In travel, we don’t just tolerate bad behavior — we celebrate it

A few thoughts on two items in the news this morning: Charlie Sheen’s rampage at the Plaza Hotel and Steven Slater’s tell-all interview on Larry King’s program last night.

Is it me, or have we started to idolize people who behave badly when they travel?

Sheen reportedly made a mess of his room at a swanky Manhattan hotel earlier this week. The troubled actor went into a naked rage fueled by booze and blow, police sources said.

And celebrity ex-flight attendant Steven Slater, who jumped out of a parked plane after an altercation with a customer, had his first interview since his plea deal last week, appearing on CNN. Asked if he had been rude to passengers, Slater responded, “I wouldn’t deny that one bit. I’m sure my service was less than stellar that day.”

Our reaction? We’re kinda fascinated by it. Slater’s interview is making its rounds in the travel blogosphere this morning, though not to the same extent as the gossip sites are all over Sheen’s latest escapades.
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Don’t go there! 6 things you should never do when you’re away

Thinking of throwing a tantrum the next time things don’t go your way when you travel? Consider what happened to Gary Zeune before you do.

“Dammit,” he overheard the passenger in front of him scream at a Southwest Airlines ticket agent in Columbus, Ohio, “I have to get to Chicago.”

The agent politely asked him to calm down, assured him that profanity wouldn’t get him on the flight he wanted, and offered to add him to a standby list. All of which only appeared to make him angrier, unleashing yet another torrent of salty language.

“The ticket agent asked him for his credit card,” remembers Zeune. “And he gets a big smile, thinking he’s going to get on the flight. Then she says, ‘Sir, you’re not flying Southwest today. Go fly someone else.’ And she refunds his money.”
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