When I was younger, I used to travel overseas nearly every year. My parents rarely accompanied me on my trip and so I was often one of the “unaccompanied minors.” I don’t have any horror stories about a terrible flight attendant or being rudely handled by airport staff. I do, however, recall a time when we were completely forgotten about altogether.
Back then, unaccompanied minors were always the first to board and the last to leave. Boarding was easy enough, but the eyebrow-raising moment happened after landing and everyone de-boarded. After a few minutes in silence, I poked my head up from atop the seats and saw the other kids scattered throughout the plane. We all looked at one another, and then looked at the front of the plane when someone walked in. The cleaning staff had just wrapped up first-class when they came through to the economy and stopped, looking at us. They stood up straight and asked why we were still there. Before any of us answered, it dawned on her: We were the unaccompanied minors…and they had forgotten about us.
It took only a few minutes for a couple of flight attendants to rush back, take us, our things, and hurriedly bring us to the airport. No one said anything about the incident, and we all happily re-united with our distant family members.
While my story didn’t end up in tragedy or even produce a few giggles, there are some stories that make you wary of even stepping onboard a plane. Anything can happen in a giant tin can flying thousands of feet above the air at jaw-dropping speed. Here are some of the most incredible tales we’ve found to date.
26. These Flight Attendants Got Revenge On This Unruly Customer By Shaming Him Into Obedience
“Many years ago, I was evaluating the service on a flight between Bahrain and LHR. The flight was full and the crew included one junior whose first working flight had been the LHR-BAH sector.
She had done a good job in the first sector and had been complimented by her fellow crew-members. But what was most noticeable was the fact she appeared to be rather shy. Boarding for the return flight went fine. There was a relatively small mix of male passengers who were wearing their national attire; a thobe, (an ankle-length robe-type garment, with long sleeves.), and ghutra, (a traditional headdress).
It was a relatively easy flight. It wasn’t full and it afforded me time to offer service tips and observe.
But we weren’t an hour into the flight that the young junior rushed into the back galley in tears.
She was sobbing. After calming her she finally blurted out that the man in 36K (indicating a window seat in the back of the aircraft), had lifted his thobe, exposing himself to her.
After years of flying your first thought is ‘oh no, not another one of these wimps…’ but your professional side prevails, whilst you deal with calming the new crew member and then needing to address the offensive and illegal act committed by the passenger.
I, along with two female crew members calmed the girl. I recall one of the more senior crew members ‘welcomed’ the junior into her initiation and assured her that she’d be seeing much worse in the years to come.
And now I had the task of dealing with the passenger. There was no one sitting next to him, nor was there anyone in the last row of seats behind him. ‘Sir,’ I began, ‘I understand you have exposed yourself to one of our crew members.’ I paused a second, waiting for the inevitable denial to come from the passenger. But his response was a surprise. ‘She likes these things, doesn’t she?” he asked, with an utterly creepy look on his face.
I was now stern. My response was prompt and succinct. ‘No, she doesn’t and neither would anyone else. And, Sir, if we have any reports of this happening again, we will have the legal authorities come on board to deal with your behavior.’
I felt I had said enough.
He had his warning and I hoped that would be the end of it. I was consciously ready to now go back to the galley and tell the young crew member that she should work the other side of the aircraft and simply forget about the matter.
But my stern admonishment prompted a response from the recalcitrant passenger I hadn’t anticipated. He fixed his gaze on me and said, ‘Maybe you want to see too?’ And he then lifted his thobe to reveal the fact that he had nothing underneath.
Strategy. I remember that I actually sighed as I walked away from the passenger.
I said nothing. I knew I needed to form a prompt and effective strategy to deal with this. We had another six hours of flight ahead of us. Of course, I would be informing the Captain about what occurred. Ultimately, it would be his decision to have the passenger handed over to the police upon our arrival. But I knew we needed a bit more for the moment.
The BA flights have a good balance of male and female crew members. But it was clear this passenger’s aberrant behavior could be perpetrated upon other passengers. And I took note there were some children on board.
I asked one of the male crew members to move up the aisle, only on the starboard (right) side of the aircraft, from row 34, forward and inform the passengers that due to a ‘technical issue’ it had been necessary to lock the lavatories and would they be so kind as to use the lavatories in the center of the aircraft.
I then asked one of the CSM’s (one of the team leaders), to assist me in my plan. I’d flown with her in the past and not only did she have a lovely sense of humor, but she was also excellent in defusing awkward situations.
I quickly filled her in on my strategy.
We moved down the aisle to where the lone passenger was. I made certain he was looking at us when I gesticulated to the man by pointing to him and then holding up my hand and lifting my ‘pinkie’ finger, wiggling it to signify the diminutive and homuncular nature of …er, um…something. My colleague then looked at the man, then looked back at me and giggled, also holding up her hand and wiggling her pinkie finger, so as to acknowledge that I was suggesting something involving the passenger was nanoscopic.
Neither of us looked directly at the passenger again, we just snickered to ourselves and moved on.
I then brought another crew member up the aisle just as if I were heading towards the front of the aircraft. But the other crew member turned to look at the passenger and gave a little chuckle.
I deliberately came back to the aft cabin by way of the port side aisle. But I could notice out of the corner of my eye that the passenger appeared to be ‘stewing’ (for lack of any other way to describe it).
And I later learned that during the meal service, the male crew who covered the starboard side of the aircraft; one of the two men deliberately leaned over to the passenger and asked him if he’d like a ‘tiny little breadstick?’
It seems the point had been driven home.
We had no more problems with the man during the flight. And true to our word, two police officers were at the gate on arrival. They came on board before we disembarked the passengers and went to the back of the aircraft to welcome him to the United Kingdom.
The police disembarked this passenger via the galley door.
Working across the world, we can come across a vast range of cultural differences. It doesn’t mean one is better than another. However, a common thread of respect is paramount for all. In the absence of this, we can only collapse into anarchy.
May all your journeys be ones of discovery!” Bill Haymaker
25. Some People Just Don’t Understand The Meaning Of Quiet… So The Flight Attendant Reminded Them
“Let me set the scene for you.
It is 9 o clock at night on Hawaiian Airlines and the flight attendants have just finished their coffee service. I’m sitting down, trying to get some sleep. The in-flight entertainment, however, had just begun – about three rows in front of me, a couple is having an argument. The girlfriend is screaming at the boyfriend about how everything is awful. Favorite quotes for the girlfriend (the boyfriend said about three words during this time):
‘I AM LITERALLY WHISPERING RIGHT NOW (heard from 10 rows forward and back).’
‘Look what you’ve done. Everybody is looking at us, and you’re making a scene.’
Several times during this argument, the flight attendants came over and tried to ask her to calm down.
Finally, one flight attendant walks to her row and says:
‘Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to remain quiet or I will escort you off this plane.’
Woman: (laughing) ‘We’re over the Pacific Ocean.’
Flight attendant: ‘Yep.'” SirCharlesOfUSA
24. This Air Pocket Was So Bad, The Flight Attendant Had To Be Hospitalized
“Not a flight attendant, but a few years ago I was on a flight in a ~20-row prop plane, between LAX and Mammoth Lakes, which hit some very extreme turbulence. In the middle of drink service, the captain made the announcement that everyone should finish their drinks and buckle their seat belts, and for the flight attendants to please secure the cabin.
Within a minute, we were bumping up and down like crazy. People were openly crying, small objects were rolling around the floor of the cabin, and the attendants were being thrown around a bit as they struggled back to the front of the plane. As the last attendant approached the front of the plane, we dropped for almost two seconds. She was thrown up to the ceiling, and then when we caught solid air again, slammed into the ground, where she was promptly hit in the head by a floating hard case carry-on. We turned back towards LAX, and she was carried out on a stretcher as soon as we landed.
23. Ignorance Is Bliss: This Child, Luckily, Wasn’t Able To Open The Door
“When I was 10, I got up to use the bathroom on the plane. Being my first flight ever, I just found the first door and followed the instructions to open it. I pulled for a few seconds before giving up and getting my dad. I walked him back to the emergency exit and told him the bathroom door wouldn’t open. He froze for a second, grabbed my arm and ushered me to the obviously labeled restroom and never mentioned it again.
What I’m curious about is why all the other passengers around the door didn’t question why I was vigorously jiggling the emergency exit handle at such a high altitude, just slowly waiting for fate to work its magic.” CoolRunner
22. The Passengers Huddled Around The Windows For A Wonderful, Tear-Inducing Reason
“This was not so much weird as much as it was absolutely totally freaking awesome! Not something I would have wanted to experience had it not been for the amazing passengers we had on board that day.
On a flight from somewhere in Germany to somewhere in Alaska, we were transporting USAF personnel back home from a long deployment somewhere in the Middle East. The men and women of the U.S. Military are the best passengers you could ever have. They almost entirely without exception listen to what you say and also address you as Sir, which is not common at all on your typical commercial service flights. We feed them, make sure they are comfortable as possible in those tiny seats and generally they spend the majority of the flight sleeping. These were always my favorite flights in my time as a flight attendant.
It was a great honor to have had the opportunity to serve (literally) our brave men and women and always always always especially on their journeys back home.
Towards the end of our journey on this particular day, I was in the galley talking to one of our passengers when we hear a rather large and unusual commotion from the main cabin. I peek out from behind the galley wall to see all the passengers awake and looking out the windows on either side of the aircraft. They are gleaming with joy, shouting and laughing, so I wasn’t nervous at all but had to run to the nearest door to see for myself what was going on.
Apparently shortly after crossing into U.S. airspace, a pair of F-16’s were on either side of our aircraft escorting us. The reason our passengers were excited was because they recognized the markings of the jets as being from their base. A minute or so later our Captain came over the PA and connected one of the F-16 pilots to our PA system. He spoke briefly and said something to the effect of – “Welcome back boys and girls, we missed you so much that we could not wait until you got back to base to see you so we came to meet you as soon as we could.
Everyone back at base is waiting for you. Welcome home and thank you for your service!”
Everyone on the airplane cheered and laughed. That was the first time followed by countless times for me to get choked up on one of these flights.” Shem Elliyahu
21. This Passenger Used The Wrong Bathroom…And Ended Up Missing His Flight!
“I am not a flight attendant but this story involves them and I was there so I will share it with you.
I was once on a domestic U.S. flight and an 80-year old Italian couple sat behind me. While we were at the gate, the man asked the stewardess, in very broken ‘Italianglish’ ‘scusi, where e lavatorio?’ (excuse me, where is the lavatory?).
The stewardess pointed towards the front of the cabin. The man said ‘grazie’ and walked up towards it.
About 5-10 minutes later the plane started backing out from the gate and taxied, and took off. After we reached 10,000 feet the Italian woman behind me rang her button and, when the stewardess came, asked ‘Dove my husband? He non e qui.’ (where is my husband? He is not here).
The stewardess looked up front- he wasn’t there. She asked the other stewardesses- nothing. They couldn’t find him! After about 5-10 minutes they told the Captain and he radioed the gate at the airport.
Well….it turns out that when the 1st stewardess pointed out the lav at the front of the plane, the man thought she meant in the airport! So he got off the plane…went into the airport into the bathroom…and by the time he returned the plane had left!!
When the stewardess heard this from the Captain and came back and told the stewardess with the woman, they both wanted to die from laughing but couldn’t because they were with his wife. (I was holding back also). So I listened as the stewardess patiently explained to the woman that her husband was back at the airport.
When the woman finally understood she let out a yell that was equal to an operatic soprano in Milan! ‘My husband! My husband!’
She eventually calmed down when told he would be on the next flight and was o.k. But I still can’t get over the scene of this poor 80-year-old man walking out of the bathroom, fixing up his trousers, looking up, and seeing his plane gone!” Jeremy White
20. He Confused A Sanitary Liner With Something Else…And No One Corrected Him
“I had a friend who worked as a flight attendant and she got into a mild argument with a guy who insisted on having EVERYTHING that was free or complimentary on the flight.
He was extremely annoying and constantly asked the crew for stuff. If he saw someone next to him get something, he wanted it too.
At one point during the flight, a lady asked for a sanitary pad to help her with an ’emergency’ situation. He insisted he should have one too, cos you know, it’s free, right?
My friend tried to reason with him. I’m not sure if his English was 100% because he insisted again and seemed to assume the pad was… a sleeping mask.
Upon receiving his sanitary pad he proceeded to peel the paper backing off and expose the sticky side; he stuck the thing over his eyes and soon afterward fell asleep….” Katerina Simm
19. These Military Men Gave The Flight Attendant A Terrible Scare
“My brother told me this story about a flight attendant whose day was ruined.
He was on a commercial plane that had been chartered to carry military personnel from one base to another. It was mostly Navy and Marines, some in civvies and some in cammies with all their gear, but everybody on board was military. Apparently nobody told one of the flight attendants. Shortly after takeoff, one of the Marines decided to clean his sidearm. This flight attendant saw it and she shouted, ‘He has a gun!’ Then all the other Marines started laughing and one said, ‘Does it look like this?’ as he drew his own sidearm and others showed her their guns.
My brother said she screamed and ran to the front of the plane and they didn’t see her again for the rest of the flight.” Michael Lazell
18. This Flight Attendant Thought They Were Going To Die From Denver To Durango
“I was a flight attendant for a regional airline and worked onboard Embraer 145s. For those of you unfamiliar they’re fairly small and cramped. My jumpseat was against the wall separating the flight deck so I could often hear things happening in there, most commonly audible warnings from the plane. I eventually learned to not be too concerned when I hear things like GLIDESLOPE GLIDESLOPE! and WIND SHEER WIND SHEER.
So one night it’s pretty late and we’re flying from Denver to Durango. It’s usually a bit turbulent because of the mountains and wasn’t uncommon for us to be warned ahead of time. This time I had been told to get up under no circumstances, strap in and enjoy the ride. 15 minutes into the flight, it’s pitch black because I have the lights off, it’s so turbulent I’m convinced we are going to bounce into a mountain and I start hearing alerts from the flight deck. At one point there was a rapid series of dings and then it felt like we were sideways and dropped 1000 feet.
People were screaming and crying and honestly, that is the only moment of my career where I thought, ‘this is how I die.’
We eventually land safely and everyone is shaken, including the pilots. Turns out we were getting bounced around so much it had kicked the autopilot off and it wouldn’t reengage. It also knocked the APU around enough that it was shot and had to be replaced. We spent an hour at the airport logging all of the maintenance issues.
Other highlights of my career included Sarah Palin freaking the hell out when we got hit by lightning; an altercation in which a passenger through his fully packed rollerboard at my head; a townie pulling a gun on us at a bar in St Louis; a near collision at Hartford CT airport that made national news, and having to evacuate the plane because of a fire and screaming at people because they were too concerned with trying to film things than get to safety when a fire was burning next to a fuel truck.
Never a dull moment at that job.” [deleted]
17. Death Is Never Easy, Especially In A Tin Capsule Filled With People High Up In The Air
“Vegas to Boston. Frantic looking attendant came on and asked if there was a doctor on board – twice. I looked back and a man looked like he was sleeping in his aisle seat. Some time passed with the flight attendants and a woman passenger who must have either been a doctor or had some medical training hovered over him but didn’t move him from his seat. Next, I saw the middle seat and window seat passengers were out of their seats (one was his wife) and reseated and it was clear to me we were starting to descend.
They finally announced we were diverting to Buffalo. He remained in his seat, uncovered until about five minutes before we actually touched down at which point they pulled him from his seat and laid him in the aisle – they may have been doing CPR – but they had left him completely alone for at least 20 minutes before that. It was pretty clear to me from his pallor that he had passed. We landed, emergency came on and took him off on a backboard. Made the wife stay on the plane for maybe 10 minutes as they were working on him in the jetway (I think that’s what they said).
She deplaned and we left.” Betsy514
16. This Passenger Was Terribly Ill, But No One Thought To Quarantine The Rest Of The Passengers And Crew
“Was a steward (back when they still called them that) when I was young and wanted to see the world. At one point I was spending a lot of time in Africa.
Well, this happened to be during a time that a certain viral hemorrhagic disease had been spotted in one of the inner countries. Back then, nobody knew much about it. We were flying to North Africa when one of the passengers begins to implode. He vomits blood, so much of it that the bag can’t contain it.
We clear his row and lay him down. He looks really bad-bruising all over his face and body, flushed face, insane fever. There was a doctor on board and he didn’t know what to do. He thought it might be a severe case of malaria, but it didn’t quite match up. The other passengers are obviously freaking out and I’m trying to keep my cool.
We landed at our destination (since the guy started falling apart about an hour out) and he was taken off the plane in a stretcher. I don’t know if he made it or not. I would assume he didn’t, considering the condition he was in and the mortality rate of these diseases.
But the truly frightening part of this was that since ‘hemorrhagic fever’ had not entered the medical lexicon at that point, all the passengers got off the plane and dispersed. There was no quarantine. It is sheer, blind, stupid luck that a global pandemic did not start from this incident.” Check_My_Credentials
15. A Boy’s Life Was In The Crew And Passengers’ Hands, So They Did Everything They Could
“I’m not a flight attendant. However, we had a pretty intense event heading into Newark. A guy had a massive seizure in the aisle seat. I and a few others jumped up and we got him out of the seat and laid down on the aisle.
I was really happy that someone was a little more up to date on CPR (an Army Medic and a Nurse). I helped where I could. The nurse was an absolute savior. They usually are.
He was vomiting. She was trying to keep the airway clear and give him mouth to mouth, while the medic was doing compressions. His heart stopped and didn’t breathe for about 5 minutes before they brought him back. One flight attendant was totally freaked. The other was amazing. When she had to get around the mass of people, she was walking on hand rests and leaning against the upper luggage storage.
(737 sized aircraft. Forget if it was a 737 or Airbus.)
This was the fastest I’ve ever gotten into Newark. We were definitely close to Vne (speed never to exceed) on powered descent and had a straight-in approach. We didn’t hit a gate, the EMS met us just off the runway and came upstairs to get him boarded and off.
We stabilized him as well as we could in the aisle for landing. It was the only time I’ve ever landed in an airliner without a belt. It was an intense and totally amazing outcome. I really thought we were going to be supporting a dead body during landing for a while.
There were some heroes on the flight and that kid lived because of it. I felt totally unprepared and was glad those people were there. It made me go out and re-up my CPR certifications and practice.” joesacher
14. This Man Smuggled Alcohol And A Weapon Into The Flight And Scared A Number Of Passengers
“Obligatory not a flight attendant story.
I was on a plane just chilling and a man stands up with a beer and a knife he got on to the plane somehow. Totally thought he was gonna try to hijack the plane. Instead, he uses the knife to open his beer and sits back down.
A flight attendant came and politely asked him for the knife until the end of the flight, and he obliged. It was terrifying for about 2 minutes but that’s it.” PM_TITS_4_PENS
13. Inebriated and Unruly People Are Truly The Worst Kind Of Passengers
“Not a flight attendant, but my mom is. She was once on a flight where a man got so drunk that he decided to pee on the two people sitting next to him. One being an underaged girl and the other being a little person (little person couldn’t run or move because, little person) and when the Air Marshall arrested him he asked, ‘Am I being arrested because it was sexual?’ Tacked on sexual assault to the charges.
Also, another time she walked into the bathroom and someone had written on the mirror ‘there’s a bomb onboard!’ in red lipstick.” [deleted]
Another User Comments:
“R. Kelly’s life has really gone to hell.” Collide-O-Scope
12. This Person Has A Whole Host Of Stories That Are Almost Unbelievable
“Worked for a private charter airline for a year and a half. Lots of things happen. As an FA, your training kind of takes the ‘Scare the daylights out of you’ approach to it. Then every day you have to go over the various emergency, security, and first aid procedures. Scary situations just kind of start seeming inconsequential because 90% of it isn’t that serious.
Anywho, Some things me and some of my colleagues experienced:
One: Bird Strike on takeoff, plane was covered in guts and feathers when it came down. We could smell the burning feathers. The engine was shut down as a precaution.
Two: We’ve had too many rejected take-offs/landings to count. One colleague was on a flight where an amateur took off without checking his radar (had it off or something) ATC forced our plane to reject landing at about 25,000 if they hadn’t we would have had a head-on in air collision.
Same airport (Private oil and gas airstrip) we landed and I feel the plane jerk around and immediately take off back down the runway at almost takeoff speed.
We get to the taxiway only for me to see a plane to land right as we get off the runway out the porthole. 10 more seconds and we would’ve hit them head-on. ATC must have been sleeping on that one…
Three: We come in one day preparing for a 14-hour day. Our crew had absolutely no clue how to schedule for delays, would push our duty time to the absolute limit, and we were facing a layover if even the smallest thing happened. Anywho, we get in and the pilot comes in and tells us the Canadian Air Force has parked a fighter jet with a flat tire and active missiles on it right in front of the hangar door where our plane was parked.
Only the air force could move it and we were told they wouldn’t be back until 1400 (our takeoff was 1200). Instead of canceling the flight, the rampies decide to taxi OVER the jet (this was a 737) with us in it. I was literally sitting at the Overwings watching the wing go over this jet. Got some nice photos of that!
Four: A coworker’s plane got hit by lightning. Twice in a week. On different planes.
Five: I watched a laptop fall straight out of an overhead bin and crack some guys head open.
Six: A passenger calmly explains to me after takeoff that he saw something fall off the engine… Turns out it was just some cap and not that important but that was a fun call to the flight deck.
Seven: I almost started a fight between two passengers because some jerk decided to stand up and come back while we were taxiing and doing the demo to demand a pillow from me. I was on day 3 of three back to back 14-hour flight days from hell with the worst miner/field worker jerks I’ve ever known and on my last straw. I calmly tried to explain to him he needed to sit down and wait till we were in the air (Our pillows were in the mid-cabin compartment, and I wasn’t about to get up in the middle of our safety demo to get him a pillow, also apparently he had no idea what our call buttons were for) but he refused and snapped at me, so I snapped back.
I told him I wasn’t his freaking lackey and to sit down. He sits down and starts arguing with a guy across the aisle who is apparently tired of his nonsense too. Thankfully, my coworker finished her demo on time so he asks her for a pillow which she obliged and ended a nasty possible altercation that I kind of had started. I felt horrible and was freaking out I had exploded. Thankfully, the guy just slept the whole way and I never saw him again, also, the In-Charge was really chill and had been harassed enough times flying those guys that she thought it was hilarious.
Needless to say, it was around that time I realized I wasn’t really cut out to be a flight attendant, and that I should probably quit smoking so I don’t turn into a COMPLETE psycho when I go without one for long periods.” AlamosX
11. These Passengers Thought They Were Going To Crash After They Landed
Was in an AA 727 from O’Hare to MIA. I was in the 2nd row from the back and I saw zero empty seats. Across the aisle, an attendant had some sort of temporary seat folded out and was in it. It was full.
On the taxi out, one of the crew announced exactly this: ‘Folks, this plane is overloaded.
We are taxiing out to a landing runway so that it will take off.’
After a fairly long time, the plane started the takeoff roll. I don’t know why I do it, but I count seconds from the start till the plane completely lifts off. It always seemed about 25 seconds. This time I reached 56 seconds, so I kind of was hoping the crew would be thinking about that ‘overloaded’ thing when we landed.
I was in an aisle seat and had chitchatted with the guy in the middle seat some. We get over the Everglades near Miami. I’ve been in quite a few planes on this approach so I kind of figured I knew what’s normal.
This didn’t look like that.
It was not quite dark, I could see the ground, see the turnpike and 836. But we seemed a lot further up than usual, but what do I know?
When I could see the taxiways I saw a DC-10 and another plane, so I could get a better idea of the scale of things and it definitely looked like we were much higher than usual to be landing in the short distance that remained.
Still didn’t think much of it, since I am not any sort of expert.
So it now seems the plane is about to land. I can see down 836, so it’s about time to rev up the engines for whatever reason they usually do that.
But not this time. They get very quiet and a few seconds later the plane feels like it’s dropping.
This continues for some time and I start to look more past the guy next to me out the window. Then the engines go wild, and the plane pitches as if it’s been told to climb and right now.
The guy next to me starts to notice this too. Looking across him, I see the blue lights on the airfield and I can sort of see from them the pitch of the plane, and that sort of agrees with suddenly deciding to climb.
At this point, I started thinking ‘this is wrong’.
I didn’t have to think long. In a few seconds, the plane hit the ground. When it did, every single overhead compartment door flew open, flinging bags and stuff into the aisle. Three of the doors fell into the aisle, and the oxygen masks came down.
I’m watching the blue lights and thinking, ‘is this plane crashing?’, but in a weird calm way.
The guy next to me has a death grip on the armrest of his seat and is staring, wide-eyed, directly forward.
The plane bounced and I was hearing everyone screaming. Some even grabbed the oxygen masks.
There seemed to be some sideways motion and the blue lights clearly showed the plane bounced.
It hit the ground again in a second or two and more stuff fell onto the floor.
More yelling and then it seemed like the crew got things under better control.
So when the plane finally stopped at the gate and everyone stood up to leave, being as I was in the back there was lots of time to stand there. With us were two female flight attendants.
After standing there quite for a minute or two, I looked at one of them and asked ‘how often does this happen.’
One looked at the other, who started shaking her head, then started shaking her head as well, and then replied ‘this never, ever happened to me’.
After a while, we made it to the front door and could see into the cockpit, where one of the crew was sitting in the engineer’s seat with his chin in his hand and elbow on the console. He didn’t look so happy.
None of the cockpit crew said anything at all to the departing passengers.
It wasn’t a plane crash, but I seriously doubt that the plane took off for the next flight before visiting a hangar.” reallyrabidbilly
10. Not Even The Pilot Could Calmly Ride Out The Severe Turbulence
“Not a flight attendant, but happened in 2014. I was flying to Okinawa and it was a very long and smooth flight.
We were about 2 hours away from landing and it started to get bumpy…REALLY bumpy. The pilot said we were hitting some really rough air and said we should be ‘okay and be seated and sea…’ and before he could finish his sentence we hear ‘BRACE BRACE BRACE’ and we fell out of the sky literally. We dropped a few hundred feet before the pilots managed to gain control.” [deleted]
Another User Comments:
“That’s when you throw your hands up in the air and wiggle your fingers and shout ‘WHEEE’ because the alternative is peeing yourself and being terrified. When things go sideways, find the fun part of it.” buttery_shame_cave
9. When The Flight Attendant Runs To Her Seat, You Know It’s Serious
“Also not a flight attendant, but here’s my story.
I was flying through the midwest when traveling to look at colleges, and we were in the middle of drink service when we start to hit some unexpected turbulence. It starts off as only a little rocking back and forth but seems to be getting worse. The flight attendant stopped walking down the aisle and was holding onto a seat to keep her balance when we must have hit a pocket of air as the plane dipped. Suddenly, she flew right up off the aisle, hit the roof of the plane, fell back down and ran full sprint down the aisle to her seat and strapped in.
I will always remember the gasp among the passengers and then silence as everyone looked around wondering if this is how we die.” IamSpot89
8. Drunk Kids Plus Drunk Parents Equals An Accident Waiting To Happen
“Drunk people, so many freaking drunk people. I had given some orange juice to a bunch of guys on a charter taking a bunch of kids down for a football tournament. Turns out they had bought duty-free and we’re just getting plastered by mixing vodka into it. Now, you can drink on most flights as long as we give you the alcohol. The second you start chugging booze on a flight you’re a HUGE liability.
The worst part is all these guys were sitting at the overwing exits, meaning they were not only incapacitated, but they were also blocking the emergency exits. Had to explain to them they no longer got to sit there and that we would be confiscating their booze. Sit down after this fiasco and another guy (who was sitting by himself rather quietly) just casually stands up and puts a 26er of Whiskey back in his carry-on. We almost diverted because almost half the parents were wasted, with half a plane of rowdy 14-16-year-old boys.” AlamosX
7. The Passengers Had No Idea How Close To Death They Had Been
“Not a flight attendant but was sitting next to a marine pilot while descending into San Diego.
All of a sudden, the plane jolts upwards enough to throw things off peoples’ laps into the aisle. The marine pilot had had quite a few drinks and accidentally yells, it must be his first time flying into San Diego (loud enough for even the pilot to hear through the door). As we land the plane’s pilot apologizes for the rocky landing as it’s his first time flying into the city. The marine next to me calmly explains how we narrowly missed a head-on collision with the building coming down.” NumenSD
6. This Imposter Chose The Wrong Plane To Try to Hijack
“Was a flight attendant for a Chinese airline (one of the few foreigners doing this), and about 4 years ago one of our planes got hijacked by 3 guys from a Muslim minority (Xinjiang).
Security was lax as hell in smallish airports and one of them posed as an old person and hid a saber in his cane. Tried to hijack the plane to mid-flight but unfortunately for them, the plane had like 50+ cops in it going for some kind of training session lol.
But yeah being a white dude working as a flight attendant for a Chinese airline was fun, though.” CNflight
5. He Had Bad Hearing…She Was Trying To Warn Him Not To Go There
“I scared the hell out of a flight attendant once.
It was my first time on a double-decker plane, a 14-hour flight so I decided to walk around and go upstairs.
I didn’t realize I was walking right towards the cockpit. I’ve also got a really bad hearing, so I didn’t hear the flight attendant asking who I was and telling me to return to my seat. From her perspective, I probably seemed like a hijacker. She was shockingly VERY nice about it once she got my attention. I still feel bad though.” muffintaupe
4. A Tiny Creature The Flight Attendant Thought Was A Rat Wasn’t A Rat At All…
“A flight attendant told me this one. She works for a regional airline. On a night flight, while all of the passengers were asleep, she spotted a small brown critter running from under one row of seats to the other side working it’s way to the front of the airplane.
She thought it was a rat because it was so small. When it got to the galley, she realized it was a miniature chihuahua. It had been eating all the crumbs of food off the floor. She picked it up and carried it around till the owner woke up and freaked out looking for her pooch.” iwanttheblanketback
3. The Pilot Turned A Terrifying Accident Into A Hilarious, Memorable Landing
“Obligatory disclaimer, not a flight attendant, but I did get this story from one.
Ok, it had been a nice smooth, (more-or-less) trouble-free flight into Miami, everyone on the crew was saying what a change it made, even the landing was smooth and she was about to do the usual post-flight announcement… and at that point, the front nose gear hit a 12ft long alligator on the runway.
The front tires blew out. As per training, the pilots slammed on the brakes but by this point, the gator had achieved oneness with the front wheel, and the brakes engage hard, and the wheel assembly just sort of snapped off…Long story short, the plane skidded the last 100 yards or so on its nose. At which point, shaken and her brain was sort of on auto-pilot she said over the intercom: ‘Welcome to Florida! Mind where you step.’ The whole plane burst out laughing.” Kflynn1337
2. This Woman Died Mid-Flight, So The Flight Attendants Did What They Could To Show Respect For The Dead
“Married to a flight attendant working for the biggest german airline… rather a sad than a scary story:
She once had an old lady who had just come back from a cruise ship vacay with her granddaughter (she was 90+).
The old lady passed away mid-flight.
Since there was no ‘real’ doctor with them, it is mandatory for the attendants to continue with cardiac massage (right English word for that?) until the end of the flight and she is officially declared dead. So roughly 5 hours to go. After 45+ minutes the purser decided to stop it… ever tried that for 2+ minutes?
Here comes the sad part: If someone dies, rules (at this airline only, not sure) are to put them in the restroom. Ever been to a restroom in an airplane before? Well, not a place to stay longer than necessary, not even dead.
Purser decided it was humiliating, so my wife being one of the stronger flight attendants and him being the only male had to drag/carry the old lady to the crew rest, where they have beds to sleep during their breaks. Through the whole airplane.
One of the worst experiences in her life. Dead people are really heavy, none of the other passengers dared to help…” primus852
1. Luckily, The Passengers Suffered No Harm, But Some Flight Attendants Went To The Hospital
“I was an airline pilot, but I can tell you the weirdest thing any flight attendant flying with me ever saw. Of course, it was for the pilots as well.
We were over the eastern seaboard on a flight from PBI to JFK. It was one of the most perfectly clear and calm nights I’d ever experienced. There was no weather, no turbulence, and we could see hundreds of miles. Sitting there was like sitting in my living room—rock solid with no sense of motion at all.
This was in 1987, and a ‘dinner’ flight (how many of you are old enough to remember those!?), so the F/As were serving dinner. These were full meals. I know, that sounds crazy, but people used to be well fed on airlines. The trays included a nice three-course meal, REAL metal utensils, and drinks served in glass glasses.
All the meals were out and people were eating. The senior F/A was in the forward galley in first-class mixing drinks, not out among the seats. The other three were patrolling the aisle in the economy, refreshing drinks and serving extra rolls, etc. (It sounds like a fairy tale even to me as I write this, but those were the good old days when flight attendants actually attended during flight. Sigh!)
With no warning whatsoever, we suddenly encountered the worst turbulence any of us had ever experienced, this includes a captain with about 25 years, me with 15, and plenty of years between all the F/As.
For 30 seconds we were slammed up and down like a little toy plane. The captain and I were terrified, the plane sounded like it was coming apart—and this was a Boeing, not a small plane.
It stopped as suddenly as it started and went right back to rock solid. The captain and I locked eyes and he said I’d better go back and check on everyone.
I opened the cockpit door to what looked like a garbage dump. Imagine 120 meals and all the place settings, drinks and glasses slamming up to the ceiling then back down to the floor over and over.
Maybe six or seven times. I could hardly walk down the aisle.
The senior in first class was on the floor, but she said she was okay so I went back to economy, where the other three weren’t moving. The passengers were horrified, of course. I walked across a carpet of food and bread, soaked with Coke and coffee.
The three economy F/As were hurt when they (and all the food and drinks and carts and trays and glasses and utensils) were splattered against the ceiling then back down, then back to the ceiling, etc, etc. One broke some ribs. Two were on the floor near the aft galley and I moved them because the soda cans were SPONTANEOUSLY EXPLODING from being shaken so bad.
Imagine shaking a sealed soda can until it explodes! That’s how bad it was. (I brought one home as a reminder of that night—the side is just split open like a firecracker had been inside, except the pop-top is still sealed. I still have it: Eastern 194, 10/17/87. Canada Dry Tonic Water, splattered with Coke stains.)
Amazingly, EVERY passenger was wearing a seat belt so not a single one did the ceiling-floor bouncing routine. Also amazingly, they were all very cool. Not one complaint. Indeed, they helped the F/As, they helped clean up, everyone was awesome. We landed and the passengers all stayed seated while a few helped the three F/As get off first because we had three ambulances waiting.
A broken bone automatically makes an incident an accident, so there was an accident investigation, but no one ever explained anything. No other aircraft experienced so much as a ripple that night. Just us. A total mystery. Also, it was the last time that two of the F/As ever flew professionally—they just couldn’t be on a plane without being belted in.
So, ALWAYS keep that belt fastened while you’re in your seat. There’s no such thing as air that can’t produce horrendous turbulence.” Ron Wagner
Remember to be kind to the flight attendants, pilots, but most of all, your fellow passengers. While some are traveling for work or pleasure, others travel for sadder purposes.
Be gentle to your fellow human, and flex those compassionate muscles whenever you can.
Do you have a nail-biting story of a flight gone wrong? Or an eye-rolling instance of an unruly passenger who just wouldn’t quit? Tell us your tale!