Fasten your seatbelts, we are in for a bumpy ride

From Lara Flynn Boyle climbing univited into your club-class bed to Liam Gallagher on a scone rampage, the sky's the limit when it comes to bad behaviour at 30,000ft. Stuart Husband checks out 10 moments of plane madness

What do you think about when you think about air travel? The loss of the will to live amid the endless, pointless queuing? The deadening drone of the lugubrious tannoy announcements and the potentially humiliating security checks?

What do you think about when you think about air travel? The loss of the will to live amid the endless, pointless queuing? The deadening drone of the lugubrious tannoy announcements and the potentially humiliating security checks?

The cold-sweat dread of your imminent engulfment by the morbidly obese person who's definitely oh-God-no rolling inexorably toward the neighbouring seat? The disgorgement of your racked body onto another continent, in another time zone, while you struggle to reel in your soul, stuck somewhere in mid-flight?

Think yourself lucky - with incidents of Air Rage (and Air Amour) on the up and up, you could be battling to save your virtue from amorous vixens or inebriated footie fans, fending off inflamed rock gods and goddesses, or launching a counter-attack against the skirmishes billowing through the first-class divider curtain.

The most infamous mile-high contretemps of recent times prove that it's a jungle up there, so before you fasten your seatbelt, be sure to locate your nearest exit, remembering that it may be behind you ...

Lara Flynn Boyle
Flight: British Airways, Los Angeles to Heathrow, January 2005

Boyle, best known for her role in the original wacked- out TV oddfest Twin Peaks - and for hanging off the arms of squires such as Jack Nicholson and Harrison Ford while resembling a particularly malnourished twiglet - gave a performance in BA's first-class cabin to rival any backwards-talking dancing dwarf for sheer perplexity. Five hours and - according to witnesses - a few pills and a couple of hot toddies in, as passengers reclined their seat-beds and plumped their pillows, Boyle, 34, stripped half-naked and, "wild-eyed", attempted to invade the bed of the nearest male passenger, sprawling across his sheets, raising his window blind, and yelling "We're landing, get your clothes on," even though the plane was still four interminable hours from its destination. She then ripped out her reading light, instructing a steward to "get it out of my sight for ever and ever", and flashed her breasts at a nonplussed cabin crew a few times before lapsing into unconsciousness. None of Boyle's fellow passengers made a complaint, least of all the man whose divan she tried to storm: "He wasn't at all bothered," opined an onlooker. Funny, that. AIR RAGE MILES: 20,000

Peter Buck
Flight: British Airways, Seattle to Heathrow, April 2001

The normally mild-mannered REM guitarist, 45, blamed the obligatory sleeping-pill-and-red-wine Air Rage cocktail for his Hulk-like transformation into the terroriser of cabin crew and the vanquisher of breakfast trolleys. After ordering 15 glasses of red wine in the first three hours of the 10-hour flight - and then helping himself to more as pursers gave him an increasingly wide berth - his belligerence led to the captain issuing him with a "yellow card" warning, which Buck tore to pieces while uttering the immortal words: "You are just the captain and I am REM." He then tried to throttle a purser, grabbed a stewardess so fiercely that he bruised her wrist, and stomped his eggs benedict and fresh fruit salad into abject submission. A jury later accepted his claim that he wasn't responsible for his actions. This has become known in legal circles as the "Everybody Hurts ... Sometimes" defence. AIR RAGE MILES: 30,000

Vinnie Jones
Flight: Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow to Tokyo, May 2003

You'd look at Jones a long time before the word "charm", but not necessarily the word "offensive", came to mind, and he didn't disappoint during a self-described mid-flight "booze-fuelled adrenalin rush". When Jones, pinging round the cabin like a pinball after "discussing scripts" at the upper class bar, was told to sit down by a passenger, he grabbed him by the collar, slapped him 10 times, and informed him that he'd eat his face. When a cabin crew member intervened, he yelped: "I can get the whole crew murdered for £3,000." He got off with 80 hours of community service and a fine for assault. AIR RAGE MILES: 22,500

Courtney Love
Flight: Virgin Atlantic, Los Angeles to Heathrow, February 2003

Courtney is turbulence personified. She unleashed a bout of 36,000ft high dudgeon when flight crew refused to let Love's "nurse" upgrade from economy to first-class, and ended with the singer flailing around the cabin and branding a stewardess a "fucking bitch". On being cautioned under the Public Order Act at Heathrow, she said: "I cussed at a lady and I was right. She was just abusing her power. Now I want a Virgin Cola." Richard Branson may have proclaimed that Virgin is "the rock'n'roll airline", but that probably won't serve as a cast-iron get-out clause for any non-rock'n'roll basket-case with the urge to leave a cabin resembling a blasted, smoking stretch of downtown Grozny. AIR RAGE MILES: 12,500

Ian Brown
Flight: British Airways, Paris to Manchester, February 1998

In-flight duty free. It's a bit tiresome, isn't it? You're just dozing off and someone's demanding to know if you want to purchase any White Diamonds by Elizabeth Taylor or a "cuddly" jumbo jet with a smiley face. Next time, why not take the no-nonsense Ian Brown approach? When stewardess Christine Cooper proffered her wares to the former Stone Roses ragamuffin, he responded: "Don't wave your fucking hands at me. I'll fucking chop them off." When the captain intervened, he advised him to "Piss off and have a shave." Later, when the plane was coming in to land, he ran and hammered on the cockpit door for 20 to 30 seconds, perhaps realising that he desperately needed a flacon of Eau Savage after all. Admittedly, the Brownian option does carry certain risks - a four-month jail sentence with eight weeks served, in his case - but it's a small price to pay for jettisoning that laborious smiling and shaking of the head as the trolley hurtles by that takes up all those oh-so-precious nanoseconds of your time. AIR RAGE MILES: 25,000

Liam Gallagher
Flight: Cathay Pacific, Heathrow to Sydney, February 1998

That grinding sound you hear is the inevitability of finding one or more Gallaghers in the annals of mile-high shame; in this instance, Liam doing entry-level incivility via the gift of not only throwing food around the first-class cabin but also smoking, swearing and threatening the staff throughout the flight. His apologia, however, was rock-solid: "All I can remember thinking was that I wanted a scone and they wouldn't give me one." Remember, browbeaten flight crews: just offer hot, doughy buns (raisins optional) on elaborate doilies accompanied by ample portions of raspberry seedless and Rodda's extra-clotted, and watch those mad, bad roister-doisterers morph into purring, burping pussycats. Liam and the boys have been banned from Cathay Pacific for life. AIR RAGE MILES: 15,000

The Airtours Mob
Flight: Airtours, Gatwick to Jamaica, February 1999

Just to prove that hysterical celebrities have no monopoly on airborne brouhaha, one notorious recent "incident" was sparked by a party of holidaymakers whose "high spirits", in the form of copious amounts of champagne, whiskey and lager, degenerated into a "bar-room brawl" involving some 15 people; the aisle-wrestling, hair-pulling and seat-back-surfing caused their plane to be diverted to Norfolk, Virginia, where the troublemakers were dumped and questioned by the FBI while the plane flew on without them. Cue days of whingeing and whining in television interviews before people lost interest and they were quietly flown home by American Airlines. AIR RAGE MILES: 17,500

Mandy Holt
Flight: American Airlines, Dallas to Manchester, September 1999

The woman who provided a bonanza of "Randy Mandy" and "I'm Mandy, Fly Me" headlines after she got rather intimate with a fellow passenger - hereafter known as "doing a Lara Flynn" - at 30,000 feet. Holt met David Machin, a business executive, as they boarded the business-class cabin, they bonded over the pre-dinner wine and after-dinner port and brandy, and soon they'd thrown a blanket over themselves and were, in the words of one stewardess, "at it". It was only when the apple-bobbing motions became more intense and Holt's legs flew over the seat in front of her, enveloping the forward passenger and impeding the latter's enjoyment of the movie Notting Hill ("The miaowing sounds she was making were completely drowning out the film," she later testified) that the authorities felt compelled to intervene. Holt and Machin, both married, were detained when the plane landed, and both were fined for being drunk on an aircraft, though charges of outraging public decency were dropped. Both lost their jobs, though their partners, not to mention the tabloids, stood by them resolutely. AIR RAGE MILES: 2,500

The Celtic Mob
Flight: Astraeus, Santiago to Glasgow, December 2002

After Celtic football club triumphed over Celta Vigo in a Uefa Cup match, their fans' inbound celebrations on their chartered jet were upgraded from a brawl to a "mid-air riot". The fans preferred to think of the incidents - the smoking, catcalling, and subsequent thumping of a stewardess in the back - as "banter", but the cabin crew took it seriously enough to send out a mayday and put the plane into an emergency nosedive over Cardiff, causing Airplane-like scenes of screeching, falling oxygen masks, and white-knuckle clutching of prayer beads. Helicopters were scrambled and police in riot gear surrounded the plane on the tarmac. After landing it was quickly demoted from a full-on Die Hard scenario to a Curious Incident-style damp squib, with four men charged with various suspiciously brawl-like misdemeanours. AIR RAGE MILES: 5,000

Anthony and Roy Psaila
Flight: Air 2000, Birmingham to Malta, April 1998

A rule of thumb; if the passenger in the seat next to you is laughing and crying alternately while foaming at the mouth, it's probably time to take an extended bathroom break. The woman next to the raving 61-year-old Anthony Psaila did just that, only to find herself trapped in the facility after Psaila rushed forward demanding to see the pilot so he could tell him he loved him (the piquantly named Captain Hugo Vonwiller actually locked himself in the cabin to avoid Psaila's intentions), and, being thwarted, knocked over a bunch of ever-in-the-firing-line food trolleys, headbutted a fellow passenger who tried to restrain him, and engendered a full-blown barney when his son Roy rushed to his aid. The profoundly perturbed Captain Vonwiller diverted to Milan, and Psaila Snr, who'd supplemented his whisky tots with three cans of Special Brew to combat his fear of flying, was later jailed for a year, as was his son. The fate of the woman locked in the lavatory is not recorded. AIR RAGE MILES: 25,000

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Automotive Service Advisor - Franchised Main Dealer

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, family owned m...

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable