“You’re No Sanjaya! You Have To Board Like Everyone Else.”

Catchy title, eh? Wish I could take all the credit for coming up with it, but truth be told, it is an actual quote from a real-life passenger trying to board a flight alongside “American Idol” judge Paula Abdul.

Typically, each week I post a “Sunday Travel Funnies” blog. Well, this is it; only I changed the title in hopes of grabbing your attention.

Anyway, back to Paula Abdul and the quote heard round the world.

According to news reports, Abdul created quite a ruckus recently when she tried to board a Southwest Airlines flight from San Jose to Burbank, California. Witnesses say the singer got to the gate and immediately demanded first–class treatment.

Several news agencies reported Abdul wanted to pre-board the flight, but was quickly told by Southwest employees that only children, elderly and people with disabilities could pre-board. To which she reportedly responded: “But I’m famous! I need to go on first!”

That’s when things got… funny (to me anyway).

A reporter on MSNBC’s website writes that “a number of fellow passengers heard the exchange, and one shouted at her: ‘You’re no Sanjaya! You have to board like everyone else.’ That, according to the source, prompted a round of laughter from the others — except Abdul.”

You’d think the scene would have deterred the “Idol” judge, who frankly, doesn’t have the greatest reputation to begin with. But, you’d be wrong. Apparently, Abdul was so unphased she reportedly pushed her way past other passengers and managed to get on the flight first.

Bet she felt good about that.

Oh, but, this story is not done yet.

No, no.

Once Abdul got on-board the plane and found her seat she could have sat there and reflected on her behavior. (“Gee, maybe I shouldn’t have trampled that 2-year-old on the jet way… nah, life’s tough and kids gotta learn quick.”) But, she didn’t. Rather, according to media sources, Abdul tried desperately to keep the seat next to her empty.

Unfortunately for the “Idol” diva (and one poor passenger), the flight was full and ultimately she had to give up the seat she had reserved for her purse.

Okay, let’s hear it. What do you make of this offbeat travel story?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.