Stars Get Reality Check from Fellow Passengers
Paula Abdul either overestimated her star power or underestimated the sort of primeval code of conduct that rules when 100 or more people are packed in an aluminum tube, rebreathing each other's air. The American Idol judge's first mistake was to ask for first-class treatment on the successfully proletariat Southwest Airlines by demanding advanced boarding for a flight from San Jose to Burbank, Calif. Her next move was trying to cash in her star credits. When told that advanced boarding was reserved for the old, the very young and infirm, she reportedly said, “But I’m famous! I need to go on first!” according MonstersAndCritics.com's retelling of tabloid accounts. At that point, her fellow passengers reportedly dissolved into laughter with one quipping "You're no Sanjaya," referring to the talent-challenged contestant whose flamboyance carried him to a final 10 berth in the popular reality TV series. Abdul's final indignity was being forced to rub shoulders (not to mention elbows, knees and likely feet) with the less important people in her seat row because the airplane was full and her lame attempt to reserve the seat beside her was immediately overruled by a flight attendant.
But while Abdul's antics had her seatmates rolling in the aisle, Heather Mills' impromptu dance routine couldn't break the veil of doom that had settled over the flight she was on. Mills, the estranged wife of Paul McCartney is a competitor on Dancing with the Stars and, when the entertainment system on the Virgin Atlantic flight she was on from LAX to London broke, she thought she'd fill in. Mills foxtrotted from First Class to Economy and back with Dancing partner Jonathan Roberts, but her act was scant compensation for the planeload of passengers facing 10 hours without day-old news programming, TV reruns and six-month-old movies to distract them. "We weren't in a good frame of mind because of the broken entertainment system," one passenger is reported by London.Net to have said."When the dance routine, which moved from first-class to economy, finished, no one clapped because we were all in such a bad mood."