Snakes On A Plane For Real!
“My husband and his family had a literal snake on a plane when they were coming back from Turkey one time. There was shrieking, a bit of crazy, and then they caught it in a bag. It wasn’t anything big, but a snake nonetheless in the bag compartments above the seats!
We were once also on a flight with Greek football hooligans, one of whom showed his junk to the flight attendant lady while she was checking the seat belts. They also smoked in the toilet, drank bottles of spirits, wouldn’t sit down, and jumped around chanting football slogans. The flight was so late already that the crew just couldn’t be bothered to divert, so they just put up with it. Stay classy, Wizzair!”
Death Seems To Just Follow This Guy Around
“The guy sitting next to me died.
I was in the aisle seat, chilling with my headphones in, when the girl by the window started frantically asking me for help. I turned to look and middle seat guy was flopped over against her. I stood up and helped pull the guy back over into his seat. His eyes were wide open but glazed over. Dead, no life. I tried to shake him awake, thinking he passed out.
He didn’t react and I couldn’t detect any breathing. I started pressing the flight attendant button and calling for help. I literally slapped him across the face twice and he didn’t react. Moments passed and he suddenly gasped for air, blinked, and looked very shocked and scared.
He was visiting from Russia and spoke no English. The idiot flight attendant kept just saying to me ‘Oh, he’s been traveling all day, he was probably just really tired.’ No, ma’am, he was not breathing, not even when I slapped him, please ask for a doctor.
I ended up switching seats with a fireman who was on board and they called ahead for paramedics to meet him at the gate with an iPad for translating purposes.
That wasn’t even the first time someone died next to me during transport, but the first guy didn’t make it. It made me a little suspicious of myself for a while.”
The Stupidest Kind Of Joke
“My mom and I were on a flight from Phoenix to Dallas, planning to connect to a flight going to Des Moines. It was October 2001 so tensions were pretty high amongst passengers. At the time, I was 10.
The flight had already landed, but the tower was shuffling us to a bunch of different gates, and we had been on the ground for about 45 minutes with no end in sight. Suddenly, out the window, we saw ambulances, police, and fire trucks, all lit up but no sirens. We passed about 12 altogether, though we saw them pass by one at a time. During this, there was a wasted businessman seated across the aisle and one seat in front of us. He was pretty loud and complaining a lot, but I didn’t catch anything he was talking about because I was listening to music or something like that.
Turns out, he was angry about the wait and claimed that he had a bomb in his briefcase and they better let him off the plane ‘right now.’
We got interviewed by the FBI afterward, missed our connection, and because we arrived after our bags, we were without them for a while.
It especially sucked because we were on our way to visit my grandma in the hospital since she was recovering from surgery.
She’s fine and still around so it has a happy ending at least.”
Five Bachelor Parties On One Plane
“I went on a stag party to Berlin with five friends. We like a good laugh but we’re not exceptionally loud or rowdy. Turns out there were four separate, much larger, stag groups on the same plane – who were not so quiet as us.
They were spread across the entirety of the plane and, for the most part, they were all half wasted because they’d started drinking in the airport. This meant two things;
- They wanted more drinks.
- They needed to get rid of the drinks they’d already consumed before boarding.
For the entire flight, both ends of the plane (where the toilets were) were a constant queue which met in the middle of the plane.
This also meant that the flight crew couldn’t come down the aisle with the refreshments trolley and were stuck at the back of the plane.
This also meant that the queue grew even more because people were just going to the back of the plane for refreshments. Imagine a flight where 70% of the passengers were trying to stand in/make their way down the aisle.
The flight actually sold out of drinks. I’ve never, ever known that happen before. It was only a 2-3 hour flight (Manchester to Berlin). A few members of the same stag party started to get a lot rowdier as the flight progressed, angering a few of the non-stag-party passengers to the point where some of them confronted a few of the revelers about their language and behavior.
And then, when the plane was descending, one of the revelers decided he needed the toilet and would take the opportunity to go whilst there was no queue. Because everyone was sitting with their seatbelts fastened, as instructed. He was quickly ushered back to his seat, amidst loud and angry protests. So he decided to punch the armrest of his seat until it snapped off – he then threw it down the aisle in a huff.”
She Was Convinced That Brown Man Was Up To Something
“Back in the early 2000s, my grandmother was convinced this guy next to her with a shoe box on his lap was a terrorist.
This was like 2004, so tensions were still a little high. My family and grandparents were flying from Texas to Florida for a Disney World trip. After boarding, when everyone started to settle in, my grandma noticed the guy next to her acting weird. He was anxious and fidgety, bouncing his leg and checking under the lid of this shoebox on his lap every few minutes.
My grandma was born and raised in the deep south, she was more than a tad racist before 9/11. But after, she was convinced every brown person she met was either a terrorist or knew someone who was. This guy was ambiguously brown from the back or side, had dark skin and dark hair with a bit of stubble.
She started voicing her concerns to my grandpa, my mom, and of course, my little sister and I noticed her and then noticed him. And yeah, he was acting kinda weird. Eventually, my dad got up to switch seats with her because she was freaking people out.
We landed an hour or so later with no problems. Looking back, the guy may have just been flying with an animal and was a nervous flyer. Or maybe, ya know, he was anxious that everyone would assume he was a terrorist due to his appearance.
We still laugh about it to this day because of my grandmother’s insistence she wasn’t being racist. My parents later confirmed that the dude was Hispanic and not Middle Eastern because he was speaking Spanish on the phone when we got off and to someone not born-in-east-texas-racist, he was obviously Latino.”
Slip, Sliding Away
“I was pulling a rotation from Houston to Eastern Siberia (oil-related business) back in the early ’90’s and nearing the time to fly home. I was in Vladivostok taking care of some vendor issues and needed to get back to Houston; however I couldn’t get a flight to Seoul or Tokyo so I had to fly basically backwards: from Vladivostok to Krasnoyarsk, Krasnoyarsk to Kogalym, Kogalym to Moscow, Moscow to Amsterdam and finally onwards to Houston (on this particular day, I’d see 2 pm four times).
It was mid-February, a wee bit chilly (-45 degrees Celcius in places), snowy and icy. I stayed on the same stupid plane all the way from Vladivostok to Moscow. I couldn’t even get off the plane while they were refueling. Well, finally coming into Domodedovo Airport in Moscow and everyone was pretty well exhausted, crew included. I was the only expat on the flight of perhaps 125 Russians. We seemed to be coming in at an unusually steep angle and rather rapidly (based on the other three landings in this same plane that day) when there’s the familiar CLUNK of an IL-76s landing gear locking in.
There was an immediate BAM as we made impact on the runway; the plane vibrated convulsively, shuddering as it jumped back into the air, rather unsteadily, as two of the plane’s landing gear broke off and litter the runway. Luckily, it was the dead of winter and the runway was icy; so with really no time to even consider alternatives, the captain retracted the remaining landing gear, and grounded the plane on its belly.
We were merrily sliding along, slewing and yawing along down the runway, and I looked outside and saw the flurry of sparks we’re trailing out the aft of the craft. It seemed like it took whole hours (probably took us about three or four minutes) to slide to a stop. I prepared for the inevitable collective self-preservational insanity of all passengers (myself included) and the crush to the emergency exits.
Yet, all one could hear was the plane rapidly powering down and a few mumbles from the passengers and crew. No screaming, panicking or healthy young men punching babushkas in the stomach and stomping war veterans as everyone scrambled for the exits.
No one scrambled for the exits. No one was screaming bloody murder. It was all very calm, cool, and almost taciturn. I asked the person in the next aisle over, in my broken Russian, ‘What’s going on?’
‘Nothing. We wait for airport authorities. They got us this far, they can take us the rest of the way.’
It was all very, very Russian. So was the next four hours I spent at the airport bar, buying rounds for the crew.”
“She Was Literally Foaming At The Mouth”
“I was on a flight to Seattle and fell asleep in the middle of it. All of a sudden, my seat was being kicked multiple times and it woke me right up. I put my seat upright and turned around to see the woman behind me literally foaming at the mouth. Turns out she was having a seizure. They laid her down in the aisle and she had another seizure shortly after. It was pretty scary and sad as she was with her child and husband. Not sure what happened to her afterward because the plane landed an hour after the entire ordeal.
Also, anyone who helped or even tried to help got a free flight.”
One Crazy Lady Ruins The Flight
“I was in the airport with my family waiting to board our flight from Dublin to Rome. I was using my dad’s laptop in the departure’s lounge while we waited. At one point, as I was walking back from buying a sandwich, this lady came out of nowhere and started babbling at me in Italian. I ignored her and side-stepped her.
Later on, as the plane was boarding, I was in my seat with my family, and the Italian lady was walking down the aisle. She leaned over my mother and started babbling in my face again. Still, I had no idea what her problem is. Anyway, the flight attendants came over, ushered her to her own seat, then came back to us and apologize.
Then a few minutes later, shouting and screaming in Italian came from the back of the plane. It was the lady again. She wouldn’t shut up and so she had to be walked off the flight. We saw police cars pull up outside the plane. I’m not sure if she was arrested or not, but we missed our flight window as they took her luggage off the plane, and we sat on the plane for another two hours.
We asked a flight attendant what was up with the lady. It turns out that she thought I was going to take control of the plane using my dad’s laptop or something. Nothing too crazy, but 18-year-old me was kind of amused at the idea of being seen as a terrorist, even if it was by a crazy person. For the record, this was in 2000.”
A World Shaking Event
“This was many, many years ago, 1976 in fact. I was traveling with my wife’s family to Kenya for a safari vacation on Pan Am. Back then, to get to Kenya, you had to hopscotch across the globe. We flew from New York to The Azores to Senegal to Lagos to Kampala to Nairobi. It took almost 24 hours in total and during that time, pre-internet, obviously, we were basically completely out of touch with the world, we hadn’t seen or heard an news for a day.
We finally landed in Nairobi, our final destination, and we were all a little punchy from the travel and the time change. After we landed, the plane stayed out at the end of the runway. The pilot made an announcement that there was an emergency at the airport and it would take a few minutes. My father-in-law and I were looking out the window of the plane and we could see in the main terminal and on the roof were literally hundreds of soldiers, all armed to the teeth.
My father-in-law asked, ‘What is going on, should we stay on the plane?’ The plane was headed to Ethiopia next and we weren’t sure if there had been a coup or if a civil war had broken out or what. I mean, this was East Africa in the 70s, anything was possible. We discussed our options and eventually, the pilot came back on the radio and announces that everything was ok and we would be headed to the gate. He added that we should get through customs as quickly as possible, find our ride and leave the airport quickly, too.
We met our tour guide and got going, stopping only to grab our bags and speak to customs officials, who wouldn’t tell us what was going on. Our tour guide had no clue either, but the airport was swarming with military personnel. Our guide does did say he didn’t think it was a coup or anything.
Later that night, after checking into our hotel, it was about three in the morning and I couldn’t sleep so I went out to the pool to have a smoke. I noticed a guy wearing a Pan Am uniform was out having a drink and a smoke himself. I asked him if he was our pilot and he said yes, so I asked if he knew what was going on. He did and he told me.
A week earlier, an Air France flight headed to Israel had been hijacked and flown to Uganda. On the night of July 3rd, while we were bouncing across Africa on Pan Am, Israeli soldiers had raided the airport and the plane, killing the hijackers and rescuing the hostages. They took off and headed to Nairobi to refuel. We landed just minutes after they had landed and our plane was kept at a distance as the plane with the former hostages landed to unloaded the injured and refueled. We were finally allowed to deplane. It was eventually made into a movie called ‘The Raid On Entebbe.’
It was one intense beginning to a vacation!”
A Near Miss, A Scary Moment, A Hero
“I was 7 years old and on this flight…Here’s the news story—
October 28, 1982, AROUND THE NATION; Hijacking Attempt Fails At Los Angeles Airport
A man wielding a knife today tried to hijack a Trans World Airlines jumbo jet that was about to take off with 97 passengers aboard, but an off-duty sheriff’s deputy wrestled away the weapon and pushed the man out the door.
William Hoffman, 25 years old, arrested for investigation of attempted hijacking, was injured in a 20-foot fall to the pavement at Los Angeles International Airport.
He was reported in stable condition with head and hip injuries in the jail ward of County-U.S.C. Medical Center.
Dennis Robinson, 23, a trainee at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy, was on his way home to Alton, Illinois. He confronted the would-be hijacker on Flight 72, bound for St. Louis about 12:40 am, said Officer Victor Flores of the police Airport Division.
I remember my parents and everyone were very quiet, a guy in front of us crying and freaking out but I had no idea why. We had to wait for the FBI to screen everyone. We were stuck on the ground for 4-5 hours before we could take off.”
A Debilitating Fear
“I was on a flight from Albuquerque to Denver when a lady was brought aboard who was pathologically terrified of flying, but HAD to get to Denver for some reason (Operation? Wedding? Funeral? Who knows?).
She was traveling with a nurse who wheeled her to the airplane in a wheelchair, lightly sedated, then helped her walk to her seat. The moment she stepped through the boarding door, her eyes clamped shut and stayed that way. When they got to their seats, she stood there in the aisle for the longest time, unwilling to sit down and give up her last chance to run.
The nurse finally got her seated and the captain came back and spoke quietly to her, promising her the best landing he had in him — and he delivered. Not a dry eye in the cabin when we got off.”
Never A Dull Moment In The Sky!
“I’ve got a few.
A young kid, age 3 or 4, had a severe allergic reaction of some kind. It must have been a first as the parents didn’t seem to know what to do. Fortunately, there were two physicians on board and one had an EpiPen. They saved the kid, calmed the parents, and stayed with them for the rest of the flight.
On a flight from Chicago to Atlanta, we were flying along a huge and ugly storm front. Turbulence was so bad that everyone was buckled in, including the flight crew – who looked terrified. I’m a frequent flyer, but when the flight crew gets upset, that’s when I get upset. During a particularly nasty bit of turbulence, the woman next to me plunged her nails into my arm and shrieked, ‘OH MY GOD!’ – and I could feel the panic start to spread from her to others. Fortunately, at about that time things settled down and it was just a moderately bumpy ride the rest of the way in.
On a different flight, on the way home, just mere moments before touchdown, the pilot noped out for some reason and absolutely throttled the heck out of the plane while pulling it back up sharply. A hungover co-worker was barfing into an airsickness bag. To the right of us both, at the window, was an utterly traumatized teenage girl on her first flight ever who later asked me if it was always like this. Poor thing.”
A Terrifying Moment
“When I was 20, I got on a plane in Charlotte traveling to Chicago and the air conditioning wasn’t working. It felt like a sauna as we were little more than a tin can sitting on a tarmac. The pilot got on the intercom and said it’ll work when the plane was on and moving. Whatever, that sucks, just get me to Chicago.
I sat in my aisle seat. We had liftoff and started climbing up to cruise altitude. I was looking down the aisle – then, all at once, the plane depressurized. I saw everyone’s breath as I was looking down the aisle because the temperature dropped and all of a sudden, it was freezing. My ears start popping like crazy.
The plane takes nosedives and the masks deploy. I think, ‘Ok, this is it, this is how I die.’ I put the mask on and see everyone else crying and freaking out or screaming. The plane gets pulled out of the nosedive and the captain comes on, his voice calm and smooth like always, and says that we lost cabin pressure, he had to bring the plane quickly down to a lower altitude, and we are circling back to Charlotte to get us on a new plane.
Everyone starts to realize that they are not going to die, some are getting angry. They had us land with emergency vehicles ready. I had to call United and got the flight for free and got a voucher for another flight. They eventually got a new plane for us and we made it safe to Chicago.
Her “Medical Distress” Was Brought On By A Medical Miracle
“My husband was on a business flight from Vancouver to Tokyo a few years ago. They brought a young woman who was in medical distress up to business class across the aisle from him and called for any doctors on board to come forward. Long story short, she proceeded to give birth to an almost full term baby. She claimed she didn’t know she was pregnant (she didn’t look pregnant) and her boyfriend was totally freaking out. The baby was healthy in the end, so things worked out ok.”
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