Flight Attendants Share Their Strangest Experiences On Board

Everyone who has flown on an airplane probably has a funny story to tell about a strange seat partner or bad food. But if you want the REAL good stories, you need to go straight to the source- the flight attendants and pilots who fly every single day. These dedicated folks have seen unspeakable things doing their daily jobs.

“Now I’m Afraid Of Maggot Rain”

“Like 5 hours into the flight, one overhead bin in the back started raining tiny maggots on the passengers sitting below— just pouring through like tiny white raindrops. There was mayhem and panic until the situation was controlled.” We investigated and found a passenger from Africa had a whole dead fish filled with maggots wrapped in newspaper (apparently it’s a delicacy in some parts of the world). Some people are afraid of crashing. Not me. I’m just afraid of maggot rain.”

“Now I’m Afraid Of Maggot Rain”

“Stop Cutting Your Toenails”

“You would think that some things are so obvious, you would NEVER need to tell a passenger to stop,” says one flight attendant on Reddit. “I’ll never forget the stench of one passenger’s feet when he decided to take off his shoes mid-flight.” But that was only the beginning because if that wasn’t gross enough, he didn’t stop there. “The passenger took out nail clippers out of his front pocket started trimming his toenails right there! In his middle seat! Passengers sitting near him were disgusted and so was I. I never thought I’d have to say the words, ‘sir, please cut your toenails in the bathroom,’ but here we are.

“Stop Cutting Your Toenails”

Star Spangled Singing

Another user wrote in to the thread, “my aunt worked for years as an air stewardess she told us “there was a man who had clearly had a few too many… he quite suddenly began singing!” And what he sang was even stranger. “He started with The Star-Spangled Banner, then  God Bless America, and then repeating verses from Yankee Doodle for 30 minutes or so before singing himself to sleep. The fact that this was on a flight from St. Petersburg to Hong Kong only added to the weirdness of the whole situation. We all took a photo with him.`’

Star Spangled Singing

Cuddling Strangers

“I was assigned to first-class on a flight to London, and in first-class everyone has a private pod with blankets and pillows. A lady wandered up and I knew something wasn’t right—  And then looks around and she slowly crawls into one of the pods with a man in it! The guy looks at me with confusion and mild panic. I asked ‘do you know her?’ and he said no. So I say to her ‘ma’am you need to go back to your seat’ and she tells me ‘I DO WHAT I WANT.’ I kid you not. I had to try not to laugh and the guy thought it was pretty funny too.

 

Cuddling Strangers

The Bathroom is Literally Right There

“I had a passenger once that I’ll never forget. Maybe five or six hours into an international flight, this guy comes to the bathrooms in the back of the plane. Even though at least two of them were open, he started peeing in the trash bag hanging on the door. The rest of the hours-long flight we were taking turns trying to force-feed him and give him water, and also trying to get him to sleep. As for the baggie of pee-pee, we wrapped it in a hazmat bag and locked it in a bathroom until we landed”

The Bathroom is Literally Right There

“I Need To Take The Seat Apart”

A flight attendant named Betty wrote in an online series “Confessions of a Flight Attendant” that people often have asked her for fairly ordinary items on planes. — But what is surprising is what people are trying to DO with the items. She says that some of the items requested include a pen to “clean ears with,” a screwdriver “to take the seat apart,” and a cup, lid, straw, and knife “to make a catheter,” and famously tweezers for “pulling thorns out of a passenger’s butt.” But she must always keep a straight face in these situations.

“I Need To Take The Seat Apart”

“I’m A Dancer”

“I’m a Dancer”

“There was a woman who was getting very angry at me because we didn’t serve her drinks fast enough. After we served her drink, she downed it in one gulp and then she started crying and said she didn’t understand why I was being  so mean to her (because I didn’t serve her drink fast enough.) Then she finally said, ‘You have no idea who I am, do you?’ So my flight-attendant partner and I were like, ‘No… who are you?’ And she just goes, ‘I’m a dancer.'”

“I’m a Dancer”

“Sir You Can’t Pet People”

“A guy boarded the plane and as he was walking in the aisle to take his seat he passed by another passenger who had a long, full beard. The guy stopped and started petting his beard hair and commenting on how long his beard was. He was really happy and loopy and he de-boarded without a problem. Six hours later, our plane landed again at that same airport and I found out he was still just hanging out at the airport. Probably looking for unsuspecting beards to pet.

“Sir You Can’t Pet People”

Time For a Shave

“I was doing the regular safety demonstration we do every flight and I started to hear a buzzing sound. I didn’t know what it could be. But I went investigate the source of the sound, and sitting there was a sweet little elderly man who was shaving his face with an electric razor onto his tray table. Since we were getting ready for takeoff, I use that as an excuse and told him he needed to put his tray table up, thinking that would solve the issue. He said no problem and put it up, and then and kept on shaving.”

Time For a Shave

Elf On The Shelf

“An adult man wearing a fancy elf costume walked onto the airplane and acting totally normal, showed us his boarding pass. He was a tall man, probably about 70 years old. He was just acting friendly but normal.” He wasn’t being offensive either so we couldn’t make him leave the place because he wasn’t doing anything wrong. I could barely look at him without laughing. He was just sitting in the end seat dressed as an elf, it was in April.”

Elf On The Shelf

First Class Underwear

“There was a man in first class (the best stuff always happens in first class) who woke up in the middle of the night and walked to use the bathroom. Sounds normal right? Except he was in nothing but his boxers! He wasn’t sleepwalking, he was a totally normal guy other than that. Just walking around in his boxers. I got a male flight attendant to go tell him to put his pants on. He was just like, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ and rolled his eyes.

First Class Underwear

You’ll Be Sorry

“On a flight from to Heathrow the plane was delayed 10 minutes for take-off. An American lady suddenly said this was ‘taking too long’ and she wanted to get off the plane. “I told her this wasn’t possible since we were next in line to take off. The lady said, “fine, you’ll be sorry.” She took out her cellphone and dialed 911 and told them she was being held against her will. In 5 minutes police vans surrounded the plane, boarded and pulled her out. The flight was grounded and she was detained for 9 hours.

You’ll Be Sorry

Biohazard

“The plane was de-boarding and a woman tried to hand another flight attendant her “throw up bag” which was full. My colleague told her that she’ll need to throw it away in the terminal but she couldn’t take it because it’s a biohazard. The passenger opens the bag and dumps it on the floor on my colleague’s feet. The cops came down and arrested her. If it is one thing you’re not allowed to do it’s pour vomit on a flight attendant.

Biohazard

Cow-Patty Sized Turd

“After a long-haul flight, I was cleaning up and luckily I was wearing gloves. I saw on a seat that the passenger had taken absolutely everything out of her seat pocket and spread it out on the seat. I moved the magazines and pamphlets and everything aside and there was big turd right on the seat. All I want is to know how that woman did it without anyone seeing or saying anything.”

Cow-Patty Sized Turd

A Whole Hamburger Patty

“Once I had a mom and her two twin boys on my flight. When they were getting off the flight she said with a dark face she was so sorry for the mess. I’ve seen kids make a mess so I wasn’t worried until I saw the seats. There was spilled baby formula everywhere on the seat and there was a diaper stuffed in the seat pocket. I also found a whole hamburger patty on the floor, and one of the kids had vomited in the seat pocket. Worst I’ve ever seen.

A Whole Hamburger Patty

Limping Off

“It sounds weird but it’s super common to see items of clothing left behind on a flight,  but the most random has to be the single and very expensive Christian Louboutin shoe. How the heck can you walk off the plane in one high-heel? Limping Off

Surely she would notice because they were 6-inch heels. The female passenger in question was a minor TV ‘star’, the crew went above and beyond to reunite her with the heel before she arrived at passport control.

Limping Off

A Whole Lot Of Lobster

“Aircrew love it when people leave behind nice things like a box of chocolates. But I’m not talking delicious chocolates, one passenger left behind one whole lobster wrapped in tin foil.” Other crewmembers jumped on the wagon and shared other creatures they’ve found. The list of forgotten food on flights is long and strange. The list included a big, green leek, and a dead rabbit, which the lady came back for as she needed it to cook her son’s favorite rabbit stew.

A Whole Lot Of Lobster

Leaving In Style

“A passenger in China got impatient getting off the plane and said he wanted to “get off really fast.” Before anyone could stop him he managed to deploy the emergency slide, which of course is designed to be easy to operate in case of emergencies. But instead of “getting off quickly” me and another big flight attendant tackled him and the incident caused the airplane to be delayed for over 4 hours and cost about $16,000 in damage, which of course the passenger had to pay for.”

Leaving In Style

Don’t Stow Your Baby

Just before takeoff, a flight attendant with the pen name Farda heard a baby crying, but couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. The cries were muffled, and then she realized: It was coming from one of the luggage bins! A passenger had managed to stow her baby into the overhead bin without anyone seeing. “Believe it or not,” Farda explains, “In some cultures, it isn’t uncommon for first-time fliers to think the overhead bin is a perfectly cozy sleeping cove for a child.”

Don’t Stow Your Baby

“He Stole My Sandwich”

“Once I bought a sandwich it at the airport. I’d taken a bite and left it on the counter (even with lipstick around the bite mark) to assist someone. When I came back to the galley, it was gone! I went looking for it and found a passenger eating it at their seat. “I asked him how he could just take a used sandwich with lipstick on it, and he just shrugged and said, ‘I was hungry.'”

“He Stole My Sandwich”

“They Had To Hose Him Off”

“So probably my favorite story involves a gentleman who went to use one of the toilets. It was terrible luck, just as he flushed, the plane hit a pocket of air and took a 15-food vertical drop. no big deal if you’re safe in your seat. But he wasn’t in his seat. Everything in the sewage tank sprayed out and the poor man… well… He was… covered head to toe. They had to hose him off on the tarmac upon arrival.”

“They Had To Hose Him Off”

Just Big Toddlers

“Most people can get snappy during air travel since it’s stressful and everyone is tired. But two men sitting next to each other started arguing over the armrest. You think people are adults. “But working on an airplane you learn quickly that everyone is just a big toddler. One man slapped the other man in the face and then a slapping fight as you see in cartoons. The guys were really mad and had to be separated but everyone was snickering behind their hands.

Just Big Toddlers

“They All Got Undressed”

“A champion Australian soccer team was flying back home on a flight,” wrote a flight attendant on reddit. “They rented out a block of tickets in first-class, apparently they won a big game and were ready to celebrate. “And as soon as the plane reached cruising altitude of 30,000 feet, it became apparent why they rented out the whole first-class cabin. Each and every one of them stripped down to their boxers. Allegedly they were some of the most polite patrons he had seen, but were just mostly naked.”

“They All Got Undressed”

Turtles and Squirrels

“My Uncle is a flight attendant and he said that he saw someone petting something under his jacket. Upon closer inspection, it was a squirrel that the person had snuck into the flight in a carry-on. It wasn’t a support animal, it was a wild squirrel. But he’s also told us about people who have brought turtles, monkeys, and even a parrot. He said the parrot became friends with the whole aircrew and wouldn’t stop talking and saying “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Turtles and Squirrels