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Good Holiday Ideas | July 21, 2024

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Scary flights

Scary flights

If British airports weren’t bad enough in peak season, there can be an even worse problem ahead when you board – having to sit next to a nightmare passenger, says editor John Hill, who has had more than his fair share of scary flight fellows.

My most embarrassing was on a flight from Tel Aviv back to London, when a very polite bearded man begged me to swap my business class window seat for one a few rows behind, and I stupidly agreed without first checking, because my new seat was next to his dear wife. When I enquired why the change the chap quite brazenly revealed that he could not sit beside his wife was because she was unclean. So, I asked the stewardess who said that the woman was menstruating and for religious reasons could not be accompanied by her husband.

An even worse case arose in India, when my fellow passenger, a holy man, turned up in a sari and sandals, and started picking his smelly feet and toes, but Mr Stinky was sent up to the front after I and other passengers complained.

On a US flight from Dallas to Gatwick I was moved from the window seat to an aisle seat to allow a shotgun-totting sheriff to place a sweaty man he was escorting and handcuffed him to my chair arms, and when the man had had to take a loo break, the sheriff had to be called from behind to unchain him and accompany him to the rest rooms.

On making a protest the police officer informed fellow passengers that that criminals such as my fellow passenger had to be placed in First Class to avoid them being recognised by the flying public (as if this were a great method of hiding the man from public gaze). Though it is oft the case with many airlines, who give no good reason.

On a return from LA to Heathrow I had to sit beside Storming Norman Schwarzkopf on bulk-head seats and the grumpy Allies Gulf war leader warned me to never move or disturb him as he had just taken a 10-hour sleeping pill and wanted to sleep undisturbed all the way to his London meeting.

Nearing the UK I felt the call of nature and asked a steward to help haul me over the sleeping, snoring hunk without disturbing him. Fine, but on returning to my seat I had to perform a tricky balancing act to get back to my seat and had my trailing foot grabbed in mid air by the big man who muttered frigging Brits, you should have pissed your pants. I need my sleep as I am having a NATO meet to see how we sort out the cave men – Ruskies to you and me.’

On a very full flight to Larnaca I had to sit beside Cyprus’s 25-stone weightlifting champion who ate and drank from start to finish including full English breakfast, two lunches and endless sandwiches, forcing fellow passengers to get a stewardess to stand by and spray all-round the odorous big man.

My saddest flight was having to share a first-class double seat with a young Irish priest being sent home to the Canterbury area to be unfrocked by his bishop after having a fling with his female exchange partner in Denver. She was the city’s probation officer, a large lady called Cindy Lou, who Father Anthony accompanied on night car patrols.

When I asked him if he had ever been tempted by his over-hot working partner continually undressing down to underwear in the patrol car on steaming hot nights Father Anthony’s woeful reply was ‘yes sir, but only once, just once and her bosses sued my church for molesting a colleague.’!

Sex toys alert

Ladies flying out on summer breaks could face a truly embarrassing problem on landing if they take their sex toys to the Middle East, because customs men search all incoming baggage and are likely to confiscate the offending goodies and impose a hefty fine for insulting behaviour!

Saudi Arabia Is the worst country to be caught with a dildo or vibrating toy – or even light clothing as one of our Good Holiday reporters was seized on arrival by male customs officials, who hauled her behind the security screen, removed her new Armani tropical business suit and then lashed her arms and legs, which they deemed to be too bare. Dear crying Jilly was then marched back to her plane and sent back to the UK, minus a sex toy gift for a Saudi friend which had been confiscated while she was being punished. Apparently most Middle East countries, including The Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Qatar have similar rulings. So check in advance on what to take and what to wear! Or stay at home.