People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories

These are stories that would fit into any heartfelt movie, but they actually happened. Airport employees, although occasionally disgruntled, get to witness families and friends saying some heartfelt goodbyes that will restore your faith in the human experience.

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

45. How Can You Be So Heartless?

My family is based in the Philippines but my dad was British and he had to go home because of his cancer. My sister was denied a passport/citizenship by the UK so she needed a visa with my mom. I didn’t need one. We sent him ahead and were soon to follow him to the UK as we were just waiting for my sister’s visa.

My mom and sister were denied by the embassy for a visa. The look on my sister’s face when she said goodbye to my father at the airport broke me. She couldn’t let go of his hand and the security had to follow her and gently tell her to return to us as she had run to follow my dad.

Her wails when she had to learn she couldn’t see my dad broke me more when the letter of denial arrived. I had to fly alone to take care of my dad.

They never got to say goodbye properly when he died because the cancer took him so quickly. My sister was 8 years old when that happened two years ago. Until now it breaks my heart.

I couldn’t understand. My sister was a kid. I couldn’t fathom why she was denied. People can be so…heartless. All I could do was bring home my father’s ashes to them.

willowlillyy

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by Rob van der Meijden from Pixabay

44. Seeing Goodbyes Every Day Never Gets Easier

When I was in college, I used to work at an airport in a smaller city as a passenger assistant during the summer. I would help people with their baggage or help push people in wheelchairs to their gates, etc.

On more than one occasion I pushed late-stage cancer patients to their gates who were flying to another city for chemo treatments. A lot of times family members would walk with us all the way up to the gate to say goodbye, just in case it was the last time. Broke my heart each and every time.

Zaxl

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

43. Shape Up, You’re Shipping Out

Not a worker, but me saying goodbye to my 7-year-old daughter as I left for a 10-month deployment. I deployed fairly often in our marriage and when the kids were little; those were somewhat easy. The wife understood and the kids were so young they got through it fairly easy.

This deployment was right after our family spent 18 months living in an RV (while I was in grad school) and spending every moment together on the California coast hiking up and down miles and miles of trails. My daughter and I had grown particularly close; I taught her to read, I walked her to school each day, we spent evenings on the beach, and rainy days coloring together or watching Doctor Who.

The trip in question (that really hurt), was virtually a no notice trip. One moment we are back in North Carolina (on another camping trip) and two weeks later, I am leaving for 10+ months. This was the first time she understood (albeit in a limited way) some of the dangers associated with the trip and the length of time.

I will always remember her soul-wrenching sobbing as I left…

As a follow-up, I helped her over the trip by writing her (and her sister and her mother) daily. I even got access to several dozen children’s books and read them to her (on a DVD) and then sent them to her as a package weekly.

Even though she is now turning 16, I occasionally see her looking through them from time to time…

GreenSalsa96

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by Defence-Imagery from Pixabay

42. Love Can Cover The Distance

I met the love of my life just a couple of months before moving to New Zealand. For a whole bunch of seemingly valid reasons he couldn’t come and we said goodbye at Belfast International Airport. I had already rebooked to stay longer while drinking in a pub a week earlier, so I was flying back to have 12 hours, overnight, to empty out my apartment and then fly to New Zealand.

That goodbye nearly destroyed me. Knowing that I loved him so much, but we had been together such a short time that long-distance would be a struggle… It was awful. We cried and held each other until it was almost too late and then I cried through security and the whole flight. Super heartbreaking.

Happy ending though. Due to not having a car that day his dad dropped us off at the airport and when he saw how devastated my boyfriend was upon returning to the car he basically said, “If she’s so important to you, why aren’t you going to New Zealand?” And there we were, barely a month later he had a flight, a visa and we were apartment hunting.

I know in my heart we could’ve survived the distance, but man I’m glad we didn’t have to try.

i_dont_carrot_all_

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

41. The Rules Are The Rules

I worked at a ticket counter at the airport. Management had recently doubled down on us NOT giving out gate passes, because security was going to be testing us, and we needed to practice good habits.

So when this lady came to get a gate pass to escort a family member to the gate (it was her son I think), I had to decline. I really hate to be the bad guy, but there are good reasons for these rules. If you aren’t elderly, young, with a disability or some other physical reason… you can’t get a gate pass.

This lady didn’t take it very well, and got very upset, saying she was just trying to spend as much time with the other person as possible before they left. She argued and begged. This is always the part of the job I hate…

I had to stick to the policy despite her obvious distress, and so she had to say goodbye at the security door. She walked him to the door and started crying and gave him a big hug etc. It was very sweet, but I could tell this rushed goodbye wasn’t what the lady had wanted.

Then she stayed until the plane had left… just watching through the window and quietly crying.

What I appreciate about it the most is that she didn’t blame me personally for the issue. So many times, passengers have blamed me for enforcing the airport security laws, but after she understood the rules, she just accepted it and let him go. That’s rare.

Cannadianeh

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

40. Airport Employees Try To Make The Goodbyes Last Longer

The thing is I had to walk this kid all the way to the gate (took us 15 minutes) and then endorse him to a flight attendant who would be on the same plane. I figured if I came back, I’d find this kid’s mom, I mean she might have stayed until the plane took off. So I half-ran to where I met her, but she was already gone, and I couldn’t search the whole airport to find her because I wasn’t on a break and had to go back to work. I would have looked more, but I’m not allowed to check the kid’s personal info as it was confidential.

suspicious_gay

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

39. Shipped Overseas During Cancer And A Divorce

Before I was born, my mom had breast cancer. When I turned 7, she was told she had uterine cancer (by the grace of God, they caught it SUPER early). My parents were in the midst of a divorce but obviously put it on pause so my dad could help my mom in every way.

He was working for Rubbermaid at the time and used all of his time off to take care of mom and take her to treatments and such. Rubbermaid decided that dad needed to go to China to take care of some issues that had arisen with a product he had designed.

My sisters and I took him to the airport and my dad started tearing up and told us to take care of mom and each other while he was gone. Apparently the look on my sisters’ and I faces was pretty upsetting to other people around us because dad said on the flight, a lady stopped him and hugged him saying she was praying for our family.

He came home 2 weeks later, mom went into remission (and has remained cancer-free for 20 years!). They did end up getting a divorce but it was pretty amicable.

Oh, and he quit Rubbermaid after he got home and was offered a general manager position of a plant of a smaller company where he has stayed since.

schuser

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by WikimediaImages from Pixabay

38. Making Long Distance Work

When I met my SO, she’d told me she was going to spend a year abroad in Europe for her last year of college. We were together for about a year and a half before she left for Europe.

At the airport, after spending two weeks abroad with her to help her set up her apartment and school things, I managed to keep it together until I reached the bathroom of the waiting area and then cried for probably 10-15 straight minutes until my entire face hurt.

Long-distance relationships are hard, but we managed to text every day and Skype every other day. It was difficult, but we made it through and just got done moving in together.

shabadabadabada

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

37. From Singing To Sombre

Not sure if it counts, but I worked as an airport interpreter. Some years back I was dealing with the morning flight to Mexico and waiting for the afternoon people to fly in from out of state to go on their connecting flight to Cancun.

One young guy with a guitar was standing around and talking with people. He was talking up the flight attendants and looking like he’s having a great time. He gets a call and soon turns somber. It happened too fast. As his flight is boarding to Mexico he comes up to the front desk to tell us he has to cancel his flight and go back home. His dad had been killed in a car crash. We all felt so horrible for him. He turned around and went home to grieve. This wasn’t the only time something like this happened.

We had a flight that was canceled due to technical difficulties and a guy was on his way to Mexico to bury his dad. The funeral was that night and he was desperate to make it. His somber face is something I can’t forget. There was also the ladies I met who were going to Mexico because their kids had gotten married and were honeymooning in Mexico City. The son of one died in a shoot-out in a night club, and the daughter of the other got shot but was in stable condition. They were going to claim a body and to make sure the daughter was taken care of.

Frankfusion

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by William Iven from Pixabay

36. Don’t Worry: There’s A Happy Ending

Not a worker but the most heartbreaking airport goodbye I had was after visiting my girlfriend in England for the first time. She is British, I’m Canadian and we met online through a mutual friend and immediately clicked. I was only 18 at the time and had no idea how I was going to fly to Europe to meet her. Eventually, after 18 months of online dating, I managed to save up enough to stay in the UK with her and her family for a month.

It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done. Visiting London and seeing the sights was incredible and first meeting her in the airport was such a relief. Seeing her not as a picture in my phone, a voice in my headset, or face on my computer chat, but as a real person lead to so many emotions. we did everything together and were inseparable and her family loved me, just like I loved them. They were so great to me and I’ll never thank them enough.

Eventually, the time came and I had to leave. The final few days of the trip turned from excitement and happiness to curled up in bed watching movies and lots of crying. It was heartbreaking holding her in her room and assuring her that I would see her again but the truth was I couldn’t guarantee that. This trip cost me thousands of dollars and I had no idea when or if I would ever see her again.

Squeezing her hand at the airport and comforting her took all of my emotional energy and I nearly broke but I had to be strong for her. She needed me to be her rock and I did the best that I could. Once the luggage was checked and I had to go through security that was when the sobbing really started. Forcing myself to walk away from her as her parents took her sobbing back to the car was one of the hardest things I’ve done in my entire life. Long-distance is brutal and I don’t wish it on anybody. I know I wouldn’t do it again.

I managed to go twice more: I spent 6 weeks in England the next year and then flew again before Christmas to propose. We’ve been married for nearly two years now and she’s the love of my life. She lives with me in Canada because it was easiest for us while I finish my degree but if she wants to move back home then I’ll follow her anywhere. It’s the least I could do.

talimus96

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

35. Flying Commuters Are Sappy Too

My husband still works as a ramp/fleet service agent, but I quit in 1993. Back in 2011 it was either transfer or be furloughed for him. Because we had three kids in high school and the economy was bad, we didn’t trust that the airlines would still be flying in a year, so we elected that I would stay at home with the kids. Married for 31 years at the time, and never spent a night apart, except for short work trips, it was devastating. I drove with him to his new station, and as I got back on the flight to head home, I remember very nearly sobbing as I got on the plane and I tearfully asked the gate agent–who had no clue who either one of us was, to take care of him. What a sap! Seven years and hundreds of flight commutes later we have been in the same city now for four years, but what a horrible time that was!

34. When Family Just Makes The Goodbye Messier

This actually happened with my own family. We were at the airport seeing my dad off who was heading to London to visit family. The rest of us had work and school and weren’t able to join him. Anyway, my younger sister had been quite sick with the stomach flu the previous week and was sitting further away from us to avoid getting my dad sick as best she could as he left for vacation.

A few minutes later, as I’m sitting by my dad and his group has been called to board, my sister walks over to us. She’s walking a little strange but approaches my dad and I. As soon as she opens her mouth, a waterfall of vomit splashes all over my dad’s face, head, chest, you name it. Poor dad was absolutely soaked in vomit, and the plane was taking off in 20 minutes for a 10-hour journey. My dad had to rush to the bathroom to clean up as best he could while everyone in the airport seemed to freeze over what they had just witnessed. A nice gentleman nearby offered my dad a shirt he had in his carry-on, but there’s nothing quite like sitting on a plane having been vomited on by a sick child for 10 hours.

Sad in a different way, but nevertheless, sad for my dad. No doubt the people sitting anywhere near him on the plane.

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

33. No One Can Prepare For Unaccompanied Minors

Former gate agent. Grandma brought the little girl to the gate to fly unaccompanied back home. The unaccompanied minor was about 7 or 8 and clearly terrified of flying. I was largely pregnant and super hormonal, easily given to tears. After hugs and kisses in the terminal, I walked the unaccompanied minor down the jetway. She was still very scared and unhappy, and I tried to cheer her up. That’s when she full out started sobbing and told me that her daddy had passed away in a plane crash about two months prior. Wow. Thanks, Grandma! You think that’s something you maybe should’ve given us a heads up about?

 

32. A Reminder From Your Friendly Neighborhood Baggage Claim Handler

I was an airport employee, but I either worked around baggage claim or after security. So I didn’t see any sad goodbyes.

Just a friendly reminder though to be nice to people who work at the airport!

I know it’s a high-stress environment, but it was unbelievable how needlessly mean people were to employees there. I’m no longer working there, but I try to be extra mindful to be nice to people who work at the airport after that experience.

pigeonsplease

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

31. This Private Jet Flight Home Ran On Heartache

I flew a private jet to San Francisco to pick up a 5-year-old girl and her mother. The girl had a brain tumor and was in San Francisco for the last ditch effort to be cured. Unfortunately, the treatment had not been effective, and the plane ride had been donated to bring her back home to pass away. I don’t remember why the father stayed in California, but watching him say goodbye to his daughter broke my heart. At the time, My wife was close to her delivery date of our first baby, and this really tore me up inside.

Sdollar456

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

30. Sometimes There Are Attempts To Intervene

This really gruff looking man comes to the counter with a dog in a carrier, he is talking really quietly and fighting back the tears. So we are trying to help him with whatever he needs and be as comforting as possible. So he says, “Yeah I just got a divorce and my wife who had a better lawyer got the dog in the divorce. She hates the dog and is only taking the dog to hurt me, and she is going to put it down as soon as she gets it.”

The dog is just sitting in the crate happy as can be, and he asks if he can have some time with the dog before the flight. So we say sure, and that he can take him out in the grass over there and we will come and get you at the last possible moment. So he takes this really unpleasant-looking but happy dog over into the grass and is rolling around with the dog. A big 6-foot tall man, rough as you can imagine, rolling around like a 3-year-old with a dog jumping all over him. This happened like 30 years ago, and I’m still cutting onions in here. Anyway, we offered to lose the dog for him; you know stuff gets lost all the time. He says thanks for the offer but his ex-spouse would hunt him to end of the earth to punish him.

29. He Says Hello, She Says Goodbye

A man shows up at the airport with two dozen of beautiful roses, says his wife has been on a business trip for two weeks, and he is there to surprise her and bring her home and needs help finding her.

He finds her. She gets off the flight inebriated and needing a wheelchair. We get her up front to where her husband is waiting on the checkpoint exit.

He surprises her; she puts her hand in her face, looks up and says “I’m leaving you, I found (someone name not audible) on my trip, and I love him”

She threw the roses on the ground. He picked them up, clearly shaken, said he couldn’t do this, said goodbye, and off he went.

No idea what happened after that. But this man was on cloud 9 surprising his wife, and she completely destroyed him in seconds.

dstar2002

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

28. Commercial Flights Are Easy Compared To This

Air Ambulance pilot here. A large part of our job is moving non-critical patients between facilities. The one day we had to take a gentleman in his 80’s from here to a town that was a 4-hour drive away. His wife had passed away a couple of months before, and his family couldn’t take care of him anymore. The nursing home in town was full, and the only place he could get a spot was in this other town. He had no family in this new town and had never even been there before. It was heart-wrenching to see him as he was forced to leave his entire life behind.

dhc7

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

27. Don’t Make It More Awkward Than It Has To Be

I used to work at an airport. The best ones were the teenage sons and their fathers, who clearly never hug each other, but somehow felt obliged to do so in the most awkward manner just because they were going to be apart for a few days or weeks.

underneonloneliness

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

26. They Might Not Get The Chance To Say Goodbye

Years ago, I was a flight attendant, and due to weather, we were slammed with missed connections, late arrivals and everything else thrown in the mix.

We were loaded up and waiting to depart from the jetway, and after about 15 minutes, a woman was escorted to the plane. I led her to the last seat available on the last row, and we finished our pre-departure duties and took off. Everything had gone wrong that day, and if I remember correctly, we weren’t catered properly, so this added to my annoyance.

I took a moment to speak to the lady who boarded last, and she said she was going to see her husband and then got quiet. I asked her if everything was ok and she said he had had a heart attack and she was rushing to be with him at the hospital. I asked her if he was going to be ok and she said, “I don’t know.” I was shocked, and I don’t know why, but I asked her if he was going to make it and she looked at me and said, “I don’t know.” I realized she didn’t even know if he was still alive and I spent much of the rest of the flight kneeling beside her in the aisle, holding her hand.

I have thought back to that moment thousands of times over the years since then in moments when I get annoyed at people or if something inconveniences me or someone else as you never know what someone is going through.

sandbargirl

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

25. Pilots Take Great Care To Make Goodbyes Easy

I worked the ramp at a very small local airport and saw a family show up to give away the family dog because it had gotten old and they couldn’t take care of it anymore. A pilot that works with Pilots and Paws offered to take care of the poor dog. Saw these like eight to 10-year-old kids sobbing as the pilot loaded up their buddy in a Cessna and took off.

That’s definitely my saddest.

Wingzfan99

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

24.  Compassion Should Be Listed Under Their Job Duties

I used to work for a major airline at a very very small airport, which only four airlines total at the airport.

It’s like my third or fourth day, and I happened to go out front to talk to my supervisor about training, and this poor lady is bawling her eyes out. I mean buckets of tears running down her face. She has like 30-minutes before her plane leaves and all she wants to do is say goodbye to her daughter who’s driving in to see her mom. I asked if everything is okay and mom just starts crying more and says.

“It’s sad, but I have to leave, and I just want to say goodbye to my daughter.”

I told her I could wait with her until she arrived. More bawling. She replied that the daughter is almost there and she will be fine. Never heard anything about what happened.

Istoleapot

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

23. There Is No “Standard” Military Goodbye

Airline employee here. The saddest goodbye for me is anytime we have to transfer a veteran’s body home. If you want to see 100 grown men crying here is the place. When that family comes down on the tarmac to say goodbye and the soldier escorting them joins them. It gives you chills and wet eyes.

Og_tighead

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

 

22.  Some Goodbyes Are More Final Than Others

Former airport employee here, last summer I worked at the international airport of The Netherlands where I would drive people around to their respective flights who were in need of assistance. Anyways, in my last week, I had to pick-up an elderly (85-ish) man from the check-in desk. He was accompanied by a huge number of (presumably) family members and friends, and as I told him he had to say goodbye because we needed to move on to customs, the majority of the group started crying.

At first, I felt really uncomfortable because I had no idea what the hell was happening, but after about 15 mins he told me he was going to Portugal to enjoy his “final moments in a beautiful place before ending it all.” I went silent instantly as I didn’t know how to respond to that, I’m still left with so many questions as to how and why.

Alola-snorlax

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

21. Last Flight Out

The saddest goodbye was actually saying goodbye for the final time to one of my friends. He had worked for multiple airlines in the airport and was well liked by everyone. He passed away suddenly in his sleep, and it devastated everyone in our small airport family. His family wanted to bury him in his hometown, so we had to ship his body away. Basically, the whole airport had stopped operating while his friends loaded his body onto the aircraft taking him home. The whole ceremony performed was very emotional, but I’m glad he got to take to the air even after he was gone.

Redlegsfan21

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

20. In Those Short Moments, Say Something That Matters

Worked as an airport employee for a while. One of my duties was to accompany minors who were flying alone. Well, there was this tiny boy, ten at the time, that I had to meet after his check-in. His mom checked him in; she saw me waiting, then she said, “Can you give me a few minutes to say goodbye?” I said sure, stepped aside, then she knelt so she can look the boy in the eye. She brought him to me after a few minutes, so I walked with the boy towards the gate. He looked sad, so I made small talk and told him where he was going and if he were meeting someone where he’s going.

Apparently, his parents are separated, and his mom is sending him to his dad because she can’t afford to feed him adequately and send him to school. She also can’t afford a round-trip plane ticket to go with him which is why the kid’s flying alone. He said he’s never going to see his mom again because he’s sure his dad won’t allow him to.

As a child of a bad divorce myself, his story broke my heart.

suspicious_gay

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

19. Everyone From Sales to Luggage Cares

I worked at Barcelona airport for a few years, and the saddest moment was also a goodbye moment. A couple with a baby of two came to Barcelona to visit the family of hers (she was Spanish, he was British). It broke my heart when we at the sales desk realized a “Jim Wilson” who requested Special Assistance was on the flight. “Jim Wilson” is the airline carrier code for a corpse being transported back home. So yes, the corpse was the baby of two-years who apparently collapsed for reasons I don’t know, and now was being sent back to England.
There were literally 30 people, all family of hers in the airport, saying goodbye to the little coffin. I never saw a more lost person than the mother and the grandmother. It was shocking, many of our coworkers had to take a break for several minutes as they could not stop crying.
Now I’m a father of a 9-month old baby girl, and I’m just crying remembering this.

korddac

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

18. Sometimes, They Don’t Want An End To The Story

I work at an international Airport in Germany. I was checking in an older lady who told me she has cancer and she is going to Morocco to get some oil that is supposed to help support the chemotherapy she is doing.

Two weeks later a young girl was at the airport demanding a ticket to Morocco crying her eyes out. It was like a punch in the gut.

not-your-teacher

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

17. Parents Are Bad At Goodbyes, And Some Don’t Even Do It

I don’t know, I mean we had a Family fly in to drop their daughter off for I guess a boarding school? In our business, it’s not entirely our place to ask directly or judge. Generally, we ask “What Brings you to <Airport City>?” but that was an awkward ride from the plane to the fixed base operator when the little kid realized Mom and Dad would not be staying with them.

ccbcc814

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

16. A Witness and Participant

Not the employee but the granddaughter of the employee. My grandfather worked at Heathrow and was called into work the day that his mother emigrated to Australia (she was then 73, I think). We’d planned a big send-off – all the family was at the gate – and he had to rush over at the last minute, say goodbye, and rush off again. Harsh. I was too little to realize quite how awful that was for him, but I remember him being very sad for months.

bopeepsheep

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

15. Always Pay Your Respects

I’m nonmilitary, raised by military father. In Raleigh Durham Airport, two years ago it was dark outside, but I caught a color guard ceremony for a fallen Marine. Inside the airport, myself and a retired Marine (he traveling with small children) we stood silently, at attention (he did it better than me having been active Military) anyways we stood silently at the window while the plane pulled up, the coffin was unloaded and transferred to a hearse. I’m not sure which part was sadder, watching a fallen hero come home and standing there with another human being paying our respect or the fact that the rest of the airport didn’t care and just carried on showing no respect.

Sorry, maybe not what you meant but this moment haunts me, and I can still visualize the color guard, and almost everyone in the terminal making noise.

Florida2000

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

14.  They Just Wanted Her To Get Off The Plane

I used to be a flight attendant. We had a senior woman traveling alone on a flight from Houston to Detroit. None of the flight crew noticed her during the flight, but she would not get off the plane when we landed.

She started frantically singing gospel songs when we tried to ask her questions. It took four of us an hour to coax her off the aircraft and into a wheelchair. She clearly was very frightened.

No family was there at the airport to meet her. Eventually, we had to call the police to have them take her to the hospital for treatment and figure out if she had anyone to care for her.

Maximusgrande

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

13. Would Date Again

I met my girlfriend online (in Guild Wars, long ago) and after a few months of online dating, we finally met for a 5 days city trip in Lisbon. It was awesome up until the moment we had to go home again. I bawled my eyes out for hours, and when I had to board my plane one of the flight attendants took me aside to ask me what was going on. Turns out the flight attendant had been in a long distance relationship as well, so they talked to me and were able to calm me down somewhat.

That was over three years ago. The distance is gone and we are now living together in my home country. Those sad goodbyes were absolutely worth it, even if they were gut wrenching. 5/7 would date my S.O. again.

12. Technology Doesn’t Mean A Thing In The Moment

I worked at an Irish airport in 2009, and that was tough enough, watching a 21 and 22-year-old heading off to Australia, etc. Parents and grandparents were breaking down as they left the airport. And that’s with Skype available. I can’t even imagine putting someone on a boat and knowing you would probably never see them again.

Imaginesomethinwitty

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

11. All Paws On Board

A marine was saying goodbye to his dog.

Mrxcman92

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

10. Tearful Explanations

I don’t know how the employees felt about it, but there are a few employees who witnessed a 6’3″ man in all black, black cowboy boots with spikes on them, mirrored aviators and a tattered cowboy hat crying his eyes out at Gate 3 while saying goodbye to his Irish fiancee.

I even lost it when paying the person outside the parking garage once. It was this sweet, old lady. I was choking back tears, and she made the mistake of saying, “Hey, are you okay?”

MASSIVE SOBS “I’m sorry, I’m engaged to a woman who lives in another country, and this is just really hard.”

[deleted]

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

9. Avoiding These Goodbyes Isn’t Possible

Whenever a fallen soldier comes home, and especially if that soldier had his or her trusty companion with them too. Seeing those caskets come out from the plane just punches you right in the gut.

madmarvs

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Pixabay

 

9. Your Situation Seems Bad Until You See Someone Else’s Goodbye

I’m not an employee, but I was dropping off my long-distance BF at the time and thought I was sad until I saw this other goodbye. It looked like an exchange student was saying goodbye to his exchange family. I eavesdropped a bit and heard him tell the mom that he is really grateful that they housed him and gave him this great opportunity to study in the States. The mom grabbed him and just hugged the life out of him while crying. I just felt so sad for them. It looked like he had really made a place for himself in their family and it was as if the mom was saying goodbye to, not just one of her own kids, but to one that she would most likely never see again. I hope they at least stayed in contact with one another!

earthwormcalypso

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

8. Shoutout To Helpful Employees

Ok, I know this doesn’t technically answer the question… But here’s a little happy amidst the sad.

I’m in a long distance relationship (opposite sides of the US), and recently I brought my partner to the airport and was waiting to make sure he got through security (he has a history of doing things like accidentally throwing away his boarding pass and having to go through the whole line over again). I guess I looked sad and lost, and I sometimes get mistaken for a teenager when I’m dressed down, so employees kept asking me if I needed help. I politely brushed them off until finally explaining to one of the check-in agents who seemed extra worried that I was just making sure he got through security ok.

She leads me back to her counter where there was a window to the security line so I could flag him down once he got through and had one last goodbye through the glass. She even took pictures while we had a Kirk/Spock moment. So I just wanted to say thank you to the nice airline lady for being really sweet despite probably dealing with a lot of stuff all day.

allthesebees

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

7. She Got Over It Rather Quickly

A mid to late 20’s couple was doing the typical “sobbing, hugging, loving and affection emotions” towards each other.

This went on for a while, the guy was going overseas for a company thing, didn’t catch it. Until they HAD to part. The guy did the walking backward, waving, blowing kisses, etc, etc. She stood there waving, being all emotional herself.

The second he was out of sight. She did a complete 180, emotional and physical. Just turned on a dime!

She walked away and went straight up into the arms of another guy waiting at a bar. She said something along the lines of, “Okay, the boy is gone, let’s go!”

winter_quanza_een

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

6. Goodbye And Hello

I am an airport worker. A few years back I had a guy come into my bar with what I assume was his girlfriend or fling, whatever. At one point he was asking me “how do you do it? It’s gotta be sad watching people say goodbye all the time.” And I truthfully told him that not many people make a big scene about goodbyes at this airport. I haven’t seen any that have stuck with me.

Eventually, his girlfriend leaves to get on her plane and he continues drinking a bit. I’m friendly and keep talking to him. Eventually, he goes to leave, but not after writing a laughably long note on the receipt about how that was a married woman that he sleeps with whenever she’s in town and she’s going to tell her husband she wants a divorce. But then he finished the note with and I quote: “If YOU ever want to hook up with me, give me a call.”

To this day, that is the most memorable “goodbye” I’ve seen. Oddly, I don’t even remember him saying goodbye to the woman, just that there was a goodbye.

bz71

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Image by Carisma-Training from Pixabay

5. Airline Employee Celebrates Their Own Long Distance Relationship Successes

I was in a long-distance relationship before my husband, who lived in the USA, moved to Finland and married me. I was usually the one crying in airports.

The first time I visited him in his city in the Midwest, and more than one person getting off an arriving flight stopped to make sure I was okay. One lady sat with me for a while and gave me a pack of tissues. The people there were so kind.

The worst, though, was when my child (from a previous marriage) and I took my husband to the airport after he visited us. I just wanted to curl up and cry, but I had a 5-year-old to take care of.

He’s lived with me in Finland for eight years now. It was really hard while the relationship was long distance, but it was absolutely worth it.

finnknit

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash

4. Don’t Travel With A Hateful Ex

I worked for the company that ran the food service in the airport.

I saw a man taking his young son to the boarding doors, both of them just sobbing, while the kid’s mother (who was escorting him across the country) kept snapping at her ex-husband to hurry up. As soon as the poor kid was over by her, she told him that he would NEVER see his father again.

I’ve seen airport security call an ambulance for someone not having a medical emergency twice, and this was the first time.

People thought he was going to end himself right there. The mother was getting some pretty hate-filled looks, and I think the flight crew may have considered packing her in the luggage bay.

I don’t have many details on this, but me and a coworker both witnessed it, and my coworker was a single dad himself, and he ended up leaving work early.

WeirdWolfGuy

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories

3. Pilots Strike Ruins Vacations and Chemo Treatments

That reminds me of a really sad phone call that I had while I was working in an airline call center. The pilots of the airline that I worked for were on strike, and we were rebooking people onto other flights the best we could, and refunding them if we couldn’t.

My caller sounded like an older man, and he mentioned that he was traveling to the USA from Canada for experimental cancer treatment. He lived in a smaller city, and there was only one other airline that had flights from his city. That airline’s pilots also went on strike.

I stayed on the phone with him for a long time and tried my best to find any way of getting him where he needed to go, but I couldn’t find a way to get him there in time. He thanked me for trying so hard to help him and calmly said that he guessed it just wasn’t meant to be for him. I ended up processing a refund for him. That call hit me way harder than any of the irate passengers who yelled at me for ruining their vacations.

finnknit

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories

2. There’s Always A “Right” Moment To Say Goodbye

I worked at a very small regional airport, so I dealt with passengers from check-in to boarding. Often the passengers and their families would stay together all the way up until boarding.

An elderly gentleman was dropping off his son who had flown in from overseas where he lived for a visit. It was just us three in the terminal at the time, and after check-in, the dad looked at his son and said “I have to go before I lose it,” and he hugged his son, shook his hand and left. His son stood looking out the window to the tarmac, and I could see he was getting a little upset. It was just us, so I walked over and asked if he was okay, he starts crying and says “This is probably the last time I am going to see my dad.” He then tells me his dad is terminally ill with cancer and he has to return to his job overseas. All I could do was hug him and cry with him; it was very upsetting to me even as a stranger.

Grandmastablemints

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories

1. Creation Of A Movie Ending

At the beginning of the security checkpoint, I was standing where you would normally hand off your travel documents for TSA to check. There was a person flying out. Her boyfriend couldn’t go past that area, so they hugged and kissed and said their goodbyes and see-you-laters. He waits from a few feet away as she hands her travel documents over. When she got them back, she turned around and they would both wave to each other. They both would turn back around, and the boyfriend would take a step. He’d turn and face her again, and she’d do the same. They waved again. This kept repeating on until they couldn’t see each other anymore. It was honestly like watching a really sad drama.

Canon6D

People From Around The World Share Their Airport Farewell Stories
Unsplash