Travel | April 18, 2022 4:53 pm

Why Doesn’t Anyone Know How to Act on a Plane Anymore?

In the latest episode of "Why Did This Happen on a Plane," a Christian evangelist group gives an unsolicited inflight performance

A smartphone with a screenshot of a TikTok video in which Christian evangelists perform a religious song on an EasyJet flight
No one wants to hear your song inflight, whether it's a hymn or "WAP."
Twitter/Gabriel Serrano

In a small corner of the internet where travel enthusiasts and industry professionals are known to hang out, a video began making the rounds this Easter weekend in which a group of Christian evangelists put on an impromptu inflight performance…of the musical variety.

In the video — which was originally posted to TikTok by a user/worshipper named Jack Jensz Jr. alongside the caption “We are taking this flight over for Jesus” — a man named Jonathan Neo can be seen walking the aisle, strumming his guitar and leading the rest of the group in a Christian song, much to the chagrin of many of the others onboard the EasyJet flight.

Later, the video was reposted to Twitter where it has since garnered more than 34 million views and sparked a lively, if not moderately chaotic, debate surrounding religion, entitlement and inflight decorum.

The general consensus is this: It’s presumptuous (at best) to assume that everyone on board is — at any point in time — open to a mid-flight sermon. In the case of the EasyJet flight, a shared, public space was effectively commandeered and an audience was, quite literally, held captive while 38,000 feet in the air by a religious group. That is, by and large, not appropriate.

“As a person of faith, I implore you: don’t do this. St. Francis of Assisi said it best: preach the gospel every day, and only if you have to, use words. This kind of thing just turns people off, and rightly so,” one Twitter user wrote.

Further, many were quick to add, had it been a group of another denomination, things would have likely played out very differently. “Imagine somebody stands up worships Allah. Just a simple ‘Allahu akbar!’” another user commented. “Imagine.”

But religion aside, the other (and arguably more pressing) issue is that anyone was allowed to perform anything at all — song, dance or otherwise — onboard a plane. In defense of his conduct, Neo posted to his social media accounts that not only had he obtained permission from the airline (per a report from Yahoo, the captain even went so far as to introduce the group), but that he’d also sung the song in six different languages — presumably to suggest that there was a little something for everyone, while simultaneously revealing that his little performance was actually a six-song set.

Have we no more inflight etiquette? On what planet is it okay to force song on a number of unsuspecting passengers, all of whom have likely paid hundreds of dollars to be there, for any reason whatsoever? One Twitter user questioned whether or not people would feel the same sense of outrage had the group performed “WAP” instead — and the answer is, unequivocally, yes!

Of course, this all points to a much larger trend, which is that as a society we seem to have forgotten how to act on planes. Already, there have been 1,150 reports of unruly passengers filed in 2022 for things like smoking weed, urinating on the floor of the aircraft and assaulting flight attendants. Just last week, the Federal Aviation Association proposed their “largest-ever fines” to date against two passengers, both of whom tried to open the cabin door in an attempt to exit mid-flight. The week before that, a man was arrested for masturbating four times (!) on a three hour (!) flight from Seattle to Phoenix.

While singing and playing the guitar is hardly as egregious as the aforementioned crimes, it’s still indicative of the fact that people apparently no longer have any qualms about getting out of their seats and causing a scene.