American Airlines Passenger Bleeds and Licks Himself During Flight

by Anthony Losanno
Bloody Fingers

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A FlyerTalk member shared an odd, recent experience while onboard American Airlines flight AA5309 from Portland International Jetport (PWM) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) yesterday. Apparently, the poster’s First Class seatmate was bleeding from several fingers, licking them, and rubbing them on his already bloody jeans.


The flight arrived on time, which says that there was no further incident on the plane. Other FlyerTalk members speculated that it could be excoriation, which is a skin picking disorder. Another FlyerTalk member weighed in saying that they suffer from the condition and that the man did not know what he was doing as it was an involuntary action. I’ve never sat next to a passenger doing this, but I have been around passengers clipping toenails, changing diapers, and taking so many pills that they pass out.

Ultimately, the original poster reported back, stating:

I appreciate this, and I should have clarified, this was no mere skin-picker. This was an actual cut, like an incision, in one of the guy’s fingers (left ring), and possibly something smaller in the right thumb, but I couldn’t tell because mostly he was touching the left ring with the right thumb. But enough blood, in thick large drops, came out over the course of the first 90 minutes that a normal size sponge would have been covered. His jeans were no longer blue between thigh and knee.

Oddly, towards the end of the flight, as though finally realizing it was an option, he abruptly got up, ran into the bathroom, spent some time in there, and emerged all tissue and paper-toweled up.

Ultimately I was highly productive on the flight (it was too weird for me to sleep, even at 5 a.m.) so on balance it was a fine day, but I can’t shake the image of this dude just rabidly licking his fingers. Hopefully he’s not on my DCA-DFW tomorrow!”

Anthony’s Take: I guess it takes all types in this world. I would have likely offered him a BAND-AID from the mini first aid kit I have in my bag (I guess I’ll always be a Boy Scout). What weird behavior have you seen on planes?

(H/T: View from the Wing.)

(Featured Image Credit: cerro_photography.)

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