By Ken Hegan for MSN
Last Thursday, an American Airlines flight left LAX in Los Angeles at 3:30 pm. The flight was bound for JFK in New York. But at 6:06 pm the plane had to make an emergency landing at Kansas City International Airport.
Apparently the flight crew was concerned about a terrorist on board. And by that, I mean an unruly passenger who would not stop singing Whitney Houston songs.
In this passenger-shot video, you’ll see the unnamed woman singing Houston’s big hit “I Will Always Love You” as she’s yanked from her imaginary spotlight.
“The woman was being disruptive and was removed from the plane for interfering with the flight crew,” airport spokesman Joe McBride told KCTV news. “There was a federal air marshal on the aircraft, who subdued the woman and put her in cuffs and removed her from the plane.”
The video stops abruptly after a flight attendant warns the audience/remaining passengers to not take photographs. But I bet the remaining passengers burst into applause when ‘Whitney’ was finally ejected.
The plane took off again at 7:11 pm, leaving the woman behind in Kansas City. According to KCTV news, she was grilled by authorities then “released without any charges” and (no surprise here) American Airlines refused to fly her on to NYC.
It’s a strange incident, to be sure. It’s not often you can be that consistently annoying for hours on end, unless you’re 13-year-old soccer players on a roadtrip singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” Seems this woman is drunk, high, and/or is suffering from a stressful mental condition. If this happened five years ago, this would’ve been the actual Whitney Houston herself.
But here’s where the story gets really weird for me. When someone asked the airport spokesman why the woman wouldn’t stop screeching Whitney Houston songs, he replied that “the woman reportedly claimed she was diabetic.”
Wait, what? I’ve heard that symptoms of diabetes include unquenchable thirst, frequent urination, weight loss, fatigue, tingling and numbness in hands and feet. But an insatiable urge to croon power ballads?
Does that sound completely made up to you?
I guess the next time I’m acting like a jackass on a plane, I can avoid fines or jail time simply by claiming I have diabetes. Interesting.
Normally I just tell everybody that I suffer from Tourette’s, but if diabetes gets me more sympathy, I’ll run with that condition instead.
What do you think…should she have been removed? Or did this violate the woman’s right to deliver a soul-stirring, heart-rending anthem?
— Ken Hegan
Read more of Ken’s travel stories here
Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan