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Icarus Award: Don’t Sit Next to Me!

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Double check your seat assignments, tighten your belt and read up on the TSA rule book if you’re flying this week. With mentally disturbed celebrities up in the skies and some inappropriate TSA agents on the ground, there’s failure in every step of the travel process. From a pant-less Captain Kirk to an angry Octomom, Lily J. Kosner rounds up this week’s travel blunders.

O’Day’s Emotional Support

Reality star Aubrey O’Day best known for her roles on Puff Daddy’s “Making the Band” and “Celebrity Apprentice” is now disabled in the eyes of a certified medical professional and Virgin America airlines. According to TMZ reports O’Day was allowed to travel with her two canine companions, miniature white puppies dyed neon pink and purple, because she has medical documentation of a mental health disability that lists the dogs as “Emotional Support Animals.” No word yet on her exact medical condition, but a Virgin spokesperson said that they were ideal passengers.

A Quiet Companion

With more and more flights being oversold it’s hard too choose your seatmate, but one of the bare minimums should be that he is indeed breathing. Lena Petterson has been going back and forth with Kenya Airways for months after she was left sitting next to a corpse en route from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam. In a chain of unfortunate events, a passenger, who was flying very sick, visibly sweating and having convulsions, died on board. Most passengers were moved but Petterson was left sitting across the aisle from the corpse. After the obvious PR backlash, the airline has now reimbursed Petterson about $713, which is just about half the cost of her round-trip ticket.

William Shatner photographed by Jerry Avenaim

Where No Man Has Gone Before

As Captain Kirk, William Shatner has overcome many obstacles. He’s stopped an Andromedan invasion, defeated Khan, and saved the galaxy countless times, but a TSA security check got the best of him. Traveling through Los Angeles International Airport, the 81-year-old actor was singled out for additional screening. Wearing loose clothes and having removed his belt, the actor’s pants fell to the ground. Shatner told reporters that it was one of the most humiliating events in his life. Reports have yet to come in regarding if Captain Kirk prefers boxers or briefs.

Ash on their Hands

John Gross was forced to say an unplanned goodbye to his deceased grandfather after a TSA agent spilled his remains on the ground of the Orlando International Airport. Upon returning home, Gross shared his story with RTV 6 in Indianapolis describing a screening where agents opened the ashes, sifted through them and spilled most of the contents on the floor. Though Gross was able to pick up fragments and a majority was lost. The incident is in direct violation of TSA policy and the agency is now looking into the complaint.

Defiant Octo-Mom

Last week, Nadya Suleman, aka Octomom, felt that Virgin American had treated her unfairly, claiming crew members harassed her on the flight. The airline looked into the complaints and it turned out that the Octomom’s account was contrary to reality. Instead of obeying flight crew instructions, both Octomom and her companion had to be asked to observe safety regulations. The airline has concluded an investigation and found no fault at all outside the Octomom.

Border Force Failings won our last Icarus Award. Check out past victors in our Icarus archives and remember to cast your vote in this week’s poll.

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By Lily J. Kosner for

Related links: Huffington Post, TMZ, USA Today, Huffington Post, TMZ