Drunk American Airlines Passenger Lights Napkins On Fire

An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing after an inebriated and drugged-out American Airlines passenger lit some napkins on fire.

His seatmate reportedly threw down her DVD player and alerted flight attendants. They gave him an extremely stern talking to and tried to figure out what the hell he was doing.

The lady who sat next to him was reportedly upset and crying for the rest of the flight.

The passenger was booked and taken to jail after the plane landed.

“He won’t be flying on American Airlines anymore,” said an American Airlines spokesman.

Guess there’s been a good reason all along that the TSA has been collecting our lighters all these years.

Lit passenger lights up napkin on American Airlines flight [Dallas Morning News]


Edit Your Comment

  1. balthisar says:

    You’ve been allowed to fly with lighters again for a year or two now.

    Dumb question: is it actually against the law to start a non-tobacco fire on board an aircraft? I don’t mean “common sense,” but, really, is it documented in a regulation anywhere?

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      You mean like, wacky tobacky?

      • Kryndar says:

        “We are now over international waters.”
        *Cheers from the passengers*

        Hmm actually yes, that would be the best counter terrorist method, make an airtight cockpit and hotbox the passenger section. Get all the potential terrorist so stoned they can’t be arsed to actually do anything.

        • INsano says:

          /pilot giggle

          “So…this cockpit is airtight right?”

          /louder giggle
          “Thass what they tell us–you’ll be way up in the air, but not high”
          /uncontrolled laughter

        • Conformist138 says:

          Imagine how much less stressful being stuck in a long queue would be if everyone was giggling, eating peanuts, and watching Cheech & Chong. “What, we’re over 2 hours and we have to back to the terminal? NO!”

    • Trance says:

      Depending on what is set on fire, it could be arson.
      On a plane, I imagine you can claim some sort of menacing or disturbing the peace sort of crime.

    • Griking says:

      Why would a passengers need to carry on matches or lighters?

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        clearly you’ve never ended up on an island in the middle of nowhere or crash landed in the tundra. all those lighters and matches in with the checked baggage could be miles away or soaked!

    • Jdavis says:

      It’s called arson.

      • balthisar says:

        But it’s not arson if you light just a napkin on fire. It depends on both your intentions and the end result.

    • Mr. Pottersquash says:

      theres a catch-all “disturbance” regulation

    • Mr.Grieves says:

      It’s not against government law, at least no specific ones I know of besides arson.

      However FAA has regulations prohibiting any kind of fire on board (besides those starting from the plane itself, which need to be taken care of lol). Also do not smoke in the lavatories, airline aircraft have smoke detectors in there, they will know, and you will be apprehended by TSA goons on landing.

  2. Nighthawke says:

    That is why lemon-soaked napkins are handed out… Much harder to set on fire you see…

  3. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    His seatmate threw reportedly threw down her DVD player and alerted flight attendants.

    At least they didn’t throw the seatmate off the plane for making accusations.

  4. NotEd says:

    Maybe he was upset about the puppies….

  5. c!tizen says:

    Yes, but was the pilot’s BAC checked?

  6. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    How was the passenger booked on the plane? Did they have an line up room and mug shot booth on the plane? ;P

  7. rpm773 says:

    “He won’t be flying on American Airlines anymore,” said an American Airlines spokesman.

    Lucky him. But there’s probably a better way to have this to happen.

    • dreamfish says:

      Are airlines allowed to ban people for life?

      • smo0 says:

        No Fly List… don’t they report these to TSA? I’m sure he’d be lucky if he was ever allowed to fly again….

        • dreamfish says:

          Doesn’t that mean they’d have to have him labelled as a terrorist to get on that list?

          • Link_Shinigami says:

            There’s been reports of 6year olds being on the no-fly list… And it being enforced. It was an article on gizmodo I think 2 or so years ago… It was eventually revoked, but still, I doubt a 6yr old is a terrorist and I doubt they’d have a reason to look at a 6yr old girl with pig tails and go “Nope, you’re secretly a bomb, never fly again”

          • smo0 says:

            Setting a napkin on fire can be construed as an act of terrorism…

      • Powerlurker says:

        Sure, they can simply refuse to sell tickets to that person. Like when a store has one of those signs that says “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone”

  8. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Well, on the plus side, I just got a Zippo ZAC and a OtterBox Zippo case, so if I ever need to fly again, and they change the regulation, I’m safe.

  9. smo0 says:

    There are too many comments to +1 on this…

    you guys know who you are….

  10. shockwaver1 says:

    Great, now we will be limited to 1 (one) piece of paper measuring not larger then 5mmx3mm, and it must be sealed in a clear plastic ziploc bag for inspection during screening.

  11. Dutchess says:

    “The lady who sat next to him was reportedly upset and crying for the rest of the flight”

    Seriously…are people THIS fragile? Or was she mad that her DVD player was broke for the rest of the flight?

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I’m guessing the DVD player.
      I can’t imagine someone crying for an entire flight because some drunk dude was playing with his lighter.

      • kjs87 says:

        I can imagine it if she was anxious about flying already. Being faced with your own mortality in a situation where you already feel so out of control of whether you live or die could make a normally reasonable person panic. It’s like any other phobia, you can get a grip on it to a large extent, but if you’re pushed and way out of your comfort zone, it’s understandable if you freak out.

    • Cameraman says:

      Some people are terrified of flying, and don’t have the option of saying “no” when their boss telss them to fly. So they fly but are extremely on edge for the entire duration of the flight. Having The Joker sitting next to you and setting his seat of fire seems like exactly the kind of thing calculated to push them over. Besides, I’d be suprised if the guy was perfectly normal and well adjusted right up to the point where he decided to flick his Bic. Even if she had no problem with flying normally, she was probably on her last nerve at the point where she had to go all Backdraft with her Coby.

      Tl;dr: Don’t be so judgemental.

      • Elcheecho says:

        he can be judgemental if he wants to be. if you have a job that requires you to fly and a condition that makes you terrified to fly, sorry that is a choice. a choice which i find amusing.

        • Clyde Barrow says:

          You’re borderline retarded and honestly are you 15 years old?

        • Cameraman says:

          I’m scared of heights. My last job required me to be on a ladder a lot. I am less scared of heights than I am of starving to death or dying of exposure. That doesn’t mean going up on a ladder sucks less.

          Luckily, my current job involves sitting in a comfy chair, indoors, wearing a headset and talking to people all day long. Also, sometimes I have to type a little. I am eminently greatful for the chair, and the air conditioning, and the fact that the worst injury I am likely to sustain in my current job is carpal tunnel syndrome (and this job has health insurance, too- so carpal tunnel won’t be the end of the world!).

          To summarize: you, sir or madam or neuter, are a tool.

    • aloria says:

      I was about to say the same thing. I know there are some people who freak out about flying, but that’s usually worrying about the plane crashing. Even my mom, who used to steal my anti-anxiety drugs whenever she needed to fly, wouldn’t start crying… but then again she is not the OMG TERRORISTS type.

  12. ARP says:

    I know they fine poeple for this, but what if they could fine someone the full cost of the emergency landing (e.g. cabin time, crew time, landing fees, fuel costs, full/part ticket prices for each passenger). Maybe a $75,000 fine might convince them not to get drunk if a few nights in jail won’t.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Rational decisions that weigh the consequences are not the hallmarks of a drunk person.

    • vastrightwing says:

      Great idea! I see a business opportunity: wait for a passenger to get out of line (using your discretion) then charge them for the costs of diverting the plane, with a small profit. BRILLIANT!

  13. Straspey says:

    This guy was on his way to flight school to join that other drunken pilot from yesterday’s story.

  14. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Am I the only one who laughed at this headline?
    Sounds liek something in a movie or cartoon.

  15. exoxe says:

    Man, you can’t do anything on an airplane anymore…

  16. ColoradoShark says:

    From the article: “flight attendants asked another passenger to watch the misbehaving passenger until the airplane landed at San Francisco International, and the flamer behaved from that point.”

    They asked a passenger to watch him? Hopefully he was being watched while trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and being used as an extra seat cushion by three people.

  17. DariusC says:

    Strange, I have been bringing zippos on planes for years and nobody cares… perhaps because I had a government ID and they know I wouldn’t screw my life over just to cause a fuss.

    Pretty soon they will breathalize people to get on planes and take drug tests. Big brother is coming! :/

    • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

      How much of a running start did you need in order to make that leap?

  18. Shadowman615 says:

    So this story leaves a few nagging questions.

    Mainly, did the DVD player break?

  19. mbemom says:

    Now, THIS is a reason to kick someone off a plane. Concerned lady, no. Drunk pyro, yes.

  20. Clyde Barrow says:

    “He won’t be flying on American Airlines anymore,” said an American Airlines spokesman.

    Good. I am very gratefull that airlines have a way of forever stopping these types from flying and that helps me to decide the next time for my vacation or business trip to fly AA.

  21. MarkSweat says:

    Now, don’t yell “fire” on a crowded airplane here. They will throw you off, because you are being a threat to safety.


  22. blacklabeljohn says:

    I think its important to remember the context of a drunk guy starting a fire on a plane. A plane is basically an oxygen rich wind tunnel. When I told my good friend (who flies internationally for the 4th Greek letter) about the Christmas Day terrorist attack as it unfolded he just smiled and shook his head. You don’t need a bomb to take down a plane- a well placed fire or two can spread so fast under the oxygen rich atmosphere. The lady had every right to be upset- that guy screwing around could have taken the plane down if they were less lucky.