It was a busy year for the aviation industry, with nearly four billion people from around the world estimated to have used airplanes to travel. The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that 43,000 flights are operated into and out of the United States each day.
While the vast majority of worldwide flights departed and landed without incident, there were several times when shocking stories made headlines for the airline industry.
Perhaps no aviation incident gathered more headlines in 2018 than the engine explosion onboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which led to the death of Jennifer Riordan, a mother of two from New Mexico.
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But other airline stories made headlines this year for other, less tragic reasons. They include the Delta Air Lines passenger who stepped in the leftover feces of an emotional support dog, the United Airlines flight attendant who was said to be “drunk and disorderly” while onboard the plane, the monkey who escaped an American Airlines flight at San Antonio International Airport, the man who hopped the fence at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and ran onto the tarmac in his underwear, and, of course, the emotional-support squirrel.
Here were some of the most shocking airline stories of 2018: