Is there anything more stressful than traveling by air these days? No. No is the answer because there is nothing worse. Oh, I’m sure there are equally horrid things to do, but the very specific stress induced by air travel? It is horrible, but at least you usually end up going where you wanted to go.
According to the Times of Israel, last week a plane traveling from Newark, NJ to Tel Aviv was turned around an hour and a half into the flight by the exasperated pilot after a confrontation between cabin crew and …well, squatters. It seems that two people, seeing that the plane was half empty, took it upon themselves to upgrade their seats from Economy Class to the roomier and quite a bit more expensive Business Class. When they were approached by cabin crew asking to see their boarding passes to confirm that these were in fact the seats they had purchased, the two refused.
What a great plan! And of course it worked, right? Because the cabin crew, having been met with an infallible argument the likes of “No!” realized they had been bested and returned dejectedly to their area, right?
Not even close.
The confrontation grew more and more heated until the pilot, having no alternative but to make good on that promise parents have been making to kids since the beginning of time, turned that plane around and took everyone right back to Newark where, upon arrival, the two errant passengers were promptly arrested, though no charges have been filed, and the flight was canceled.
And the good passengers who stayed in their seats and acted appropriately? Well, they got to spend a complimentary night in Newark where I am absolutely certain their air travel stresses just melted away.