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?

 

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