Shmuck of the Week

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Yes, air travel makes us angry. And as discussed in the previous installment of Shmuck of the Week, airlines like United are often to blame. But in some cases, passengers deserve to carry their share of the baggage for ever-more interesting bouts of air rage.

Christina E. Szele, please report to a white paging telephone.

On June 17, the pilot of a New York-to-Denver JetBlue flight had to land the plane after a flight attendant grabbed a cigarette out of the mouth of a woman who was smoking on board, according to news reports. The most recent account alleged that Szele, 35, of New York first tried to smoke in the lavatory and later lit up in her seat.

The incident led to chaos and confrontation between Szele and several flight attendants that included words like "thrashing," "cursing," "kicking," "screaming," "punching," "stomping" and "hurling" (of racial slurs), according to the story.

Szele was eventually restrained and arrested at Denver International Airport, where she was booked into Jefferson County Jail and awarded a first-class ticket to Shmuckville.

For previous Shmucks, click here.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.