An angry passenger got so upset after hearing that his flight was canceled that he set his own luggage on fire.
We get it: airports suck. There are way too many people, everything is ridiculously expensive, you have to show up early on the off-chance that security takes hours to get through, and then after all that hassle and waiting your plane might turn out to be broken and then your flight gets canceled.
It happens every day. Most of the time, we just grumble, accept whatever platitudes the airline deigns to give us and try again the following day.
But this time, no amount of platitudes were enough. One passenger showed his discontent the only way he knew how: by lighting his own luggage on fire.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-607 from Islamabad International Airport to Gilgit, Pakistan was originally scheduled to depart at 7 AM on Thursday, November 15th. The hour of departure rolls around and PIA staff had the unenviable job of announcing a technical problem with the plane had caused a delay. Then bad weather rolled in and the flight was simply canceled.
Protests erupted from impatiently waiting travelers. One person became so upset, he dumped out his luggage, took out a lighter, and lit it on fire. The aftermath got caught on video, with the enraged man kicking away a fire extinguisher offered by a fellow traveler.
The Civil Aviation Authority eventually extinguished the flames with no injuries reported.
We understand that a canceled flight can feel like the end of the world, but going so far as lighting your own worldly possessions on fire seems like a bit of an overreaction.
Other videos also surfaced on social media showing unruly passengers pushing PIA staffers as they tried to calm the crowd. Pakistani news site Dawn reports that the PIA offered travelers free hotel stays as a new flight was scheduled for them the following day.
“No airline can risk flying a passenger plane in bad weather,” a PIA spokesperson said.
As for the incident of the man lighting his luggage on fire, the spokesperson said that the PIA “has opted to forgive and forget the incident that happened at Islamabad International Airport on November 15.”
There were no reports of a fire on Friday’s flight.