Looking to wish your buddy a happy birthday? Call in a bomb threat. Want to win over your customers? Go on Facebook and call them stupid. Need a retirement plan? Make Breaking Bad’s Walter White your idol and start smuggling drugs. If failure is your aim, we have four new role models for you in this week’s Icarus Awards. And for once, we actually found one example of good behavior that we just had to recognize.
I Feel Like Chicken Tonight
Vincent Chegini Chinweuwa, aka our Walter White wanna-be, was returning to Lagos, Nigeria after retiring from working as a mechanic in Brazil. Looks like his 401(k) didn’t pan out, because Chinweuwa tried to up his retirement funds with $150,000 worth of cocaine smuggled inside roasted chicken. Chinweuwa was caught with 5 pounds of poultry all stuffed with cocaine. The best part? The drugs were wrapped in egg-shaped tinfoil.
With Friends Like These
Yesterday morning Christopher Shell was flying home to Dallas for his 29th birthday, but not everyone wanted to celebrate. One of Shell’s friends, or frenemies, decided to call the authorities and claim his friend was traveling with liquid explosives. The US Airways flight returned to Philadelphia International Airport, where Shell was escorted off the plane by armed police, the entire plane was searched for explosives and more than $10,000 in costs were incurred. Shell’s ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend is looking like the main suspect. Shell doesn’t exactly sound like a likable guy. After being confronted by security he wrote on Facebook ,”If u have questions or want an interview with me, it will cost u $$$….Message me your offers.”
Stupid Is as Stupid Does
It’s no surprise that frequent Icarus Award nominee and budget European airline Ryanair is notorious for outlandish fees, which alone are disrespectful to customers, but this week Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary decided to add fuel to the fire. The airline charges a 60 euro fee to print boarding pass, which resulted in one mom paying 380 euros just to get the paperwork to fly home. She launched a Facebook campaign against the airline. In response, O’Leary first called the woman “stupid” for not planning ahead. He later amended the statement to say that customers who expect the airline’s policies to change are in fact the “stupid “ ones.
Did They Discriminate?
There are two sides to every story, as evidenced by the recent American Airlines incident regarding the Vanderhorst family. The family originally broke the story after being unable to fly first class with their son who has Down Syndrome. According to the family, the pilot refused to fly with their son due to his disability. The family posted video of their son quietly waiting for the flight and playing with his baseball cap. However, American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the boy was agitated and seen running around the gate area before boarding. After the public outcry started, the airline followed up with an additional statement on its Facebook page detailing the extent that its crew worked to accommodate the family. Check out the Facebook post and tell us what you think really happened.
Parents Who Plan Ahead
Any parents would dread taking 14-week-old twins on an airplane, but this week Andrew Merritt and his wife won the Internet with a little planning and some good copy writing. En route from San Francisco to Washington, DC, the parents boarded early and placed notes and bags of candy in all of their fellow passenger’s seats. The note read, “We’ll try to be on our best behavior, but we’d like to apologize in advance just in case we lose our cool, get scared or our ears hurt.” The clever note went on to say, “Our mom and dad (AKA our portable milk machine and our diaper changer) have ear plugs available if you need them.” Yes writing in your infant’s voice is obnoxious, but the note made its way on to Reddit and soon went viral. Not only did the Merritt’s win Internet fame, they also engendered passenger goodwill. Several passengers spoke to the press and complimented the family for successfully handling their first flight.
By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com