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15 weirdest moments on a plane

15 weirdest moments on a plane

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One of my friends is about to board a plane for the first time ever. Somehow, he thinks that talking to someone who’s traveled a lot could help him overcome his fist-timer anxiety. So, after I explained the basics about airports, passports, boarding passes and some tips to fight travel stress; we started talking about some the weirdest/shocking/most hilarious ‘momentos’ that have happened to me while flying.

I though it’d be fun sharing a couple of them with you. We’d love to know yours too, please add them below :D


So here they are,
the 15 weirdest moments on a plane (or near):

the time I got lost in translation in my own language and asked for a bag of avocados.

When: 1992.
How: I suddenly mixed up all my Spanish and instead of asking for a bag of “cacahuates” (peanuts) I ordered “aguacates” (avocados). The face of the stewardess was a poem, but she politely answered “No tenemos aguacates” (we don’t have avocados) and left. My sister was laughing so hard that I wanted to evaporate. And, no, I didn’t get my bag of peanuts.

the time when our bags traveled x3 times more than we did because somebody didn’t pass his geography test

When: way back in the 80’s.
How: There are a lot of cities with “Santiago” in them (funny Spaniards!), 5 of them have an airport, three of these have an IATA code that starts with “SC”… Wonder where our bags went? Not to Spain (SCQ), but Santiago de Chile (SCL). How you could mistake one from the other, remains a mystery to me.

the time when I realized people who fly Ryanair clap, for no reason

When: 2015.
How: Last year was my first Ryanair flight. After years of avoiding the noisy, cheap and mistreating airline (according to everybody else), I was amazed to learn that their fliers clap at every landing, even at very lame landings. I even asked why they clapped, they told me it was an ordinary thing, just for landing.
I have another theory about this, but let me keep that to myself…

the time when a friend got in an argument with the air hostess over a deck of cards (and obviously lost)

When: 1998.
How: We were going to Ireland and our English teacher had told us to practice a little talking to the crew. One of our friends tried asking for a deck of playing cards (BA used to have their own). Here is how it went:
– Excuse me, ¿do you have letters?
– Letters?
– Yes, do you have letters? to play…
– No, I don’t understand. We don’t have letters. You mean, paper, to write?
– No, no write, play. You don’t have letters?
– Where is your teacher?

*letters = cartas / cartas = cards (just replace where appropriate)

View from the window, flying over the Japan Alps

the time when I had to hold hands with my boss during take-off (and landing)

When: 2009.
How: The CEO of the company I was working for back then, got really afraid of flying after September-11. I didn’t know why the rest of the team had chosen a different aisle to sit, until she insisted on holding hands during take-off. It was soooo awkward and I didn’t know how to react, so we did hold hands.

the time when my sister had First Class giving her “the stare” over a bag of chips

When: 2000.
How: We had un upgrade on our flight to Puerto Vallarta and we were enjoying the “good stuff”. Only until my sister asked the crew if she could take the last bag of chips. Everybody turned their head to look at her. Apparently we broke some unwritten rule on potato chips.

the time when the woman next to me tried to calm her baby, breast-feeding

When: Just a couple of months ago.
How: Well, flying can be a bad experience if your ears hurt and you can’t give bubblegum or a Chupa-Chups to a baby born. Not that I’m against of breast-feeding, it was just unexpected.

the time when I had my boarding pass “handwritten”

When: 2013.
How: Mobile boarding passes are not available at my parents home town, so instead of printing the boarding pass at home, I usually go to the check-in desk and request a free copy when I get to the airport. But in 2013 I got to the airport so short of time that the desk was closing and they couldn’t print my ticket. So, they wrote it down for me:

handwritten boarding pass

the time when they didn’t overbook, but rebook

When: six years ago.
How: When somebody else called Leticia Perez was at the check-in desk, they didn’t bother checking her ID, reprinted my ticket and handed it to her. When she came to me saying I was at her place, it wasn’t easy explaining I wasn’t. She even had my IberiaPlus card number on it. We called the crew, they found a seat for her and rearranged the passengers list, but the extra points never arrived.

the time I was too tired to flirt with a famous soccer player

When: 1999.
How: I was at the last “leg” of one of those crazy 25-hour trip. I took my seat and this guy approached me saying that I was at the wrong seat. I was pretty sure I wasn’t, then he asked if he could sit by me, I said something like “sit can wherever you like, looks like the plane is half empty” and, after a while, I fell asleep.
When I picked up my bags, my dad was like super excited “you were traveling with MS”, but I didn’t know who he was talking about. When he pointed at him… Looks like he just had signed a huge contract with Real Madrid or Barcelona (I’m not much into soccer anyways.)

the time when we were flying to the wrong place (for about five minutes)

When: 2004.
How: On one of those flights I used to take every three months when I was at College, we had taken off and the pilot started speaking through the PA system “Thanks for joining us on our flight to OVIEDO”. Oviedo? What? We all panicked (a friend of mine looked at me like I had forced her into the wrong plane or something)… Until we realized that we were all going to Madrid and Vigo had no flights to Oviedo. The pilot remained silent for the rest of the flight.

the time when the lady sitting next to me offered fried chicken

When: 1998.
How: Long before airlines stopped giving free things in Europe and the rise of low-cost, I took my first american short-haul flight. For me, that flight felt more like taking a bus than like “flying”. It was fun, until the woman by my side took a Tupperware out of her bag and offered me a piece of home-made fried chicken. The flight was only 45 minutes and, besides, how could you eat anything on a two-helix plane?

Airports of the owrld

the time we were laughing so hard, we didn’t realize we were having turbulence

When: 1996.
How: Flights to Vigo suffer some very bad turbulence every once in a while. It was one of those flights, but my sister and I were reading a book that made us laugh so loud that we didn’t realize the turbulence. My mom kept giving us the stare, but we thought we were being just too loud. When we got down we just overheard some of the other passengers, they thought we were laughing because of the turbulence, like it was some sort of rollercoaster… 8-)

02. the time when we were having so much fun that the crew kept announcing turbulence to sit us down

When: 2004.
How: The whole flight was my 2005 uni class, who were on a trip to the Dominican Republic. Back then you could only smoke at the rear seats and people kept walking to the back of the plane to smoke a cigarette or to the front to speak to some friend… The crew was going crazy, so they started calling for turbulence through the PA system. First and second worked alright, but after the fifth it stopped working. Thankfully it was only a 10-hour flight.

the time when I spent a 10-hour flight talking to the person next to me, to realize she was a “criminal, criminal”

When: 1998.
How: It was one of those rare occasions when I felt like talking to the person sitting next to me. She was a nice and talkative woman and we talked about the books we were reading, where we had travelled before… So when we landed I was saying goodbye and wishing her a good flight to her next destination when somebody came to her and handcuffed her. o_O


 My 15 weirdest situations on a flight or an airport. What were yours?


I’d love to know your funny, weird and shocking moments too :D

9 Comments and Questions

Vyjay Rao
5 April, 2016 at 7:02 am

On a Srilankan arirlines flight I was surprised to find everyone clapping on landing, i thought it was a peculiarity of that airline, now I know that Ryanair also has the same tradition.

4 April, 2016 at 8:11 pm

Awesome, so many good stories! I don’t know which one is my favorite. #5 also happened to me and although looking back it was funny. At the time, I thought I was going to faint. Lucky the let us know right away it was an error.

Jennifer Sikora
4 April, 2016 at 6:17 pm

I have had to hold hands with friend or two during take off and landing — the last time I flew I thought the guy next to me was going to have a panic attack. He had his face buried in his Bible to help him get past the fear of flying :)

Patricia - Ze Wandering Frogs
3 April, 2016 at 10:56 pm

Very funny! Not sure which experience was the most hilarious!

3 April, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Hahahaha!! These are so funny!! I’ve only had one awkward moment, where I used the shoulder of the young guy sitting next to me as a pillow. He didn’t seem to mind though…

Nikki Godwin
3 April, 2016 at 7:01 pm

haha this is brilliant! especially loved the turbulence stories! Great idea for a post!

3 April, 2016 at 5:03 pm

You win. Best blog post I’ve read in a month. And OMG. PS: I’ve sat next to the fried chicken lady flying ATL -> IAH. I’ve also flown next to the criminal but he got arrested at baggage claim. :)

Taylor's Tracks
3 April, 2016 at 5:01 pm

These are great! Traveling always leads to so many stories and these are really good! Definitely gave me a bit of a chuckle.

1 April, 2016 at 10:44 pm

You have flied waaay to many times, haha! I am very scared of flying and I can’t really recall any weird moment on the plane. I did meet the father of a famous Canadian football player that was so known that the flight attendants gave him 2 big bottles of rum (we were flying from Havana to Toronto) but I have no idea who he was. He did offer me a sandwich after hearing that the airline lost my luggage on my way to Cuba and never returned it (this was the coming back, and the food was not free – but he was famous so he got everything free). :)

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