Travelers Share The Worst Airplane Experiences Of Their Lives
When it comes to lengthy travels, there’s no better option than a plane. While trains can get you to the same destination, airplanes can make it there at a quicker pace. In 2018, there were 4.5 billion recorded passengers on 45 million flights around the world. With such high numbers, it’s not so hard to imagine why people love to fly the friendly skies.
Like every form of transportation, there are negatives to go along with the positives. With planes, there’s always the chance of something mechanical going wrong, or a delayed flight, or being seated next to the most annoying passenger you can imagine.
This group of people discussed some of the worst experiences they’ve had on a flight. After hearing their insane stories, you’ll probably think twice before booking a flight for your next trip.
45. All Mixed Up
I was in the army and got deployed.
So we flew over the Atlantic. The plane was one of those old C130 types of planes that had normal airplane seats installed except they were facing the rear of the plane. A slow plane flying backward over the ocean was pretty lame. Those old planes are also loud as heck, so no chance of getting any sleep.
Then when we landed, a guy who has jumped out of several planes almost puked on me.
44. We’re Totally Screwed
We were flying from Hyderabad, India to Washington, DC. We had a layover in London. Got on the plane, everyone is boarded and ready. Turns out there was a loose screw somewhere on the plane, so they had to check EVERY. SINGLE. SCREW. We sat in the plane (not running, so no air conditioning) for five hours. We finally took off for our 9-hour flight. My TV screen doesn’t work. It was my first flying experience and it was horrible.
43. Bright And Early
Checked in late to a flight, which meant I was in the last boarding group, relegated to the middle seats. By the time I got on the plane, the only seat left was between two very large guys. Each was encroaching on the middle seat. One was so large that he couldn’t put the arm rest down. I had to sit with my shoulders and knees squeezed together to keep from touching them. I was miserable and couldn’t get comfortable.
Sent an email to customer service while on the flight and ended up getting that leg of the flight refunded. Apparently, there is a policy that if a customer is large enough to encroach on a second seat they are supposed to purchase a second seat, but it is rarely enforced.
Lesson learned. I now always make sure to check in early for a flight!
42. How Do You Sleep?
I was on a flight to Las Vegas with my dad and his girlfriend. It was about 11 pm when my dad fell asleep. He was snoring so loud that all the rows surrounding us were looking and laughing. And to make it worse he was leaning out into the aisle really far. The trip was nice though.
41. Last Plane Ride Ever
On a flight home from Crete last month, what sounded like an engine explosion rocked the plane as soon as we took off. Everyone on board was shaken, and there was a really loud noise coming from that wing for the entire flight. After that, there was what seemed to be air or something shooting in at us from the roof and there were a few gasps questions afterward.
The most terrifying part was when a steward went to the phone and said to whomever was on the other end, “The pilot wants to know should we turn around and land back at the airport?” I started to pray for the stewards to bring the truck around soon with the drinks.
As soon as we landed, I text my friend to say I’m never getting on a plane again.
40. Choke On This
My brother nearly choked to death on a pretzel. He was an infant and I’m not sure why he had a pretzel, but the flight attendants had no idea what to do (I think we were flying from Germany to the USA). So finally, my mom got fed up and jammed her finger down his throat and had him hock it up. I was really little when it happened, so I don’t remember much other than the incredible panic surrounding me, but my mom always mentions it when people talk about planes.
39. Cry, Baby, Cry
This was on a 10-12 hour flight from Brussels to Newark. I was center row, center seat of the biggest plane I’ve ever flown in. I’m 6′ 2″ height-wise, so my knees were basically in the back of the person in front of me. Cherry on top is a new mother with a young baby that must have been teething. It screamed the whooooooooooooooooole ride and the mother didn’t really do anything…
Babies shouldn’t be allowed on planes.
38. Worth 1,000 Words
I was sitting next to an older gentlemen who seemed very nice. I just took the first available seat and it just so happened to be the window seat at the very front of the plane.
As the flight attendant was doing the safety speech, the guy took a picture of her. She was young, probably mid- to late-twenties. She asked, “Did you just take a picture of me?” This poor woman seemed completely nervous and creeped out by this. When he said yes, she asked, “Can you please delete it?”
I just sat there and was hoping that she didn’t think I knew him or was with him because I had literally just met him. And to make it worse, it took him about 5 minutes to figure out how to delete the dang picture. It was such an awkward plane ride and I felt so bad for the flight attendant. But like, seriously, what was the dude thinking?
37. Ride The Wild Wind
My flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. After a 2-hour delay in Buenos Aires due to bad weather down there (extremely high winds), we were cleared to go. Right before the final approach to Ushuaia, the plane literally dropped a few hundred feet to the side. We were in a crosswind.
Mind you, there are huge mountains, so I saw the cracks on rocks on the mountain tops when we fell. At this point people’s stuff is flying in the air, phones were hitting the ceiling and going all over the floor, the overhead compartments opened and started spewing stuff. The pilot told us to brace ourselves. People were praying like crazy. Engines were at like max to get us enough altitude in case we dropped again (which did happen, but thankfully not sideways again).
Luckily, the runway was super long so we stopped just before it ended. I found out after that the winds were 100 mph on the final approach. Needless to say, we were the last flight for the next two days into the airport.
36. Edge Of My Seat
It was a business trip to San Francisco. We flew out on a Sunday so I could attend client meetings Monday through Thursday and take the Thursday red eye back to the east coast. Back then I traveled a lot for business and upgraded my return seat to business class using points.
All was well until I got to the airport and was informed my business class seat was being given to someone with a higher level frequent flyer status. Okay, that sucks, just give me my aisle seat back. Nope, no can do because we sold it after you upgraded. You’re on standby.
I got the last seat left, which turned out to be last row, middle seat. No reclining and I got to enjoy the smell of the bathroom all the way home.
35. Head To Head
This happened when I was flying home from visiting China.
I (un)fortunately got the emergency exit seats (which means extra leg space). Since it was really late and I was tired from walking around in China, I almost immediately fall asleep once in the plane.
Sometime later, the attendants turned on the cabin light and announced that they were going to distribute food. Woken up by the sudden brightness and my body aching from sitting in an uncomfortable position for such a long time, I lean forward and rest my arms on my knees and my head on my arms.
As I was changing my posture, I saw an old lady going in the direction of the restroom. However, she stopped and stood in my seat area, I assume to let the food cart to pass her.
A few seconds later, the lady passed out as I lift my head up. As I looked around, this lady’s head was literally approximately 60 cm away from mine. I, of course, was unable to dodge, nor was I able to hold her body away from mine as my reflexes were not that fast.
I think I got a minor concussion after the impact.
34. A Wasted Weekend
Flight from LA to Brisbane. The plane was supposed to land somewhere around 10 am. The pilot was told it was too foggy to land, and we’d have to circle for nearly two hours. We were diverted to New Caledonia. The runway was small, and their customs building was more of a shack. They didn’t have the manpower to unload the plane.
They fueled it up, opened the doors, and the plane sat on the tarmac for four hours. It was already a 17-hour flight at that point. The diversion added a total of 6 hours to that flight. We missed the last flight to Perth for the weekend.
33. What’s At Steak?
A bout of food poisoning came on me on the way home from Barcelona. I spent about 90 minutes violently throwing up in the tiny sink while everything was gushing out of the other end.
I’m a pretty anxious person and not being able to move out of the little toilet while also having people banging on the door for me to hurry up induced a panic attack.
I then realized we were about 5 minutes from landing, and luckily enough my bowels were pretty much empty. So I made my way back to my seat, which was about 10 rows in front, getting glared at by everyone. I got back next to my girlfriend, we landed, and as we touched the ground, I started vomiting again into a sick bag.
I’ve never eaten another steak and kidney pie since. At least I got escorted off the plane first and to the front of the security queue!
32. Going For The World Cup
I was on a flight out of NYC a few years back. I sat in the second to last seat. In the last row there was half of a family (the other half was across the aisle). Not only were they all quite irritating — screaming across the aisle in a foreign language — but I happened to be sitting in front of the younger generation of said family. The kids were wearing some soccer jerseys so they must have been fans. About halfway through the flight, I started feeling kicking; REALLY hard kicking. They kids started screaming “GOALLLLLL” really loud like the soccer announcers on TV, and did it over and over, each time kicking the back of my seat.
31. Quality Time With The Boy
I was flying to LA a couple of years ago and had an early flight (7 am, I think), and was in the window seat. In the middle seat was a teenage boy (maybe around 14) and his dad in the aisle seat. The boy kept arguing with his dad about how he was stuck in the middle seat and was complaining that the flight attendant said there were no other seats available on the plane. This made my headache worse. It was a long six hours.
30. Dreaming Of Hawaii
About midway between LA and Honolulu over the Pacific, the plane’s right engine stopped functioning and we started to lose altitude rapidly. All emergency warning alerts on the plane came into play and life vests popped down from the cabinets above.
We were told about using our seats as flotation devices and to exit the plane in an orderly manner to an inflatable life boat that would be deployed. We were practically skimming the waves and people had their prayer beads out. Many were crying and praying. Then, just as suddenly, the right engine started functioning again and we made it to Honolulu Airport where several passengers kissed the ground after we deplaned.
29. Mother Like Mine
Flying with an ear infection as a kid was my worst in-flight experience. The pain was unbearable and I think I cried almost the whole way home.
An experience I don’t remember but my parents do: I was about three years old, we were on our way home after adopting my younger brother. My dad took my brother and I to the bathroom and then sent me back to my seat (we were close to the restrooms). A flight attendant stopped me and wouldn’t let me through. She was taunting me, blocking my way, pushing me and saying, “Oh? You want to go back to mommy? Do you? You want mommy?”
Meanwhile, I had started bawling because I just wanted to go back to my mom. A passenger sitting nearby noticed this and quickly put an end to it, taking me by the hand and explaining to my mom what had happened and why I was so upset. From what I was told and knowing my mom, that lady got to experience the wrath of an angry momma bear and I’d give anything to go back and witness it.
28. Highs And Lows
I was flying from Dubrovnik to Istanbul via Belgrade. I had a tight connection and was already anxious to get in the air, only for the airline to continually delay my flight due to engine problems. Being an optimist, I assumed it was an overabundance of caution and not actual mechanical failings.
Then I got on the plane. It was a rickity old former Soviet prop plane so tiny that I couldn’t fit a small backpack overhead or under my seat. None of the stewardesses cared we had loose luggage all over the cabin.
Then, during take off, you could hear the engines screaming, trying to get the plane in the air and over the mountains surrounding Dubrovnik. As we started to crest the mountains, the plane suddenly dropped what felt like 20 feet, then proceeded to do that at least five more times before I finally thought screw it, and went to sleep, hoping I’d at least die peacefully.
27. Is The Doctor Around?
I was on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. Less than 2 hours. We all get on the plane and take our seats. The flight attendants are helping the last few people find spots for their carry-ons. Then, right in front of me, an attendant lifts a bag into the overhead bin, and as he does he hits the emergency exit sign, knocking it off-kilter. Uh-oh: we technically can’t take off with the exit sign in that state.
After 20 minutes, they come on the intercom saying they’re trying to find a tech who can fix it. Five hours later, we’re on a different airplane with a different flight crew and finally take off. The whole time I sat there thinking, “Give me a screw driver and I’ll have this fixed in 5 minutes.”
26. Father Knows Best?
I was flying from Cancun to Phoenix, which is about 5 hours. There was a one-year-old baby behind me. Well, the baby has the tray table down before we even start the taxi to takeoff. The baby is also banging on the tray table, which happens to be attached to the back of my seat, while screaming. Probably the worst part was that the dad was talking to the lady next to him, telling her what a great flier the baby was. Finally, a flight attendant made them put the tray up but not before I got my fill of turbulence before we even took off.
25. Wait It Out
I was about to be free from the Army. My last flight home from Germany was a flight from Frankfurt to San Francisco, and finally to my home. We sat on the runway for like 3 hours before taking off on the longest flight of my life. I missed my connecting flight home and had to spend the night in San Francisco, fly over my home the next day to Phoenix, then fly back.
24. What Did You Say?
I was on a flight while I had a cold, and my head was completely blocked up. Come landing time, as the plane is descending and people are popping their ears to relieve pressure, I find to my alarm that I am unable to do so. The more the plane descends, the more the pressure behind my eardrums grows, and the pain feels like my eardrums are about to rupture! When we finally land, I’m about 80-90% deaf. Everything’s faint and muffled like I’m deep underwater. My hearing only gradually returned over the next couple of hours. So yeah, that’s probably my worst flying experience.
23. Time To Panic?
I’m afraid of flying but had pumped myself up for a short flight on what turned out to be a propeller plane. There was a delay as the cabin had no electricity and mechanics tried getting it back up for an hour before giving us the go-ahead to leave with it still not functioning.
No worries — I was still trying to convince myself that everything would be okay. We started to take off and I looked over at the passenger next to me. She had her head under a jacket and I hear her choking back tears and making that squeaky please-don’t-vomit sound. Flight attendants offered her coffee and water, but she refused and started crying hysterically at some point, which prompted me to start worrying. She was clutching my armrest, muttering something about dying and then began vomiting profusely into the sick bags.
A few teenagers in the back started shrieking during a light bout of turbulence and my neighbor began the whole process again, vomiting over and over again in the already stinky bag next to me while I tried not to vomit at the sound of her vomiting. Delightful.
22. Not Close Enough
My brother, sister, mom, and I were flying from Albuquerque to Indiana after a family trip. Due to engine issues, we had to switch flights, so instead of laying over in Phoenix, we would have to layover in Denver. Well, our new plane had us switch back to the Phoenix flight because of a flat tire and at that point, the Denver flight figured their engine issues would be fixed soon. At the last possible second, the tire on the Phoenix flight was fixed and the staff ushered us to that flight. We would have maybe 5 minutes to make our connection, and they said they’d make sure that Phoenix would hold the plane for the passengers going to Indiana.
We get to Phoenix, and the 10 of us trying to make the connection are sprinting through the terminal, even my then-4-year-old sister, who had been running like a champ all day.
When we get to the gate, we find out that the message was lost and they didn’t hold the plane. We missed it by about a minute. So they offered to either put us on a flight to Chicago that night and pay for hotel accommodations or rental vehicles, or buy a room and dinner that night in Phoenix, and fly us out first thing in the morning. We all got $100 flight vouchers as well.
21. Being On The Safe Side
I took a trip to Japan in ’09, the height of the “swine flu” scare, and we were all from Canada (where some of the disease’s first cases were reported).
When the plane landed, a bunch of paranoid Japanese (doctors? scientists?) people came on the plane in HAZ-MAT suits covered head to toe, using infrared cameras to “scan” us all, apparently looking at people’s faces to check for elevated temperatures.
Only problem is, this was the end of May and it was hot on the plane, and we were all quite hot. As the “doctors” passed by me, I saw the screen of their cameras and EVERYONE’s face looked white-hot.
After a 16-hour flight, it took them another 3 hours sitting on the tarmac before they let us out.
Spoiler alert: nobody had swine flu.
20. It Was Like A Movie!
This was about 18 years ago on a flight from Orlando to Kansas City. We flew into KC in a snowstorm late in the evening, so it was cold, icy, and dark. Before we could land, apparently some part of our landing gear got stuck and wouldn’t pop out. We flew in circles around KC for quite a while, like 30 minutes at least, and I could see emergency lights down on the ground. Eventually the gear must have cooperated because we landed uneventfully, but it was cool rolling down the runway past all the firetrucks.
19. Not Really Being An Attendant
Got on a flight for work and noticed a newly-married couple. But as this was a cheap carrier, they didn’t allow you to choose seats ahead of time, so by the time they got on it was nothing but middle seats as far as the eye could see. I gave up my aisle seat so they could sit together.
Thirty minutes into the flight, this poor kid with his sister puked. He didn’t use the airsick bag. It dripped down between the seats and onto the newlyweds’ (what would have been my) luggage. The flight attendant came over and absolutely BERATED this sick kid (maybe 14?) next to his younger sister, calling his mother irresponsible for putting him on a flight while ill. The sister kept saying he was fine at takeoff but they hadn’t flown before and it hit him hard.
They made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning him off, all the while loudly stating words like “infection” and “contagious” at 30,000 feet with 3 hours left to go. She also made the boy feel absolutely terrible, telling him it was all his fault they now had to take the plane out of service. The smell of vomit filled the cabin also, which was not the easiest thing to deal with.
I felt awful for that poor kid.
18. Gimme Fuel, Gimme Fire
I took a Madrid to London flight to go home for Christmas. The flight went okay, but when it was time to land the snow was really coming down. Out my window, it looked like a scene from an airplane disaster movie. When we were about to touch the ground, the pilot came on and said we couldn’t land, so we begin to climb again and circle. We went in for another landing. Aborted again.
This time, the pilot came on and said we need to try another airport. When we arrived there, it was a no-go. Now the pilot said we need to go to Birmingham. Then as we climbed and head on our way, I fool you not, the pilot in his wisdom said over the PA that he hoped we had “enough fuel to get there.” I was stressed and scared, but we finally arrived at Birmingham and proceed on an 8-hour bus journey back home through villages with no power covered in snow. Stopped in one and people from a pub came out and gave us crisps and water.
Funny thing is it kinda improved my attitude towards flying as only crashing would be worse than that experience.
17. Can’t Leave Without The Plane
I wasn’t on the airplane yet, but years ago on my way to Florida, the airline delayed our flight for about 7 hours. Except they didn’t say that. They pushed off the boarding time by about an hour every 30 minutes. We could have gone home with that much time. Obviously, they knew they didn’t have a plane at that gate. It was probably across the country still.
16. Beaten To A Pulp
Every flight I ever took went okay, so it’d have to be when they put a “fragile” sticker on my luggage. I didn’t realize it then, but apparently that is airport code for “beat the ever-loving crap out of my suitcase.”
I had an afternoon flight and my laptop display died that morning, so I grabbed the display from my desktop at home. Packed it in the center of my suitcase surrounded by clothes but was still concerned about it (this was back when LCDs were still fairly new and cost like $300). I told the guy at check-in and he said, “No problem!” and slapped a bunch of bright orange stickers on it.
The stickers (the ones that were left, anyway) were the only reason I recognized it on the carousel on the other side. Those jerks seriously beat the crap out of it. It was scuffed and gouged all over, and every corner was frayed down to the plastic. There were even dusty footprints on it, and I suspect something ran over it because, despite six inches of clothing padding the screen on each side, it was crushed enough that there were streaks of dead pixels all over it.
I learned my lesson, at least. I’ve checked fragile items many times since, I just don’t dare tell the airline that I have and they’ve always arrived undamaged.
15. Not Going Anywhere
I had boarded a plane in Florida, exhausted after working 16 hour days filming for the past month and was ready to get home. I fell asleep and woke up 2 and a half hours later, excited that I had slept through the entire flight. Then I realized we were still sitting on the runway in Florida.
14. From One Hazard To Another
I flew out of Detroit in the dead of winter, was supposed to fly into a small town in the Upper Peninsula. Halfway through the flight, all the lights go off inside the plane, and the flight attendants won’t tell anyone what’s going on. All I could see was the blinking lights on the wings. And then it hit me we were extremely close to Lake Michigan.
The pilot comes on the intercom and tells all of us we have to make an emergency landing in Green Bay because the wings are frozen. We eventually make it into Green Bay. We’re all terrified and shaken up — then the kicker. Green Bay is about three hours away from where we were supposed to land and it’s like 1 am. They get us a Greyhound bus and try to drive us the three hours but there’s a huge blizzard and our bus gets stuck halfway home and we have to sit on this cold bus for FIVE HOURS until someone could come to rescue us.
13. In The Rough
I’m not fond of flying to begin with and this was my nightmare fuel for months after. On a trip from Portland to Las Vegas in December of 2005, the pilot came on the radio about 15 minutes after take-off and told us we were about to hit a really rough patch of turbulence and that nobody could get out of their seats. I’ll never forget his words. “This is going to get rough, folks. I’m sorry, but we’ll be okay.”
For the next two hours, I experienced exactly that — the worst turbulence I have ever experienced on a flight. This wasn’t just minor bumps — this was up and downs and big dips into massive air pockets. The lights flickered a few times, luggage compartments opened, and stuff fell. I was sitting in the rear and all I could hear were clinks and clanks of the flight attendant drink trays. It was awful. If you’ve ever seen the airplane scene from the movie Almost Famous, that’s what it felt like, for 2 hours.
12. Sweet Child O’ Mine
Lady behind me brought her kid who screamed the entire 4-hour flight. Kicked my seat. Screamed some more. Had a tantrum and was climbing over the back of my seat and shaking it furiously. Meanwhile, the mom is just sitting there smiling, not even apologizing or trying to correct the behavior at all. I had the worst headache when we got off.
11. Starving For Hours
I asked for a vegetarian meal on my way home from the same trip (I learned) and they forgot to have any veggie meals. So they gave me fish. I explained that I actually don’t eat fish, so they took my meal away. I asked if I could have at least the bread and salad, but it was a no-go. Note: I had spent the night before at the airport and hadn’t eaten in about 12 hours by the time I boarded the flight. Then the flight couldn’t land so we were in a holding pattern. Then, at customs, I found out that my bag had incorrectly been marked as having live poultry, so I had to go through extra screening.
10. Stay On Your Toes
I was once on an airplane sitting in first class. There was a man sitting in my row who was clipping his toenails and they were FLYING in all sorts of directions. He then proceeded to take that long metal thing on toenail clippers, clean out his toe jam, and wipe it all over his seat.
He wins the most disgusting human being award.
9. Smells Like Trouble
I was on a plane from Vancouver to Toronto. I had the window seat. The passenger next to me was begging me to switch seats as she wanted to take some photos out of the window. Reluctantly, I agreed to switch places with her even though I really wanted something to rest my head against while I sleep during the flight. I was seated in between her and her husband. I had asked the husband if he would like to sit beside his wife, but for whatever reason he refused. I’m a bit shy so I couldn’t insist any further.
The whole flight consisted of the couple loudly conversing over my head. The worst part was, about 30 minutes into the flight, the husband decided to take off his socks and shoes. The smell was so bad. I didn’t have the courage to ask the man to put his shoes back on, but lucky the passenger in front asked a flight attendant to tell the man to put his shoes back on.
The lady never ended up raising the window blinds to take pictures.
8. There’s An App For That?
I was perfectly on time for my flight. I waited 2 hours to get on because the wrong plane showed up and they sold too many tickets so people weren’t going to fit. They took an app, put all of the passengers’ names on it, and clicked it to randomly choose people who weren’t going to make it on the flight. Luckily it wasn’t me.
Once we all boarded (except the few unlucky ones), they found out that there wasn’t enough gas in the plane to make it to where we needed to go so we had to make an extra stop. All of this combined ensured that I missed my connecting flight, leaving me stranded in Iceland.
7. A Restless Ride Ahead
I had a flight that was scheduled to take off at 10:45 pm. I got through the airport security by 8:30 only to find out the flight is delayed by 3 hours. Well, I tell myself no big deal since I’ll just sleep during the flight. Finally we board the plane around 1:45 am only to realize this cheap airline doesn’t have reclining seats. I spent the rest of my 4-hour flight trying to find a comfortable position to sleep on, without success. To make matters worse, I had to drive for another 3 hours before I got to my hotel.
6. Sick As A Dog
I was in Copenhagen, waiting for my flight for six hours with a killer flu. I felt like I was hallucinating or losing consciousness most of the time and couldn’t keep my head straight.
Finally, the boarding time arrived. We took our seats on the plane and… waited for 2 hours. Meanwhile, the pilot was announcing there was something wrong with one of the engines, and mechanics were trying to repair it. After 2 hours, they decided to change the plane and redirected us to another gate. This also took some time.
Meanwhile, being sick and lacking self-confidence, I couldn’t explain my severe situation to anyone or ask for help, so I had to keep my head up and follow the people from the previous plane without fainting.
It felt like an eternity.
5. Respect Your Elders
I was on a flight out of Florida with a huge storm coming in, with the pilot saying if everyone can get seated quickly, we can get up before the storm, or else we will be grounded for a while. Well, unfortunately, this old lady didn’t like something about her seat and refused to sit down, resulting in us having to sit there for about an hour or so. The silver lining — got some laughs when I said louder than I thought I had, “Hurry up and sit down, you old hag.”
4. Still On The Menu?
When I was young, I got on a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Cleveland, Ohio. It was a pretty long flight. About an hour in, they’re passing out little bags of peanuts as snacks. I’m deathly allergic to peanuts, but my mom figured I’d be fine as long as I didn’t eat any. Wrong.
Apparently, peanuts have spores that release upon opening the bags. Those spores re-circulated through the air system of the plane. I went into anaphylactic shock and we had an emergency landing somewhere in the midwest.
I am stunned that 10 years after this happened, most commercial airlines still serve peanuts regularly. Even now, I have to request multiple times upon booking and before boarding the flight that they NOT serve peanuts and once I had to make a huge scene on an airplane because they were about to pass them out when they’d promised they wouldn’t. Trust me, pretzels are a much better decision for everyone on that plane if I’m on board.
3. Catch The Mystery, Catch The Drift
First time sitting in an exit row. I’m pretty sure I was 15 at the time and flying alone. The plane door closed and I had the whole row to myself. Sweet.
I fell asleep before takeoff and woke up to a male flight attendant sitting next to me. He was older, but friendly. He said he sat in the exit row because it had more foot room than typical seats. Then he asked me if I wanted an adult beverage before pausing and saying, “Oh wait, are you 21? Don’t tell me your 18 or 19.” I responded that I was 15 and he acted embarrassed for asking and apologized.
I went back to listening to my music (mid 2000s emo stuff) when he asked to see what I’m listening to. Again, this guy was nice enough and I had never really been “approached” by anyone before.
He started scrolling. I could tell for a fact this guy had no idea what kind of music I listened to because of his follow up question: “Oh, lots of good music on here. This band reminds me of RUSH. Do you like RUSH?” He proceeded to tell me he had a lot of RUSH autographs at his hotel and he invited me to come to see them and swim in the hotel pool — “If your parents are okay with it, of course.”
I didn’t really know what to do after that. I was stuck next to him the rest of the flight and when I got off, he gave me his email address. When I got home I gave my mom the email address and she reported it to the airline. Turns out it was the guy’s last day with the company and there was nothing they could really do. My fiancée is still bothered I won’t listen to RUSH as she loves them.
2. Riders On The Storm
One time we were circling Atlanta because it was covered by a severe thunderstorm. We went round and round for over an hour, after a 4-hour flight from Phoenix. The pilot came over the speaker with, “Folks we’re out of fuel so we’re landing now.”
We started the descent and it went pitch black. It was dead silent in the cabin. You could hear alarms in the cockpit and the engines revving like they were going to explode. It was terrifying. We would suddenly drop every few seconds, just straight down, and a startled gasp would echo throughout the passengers but they still stayed quiet otherwise.
The pilot came back on and said we were about to touch down and to brace for possible impact. When we landed, it felt like we just dropped 30 feet down instead of gliding down to the runway. You could hear the tires screaming on the wet pavement. Finally, we came to a complete stop and just sat there for what felt like an eternity. Then we slowly started taxiing around to the terminal.
The pilots came out and greeted people as they got off the plane. A couple of women hugged them. Most men shook their hands. I certainly did. When I shook their hands I could see that they were soaking wet from sweat. I think that’s what affected me most. This wasn’t routine for them and they were probably just as scared as the rest of us.
1. Wear A Mask Next Time!
Recently went on a trip to Cuba, did a lot of diving (no mask/tank). When I got onto the plane, had a sharp pain right behind my right eye the moment the air pressure rose. Was in constant stabbing pain (9/10) for the next 5-6 hours. I’m not joking when I say that I would rather lose a pinky finger than to go through that again. The pain subsided once we began our descent.