Catching a flight can be a hectic experience for anyone. Whether it be getting to the airport on time or the long line through security, traveling by air can be a real headache. But what about the issues you encounter once you board the plane?
Occasionally, you land yourself on a flight that is filled with some surprises and we’re not talking the good kind. Air travel really is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. These real-life plane experiences will hopefully remind you the next time you’re squished between a screaming infant and someone’s pet chihuahua that you are one of the lucky ones.
44. Poor guy.
Not crazy, but funny. I was flying out of New Orleans, and there was this group of guys that had gone there for a bachelor party. Before takeoff, one guy was going through his phone and says, “Oh god, I spent over $400 between 2 and 6 in the morning last night. My wife is gonna kill me.” A minute later, “Oh god, she’s calling me now!” Then after we landed and they were getting off, the guy who had driven everyone to the airport in the first place says, “Oh god, I left the car keys in New Orleans.”
43. Those beans are not cool.
I am an ex flight attendant. Worked for a small regional airline where there was only 1 flight attendant per flight (50 seater planes). There was a notorious passenger who would line up first to ensure he sat in the front row in the aisle seat. He purposely wore baggy shorts and no underwear with his foot up giving allllll the FA’S a shot of his old saggy beans. Towards the end of my reign as an FA I got the pleasure of having his company on my flight. He was a total scumbag!
42. Time to catch some zzz’s.
My good friend from grade school’s dad is a private pilot. He flies everyone from rich people to celebrities. One time he had this ridiculously obnoxious woman and her (many years her senior) rich husband who slept through the whole flight. This woman would NOT stop pestering my friend’s dad about stupid things, so my friend’s dad decides to have some fun. He convinces the woman that there is an ejector-seat button that he can press that will throw her out of the plane. The look on her face was priceless, he said, she genuinely believed me. Anyways, this shut her up and the flight was quiet after that.
41. That would take some doing.
My mum was a flight attendant. She told me about this one time that she had to do the safety demonstration, like how to fasten your seat belts, where your nearest exit is, ect. This one woman, sitting somewhere to the left of my mum started taking off all her clothes, while making eye contact with my mum the whole time, and just sat there naked for the duration of it. Then when the safety demonstration was over, she put back on her clothes and gave my mum the most smug smile ever.
40. Gotta air out those toes.
I’ve only been flying for a couple of months so this may seem tame compared to other people’s stories. I had a passenger in the first row take his socks and shoes and run his bare feet up against the bulkhead (the front “wall” of the aircraft). If that wasn’t gross enough towards the end of the flight he got up to use the lavatory without shoes. I think he needed some therapy.
39. Put them in their place.
I was on a flight from Singapore to London where they give out pyjamas. A group of 4 South Africans that were getting loaded on booze at the lounge stumble onboard and start acting like knobs to the FAs, demanding all sorts of crap. Somehow the crew didn’t turn them off and the plane took off. After take off, 2 of the geezers go and get changed in to the PJs in the toilets and come back just wearing the bottoms and no top, sit back in their seats and continue boozing.
The chief FA came along and spoke to them after they argued with an FA about putting their shirts on. They argued with him. So then the freakin’ captain came down and tore them a new hole. It was brilliant, we’d have all clapped but we didn’t want them to get angry with us.
The crew handled it brilliantly and the captain gave us all 40,000 frequent flyer points for the disturbance (thank you Qantas).
38. Sandwich and a root beer, two bits.
I’m a ground agent so I hear plenty from our FA’s. I do want to note, however, that it’s not just in the air that the passengers are trouble. We can tell from the moment they check in at the counter if they are going to be an issue and are oftentimes not proven wrong.
We had just finished boarding a flight and the FA pulled me into the cabin for a second. A passenger had gotten so wasted at the bar that he peed himself in his seat. We had to deplane him and he was about to have a go at my manager before he saw the port security casually saunter over.
One passenger asked an FA for root beer and a sandwich in a 45 minute commuter flight. We don’t serve those on the short hops and he told him that and offered the menu card. The passenger insisted the FA was lying to him and told him he wanted a sandwich and a Root Beer. Our FA said he’d come back and check with him after helping the row behind him. Passenger still insisted on the sandwich and threatened to sue the airline if he didn’t get one. The FA repeated that we don’t serve sandwiches and he eventually just gave up and glowered the rest of the flight.
37. It came from the sky.
We’re flying from San Francisco to Cincinnati. In the middle of the flight, the pilot announces to fasten our belts because they are expecting a bumpy ride. Apparently, there is a weather disturbance that had been reported. Just prior, he casually announced that we were at 40,000 feet, expected time, etc. (I believe 40,000 was the number but it may have been a bit less).
After the announcement, we hear pop, pop, pop, pop. POP, POP, pop. Tons of them, and we’re all like, oh!?!?!? Really bumpy… Turns out, it was giant hail hitting the plane. Really bumpy. Pilot again announces more sternly for all crew to take seats and no one get up.
Really, really bumpy. Then wham! We fell out of the sky. There is no other way to describe it. It was like you were just sitting in a chair suspended from a rope at the top of a cherry picker and someone cut the rope.
DROP, drop, drop, then wham! It’s like the plane landed in an enormous vat of creme filling (sorry, that’s what it was like kind of soft but still a big jolt) but more on one wing than the other so the plane “landed” askance and all sorts of stuff went flying out of the right bins to the left nailing people in the head. Some people not completely (or at all) buckled flew up and hit the ceiling then back into their seats. Screaming everywhere. Absolute chaos.
Then, the pilot screams over the intercom, “Denver, we’re in serious trouble up here, I need…” and a few other words we could not understand. Freaked everyone out. He forgot to turn off the cabin speakers from the earlier announcement.
Rough, rough, rough, then drooooooooop again. Same thing, but a much harder landing. I mean, we dropped for what seemed like minutes, but was probably 10-15 seconds. Wham! A much harder landing. Stuff flying everywhere, people crying, praying, screaming. Nuts!
We cruised through that and it became smooth again. The pilot later announced that he was sorry about the mistaken overhead announcement, etc. He also said that the current altitude was something like 18,000 feet. Whatever the exact numbers were, we had dropped about 10,000 feet (two miles)!
It was the worst of my 500,000+ air miles. You never heard so many people clapping upon landing.
36. Tin coffin in the sky.
A guy passed away next to me once.
On a flight from Maui to Dallas, I was half-asleep in the second-to-last row of the plane. While I was listening to music and dozing, I suddenly heard a really loud, hard “THUD” next to me. I look over, and there’s a man lying on the ground, completely still.
I thought maybe he tripped, but the flight attendant came running and he was unresponsive. She frantically ran up and down the aisles asking for doctors. Luckily for him, the flight was full of vacationing doctors and nurses, all of them in ridiculous clothes. Two of the doctors who came back were in Hawaiian shirts and golf attire, and the female nurse who came back was wearing a very strappy revealing blue Hawaiian print dress.
The doctors tried to wake the man up, but he was gone. I was surprised to find out just how much medical equipment they have on commercial flights; the docs whipped out a portable defibrillator and shocked the guy, then set up an IV drip for him. I never heard a word out of him or saw him move, not sure if he actually woke up or not. Our flight was diverted to LA, and when we landed, half a dozen EMT personnel ran on the plane to pull the guy out on a gurney.
Unfortunately for me, this whole scenario set off a panic attack, and I had to go find a nice spot in the aisle to lay down so that I didn’t faint and cause more problems for the crew and doctors. It was embarrassing.
35. He warned her.
Flying from Atlanta to Washington D.C. We were about 45 seconds post-takeoff when the guy beside me unbuckled himself and started running up the incredibly steep aisle. The flight attendants immediately start yelling at him to sit down, even going so far as to fumble with the intercom. About 10 feet from the front of the plane, one of the crew said: “Sir, I’m going to have to demand you sit down.”
Guy: “Ma’am, I am going to poop my pants.”
He barricaded himself in the bathroom for about 10 minutes and emerged to clapping and angry looks from flight attendants. He ordered a water with no ice in it when they got to our aisle.
34. There’s a room for that.
I was in an aisle seat on a flight from LA to Austin, Texas.
About an hour into the flight, I notice this awful smell. I look up from my book just in time to see this 70-year-old woman violently vomiting in her lap. Since I’m overly sympathetic, I turn toward the people in the other seats to try and avoid doing the same thing. After about a minute of this and the rancid smell, she is led to the bathroom. As she is leaving her seat, SHE RELIEVES HERSELF IN THE SEAT. So I get to spend the rest of the flight gagging as this aroma is in my nostrils. The flight attendants tried to clean it as best they could but it made no real improvement.
33. A standing ovation.
I wasn’t there for it, but this happened to my cousin.
He was flying in South America and about halfway through the flight he realizes he really needs to pee. The plane he is on is a tiny prop plane made for tiny people (he is 6′ 5″). He awkwardly climbs over his aisle-mates and stumbles/shuffles to the back of the plane. As he is closing the door the captain comes on the loudspeaker and warns of upcoming turbulence. He thinks, I really need to pee. He crams himself into this tiny bathroom, right as he starts they hit a huge bit of turbulence that knocks him off his feet, backwards, through the bathroom door, and flat on his back, in the aisle. Still relieving himself straight up in the air.
He was completely mortified and managed to get back up, pick up the door, and work himself back into the bathroom. He waited for like 20 minutes hoping no one would have seen it or forgotten about it by then, but when he went back out to take his seat, he got a standing ovation from every single person on the plane. Ouch.
32. This really happened.
Date: September 11, 2001
Location: On a plane two hours from landing in JFK (the New York City airport) when the towers were hit.
What scared me was this flight attendant’s face as she walked past me. This was before the pilot told us over the speaker that we had to turn around back to Greece. I was just playing my Gameboy, wasting time when I look up and see the flight attendants run past me with a face that looked scared to death. This worried me because flight attendants are always calmer than Hindu cows. So in my head, I’m thinking, “Something might be happening,” and just imagining the plane was going to drop any second.
It freaked me out but then the pilot got on the speaker and said the towers were hit by kamikazes and we had to turn back. The entire flight back the only image I had in my head were World War II-style planes with Japanese kamikaze flying into the towers and I was just wondering why Japan would attack us.
31. Wave goodbye.
I once took one of those little prop planes from St. Louis to New York. I don’t remember what airline it was, I just wasn’t pleased.
It’s winter time, and we hit a storm we couldn’t go around, so we decided to go through it. The plane was (thankfully) not full.
When we entered the clouds, it got dark fast, and the plane started to shudder from turbulent winds. I’m having a ball because I have no fear of flying despite the fact that everyone else is terrified, and then we hit the real storm. The plane dropped. I’m not sure how much since we’re directly in the clouds and the pilots are pretty clearly trying to find an empty spot. I guess our plane couldn’t go above the clouds. It wasn’t powerful enough or something. So we drop again.
And every overhead bin pops open. People start screaming, the stewardesses won’t leave their seats. Luggage is doing the humpty in the aisle. And this little kid who is about 8 or 9 is doing the wave every time the plane dips.
I do the wave with him.
Plane survives the trip, I give him a high five on the way out.
30. Should have thought that one through.
The captain on my flight from Fort Worth, Texas to San Diego, California comes on the PA: “Good afternoon, passengers… If you all look towards the left wing of the plane, you can see a large amount of smoke.”
“There seem to be some pretty bad wildfires going on down in Palm Springs due to the lack of rainfall this week.” One-hundred people sigh in relief.
29. A love story… ?
On a flight back from Hawaii, the row in front of me contained a bearded guy who looked about 40 and a Japanese woman who looked about 60. It was dark and the cabin lights were off. They began chatting.
Soon I noticed that they were each leaning in toward the unoccupied middle seat and sort of whispering.
I heard her say “but I’m married!” a bunch of times. She showed him her ring and he took her hand in his. They held each other’s hands for a while. Occasionally, she’d scold him and they’d talk some more, but soon they were holding hands again. I hear her say “but I don’t know you.”
Soon the guy took out his driver’s license and gave it to her to inspect, which she did for upwards of 10 minutes. When she was done, he leaned in for a kiss.
They made out for a while (about 40 minutes) and they stopped because she once again said that she was married, though this time she said it with a tiny bit of a smile. Her heart was clearly pounding. There was an electricity that overtook her. He was magnetized and focused on her every movement.
When the plane landed they both rushed off together down the aisle toward the exit. The guy was on my next flight and I noticed that when he boarded the plane he had a red rose with him. The woman was nowhere to be seen.
28. He’s just not that into poo.
I was about 15 and flirting with a cute girl in the seat next to me. My family was about two rows back with my younger brother and the lady that occupied the third seat pretty much set me up the entire flight. This old lady was the best wingman ever.
Anyway, I get up to use the restroom and she says she has to go too. She gets out first and I’m waiting for her to finish up. We’ve been flirting pretty much the whole flight and she knows that I’m right behind her in line. So she finishes using the bathroom and I walk in. Right there in the toilet is a gigantic unflushed number two.
To this day I have no idea how you respond to something like that.
27. Sweet, Sweet Victory
I was on a flight from Amsterdam to New York and there was a kid who was running up and down the aisles trying to bite people. As he was heading down the aisle at full speed, a stewardess suddenly pulled the refreshments cart into the aisle right in front of it and he ran smack into it face first. She said to him “Oh, sorry, didn’t see you coming. You shouldn’t run like that down the aisle,” or something like that.
I know she did that on purpose. It was awesome.
26. Pilot humor.
So we’re flying out of Cleveland and the pilot comes over the PA and gives his welcome. “So we’re just leaving Cleveland, we should be in… ummm,” and then slightly under his breath, but not quiet enough that everyone else didn’t hear, he says, “…where are we going?” Long pause… “Chicago!” Everyone laughed. Good times in high times.
25. One lucky passenger.
I was flying to Denver on Delta in winter 2009, and they were switching from cash to credit only. They just got their brand new machines to swipe cards and I was one of the first people to test ’em out. I ordered a beverage; it was $7. She took my card, swiped it, and the thing that printed out was zero dollars. I left a $3 tip and thought, cool.
About 10 minutes later, she came by and asked if I wanted another, and I said sure, why not? Swipe the card, another 0 dollar transaction. Bought lunch, zero dollars. So I ordered four more drinks for around $20 in tip.
Checked my bank account the day after and sure enough, only the tip showed up.
I have no idea what happened, but that was one happy flight attendant.
24. Anything could happen.
Not mine, but my sister’s. She was once on a long haul flight from London to Hong Kong. During the night while everyone was sleeping, suddenly a woman let out the most horrible scream. Since this was not that long after 9/11, everyone was pretty on edge as it was. It turned out that the woman had just had a bad dream. Everyone was pretty annoyed after that.
23. You’re going down.
I was on a plane that lost power just as it was throttling up for take-off. And I don’t mean they reduced power to the engines, I mean all the lights went out, the engines shut down, and we were left sitting on the runway for a good few minutes. Somehow the plane regained power and we taxied to an adjacent tarmac for another few minutes. After this, the pilot announces to the passengers that they had a small technical glitch and that we are now ready for take-off. The rest of the ride was uneventful.
22. Any last words?
I woke up to a thunderstorm outside with purple lightning bolt. “Aaaaaaaaahhh this is your captain speaking, we’re aaaahhhhhh about to get into a little bit of turbulence.”
21. Culture shock.
My friend and I were the only Americans on a flight from Paris to Rome. During boarding, everyone was pushing and shoving; there was no semblance of a line, but more of writhing blob pushing and shoving to get on the plane.
On the plane, everyone was pretty loud, but up to this point, nothing too weird had happened. We started to take off and everyone around me was holding on for dear life — praying, hugging the seat in front of them, but still being really loud. We got up in the air and as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign turned off the plane turned into what I can only describe as a flying flea market; everyone is up and walking around and talking and yelling. Towards the end of the flight we had some turbulence. Everyone sat down and started screaming and the girls started crying. Then when we landed, it was the same theatrics as we had taking off, except when we land everyone starts clapping and cheering. To top it all off, when I got off the plane, no one was at customs or security. I mean no one.
20. That escalated quickly.
Flying Seattle to Vegas. A lady wearing a bizarre pink sweatsuit sits in front of us. She immediately starts talking non-stop to the business people next to her. She tries five times, before the plane even leaves the gate, to order drinks. The stewardess has pretty much had it with her already.
We get in the air and she starts ordering beverages non-stop and gets overly friendly with the poor people sitting next to her.
The stewardess eventually cuts her off and the lady goes berserk. She’s screaming “You big moron! I’m being discriminated!” etc.
She was arrested when we landed (which I think is extreme, but it was amusing).
19. What a nightmare.
The day started out with the normal airport panic and running to catch our flight. When we got there, it was a full plane and we were crammed into the plane like sardines in a can. There must have been something wrong with the air conditioning because it was hot. Imagine sitting in a leather-covered sweatlodge wearing a fur coat. My friend stroked my hair and reassured me and then we took off, suffering silently with the heat ever building. Twenty minutes of boiling Hades later, my vision is starting to blur, my tongue is hanging out of my mouth and I’m panting up a storm and feeling dizzy. My friend tried a few things to cool me off, but that just caused a commotion and the whole plane was staring at me. That’s not the best thing for you if you are already in distress.
Then comes the crazy part.
Maybe it was the heat, but my best and trusted friend flips out and tries to stuff my whole head into the airplane vent overhead!
I’m ashamed to say I just lost it. Wouldn’t you? I was clawing at everything just trying to get away. I tried climbing into the seat in front, jumping around and begging for help, you name it. Five minutes into my panic attack, I felt this pain in my chest and I fainted.
The next thing I know I’m looking down at this chaos from above. My friend is sitting there weeping and sobbing cradling my head. Crazy, right? To top it off, some guy a few rows back thinks this is the funniest thing in the world and takes a picture.
18. Amber’s first time flying.
So I recently flew across the country to surprise some friends. That was fun; a great weekend. The magnitude of awesomeness experienced with those folks was matched only by the degree of awful experienced on the flight home with a different group of ladies.
I drew first blood in this whole affair and for that, I am deeply remorseful. I was late boarding the plane and noticed that they were checking bags at the door of the plane to save overhead storage space. I had my laptop and duffel bags and I didn’t want to check either because I had to catch a connecting flight with a super short layover. So as I approached the stewardess I positioned the duffel bag on the side opposite her and slightly behind me so she wouldn’t see it as I passed. This worked perfectly initially, but after I got a few feet past her she spotted it. She said, “Excuse me sir, but I’m going to have to ask you to check that and you can pick it up when we land.” But again, super short layover, so I just kept my head down and kept walking. By this time there were a few people between her and I, so she just huffed and turned back to continue fleecing everyone else as they boarded the plane. My bad, if I could take it back now I would.
The next set of interactions was when the 4 year-old twins from The Shining sat down behind me and immediately commenced random staccato shiatsu with what I presume were authentic dutch wooden clogs. Nothing too out of the ordinary there, just run of the mill annoying. I was resigned to a few hours of this treatment as my lot in life when in walked Amber.
She looked like she had just come from a bad fashion shoot, a stained jean jacket over her rumpled track suit, greasy hair askew, tripping over her red high heels. Gotta love the pairing of high heels and a track suit. I watched her loudly say “IT’S MY FIRST TIME FLYING!” at anyone foolish enough to make eye contact with her on her way down the aisle. I kept tabs on her out of the corner of my eye, silently praying for her to glide by like the angel of death at Passover. No such luck. She fell into the seat next to me, smelling horrible. She ordered three beverages before we started to taxi. “IT’S MY FIRST TIME FLYING! IN THE SKY!” The server where she spent the 5 hours preceding our departure had informed her much to her surprise that they do not provide the drinks she wanted on airline flights, and had graciously sold her 5 cans of red bull so she could make her own. So she went from just being loud and annoying to being loud and annoying at breakneck speed. I quickly lose track of how many drinks she has had. Apparently the person at the check-in counter had a sick sense of humor and had handed her a few dozen free beverage coupons, and she was determined to use all of them. Convinced that I am her new best friend she shared that “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!” and of course her go-to catchphrase “IT’S MY FIRST TIME FLYING!” Over the next ten minutes I learned all of the most pertinent information regarding her existence. She works at the most amazing hair salon; it’s totally chill, but totally professional too. She likes to party. Her favorite episode of Maury is the one where the lady finds out the 15th guy also isn’t her baby’s father. This also happens to be my favorite episode of Maury, but I declined to mention this out of the fear that it would convince her we are soul mates. Undeterred by my monosyllabic responses she continued raining down verbal nonesense.
I realized my only way out of this was to feign sleep. I asked the stewardess as she walked by if she could bring me a pillow and a blanket. I saw her eyes flit between me and Loud Amber, and she kept walking with no other sign she had heard me. Well played, stewardess. Once I realized that the stewardess wasn’t coming back and that Amber was showing no signs of stopping I squeezed past her and to hunt down a pillow. I also saw that the plane was completely booked so there was no chance of finding another seat elsewhere. I slid back into my seat and set up shop faking sleep before the plane began to take off. For a few minutes while we waited for clearance I was successful, but once the engines revved up for take off Amber started sobbing and babbling incoherently. I imagine this is what the last scene in Say Anything would have looked like if it had been cast with Janis Joplin instead of Ione Skye. I just tried to look like I was sleeping even harder but I could feel her velociraptor breath as she craned her neck to look past me out the window. Somehow it didn’t occur to Amber that it would be completely impossible to sleep with the plane taking off and the twins still playing rock, paper, seizures behind us, and for this I was grateful for the next half hour.
Then we hit turbulence. Amber started growling like a dog around a vacuum cleaner. Every dip resulted in her clutching my arm with her good grabbing claw. She attempted to shout down the storm “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!”, perhaps as Jonah might have done. The twins started crying, because of the turbulence or Amber I’m not sure, so someone gave them a DVD player with Looney Tunes on it to try to distract them. This only had the effect of focusing their scrambling footwork; the explosions of the Coyote and Foghorn Leghorn serving as a primitive drumbeat, guiding them into a delirious raindance upon the back of my chair with the exquisite synchronicity that only twins can achieve. The parents apparently forgot to bring headphones, but in the extreme turbulence no one complained. At the end of every cartoon I would be taunted that the powerful trance-like cadence would end soon by the promise “That’s all folks!” But it never was.
Once the turbulence had died down, Amber’s consumption of countless beverages reached a breaking point. “I HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM!” she shouted to no one in particular. As you may have heard, it was her first time flying, and she had watched the safety instructions with rapt attention. I didn’t think she would have remembered any of it, but she surprised me by yelling in frustration “YOU MUST REMAIN IN YOUR SEAT WHEN THE SEAT BELT SIGN IS ON!” That is a somber promise that no man shall break. The screaming, along with a few dozen presses of the call button, was enough to get the attention of the stewardess. Amber calmly and patiently shouted her plight at full volume. After noticing me, the stewardess replied “I’m sorry but we are still experiencing some residual turbulence at this time so you must remain seated.” This was a good ten minutes after the turbulence had ended. It was so smooth a guy in the row ahead of him was carving an ice sculpture. It was still. So I had to sit with Amber as she whined for the next half hour until we landed. Our row definitely started to smell a bit musky by the end of the flight.
My next flight was twice as long and two hours late, but it was still better than that first one with Amber, her pre-adolescent, doppelgangers, and the vindictive stewardess. It sucks knowing that I could have checked my bag no problem with my extra two hours of layover and avoided that last half hour of fragrance.
17. No chance I’d do that.
I served in the Norwegian Air Force for my conscription and as a result, I had quite a few confusing moments involving the little amount of time after a scare. My favorite one was when a helicopter took me along for a joy ride on a combat exercise. I was really new in the armed forces. I got into the helicopter early and got to meet the pilots. Really nice guys, ages and ages of experience sitting behind the stick so I felt safe. Then I met the crew that we were delivering into “combat”. These were six big as mountains, burly men. All in ski masks. None of them even recognized me as being in existence. The flight was pretty long, almost 20 minutes, and not a word was said by any of them. Finally, we stop moving and hover above about 6 meters or 18ft above the mountain. The pilot gave the all clear, the doors were opened and after a little moments hesitation all six of them jumped out. 6 meters above the ground. The pilot just smiled at me and said: “These guys are cowards. The guys before these jumped at 9.” I seriously thought for a while it was some sort of ritualistic, military sacrifice. After a while I summoned enough courage to look out the door. All six of them were fine, standing in the snow and signaling for us to leave. I closed the door and we left. About a week later they reappeared in camp. Dirty, mangy, smelling horribly. Rumor had it later on that they camped out most of the week in a sewer pipe.
16. A herculean feat of flying.
Going to a secret military base in northern canada (NORAD base with 4 fighter jets) to inspect the building’s insulation. (He is a housing hvac expert). On the ride back, they are all strapped in the Hercules when all of a sudden they feel the plane dip. The plane is moving back and forth and the people didn’t have their seat belts on. They are flown all over the cabin. One guy gets a concussion, but my boss makes it back to his seat with only minor injuries. They eventually in an hour or so make it back to Greenland.
When everyone got off the plane, they saw the captain. The Hercules cockpit window broke during the snowstorm. The pilot’s face was swollen beyond recognition and had glass in it. But he continued to drive the plane all the way to save everyone.
15. The family that reads together…
I once saw an entire family, mom dad and two teenage kids, a boy, and a girl, all sharing an adult magazine. They were passing it back and forth, making comments about the pictures/articles. I had no idea how to react to that honestly.
14. Anyone got an air-freshener?
I was on a flight back to Pittsburgh from LA, in coach of course. I board the plane, sit down and I notice two nurses helping a elderly woman into the seat directly in front of me. She was in a wheel chair and looked to have suffered a pretty bad stroke. About 30 min outside of Pittsburgh the woman soiled herself, and the smell was awful. Then the nurses get up and actually changed her diaper right there. The smell instantly doubled when it ‘hit the air’ an it was at that point I actually prayed to knock the plane out of the sky and end it.
13. A sticky situation.
About 10 minutes after takeoff, I felt something drip onto my hand. I looked down; it was thick and syrupy, and it was coming from the overhead compartment down onto my seat and the one behind me.
My hand started itching as I called the flight attendant.
Above my seat, someone had stowed a cooler filled with scallops. I am allergic to shellfish.
12. Just checking.
On a night flight, we were about 15 minutes in the air, the plane had just leveled off and it was super bumpy. You could feel the plane moving side to side with constant turbulence. I didn’t think much of it until one of the pilots hurries out of the cockpit, takes a flashlight, and starts examining the wing of the airplane through the window. He stood there, moving the light up and down the wing, for a good 10 seconds or so, then shook his head and casually walked back to the cockpit. About 10 minutes later the turbulence stopped and the rest of the flight was uneventful. Still, scared me.
11. Do what you gotta do.
In my previous job, I often flew but since my flights were typically booked last minute which often landed me in the rear of the plane opposite the bathroom.
While flying home from Atlanta on a typical small 2×2 seat jet a small boy(maybe 4 years old), a few rows up and opposite isle from me, asked his mother if he could use the bathroom. The boy went in and closed the door and did his business. Time passed. Perhaps 15 minutes. And I heard quiet sobbing from the bathroom. More time passed. Eventually, I got a hold of his mother and informed her of the situation.
She knocked on the door and gently called to her son. No response, just louder crying. She tapped on the door and told him to let her in. click, the door swung open slightly. I wasn’t looking as I had no intention of seeing what happened but I instantly had a good idea. The overwhelming odor swept past me. The mother went in and I heard swearing under her breath. She came back out and got a hold of the flight attendant. From their quick discussion, it seemed the bathroom was out of toilet paper. The boy probably was caught off guard by this predicament. He did the only thing he can think of – using his clothes and hands to wipe. The flight attendant gathered a fist full of napkins and together her and the mother came toward me to deal with the issue in the bathroom.
Again they opened the door, fully this time. With morbid curiosity, I peer to my right to see what was going on. The child was covered from head to foot. It was on the walls, the sink, the door – everywhere. They brought him into the aisle next to me to clean him up. I should point out at this time that most planes only fit one passenger seat directly across from the bathroom. I’ve never made myself so small. I plastered myself to the wall of the aircraft as best as I could to avoid being touched. While the whole situation was rectified rather quickly, I don’t know if this was more traumatic for the boy or me. The whole time he was getting cleaned he was looking me straight in the eyes while bawling.
10. Love is in the air.
Well … I don’t know if this fits the bill but a Taiwanese woman tried to get me married to their daughter on that transpacific flight. She is a complete stranger to me – she proposed to me for her daughter and promised me 2 cars and a lavish house anywhere in the USA if I agreed. She also showed me that they had a business so she had the money for what she said.
I was 18 and I was freaked out… Good I got away from there .. she even took my picture and phone number.
9. That flight was bomb.
My uncle is a mountain climber (he summated Everest a few years ago) and a couple months ago was climbing St. Elbrus in Russia. He summits St. Elbrus successfully and goes to the Moscow Airport to fly back to Canada. After everyone had boarded the plane a Chechnyaian man runs to the front and tells everyone that he has a weapon attached to him that he will use unless the Russian government lets Chechnyaian prisoners go. My uncle is at the back of the plane confused as to what is going on because he only speaks English. After 5 hours many people had fainted because the plane was not on and therefore air-conditioning was not on (this was during a heatwave also). So the criminal allows doctors to come aboard to help the sick people. However instead of doctors it was the Russian equivalent of a SWAT team that came in and used extreme force against the man. After this, everyone was deplaned and my uncle was stuck in the airport for an additional 16 hours being questioned by the Russian officials, without being allowed to call the Canadian Embassy, and the airport didn’t call the Embassy either. He eventually came home with this sick story.
8. Sharing a seat.
I was on a flight from the east coast to arizona. In the middle of the flight the pilot gets on the intercom and is like is anyone a doctor on the plane. There was a lady like 3 rows up from me on the right section who had an oxygen tank and her family is all around her. I didn’t think anything of it since it just seemed like she was just sick.
Twenty minutes later, the pilot gets on the intercom and is like we are diverting and making a stop in denver. We land in Denver probably going 600 miles an hour. I have never gotten to the gate that fast in my life. After the door opened there was police, firefighters, EMT you name it. You couldn’t really see what was going on since there was so much commotion. I remember the family got off the plane with the lady. I specifically remember the look on passenger on my right when she looked out the window and saw there was a white sheet over the woman that was three rows up. She passed away on the plane.
So you wonder if someone dies on a plane what happens. They land the plane get the body off the plane and do some paperwork and you are on your way in 30 minutes.
The kicker to the story is in Denver it was during spring break so they had alot of overbooked passengers. The pilot gets on the intercom and says they are letting people from Denver board the plane since we had a few empty seats mind you we were coming from the east coast. Sure enough a lady sat down in the same seat THAT THE WOMAN WAS IN. THEY DIDNT EVEN CLEAN IT. I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT. I was in awe for the rest of the flight.
I was thinking about telling the woman after the flight that someone passed away in her seat 20 minutes before but I figured if that was me. I wouldn’t want to know.
7. You know what they say about airplane food.
I was on a flight from Delhi to Dubai via Jet Airways. One hour into the trip three men sitting to my right took out a small butane gas cooking stove which they set up lodged between seats and started cooking Dahl.
6. Gliding along.
On a flight from London to Berlin, me and my wife were the only passengers on board. it was kind of awesome. The flight attendants were in a wicked mood and gave us lots of beverages and the pilot addressed us by name on all announcements. Half way through the flight the planes engines went silent and the flight attendant got a worried look on her face and said, “I hate it when they do this”. I wasn’t really sure what was going on but we figured the plane was gliding or something. I’ve never heard a plane be that quiet before. Anyways we ended up partying with one of the attendants later that night at Berghain / panorama bar. Good times.
5. At the risk of being gross…
I was in Iceland when I caught a terrible cold. Whenever I’m sick I try to do my best to not get anyone else infected; washing my hands all the time, covering my coughs, trying not to breathe in anyone’s direction, so on and so forth.
I was sitting in their terminal by the boarding gate when I see this larger woman bumping into everyone, standing right next to people who were sitting with her butt in their face, just completely unaware of where she was and what personal spaces she was invading.
Naturally, her seat is next to mine on the plane once we board.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but if my elbow touches someone else’s because we’re trapped next to each other in seats, I immediately move it. Not her though. She would dig her elbow into mine whenever I rested it on my armrest, and just leave it there as if she couldn’t feel me. She would be so blissfully unaware of herself that her legs would be caressing mine the entire flight. He arms were in my seat, and none of this was intentional, she was just totally unaware of where she was.
I had used a tissue because of my cold, and needed to grab another one, so I put it on my lap. She was playing around with her lipstick when she suddenly grabbed the USED tissue, rubbed it all over her open lipstick to “clean it” and then asked me if she could use it!
Uh, you already have been wiping it all over your lipstick for like 10 seconds now you disgusting creature.
I hope she got sick.
4. Ahem, do you mind?
One time on a flight, I had a slight cold and the air was pretty dry and I was coughing a lot. I was sitting in a middle seat so I didn’t want to drink too much water and have to constantly get up to pee, so I resolved to just coughing into my scarf, trying to keep the noise and disturbance to a minimum. Two rows in front of me, I see a gentleman staring at me every single time I cough.
Now, I understand that you don’t want to be stuck in a limited space with someone sick… but if you’re flying in the winter, sick passengers is something you’re going to have to risk. And again, I was being very careful to cough into my scarf or suppress it so as to not disturb the people around me.
He spends the whole 3 hour flights staring at me and muttering at me but I just ignore it. When the plane finally lands and we are getting off, I see him up ahead, standing to the side, talking to a flight attendant.
And he is talking to the flight attendant, he is glancing at me and saying, “How can you let those type of people on the plane? They could have SARS or something (I’m Asian).” The flight attendant is just smiling and nodding but I can tell she’s just ignoring him like I was.
I was pretty offended he thought I had SARS just because I was Asian and coughing. At baggage claims, I made sure to stand near him and cough without covering my mouth.
3. I put a spell on you.
I’m on the maintenance crew at a major airport. One day I am going to the aircraft for which I have to manage the turnaround after landing, and I get a call from the ramp agent saying we need to have the police. I immediately think “Great, one of those days huh?” and rush there. When I arrive everything seems ok, however the closer I get to the doors the louder some screams are becoming. I look inside and I see the cabin crew all in the first row watching the rear of the plane where 4 cops are trying to handle some guy resisting arrest and shouting with everything he has in his lungs. I kid you not, it took them almost 10 minutes to be able to take him out of the aircraft and he still wouldn’t shut up, so I asked the cabin crew for the report I had to submit to my manager. Here’s what I read:
“Passenger seemed very kind and very well-behaved until lunch time. He requested a second meal and, since we had some spare and he was very kind, we gave him one. He thanked my colleague, then took the bag from the overhead bin and pulled out 3 bottles of vodka. He drank as much as he could from the first one in a single sip, then he opened the other 2 and poured them all over his head, spilling of course some on the passengers next to him. My colleagues were in shock as they asked him what he was doing and to move to the back, which he agreed to, and then he pulled another vodka bottle from the back and drank some more. At that point, he became an uncontrollable mess, saying the worst things about our airline and how happy he was to ruin our flight.”
And as I went to check his name, I immediately remember another report I had to submit about this guy: a few months prior to this pleasant display of mannerism, he lied to me about the breed of his dog when I booked his ticket and the cargo hold. I couldn’t know at the time of course, I only found out once he came to check-in counter and I asked the documents for the dog: turned out it was prohibited in the country he was going to, so he was rejected the check-in unless he left his dog to his relatives and flew alone.
He looked at me, smiling. And then shouted:
“I WILL CURSE FROM HERE TO ETERNITY”.
Well then, I admire you for your dedication kind sir.
2. Just get me off this plane already.
Ex-Flight Attendant here. I’m no longer a flight attendant for too many reasons to count.
Worked for a private charter company for two years. Lots of oil riggers, miners, private tours, pretty much man-children and entitled jerks. Used to fly a bunch of 30 days on 7 days off type guys up in northern BC. These guys were notoriously bad, they just didn’t give care and the company we subcontracted out of didn’t help by letting them basically do whatever they felt like. They really had that “I don’t care about your petty rules” mentality about everything, which translated oh so well to being told what to do by a measly flight attendant.
Middle of December get put on a 4 day pairing to unload these guys which has me up at 5am to board the plane which takes off at 6:30AM, do a 11 hour loop going south with 3 stops and back up to park and repeat putting me back at the hotel at 6:00PM each night.
Crew Sched had scheduled in absolute minimum crew rest, meaning any minor delays screws the whole pairing. Literally 20 minutes before first day’s take off one of the NAV units blows (Airplanes have two but must fly with both for this very reason) Which delayed us considerably because another plane had to fly in with a whole other crew and a replacement piece.
By the time we take off it’s 10am, other crew takes half our leg. The guys have been talking to the delayed passengers so we’re getting a ton of “Your planes are pieces of garbage” “you guys are a joke” and tons of abuse hurled at us. And of course it’s the first day. On top of this, fellow F/A gets deathly ill and gets sent home after day 1, ride along mechanic is sleep deprived and blows the slide trying to rush off the plane. Pretty much heck in a hand basket and we have 3 more to go.
Fast forward to final day and we are WIPED and just needing out of there. I’ve slept in and gone without breakfast which has put me a little on the edgy side. We’re in the middle of taxiing to the runway and doing our safety demonstration when the In-Charge calls me via interphone, her voice is shot from doing announcements for the past 4 days straight and asks me to do them. I finish my checks in the back and start up the demo, keep in mind this is an extremely short taxi (small BC airport)
As I’m doing the demo and the pilots are waiting for us to give the clear, some moron jumps out of the seat, since they’ve been told 3 times since boarding to remain seated with seatbelts fastened as we’re about to take off I assume emergency and he bee-lines it to me right in the middle of me speaking the demo which I promptly stop. I ask him if he’s ok and am promptly met with
“Get me a pillow”.
Mustering all my calmness I explain to him that I can get one for him the second we get in the air as we’re about to take off and the pillows are located near the OW exits, and I can’t interrupt our safety checks and proceedures.
“JUST GET ME A PILLOW”
I swear, there are only number of times I can say I’ve visibly seen red, and this was one of them, I can’t remember exactly what I said but I’m pretty sure it was “I’m not your slave” and “sit the [bleep] down” He saunters off to his seat where he starts arguing with another passenger. I immediately regret it, and continue the demo keeping an eye on him.
Thankfully nothing really came of it, only the hilarious karma of telling a passenger off and realizing soon thereafter that the commissary they packed for us to give out was mini-cupcakes and Disney princess yogurt which I had to serve him…..
1. Hard to believe people like this exist.
Not a Flight Attendant anymore as I left at the end of last year, but this is a story that’s gonna stay with me ’til the bitter end. Here goes…
Sector: London Heathrow to Singapore.
The second I greeted this couple at the doors I knew they were going to be trouble. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but hey, I’m only human and I’d been doing this job too long to know a troublesome passenger when I saw one. The guy was 50ish and chronically obese with a t-shirt that ended at his belly button; as he waddled up to the door you could see his belly flopping from side to side as if it had a life of its own. He was the kind of guy you could smell before you could see him coming. His wife was short and seemed kind of whacked out.
The second they got to the doors to board, the woman started asking when the food was going to be served and that she wanted a bottle of water for them both. Calm down, I thought, if everyone made these demands the second they boarded, we’d never take off. No matter! I got her the water and said in the least patronising way I could that food would be served once we’d taken off.
I was working in Business on this sector and there was no way that these two were going to be my problem for much longer. Bye.
Remember what I said about not judging a book by its cover? Well, turns out they were in Business Class. With me. For 13 hours.
As soon as he sat down he wasted no time in taking off his flip flops and before I knew it his wife was on her knees cutting his SKANKY toe nails. Click, click, off they scattered all over the floor.
Fast forward to meal service and I ask them what they want. He wants beef. She wants pasta. I go back to the galley and come back with the pasta, but she’s gone to the toilet. Fine. I’ll leave it on her tray and let the husband know it’s there for her. I go back to the galley to get the beef and come back and he is eating his wife’s food! I didn’t know what to do and assumed they’d already discussed it or something and thought nothing of it.
30 minutes later and the woman is bought up by another crew member. Apparently she got lost and couldn’t find her way back. Next thing I knew she was complaining to the CSM that her food was forgotten. I said to her that her husband ate it and he denied it. (Plates had been cleared in by this point and there was no dirty plate to yell AH HA at)
By this point we’d run out of pasta and she was not best pleased by this news.
Over the next few hours we had complaints from passengers saying that the guy was burping, farting, and otherwise being a gross rude jerk. Sadly there wasn’t much we could do as it was a full fight and we couldn’t exactly move anyone around.
At one point I walked down the aisle and he was stading on his seat looking down at the sleeping passenger next to him. Literally just frozen there. I asked him if he was ok and he said he needed the toilet but couldn’t get past the passenger next to him.
WHY THE DON’T YOU ASK HIM TO MOVE THEN?!
“Shall I ask him if he minds moving his legs, sir?”
“WELL I SHOULD THINK SO I’VE ONLY BEEN STANDING HERE FOR DAYS!”
The passenger moves his legs and this guy still manages to trip over him and nearly crush him or smother him to death with his BO.
He was so long in the toilet I nearly had to knock on the door to see if he was ok.
Once he came out he said he needed painkillers for his back. I said we could give him paracetamol or temgesic if the pain was really bad. At this point he took an empty packet of heavy painkillers out of his pocket and said they were prescribed to him and he wanted those EXACT ones.
I explained to him we weren’t a pharmacy.
He was having none of it and complained to the CSM.
After all of this crap, I was beginning to wonder why I took up this job and it was at that moment I heard a scream from the cabin.
Give me strength.
He had completely undressed himself and was walking stark bollock naked down the cabin.
His wife had once again wandered off and got lost.
In the end, they were escorted off the plane by the police in Singapore and it turned out they were off their tits on meds and booze.