The Most Epic Airport Meltdown I’ve Ever Seen

There’s nothing I love more than a video of a good airport meltdown by a passenger, especially when it’s a “DYKWIA” situation.

Reader Michelle sent along a link to what might just be the most epic DYKWIA airport meltdown ever. This took place in early 2013 at Kunming Changshui International Airport in China, after a man showed up too late for his flight. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about this until now, given that it’s over two years old!

Via Rocket News 24:

Quoted as saying “I’m a first class passenger! What the hell do you think you’re doing!?” Mr. Yan began knocking objects from the desk when the female clerk refused to open the door for him to pass through. He then began kicking and thumping everything within reach, eventually attempting to smash the glass doors leading to the boarding gate. Perhaps even more worrying, however, is the fact that there appear to be three members of security staff who simply stand and watch as he pulls the place apart.

“Why do I have to suffer this crap!?” the man barks in between his bursts of wanton destruction. Well, Mr. Yan, we’d say it’s because you were late and, as anyone in a government position will tell you, there are rules that we all have to abide by.

Mr. Yan is believed to have reserved a seat on the 11:05 a.m. flight to Guangzhou, but at 10:45 a.m. he was still eating breakfast somewhere else in the airport. For security reasons, passengers are required to board their flight much sooner, and frequent announcements are made alerting them to go to their respective gates.

Here’s a video of his meltown:

And here’s a longer version of the video from another angle:

What’s truly puzzling here are the security officers lined up just watching this guy tear the place apart.

This is even worse than the lady that had a meltdown at Hong Kong Airport when she missed her flight (though I felt kind of sorry for her since she was legitimately just angry and sad as opposed to being a DYKWIA):

Some people…!

Comments

  1. Ben, I truly love your blog and follow it religiously.

    That said, and I know this sets me up for take-down…

    Lighten up on the schadenfreude. It’s unbecoming. And it shows you as a bit immature.

    You view the actions of others and judge them wihout any context. And publish them “ha-ha-ha”.

    You’re not perfect. Neither are other passengers. You’ve taken this tack several times, and in each instance you don’t appear mature. It’s “frat-boy” level stuff, which is below what you really are. Please, please rise up..

  2. Something’s fishy. His flight left at 11:05, but he’s hanging around smashing stuff at 12:53?

  3. ^^Out of context…yeah, cause there’s a good excuse to destroy public property. And I think the “context” stems from the man’s statement about him being a first class passenger. I don’t know “Colleen”, maybe you’re a person who thinks your privilege entitles you to throw criminal fits and not be judged by it…either way, normal, grown adults don’t start throwing physical temper tantrums when life doesn’t go their way. Did you even watch the video lady? #blessyourheart

    When people act like a-holes in public, the public is entitled to point their finger and laugh at them (barring mental incompetencies).

  4. @Reine In China, government officials will get a special treatment.. (especially this guy is in the Zheng Xie, which is a privileged group for elite citizens)…

  5. I remember when this first came out the details that emerged where along the lines that he is a Communist Party Official (which might explain securities reluctance to intercede) and that he and his wife had actually been late to their flight…rebooked on another flight…and then proceeded to be late to the SECOND flight which is what sparked the reaction in the video….

    If you dig a little I’m sure you’ll find more details…

  6. Coleen, lighten up! It’s Friday girl….. Have an adult beverage or move on. This isn’t the Economist either . FYI I follow the blog religiously too and love a great meltdown! Keep up the good work Lucky !

  7. @colleen – Are you serious?!?! Anyone engaging in this kind of behavior DESERVES all the public shaming and ridicule that will come their way. There is NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER for acting in this manner. Get angry, lose your temper, yell for a bit, fine, I get that. But there’s absolutely no excuse for anyone to have this kind of meltdown. None. These people are adults, they’d better act like it.

  8. yes, @Reine, there is such a thing as context.

    I travel with my mother who has two things: a bucket list, and Alzheimers disease.

    Sometimes it causes her to have outbursts, which I of course would not prefer. Believe me, it’s a moment none of us would choose.

    Believe me, it’s not “DYKWIA”, She doesn’t “DYKWIA”. She doesn’t “K”.

    Thank you for blessing my heart.

    I have a sick mother and, believe me, no sense of privelege. I wish you never have to go through this journey.

    Point your finger and laugh as you choose.

  9. @ colleen. Seriously???!!!
    Anyone who behaves this way deserves to be made fun of. Ben actually went VERY light on him.
    Even if the man was late to seeing his mum on her death bed, this is NO way to behave.
    I have no sympathy for him or people like him.

  10. @ colleen’s second post.
    I’m sure everyone here sympathises with your mum’s condition.
    But seriously, this man does not have Alzheimers. You know it, and we all know it.
    Ben gave context to this by explaining it was a DYKWIA situation.

    Anyhoo, good luck with your humourless life. 😉

  11. Usually, Asian airlines employees try their best to not mess up with passenger, even if these employees are treated unfairly.
    Unlike in USA, where airlines employees are union protected. Working in Asian airlines are basically equivalent to modern slavery. ( Can you believe that companies actually ask their crew to control their weights? )

  12. Moreover, I think many Asian airlines are really superficisuous and shortsighted. They put too much emphasis on the look of crew members. In my opinion, that’s discrimination. I’d rather receive degraded service than watching these airlines treat their employees so badly.

  13. I bet it fell good to tear all these cables even if he was punished afterwards. I felt like doing that several times after unreasonable gate agent behavior ;). Of course I’m no party official and I live in the US.

  14. @Lucky

    I think the title of the second video you posted explains why this “Gentlemen2 and his wife/girlfriend was not arrested.

    Chinese official aka Communist Party higher up. Extreme DYKWIA might in this case mean I will have you sent to a prison camp or worse depending of where he is a official.

    Never forget that China is at the end of the day a dictatorship, the are just a lot better at keeping it running than say the Soviets ever was .

  15. @colleen – Did the video look like an Alzheimer’s sufferer having a meltdown? If your mother doesn’t yell DYKWIA then there’s a huge difference between your difficult or tragic situation and this.

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to enjoy someone of privilege’s downfall. They’re not better than the rest of us, despite what they think.

  16. @colleen – This video isn’t about your mom or anyone else with a legitimate medical condition.

    If anyone is evaluating things out of context, it’s you.

  17. Something doesn’t match up. You quote the flight as a 11:05AM but the time on the clock in the video clearly says 12:52.

  18. Hmm….

    This is either:
    A) Another satisfied United customer
    or
    B) Someone trying to reinact (poorly) the meltdown scene in Downfall

  19. @colleen
    Jonathan said it perfectly. You’re really grasping at straws with your random babbling and you’re own your own here. Get a grip nut job

  20. I get more than a little irritated when people like collen tell their little sob stories.. I really do not care about your life… what I do care about is you are not making any sense in this situation..so… shooo shooo…

  21. @colleen

    Many of us already know that he IS immature. But no matter how many times people point it out the message gets lost because Lucky classifies them as “haters.” I’ve been reading this blog for years, Colleen, and this guy may take great first class photos but he lacks self-awareness and introspection. He’ll throw up a shallow analysis of what he thinks justifies his actions and then puts up a wall around himself when anyone tries to criticize his positions. Can you think of anyone else that behaves like that? Yup, a child.

    Just let it go, Colleen. In 20 years when he looks back he’ll cringe at himself. That’s punishment enough.

  22. I don’t think it’s immature at all. My husband and I spent a good 10 minutes laughing at the 3rd video, someone (@colleen) needs to lighten up!

  23. This video would be a perfect ad, if medical personnel had arrived and injected Geodon, while “Maniac” played in the background. A fantastic endorsement for the drug from a party official.

    Of course, his behavior is just as reckless as a passenger interfering with FA pre-departure checks by crushing peanuts at the seat, claiming an allergy and asking to be moved just because the seatmate is not pretty.

  24. Two people set themselves up to be made fun of here . Mr meltdown for his clear sense of privilege and Dykwia attitude and Coleen for her stupid comment where she knew and disclosed that she was setting herself up .

  25. I don’t judge Lucky or any of the bloggers on what they decide to post, and I have gained immensely valuable information from them. Preemptively I’m going to say that I, myself, don’t need to lighten up as I have an extremely humor-filled outlook on life. However, while I agree that this man’s outburst certainly doesn’t appear Alzheimers related, and regardless of whether or not it is related to another form of mental incapacitation, many of the commenters’ insensitivity to Colleen’s statements have me thinking WOW … just WOW. As she said, and as I understand all too well – hope you never have to go through that journey, either yourself or with someone. However, only then, will you truly get it, and it might even make you a better person (or at least a more compassionate person). In the meantime, carry on, and flame away in your cyber worlds if it somehow makes you feel better about yourself. OR … you could educate yourselves http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers . If you prefer not to read, you can watch a short heartwarming video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKBcE4KhFPc

    Yes, this has gotten way off topic and I apologize, but who knows – maybe something good will come of it. Enjoy your day!

  26. @Lee – Except this idiot’s behavior had NOTHING to do with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any other medical condition (unless being a jackass is a medical condition), and colleen’s statements about Alzheimer’s were completely irrelevant in that context.

  27. Yeah, I’m with you Colleen. This blog has been one of my top 5 for close to two years, but all good things must come to an end. I think Lucky is the best in the business at what he does but the stuff he finds interesting and funny just doesn’t dovetail with what I find entertaining, and the blog has sort of evolved to include much more of this stuff. That’s just what happens. Blogs evolve. When it was an ocassional bit about Amy’s Baking Company, I was fine, but now 8 posts on nut rage, endless videos of things that Gulf Carrier CEOs say in interviews, and she-got-pissed-because-she-had-to-wear-a-seatbelt, videos and I’m losing interest. I don’t think it’s a maturity thing but maybe just an age thing and I probably trend older than Lucky’s average. Travel hacker blogs sort of need a schtick to carve out their own space these days, and I suspect Ben’s is getting him more traffic than some of us can imagine and I doubt losing guys like me as every day readers would even be a blip. But, as far as I’m involved, I prefer my travel blogger schtick to be more substantive — like mommy points with her family oriented angle, or Gary with his business side analysis, or loyalty traveller or frequent miler with their niches. Nobody can compete with Ben on the OMG you gotta see this epic schadenfreude post, and I suspect that’s how he likes it. Different strokes.

  28. Ohhh The beauty of the 3rd. world! I see the ‘law enforcement’ there serves the same purpose as in my country.. This weekend I was in one of the few chain hotels remaining in my country.. I was checking out at 7am and there came a govt. official with a girl that seemed like.. you know. He didn’t had a reservation, but hell, he was head of the presidential military security, he clearly said he have MONEY and was very agressive. Then the already scared front desk staff told him that they found a room and then he proceeded to take a massive pile of bills, they told they only take credit cards for guarantee at that at checkout (probably a few hours laters as I am quite sure the tought he was in a motel) he could pay with cash, so he proceeded to trhow a thing or two from the front desk, and then slapped in the face two security staff members.. Outside his 4 bodyguards were enjoying the show!. As soon as the police arrived he shook hands with them.

  29. Why is everyone here giving his b*tch wife a pass for egging it on and then participating in the destruction?

  30. @Larry – Very well put, though I would say it IS a maturity thing as I know people younger than lucky who wouldn’t find some of the posts you’ve pointed out entertaining after the first five times.

  31. I laugh at the people taking the time to write on HIS blog calling him immature.

    As if that’s a totally mature response lol.

  32. I disagree with bloggers from time to time but I admire their courage in putting their opinions out there day after day. No matter what you say if you talk for 15 minutes or write a few paragraphs, it’s guaranteed that something you say will sound foolish to some of the audience.

  33. Ah yes, the privileged, like Cho Huan-ah, daughter of Korean Air’s chairman, throwing a fit over nuts being served in a bag.

    Anyway, No surprise here. And this irate behavior is not limited to the privileged few.

    I live in China. I was in a very crowded bank in Dalian, and a guy was freaking out at the teller window (there were like 20 windows) and security just stood there. He was allowed to rant for like 25 minutes, banging on things, yelling like a baby. I have seen this type of behavior unfold in a number of venues over the past two decades. These situations I commonly put under the heading of “lack of sophistication”, where the ramifications of not taking rapid action are not fully considered (why they are not considered is a subject for another time).

    Why would we want to stop the guy having a tantrum at the teller window? Some reasons are:
    1) Customers are subjected to an environment that is annoying and potentially very unsafe.
    2) Others see this type of behavior and figure, “oh, its OK to behave like this to get my way”, and they will therefore perpetuate the behavior into the future.
    3) Someone raging at a bank window could just be a diversion for a robbery taking place at another window 15 windows away, or other nefarious act, endangering everyone.

    Now, I have not worked at a bank, but I figure my bank in the U.S. has a very clear escalation procedure with regard to unruly customers, with the timing looking something like this:
    1) @20 seconds, security personnel will engage unruly customer,
    2) @20 seconds, the person loosing it will be instructed to calm down,
    3) @35 seconds, the person will be warned again,
    4) @45 seconds, the police will be called in, and most important,
    5) No ambiguity – execute steps 1-4.
    These steps would likely lead to a rapid de-escalation of the situation. The whole thing would have been over in 2 minutes.

    Referencing my Chinese bank situation, my guess is that the guidelines were in place, but item 5 (execution) was not properly prioritized by management (e.g., clear expectations; proper personnel selection; provision of proper equipment, training, manpower). I have found that many in China follow the lead of their supervisor – to the letter. They will not move out of that box. This rigidness is not unique to China, and can create problems in certain business situations. However, in the case of security, very clear guidelines and execution of said guidelines are crucial.

    This bank scenario I believe can be generally applied to other industries, including the travel industry (e.g., undermining security efforts at airports). The written rules detailing the the procedures required to protect the public are often in place, and more venues are seeing fit to enforce them. However, this enforcement of new rules is a cultural shift for many, and will likely not happen overnight.

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