Travel, no matter by what means, is always a tedious and hectic task. Especially when traveling by air, there are the extra steps of checking bags, going through security, getting to your gate on time, and then praying you aren't seated next to someone awful. For most of the time trips go just as planned, but sometimes things can get dicey while in the air. He
"A guy might have died next to me once.
On a flight from Maui to Dallas, I was half-asleep in the second-to-last row of the plane. While I was listening to music and dozing, I suddenly heard a really loud, hard 'THUD' next to me. I look over, and there's a man lying on the ground, completely still.
I thought maybe he tripped, but the flight attendant came running and he was unresponsive. She frantically ran up and down the aisles asking for doctors. Luckily for him, the flight was full of vacationing doctors and nurses, all of them in ridiculous clothes. 2 of the doctors who came back were in Hawaiian shirts and golf attire, and the female nurse who came back was wearing a very strappy, revealing blue Hawaiian print dress.
The doctors tried to wake the man up, but he was gone. I was surprised to find out just how much medical equipment they have on commercial flights -- the docs whipped out a portable defibrillator and shocked the guy, then set up an IV drip for him. I never heard a word out of him or saw him move, not sure if he actually woke up or not. Our flight was diverted to LA, and when we landed half a dozen EMT personnel ran on the plane to pull the guy out on a gurney.
Unfortunately for me, this whole scenario set off a panic attack, and I had to go find a nice spot in the aisle to lay down so that I didn't pass out and cause more problems for the crew and doctors. It was embarrassing."
"I was on a flight home from South Africa after a family vacation. My dad is a diabetic, but he usually keeps his blood sugar levels pretty regulated so I never worried before.
Mid-flight, I wake up from a nap and see him slumped over the side of his seat. He was taken to the back of the plane, where 3 doctors were examining him.
They said his heartbeat went up to 220 or something, which I think means he was an inch from death. All I remember is seeing my mom and brother break down. I began having flashes of life without my father, and it overwhelmed me.
I felt sick to my stomach, imagining what life would be like, when all of a sudden his heart-rate stabilized. The doctors on board said it was a miracle, and I felt so much relief.
The plane had to stop in Senegal, where my dad was transferred to a hospital. He wanted me to keep going, since the semester was starting soon. That flight home alone was terrible; I felt the other passengers watching me the entire time.
He is alright now, but every time I get on a plane I always remember that feeling of leaving the whole world behind."
"This was 11 years ago, so I don't really remember where I was traveling to, but it was in the US.
I was sitting at the gate waiting to get on a flight and saw this couple walk up to the gate agent. Old guy, bald, maybe late 50's, and a woman in her late 20's (at best) who looked like she was maybe Peruvian. They were holding onto each other the whole time, so I assumed they were an item. Didn't think anything of it other than that she was too young for him.
I find my seat on the plane and notice both of them are in the seats in front of me. Flight takes off without a hitch, but about 45 minutes into the flight we hit some turbulence. Then we hit some more. Then the Captain gets on the overhead and tells everyone to sit down and buckle up because they apparently asked the tower to move out of their flight course, but were denied. The turbulence gets increasingly rough. I had to hold on to the armrests a couple of times. Did you ever ride in the back of a bus when you were a kid and the driver ripped it over a hill and you flew up? That's what it was like. There was clearance under my butt a couple several times. Then it gets REALLY rough. The plane dropped several times intermittently and it felt like we were on a roller-coaster. I was getting the same sensation in my stomach anyway.
I am in the aisle seat, about halfway back in the cabin. The guy in the window seat in my row looks at me and says, 'Look at the wing!' I look out his window and the wing looks like it is waving at us; that is how much the plane was dropping in the turbulence.
My father was an instructor pilot in the Air Force when I was a kid, and he has been a commercial airline pilot for the past 22 years. As a child, I remember seeing a wing do the same thing on a flight he and I were on. He noticed that I was a little unnerved by the situation, so he leaned over and explained that if the wing didn't move up and down like that with some room to give, that it would snap right off. It calmed me, and the rest of the flight was uneventful.
So I look at the guy in the window seat next to me and tell him the same thing- BOOM!- we hit a huge pocket of turbulence and half the cabin screams, and we land at the bottom of the pocket really hard, the hardest of the flight, and two of the overhead compartments come flying open. Coats falling out, people yelling. One of the compartments is in the row behind me, on the opposite side, so at my like 8 o'clock. All I could envision at that point was luggage flying everywhere and hitting people in the face. Right as I start to unbuckle my belt to close it, the guy sitting under it gets up and closes it. I was just hoping that we didn't hit any turbulence while he was up, or he would have gone flying into the ceiling.
I turn my head back to the front of the plane and focus in the foreground and see that the older gentlemen in front of me's head is drenched in sweat. Beads just rolling down. His 'wife' or whoever she was started freaking out. She didn't know a lick of English. It didn't sound like Spanish, so she wasn't Peruvian. In any event, she knows enough to hit the flight attendant signal. Which was hilarious, because again, I have the aisle seat, so I can see everything, and the flight attendant just peeks her head out into the aisle from her seat against the cockpit like 'Are you serious? What, you want a bag of nuts right now?' Priceless look on her face. I will never forget it. She ducks her head back in and gets on the overhead and reminds everyone that the seatbelt sign is on and that everyone needs to stay seated.
I look back at the woman in front of me and she is terrified, looking at her husband. Then I see his head just roll to the side. I immediately hit my call button and about three other passengers hit their's as well. The flight attendant makes her way up the aisle with her butt playing bumper cars with everyone's seats. I felt bad that she had to get up during the turbulence, but this guy was obviously in trouble. She comes up to the woman and asks what's wrong, but she can't break through the language barrier to tell the flight attendant what is wrong. She just starts crying. The guy is out cold at this point. The turbulence must have given him a heart attack or a stroke, or he just passed out. All of this happening right in front of me.
Now, flight attendants are trained in CPR and some minor first aid, but this looked really serious. The flight attendant, let's call her Sally, gets on the overhead and asks if there were any doctors or nurses on the plane, and within about a ten-seat radius, 5 people raise their hands. I was shocked that many people with medical training were on a flight. It was a life-saver though. A female nurse comes over and starts taking his pulse and undoing his shirt to give him some air. She is doing all of this while we are hitting turbulence, mind you, so another flight attendant comes over and kind of grounds her by holding on to her hips while the nurse attends to the man. Pretty cool idea. A third flight attendant comes over with the crash cart and first aid kit. They sat the defibrillator on my lap! Sally and the nurse concluded that he wasn't breathing, so they shot him up with something, I don't know what it was. But that nurse, she stuck him with a needle (LIKE A BOSS) on a flight with the worse turbulence I have ever experienced. It was pretty impressive. Then they pull out the defibrillator and rub the paddles together and say clear - it was insane! These flight attendants and nurse were awesome! I was half hoping the whole scene was going to turn into a Sucker Punch scene and Abby Cornish was going to drop down with an M-4 and wink at me. But that didn't happen.
So they stabilize him, and he moans a little but, and that was a great sign. Everyone in the surrounding area started clapping. Everyone goes back to their seats, but Sally stays with him the whole flight back. We were already too close to our destination to make an emergency landing somewhere else, so the Captain said we were just going to land as normally scheduled.
We land, and we get the VIP treatment. I have never taxied so fast in my life. I don't even think the pilot ever throttled down from the landing- just right up to the gate. Probably took 30 seconds from touchdown. An ambulance was waiting. The plane stops and some prick stands up in first class to get his bags to get off the plane. Sally was like, 'Sir, SIT DOWN!!!' Reminded me of Pacino in Heat where he tells Ralph to sit down. Couldn't believe this guy thought he as more important than getting this old man off the plane.
That was it. Pretty crazy. I shook both the pilots hands and thanked Sally on my way out. I think it was a Delta or Northwest flight. Pretty impressive all the way around."
"I was on a flight about three years ago with my wife, and there was a man and a woman across the aisle from us. The man was telling the woman some funny stories and they were both laughing. A female flight attendant approached them and told the woman that her laughing was too loud and that she needed to keep it down. The lady seemed surprised, but nodded in agreement. After a few minutes, the man went back into his story, and the lady started laughing again, nothing obnoxious, just two people having a good time. Again, the flight attendant approached them and said her laughing was 'out of control' and that she needed to control herself.
At this point, the lady asked for the flight attendant's name, as no one else seemed to have a problem. The flight attendant shouted over three rows to the attendants with the drink cart, 'That's it! This lady is cut off! No more drinks for her!' Everyone was stunned, as we hadn't even had drink service, and the lady protested that she hadn't had anything to drink at all (it was 1 pm). Again, the flight attendant cut her off and said, 'If you want to make a big deal out of this, I will have air marshalls waiting for you on the ground and you will go straight to jail! Now sit quietly or else!' We all sat there stunned, and the attendant stormed off. Everyone around the poor lady (my wife and I included) started telling her that the attendant was WAY out of line. A lady in front of her even wrote out a description of the situation that we all passed around and signed, stating that the attendant was in the wrong. About 20 minutes later a cowed looking male flight attendant came and informed the couple that marshalls would take them from the plane and they were going to be questioned on the ground. He listened patiently to her side of the story, and even read the description we had all signed. He seemed genuinely sorry, but as we got off the plane, the terribl flight attendant was waiting in the tunnel with two marshalls who walked the couple to the side and began questioning them. My wife and I hung out a bit to see if we could give a statement, but the people were released after about 3 minutes of questioning."
"This will probably just end up buried....but here it is.
I was on a flight from San Francisco to San Antonio, Texas back in the late 90's. The plane I was flying on was smaller, so it had just one flight attendant station near the middle of the plane. It was small, only the size of one row of seats and also had an emergency exit.
A line had begun to form for the bathroom, and after some time was all the way back to where I was sitting, which was an aisle seat.
As more people began to get in line, I noticed a older women waiting in line, dressed head to toe in leopard print. Hat, jacket, gloves, pants, shoes...all leopard print.
At first, I was just amused by her outfit, but then I noticed that the line had dissipated and she was still there. Even more, she was now standing in the flight attendant station staring out the window of the emergency exit.
All of a sudden, I see her body move up and down. Then again, and again. I lean forward to try and see what she is doing when I see her leopard print gloves holding onto the emergency exit handle.
At that moment, it hit me. She is trying to open the door. Till that moment, I had never experienced a rush of panic quite that overpowering. Visions of me and my family being sucked out the door was all I could think about.
Of course, my first thought wasn't to stop her immediately....I fumbled with my seat belt and tightened it as much as I could bare. Then I leaned over, and politely (how I didn't scream at her, I will never know) asked if she was trying to find the bathroom.
She replied, 'Well, yes....but the darn door won't open.'
I told her it was at the back of the plane, and she wandered off completely unaware of the fact that she scared me half to death."
"I went to Vegas with my wife. First let me say it was an early flight, we got there extra early for check in, put our bags to the side so as not to get in anyone's way. This 300+lb greaseball wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts comes waddling in with one carry on bag [remember this its important] and knocks over my neatly stacked out of the way baggage. It's also 15 degrees outside [freezing] and 5:14am. I'm like whatever, no big deal.
Later we get on the plane. My wife has the window, I'm in the middle and here comes too fat for the seat Hawaiian guy with his little bag to sit on the end next to me. You have to be kidding me.
Let me tell you something, this guy smelled like a dead animal covered in throw up and feces. I literally dry heaved when he said down next to me. The guy had a carry on bag that he was clenching like it contained something of upmost importance, obviously not deodorant, and he was sweating through his thin red flowered shirt while everyone else was bundled in heavy winter jackets. We had not even taken off yet and I was becoming violently ill smelling this guy. I had to stuff my face in my sweater and throw my head in my wife's lap to try and escape the smell.
After an hour the guy became increasingly fidgety and paranoid. This made him sweat more. I can't figure out how a guy who sweated so much was so fat, he was like a walking sauna of used banana hammocks.
FINALLY the guy got up to use the bathroom and as soon as he closed the bathroom door, people began ripping cologne and perfume ads out of magazines and rubbing them on his sweat soaked chair. I KID YOU NOT, people were offering their apologies to me for having to sit next to him and then the stewardess comes over and says, 'I'm sorry the flight is fully booked, there's nowhere else to put him,' and I'm starring at her like what? I never even said anything to anyone about it. That's when I realized this guy was such a disgusting mess people were actually rallying around me to try and help me. It was the weirdest moment of my life. For the next 5 hours, he made about 20 more trips to the bathroom and each time different rows would come over to rub his seat down with cologne.
Oh and you know what was in the bag? Adult magazines. Piles of adult magazines. He took a new magazine to the bathroom with him each time.
I have not been on a plane since."
"We were on our way back from a vacation in Hawaii, on a red-eye, somewhere over Cali. The airline messed up our seats and my dad and I ended up in first class while my mom and sis were in coach. The co-pilots had come out a few times to chat with us, and this was LONG before 9/11 so I had gotten to see the cockpit. Everyone else on the plane was asleep, except the crew. I was glued to the window, watching the massive cityscapes pass by below me. Then things get interesting...
Out of nowhere, the sky starts to light up. I elbow my dad, as I'm already panicking. He looks out the window and is now worried. We both watch as it gets brighter and brighter. It's bright as day now, and we can't see anything at all. Then, it shows itself, a meteor was passing the plane, ever so slowly. It was close, less than a mile off (I'm horrible with distances, as I have binocular vision), as I could see detailed fractures on the meteor, and bits break off and evaporate in the atmosphere. I inhale to scream, thinking we're going to die, and my dad clamps his hand over my mouth until the thing passes completely and the sky goes dark again. I had calmed down at that point, then the pilots come out of the cockpit and ask us if we saw it, both trying to keep quiet but unable to contain their excitement. Best flight ever."
"Last year I moved from London to New York. All of my possessions had been packed and delivered and would be shipped over and the last thing I had to do was fly over myself with the cat. I did my research and found out that there were two ways of doing it, either the cat would go in a pressurized part of the hold or, if I got a cat carrier in the correct dimension, I could take him on as hand luggage. I chose the latter but it was just about the most distressing 12 hours of my life.
We had a trial run of the cat carrier when I took him to the vets a few days before the flight for his vaccines and to get documents certifying him as 'healthy to fly.' He didn't like this at all. He made pitiful crying mewls all the way there and back. This continued on the way to the airport, a good couple of hours drive away from home. Before I could board the plane, I had to go through security where they had to check the cat carrier by hand. I got the cat out and he seemed dazed and confused and pretty upset but more worryingly he was so amazingly hot. I had cut a small corner off his favorite blanket and put it in the carrier with him, hoping the smell would be reassuring and that it would help him stay comfortable.
After we boarded the plan, he finally stopped crying about two hours into the flight. I hadn't slept in days I was sweating, stressed crammed into a tiny seat on a busy Trans-Atlantic greyhound bus and I was utterly convinced that the cat was dead. I knew it was a bad idea to open the carrier and in any case I don't think I could have done once everyone was on board it was so busy. I sat there for another 6 hours until the plane landed believing the cat was dead from either stress or heat exhaustion and it was ALL. MY. FAULT. for putting that blanket in with him.
When we finally landed, I checked and saw that not only was he fine, he was actually pretty chilled out. He had accepted his position and was making the best of it."
"During one flight, I was just napping a little bit, until lunch was brought around. I open my eyes, and I see something walk really fast across my lap, into the 'folder holder' of my seat (or, technically, on the back of the seat in front of me). It was shiny. And red-brownish. Yep. A cockroach. My first reaction is to scream, 'I'M SICK OF THESE DANG COCKROACHES ON THIS DANG PLANE,' but I was wise enough to realize that'd cause quite some panic in the cabin. Instead, I throw wide-eyed glances at the steward, until he realizes something is up. When he hears the story, he's unsure of what to do, so he goes to ask the other flight attendants for advice.
A couple of minutes later he comes back, while I keep my eye on the folder holder, and he says, 'Well, since we don't want to cause panic, I suggest giving you your food, and we'll take care of the cockroach after we've taken everyone's dinner away.' I'm pretty convinced that cockroach is pretty snug in there, so I agree. He then proceeds to give everyone their drinks, and when he reaches my seat, I all of a sudden see that darn cockroach get out of the folder holder, so I say, 'there it is!' And then we both watch with horror to see the cockroach disappear between the pillow and the seat of the woman in front of us. So now we have a woman, who has a cockroach behind her back. The steward freaks a little, and decides to go talk to the pilots. He then comes back to me. 'Yeah. She doesn't know, and we don't want any unnecessary panic on the plane. We're just going to keep our mouths shut until someone else notices, and if no one does, we'll clean the plane thoroughly when we land. We can give you another seat, though?' I like my seat, so I just decided to keep an empty cup ready in case I happen to see the cockroach.
We joke a bit about a finder's reward, or hush money, and I calm down a little (although I wasn't really freaked out by everything, it was just... odd, or something). Anyway, fast forward a little bit. The steward has taken our garbage away, and everything seems to be fine. Then the steward comes back to my seat, and, while picking bits and pieces of the cockroach off of his hands, he says, 'these things are hard to get rid of!' Apparently, the cockroach had crawled onto his clothes while he took away the woman's plate, and when he noticed it, he just dumped it into the container with drinks in them (they have high edges) and killed it with a bottle from the bar.
I have to say, I was pretty happy to be rid of it."
"In grade 12, I was on a band trip to New York and of course we flew there as it's a looong drive from Vancouver. We were seated alphabetically, and the school band took up a good ten rows of the plane. This also resulted in me and two of my friends sitting close together. Towards the very end of the flight, they turn to me and say that on the count of three we're going to throw our in-flight pillows at another mutual friend some four or five rows back. Pillows not being so aerodynamic led to only one hitting it's intended target, and the other two hitting two other people. All three hit grabbed their pillows in addition to the ones we just threw, and chucked 'em back at us. Again, only some made it all the way back to us with others being hit and caught up in it. Eventually in spiraled so out of control that there was, for a good five or ten minutes, about nine pillows in the air at all times! The crew eventually made an announcement to ask passengers to 'please refrain from throwing loose items at each other.' The teachers were mad, but it was definitely worth it."