Saturday, May 09, 2009

7' Statue of Buddha Causes Unrest on International Flight


TAIPEI, Taiwan - Passengers aboard NW Airlines flight 1101 to Los Angles all had something to say about the seven-foot statue of Buddha brought aboard by a US citizen.

"It's not like something you'd wear around your neck," said James Davis, a passenger in the wide-body 777 flight from Bangkok to Los Anegeles. "The thing was blocking my view."

Officials at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok allowed the man to board the aircraft with the statue as one piece of carry-on, which is allowed under current general aviation guidelines.

"He bought the ticket," said an unnamed official. "He had the seat", he said, adding, "the buddha cannot go below in baggage. The buddha must be above."

By the time the aircraft landed in Taipei, the entire cabin occupants were in a sour, grumbling uproar, with several passengers openly shouting insults at the man and asking the crew to do something about it.

Of course, nothing could be done about it while airborn, and the situation could not be resolved until the stopover in Taipei. At that point, the passengers demanded another aircraft, or the buddha's removal from the aircraft.

"I can't believe they let him bring that thing on board. What's he going to do with it, anyway?" asked Cecilia Dawes, a teleporter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Another passenger who was demanding refund on her ticket asked, "Would they let me bring my seven-foot crucifix on board? Would they let me buy a seat for a seven-foot Jesus?"

After refueling and a long stand-off on the tarmac, the flight continued to Los Angeles.