On a flight from Nicaragua to Miami Sunday, a woman decided to test American Airlines' "no smoking" rule by lighting up on the plane. Even though everyone had seen her (and some of her fellow passengers were taking video), she tried to pin it on the guy sitting next to her. As in-flight annoyances go, smoking in an enclosed cabin is pretty bad—but that's just scratching the surface of what happened in this airborne waking nightmare.
The passenger, later identified as 52-year-old Penn State-Abington sociology professor Karen Bettez Halnan, stood up and began yelling that the United States had declared war on Venezuela, for reasons having something to do with Exxon-Mobil.
Since she'd already been told the police would be meeting the aircraft to take her off the plane, she decided she'd just finish "saying her piece." She reportedly continued for two hours.
Here's just one minute of it, filmed by an unfortunate member of her captive audience:
I definitely got nervous when she starting using the b-word (you know, the one word you aren't supposed to use on planes). I have flown a ton in the past but this is the first time I was ever nervous on a plane.
I knew she was crazy from the start. At some point in the first half of the flight, I was watching a movie on my phone when she tapped my shoulder and started saying "adicción, adicción". I quickly realized that she was telling me I was addicted to my cell phone. I kinda ignored her and put my earbuds back in.