Turkey's Can't Fly!
1. Turkey's Can't Fly!

"Emotional support animals" are becoming much more common in America and can be found in a lot of places. National Service Animal Registry. Apparently, one woman couldn't bear to fly without her emotional support turkey Source

Work Time?
2. Work Time?

The weirdest thing I've ever seen on a plane was in 1972 on a Pan Am flight from NY to Amsterdam. We were all boarded and the flight was delayed for a few hours. About an hour into the delay, I saw a flight attendant - they were called stewardesses back then - sitting in a passenger seat making out hot and heavy with a passenger. Wild. I don't know if they previously knew each other or if it was a random hookup Source

Sickos, Sickos Everywhere
3. Sickos, Sickos Everywhere

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 on 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 pathetic fruitcakes,' 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 of what occurred. Ultimately, it would be his decision to have the passenger handed over to 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 we it had been necessary to lock the aft lavatories and would they be so kind as to use the lavatories in the centre 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 humour, she was excellent in diffusing 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, 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 sniggered 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 Source

Gotta Get Right For The Flight
4. Gotta Get Right For The Flight

Flying out of Houston Hobby, a passenger in the back row lit up a crack pipe Source

It's Always Better To Be Nice
5. It's Always Better To Be Nice

Was on a flight from Orange County (CA) to Seattle when a woman went ballistic over the wrong sort of vegetarian meal being served to her. The passenger proceeded to unload on every American Airlines employee on the flight, each for a protracted period of time. The altercation continued to escalate for over ten minutes. After the altercation simmered down a bit, two other passengers summoned a flight attendant by using the call button. Both passengers offered their business cards to the crew member and said, "If any of you are called in over this outburst, please let us know. We'll be glad to let American's HR know that you all did everything in your power to rectify the situation in a peaceful manner." A few minutes later, a flight attendant asked the two passengers to get their belongings and come with her. No, they weren't asked to leave the plane at 35,000 feet but were bumped up to two vacant seats in First Class Source

She's Got Jokes!
6. She's Got Jokes!

I was flying into Denver about ten years ago, although I don't recall which airline exactly. I'm pretty sure it was one of the older, large airlines like United or Delta though. While taxiing to the gate the FA started with the normal end of flight routine, but added the following gem: "We know you had the choice of flying on many bankrupt airlines today, but we thank you for choosing 'X Airlines', the number one bankrupt airline in on time arrivals" Source

No One's Idea Of Fun
7. No One's Idea Of Fun

In 1981, I was on a PanAm 747 IAH-JFK. My seatmate, a first-time flier, asked me if this was my first time to fly and I told her, "Unfortunately, no." "Good" she said, "now you can explain everything to me about what's happening on the flight." Little did I know what was to come. Forty-five minutes into the flight, I knew something was wrong; try as he might, the captain could not get the engines in synch, and a few minutes later I felt a tug on my sleeve. "Does that happen often?" she asked. When I asked her what she was referencing, she just pointed. I looked over and saw a flight attendant, sitting on the top step of the stairs sobbing. Uh-Oh, this can't be good, I thought to myself. At that moment, the flight deck came on the intercom, and though they were necessarily vague, the message was we were going to hold for an hour, burn fuel and then return to IAH because of unspecified mechanical problems. My seatmate, unbelievably, thought it was all great fun! Source


Once I took the islander hopper flight from Hawaii to Micronesia. I would get off and stay a couple of days at each island. At some point, the flight was delayed by many (4-5?) hours, everyone was tired and grumpy. Then as we were landing on at Marshall Islands International Airport, on Majuro, the plane touched the ground a bit and then there was a loud noise as the pilot went full speed ahead to take off again. Lots of vibration, everyone got scared. Then the pilot said something like: "Sorry, folks, I was tired and I had not aligned the plane properly so I had to take off again. We could have fallen into the ocean, so we'll try it again. Don't worry, everything will be fine". The plane then did a loop around and landed without problems, but the captain could have omitted that he was tired and that we almost fell into the ocean since the runway is short and just about the width of the skinny, long atoll island. The whole thing was probably only a few minutes long, but it felt much longer due the anxiety. At least the flight attendants did a good job at reassuring people that it was not uncommon for that to happen Source

Be Good Or Be Gone
9. Be Good Or Be Gone

I've seen multiple irate passengers get yanked off the plane for using obscenity when complaining about Frontier's highway robbery baggage check fees. Don't swear on the plane Source

Nothing But Fear
10. Nothing But Fear

Once, flying into Atlanta, we had an engine failure. Plane yawed suddenly to the right and the engines roared to compensate. Dropped altitude and limped into ATL. Horrible fishtailing on the landing. I asked the flight attendant if it was a shutdown or a failure and she said it was nothing. Liar liar. Statistically, I'll probably never see one of those again Source

A Different Kind Of Mile High Club?
11. A Different Kind Of Mile High Club?

On a flight from Cairns (tropical north Australia) to Sydney a passenger asked as he boarded if the FA could please put two big mud crabs in the galley. As the flight was nearing Sydney the FA remembered the seafood, but couldn't remember the passenger. She picked up the intercom and announced, "Would the passenger who gave me the crabs in Cairns please press the Hostess Call Button," only to hear the entire plane erupt into laughter Source

And you Are Worried About When You Land?
12. And you Are Worried About When You Land?

I was flying on a four-wide flight (two seats on each side of the aisle) when the fellow sitting across the aisle from me died. It was a late-night TWA flight from Detroit to San Diego, and the cabin lights had been dimmed and most everyone was near-asleep. But everyone sitting around him had noticed his breathing becoming increasingly labored (and noisy) until suddenly, very noticeably, it stopped dead. A bunch of us pushed our CALL buttons, and several FAs quickly came, but they wasted a lot of time trying to wake him up by talking to him and squeezing his hand. Eventually they realized how serious it was, and they asked over the PA for a doctor. There was one in first class, but the flight was completely full, so they moved the weeping teenage girl at the window to my right up to the doctor's seat in first class, moved me over to her seat, and the doctor settled into my seat with his black bag to work on guy across the aisle. He tried a couple of things, but nothing worked, so he laid him out on the floor and did a tracheotomy to see if he could get him breathing again. It was very messy, with a lot of blood, but sadly was unsuccessful. The poor guy on the floor slowly turned grey. People were getting sick and crying, especially the FAs -- it was pretty distressing. The only good thing was that because of it, our flight was moved to the front of the landing queue -- we'd been told previously we would have to circle for 2 hours because of gate congestion, and instead we went right in. At the moment of landing, when they brake the plane and turn on the thurst reversers, all the blood on the floor flooded forward down the cabin floor, and the body began to slide forward on all the blood. The doctor sitting next to me had the presence of mind to reach down and grab the guy's ankle as it went by, to keep the body there next to him. We were met with several ambulances, and two teams of EMTs came in to take the body off. Then we all had to walk down the sticky floor to get out. There was a short obit in Newsweek the next week about the guy -- he'd been an actor on some early cowboy TV show, and was an anti-tobacco activist in retirement. Given this experience I've read a lot about in-flight deaths over the years. Apparently about 2 flights are diverted for medical reasons every day in the U.S., but it's usually someone sick or having a baby, not a death. And the placement of defibrillators on most large planes has probably decreased the number of in-flight heart attack deaths, which is what this one probably was. Reliable estimates of how many actual in-flight deaths are much harder to find. I've seen numbers between 15 and 400 a year. Clearly this can't have been the only time this has happened, but I've never actually met anyone else to whom it happened, so it's hard to judge just how frequent it is Source

The Innocence Of Youth
13. The Innocence Of Youth

A friend of mine told me this air travel story. In 1971, she was a teenager and her father sent her to spend the summer in Israel with a Jewish youth group. The kids were mostly just-graduated high school seniors taking a vacation before starting college. At the airport, another girl bade a tearful farewell to her boyfriend. Farewells accomplished, the group boarded the plane and got up in the air. Not one hour later, the same girl was ummm, errrrrr joining the mile high club under a blanket with the assistance of a young man sitting next to her. She couldn't even wait til they got to Jerusalem! Source

There Should Be Murder
14. There Should Be Murder

In the late 80's I was working first class on a trans continental flight ( SFO- JFK ) for a major air carrier. The flight was completely full. I am not sure what the gate agent was thinking, ( must have been on drugs ) :-) but, after everyone had boarded, we, ( the crew ), noticed that we had a cat in its carrier,... seated next to a large talking bird in a cage. We tried to re-arrange the seating before departing the gate, but no one wanted to move! As not to cause a delay, we decided to go. It was a long flight as one might imagine. The cat would meow,... and then the bird would say a swear word or two, and this repetition went on for about six hours....oy! :-) Needless to say, when we landed in NY, the crew had never been happier to see its passengers, and these two delightful creatures deplane! Rather than going to our hotel, which would be what we normally would have done, we changed our clothes immediately at the airport, and took a cab to the nearest bar, for a stiff cocktail and a few good chuckles! Source

Well, She Was Doing As Trained!
15. Well, She Was Doing As Trained!

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 take off, 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 Source

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