Should Airline Passengers Undergo IQ Tests Before Flying?

Going to get aboard my trusty soapbox here in just a sec, but first a question for you:

What do these three situations have in common?

Scenario #1 – A man allegedly banged on the cockpit door of a SkyWest flight heading from Helena to Salt Lake City earlier this month; according to news reports,  the airline passenger claimed he was a space alien and wanted to fly the plane. Fortunately, a rodeo champion who also happened to be on the flight grabbed the apparently deluded guy. “That cowboy saved the day for sure,” said an admiring passenger.

Scenario #2 –  Two women attempted to take the dead body of an old man aboard their flight out of Liverpool’s John Lennon International; despite their best efforts – they bundled up the corpse nicely, and even put a pair of sunglasses on him – it didn’t work. They were ratted out by an airline employee assigned to push the old man’s wheelchair; the employee sensed something amiss when the corpse flopped over: “To my horror his face fell sideways against mine,” said the employee, adding “It was ice cold.”

Scenario #3 – A British woman apparently got rowdy aboard a flight from Los Angeles to London and at one point,  the woman went into the plane’s lavatory to imbibe some liquid soap. Later, she allegedly tried to bite a crew member’s leg and “snapped like a dog.” After she was taken into custody, she reportedly told authorities, “I sometimes do crazy things.”

What these three scenarios all have in common is – passengers behaving badly. Passengers who give the rest of us mild-mannered types a bad name. Makes you wonder why they were ever issued airline tickets to begin with. Whatever happened to self-control – let alone, common sense?

Actually in the case of scenario #1, some common sense was exhibited: it seems a friend of the self-proclaimed extraterrestial got so concerned about his buddy’s behavior that he decided to get on the plane with him and escort him home – but the plan fell apart when the friend slept through the entire incident.

Scenario #2, according to police, may have simply been an attempt at thriftiness; sometimes it costs less to fly in coach than to be shipped as “remains” in cargo. But ladies, please – have a little respect.

Some would say scenario #3 was a matter of control, but I’m no psychologist; I would, however, have advised against mixing pills and booze – which is what the woman reportedly told authorities she’d done.

It seems a month doesn’t go by without some new and bizarre incident involving a passenger making the news, and I for one am a little tired of it.

How about an IQ test for passengers? Or at least a “common sense test” – or maybe, a breathalyzer? Then at least perhaps the rest of us could get a little shut-eye on our flights – and not have to worry about a suspiciously silent seatmate who refuses to rise when you have to make a lavatory run – or worry about whether there will be any soap left when you get there.

Oh, forget the tests – the airlines would probably charge us a fee for them.

But seriously, if you ever find yourself as the innocent party in any of the above situations, press your flight attendant call button – immediately.

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Published: May 4, 2010