Is anyone else fed up with hearing all these intolerable stories about maskeless, entitled, bigoted transgressors on airplanes?
When my partner and I took our first airline trip after the pandemic eased to Miami, he and I were instantly shocked at how rude people were while we were getting on the flight. I guess all that iniquity was a harbinger. When I went to sit in my seat, a woman was sitting in it, and so I started to gently tell her she was sitting in my seat. What happened next was unreal.
She just started to talk over me. “That’s my son across the aisle, and my seat is behind his, and I’d rather sit across from him, so can you go sit in my seat? It’s right over there?” No please, no thank you, and with a mask around her throat instead of her big mouth.
Moving my seat would have meant that I wouldn’t be sitting next to my partner. “I’m sorry, but my partner and I are traveling together, so there doesn’t seem much of a difference if you’re sitting behind or next to your son.”
And from there it went downhill. She raised her voice and said, “How would you know if it makes a difference or not? Are you a parent? Who are you to tell me what’s better for my son. I want this seat, and there’s no reason the two of you can’t be apart for a couple of hours.”
You can take that however you want, but clearly, she was calling out our sexuality.
I was pissed but remained calm, so we went and got a flight attendant, and she politely told the woman that she needed to sit in her assigned seat. The woman was enraged, and for the entire flight, her husband, who was sitting elsewhere, hovered over my seat, while their kid kicked and screamed and ran up and down the aisle. While the woman and her husband talked at an octave that matched the engine of the airplane, neither one of them had their masks over their mouths.
COVID-19 or not, they made the flight horrendous, and their conduct was beyond insufferable. When we flew back to New York, we were seriously worried that they would be on the return flight. Why should their obnoxiousness ruin our trip or make us anxious?
What’s going on with people on airplanes? Why are these hateful people ruining everyone else's trips and clogging up the news cycle with their disruptive depravity?
We just reported on a woman who flew into a homophobic fit because she wouldn’t wear a mask. From our story, the woman, was identified as Dallas-area real estate agent Kelci Cashman, who was heard in the video yelling “Faggot!” and saying, “You think I talk to my kids about same-sex marriage. No, we don’t talk about that. But if we all want to talk about it, let’s talk about it.” She was, thankfully, kicked off the plane.
We also reported that the Los Angeles Blade was able to identify her, via the comments section under the viral video of her going off, in front of the children she was with no less, and that the Dallas Morning News reported about the incident, and didn’t use her name. We used her name, and I’m glad!
According to a report on ABC News, the FAA this week announced that there were nearly 100 more in-flight incidents with unruly passengers last week. This was a record number that was actually established the week before, which broke a record the week before that. Is it ever going to end? And how do we stop this?
This year's total so far is 3,509, and that was as of Monday. According to the report, an overwhelming majority of these incidents, 2,605, involve passengers who refuse to comply with the federal mask mandate.
I have had it with people who won’t wear masks, or think that their feces doesn’t stink, and when these people get on an airplane, all their miserable selfishness puts everyone else on that plane at risk.
For the anti-maskers, isn't it a shame that the airlines and the FAA are infringing on their liberties? These people probably aren’t vaccinated as well, and they’re taking their cues from all the detestable motormouths on Newsmax and Fox. So, when they get on an airplane, it’s more important for them to spew their venom than it is to be considerate.
And while they are vomiting their vituperation, the Delta variant is no doubt leaping from their lips. Are they getting on the plane, knowing that if they don’t wear masks, they are going to be kicked off? Is this all an attempt to get their warped message out in the mainstream?
They are not only spreading their life-threatening opinions, but also their life-threatening germs. These individuals love conspiracy theories. So, is this their ploy to try to sicken more people with their sickening sense of reality? Is this their attempt at homegrown terrorism? Less insurrectionist, more insipidness?
Why are these people getting on these planes in the first place? Can’t the airlines mandate that the gate attendant flag these people before they board? If they aren’t wearing the masks in the waiting area, then clearly, they won’t wear the masks on the plane. So, how are they getting through? I’m not here to blame the airlines, but this nonsense has to stop, and the airlines need to be more vigilant about who they’re letting on these flights.
I’m sorry, but I’m just going to say it. These are low-lives. Most particularly the ones who accost the flight attendants, and the other passengers, and proceed to spray germs and racist and homophobic bile all across the aircraft. Their names need to be shouted from 30,000 feet, spread across social media and the internet. They need to be identified, called out, ridiculed, and lambasted.
So, are we just stooping to their level if we harass them just like they harass us? No, because there are more of us good people out there than there are of the deplorable (Hillary Clinton was right!). We need to call them out, splash those videos all over the internet, and use their names in news articles.
The world needs to know exactly who they are, then hopefully they lose their jobs, their livelihoods, and can’t afford to fly anymore. That will keep them off airplanes. And if this sounds too harsh, so be it.
Now, to the uncouth and insolent lady who tried to take my seat and assumed my sexuality meant I wasn’t a parent. Not only do I regret not telling you to F off, but I also wish that I would have filmed our encounter, and put it all over the social spheres, so that someone would have identified you. Then I would have been able to end this column with your name and address.
John Casey is editor-at-large for The Advocate.