Flying, for a lot of people, can be a scary experience. But when you do it every day for your job, the thrill of it fades away. Then there are the cases where it all comes rushing back because ALERT things have gone wild and you're trapped in a speeding metal container hurtling through the sky, thousands of feet in the air. Thanks to these flight attendants for dealing with these situations and telling their tale on Reddit.
1. My godfather has been a flight attendant since the late 80s, and over the years he's had some great stories. One time, one of his passengers brought her cat on board in a pet carrier. However, she took her cat lovingness to a new level when it came to the cat's feeding time. Instead of cat food and a bowl of water, this woman pulls out her breast and proceeds to breast feed the cat. I don't want to think about how much that must have hurt. Needless to say, my godfather was unamused and firmly asked her to stop.
2. Not a flight attendant, but this qualifies. Last month I was on a Vegas to Boston flight when some poor guy passed away on the plane. We diverted to NY and emergency personal carried him off the plane and his widow was also escorted from the plane. Just before we took off to resume our flight, some jerk in the front row looks at the clearly stricken flight attendant and asks if we now all get free drinks.
21. My older brother used to date a girl who was a flight attendant for one of the more major airlines.
Allegedly, some years back on a transcontinental flight on a Boeing-something-or-other, she encountered the worst passenger she ever had to deal with. On flights it's pretty common to meet rude, self-entitled, and borderline belligerent people, but this dude was something else. This guy was a mess of pit stains and unidentifiable odors.
About 45 or so minutes after takeoff this dude starts delicately moaning. It wasn't very audible to the whole plane, but my brother's ex was alerted by other passengers that this man was making a bit of a ruckus. When she went over to ask the passenger if everything was alright, she noticed an unbearable odor coming from his seat. The passengers directly surrounding him looked absolutely miserable. When asked, he assured her that everything was fine. But this dude was definitely squirting some dookie in his pants. The flight attendant suggested he might want to go to one of the lavatories if he was feeling ill, so he complied, pushed past the ridiculously unfortunate woman who was in-between him an the aisle, and went off to the bathroom, crop-dusting a trail of death and destruction down the aisles as he went. After an indiscriminate amount of time occupying that lavatory, he emerged, smelling like the dickens. As he returned to his seat, my brother's ex-girlfriend saw that this guy had a blossoming flower of poo staining his grey sweatpants. He finished the rest of the flight apparently ripping wicked farts and bringing the other passengers to the brink of odor-induced toxic shock.
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4. I had a friend who worked as a flight attendant and she got into a mild argument with a guy who insisted on having EVERYTHING that was free or complimentary on the flight. He was highly annoying and constantly asked crew for stuff. If he saw someone next to him get something, he wanted it too.
At one point during the flight a lady asked for a sanitary pad to help her with an 'emergency' situation. He insisted he should have one too - cos you know, it's free, right?
My friend tried to reason with him, but again, he insisted.
Upon receiving his sanitary pad he proceeded to peel the paper backing off and expose the sticky side; he stuck the thing over his eyes and soon afterwards fell asleep.
5. One of my friend is a Flight Attendant and once he was on this Paris-Sydney route and some guy boarded the flight. His seat was near the galley, and whenever he wanted something, he would turn his head around and yell for the attendants.
Obviously, this was disturbing other passengers, so my friend went over to ask him about his need. He was not fluent in English but was able to convey that he need some water. My friend went into the galley, poured some water in a glass and went over to him and said, "Sir, here's your water. If you want some more then kindly push this button (indicating the Flight Attendant Call Button). I will be here".
So my friend went inside the galley thinking that now other passengers might relax without any noise from this guy. Nope! A little while later, he saw the call from the same passenger on the display, so he went to assist but the scene completely blew his mind.
The passenger was pressing his mouth up against the Flight Attendant Call Button, thinking that it is some kind of drinking water fountain.
6. When I was a flight attendant the weirdest thing that happened to me (besides finding people joining the mile high club) was when there was a flight full of a basketball team going to a game, and they had all eaten something with food poisoning. Maaaan that was a smelly and awful flight. Huge men running back and forth to the toilet, puking their way through all the available sick bags, and someone even sharted in their pants. Not a pretty sight.
7. A friend of mine was a flight attendant who told me that a guy called the air hostess and very politely asked if the pilot could shut off one of the jet engines so his son could sleep peacefully.
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8. Had a couple sleeping near the back of the plane on an empty flight her head was under a thin airplane blanket on his lap, obviously giving him some special oral attention while he concentrated on squeezing his eyes shut and not making noise. I did a double-take as I walked past them; it was just so obvious what was happening. I told my coworker who went to take a look for herself and agreed. We decided to do a water service to see if it was still going on, but they had stopped by the time we got there. At the end of the flight, the girl tried to give the blanket back to my co-worker, who just said, Oh, you keep it, you might need it on your next flight.
9. My mom has been a flight attendant for 33 years now. They always know when people try to have sex in the lavs; if theyre not extremely busy, two or three will try to assemble outside and clap when the people come out.
10. I have a job where I board planes and review the service of flights. So, many years ago I was evaluating the service on a flight between two countries. The flight was full and the crew included one junior. She had done a good job on her first flights 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.
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 idiots,' 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.
Then 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 liked it, didn't she?" he asked, with an utterly creepy look on his face.
I was now stern. My response was prompt and succinct. "No, she didn'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 behaviour."
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 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 again.
Needless to say, the police got involved in this one.
11. I get that on long flights you want to get up and stretch your legs a little, no problem. But on a 45-minute express flight...
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11. I get that on long flights you want to get up and stretch your legs a little, no problem. But on a 45-minute express flightis it really necessary to get up and start doing yoga in the back galley? This actually happened and I couldnt believe it. Get out of my way, so I can finish serving drinks to the other 70 passengers on board.
12. A couple of WWF (now WWE) wrestlers were on a flight that was about to land but one of them needed to go to the lavatory. You obviously can't leave your seat when you are about to land so they told him no, so he decide to go in the aisle instead.
13. My mom was a pilot for Northwest Airlines. She was a captain, and a man comes on her airplane. He takes one look at her and says "Ugh, a woman captain. I'm getting off." She replied, "Good, get off my airplane. There are people waiting on the standby list to get on." The guy turned right around and got back on. We guessed he wanted her to submit and ask him nicely to come back. She told him "Hell no."
14. Had a 20ish year old girl going to see her SO. She needed to shave so she did so in the bathroom, turbulence pursued and she cut herself really bad. Had to bring paramedics in and they carried her out. After unloaded, the FO noticed the trail of blood down the jetway.
15. My mother was a flight attendant for TWA since the 1960's so she saw a lot of stuff that people could never get away with now. They also didn't really have the capacity for dealing with mental illness back then that they do now. As it turns out, my mom was really great at dealing with this!
For example, she once had a man urgently call for a flight attendant because he was claiming to be receiving messages from the aliens that they were going to intercept the plane. He could not be calmed and demanded to talk to the pilot. My mother heard the commotion, ran to first class and grabbed a silver salad bowl. She then proceeded to put it in his head and tell him it would protect him from the alien messages, so they couldn't track the plane. He spent the rest of the flight with it on his head.
Another good one was when a man, about 5'2, wearing a tweed suit, round glasses came onto the plane, and strapped his bag into the seat next to him. My mother informed him that he had to put the bag in storage, and he very politely showed her that he had a ticket for it. He comes back later, and in place of the bag, is a...
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He comes back later, and in place of the bag, is a dead stuffed monkey that the man is carrying on a conversation with. He politely asked my mom for a banana, to which he then attempts to feed to the monkey. Goes on like this the whole trip, and then packs the monkey up at the end of the flight.
Last short one. My mom went to the front of the plane to find a man trying to open the door. She stops him in time, and asks what the man was doing, to which he replied " I'm going to be late for my meeting, I have to get off now." To which my mom replied, " but sir, we are over the Atlantic." He then proceeds to argue with her, until my mom says, "Oh sir, they've moved your meeting to the coat closet (which they had in older days), he thanks her for the update, and sits in the closet for the rest of the flight.
16. My mom always tells this crazy story from her many days flying first class.
Two years ago she was on a plane that had just boarded and was sitting on the tarmac about to pull away from the gate. Sitting next to my mom was a typical business guy asshat who was on a phone call yelling at someone on the other end. A very nice flight attended comes over, leans over my mom and says "Sir, you're going to have to turn the phone off, the cabin doors are closed." (Of course if this was economy class she would have been more forceful, but she gives him a small warning)
The guy quiets down but he does not get off his phone. At this point the flight attendants are doing the safety protocol speech as the plane backs up and all of the sudden the guy starts yelling again on the phone. Another flight attendent, this time more forceful tells him to turn off the phone. The man turns to her and says "Eff you." She gives this 'humph' face and then turns and goes out of sight.
It is at this point of the story that my mom reminds everyone listening that many pilots are veterans, they are military men and do not take that type of crap from asshats. My mom hears a door slam open and out of the cockpit comes the pilot. He is so angry you can see the veins on his face. His eyes bulge as he yells in rage, "WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER?!!? This is my aircraft and in case of an emergency I expect every passenger to follow the commands of my air staff. You disrespecting her, disrespects me and puts every person on this plane at risk!"
The jerk now being borne down upon by this massive angry ex-soldier cowers, puts away his phone and stammers an apology. Without missing a beat the pilot continues "You can take your sorry and shove it! You are not going anywhere! It is a federal crime to disobey an order from your air crew and you can tell whoever was so gawd-damn important on the other end of the phone call that fact after you talk to TSA." The pilot goes back into the cockpit, pulls the plane back to the gate. Some uniformed police come in and take the guy off.
Dead silence on the plane. As my mom always closes the story, "As god is my witness, everyone in unison takes out their phone, waves it in the air and shows that it is clearly in the off position," just like the "tickets" scene from Indiana Jones.
17. I'm a pilot. We were going from Chicago to Milwaukee and back and then we were done with a four-day trip, so we were definitely wanting to get on with it and go home. We were all boarded and waiting for the de-ice truck to come spray us because it was snowing. After waiting for over an hour for the truck, they finally spray us down and we start pushing back.
As we are pushing, the flight attendant calls up and tells us there's a lady that wants to get off the airplane. We tell her we can't, so the lady then tells the flight attendant that her baby is having a medical emergency and has to get off.
Fine. We pull back up to the gate and let her off, the baby looks fine mind you, and ask her if she needs paramedics. She denies medical attention and refused to take the baby to the clinic that is literally 50 feet away.
They had checked bags, so we had to call rampers to dig through the cargo hold to find their bags. Finally, we had them off and we were getting ready to go again, about 2 hours late at this point. As we were getting ready to close the door, the gate agent ran up and said that when the lady found out that we were the last flight up to Milwaukee, she begged to get back on the airplane and come with us. The captain and I looked at each other in shock, told the gate agent there was no way in hell she was getting back on the airplane, and got out of there.
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