- 2018 was a busy year for the aviation industry, with nearly four billion people from around the world estimated to have used airplanes to travel.
- While the vast majority of worldwide flights departed and landed without incident, several surprising stories featuring bad behavior by either passengers or crew members made headlines.
- Here were some of the most shocking airline stories of 2018.
It was a busy year for the aviation industry, with nearly four billion people from around the world estimated to have used airplanes to travel. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that 43,000 flights are operated into and out of the United States each day.
While the vast majority of worldwide flights departed and landed without incident, there were several times when shocking stories made headlines for the airline industry.
Perhaps no aviation incident gathered more headlines in 2018 than the engine explosion onboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which led to the death of Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two from New Mexico.
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But other airline stories made headlines this year for other, less tragic reasons. They include the Delta Air Lines passenger who stepped in the leftover feces of an emotional support dog, the United Airlines flight attendant who was said to be “drunk and disorderly” while onboard the plane, the monkey who escaped an American Airlines flight at San Antonio International Airport, the man who hopped the fence at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and ran onto the tarmac in his underwear, and, of course, the emotional-support squirrel.
Here were some of the most shocking airline stories of 2018:
A bomb cyclone snowstorm shut down John F. Kennedy International Airport (January)
Shortly after New Year’s, an epic snowstorm known as a “bomb cyclone” hit New York City, shutting down John F. Kennedy International Airport and setting up a four-day ordeal in which hundreds of flights were canceled and thousands of passengers were stranded, some for days on end. Passengers described themselves as “rationing blankets” and “looking like refugees.”
An American Airlines passenger reportedly had to be duct-taped and zip-tied after allegedly biting and kicking flight attendants (February)
After allegedly becoming irrational and violent on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Charlotte in February, an American Airlines passenger had to be zip-tied and duct-taped in order to protect fellow passengers.
That the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force stated in its criminal complaint that the passenger “knowingly and intentionally” interfered with the operating of the flight by “intimidating and assaulting” the flight crew.
A puppy reportedly died in an overhead bin on a United Airlines flight (March)
In a story that led to major changes in airline policy, a 10-month old French bulldog reportedly died on a United Airlines flight after its owners said they were forced to store it in an overhead bin by a flight attendant.