2023's Most Shocking Plane Freakouts

If you've been on social media in the past few years, chances are you've come across viral videos showing disruptive or disorderly flight passengers. Also known as unruly passengers, these individuals cause scenes, start physical altercations, and more. According to a 2023 press release by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), unruly passenger incidents have risen since the pandemic. This likely started when airlines implemented mask mandates, but the bad behavior has continued even after mask mandates ended.

In 2022 alone, the IATA reported one incident for every 568 flights. This has led to an all-time low in morale among flight attendants. That said, if a passenger is having a meltdown, you can expect a flight attendant to get involved and attempt to resolve the issue. In some instances, these occurrences can be a simple nuisance. Other times, they can escalate into a true safety concern, putting other passengers and flight attendants at risk. 

It's not recommended to record these meltdowns on your phone, as they can make a situation go from bad to worse. However, this didn't stop many fellow passengers from doing so in 2023. Unfortunately, several unruly passengers made headlines for things like menacing remarks and paranormal experiences on planes. Please be aware some of these videos include strong, inappropriate language.

The exorcist-like meltdown on a Frontier flight

In late November 2023, a video of a woman breaking down on a Frontier Airlines flight from Houston to Denver went viral. The unnamed woman was captured jumping over seats. Eventually, flight attendants restrained her, leading her to cry and scream, "Let go of my arm." However, this is not the strangest part of the situation. The incident led another individual to get up and state that she believed the woman was possessed and urged her fellow passengers to seek Jesus. The flight was subsequently diverted to Dallas.

A woman claims one passenger isn't real

American Airlines passenger Tiffany Gomas became a sensation in the summer of 2023 when she demanded to be let off her flight. Gomas explained her reasoning by saying, "I'm telling you right now, that motherf***** back there is not real." It's unclear who or what Gomas referred to, spurring a series of conspiracy theories on social media. Soon after, it was revealed that a relative she was traveling with allegedly stole Gomas' AirPods, causing her meltdown. Although she did apologize for the incident, Gomas was banned from American Airlines.

A baby's cries threw one passenger over the edge

On an April 2023 Southwest Airlines flight to Fort Lauderdale, one passenger decided that he had enough of a baby's cries. In a TikTok, the unnamed man can be heard saying that the baby had been crying for 40 minutes and had disrupted his sleep. The man told flight attendants, "We are in a f****** tin can with a baby in a godd*** echo chamber, and you want to talk to me about being f****** OK?" The flight was diverted to Orlando, where the man was removed from the flight.

A reality TV star spewed profanities on an American Airlines flight

A woman went viral for leaving an American Airlines plane in a fury in September 2023. In the video, she says, "Call me a b**** again, I did nothing wrong!" When she realizes she's being filmed, the woman says, "I'm Instagram famous, you f***ing bum." The woman was later revealed to be Morgan Osman, an influencer and former "Bad Girls Club" star. Osman, spoke to TMZ about the incident and said she left the flight on her own accord after getting into a dispute with her seatmate.

A passenger pulled down their pants in the middle of a flight

When you have to go, you have to go. That was the mindset of one unnamed woman when she was unable to use the bathroom on a Frontier Airlines flight in late November 2023. In a shocking video posted on TikTok, the woman stands in the aisle and says, "Sorry, everybody" before pulling down her pants and squatting. Fellow passengers screamed their disapproval. She pulled up her pants but yelled, "F*** you," and "I gotta go pee!" It's unclear if the woman faced any repercussions for her actions.

A man allegedly saw ghosts on a Russian flight

Are ghosts real? On an S7 Airlines flight in Russia in August 2023, a man referred to as Vitaly seemed to believe so. The flight had not yet departed when he broke down, alleging he saw three ghosts. These ghosts, he said, were of Wagner mercenaries, a military group aiding Vladimir Putin with the war in Ukraine. The incident was captured on video, where Vitaly was heard saying, "Stop the takeoff quickly. Do it fast. I can see. Stop. Stop the takeoff. Make a stop." Unsurprisingly, the flight was delayed.

A United airplane was forced to land over a meal outburst

In July 2023, a passenger in business class on a United Airlines flight was so displeased about their meal choice that the plane had to stop in Chicago. The flight departed from Houston and was heading to Amsterdam when the incident took place. The details of the meal are unknown. However, in a TikTok, the passenger is seen having a frenzied verbal confrontation. In the Windy City, he was booted off the flight. And if you're wondering, the flight did eventually make it to Amsterdam.

A Russian passenger bit a flight attendant

A Russian woman, Anzhelika Moskvitina, caused a bizarre scene on an Aeroflot flight in early 2023. Moskvitina went into the bathroom and smoked, which, of course, is prohibited. She then proceeded to take off her shirt and bare her chest to everyone on the flight. In a video, flight attendants can be seen coaxing her to put her shirt back on. Moskvitina, who was reportedly drunk during this outlandish incident, also bit a flight attendant as he tried to restrain her. She was later banned from Aeroflot.

Woman alleges she's being trafficked

In November 2023, a heavily distressed female passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight was captured in a viral video being restrained by flight attendants. The unidentified woman attempts to release herself from their grasp violently and is heard screaming, "I am being human trafficked." At one point, she also states (via a longer clip on TikTok), "If they have your family hostage, don't believe it; they use f*****g emotional manipulation. This is not real." The woman was kicked off the flight. However, there is no other information about the incident or whether she was a victim of human trafficking.