Harlem Shake raises safety concerns on planes, CTA trains

March 1, 2013 3:30:03 AM PST
The latest flash-mob craze is shaking up public transportation safety concerns- on the ground and in the skies.

The Harlem Shake, the latest incarnation of the 10-year-old flash mob craze, spawned on the internet through viral videos of masked people crazy-dancing in public places. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating a mid-air Harlem Shake on a Frontier Airlines jet.

The I-Team has discovered another breakout onboard a Southwest plane, during which gyrating passengers were actually led by a dancing flight attendant.

The first incident, being examined by federal authorities, occurred on Frontier Flight 157 when it was nearly-midair between Colorado and San Diego. A helmeted passenger in chartreuse shorts began dancing in the aisle. When others onboard this jetliner joined him, there was the Harlem Shake at 30,000 feet. In this case, the gyrating passengers were with a college frisbee team.

After it was posted on youtube.com, the FAA began investigating whether such conduct is unsafe for the plane and for passengers.

This wasn't the only incident of an airborne Harlem Shake. The I-Team also found another incident, dated last week, in which a flight attendant apparently started the Harlem Shake during the safety demonstration on Southwest Flight 380 out of St. Louis. Many passengers were bucking through the aisles.

During a recent investigation of violence on the Chicago transit system, the I-Team also discovered that passengers doing the Harlem Shake have taken over CTA trains and buses. Many participants, wearing odd masks or carrying unusual props, hurdled seats and passengers who chose not to join in.

Even though the CTA videos are readily available on youtube, a transit authority official says the CTA has not had any reports of the Harlem Shake. The CTA prohibits loud music and disruptive behavior, and if incidents of the Harlem Shake were reported, law enforcement would be called in.