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The worst behaved first-class flight passengers
  • Thought bad behaviour was only found in economy? We've rounded up the worst first-class flight passengers that will make you think again. From wealthy travellers demanding champagne to thieving flyers selling on the silver cutlery, these are the unruliest first-class passengers ever....
  • A 15-hour Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne was held up in 2012 when two first-class passengers threw a tantrum and refused to fly after they were told there no XL-sized pyjamas. The Australians complained about not receiving the complimentary sleepwear in their size and were offered business class PJs but were still not happy. They decided not to fly and their baggage was offloaded.
  • A top executive at Korean Air literally went nuts when she flew first-class on the airline in 2014. Cho Hyun-ah, who is the chairman's daughter, was forced to resign and sentenced to jail after becoming enraged when she was served a bag of macadamia nuts instead of nuts on a plate. She forced the taxiing flight from New York to Seoul to return to the gate to replace the steward. Mrs Cho was charged for using violence against flight crew and forcing a flight to change its normal route.

  • When a 23-year-old passenger Joseph Hudek IV tried to open an emergency exit door during a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Beijing in 2017, a flight attendant tried to stop him but he threw a punch forcing crew to break "two bottles of wine on his head" before he was restrained. One passenger said: "I tried to choke him and he just threw me off like a rag doll." When the flight landed, Mr Hudek was arrested and the flight attendant and another passenger were taken to hospital.
  • A pensioner was held at Shannon Airport in Ireland after she became disruptive on-board a transatlantic flight and allegedly assaulted a flight attendant in 2015. The 79-year-old woman was travelling in the first class cabin of an Air Canada flight from Frankfurt to Toronto when cabin crew were forced to restrain her and the flight was diverted to Ireland. They had to dump aviation fuel over the Atlantic to ensure they could land within safe weight limits and the woman was arrested upon arrival.
  • A wealthy British Airways passenger was arrested in 2016 after using his phone to film up a stewardess' skirt. Businessman Martyn Vaughan, 61, allegedly pushed the handset up the 26-year-old woman's skirt when she leaned over to serve another passenger. He was arrested when the flight from Heathrow to Cape Town landed and later let off with a £13 fine, while the flight attendant was said to be "distressed and devastated".
  • In one of the most bizarre first-class incidents ever, a passenger was arrested in 2011 for stealing up to £10,000 worth of plates, napkins and cutlery on various first-class Air France flights over three years. The 28-year-old man stashed away goods including glasses, cups and blankets before selling these on the internet. Air France eventually learned of his antics and alerted authorities who traced him via his IP address.
  • A drunk honeymooner on a Delta flight from Japan to Hawaii punched a flight attendant after he got upset when they would not clear away his meal tray. The steward said his hands were full and Kenji Okamoto allegedly "threw a roundhouse type punch" at a flight attendant who intervened. The passenger was flying first-class to his honeymoon destination and cabin crew noticed he was drunk before take-off. The crew told authorities that Okamoto apologised while crying and remained calm for the rest of the flight, eventually falling asleep. He was banned from flying with Delta again and missed his honeymoon when he was arrested at the airport.
  • Singer Courtney Love was arrested at Heathrow in 2003 when she "verbally abused" crew members on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles after she complained about staff not allowing her friend to sit with her in first class. Love was released with a caution for "causing harassment, alarm and distress" after nine hours in custody. The crew said they tried to calm her down but she refused to take her seat and put on her seatbelt.
  • Police were forced to arrest a first-class passenger at gunpoint on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle when the passenger made threats that that "he would shoot other passengers or blow up the plane". The incident in 2017 saw the flight crew report that "they possibly had an armed passenger on the plane." Four police officers immediately boarded the aircraft as it taxied to a terminal. Police and Fire Chief Jesse Davis said: "We also had checked the plane and interviewed witnesses, and it appears that there was no weapon."
  • A Delta flight from Atlanta to Costa Rica was diverted in 2012 because an "unruly" couple from Germany reportedly refused to sit down unless they were given champagne. The pair, who were seated in first class, denied the incident, but the captain took the precaution of making a diversion to Florida, where they were removed from the flight.