While it is the fastest way to travel from point A to point B, we unfortunately can't choose who we board our flights with. Your seat neighbor may be a crying infant or an irate gentleman set on spreading his misery. Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the flight as your read through these airplane nightmares from the accounts of fliers and flight attendants alike.
The Cross-Country Flight
I have pretty bad hearing issues and wear hearing aids. Normally when I fly, I leave them in for the safety check, then pull them and promptly check out. I was on my way back from work-related travel and had the cheapest most awful seat on the plane. About 30 minutes into the flight, this 20-year-old guy starts having an EPIC meltdown.
Apparently, the Wi-Fi on the plane is too slow for him and he starts pounding and banging the seat in front of him. He then hits my tray with his knee, knocking my hearing aids up and away. I try to get up to catch them and he hits me right in the face. I’m a 5’3″ tall, 100 lb girl, and this guy is like six feet tall and pretty big. He sent me hard to the floor.
I was told that after that, someone restrained him, the plane turned back around, and he was escorted off the plane. The attendants were super nice, and the other passengers helped me find my hearing aids. I still don’t know what happened entirely, but they let me lay down across two first-class seats with an ice pack over my face for most of the cross-country flight.
Story credit: Reddit / Turinggirl
Taking Matters Into My Own Hands
I was a kid flying out to Utah to start my teen tour. About halfway through the flight, the captain got on the speaker to announce an engine had failed and we needed to make an emergency landing in Chicago. Needless to say, we got a little concerned. But one angry passenger took matters into her own hands. She stormed up to the flight attendant and let loose.
She explained she was a nanny and needed to get to Utah to attend to the children she took care of. I’m not exactly sure what she was hoping—that the pilot, upon hearing that a babysitter was on board would risk the lives of everyone to fly us all through, or that the flight attendant would be so moved by this story that she would climb out on the wing and repair the engine mid-flight.
Alas, there was no emergency jet pack to give this passenger to blast away from the plane to get to Utah on time, and she was told to sit down.
Story credit: Reddit / Imalawyerkid
Rubber Gloves Required
I was waiting on a flight in Denver. A little old man gets on and is arguing with the flight attendants about how he’s in “business class” and he paid for “business class”. This is a two-class flight, first and coach, the flight attendant tries to explain to him, but he’s having none of it. I figure he was probably connecting to an international flight that had three classes at the next airport but whatever.
He decides he’s going to sit in first class anyway. So he gets into the last row in first class, squeezes all the way over to the window seat, and refuses to budge. After a lot of arguing with the flight attendants, the authorities get called in. Meanwhile, the HUGE man (probably 6’8’’ tall) whose seat he was sitting on had arrived and was just laughing at the whole situation.
The best part was when the officers arrived and the huge man had to tell them, “Hey, it’s not me”. The officers spend probably 20-30 minutes trying to talk the poor old guy into moving to his proper seat, but he’s not budging and becoming more and more incoherent. So finally the officers have got to do something: they put on their rubber gloves, grab the guy, drag him out of the seat, and put him on the floor to cuff him.
The old guy is screaming and crying like someone’s hurting him. Finally, they get him off the plane. The officers came back in to get everyone’s contact info in case they needed them for a trial. The poor flight attendants had to clean the seats because the old guy had soiled himself when they were pulling him out of the seat.
Story credit; Reddit / bulldogdiver
Praying For Peace
I was flying back to the States from Japan. The flight in itself was already a really long one. My family and I were seated at the very back of the plane like we couldn’t get any more back than that as far as seats went. Anyways, halfway through the 9-10-hour flight, a couple of rows ahead of us, we just hear this poor woman frantically screaming in another language, I believe it was Mandarin or something along those lines.
I looked up and saw her constantly screaming something, it must have been a name or a cry for help. I believe it was her husband; he was unconscious and wasn’t responding. The flight attendants came by, and they even managed to find a doctor who was on the plane. They dragged his body toward the back of the plane and found he didn’t even have a pulse and were applying CPR to him literally right next to my sister, who was sitting on the other side right of me.
They constantly tried but nothing worked. The cause was heart failure, and according to the people with the gentleman, he had many health issues. After they stopped, the flight attendants asked my family and me if we could move seats. They had to wrap the body up in blankets and move him somewhere until we landed. They planned on putting him in one of the bathrooms and sealing it off for the remainder of the flight, but their regulations didn’t seem to allow that.
So instead, we moved and took the seats of the family of the deceased. They ended up buckling him into my seat, and I ended up sitting where he sat. For the remainder of the flight, there I was sitting in the seat of a man who had just passed, while his body was buckled into the seat I was previously in. It was a really strange feeling, and it wasn’t comforting at all.
Because of our positioning, turning the plane around wouldn’t have mattered. We were hours from any land that could offer medical help. It’s frightening to be in a situation where no real help will come. I hope the family found some peace.
Story credit: Reddit
The Self Exposure
Just got on a flight in London headed to Vegas. Sitting next to my GF, and she wants to show me something she has planned for the trip, so gets out her phone. It opens to the Messages and shows a chat with a guy (I know him) saying how much she is going to miss him and how she doesn’t want to go away with me anyway. The doors close on the plane and that was a really fun 10-11hrs…
Story credit: Reddit
He Went Bro Mode
On a flight to Philadelphia this past summer, the airline employees had asked people with the larger carry-on bags to please check them at the door, as there wasn’t much room on the plane. The bro in line in front of me had a huge bag, but kept telling the airline people “Nah, it’ll be fine, it’ll fit. Come on, don’t worry about it, it’ll be fine. Blah blah blah,” until finally, the employee got sick of it and just let him through with the bag.
Inside the plane, we go down the aisle a ways, and suddenly, still several rows in front of my row, he throws his bag down into an empty set of seats, then enters the row himself until he’s almost completely out of the way of the aisle, and starts digging through his bag. His butt is still sticking out into the aisle slightly, and I don’t want to brush it as I walk by, so I wait for him to realize he was still accidentally blocking the aisle.
After about 30 seconds, the people behind me are grumbling, so I ask the guy very politely, not mad at all, “Excuse me, mind if I just slip by”? I assumed he just didn’t realize he was still blocking the aisle. Suddenly he switches on to full “bro mode,” wheels to me, gets in my face, and says very aggressively and loudly, “You even flown on a freaking plane before? You gotta wait until I put my bag up”.
I’m not a confrontational guy at all, so I’m shocked and try to explain quickly before I can even really think about what I’m saying: “Sorry man, but your butt was the only thing in the way and I sure didn’t want to touch it”. Not very graceful or articulate, but I was in shock from the sudden aggression. He did not like it.
He pretty much yells in my face, spittle flying, “I don’t appreciate your language,” (uh, what, the word “butt”?) “Do you wanna turn this into something”!? He assumed an aggressive stance, arm cocked back slightly. I honestly can’t even remember what I did or said next, but whatever it was, it was enough to make him give up on the attempted bro-down, turn back to his bag, and heave it up into an overhead bin.
He then goes back out into the aisle and goes down a few more rows… to my row…and sits in the seat next to my ticketed seat. Yep, we were seat buddies for the whole darn flight. When he saw I was coming to sit down next to him, he looked like he wanted to punch me. It was a very uncomfortable flight for the both of us, I’m sure.
Story credit: Reddit / apackofmonkeys
The Baggage Handler Thief
Baggage handler here. Many years ago, I was sorting out luggage until I found a rather peculiar bag. It was tied up with rope, very loosely closed, and just didn’t fit the normal luggage look. I read the tag to where it was going, and it was headed for Colombia (which I handle), so I go ahead and grab it to throw into the bag cart.
As the bag hit the cart, the piece of rope holding it all together tore apart and its contents fell out. Lo and behold, lots of illegal substances. Now, this was in 2000, so I don’t remember any type of high security. So I picked up the stuff and popped it back in the makeshift bag. As I was placing them in, I then found a stash of hundred-dollar bills.
Not one or two, I’m talking wrapped in bands. Tons of money. So being the teenager I was, I pocketed it and had my own bag filled with nearly $25K. The next day, I bought a used car, paid my school off, and invested in an IRA for retirement. Thanks, stupid people!
Story credit: Reddit / Synn_Trey
Anything To Entertain
I was holding my toddler on a flight and the air pressure change from landing had her wailing. I tried everything I could think of to calm her. People were unbuckling their seatbelts and coming over to try and help. FINALLY, I filled a water bottle cap with water and had her drink from it. She wasn’t used to drinking like that, but I was thinking that the swallowing motion would help “pop” her ears.
It worked as she drank it, and then she stopped crying and fell immediately to sleep exhausted.
Story credit: Reddit / Clownfishsoup
Taking Their Time
I can say that the one thing that truly makes me angry is those people who take their sweet ever-loving time getting into their seats while blocking the aisle from anyone behind them getting through. They take a good 30 seconds perfectly jimmying their carry-on into the overhead, then they just stand there in the aisle spending another minute adjusting their belt, taking off their jacket, or doing whatever before finally moving to sit in their window seat.
If I’m behind this type of person, I just give them a piercing stare the entire time. They’re still completely oblivious to the fact that they’re not the only person on the plane, the world doesn’t revolve around them, and the other passengers would like to get to THEIR seats, too. Argh, my blood pressure is rising just thinking about it.
Story credit: Reddit / cutecutecute
Only The Bare Minimum
I was a flight attendant for five years and I spent every boarding standing at the front saying hello to every single person that walked on. Less than 30% would say hello back. Have some decency, treat your flight attendant like a human and say hello. We aren’t happy the plane is small or late either. But if you’re a jerk, you’re going to get the bare minimum in service.
People that would chat with me while pouring drinks and such usually got free drinks and snacks from me.
Story credit: Reddit
Stay In Your Lane
I got my window seat in the small plane for my one-hour flight and got comfortable. A short but built guy took the seat next to me and man-spread not only into my footwell but ALSO over into my chair, literally calf to calf, thigh to thigh with me. I went to automatically flinch away from touching a STRANGER, but I realized that I was way within my seat and if I moved over he’d get like £40 of my ridiculously expensive seat.
So I didn’t move. But then he didn’t move either? I am British so I didn’t say anything and just quietly seethed in my seat for the hour. When it’s time to land I like to look over to see the sky disappear and the land take up the full window when we turn to get into line with the airport. So I look to the other side of the aisle to watch and out the corner of my eye I see he thinks I’m trying to look at him and he SMILES!?!
Like we’ve been secretly enjoying him getting all up and cozy on MY SEAT on a Thursday afternoon business flight. I was SO MAD and continued to ignore him and seethe. I met my husband at the gate and I complained about this guy LOUDLY all the way to the parking pay station, culminating in a comprehensive and curse-filled conclusion about why he was creepy and why some people shouldn’t be allowed on public transport.
Turned around and he was paying for parking at the next pay point, looking very red and determinedly not making eye contact. No regrets. Screw that guy. Stay in your own seat.
Story credit; Reddit / Lady_Dinosaurus
Lost Her Lunch
I had a flight attendant throw up on my lap because she had drank too much before we took off. I’m pretty sure she got fired. I was 11.
Story credit; Reddit
I was flying home to Australia, and there’s some European family whose daytime is apparently our nighttime. Their bored kids run endlessly up and down the aisles, making sleep impossible. Cabin staff was useless. While in transit, one kid produces a green laser and waves it around. I’m not sure if it was powerful enough to blind, but his idiot parents don’t tell him off.
Thankfully their connecting flight was not the same. I slept for maybe two hours before arriving to attend my mother’s funeral.
Story credit: Reddit / emily_chau
Holding Back Tears
I had a lot of ear problems as a kid that required multiple surgeries. I figured out on my first flight at age 19 that my ears could still bother me when the worst ear pain of my life hit me during the descent. Since then, I figured out how to make them pop, making it less of an issue. But I was unprepared that first time and spent quite a bit of time holding back tears until my ears popped on their own a few minutes after landing.
Story credit: Reddit / MadamNerd
His Outdated Mentality
A friend of mine is a pilot for a North American airline and there was a passenger on the plane during the flight being rude and extremely disrespectful to the female flight attendants. Halfway into the flight, one of them finally got fed up and confronted him, asking what his problem was and how they could find a middle ground. His response was unspeakable.
He sneered, “In my culture women are supposed to be slaves for the men”. Her response was also unacceptable. She said, “Well in my culture you’re a taxi driver”. He proceeds to lose it, and they had to restrain him in his seat. Nothing happened to the flight attendant because they all thought he was being so disrespectful and deserved it.
Story credit: Reddit / Slotts15
The Whole Kitten Caboodle
The worst I’ve seen was a lady who brought a cat in a huge hard-sided carrier as her “carry on” and a cat in a slightly-less-huge hard-sided carrier as her “personal item”. Neither carrier fit in the overhead bin or under the seat, but she insisted they both had to be on the plane. She was in boarding group five and delayed us over an hour fighting with all of the attendants and the airport workers about where the cats were going to sit.
I love animals, but this was awful and I’m sure the entire plane full of passengers wanted to leave her and her cats behind.
Story credit: Reddit / fairyrebel
Manage Your Expectations
I once had a man get very heated because he was on the plane with his wife and children and did not pre-select seats, so he wanted me to switch my window seat for a middle seat in a different row so his family could all be together. But I paid extra to pre-select my window seat. Why should I have to give up what I paid for just because you wanted to save money and thought others would rearrange themselves for your family?
The flight attendants sided with me, and the family was spread throughout the cabin.
Story credit: Reddit / Blueberrytulip
Gatekeeping First Class
I booked a first-class ticket from Hawaii to St. Louis two weeks ago because my grandmother passed, I needed to fly rather quickly, and it was the only way I could make my travel needs. I get on the flight, and the guy next to me looks me in the face and says “Are you sure you’re in the right seat? You don’t look like you can afford this seat”.
Granted I wasn’t dressed the greatest, but I showed him my ticket and told him to shut his mouth. Didn’t hear a word out of him except “excuse me” the rest of the flight.
Story credit: Reddit / Fourtires3rims
We Are Not Together
One time, I was an unaccompanied minor, and the boy who sat next to me—also an unaccompanied minor—would not SHUT UP. And unfortunately, since he was trying to converse with me, I received the dirty looks meant for him as well. He kept screaming “BUTTS ON FIRE”! and would laugh like a maniac. He also kept messing with a dog from another passenger, and we would both be berated for his behavior.
Miss, all I did was order a hot chocolate and look out the window. I am not with him.
Story credit: Reddit / softballthrowaway
I’m currently a flight attendant, and on my very first flight, I had a passenger complain to me that the man behind him was snoring too loudly. Putting on my best customer service smile, I offered to move the complainer, who very aggressively told me that he’d paid for his seat, and he wasn’t moving. He yelled loud enough that he woke the snoring guy in the process.
I wish I’d had a first-class seat available to move the snoring guy just to spite the complainer, but there were only other economy seats available so I just told the complainer that he could continue yelling at me or he could accept my offer of a different seat, but that was all I could do for him. I ended up giving the snorer free drinks for the rest of the flight.
Story credit: Reddit / UsernameTaken5074
Be Prepared For The Worst
I used to be a skydiving instructor, and one day we were heading up in a twin otter—an old school twin-prop plane—at about 8,000 feet. Both engines all of a sudden start screaming, then a few seconds later they both stopped. The plane was just gliding and then slowly started to nose dive. I wasn’t too concerned as I was right by the door with my parachute on, so I was ready to bail.
But when I saw the face of the pilot in the little mirror in the cockpit looking as white as a ghost, I realized it was quite serious. After about 10-15 seconds of the plane slowly going down and people screaming, the engines fired back up and we continued to altitude and jumped. The moral of the story, wear a parachute.
Story credit: Reddit / jokerrr92
A Potato Solves Problems
It was a 12+ hour flight, and I was in the middle aisle on a 747. The seat recliner was broken, the guy next to me took his shoes off and his feet stank, the woman to my left spilled orange juice on me, and the headphone plug for the in-flight entertainment was broken. I did get extra potato chips as compensation for the seat problem, though. Thank God for that.
Story credit: Reddit / 26pointMax
Motion Sickness Mayhem
Business-class was overbooked, so I volunteered to move back to economy class in an aisle seat by the bathroom. I got a two-for-one deal for doing so. While sitting in my new seat, right before taxiing, a kid and his mom came hauling butt toward the bathroom. Right before the kid gets to the bathroom, he projectile vomits in my lap. I cleaned my clothes the best I could, but I smelled like puke the entire way back home.
Story credit; Reddit / Anastik
Having A Dream
One lady got enraged that we wouldn’t let “her boys” visit the flight deck during the flight. Important to note, this was post 9/11 and her boys were three massive 30-year-old men. She insisted “Little Danny” had always dreamed of being a pilot, and we were destroying his dream by not letting him visit. She literally screamed, yelled, and complained so loudly and endlessly, the captain had to come out and tell her to sit down and shut up, or she and “her boys” would be taken in upon landing.
Story credit: Reddit / Bookscoffeetravel
I was traveling business class from Dubai to Melbourne on Qantas, Australia’s airline. We were supposed to leave at midnight if I remember correctly, but two passengers didn’t turn up and we had to offload their luggage before we could leave. Because of this, we missed our takeoff window and the captain informed us we potentially had to wait up to two hours to find another gap.
The entitled man behind me in business class took offense to this and started loudly protesting to the flight attendant, “Always late, every time I fly! This is a second-rate airline! I didn’t spend five grand to be late”. The attendant was good and tried to calm him, offering him champagne or orange juice, but he wasn’t having any of it.
He kept grumbling for 10-15 mins, then, when he realized there was nothing any of us could do, he reclined his seat to lay flat and pulled his convenience mask over his eyes so he could sleep.
Story credit: Reddit / Mhac009
Worst Was Yet To Come
About six years ago, I was sitting on the plane and I suddenly felt a tickle in my throat. It just wouldn’t go away, I’d cough and cough and cough, nothing. The only thing that helped was ice chips, but even then I couldn’t stop. It was miserable. But the worst was yet to come. That night, I woke up in the middle of the night with two swollen eyes, swollen lips, hives all over my body, hot joints, and a tight chest.
I was having some severe allergic reaction to something. Which means that on the plane…my throat was closing and I just didn’t know it. Of course, the ice chips helped because they were keeping the swelling down. What’s weird is that has never happened before or since then and I’m not allergic to anything that I know of. Something on the plane just set it off, and it could happen again.
Story credit: Reddit / TheReignofFullnight
Last To Land
At the airport: I have TSA pre-check, so I get to go through the fast line, leave electronics in my bag, etc. I was on a business trip coming back from Detroit to Toronto. TSA flags my bag to go through the X-ray again. And again. And again. The third time a guy comes, picks up my bag, and asks if there is anything sharp he may hurt himself on (no) before he pulls out my phone charger, Kindle charger, and laptop charger.
He puts the chargers back on the bag, sends the bag through. Flagged again. The guy told the woman at the machine to get up and leave after she couldn’t even identify a phone charger on the machine without claiming it was dangerous. But that was nothing compared to my experience on the actual flight. Apparently, there was a storm rolling into the area and the pilots were trying to outrun it.
Usually, when a plane reaches the start of a runway, they line up, stop, ask for clearance, then take off. We did not stop. They opened the throttle before we had fully completed the turn, which was how I knew it was going to be serious. We were screaming through the sky. We climbed steeper than I ever have and stayed at high throttle the whole way. I linked into the Internet to tell my friends that we were hauling butt.
We land 40 minutes early and practically skid into the jet bridge. We were the last flight allowed to land.
Story credit: Reddit / Tellenue
Tit For Tat
I was just recently on a flight from Madrid to Tel Aviv, and the lady sitting in the economy section was upset and yelling at the passengers around her about the amount of room she had. Basically, the person behind her put his bags too far out under her seat, and the people in front moved their seats into the leaning position and now the seat was too close to her face.
She yelled for the flight attendant, who with a smile, told her to just move her seat back and she’d get the same room back. She was angry the whole flight.
Story credit: Reddit / vintageaesthetics
Anything For A Diet Coke
Once, we had a medical emergency and we needed to get the AED out. While I had my hands full of medical equipment and we are paging for doctors, a woman grabs my dress and yanks it to get my attention. I turn to her thinking maybe she’s a doctor. No. She wants a Diet Coke because we skipped her. The good news is this usually isn’t common behavior.
Story credit: Reddit
Not Above The Rules
My sister was a flight attendant. She once had an elderly passenger sitting in her seat with her relatively large purse on her lap. She went up to her, asking nicely to put it underneath the front seat if she didn’t want to put it in the overhead compartment. The lady responded, “No, but that’s alright, I’m not planning on opening and rummaging in it while we’re starting or landing”.
My sister explained to her why she needs to put her purse away and she still refuses. Exact same answer. So, she responded with, “And I am not planning to crash our plane, but on the rare occasion that we do, we’ll need your purse out of the way! And if you still won’t comply, I feel forced to take it from you and leave it at the gate”!
Story credit: Reddit / Fayne-rocks
Emotional Support Animal
I was seated next to a woman with an “emotional support animal”. If I had to guess, it was a pug chihuahua mix. Whatever it was, it was small enough for her to keep it on her lap. Apparently, the dog needed its own emotional support animal, though, because it was a wreck. It kept standing up, whining, and I swear to God it would poop on her lap. The smell, Jesus.
Story credit: Reddit / MizzDevious
The Lasting Effect
We were flying from Florida to London when one of the engines caught fire somewhere out over the Atlantic, so we had to turn back and land in New York. Except…the engine on the replacement plane also caught fire, so the pilot had to turn back and land in New York. We didn’t chance it with a third plane and went with a different carrier. Still, it had lasting effects on me.
I was eight years old at the time and for some strange reason, I’d never had a nightmare before then. My first nightmare was on the third plane back and involved a Mickey Mouse in a glass coffin and an emaciated green version of Thing from The Addams Family.
Story credit: Reddit / WufflyTime
Pushing The Call Bell
I was a passenger flying Melbourne to Gold Coast once, and I was aware that the Gold Coast had some severe weather so we would be flying into storms. For landing, we had to circle the ocean for 20 minutes and flight attendants were told to sit down. Someone behind me pushed their call bell. There was no response, obviously.
But they pushed it repeatedly. Finally, one of the FA’s got on the speaker and said, “Look, we are having a rough landing and can’t attend to your needs at this time”. I heard this person complain that they wanted another drink and that the airline was losing their money.
Story credit: Reddit / alcoholicsnail
The Tip Of The Iceberg
I was on a flight from Dubai to Houston a few years back. There was a little kid, maybe five or six, behind me who had far too much energy. He was kicking my seat and pulling my hair. At one point, he took off my airline headphones and put them on to listen. I asked for them back, but he just laughed at me. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.
An hour or two later, when his parents noticed and told him to stop, he started yelling at them.
Story credit: Reddit / V-v-v-v-v-v-v
Against All Odds
I was having to fly back home from across the country; my dad had fallen into cardiac arrest and wasn’t expected to make it. I had one phone call with my mother explaining the situation and that’s all I heard from anyone. I was put on a plane home with the thought that my dad had passed at some point during the flight. Being on an eight-hour plane trip with the thought of not seeing your father ever again was so, so hard.
Every painful emotion was racing through my head while being in the air with a plane full of strangers. It was one of the worst moments of my life. I hope I never experience anything like that ever again. But will add that once I hit the ground, I was told that my father had woken and was making progress against the odds. I’m glad that to this day I still have him.
Story credit: Reddit / Dunekatt
A Scarring Situation
When I was an infant, I was sitting on my father’s lap when the flight attendant leaned over him to give coffee to the person sitting next to him. Her hand slipped and the boiling coffee spilled on my bare chest as my father was changing my shirt. It burned my entire chest. I had a massive scar for a year or two after, and apparently, she broke down crying during the flight.
Story credit: Reddit / ut2018
The Relocated Recollection
The woman sleeping next to me started to convulse, and she began vomiting all over my right arm and lap. All I could do was reach up and hit the call attendant button. After 30 seconds, she woke up with no recollection of what had happened, and apparently it had never happened before. They relocated the woman to a different seat and I excused myself to clean up.
Story credit: Reddit / Frisbeewill226
It's Company Policy
I saw a man berate the flight attendant because they let employees of the airline board before the customers. He was so angry because he “paid for business select! They didn’t pay for anything so why are they boarding before me”!? The flight attendant responded that it’s company policy, many are actually working and need to get to the airport they’ll be leaving from.
And there were also only three on the flight so what’s the big deal anyway? He continued to whine and complain to her for another 10 minutes or so. All because now there were only 140 seats available instead of 143.
Story credit: Reddit / gerbilseverywhere
We All Have Somewhere To Go
I was on a plane at the Burbank airport and a family that was on standby boarded the plane without being told they’d be on the flight. They proceeded to go passenger to passenger trying to get people to de-board the plane so they can use their standby tickets. They even argued with the flight attendants. It was at least 45 minutes of us sitting there listening to this family argue about how they “need” to be on this flight because they have somewhere to go.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more annoyed than I was in that moment.
Story credit: Reddit / NormalAmerican_
Storm During The Flight
This one is from my father. He was flying in Russia and there was a terrible storm during the flight and obviously, it caused extreme turbulence. Then the captain turned on the PA system and told everyone “This is Captain Bezsmertniy speaking, we are passing through some light turbulence so please fasten your seat belts” in the most monotonous voice possible. There was one thing that made this even more terrifying.
The name Bezsmertniy translates in Russian to “undying”. Also, a lightning strike hit the wing. My dad was really glad he made it.
Story credit: Reddit / Hellothere6545
I drank some wine at the airport bar when I was a fresh 21-year-old. I felt very cool and like hot stuff. Welp. Turns out I have low blood pressure and sometimes it drops drastically when you don’t eat or have low sodium levels or something. When I got on the plane, I took a little tipsy nap then suddenly woke up clammy and dizzy. My vision started tunneling and I realized I needed to go to the bathroom or vomit or both, immediately.
I started releasing the most noxious gas while I’m stumbling from my window seat over the poor two passengers, blindly feeling my way to the bathroom. I went into a semi-fetal position on the toilet until I could see again. As I came out after what felt like forever, I heard the guy sitting next to me telling the attendant he thought I might be dying. I finally went to see the doctor about it after another time, and when it happens, I basically have to find the fastest way to get salt in my body.
Story credit: Reddit / MountWang
Not Enough Restrooms
6’4″ tall me wedged into a tiny economy seat for a five-hour trans-US flight on a United Airlines 757. I was in the back of the plane, two rows in front of the aft bathroom. One mom with a crying baby was in the row in front of me, one mom with a crying baby was in the row behind me. The flight departs at 6:05 am. I can’t sleep because of crying babies and turbulence.
The baby in the seat behind me keeps kicking the back of my seat. To be fair, the mom apologized, but she didn’t really have much of a choice as she was also stuck in a tiny little economy seat. The mom in front of me has to change the baby’s diaper around hour three, but the lavatory is occupied, so she returns to the seat and changes the baby on the seat-back tray table.
Absolutely disgusting. Oh, and United sent my bags to a different airport and I didn’t get them until the next day.
Story credit: Reddit / SDFDuck
I once flew from Chicago to Israel with a woman who didn’t seem to understand that everyone around her was in the same situation she was in. Over the course of our day together, she dropped a number of passive-aggressive gems—but the worst one was right when we were being seated for the first leg. The plane was one of those 3-5-3 setups, with aisles on each side of the five-seat section.
This woman was seated in the middle of the five-seat section. “But you can’t seat me in the middle”! She said. “What if I need to get up and walk around and the people next to me are asleep?! I’ll be very uncomfortable for this whole flight”! …Wow, lady! You figured out why flying kind of sucks all by yourself! Now sit down and start pretending you’re not here like the rest of us.
Story credit: Reddit / clocksailor
Causing A Delay
I was in a foreign country getting ready for a long flight home. Through some minor miracle, the plane was fully boarded long ahead of schedule and the runway was clear, so the pilot announced that we’d be able to depart about 40 minutes early. However, the flight attendants literally could not get all of the passengers to sit down.
They were standing, stretching, and even spitting in the aisle. And I don’t mean one or two people, I mean maybe a quarter of the plane. The flight attendants would go up and down the aisles getting people to sit down and buckle up, and the moment they passed, those passengers would get back up again. This went on way longer than you might think, and finally, the pilot came back with a translator to yell at the passengers to sit down or the plane would not leave.
We ended up being 30 minutes late to leave.
Story credit: Reddit / Bran_Solo
Guilt Trip City
A few years ago, my wife and I were going down to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. I remember seeing a young lady getting very flustered at the ticket counter. She was demanding a seat next to her husband. As we started to board the flight an attendant pulled my wife aside to say she had a seat change. We knew exactly what it was about and just laughed.
We are very flexible and just excited for the trip, so we went with it. As I settle into my seat, the young lady and her husband come and sit next to me. She starts small talk with how the airlines are so mean and they had the hardest time getting seats next to each other. I just casually mentioned, “Yeah I know, my wife was supposed to be in your seat, but someone threw a fit about it”.
Story credit: Reddit
Shaming The Children
It was a six-hour flight to the West Coast. The plane was very hot inside, and I had two small kids behind me screaming and kicking the whole time. The row was three seats wide, and my row was three sweaty fat people (myself included). I had the window seat. Behind us was the mother on the aisle seat, with a toddler in her lap. The toddler would screech every couple of minutes and would run up and down the aisle.
The two older kids behind me spent most of the flight climbing on my seat and playing on the floor, hitting my seat. Their names were super basic names like Jayden and Brayden. I learned this through the nonstop arguing and screeching fights. The mom did nothing the entire flight, even with requests by the staff. She only said, “This is why daddy doesn’t want us to visit”.
Story credit: Reddit / SparkEE_Joe
I used to fly by myself a lot and really enjoyed it. One flight I was on was a smaller plane but I was lucky enough to score a window seat—but luck wasn’t actually on my side that day. In comes a very overweight guy—not shaming his weight, just pointing it out—who is assigned to sit next to me. He takes up more than the seat size, which results in me having basically only half of my seat and being smooshed against the side of the plane for the entire flight.
I’m a small person too but I like my wiggle room just as much as the next guy. That wasn’t the worst part though. He smelled SO bad. Like the type of body odor, people get when they haven’t showered in multiple days. I know the flight attendants felt bad for me but there was nothing they could do to help me escape as it was a fully booked flight. Thankfully, the flight was only two hours and I have never experienced this again, but man I hope to never go through that again.
Please take a shower before flying. Thanks.
Story credit: Reddit / LiquidSUmmerHaze
Watch Your Language
I had a passenger a couple of rows in front of me aggressively asking the attendant for drinks. We were still loading at the time. He was warned twice. Just as we were pushing back from the gate, he was given his final warning by the senior attendant. As she walked away, he swore at her. She turned around and told him we were going back to the gate and he was getting off.
And we did. It took 20 minutes for his luggage to go, and we were off again. I congratulated her at the end and emailed the airline to say how well I thought she had handled it.
Story credit: Reddit / Going-underground
Wedding Dress Wrinkles
I had someone have a meltdown because I, as a flight attendant, had to have them properly stow their wedding dress. The thing was massive and spilling into the aisle, blocking the seats of the entire row. They may have had to pay the hotel to get the wrinkles out, but I likely saved them from shoe prints and beverage cart rollers going back and forth over it.
She was in tears, but I was not going to risk others’ safety including my own.
Story credit: Reddit / Anaxamenes
Pizza On The Plane
Ah yes. This one time we were on a plane trip to Hawaii from Washington and we had to make an emergency landing at a different island because something went wrong. They didn’t let us get out of the plane for some reason. We were there for like eight hours, so we ran out of food and the airline ordered pizza delivered to the plane. At this point, we have been on the plane for like 15 hours.
We’re all eating the pizza. when the little girl in front of me throws up.
Story credit: Reddit / Morgan_not_freeman
Problems In Philadelphia
Have you ever flown out of or into Philly Airport? You’d know if you had. I’ve had a multitude of horrible flying experiences at this particular airport, but none as bad as when I was flying to London a few years ago. We had been staying in Maryland prior to us flying out, so we drove from Maryland a few states up to Pennsylvania to fly out of Philly. The flight was for 10 pm.
Ideally, we could sleep the whole way and arrive in London in the morning. So at 9:30 pm, we board our plane. We’re on there for quite a while when they tell us there’s a problem with the plane and we all need to get off. Okay, just a few hours, no big deal. At 1:26 am They find a second plane for us to use, and they load all of our baggage and us passengers back onto the new plane. YIKES.
This plane must’ve been from the 80s or 90s. It was horribly out of date in every way possible and honestly, gave me a good amount of anxiety in terms of safety. They start to push off from the gate and go onto the tarmac and there’s this horrible sound the entire time. We sit on the tarmac until 3:04 am, at which point they bring us back to the gate but won’t let us exit the plane.
When this happened, my mom started to call the airlines to move our flight to a new airport, and we’re all sort of relieved we’re not flying across the Atlantic in this disaster trap. At 4:41 am, they finally declare the flight “canceled” and tell us we can call for vouchers and that we basically have to figure everything else out ourselves. We exit the plane back into the airport…and we’re the only people there.
THE ONLY PEOPLE THERE. No employees, no security guards, just us wandering around after sitting in a plane for the last six hours or so. My mom got us a flight out of JFK Airport at 10 am but we had to move fast. We waited an ETERNITY for our luggage because they had to call people to come into the airport to get it off of the plane and into baggage claim.
At 5:52 am, we’re in a taxi hauling our butts to New York City, and this God of a taxi driver gets us to JFK by 8:16 am. We go to the lounge for a bit before our flight and I ran into KEVIN BACON coming out of the bathroom, and by 10:30 am we were in the sky-bound for London. We missed an entire day of our trip, but I’m glad we got there. Moral of the story: screw Philly Airport.
Story credit: Reddit / ActualBath
Better Than The Pilot
I was once on a flight with really bad turbulence. It went on for about 10 minutes and the old lady next to me reaches up and presses her button. The attendant walks over to see if the woman is okay, and that’s when this woman throws a fit. She begins to yell at the attendant for the rough flight, that she’s been flying her whole life, and clearly, the pilot has no idea what he’s doing.
The stewardess just walked away.
Story credit: Reddit / NotWeirdThrowaway
I Do It For The Applause
I’m a passenger, not a flight attendant, but on a flight from PHX to some airport in Texas, there was this really creepy guy. He was alternating between getting angry at the male flight attendants for the flight being delayed on the ramp and hitting on the female flight attendants. When he tried to touch one inappropriately, one of the flight attendants told him, “Sir, you need to get off of this plane. You are not going to be on this flight”.
The entire section of the plane started clapping. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for an entire group of people on a plane to have a valid reason for clapping.
Story credit: Reddit / notnotnotabot
A Small Diversion
I was flying from San Francisco to Boston in February with a massive winter snowstorm pounding the East Coast. Logan Airport in Boston closed and the 737 was diverted to a little airport somewhere in New York. The approach was in pure whiteout conditions, incredibly turbulent, engines screaming at every jump and jolt, lights flickering on and off.
The guy sitting next to me had a panic attack and started clawing at his seat belt, trying to get out of his seat. I grabbed his collar with my right hand and started shaking the heck out of him and yelling at him to stay seated and hold on and everything would be OK. This was sort of like my old water rescue training. Then absolutely without warning, there’s the mother of all jolts as the plane slams down onto the runway.
Some loose stuff in the cabin got thrown around as the pilots deploy probably every single braking device the plane carries. I’m pretty sure I saved that guy from injury if he’d made it out of his seat. Anyway, the plane sat on the ground for about two hours, got de-iced, and then we flew to Boston without further incident.
Story credit: Reddit / ThadisJones
I was seated in the front row, bulkhead seat. As the plane began takeoff and the g-force hit, one of the ovens in the wall in the galley just in front of me and to the right ejected from its usual place and crashed to the floor, tumbling into my leg. The oven was filled with empty metal trays, so the sound it made upon crashing to the floor was unlike any noise one might expect during takeoff.
It was immediately followed by screams, utterances to an assortment of deities, and the sound of collective defecation as the unwashed masses behind me envisioned all manner of catastrophe unfolding. The ovens are modular and simply slide in and out for replacement, but they are held in place with screws. The previous flight had oven issues, so maintenance arrived and replaced the oven. They failed to reinstall the screws.
Story credit: Reddit / DrunkenGolfer
Hitting Her Where It Hurts
My mom and I were flying back to the States after visiting family. I was a kid, like seven or eight. Apparently, there was some mix-up, and they double-booked my mom’s seat. We were there first, and the other lady who had the seat came by and demanded that my mom move. She was traveling alone, so you’d think, logically, the person with the small child should stay.
But nah. She just screamed at my mother until eventually my mom gave up and took me to try finding seats close enough together that we wouldn’t be separated. The lady tried stopping her and said I could stay with her, and according to my mom, I hit her where it hurt. I said, “No, you’re mean”. I don’t remember saying this, but I do remember being very weirded out about her offering that.
Story credit: Reddit / reabard
Put Your Purse Away
As a flight attendant, it really bothers me when I tell someone something simple, for example, “I need you to stow your purse underneath the seat in front of you,” and they argue as if it’s my personal preference. I always very sweetly explain that it’s a federal aviation regulation, and sometimes even then, people argue.
Why? They want to know. And that’s fair. So, I tell them, “If we need to evacuate the aircraft, your purse could get caught on an armrest and slow not only you down but all of the people behind you”. Usually, at this point, people comply. But I had one lady continue past that point, telling me how expensive, handmade, and Italian her purse was.
Which is neat, good for her, but all I could think was, “Wow. You are seriously implying that a bag you carry nothing in is more valuable than the lives of those around you… The balls you must have, ma’am”, But I can’t say that. I can only think it. I had to put it to her in selfish terms and in a mental space that she appeared to be in”.
Is your purse more important than you being on this flight”? I asked her. She asked me if I was serious. I started walking towards the open cockpit to tell my captains we had someone unwilling to comply, and she yelled. “I did it. Are you happy now”? I wasn’t, but we were able to taxi at that point. That was extreme, but yes, I hated her. Still do.
Story credit: Reddit / PickleB
No Longer Fine
I was flying to Orlando for a fun family trip to Disney. A few minutes before boarding, I felt a twinge in my lower abdomen, then the feeling like I had to pass gas. Only I knew it wasn’t that. I raced to the bathroom and my butt exploded right as my hands touched elastic. After venting what felt like all my internal structures, I threw away my destroyed underwear and rushed to board.
That’s when the nausea started. I have never felt so bad in my life. The wheels of the plane had barely left the ground and I was up and running to the bathroom to a chorus of “Sir! SIR! You have to remain seated with your seatbelt fastened”! Nope. I got into the bathroom and hurled chunks for most of the flight. Landed, felt like I had run a marathon, and then gone nine rounds with Mike Tyson.
I got to the place we were staying, and that’s where I lay for most of the week. I missed everything. One of the worst experiences of my 47 years. I still can’t believe how fast it came on…I went from 100% fine to an explosion of bodily fluids in a couple of seconds.
Story credit: Reddit / ActiniumNugget
The Cat Is The Problem
It was a flight from San Jose del Cabo to Dallas Fort Worth. I was transporting an adopted cat to her forever home in North Dakota. This woman got in with FOUR children. The oldest seemed to be 8-10 and the youngest was probably under two years old and was sat up across the aisle and three rows ahead. They never, EVER shut up. The oldest seemed to be playing something on the cellphone but kept screaming at the screen.
The baby kept crying the entire flight and the other two would fight each other and sometimes just run up and down the aisle and bother other passengers. The woman never bothered to rein in her little jerks. The most she would do is go to the bathroom with the baby and return…with it still crying. On and on and on for hours. But then came the thing that peeved me the most.
When a flight attendant noticed my pet carrier with the kitten, she asked if I had bought a pass for the pet and if it was well behaved, THEN proceeded to tell me that if the cat was being noisy it would need to be removed from the cabin…like what the heck. Are you going to throw away the cat in the middle of a flight? Drop it into the cargo? The cat never cried or made any kind of noise that would disrupt anyone.
The most she did was squeak a little when the plane took off. Yet you allowed the four brats to make as much noise as possible, disrupting all the passengers? And yet the cat is the problem? This is why I really wish childless flights were available.
Story credit: Reddit / DSC-Fate
An Honest Mistake
One time, I was flying out of Heathrow back to my native Belfast. I was in an aisle seat, and there was a guy behind me who was digging his knees into my back. Now, I get it, it’s not comfortable on a plane, but there are ways and means. If you have long legs, put your baggage in the locker and use the space under the seat ahead to stretch out.
Or y’know, move your legs so they’re not digging into the spine of the person ahead of you, and pay attention to the beverage cart. At first, I thought it was an honest mistake, so I put my hand behind my back so he would realize that he was digging his knees into a person. This worked briefly, but soon I felt that kneecap back between my vertebrae.
Hand goes back, knee moves, hand moves, knee goes back. This carries on for about ten minutes. Finally, I’ve had enough. I move my hand away and wait for the inevitable kneecap. Kneecap arrives. I put my hand back, grab the knee through the seat, and I squeezed as hard as I could, using my best guess as to the pressure points. The knee goes away and does not return. I tried not to make eye contact as we were disembarking.
He was an ordinary-looking bloke, not too tall, not too fat. Guess he just really wanted to put his knees in my back?
Story credit: Reddit / cradleofdata
Holding Up The Line
While on an eight-hour flight to Florida, a family of five boarded first and demanded the attendants rearrange their kids’ seats to all be together. I get it, I’m a mom too, but they occupied the entire row—including my seat—while the flight attendant tried to arrange for them to all sit together. I politely asked them to let us sit down and they just ignored us.
When I asked again, they said, “No we are waiting for our seats, and you could wait at the back of the plane”. I just crossed my arms and stared them down. That held up people behind me, but I made it clear it was the entitled family that was the hold-up and not me. They finally moved to go wait at the back of the plane.
Story credit: Reddit / Madammonie
The Annoying Magician
I was on a study tour when I was 10. The principal had the same surname as me, so he was arranged to sit next to me. He was nice, but any kid would be frightened to sit next to the head of school for several hours. I was so nervous I didn’t chat with my friends and watched movies on the TV, trying to be the best behaving student. The worst part is that he kept using the flight’s deck of cards to attempt magic tricks with me, and failed every time.
I experienced my first cringe on that plane, and it lasted four hours.
Story credit: Reddit / CyrusTheCray
Tense During Landings
They had to do an emergency landing during a snowstorm after running of out fuel because we flew in circles for three hours waiting for the storm to clear at any nearby airports. Eventually, they had to land in 0 visibility—like, I couldn’t even see the wing out the side of the plane. The landing felt like a car accident, and then we overshot the runway and ended up parked in a farmer’s field.
On the plus side, we got to use the slide and I rode in the fire truck back to the airport. Since I was 14 at the time, it was the greatest day ever. But yeah, looking back we could have easily all been goners during that landing. And to this day, I still get super tense during landings.
Story credit: Reddit / ThatOtherGuy_CA
The Perfect Comeback
Flying in and out of DC, we always have air marshals. One time, the agents let them get on early. When the first passengers started arriving, a wealthy-looking older couple came on, and the woman started demanding to know who those men were that boarded before them. Her husband claimed they had paid extra to be the first passengers on board.
This is absurd because we always let wheelchair passengers and others down first. I had the perfect comeback for this kind of nonsense. I calmly explained to her that they were invited down by the captain because they were veterans of the wounded warrior project. That shut her right up for the rest of the flight. I can’t imagine the mindset that allows a person to think they are so entitled they deserve to sit down on an airplane seat before any other person.
Story credit: Reddit / jdrouts
The Reason For Rules
I was on a plane where half the plane was ignoring the rules. When we touched down, these people immediately got up and started walking around and taking their bags out of the overheads. Mind you, the plane hasn’t parked; it’s just literally touched the floor of the landing strip so it’s still moving and it’s dangerous for half the people on the plane to be moving around and taking all their heavy bags down above everyone else’s heads.
The flight attendants are now desperately trying to get these people to sit down until the plane stops moving, and some people were waving their hands at them dismissively. I think the captain heard the commotion and the flight attendants yelling, because all of a sudden, the plane did a VERY abrupt stop, knocking over all the people standing before continuing to park.
The flight attendant then said, “This is EXACTLY why we have rules”.
Story credit: Reddit / queenguac
Man Of Few Words
On a flight from Wausau, Wisconsin to Chicago, I was on a small regional jet. I was talking to my co-worker in the seat across the aisle as we approached Chicago. One moment I’m looking face-to-face with him, then suddenly I was looking down at him. Right after that, I was looking up at him. We finally settled back into a normal cruising pattern, but it was a scary “What the heck just happened”? moment.
I don’t think we came close to rolling over, but it sure as heck felt that way. When we arrived at O’Hare (where I considered kissing the tarmac), a fellow passenger suggested that we’d somehow been caught in the wake of a larger jet. Sounded plausible but not terribly reassuring. The best moment occurred after the pilot brought the plane back under control.
The cabin was eerily silent, and the captain opened his microphone, cleared his throat, and said, “Sorry”. He was a man of few words, I guess.
Story credit: Reddit / DoubleNickels2020
Not Her Jam
My mother-in-law had booked the flights and we all ended up separated—she hadn’t done it on purpose, just one of those things. My husband and elder daughter were further up the front, and I was seated across the aisle from my two-year-old. She was SCREAMING, since being sat next to strangers was not her jam. I was crying, she was crying, the flight attendant was rolling her eyes at me, but then a wonderful lady next to me offered to swap.
I don’t normally bawl like that, but I was a bit shaken up from losing said two-year-old in the airport 30 minutes before; I’m a nervous flyer anyway and it just all got too much. I was so, so embarrassed, but the one thing I was consoling myself with was that I’d never see any of these people again…I soon found out how wrong I was. The woman who helped me turned out to be a regular at the place I work.
On a slightly more humorous note, I went up to check on my seven-year-old, who was sat on the opposite aisle seat from my husband, and she was sat next to a young couple that was probably about 18 or 19. They said to me she’d been really well-behaved, and had turned to them when they first sat down and told them she wouldn’t be talking to them because “If you talk to strangers they kidnap you”.
Story credit: Reddit / JanuaryGrace
Running On The Runway
I was going to New York from LA for an important business trip. I am sitting in a window seat, and the middle and aisle seats are both empty. Literally a minute before takeoff, a woman and her two-year-old kid board the plane. Eventually, the kid starts having a tantrum because he wants to walk around on the plane while it is still on the runway, and the mother didn’t bring any entertainment for the kid.
So, what does she do? She lets him walk around the plane while it’s taking off. Eventually, the flight attendants bring this kid back to his mother, but since the plane is in the air, they can’t make her leave. I end up stuck with this kid for five and a half hours.
Story credit: Reddit / TheDude1458
The Rowdy Rugrat
A few years back, I had a seven-hour flight, and the kid sitting behind me kept kicking the seat. I decided to just wait it out, hoping he’ll eventually stop. Nope. It went on for about an hour until I couldn’t take it anymore. 10 years of my regular flying, this was the first time I called and complained to an air hostess. She apologized to me and asked the family behind me to keep it down.
They just stared at her and did nothing. The moment she went away, that little kid started kicking again. I couldn’t take it anymore, turned back, and loudly said to the family, “Could you please make him stop doing that”? The father said sorry and still nothing improved. The kid kept going on, so finally, I called the flight attendant and asked her if there is any other seat available because of the family behind me.
She came back after a few minutes and proceeded to take me to the first class. My very first experience in the luxury section. The worse thing is, she kept apologizing to me and I kept asking her to stop, because it was not her fault.
Story credit: Reddit / Rikuddo
The Unwanted Shuttle
On a flight from Philadelphia to Denver, late December 1990. As we get about an hour from Denver, the pilot tells us a blizzard has closed the Denver airport, and we need to divert, so we divert to a place called Gunnison, Colorado. Gunnison airport is small, and not really set up for large commercial airliners. As we approach, I look out the window and see mountain tops on either side.
The captain comes on and tells us to prepare for an emergency landing. Meaning stow your stuff, buckle your seatbelt, and assume the crash position, as in, put your head between your legs. Now I’m about 14 years old at the time, and traveling with my aunt, two cousins, and their two friends. My cousin Billy and I are joking about this situation, while my aunt is praying with my other cousin.
We land and need basically every foot of the runway to come to a stop. The pilot then has to get off the plane and make a phone call because we are now alone, hours from Denver. They get some shuttle buses to show up after about an hour, then we begin the SIX HOUR ride to Denver. That was a long day.
Story credit: Reddit / notsowitte
The Wrong Runway
We were flying on a night flight from Germany to New York, and the flight couldn’t have gone any better. We were descending into JFK and the back wheels touch ground, then the front. Everyone started clapping…then, for 2.2 seconds, you just hear the engines go full throttle again and we took right off…again. At this point, you can see the terror and panic in people’s faces.
I was with my cousin who suffers from panic attacks as is, so this triggered it instantly. The flight attendants didn’t seem to have any idea either. I immediately thought it was being hijacked. We flew around in circles for 10 minutes before the pilot came on the PA and pretty much said, “Our apologies about that, we were landing on a take-off runway”. I think about what could have happened very often, as I fly pretty frequently.
Story credit: Reddit / IDidReadTheSidebar
The Horrible Perfume
This was when I was 10-11 years old. I went on a nine-hour flight and had the middle seat. An older woman sat in the window seat and had a horrendous-smelling perfume on, like the kind that gives you a headache in the first 10 minutes. Oh, and she went to the restroom and reapplied her perfume every couple of hours, just in case it wasn’t horrible enough for me.
The smell plus turbulence was enough for me to throw up for the duration of the flight. For years after I was so scarred that I took motion sickness pills every flight, only to realize I didn’t have motion sickness, it was just that old woman’s horrible perfume.
Story credit: Reddit / DudeAbides29
The Terrible Tourists
I was flying from Thailand to Vietnam, and this large group of tourists come on board, probably five minutes before takeoff. They proceed to yell and scream, hit every person with their bags, and then discover there simply isn’t enough space in the overhead compartments. This one lady actually started taking out other people’s bags and ended up in a fight with other passengers.
The stewardess then decided to put her luggage in some employee compartment or something. The flight was horrendous: they wouldn’t sit down during takeoff, were extremely loud, and simply didn’t respect others on the flight. The same lady who removed people’s bags is having a cup of noodles when she starts screaming at the stewardess.
She had been asked to prepare for landing and started screaming in Cantonese. After about a minute, she proceeds to throw the almost boiling cup noodles all over the stewardess. It was absolute chaos. When we landed, the authorities were waiting for her and immediately took her in.
Story credit: Reddit / upvotesthenrages
What A Headache
Once, my father and I were first in line for pre-boarding on our flight to the Cleveland Clinic from Atlanta due to my extreme migraine disorder, cluster headaches, and general frailty. A large 30-something woman in a wheelchair behind us said, “Excuse me! You’re too young to need to pre-board! Let us older people go. You can stand”!
I responded that although I could stand, I could not do so for long, and needed to be seated ASAP. She continued to berate us while I was in agonizing pain, and with a migraine aura which meant that I couldn’t see. I passed out while leaning on the gate desk, and the woman essentially started screaming at me to “stop faking it” and to move aside.
My wonderful Papa told me later that he responded, “As if we could move out of your way and still make our flight”. The woman was shrieking at this point and needed to be wheeled away to be calmed down, being told that she could either calm down at the gate or calm down with TSA. The wonderful gate attendants gave me a wheelchair, helped me onto the plane, and seated me in the nicest open seat on the plane.
I don’t remember what class it was, but it was a relatively great flight.
Story credit: Reddit / samijol
Worst Flight Ever
I had just adopted two children from Ethiopia. Our return route was from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to JFK, then a two-hour car ride home. Nearly everything that could go wrong did. This is a traumatic event for the children, so they were very scared and unsure the entire time. Within moments of entering the plane, both children are in tears. Within an hour, our new five-year-old is wailing at the top of his lungs.
The one-year-old is crying for hours, and due to parasites, the baby is a constant stream of diarrhea. After a couple of hours, the flight attendants are asking us to keep the kids quiet—like how?!—and at some point, they ask me to take my son to the back of the plane near the bathrooms because others are getting upset. So that sucks, but honestly, not unexpected.
BUTTTT, as we are on the final approach, the pilot pulls up and informs us we can’t land at JFK, and we are diverted to Boston due to weather. We end up at Boston International with about 10 other unexpected 747s full of people, all of whom are stuck overnight trying to find hotels and rental cars. No flights will be departing until the next day. We are scrambling to figure out what to do at 3 am in the Boston airport with three kids, as we’d brought our oldest son for the trip.
Meanwhile, the one-year-old is spewing through her diapers and clothes onto the airport terminal floor while surrounded by a billion strangers. After hours of calling around, we manage to rent a car and drive a couple of hours toward home before staying in a bad hotel. We finally proceeded the rest of the way home via car the next morning. Door to door it was 56 hours of crying, poop, and no sleep.
WORST. FLIGHT. EVER. I felt so terrible for the passengers nearby. It must have been a nightmare flight for them as well.
Story credit: Reddit / nerddadddy
Wishing For Silence
I was leaving out of San Juan, coming back to the states from a very nice vacation. 30 minutes into the flight, I hear a loud BOOM! The plane immediately loses altitude, and the flight attendant starts crying and running down the aisle. I was with my girlfriend at the time and I was really trying to maintain the macho “It’s all good” persona. Meanwhile, the guy to my right is screaming and scratching at the window.
I can only imagine what is going through his head. To top things off, and maybe I should have led with this, I look across the aisle out the window and the engine is on fire. So, after what felt like an eternity, the plane leveled out, and we were then left with what I wish was silence. Instead, there were babies crying, obviously sensing the stress in the air, flight attendants crying, and worst of all this “whir, whir” sound that sounded like to all of us that the other engine would be imminently shutting off.
Finally, the captain came on the loudspeaker and in a cracking voice stated that we would be returning to San Juan. That 30 minutes back was probably the longest of my life. I read probably 10 chapters in my book and don’t remember a thing. I do remember looking for someone who seemed to be unfazed so it would help me calm my nerves and I noticed a gentleman two rows up across the aisle who seemed to have his stuff together.
However, I realized afterward when I had time to reflect that he looked at the same page of his newspaper for the entire 30 minutes back and didn’t move a muscle. Then, the finale. The landing: There was a multitude of fire trucks and ambulances waiting for us on arrival. There was the obligatory clapping when we came to a stop, but this time it was different because people who were strangers an hour earlier were hugging and crying together.
So we get off the plane, and you’re gonna hate me…but I just don’t remember if we took the bouncy house slide down. It’s been 15 years and it was a lot to process that night. We get into the concourse off the walkway and I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but what we got was one gate person working at the airline who said, “Yeah, the same thing happened last week” to one of the other fliers.
Also, I found the flight attendant who went flying down the aisle and I shared with them that I was always taught everything is okay and normal, and if I was worried, to just watch the flight attendants and see how they behave. So when he ran and cried, I knew we were in trouble. He then proceeded to tell me he never did that and stormed off…but he totally did. The airline paid for one sleepless night in a hotel in downtown San Juan.
We went to a tapas restaurant and I tasted nothing. We woke up and boarded the same airline early the next morning. It was still terrifying.
Story credit: Reddit / reddog1130
Traveling With A Toddler
Me, my husband, and our toddler had seats behind the bulkhead. We’re all settled, and this woman comes up and asks my husband if we really need these seats. I didn’t catch the interaction, but there was a bit of attitude from her according to him. He replied that yes, yes we do. Especially since we paid extra per seat to specifically sit there for our 12-hour flight overseas. With a toddler.
Story credit: Reddit / whateverislovely
The Frequent Flyer
We were flying through really bad turbulence, the seat belt sign was obviously on, and everyone, even us in the crew, was seated and hanging on for dear life. Some guy gets up out of his business class seat and attempts to make his way towards the toilet, bouncing off of other passengers, and accidentally elbows one lady in the face, breaking her nose.
Amidst the screams from the lady, from my jump seat beside the toilet, I tell him to sit down immediately. His response was “No, it’s fine, I’m a Platinum Frequent Flyer, it’s fine”. Dumbfounded by that level of stupidity and entitlement, I try and help the lady with the broken bloody nose, ignoring the assist bell from the bathroom. He later emerges, enraged that we hadn’t responded to the toilet bell to help him.
Yep, you guessed it, he’d urinated all over himself because of the turbulence. Not the best time to use the bathroom as it turns out.
Story credit: Reddit / Bookscoffeetravel
The Fiery Flight
I was on a nighttime flight 15 years ago. All of a sudden, the cabin lights are turned on to full blast and the captain makes an announcement. “You may be smelling a noxious odor. We have an electrical fire on board, and can’t be sure how quickly it might spread. We are being diverted to the nearest airport and will be executing an emergency landing in 15 minutes. Please give your attention to your flight attendants as they instruct you in the proper crash-landing procedure”.
I would have thought there would be pandemonium, but everyone became extremely quiet. I had my 11-month-old with me and was advised to hold him in my arms and assume the crash-landing procedure as best as possible to shield his body with mine. Everyone on that plane thought we were goners. I was talking quietly to my baby, pointing out the window at the Earth below and telling him how beautiful it all was.
I didn’t want him to go scared. After about 10 minutes and no catastrophic failure, we all began to relax a bit, thinking that the fire was contained or spreading extremely slowly. We all positioned ourselves for a crash landing. The tarmac was ablaze with the flashing lights of fire trucks, ambulances, and other vehicles, all in preparation for a worst-case scenario.
We landed smoothly and without incident, thank God. That was a really, really bad 15 minutes.
Story credit: Reddit / XelaNiba
United We Stand
I was in the army and going home to surprise my mom for Christmas. I was at my final layover in Newark, some time late at night. I’m waiting at the gate to board the plane when they announce the flight has been delayed by a half-hour. No big deal. They continue to delay the flight a half an hour further back at a time. We’d get to five minutes before boarding and they’d push it back a half hour.
This went on for three hours. Apparently, they were waiting for our plane and crew to arrive from Pittsburgh and they couldn’t take off because of a storm. The plane finally arrives, and we board. Unfortunately, by the time we get out to the runway, the storm that stopped them from getting to us has now reached Newark. So we sit on the runway for an hour and a half waiting for the storm to pass so we can take off.
By the time the storm passes, when considering the time span of our upcoming flight, we can no longer fly because the crew cannot work for a consecutive 16 hours without a sleeping break due to FAA rules. They tell us our flight is canceled, and we need to get off the plane. So at this point, we were about five hours past our original boarding time. It’s the middle of the night, I haven’t seen my family in a year, and it’s now officially Christmas Eve.
We all have absolutely no idea what’s going to happen. They gave us all a $12 meal voucher, except at this point the airport is basically closed. The only thing that’s open is the McDonald’s, and of course, they only have a limited menu. All 100 and some of us are in the line, so that takes some time. They tell us that there is no way they can get us a flight today.
The only option is for us to take the bus they have arranged for us. We were all angry, but didn’t really have much of a choice. I figured I would work it out with the airline later. So they sit us all in the main lobby of the airport, where we wait for another two hours for this bus to arrive. Despite paying for a one-hour layover and a one-hour flight to Syracuse, I got an eight-hour layover and an eight-hour bus ride.
All I got from the airline was the meal voucher that I received at the airport. Apparently, they didn’t HAVE to do anything, because this entire situation was caused by weather (which, it wasn’t, it was caused by their lack of planes available to use). Screw United.
Story credit: Reddit / jmccarthy611
On Flight Daycare
There was this kid on a Toronto to Houston flight who was going nuts. On the flight, he had a full-sized metal Tonka truck that he was running up and down the aisle with. He smacked me in the head with it and nearly hit my Mom. The family refused to sit him down until it was announced that there would be no food or beverage service until the aisle was cleared.
Another woman grabbed the kid and returned him to his family. But the nightmare had only just begun. They let him run loose again as soon as service was over. Finally, someone from the cockpit had to come back and tell the family we couldn’t start the landing approach until the brat was in his seat. They put him in his seat while he screamed.
As soon as decent started, they let him up and he was running up and down the aisle again with his truck as we landed. The family was so dense that when the captain ordered everyone to stay in their seats and that only families with small children would be allowed to deplane at first—they smirked their way down the aisle. Mom walked with a cane and getting off was hard for her. Since we were home, we just waited till the aisles were clear.
When we got off, you could hear the kid screaming halfway down the jetway. And that’s when came upon a beautiful sight: Authorities were holding him, and the rest of the family were in handcuffs.
Story credit: Reddit / TexasTeacher
Control The Weather
I once watched a very well-dressed businessman have an epic toddler-level tantrum at a check-in counter when he was advised his flight was delayed due to fog. He literally screamed, jumped up and down, and demanded that the airline “better do something about it or ELSE”! The guy working behind the counter just smirked and suggested that the business guy was welcome to go outside and try and flap the fog away with his arms.
The entire queue burst out laughing.
Story credit: Reddit / Nonia_Bizness
Prepare For Turbulance
I was flying back to the upper Midwest from Jamaica (fairly long flight) and we hit a big storm over the ocean before hitting the mainland. My buddy was sitting next to me and had just gotten back from the bathroom. We hit some major turbulence and he didn’t have his seatbelt on when the plane dropped a good 20 or 30 feet. It was like a full free fall moment out of the movies.
Everybody’s drinks and all floated, and he flew up and hit the ceiling and then came back down. Meanwhile, a lady in the row next to us starts hyperventilating and screaming that she doesn’t want to die over and over. She also straight up pooped her pants. The turbulence eventually went away, but the smell of her poop lasted the remaining three hours of the flight…
Story credit: Reddit / dunord218
Listen To Your Doctor
I was on a late-night flight from Las Vegas to Charlotte. Clearly, the best thing for me to do during the flight was to sleep through it. That’s not quite what happened. Maybe about an hour before we were scheduled to land, I was woken up by a grab on my breast and then a hand down my side. I remember jolting myself upright (I had my head down at the time) and coming face to face with this man, grinning and absolutely REEKING of drink as if he had bathed in it.
He started to reach toward me again, so I pushed him away. He turned and walked away after that, but after a few steps, this dude collapses. The flight attendants scrambled over to see what had happened and of course, there was a nurse on board who hopped up to see what was going on as well. Feeling guilty, I put my head back down to “sleep” so I could eavesdrop on what was happening an aisle behind me.
Apparently, this dude was 1) So past the limit when he got on the plane that the attendants had refused to serve him multiple times during the flight and 2) He was on all kinds of crazy heart medications and he shouldn’t have been drinking in the first place.
Story credit: Reddit / throawaayforthemall
Being Nice Pays Off
My son and I were on a cross-country flight back to Manchester and our connecting flight had mechanical issues. It was the last flight out that day, so we had to wait until the following morning to get home. The flight attendants told us to go to the gate agent and they would help us find a hotel. We arrive at the stand, and two middle-aged men are just screaming at the gate agent.
They are red-faced and stomping while yelling about some important meeting the following morning. The gate agent calmly got them new tickets and vouchers for a hotel near the airport. They then started complaining about the quality of the hotel and demanded a better one. The agent kept trying to talk to them and kept getting interrupted.
Finally, the men left and continued to yell down the terminal as they left. When I got to the gate agent, my son and I were polite, and she helped us out with the hotel and rebooking our flight. In addition, she gave us $400 each in flight vouchers. Right as we walked away, she gave us the flight vouchers for the two men as well. Apparently, the whole time they kept interrupting her, she was trying to give them free flights and they were too angry to notice, so we got them.
Story credit: Reddit / woogychuck
Once, I got stranded at Newark for 22 hours after our flight had an unfixable fault and was canceled late at night. We got put up in a hotel, but by the time the new flight rolled around, everyone was quite tired and agitated. As we are waiting to board the new flight, the flight attendant announces they would be boarding people with additional needs and families with young children first, followed by first class, then premium economy.
It was all pretty standard stuff. Obviously, it can take a bit longer for people in wheelchairs to board, so it makes sense for them to go on first. However, this business dude races to the front of the crowd and starts yelling at the attendant, saying it was already DISGUSTING that he had lost a day due to their INCOMPETENCE and now he had to WAIT.
The worst part is, he’s looking at others in the crowd to back him up, like it’s perfectly reasonable to scream at this woman who, like us, had also been stranded and had very little sleep, and was doing her best to do her job in this demanding situation. But she was awesome. Without missing a beat, she smiled, nodded, and said, “Ok sir”.
Then, she made a big point of leaning into her mic and telling the waiting line of people in wheelchairs and mothers with babies that this gentleman needed to board before them, and they could wait. Literally, every single person at the gate is looking at this guy with disgust as he tries to backtrack and say he doesn’t mind waiting for the first group, but the attendant says, “No, no, you made yourself quite clear—let’s get you boarded, the others will have to wait”. He is humiliated as he sheepishly walks by.
Story credit: Reddit / Kidgorgeoushere
Making Friends On The Flight
This was direct from Moscow to Houston on a Singapore Airlines flight. Behind us sat an elderly Singaporean couple who took of their shoes and used our armrests to put their feet up. The smell was unbearable. I was in the middle seat, my boyfriend was on the window side, and there was an older guy on the aisle. The older guy starts by complaining nonstop about the smell.
He’s berating the flight attendants over it. They keep asking the elderly couple to move their feet but they keep putting them back. The man eventually decides to calm down. He introduces himself to me by telling me that I better not have to use the restroom during the 13-hour flight because he won’t feel like moving. He spends several hours telling me, through my headphones and obvious disinterest, about all the languages he speaks, the places he’s worked, and all the money he makes.
At one point, he was telling me about his childhood in Louisiana and I (having no idea what to say because I don’t want to talk) mention I have family in Shreveport. He takes the opportunity to make it clear how stupid I am because it’s not relevant because it’s several hours from his hometown. About half way through, I told him to let me out to use the restroom and watched him storm around the cabin like a toddler.
He berated me about my timing (?) when I returned to my seat.
Story credit: Reddit / amethystine1
A Standing Ovation
This happened when I was 15. I was sat in the middle seat, in between a tour group that must have contained a lot of first-time flyers. Cue to the flight attendants announcing to the passengers to fasten our seatbelts. The two people on either side of me started freaking out because they couldn’t find their seatbelts. I tried telling them they probably sat on them, but they’re rather large so I think it was difficult for them to get up.
Instead, they panic. They were screaming and other people in the tour group started freaking out too. The flight attendants came but had a hard time understanding them through the screaming. I was also trying to explain to everyone what was happening. One of the people next to me finally calmed down enough and asked me to help them to find the seatbelt. I had no choice but to reach under their butt, free the seatbelt, reach over, and fasten it for them.
They yelled something to the rest of the tour group and I guess they figured it out since there were whoops and cheers. I had to help the other person next to me and reach under their butt too. They were both sweaty. Then they decide to host a prayer session before the plane took off. The two people next to me were genuinely sweet and tried to make me feel included in the prayer group by holding my hand, but enforced prayer sessions just make me want to scream, “Screw Jesus”! and go to sleep.
I mean, they were sweet people initially. They were worried why a young girl was all alone on such a long flight, and I had to explain that my family checked in really late, so we ended up separated. They were chatty and asked me a LOT of questions about flying. I needed to sleep though, so it was painful. Finally, I decided to just order booze so I can pass out.
This was a more innocent time when most non-American airlines will not check for IDs. As soon as my Bailey’s came, one of the people next to me shot me the most disgusted look and snapped, “You drink”? I told them yes, and after that, I got left alone…until I got woken up when I started feeling squashed. They’re both larger people and I felt bad for them since it was really tight for them, so earlier during the flight, I showed them the armrests can go up so they can just spill into my seat.
Like a lot of Asian women, I’m kind of short and tiny so there’s plenty of space in my seat. Unfortunately, when they’re asleep, they start melting into me and I got squashed. I ended up sitting at the edge of my seat without the seatbelt on to escape. Oh, and they had another prayer session before the plane landed and all cheered and whooped when we landed safely.
Story credit: Reddit / eraser_dust
Mind Your Business
I was just on a flight from Dallas to Cancun and this woman kept making awful remarks behind us. She was irritated that so many people on the plane were speaking Spanish. She was annoyed at the two older ladies behind her speaking Spanish, so she turns around and said the most shocking thing: “This is why we all want to build a wall”. Jaws dropped.
The ladies just looked at her with this blank stare that I’ll never forget and were literally quiet the rest of the flight. I felt so bad. Looking back, did the woman not realize she was on a flight to Mexico…?
Story credit: Reddit / HmmmmSoYeah
Now No One Can See
I was in the window seat ahead of the fire row, so the lady and her grandson behind me didn’t have a window view. Crazy grandma starts asking me to put my seat up so her grandkid can see out the window. The thing is, I never even reclined my seat because I’m not very tall. I explained this to her multiple times, but she just kept getting more worked up, so I turned around and ignored her.
The girl next to me gave me a face of understanding, and we hadn’t even talked the whole flight. The crazy lady was still ranting to no one that my seat wasn’t up so I closed the window so nobody can see. She stopped her crazy ranting after that.
Story credit: Reddit / gettingcrunkontea
Old Enough To Know Better
Well, when I was 13 I flew from Denver to Sydney solo. My flight out of Denver was 15 minutes late taking off. No big deal, as I could easily make my layover in San Francisco. Except when I disembarked, the gate attendant stopped me because there was a whole debate on whether or not I was flying in assisted or with an escort-in flight attendant. Again, easy problem to solve.
I try telling everybody that I have copies of all my paperwork saying I get to go solo. Every time I tried to speak up to tell them this, the adults would shush me or simply talk over me. They eventually held me until I missed my flight. So here I am stuck halfway across a continent, alone in a city I’ve never been to before. I finally convince them to just call my mom who takes nobody’s problems. They set me up for the night in a hotel room with a flight attendant.
I only have a backpack with some books and my Discman. No change of clothes, toothbrush, etc. We go eat their continental breakfast, and I grabbed a grapefruit half because everything else looked gross and grapefruit is awesome. The flight attendant asks me if I’m on a diet then looks at me like maybe I should be, even though I don’t think I was 100 pounds at the time.
My host had to get on a flight so we go back to the airport where I’m locked in the unaccompanied minors room. It had half a set of Jenga blocks, 11 pieces of a 12-piece puzzle, and two episodes of Degrassi playing on a loop. I was stuck there for 12 hours. Nobody told me I had three free meal tickets, so I didn’t eat all day. Then finally at 10 at night I get on my flight to Sydney. After 36 hours, I had a breakfast in-flight. All because everybody decided a 13-year-old girl had no right to self-advocate.
Story credit: Reddit / TheBrontosaurus
Lesson In Parenting
This child was screaming her lungs out in the seat behind us for the last 40 minutes of a 10-hour flight because she didn’t want to put her seatbelt on for the descent. For a while, all I could hear besides her was her useless father telling her “stop screaming” 100 times then arguing with the flight attendants by saying, “Look at her, she doesn’t want to put the seatbelt on, there’s nothing I can do”.
The saving grace was one very sassy male flight attendant who would walk by every two minutes and just say “be the parent” to the father and then continue walking. It was hilarious.
Story credit: Reddit / fanatifun
Entitled In The Air
About a year ago, A woman with a service dog came on a plane I was traveling on. She sat in the front row of seats on a Southwest flight. After preboarding, a man, his wife, and their baby came on the plane. The man demanded that the woman with the service dog move elsewhere because he wanted the front seats for his family.
When she told him she would not move, his response was utterly disturbing. He began grabbing her bags and throwing them in the aisle. The attendants came and told him that he could not move a passenger’s seat. He then grabbed the service dog by the harness and began yanking it out into the aisle. The woman was crying at this time, begging for someone to help.
The man was told that if he continued, he and his family would have to deboard the plane. The man finally stopped but put his carry-on in the bin above where the woman was sitting even though he sat further back. The entire flight, there were complaints that his wife was holding their baby on the tray table, pulling the passengers’ hair in front of them, changing diapers in the seat, and disgustingly storing them in the seat pocket in front of them.
When the plane landed, the man and his wife pushed through the aisles yelling that they needed their carry-on, and, in the process, shoved a woman with a full leg brace and a cane back into her seat. They were removed from the plane, though it was too late. The damage had already been done. This was by far the worst set of passengers I have ever encountered on a plane.
Story credit: Reddit / ABeLouDog
The Flight Therapists
You know how babies sometimes cry on planes? Well, there was a full-grown woman who started crying three hours into the flight…really, really, loudly. But that wasn’t the worst part. She then started screaming at people for not comforting her, and eventually attacked the guy who was sitting beside her. The plane had to turn around and land to kick her off, still crying.
Story credit: Reddit / jeffsery
For Goodness Sake
I was on Japan Airlines, and it was an eight-hour flight to Australia. Probably the best and also worst flight I had been on. Best as in there were literally only 20 passengers including myself, a fully staffed crew, and the catering was stocked. We got to sit anywhere we wanted and they allowed us to stretch out over three seats and sleep. The sake and food were flowing because they had enough for a full flight. Sounds like heaven, right? Wrong.
50 minutes in, a strange older couple comes and sits in the seats behind me. They had the whole plane to themselves but decided to sit there and be LOUD. I put my earphones on and ignore them. A few minutes later, they come and sit right next to me and begin to talk to me about how awesome it is having the plane so empty, and if I like new things because they only liked new and exciting things.
This went on for about 30 minutes. At this point, I’m trying to be polite and tell them I’m going to move to another seat to read my book. I moved as far away as I could, asked for some more sake, and sat down. Wouldn’t you know it, 10 minutes later, there’s the old couple again, and again, they sit right next to me. This time, the crew were handing out food, so they just decided to come over and have it with me and keep talking about the incredible book they had read called The Matrix.
I get an hour lecture on how the moon is hollow and sounds like a bell when you ring it. I try to eat my food in peace while they go on about new and exciting things. After a couple of times moving to a different seat and them not getting the hint, I just wanted to be left alone. I gave up and I told them I was going to watch a movie. The guy kept interrupting me every chance he got, and to top it all off, his wife was doing this weird chicken dance in front of me every 30 minutes to keep her blood going.
I will never forget it and it will haunt me for the rest of my life. The last hour of the flight they fell asleep and I legged it to a seat right at the back in a random place and finally had peace. The empty plane ride was already ruined, so I just ordered more sake and made the most of it.
Story credit: Reddit / Dr_Stef
Landing Just In Time
At 20,000 feet, the O2 masks come down. Loonngg silence from the crew. Finally, the pilot comes on with the horrible news. He says lots of electrical systems are out and we’re landing at a small airport in nine minutes. The descent was on full air brakes, which made the flight loud and shaking, with kids screaming because their ears were hurting, and parents screaming at their kids to blow while holding their noses.
The adult behind us was slapping his thighs and shouting endlessly “Oh no. Oh no”. BUT… we got an $8 voucher for lunch at the airport while we waited for a new plane. There was no one else in the terminal when we landed, but to get our $8 lunch vouchers, we had to prove we were on the flight by showing our ticket. There was a one-line report in the FAA documents saying “multiple electrical failure”.
It was not a lightning strike since the weather was clear where we were. There was no depressurization, either. As we landed, a big thunderstorm hit the airport from the opposite direction, and that is why we had to land so quickly. My wife and I were actually quite calm during the event, holding hands. Afterward, we slept for most of three days straight.
Story credit: Reddit / Osiris62
Caught In The Act
Oh boy. My boyfriend will KILL me if he ever knew I posted this. It’s bad but HILARIOUS. The whole day was chaos. I was on my period and emotional and wanted pizza more than anything on Earth. I literally cried when we got to the pizza place and they said they needed to cook my pizza and it would take 30 minutes. I wanted a Sbarro-type place with ready-made slices.
So after my meltdown, we got on the plane, pizza-less, and I naturally needed a nap after crying. Well, the reason we didn’t get pizza is that my boyfriend needed to drink a bunch of pints with his brother who was going to a different airport than us. Understandable, drink with your brother, but make sure you get your crazy girlfriend pizza. Anyway, I slept hard.
Then I woke up to the pilot saying we’re on our final descent and fasten seatbelts, yadda yadda. I was at the window, my boyfriend was in the middle, and there was a stranger on the aisle. Correction, my boyfriend was supposed to be in the middle. In reality, he was gone. I assumed he was in the bathroom, so I looked to the front and back at the overhead signs and they both said the bathroom was free.
I was thinking “Where is he then”?! Panicking, I was looking front to back as the ground was getting closer. I asked the stranger, “Where is he”?! And he says, “He went to the bathroom like 30 minutes ago”. Even the male flight attendant knew he wasn’t in his seat, so they checked the bathrooms. The ground is getting closer, here comes my boyfriend. He sits down just in time for landing.
He smells godawful. I was like “God you stink. What’s wrong”? His response made my blood run cold. In the most serious voice, he says “Stop. We’ll talk later”. I literally cannot breathe next to him because he smells so bad. I feel bad for the aisle guy. We get off the plane and then he tells me. He accidentally pooped his pants trying to get to the bathroom. He knew he needed to go pronto and nearly passed out trying to make it up to the bathroom but someone went in ahead.
He turns around, heads to the back, and doesn’t make it. Now, if you remember I said the signs said they were vacant. Apparently, he didn’t lock the doors during this panic. And naturally, he needed to get rid of the evidence, so he was trying to flush his boxers down the toilet, and IN WALKS the male flight attendant asking him to return to his seat. Catching him flushing his poop-covered boxers!
Story credit: Reddit / lovewienerdogs
Always Pack A Spare
I was headed to the Philippines on a two-week vacation with my cousin, and we were in San Francisco waiting to board our plane when it got delayed for four hours. That’s just the start…finally, after boarding, they had over-seated the plane and no one was volunteering, so they started to force people off the plane, and guess what? They chose me to “volunteer”.
After some arguing and negotiating, me and my cousin thankfully stayed on the plane. Or at least I thought I was thankful at the time. After taking off and eating our dinner on the plane, the lights got turned off. As the flight attendant was navigating the cabin and handing out drinks, she tripped over someone’s foot in the aisle and spilled a sticky drink all over me and my cousin.
After getting cleaned up and into clean clothes, almost everyone was asleep as we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It was roughly 3 am at this point. Well, I can never sleep on planes so I was wide awake, and I decided to go brush my teeth and use the restroom. Being a multitasker, I was using the restroom while brushing my teeth. I know it’s unsanitary but being a guy and having two hands makes me productive. Then everything went south.
The plane gave one small bump warning of turbulence, with no comment from the pilot. Out of nowhere, we hit dead air. The plane dropped, and I mean dropped!! My body flew up and smashed the ceiling, toothpaste, and pee flying everywhere in the bathroom. Meanwhile, all I hear is horrified screaming in the cabin outside the door. I was on the ceiling for a solid five seconds that felt like five minutes.
We finally hit good air and leveled out. I come smashing back down and hit hard. The bathroom, obviously, is an absolute mess. I rush out of the bathroom to my seat and buckle in immediately. The cabin was destroyed. People’s food, drinks, and personal items were everywhere. Seats were soaked, including mine, the ceiling had food stuck to it, people were still screaming and crying.
The pilot came on and said that the bad air was not on the radar and the rest of the flight would be smooth. And thank God it was, but holy heck was the first half of a 10-hour flight miserable. Thankfully, always pack two changes of clothes in my carry-on for international flights, so I had another clean pair to change into.
Story credit: Reddit / schrader-nick
Getting Petty Revenge
I was on a flight where a middle-aged gentleman wound up sitting next to me. He was obviously on a business trip from his attire. He was late getting to the Southwest flight, and he had a roller carry-on. He starts trying to shove it forcefully into an overhead bin. He does it in a way that shows a complete disregard for the other items already in the bin, smashing it against everything to get it in.
The flight attendant comes up, and he politely says, “Sir, I don’t think it’s going to fit, and the flight is rather full, I think I will need to check your bag”. The businessman gives him a snooty response, the flight attendant repeats herself. This goes on for about five minutes, with the businessman insisting that his bag goes into the overhead bin.
The guy is getting more agitated. The attendant finally appears to relent, and says “Okay, how about you let me try”?. The guy hands him the bag, and as soon as he has it in hand, begins walking away saying, “I’m sorry sir, we’re going to have to check this”. The businessman has a hissy fit but takes his seat next to me.
I noticed him immediately take out his laptop, open his email, and start typing an email to Southwest customer service, complaining about the rude and awful behavior of the flight attendant by name and about how he had been “publicly embarrassed”. Seeing this happen, I knew exactly how to get some petty revenge.
Already having my laptop out, I also immediately drafted an email to Southwest customer service. The guy put his full name in his email, so I saw his name. I sent an email to customer service, saying that I’m watching my seatmate currently sending a very nasty email about the flight attendant. I made sure to comment on how polite and professional the flight attendant was, and that the businessman was far too old to be throwing a hissy fit when we’re trying to get people in the seats to pull back from the gate.
I still feel good about it.
Story credit: Reddit / Kinmuan
Lack Of Sympathy
I was on a Vegas to Boston flight when a passenger died in his sleep. The whole situation was heartbreaking, and the flight attendants were clearly shaken. We stopped in New York for emergency personnel to attend to him. The entire process was very quick, and the pilot and staff handled it like champs. Just as we were about to take off, a guy in the front row asks the attendant the dumbest question imaginable.
He wanted all the passengers to get free drinks due to the inconvenience. I’ve never wanted to yell at a stranger so much in my life.
Story credit: Reddit / Betsy514
My sister worked as a flight attendant. She had many stories, but the one I remember was an entitled jerk on an overseas flight who made constant demands until he finally fell asleep. The plane was in descent when he woke, and he asked for that day’s paper. She got him one. He complained that it was yesterday’s paper and he wanted one from this morning.
My sister told him: “Sir…we have been in the air for 16 hours and have not stopped for paper delivery en-route”. He kept complaining and would not accept that he would not get today’s paper even though it was the airline’s policy to provide him with a newspaper.
Story credit: Reddit / Somewhat_random