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The Craziest Things Airline Workers Have Ever Seen On The Job

Reddit user New-Low5765 asked: 'People who work in the airline industry, what are some of the craziest things you have seen?'

people sitting inside plane
Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Commercial aviation began in the late 1920s, spurred on by early aeronautical companies and several record breaking solo flights.

Since then, there are few places on Earth that can't be seen or accessed by plane. Only icing limits humans from low altitude flights over certain areas like the polar regions, while a lack of landing locations keeps some areas accessible to only the smallest pontoon planes.

From January through December 2022, United States airlines carried 853 million passengers. Globally, air travel reached a high of over 4.7 billion passengers before the pandemic limited flights.

Since then, global air travel has rebounded to over 3.7 billion passengers.

With almost 100 years and over a trillion passengers, the people who crew these flights are bound to have seen everything happen that possibly could at airports and on a flight.


Reddit user New-Low5765 asked:

"People who work in the airline industry, what are some of the craziest things you have seen?"

Don't Drink And Tow Aircraft

"Worked as ground crew. 2nd day on the job we were issued a notice to gather."

"So when you check in every morning you’re supposed to always take a breathalyzer test to prove you can like you know, ride around the tarmack, use pushbacks on planes, etc..."

"For whatever reason this dude hadn’t taken it/got past without taking it."

"He was not sober."

"He was tasked with pulling a 370 [aircraft] into a hangar."

"He eyeballed it for whatever reason."

"So here we are watching a video of this absolute loon break the whole wing off while damaging the hangar in the process."

"Because he was drunk, insurance doesn’t kick in."

"We were promptly told that Christmas bonuses might be a bit smaller."

~ ProbablyChe

Occupational Hazard

"Someone had the tip of their finger cut off when closing the door to the plane and didn't say anything until the flight landed at the arrival gate and when the door was opened the chunk of finger fell out."

"The staff then said, 'Oh yeah, that's my finger. you can throw it away'."

"I guess he just bandaged and wrapped his own hand."

"It was about 1/4 of his finger including the nail that was cut off. The cutoff portion wasn't particularly bloody and it was really pale."

~ If_I_remember

"A plane I got on once almost left without half of its aircrew on it."

~ BeerisAwesome01

"'Let’s just go, they can meet us there'."

~ InformativePenguin

"Plot twist. That included the pilots."

~ Windyandbreezy

Excess Baggage

"Coffin with dead body inside being left off the flight due to overload without notice either to us or the family and the family realising it by seeing it while the plane was leaving and screaming to us."

~ elenivog

employee of the month ups GIFGiphy

Noped Out

"Saw the pilot walk into the passenger area and say 'I'm not flying this piece of sh*t' and get off the plane."

"All the passengers followed him."

~ Jaded-Session8422

"Hell yeah, I'm following the pilot off the plane if something like this happens!"

~ lukaron

pilot GIF by Foo FightersGiphy

"I had something similar happen, but never got on the plane."

"It was sitting there seemingly ready but they never started boarding."

"Eventually the pilots walk off the plane and a few of us heard them say ‘This junk isn’t going anywhere’."

"Flight ended up getting cancelled a short time later."

~ potatocross

"I was threatened with [pilots walking out] multiple times a week as an aircraft dispatcher."

"Auxiliary power units (APUs) run the air conditioning (AC) in the aircraft and they were always broken down and not fixed quickly, so when the pilots show up it is hot as hell inside and there's no ground crew to connect the external AC."

"So I would get a call from the Captain telling me he is not going to fly this piece of shit because it is too hot."

"Then they'd go on a tirade about how bad the company sucks because they don't do maintenance."

"I would agree with them completely."

sweating pilot GIFGiphy

"Then by the end of the call they'd say they will take it but the company sucks and needs to fix the APU."

"Occasionally the captain would refuse it, but then the ground crew would hook up the AC and they would always get back inside and fly it."

"For sure there were issues that popped up where the AC had an unsolvable issue and it would result in a cancelled flight."

~ Winchery

"I’m Dallas-Fort Worth based. No APU/AC in November? Meh, whatever."

"No APU/AC in August in Texas?"

"I’m not going on that airplane. Ground just can’t keep up."

~ poser765

☣️ Bio-Hazard ☣️

"Flight diverted to my airport because a girl in hotpants got uncontrollable diarrhea from the laxatives she took before the flight to help get over her weekend binge in Vegas."

"She sh*t in her seat and down the aisle and all over the bathroom."

"Five other passengers had uncontrollable vomiting because of this and the panic on the plane from the crew and rest of passengers caused the plane to make an emergency landing."

"They ended up having to cancel the remaining leg of the flight to decontaminate the plane."

"Police were sent and interviewed her and her friends and no charges were filed. I don't know if the airline put her on any kind of no-fly list or tried to have her pay for damages."

~ If_I_remember

plane GIF by CBSGiphy

Highly Unsuccessful

"There were two suitcases checked in that were full of nothing but weed."

"The police arrested him in the gating area & confiscated the bags."

~ Traditional_Pair4840

"Something similar happened when I was a ramp rat back in the 1960s."

"Law enforcement was going to do the arrest at his destination."

"The weed disappeared before they got there."

~ endadaroad

Stealthiest Catch

"As a baggage handler I once had a shipment of live Alaskan crabs escape their container on the ramp."

"Flights were delayed."

"Turns out those guys scatter when they panic and try to hide under anything and everything."

~ Gregwaaah

"My significant other worked doing maintenance checks on commercial planes."

"This explains why they once found a bunch of dead crabs under the floorboards in the cargo bay. It was a mysterious mystery."

~ Highly_Referential

media.giphy.com

Avoiding A Strip Search?

"A fully naked woman just walked through the terminal and tried to walk through security like she wasn’t fully naked."

~ Commercial-Chance561

"She was just very considerately trying to make it easier for TSA."

~ TrooperJohn

"They make you take off your shoes but they don't say that's all you can take off."

~ smartguy05

Language Barrier

"I witnessed this in the security screening of a large American airport."

"And to be fair, there was a language barrier as the passenger in question seemed to be speaking mainly French, and struggling to understand the TSA agent's instructions in English."

"Female passenger (tall, attractive, and sophisticated-looking) was wearing a business suit with a pencil skirt and matching jacket, which was buttoned closed, going through security."

"The TSA agent told her she had to remove the jacket. She ignored and tried to go through anyway."

"He stopped her and told her again more loudly (that's when everyone started noticing)."

"She said no. He insisted. She refused again, and tried to walk through."

TSA GIFGiphy

"He got angry."

"She tried to explain something but it was unclear because her English was poor."

"It went back and forth."

"They both started getting angry and frustrated. It started holding up the line and other passengers were getting agitated."

"A few people tried to intervene and explain more calmly that she needed to put her jacket through the x-ray machine."

"Finally, near tears, she blurted out 'fine' and removed her jacket, revealing that she was wearing nothing at all underneath, and walked through the screening machine topless."

~ SigmaSeal66

I'm a nervous flyer so it's not something I do often, but I still feel a little cheated that nothing this bizarre has happened while I was traveling.

Has something ever happened during your travels?

Share it in the comments.

Weird Jobs Almost No One Knows About That Pay Surprisingly Well

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woman writing on notes on window
Magnet.me on Unsplash

Growing up, kids talk about the jobs they want as adults.

Once they become adults, they select career paths or cycle through a variety of jobs.

Most people find mainstream jobs, but some luck into really unique professions.

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A doctor
Austin Distel/Unsplash

We all have our bad days that can be completely debilitating.

Some days are worse than others and can lead to mental breakdowns.

For most of us, these moments are fleeting, and we can greet the next day with a fresh start and mindset.

But that luxury doesn't always apply to everyone.

Imagine those who perpetually experience such an extreme frequently, maybe even daily.

Curious to hear of various diagnoses of the mind, Redditor MeepingBad6699 asked:

"Mental professionals of reddit, what is the worst mental condition that you know of?"

There are patients who are convinced they are no longer with us but are still able to articulate it.

Dead But Alive

"Cotard delusion. I'm a nurse and had to take care of a huge man with this condition. He came in with some odd behavior and escalated to Cotard. The delusion makes you think you are actually dead. He would scream he was dead all day and night. Lived in constant terror. He was such a sweetheart, but became so worn down and terrified over time he got quite dangerous and punched a nurse in the face."

– bbourke0626

Unalive Patient

"I had a patient check into the ER with this once but I didn’t know the name, she just kept claiming she was dead. She got baker acted and transferred."

– Dimwit00

Rude Awakening

"Also a nurse. I had a couple patients get ICU delirium that presented with them believing they were dead. Definitely not a fun time."

"I mean it sorta makes sense. Being in the ICU can be comparable to torture with the sleep deprivation, constant beeping and other noises, lots of pain and other physical discomfort, the thirst and hunger (thirst and hunger are very psychological so even if we give someone nutrition through a feeding tube or IV, your brain still freaks out because you're not eating or drinking). And so for some people, if you wake up, don't know where you are and you feel like you're being tortured, reasonable enough to assume you are in hell."

– PaxonGoat

Statistics Say

"Wow. So according to the DSM 5 there have only been 200 cases since this condition was identified (how long ago, I want to say 1800s). Anyway, I just found a new study from 2022 that says that about 1% of patients with schizophrenia are now reporting this delusion. Which, as the authors point out, is a significant increase. I wonder what has changed in the decade since the DSM 5 was published that is driving this uptick?"

"It is especially odd when you consider that people actually used to believe that dead people could come back to life, even designing coffins and burial practices around this belief because it was so commonplace. You’d think if anything the condition would be becoming less frequent and not more. Interesting."

– DarthMomma_PhD

Severe memory loss is one of life's cruelest symptoms.

Losing A Sense Of Self

"Dementias."

"Watching a person, their memories, their personality die but their body remain living and confused, is horrifying..."

– Sacu_Shi_again

"Terrifying Prospect"

"My grandma has dementia (she can barely talk right now, but she's still physically healthy, somewhat) and a lot of my closely related family died due to Alzheimer's. Granted they acquired it / started showing severe symptoms when already quite old (early to late 80s), but it's still a terrifying prospect to know that I'll probably die in such a way. I hope that when the time comes, and it starts to affect me in a significant way, my wishes will be respected and I'll be euthanized. Both to spare me the horrors of it, and to not be a depressing burden to those around me."

– pale_sand

Warning Signs

"My grandma had it and now my dad is constantly complaining that he's forgetting things/can't remember anything. He's not even 60 yet."

– antisocialarmadillo1

Eating disorder was another horrific mental condition Redditors mentioned.

Hosting A Non-Existent Parasite

"Delusional parasitosis comes to mind with this prompt. I’ve watched a patient go to well over a dozen doctors trying to get confirmation that they’re parasite ridden. After countless stool samples, blood work, labs, scans, biopsies, etc., she clearly didn’t have any but remains convinced."

– Blahaj_shonk_lover

Side Effect

"A friend of my mom's ended up with something like this after getting into the wrong kinds of drugs."

"She was convinced that there were little bugs in her face. Absolutely convinced. She'd pick at her face day and night."

"She got clean for a little while, came to her senses, and stopped picking. But the damage was done, her entire face was scarred."

– ShiraCheshire

Alzheimer's hits too close to home.

I've known so many people related to or knowing someone with mental illnesses resulting in severe memory loss and it is heartbreaking.

Now a family member was just diagnosed and it's a lot for me to process it. It's not just the individual suffering. Their loved ones truly suffer too.

What I am learning, however, is to not take the present for granted. It's all we have.

Assortment of various food
Photo by Jimmy Dean on Unsplash

Whenever we go out to eat, be it at a fine dining establishment or a quick service window, some of us tend to wonder what the journey was for the food that we are looking at on our plates or in our take-out bags.

Many have similar thoughts when buying frozen or pre-packaged dinners at supermarkets.

The answers aren't always readily available, often because the food service industry will go to great lengths to keep them under lock and key. Well aware, most of the time, that current or former employees will spill the beans at one point or another.

Redditor Lilyxrx was curious to hear some of the most well guarded secrets of the food industry, leading them to ask:

"What’s a secret the food industry don’t want you to know?"

Next Time Your Craving Bananas Foster...

"The 'natural flavors' are just big jugs of glycerin with hyper concentrated flavoring in it."

"Banana flavoring is fairly flammable."

"Source: Worked in food manufacturing."- irony_in_the_UK·

Cholesterol Be Darned!

"Chef here."

"It’s salt and fat."

"If you have a question about anything it’s salt and fat."- LongRest

For Efficiency's Sake...

"Olive Garden makes all their necessary pastas for the whole day from 8-10am every morning."

"Partially cooked."

"So when an order comes through, they grab a serving of the needed pasta style and flash cook them in hot water."

"Also, it’s just the brand, Barilla."- Deerhunter86

Justin Bieber Food GIFGiphy

Before You Pay The Extra Money...

"Beekeeper checking in."

"There is no such thing as organic honey."

"I do not treat my bees with chemicals, but I have no idea where they get their nectar."

"A bee can fly up to three miles from a hive to get nectar."

"It is virtually impossible to guarantee they have not gotten nectar from a chemically treated source."- toad__warrior·

If You Ever Wonder What Makes It Taste So Good...

"Unless it’s a health conscious food joint you’re eating at, the food we serve is designed for maximum taste."

"It’s either dense with fat and sugar, or fat and salt "

"E.G. Those mashed potatoes you like?"

"Made with cream, butter, and salt."

"The quiche?"

"Made on cream, not milk."

"Etc, etc."- petuniasweetpea

Before You Start Bragging...

"Dragon fruit isn’t an exotic Asian fruit."

"It’s a cactus fruit, and as such are native to the Americas and can even be grown in the US."- ferretmonkey

dragon fruit GIF by Feliks Tomasz KonczakowskiGiphy

In Case You're Wondering why That Taste Is So Familiar...

"A lot of the processed cheese and cream cheese is all the same recipe we just switch the labels and packaging for the different brands we run."

"Source: I work in a cheese factory in a company that services 75% of America's domestic market."- anon5678903276

Another Reason To Have No Guilt Over Take Out...

"Well."

"I work at Dominos, and we are kept afloat by the people who don't coupon and pay full menu price."

"You people are the unsung heroes of labor."- LoweeLL

Unlike Any Chocolate...

"When I worked at a mass production bakery the chocolate for the chocolate covered doughnuts came in giant frozen blocks of 4x4 pieces and contained no actual chocolate what so over."

"When unfrozen it was like some sort of nasty smelling paraffin wax that I would break up with a hammer and place into a melter that would then pour over the doughnuts."- gil_beard

Chocolate Dessert GIF by HuffPostGiphy

What Do Orange Juice And Whiskey Have In Common?

"The reason orange juice tastes consistently the same year round, even though it's a crop harvested once a year, is because citrus oils and citrus flavor are added back to different batches and blended all together."

"Similar to how whiskey is blended from multiple barrels to make it consistent."

"The difference is that even though extra stuff is added back into the OJ, it doesn't need to be labeled because the flavors contain all ingredients from oranges (FTNF-from the named fruit) so the FDA doesn't mandate labeling additional ingredients."- PensiveDoughnut

Does That Explain Their Shape?

"Pringles (and baked Lays/similar) are made of rehydrated and compressed rejected/excess parts of potatoes that go into regular chips."

"I learned that from my dietician at work and thought that was odd."

"I still like them over regular chips."- bluesasaurusrex

A Secret Better Not Known...

"The 11 herbs and spices secret recipe."- NemoTheOneTrueGod

Food Pouring GIF by Great Big StoryGiphy

Just Pop It In The Fryer...

"I was a young lad working at Church's Fried Chicken during the summer, many years ago."

"The owner refused to throw out chicken that had already gone bad; to the point where you'd gag if you smell them."

"Apparently if you batter them bad boys up and deep fry them, the rancid smell goes away."

"His customers never knew they were eating spoiled chicken."- Dirt_E_Harry·

Sweet... But Safe!

"The amount of sugar that goes into Costco bakery products is absurd, especially the apple pie."

"That being said; Costco does not f*ck around when it comes to food safety."

"Every area that is responsible for producing food is most likely cleaner than a white room for producing computer parts."

"There are virtually zero roaches, we found one in the bakery once and shut it down until the exterminator did his thing that very night."

"Someone returned a package of dinner rolls because their child had bit into one and a sharp piece of metal was in it, within less than 2 minutes every manager in the building was doing an investigation that led all the way up to the regional manager and his boss for several hours and determined that it had come off of a piece of machinery before it reached our location."

"We throw away rotisserie chickens if they have left (even for a few minutes) the shelf and someone tries to put it back."- Deathnachos

Costco GIF by hero0fwarGiphy

We'd like to think that everyone who works in the food industry shares the same high standards.

But, as in any industry, there are those out there who will cut corners for speedier results.

On the bright side, it does save you the trouble when deciding what cream cheese to buy...


Two people look over paperwork on a desk
Photo by Romain Dancre

Loopholes are everywhere.

But finding them can be time-consuming.

Or they can be a straight-up accident.

Sometimes corporations don't even realize the ways they've given out great deals.

In the early days of the internet, scheming for loopholes was a favorite pastime, but companies caught on.

They're still out there though, just waiting to be discovered.

Redditor Aarunascut wanted to discuss the best "deals" they've stumbled upon and utilized, so they asked:

"What was a loophole that you found and exploited the hell out of?"

I love a good loophole.

I would always use the free gym trial memberships.

They've caught on now by using better tracking.

Alas...

Rinse & Repeat

coins GIFGiphy

"You used to be able to order dollar coins from the mint."

"Pay for it on your credit card, free delivery."

"Get sky miles."

"Take dollar coins to the bank, deposit, and pay off bills."

"Repeat."

AMLT1983

I Love Pizza

"I run a recycling center and when Mountain Dew did the win an Xbox One with codes under the soda bottle caps we got a total of 20 Xbox ones. Every worker got one that year. Also, Casey’s Pizza had a thing going that you collected 10 tabs off the large pizza box you’d get a free pizza. We had free pizzas weekly for years till they stopped doing it."

Otis_Firefly

Her Code

"During my first year teaching, teachers were each allowed 1500 photocopies a month. I had 150 students. That wasn't enough. One day, a coworker announced that she was leaving for a different opportunity. I asked her for her copier code. They never deleted her code, so I had 3000 copies per month for the last 5 months of the school year."

driveonacid

Sacagawea

"Older vending machines like the ones in my high school and car wash used to take golden dollars (yes, the Sacagawea coin), count them as a dollar and then spit them back out. You could buy the whole machine with one golden dollar. My friends and I exploited this for 7 months senior year until they swapped all of the machines out."

MapUnitKey

"Interestingly almost all of the US dollar coins ended up in Ecuador as they also use the US dollar. It was super weird but convenient as an American going there and I guess it really messed up their economy. I had always wondered where they disappeared to though. Major issues with counterfitting them too, any shiny one was basically useless even if it was real."

ember3pines

Coded

Girl Cheese GIF by Pizza HutGiphy

"When Pizza Hut first started online ordering they gave me a code for a free pizza for ordering online for the first time. Turns out the code also worked if you just ordered as a guest and kept working."

Stone_Reign

I miss the Pizza Hut deal days.

Online coupons used to give away the whole company.

$1.50

Make It Rain Loop GIF by Chris TimmonsGiphy

"My bank thinks the vending machine at work is an ATM and refunds my 'atm fee' automatically... Chase bank if anyone wondered. I noticed I was always getting like $1.50 returned to my account here and there and then I realized what it was."

homerinthebushes

Past Services

"Back in the 80s, we found vending machines that were not regularly serviced that would overflow the coin box and spill quarters on the floor. We used to scrape them out from under the machine with a stick. Was a good time to be a latchkey unattended minor."

weakplay

"Vending machines in college (Ireland early 2000s) had a flap at the bottom that was supposed to stop you reaching your arm up to steal. But it also had a sensor used to determine if had something been dispensed. So if you held it shut, the machine would think nothing had dropped and you could order as many things as you wanted, then refund your coins and release the flap."

BrianHenryIE

Senior Year

"My senior year of high school a Chick-fil-A opened in our town and to advertise the grand opening they put a free chicken sandwich coupon in the yellow pages of the phone book. No purchase, no stipulations. For whatever reason there were like 1,000 phone books stored in a storeroom off the gym. Me and my buddies ate a chicken sandwich damn near every single day of senior year."

Panther90

Switched with Michelle

"At a former job management rearranged the schedules to expand our call center hours from 7 am to 9 pm. It was still an 8-hour day, you just started later. We had a meeting to discuss if we could pick our own hours so employees didn’t run the risk of working until 9 pm then having to be back the next day at 7 am. Management gave us a hard no-on that. But we were allowed to swap with a co-worker."

"A few of us got together to review the monthly schedule and noticed that 5 people were in the rotation who hadn’t worked there for years. (Seriously!). So, whenever we had to work a late schedule that we didn’t want we 'switched with Michelle.' This went on for almost 2 years before management scrapped the whole idea."

Crazy_from_the_heat

The King

burger king GIFGiphy

"Burger King used to have an app where you’d shake your phone and it would sometimes display a free item. A guy at work wrote his own app that looked identical to Burger King, but would only ever show a Whopper Meal. Every lunchtime he’d go to Burger King and get a free meal."

RedLeader7

I love a free meal.

Especially a free meal at any "cost!" LOL.