “Because United Breaks Guitars”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo

  • Jerry

    “If there’s a worse form of transportation than an airline flight these days, what is it?”

    Greyhound.