Airport Employees Share The Saddest Goodbyes They've Seen
What better place to witness some public heartbreaking goodbyes than the airport? Airport employees share the most heart wrenching goodbyes they have ever witnessed.
Airport employees, what is the saddest goodbye you've witnessed?
The heartbreak is real
I worked at a very small regional airport so I dealt with passengers from check-in to boarding. Often the passengers and their families would stay together all the way up until boarding.
An elderly gentleman was dropping off his son who had flown in from overseas where he lived for a visit. It was just us three in the terminal at the time, and after check-in the dad looked at his son and said "I have to go before I lose it" and he hugged his son, shook his hand and left. His son stood looking out the window to the tarmac and I could see he was getting a little upset. It was just us, so I walked over and asked if he was okay, he starts crying and says "this is probably the last time I am going to see my dad". He then tells me his dad is terminally ill with cancer and he has to return to his job overseas. All I could do was hug the guy and cry with him, it was very upsetting to me even as a stranger.
Exchange students are like family
I saw a family of three ( mom, dad, teenage son) saying goodbye to another younger guy they had hosted at their house for an exchange program or something. The mom was crying and saying that he was part of the family and to visit whenever he wanted. The guy leaving looked pretty torn up but the dad and the teenage son looked pretty stoic. As the exchange student was leaving he said goodbye to each of them by hugging them and calling them mom, dad, and brother. The dad and teenage son literally burst into tears and starting sobbing really loudly. It was really sweet but really sad.
When you are ending it while on vacation
Former airport employee here,
Last summer I worked at the international airport of The Netherlands where I would drive people around to their respective flights who were in need of assistance. Anyways, in my last week I had to pick-up an elderly (85-ish) man from the check-in desk. He was accompinied by a huge number of (presumeably) family members and friends, and as I told him he had to say goodbye cuz we needed to move on to customs, the majority of the group started crying.
At first I felt really uncomfortable because I had no idea what the hell was happening, but after about 15 mins he told me he was going to Portugal to enjoy his "final moments in a beautiful place before ending it all". I went silent instantly as I didn't know how to respond to that, I'm still left with so many questions as to how and why.
The final goodbye is the hardest
The saddest goodbye was actually saying goodbye for the final time to one of my friends. He had worked for multiple airlines in the airport and was well liked by everyone. He died suddenly in his sleep and it devastated everyone in our small airport family. His family wanted to bury him in his home town so we had to ship his body away. Basically the whole airport had stopped operating while his friends loaded his body onto the aircraft taking him home. The whole ceremony performed was very emotional but I'm glad he got to take to the air even after death.
You see all the family drama
Worked as an airport employee for a while. One of my duties was to accompany minors who were flying alone. Well there was this tiny boy, ten at the time, that I had to meet after his check-in. His mom checked him in, she saw me waiting, then she said, "Can you give me a few minutes to say goodbye?" I said sure, stepped aside, then she knelt so she can look the boy in the eye. She brought him to me after a few minutes so I walked with the boy towards the gate. He looked sad, so I made small talk and told him where he was going and if he were meeting someone where he's going.
Apparently his parents are separated and his mom is sending him to his dad because she can't afford to feed him adequately and send him to school. She also can't afford a round-trip plane ticket to go with him which is why the kid's flying alone. He said he's never going to see his mom again, because he's sure his dad won't allow him to.
As a child of a bad divorce myself, his story broke my heart.
They see some of the saddest things!
I worked at Barcelona airport for a few years, and the saddest moment was also a goodbye moment. A couple with a baby of 2 came to Barcelona to visit the family of hers (she was spanish, he was british). It broke my heart when we at the sales desk realised a "Jim Wilson" who requested Special Asistance was on the flight. "Jim Wilson" is airline carrier code for a corpse being transported back home. So yes, the dead body was the baby of 2 who apparently collapsed for reasons I don't know, and now was being sent back to England.
There was literally 30 people, all family of hers in the airport, saying goodbye to the little coffin. I never saw a most lost person that the mother and the grandmother. It was shocking, many of our cooworkers had to take a break for several minutes as they could not stop crying.
Now I'm a father of a 9 month babygirl...and I'm just crying remembering this.
When you see true love
A friend of mine was staying from China as au pair? On the last day we all go to see her off at the airport. We all exchange hugs, talk about meeting again, give phone numbers, etc.
Then one guy who gives her another hug just straight out says "You were the best ever." She is blushing at this point and we all stunned.
We asked them and no they weren't dating because she would have to go home soon. She left blushing, and we had a good laugh about it.
The dude who said it was just standing there as we walked away. A very kind of weird look on his face. When we asked whats up he just said "I hope she comes back."
She came back.
When you know all the stories
I work at an international Airport in Germany. I was checking in an older lady who told me she has cancer and she is going to morrocco to get cannabis oil because that is supposed to help support the chemo therapy she is doing.
Two weeks later a young girl was at the airport demanding a ticket to morrocco crying her eyes out. Was like a punch in the gut :(
Cancer makes goodbye hard
When I was in college, I used to work at an airport in a smaller city as a passenger assistant during the summer. I would help people with their baggage or help push people in wheelchairs to their gates, etc.
On more than one occasion I pushed late stage cancer patients to their gates who were flying to another city for chemo treatments. A lot of times family members would walk with us all the way up to the gate to say goodbye, just in case it was the last time. Broke my heart each and every time :(
Pain is always hard to see
a little kid was bawling his eyes out and clinging to his dad's leg to stop him from going. I think the kid was going to stay with some older relatives ( maybe grandparents?).
This would get to anyone
Whenever a fallen soldier comes home. And especially if that soldier had his or her trusty companion with them too. Seeing those caskets come out from the plane just punches you right in the gut.
You never know what someone is going through
Years ago, I was a flight attendant and due to weather, we were slammed with missed connections, late arrivals and everything else thrown in the mix.
We were loaded up and waiting to depart from the jetway and after about 15 minutes, a woman was escorted to the plane. I led her to the last seat available on the last row and we finished our predeparture duties and took off. Everything had gone wrong that day and IIRC, we weren't catered properly so this added to my annoyance.
I took a moment to speak to the lady who boarded last and she said she was going to see her husband and then got quiet. I asked her if everything was ok and she said he had had a heart attack and she was rushing to be with him at the hospital. I asked her if he was going to be ok and she said, "I don't know." I was shocked and don't know why but I asked her if he was going to make it and she looked at me and said, "I don't know". I realized she didn't even know if he was still alive and I spent much of the rest of the flight kneeling beside her in the aisle, holding her hand.
I have thought back to that moment thousands of times over the years since then in moments when I get annoyed at people or if something inconveniences me or someone else as you never know what someone is going through.
Aw, the puppy love
A marine saying goodbye to his dog :(
For those of you in a LDR
I don't know what people thought when they saw me crying my eyes out when I was saying goodbye to my beautiful sweet girlfriend at the airport and entering the gate for the plane.
I couldn't stop crying and when I looked back for the last time and saw her sobbing I was close to send everything to hell and go back to her arms (but of course that would've meant violating my Visa by overstaying in the US and basically ruining my life). LDR are tough man but she's worth it
So, I did Honor Guard a few years back, Air Force, and an Airman was killed in a traffic accident overseas. His fiancee was back in the states. I had to carry the casket from the plane to the hearse while the family waited on the flight line. That was pretty rough since the guy was like 20 years old.
Working one night, I passed by an elderly lady staring on cart disperser. I asked her if she needed change for a cart, she turns around and started crying telling me she had to fly down so fast she forgot to bring money with her. She flew home to pick-up her husband's body who suddenly passed away. Made me cry, gave her everything in my pocket and made sure baggage agents took care of her.
When immigration tears families apart
One time I was flying out of El Salvador to the States and I saw this big burly man and his daughter saying goodbye to each other. He was bawling his eyes out telling her to be a good girl. I think she was immigrating to the United States and he couldn't go. It broke my heart.
That's a dramatic goodbye
Man shows up at airport with 2 dozen of beautiful roses, says his wife has been on business trip for 2 weeks, and he is there to surprise her and bring her home, and needs help finding her.
Find her. She gets off the flight. Drunk as a skunk. Needs a wheelchair. We get her up front to where her husband is waiting on the checkpoint exit.
He surprises her, she puts her hand in her face, looks up and says "I'm leaving you, I found (some guy name not audible) on my trip and I love him"
She threw the roses on the ground. He picked them up, clearly shaken, said he can't do this, said goodbye, and off he went.
No idea what happened after that. But this guy was on cloud 9 surprising his wife, and she completely destroyed him in seconds.
I dont know, I mean we had a Family fly in to drop their daughter off for I guess a boarding school? In our business its not entirely our place to ask directly or judge (Generally we ask "What Brings you to ?") but That was a awkward ride from the plane to the FBO when the little kid realized Mom and Dad would not be staying with them.
Now thhat's messed up!
Most heathbreaking ever... Little girl of 3 years old ..that had to say goodbye to her mom who just OD. On drugs she swallowed to smuggle... Couldnt give a f*** about the mother ... but the face off total innocent kid... They had to take her out of her moms arms in the plane.
It's easy to get caught up in the past.
...so long as we knew what time of day it was going to be on.
What's something nostalgic for your age group?
Video games today are horrible!
Give us a 2-dimensional side-scroller of an Italian plumber fighting a dragon monster and nothing else good for many more years after that. Who needs all these fantastic releases, year in and year out, every year?
How Do We Enable "Big Head Mode?"
"Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a, select, start"
"My toddler son has a toy game controller that plays a little jingle if you put this code in. I loved that they put that little Easter egg into a kids toy and it makes my husband smile every time he does it."
When Was This Old? *cries in tired old man
"Anytime recently I've tried to get back into Minecraft it breaks my heart because the game just feels so different now. I played it from 2010 up until 2018 or 19 almost religiously, but the past couple years have really changed the game. I'm sure it's just as fun to play now, but it doesn't have that same nostalgia factor anymore like it used to."
Tests Of Parenthood
"Neopets in 2005"
"My girlfriend at the time made me take care of one as a test for being a father. Literally."
Some things you long for aren't actually possible to do anymore, leading to the reasoning this is why the nostalgia is at an all-time high. What's worse than missing something that no longer exists?
The Smell, The Sounds, The Sights, The Ambience
"Going to Blockbuster with my friends on a Friday"
"Renting cheesy horror movies and making fun of them with the group!"
You Can Miss That?
"Dial up modem noises"
"Kiiiiiiiiiiii…kiiuuuu…kiiiuuuu.. it was something like that right? I even forgot."
"And then I used to open yahoo login page and do some other work for few minutes and come back while it loads, and then enter id password, hit login and then get a coffee until it loads."
Illegal, But, Yeah
"I remember the really early days of mp3 sharing, before P2P came along. There were hundreds of FTP servers that you could connect to with huge libraries of mp3s. No domain name, just a raw IP address that you found somewhere on usenet."
"But they couldn't just give it away, because then everyone would take and nobody would give. So they had quota systems: you'd upload an mp3, and for every byte you uploaded, you'd get to download 2, or 3, or maybe even 5. And this was over dialup, so uploading or downloading a single file could take 30 minutes."
"But it was FTP. Very simple and dumb. There was no memory of your "credits" between sessions, so if you uploaded a bunch of stuff and then lost your connection, you were SOL."
"It amazes me to think how much time I spent getting a few songs that today I can play any time I want on Spotify."
For some people, this next section will sound silly.
For others, this was our childhood, which sadly (when you really think about it) revolved around a television schedule we had no input on, meaning we had to plan everything out around when the next episode of Power Rangers aired.
Cartoons After School Are The Best
"Anime on Toonami. Cartoon Cartoon Fridays"
"Toonami had really great western cartoons as well. I loved watching Samurai Jack, Ben 10, Teen Titans, and Clone Wars on Toonami growing up."
"Old Cartoon Network, spiky gelled hair"
"Old Cartoon Network" is an interesting answer because people are gonna have different ideas about what "Old Cartoon Network" is. I think of Ed, Edd n Eddy and Codename: Kids Next Door. Another commenter mentioned Gumball which is still well after my time."
When Life Revolved Around Someone Else's Schedule
"Born in the 70s, grew up in the 80s...I remember huddling around the TV as a family to watch certain things."
"For some reason, they would show The Wizard of Oz every year on network tv..and it was a big deal. My mom would make popcorn...in a pot on the stove (It was the 80's) and we'd sit on a blanket on the floor and watch."
Or Friday Nights....Dukes of Hazzard (when it was new). Mom would get takeout from Burger Chef...and we'd sit on the floor eating hamburgers watching 'dem Duke Boys at it again."
"Or in the summer....they'd show Creature from the Black Lagoon 3D on tv. 7-11 would give out free 3-D glasses."
"For the younger Redditors....this was well before any kind of streaming/on demand service...and back when cable TV and VCRs were still a luxury that a lot of people didn't have. So, you really only got to watch what was on the few channels that your antenna allowed."
"Another one is coming home from school to watch old shows like Gilligan's Island, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Batman, F-Troop."
"Or staying up late and at midnight....the TV would play the National Anthem....then show a control screen and just "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP" like this: https://youtu.be/Cnchea6LHN0"
The good ol' days.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
When determining how to spend our life in a way that feels worthy, many place a heavy emphasis on experiences. We want to die with scars and stories.
And sticking our necks out inevitably leads to a whole lot of struggle. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't do the same thing the very next day if we could go back.
Some things, though we'll never do them again, were too important an experience to pass up.
Redditor JackIrishJack asked:
"What should you do once, but not twice?"
Many people talked about the life experiences, big and small, that influenced their outlook. They recommend people go through some discomfort to gain important awareness.
A Capacity for Empathy
"Working in the food industry I feel like everybody should do it once so they can have a respect for food workers but it's also a hell I never want to go through again"
Paying for a Daydream
"Buy a lottery ticket"
"You're not going to win, but buying a lottery ticket gives you the chance to dream and pretend. Having a second lottery ticket isn't going to make your dreams more vivid."
Plenty of Implications
"Visit Auschwitz. I firmly believe everyone should go visit it so as to not forget what humans are capable of doing to each other. But no need to visit twice. Once was enough for me."
Others brought up things which, if done twice, would be a sure sign that something is very very wrong.
Supposed To Be Permanent
"Learning how to walk. The first time - good on you. Having to
relearn a second time means something went terribly wrong."
Only Two Sets
"Lose all of your teeth" -- Outrageous_Cream_112
"Haha I had to think about this for a second" -- ApplesauceDoctr
Don't Wanna Find Yourself There Too Often
"Get beaten half to death breaks the concepts of your limits. Second time breaks the spirit. Third time is overkill."
Others apparently viewed the question as an opportunity for a little cleverness.
If You're Good
"Cut...you measure twice before." -- wxguy215
"For me its more like 'measure twice, make sure it's just a teeny bit too long then go back and shave it off little by little until it wedges in perfectly' " -- pistpuncher3000
As the Saying Goes
"Fool me" -- Thia_suzieUzi
"FOOL ME THREE TIMES FU** THE PEACE SIGN LOAD THE CHOPPA LET IT RAIN ON YOU" -- nixusthegod
Only a Couple to Work With
"Donate a kidney" -- RealisticDelusions77
"Donate one kidney, you're a hero. Donate two kidneys, you're a corpse. Donate three kidneys, you're a felon." -- Drach88
"Be born. Going through the birthing process again would probably kill my mother." -- cylonrobot
Here's hoping we can all find the healthy balance between living a full, experienced life and punishing ourselves a little too much.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Lies. Life and "wisdom" is littered with lies. Simple, everyday truths we tell ourselves and others are just a fabrication.
I know we want everyone to stay upbeat throughout our time on this Earth, but how desperate do we have to be to swallow some of this poppycock?
It gets better. Times heals wounds. Alcohol doesn't help with weight loss. I love you. Nonsense! Maybe I'm in a mood and exaggerating a smidge, but not by much. LOL
Redditor u/OptionsTrader14 wanted to gather up intel on what parts of popular chatter are just not up to snuff these days by asking:
What popular sayings are actually bulls**t?
Seriously, looking back, how did we not start questioning the origins of these sayings long before we tried to implement them? Or at least when we reached ages when we should know better. Cue the gaslight...
I'll take an Orange!apples caities classroom GIF by Super SimpleGiphy
"An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Damn, the older I get, the more I wish it were that simple."
"Love is never having to say you're sorry." I think from the movie, Love Story. Stupid and ridiculous."
"Said to Ryan O'Neil in "Love Story." In "What's up Doc?" Barbara Streisand quotes the line to Ryan at the end and he replies: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard"
The past year it has been "We're in this together."
"NO F YOU!"
More than Twice
"The lightning never strikes twice in the same spot." Yes, it does. Especially if that spot is a high metal structure, it will be struck twice, even more than just two times."
"Without a lightning rod, these strikes would ground themselves through the building's wiring, or through the people working on one of its 103 floors, causing untold amounts of damage."
SnuffWhich Way Flex GIF by HollyoaksGiphy
"That'll buff right out."
I do love apples. And I don't have to see the doctor often, so maybe there is merit there. Plus that one is easy, somebody just wanted somebody else to eat healthier. Just say that! And I like to focus on a different kind of buff.
like an adult...cry baby GIFGiphy
"Sleep like a baby. A more accurate description for it would be pissed the bed twice and woke up screaming."
"We're all in the same storm together. But most of us are in rowboats, a bunch are treading water in the waves without so much as a life jacket. Meanwhile a handful are in their mega yachts looking down on everyone else, talking about how terrible the storm is."
"Finish what you started. No, sometimes the thing I started was a bad idea and maybe I should do something I like better."
"Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life. Well, I do what I love and I'm an unemployed alcoholic. Somehow, I don't think whoever said that first had this in mind."
"Do you really love it if it involves a lot of tasks you hate? I feel like that's just a job you don't love if you're not enjoying the bulk of it. Sounds just like you love the results of it, love the impact, not that you enjoy the day to day. Then you're just not doing what you love on a day to day basis."
"I've had a lot of jobs I hated and loved, currently love. It makes a HUGE difference, between being depressed and not. I knew my life would be way better when I found a good job I loved. Now I'm getting over alcoholism and cut way the heck down, and don't feel like I need to drink to cope."
"The "never work a day in your life" just means you'll never feel that stress of hating your job every day like many do. It doesn't literally mean you won't work, just that those stresses of work will be so unimportant and not make you feel like crap."
At Capacitybrain power GIF by nogGiphy
"Teacher of mine have a good metaphor to illustrate the non sense. He said "areas of the brain not being all stimulated at the same time might sound like a non optimal way of using a machine."
"But now take a traffic light, we can say I works 1/3 of its capacity at time (one color represents a signal) and if it worked 100% all the time, putting all the colors at once, you agree it could be very dangerous for the traffic right?"
That baby one is so true. I never thought about that one. And now I'm going to stockpile a list of sayings and begin origin research. Expose the lies! And just use common sense.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Whenever I visit clothing stores, I make it a point to fold the clothes I unfurl. That is apparently my downfall as a customer.
Because of this, fellow customers often peg me as an employee and always ask me questions like where the bathroom is, or if the store has certain sizes left in stock.
Umm, no, I don't work here. I'm just a responsible customer. As you were.
Many of us make assumptions about other people just by looking at them. Who knew we were so presumptuous?
Curious to hear the experiences of strangers online, Redditor lilmizzvalz asked:
"What do people assume about you, based on your appearance?"
People often misinterpret moods based on how someone looks. That's unfair, wouldn't you say?
"That I'm caring and supportive. I have a resting nice face."
"That I am always mad. Nope just dissociating and staring off into space."
Not Meaning To Be Mean
"That I'm mean. I have a resting mean face for a dude I guess. Also lately it's worse because I'm bigger now. I don't really notice how my face appears but apparently, I seem angry when I'm looking at stuff."
"'You should smile' and 'are you ok?' comments followed me from busboy, waiter, bartender my whole career."
When it comes to measuring intelligence of others, some people are just way off.
Hard To Live Up To Expectations
"That I'm clever. People keep saying it to me, but I'm dumb and that sh*t is hard to live up to."
"I have glasses."
Eyes Full Of Wisdom
"I apparently have something similar going on mixed with looking like I know sh*t, because people come up to me in public and ask about directions, bus schedules and stuff all the time. Like, they'll deliberately avoid other people to ask me. Including when I'm abroad and should look a bit out of place."
"They assume I have an intellectual disability. (And also that I'm deaf, since I'm not able to speak.)"
"No, I am a person with two university degrees who happen to need a wheelchair because of a nasty neurological illness."
People don't always look their age. Some don't even act their age. But these Redditors have gotten their fair share of wrong guesses for their ages.
"That I'm 15."
"I'm 38 and a doctor. 'Did you just finish school?' EVERY DAY."
"This thread was depressing to read as I am 38 but often get mistaken for 50. I hate y'all and your youthful beauty."
Some people are typed out as certain types of people with just one look.
Watch Your Tone
"That I have a southern accent. Not one stranger has ever suspected that I have a 'New Jersey' accent (Born and raised in New Jersey before moving south)"
Not A Biker
"That I ride a Harley and/or work on them. I'm bald with a long goatee and tons of tattoos, but I'm in IT for a living and don't ride motorcycles at all."
Like others have expressed in the thread, I've also been accused of having "resting b*tch face."
You know, that neutral expression where you're not smiling the one time you're not in a situation where you have to be "on" for other people?
Yeah, that one.
If someone's resting face comes across as unfriendly, well, perhaps it's best not to upset them by asking them what's wrong all the time. Just sayin'.