Shmuck of the Week

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Yes, air travel makes us angry. And as discussed in the previous installment of Shmuck of the Week, airlines like United are often to blame. But in some cases, passengers deserve to carry their share of the baggage for ever-more interesting bouts of air rage.

Christina E. Szele, please report to a white paging telephone.

On June 17, the pilot of a New York-to-Denver JetBlue flight had to land the plane after a flight attendant grabbed a cigarette out of the mouth of a woman who was smoking on board, according to news reports. The most recent account alleged that Szele, 35, of New York first tried to smoke in the lavatory and later lit up in her seat.

The incident led to chaos and confrontation between Szele and several flight attendants that included words like "thrashing," "cursing," "kicking," "screaming," "punching," "stomping" and "hurling" (of racial slurs), according to the story.

Szele was eventually restrained and arrested at Denver International Airport, where she was booked into Jefferson County Jail and awarded a first-class ticket to Shmuckville.

For previous Shmucks, click here.


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