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.
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
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)
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?
– 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)
the time when I had to hold hands with my boss during take-off (and landing)
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
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”
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:
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
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)
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
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?
the time we were laughing so hard, we didn’t realize we were having turbulence
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
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”
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