Plane Passenger Detained for Gross Bathroom Etiquette -- Hooray!

Say What!? 8

There is certain bad behavior I expect to get a passenger in trouble for while flying. For example, getting out of your seat when the pilot has instructed everyone to strap in; getting so drunk you make a scene and disturb others; and, of course, putting your hands on someone (be it crew or a fellow traveler). But I was surprised to hear that a Virgin Atlantic passenger was detained by FBI agents for not flushing the toilet.

According to the pilot of the Philly to San Fran flight, Salvatore Bevivino was the passenger from hell. First, he is accused of repeatedly pushing the call button to ask for a soda, rather than use the push-screen menu at the seat (as everyone was instructed to), neglected to flush after going to the bathroom, and was verbally abusive to flight attendants.

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When the plane landed, the captain pulled him aside "as a person of suspicion." At first Bevivino said he had no idea why he was being held, wondering if his darker, Italian complexion was confused for a Middle Eastern one. Alas, racial profiling was not the issue here. It was his pissy attitude. The captain asked him why he was yelling obscenities and about neglecting to flush, but Bevivino denied the claims. He was then taken away by FBI and TSA agents and is now suing Virgin Atlantic for $500,000 for the embarrassment, humiliation, mental anguish, and emotional distress.

While this seems like a ridiculous overreaction on the pilot’s part, I can't really blame him for wanting to put a belligerent and inconsiderate person in his place. How many times have you witnessed a rude, aggressive, and mean passenger who cares nothing about the other people around him? It’s nice to see someone who is allegedly being an in-flight a—hole not get away with it.

However, I don't take much issue with the constant drink requests -- sure, it was probably annoying, but c'mon. Though not taking care of his business in the bathroom is completely disgusting and certainly affects the rest of the passengers. I for one hate sitting near the bathroom precisely for this reason. We cannot rely on others to be clean and considerate when it comes to airplane bathrooms. It's just gross. But is this really worth a federal agent's time? Shouldn't they be looking for real threats?

Do you think the pilot overreacted?


Images via dpstyles/Flickr

airplanes, terrorism, travel


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LostS... LostSoul88

he wasn't detained for not flushing he was detained for his behavior before and after. Way to twist a story... Or should I say, STIR shit up. 

nonmember avatar michael

I think you mean Virgin America as Virgin Atlantic do not fly from San Fran to Philly or domestic in the USA.

Elizabeth Karma Eastman Aultman

wE JOKE - BUT TRULY - you do NOT want to  ever get on the TSA list for anything.  A 17 year old Canadian friend of ours came to visit in March.  I was told by Embassey and Consulate that we had done everything needed and that Canadians were allowed to stay up to 6 months as a visit - other countries only 3 months.  She had everything - passport, medical info, parental permission to travel and a round trip ticket.  She was held at Halifax Airport in Nove Scotia because she "fit the PROFILE of someone who enters the country legally BUT DOES NOT INTEND TO RETURN". That "profile" which we have been assured the TSA does not do - she did not own property in Canada ( she's 17 and lives with her .), she did not have a professional life to return to( she's 17!) etc.  After many minutes of very tense discussion while she sat in the floor of the Homeland security office and cried, he agreed that she could come for 1 week.  $700.00 for a round trip plane ticket for a one week trip - not to mention we had made reservations for things to do here and she had to have a new return ticket purchased.  The Consulate in Halifax told me "Homeland Security can do anything it wants"

Guest27 Guest27

You can be arrested for interfering with the flight attendant's duties. It sounds like he was met by agents because he was not following the directions of the flight crew, and verbally interfering with their job (not that he didn't flush). Passengers cannot touch, ignore, or argue with flight attendants commands because they are there to keep passengers safe while in the air (not to only serve drinks). 

Katy Khan

@elizabeth, that would have been immigration and not the tsa and they have no power to determine how long someone stays. Something is missing from your story.

tuffy... tuffymama

Using TSA and FBI thugs to knuckle down on a guy who pisses you off? Serious abuse of power, IMO. I am deeply offended and disturbed by rude assholes in a confined space like a plane or train, and I STILL believe this was an overblown reaction.

Kaylen Diane Pickering

Yes I think it was a little over the top but this guy needed at least to be put on a list to not be aloud on that company's plans I mean cussing at people who were just trying to do their jobs?

nonmember avatar Joe

Nope the Pilot was right the guy was being a disgusting pig and should be publicly humiliated for lack of bathroom etiquette.

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