Celebrity Air Rage

(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

Air rage, celebrities have it, time and again. Naomi Campbell (fashion model) went ballistic when her luggage got lost. Clay Aiken (American Idol) got into a “dispute” with a fellow traveler when his in-flight nap invaded her personal space. Icelandic singer Björk lashed out at a reporter in a Thai airport just for welcoming her to the country. And a near riot took place at London’s Heathrow in 2006 after Snoop Dogg (rapper) and some of his entourage were asked to leave a business-class lounge—and almost took down a duty-free shop with them. Angry Ivana Trump (Donald Trump’s ex) was escorted off a plane. And now a junior cabinet minister has an outburst in Charlottetown airport last week. The list goes on.

Why do they fly into a rage (no pun intended  🙂  )? The angry generation? For publicity? Or their ego? Or is it just fun and game?

Look at another recent example. Just a week ago, Matt Romney, the former US potential presidential candidate, was involved in an air rage incident in Vancouver. This occurred just before takeoff, when Romney asked the passenger in front of him to return his seat to its full upright position. The request sparked a confrontation which resulted in the man becoming physically violent and attempting to strike Romney. The man turned up to be a rapper, Sky Blu, who proudly proclaimed in his own video on the TMZ Internet site that he was the other party, and went into detailed narration of his misadventure.

Blu said he was trying to go to sleep and reclined his seat, when a passenger sitting behind him started to protest.

“Then all of a sudden I see him reach over and he grabs my shoulder (and says) ‘Sir, put your seat up,’ and I just react,” he says making a punching motion in the video. “‘Boom!’ …. … get off of me.”

“That man assaulted me, I was protecting myself.”

After Blu’s punch, Romney and his wife began screaming for help. The plane, which was taxiing to the runway, turned back. Blu was arrested and later released, not charged.

A video confession, nicely done, Mr. Blu. Why did you have the seat down during take off, in the first place? This is against airline policy. This policy actually is for your own safety. And why didn’t you put it back up when asked a few times? Instead boom, you flared up into a rage and started a fight? “He touched me first” is not an excuse.

OK, Blu is a minor celebrity, but probably has already developed an oversize ego (a spoiled kid, no doubt. He is the nephew of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy). Self importance, ignorance and righteousness, and if combined with alcohol, will create a dangerous air rage cocktail.

Lesson learned: Don’t travel with celebrities (disregard of ego size) on board.

And even better, isn’t Air Canada proposing a nut-free zone for allergy sufferers; why not a nut-free zone to buffer such violent pests.

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