Passengers Share The Airplane Debacles That Nearly Made Them Snap

Passengers Share The Airplane Debacles That Nearly Made Them Snap

Most flights are boring at best. If all you have to endure is cramped space, bad food, tedious in-flight movies, and the odd stretch of turbulence, you should really count yourself lucky. But even at that, most of us are just counting down the minutes until we can land and get on with our hard-earned vacations.

But being bored is hardly the worst thing that can happen to you at 30,000 feet. Whether it be stinky seat mates, crying babies, lost luggage, or flights that don't even get off the runway, all the folks below had a bad time compliments of the airlines, and they've gone online to let off some steam.

Here are the airplane debacles that almost made these otherwise well-behaved passengers snap.

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25. Stop The Presses!

The plane was about to take off until a grown man demanded that the plane wait while he uses the restroom. Long story short, the plane took off as planned and the guy crapped his pants. He crapped his pants at the very beginning so the whole plane smelled like crap for the entire 3-hour long flight. Thank god it wasn't any longer than that!

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24. Asserting Food Dominance

I got put in the middle seat on a long flight, and I was just just sitting there minding my own business, trying to enjoy my sandwich, but the person in the seat next to me kept glaring at me and waving around a plastic fork. It was terrifying. They seemed unhinged.

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23. Ups And Downs

I fly a lot for work and usually do everything I can not to get a middle seat. But this time I was flying on short notice so I got stuck with it.

The guy in the aisle seat shows up, and he's a bigger dude. Of course. There's no one in the window seat and the door is about to close, so I'm thinking I may have lucked out. At the last second, a young girl (19, 20?) runs on the plane.

She comes over and says she has the window seat. I was hoping it would stay empty but she is small, attractive enough and clean looking. Upon sitting down she immediately starts talking my ear off, like serious speed talking.

Within about 3 minutes she gets through her life story. We are pulling out to taxi when she mentions to me that she is not a good flyer and is going to get nervous. I told her it's not big deal and I fly a lot, so I will do my best to help her stay calm.

She goes back to talking about 1000 miles an hour and the plane is now taking off. We get into the air and she finally asks me where I'm going (yay, I finally get to talk!). Mention I was traveling for work and am going home.

She says she is going to rehab to get clean, then goes back to telling me her life story. I was shocked at how brazenly she "yadda, yadda'd" over the rehab part but whatever.

The stewardess comes by with cart serving drinks, and this girl still hasn't stopped talking or slowed down. The guy in aisle is clearly pretending to be asleep to avoid her.

She orders an orange juice. Then she starts asking me questions in rapid fire mode. Random stuff. What is your favorite color? Are you married? What is your wife's name? Cats or dogs?

Finally, in the middle of asking me a question, her voice suddenly slowed down like somebody hit slow mode on an old tape recorder. Her eyes closed.

Oh no. She took something and OD'd! That was the first thing I thought. Then -- thank god -- she started snoring. Whatever she took just knocked her out.

I spent the next half hour having to check to see if she's breathing every 5 or so minutes. Every once in a while she twitches but doesn't wake.

We are about a half hour from landing when she twitches really hard, smacks her orange juice and it goes flying all over us. The guy in the aisle seat just gets up and leaves...

The girl doesn't even wake up, I have to shake her. She's now covered in orange juice and so am I.

She looks at me and just says, "What do I do?" I said I'd call a stewardess so I got up and flagged one down.

The stewardess comes and asks what she can do to help. I ask for a bunch of towels. The girl looks the stewardess in the eyes and says: "Can y'all be a dear and run to the back and grab me a pair of pants?"

"We don't have pants in the back... Do you have a bag?" asks the stewardess

"No, y'all took my stuff when I got here," she said. I believe referring to having checked her bag.

The stewardess offers towels but reiterates that she can't help her with the clothes situation and walks away.

The girl now turns around to the entire plane a yells out, "Excuse me, do any of y'all have some pants I can borrow?"

I'm slinking in my seat hoping that nobody thinks we are together.

No one answers her, so she repeats herself "excuse me, do any of y'all have some pants I can borrow?"

She asked the entire plane at least five times before a girl in the back walked up and handed her a shirt and told her to tie it around her waist. It was the best we could do.

We're now minutes from landing. She sits down, reaches into her purse, grabs something, puts it in her mouth, and passes back out. Doesn't make a sound or move until the plane lands.

I wind up having to shake her to wake her up when we landed and were ready to deplane. She didn't know where she was but did have the presence of mind to ask me for money for pants.

I felt terrible for this girl, because she legit had real problems and I almost feel bad posting this. But it was the worst experience I ever had in a plane.

I hope she got to the rehab she was going to, and more importantly that it actually helped her.

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22. Surprise Layover

While I was flying from Minneapolis to Philadelphia, some poor guy died of a heart attack mid-flight and we had to land in Detroit. Then a storm rolled in, and I was stuck in Detroit for 31 hours. I never bothered leaving the airport; screw that.

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21. Runway Or Treadmill?

I had boarded a plane in Florida, exhausted after working 16-hour days filming for the past month and was ready to get home. I fell asleep and woke up two and a half hours later, excited that I had slept through the entire flight. Then I realized we were still sitting on the runway in Florida.

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20. Brace For Impact

We were circling Atlanta because it was covered in a severe thunderstorm. We went round and round for over an hour, and this was after a 4 hour flight from Phoenix.

The pilot comes over the speaker with "folks we're out of fuel so we're landing now." We started the descent and it went pitch black. It was dead silent in the cabin. You could hear alarms in the cockpit and the engines over revving like they were going to explode. It was terrifying. We would suddenly drop every few seconds, just straight down, and a startled gasp would echo throughout the fuselage, but the passengers generally stayed quiet.

The pilot came back on and said we were about to touch down and to brace for possible impact. When we landed, it felt like we just dropped 30 feet down instead of gliding down to the runway. You could hear the tires screaming on the wet pavement.

Finally, we came to a complete stop and just sat there for what felt like an eternity. Then we slowly started taxiing around to the terminal. The pilots came out and greeted people as they got off the plane. A couple of women hugged them. Most men shook their hands, I certainly did. When I shook their hands I could see that they were soaking wet from sweat. I think that's what affected me most; this wasn't routine for them and they were probably just as scared as the rest of us.

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19. Who Dealt It

My wife farted. It freaking stank so bad that I could hear people complaining three rows back. But she just pretended to be asleep. An air hostess walked up to me and started blasting me with some flowery air purifier. I got the full blame for it.

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18. Unhappy Cramper

It was a 7.5 hour indirect flight (one stop, no plane change). I knew I'd be starting my period in the next couple of days so I was being overly cautious, checked right before I got on the plane and everything was fine. Plus, I can always tell exactly when I start my period because my cramps are horrendous. Put on a pad just in case. Good to go.

Literally within minutes of taking off, boom. Horrific, soul-crushing, tiny-demon-juggling-knives-in-my-uterus level cramps. The painkillers I packed were in my checked bag. There is no way to sit on a plane that makes it any better. The entire experience was just constant, excruciating pain. I'm honestly surprised I didn't vomit. It was so bad, I couldn't focus enough on anything (movie, book, etc.) in order to distract from it. I just sat there and held back tears and waited for death. For SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS.

No flight has ever felt so long. I haven't taken an indirect flight since.

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17. Give Me Your Seat, Or Else...

A few years ago, I was asked to fly to Sydney, Australia at the last minute. I did the best I could to buy a seat that fit my preferences (aisle, middle row, not too far from the front, not in front of a bathroom) and managed to get to my seat in time for boarding.

Just as the cabin crew was finishing the headcount, a young woman next to me asked me to move to another seat so that her husband could come and sit with her. While I normally would do my best to help, this particular request was difficult for me to say yes to because her husband’s seat met all the requirements of the seat I would never buy: window seat, in the aft, near to the bathroom.

When I told her as politely as I could that I was sorry but I would like to stay in my seat, she became rather nasty and loud, and started saying things like I was being ‘inconsiderate’, ‘rigid’, ‘unbending’ and ‘unhelpful’. When I asked her what made them buy seats that were separated from one another, she called me a b*tch for asking a rude question! I almost lost it because I did not want to be on that 8-hour flight in the first place -- I had to reschedule my week in order to make that meeting. I could feel my temperature rise because my face felt warm. Yeah, I really don’t like people shouting at me, but I did not want to take that other seat, as much as I don’t mind helping.

I took a deep breath, counted to 5, and told her that I was close to losing my temper and if she would not stop shouting at me I would report her to the cabin crew for being a disruptive passenger. At this point people around us were also paying attention to our little tiff.

When a cabin crew member came over to ask her husband to return to his original seat, the woman started shouting to the cabin crew to offload me because I did not want to help her. The stewardess then apologized to her (much to my initial shock, to be honest) before asking me to follow her to the business class.

She helped me with my carry-on luggage and, in full hearing of everyone, said that she was sure she can justify a complimentary seat upgrade for me after going through that disruptive experience.

As we walked along the aisle I overheard a man say to the couple “Now that you’re sitting together, please be quiet and don’t disturb us again.” I could only count my blessings that I kept my cool even though I almost lost it more than once!

Faz Kamar

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16. He Touched It

When we were about to land, there was a typical message from the pilot talking about the weather at our destination, thanking us for our patronage etc. Then, suddenly, at the end of the speech, he exclaims: "NO! DON'T TOUCH THA-"  followed by a swift termination of the loudspeaker.

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15. Gas Attack

It was a 14-hour flight from Vancouver, Canada to Shanghai, China. The old Chinese man beside me who spoke only Mandarin had really, really bad gas the whole way through. Things got really bad when he curled up in his seat to sleep, butt pointed towards me so he could face his wife.

The worst part? They were a super sweet couple (as revealed through tons of smiling and nodding from each of us) and so I didn't want to make their flight worse by complaining to the flight attendant. I swallowed my pride -- and a whole lot of sulphuric old man gas that day.

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14. The Customer Is Always Wrong

I was taking a flight from Toronto to Vancouver, and there was a connecting flight to Maui two hours after I was to arrive in Vancouver. Due to mechanical problems the flight was late taking off from Toronto.

While in flight, I realized we were not making up enough time for me to get my connection flight. The problem with not getting the connection was that the next flight out of Vancouver to Maui was three days out.

I asked the flight attendant what I could do and if they would delay the flight. She told me in a curt tone that if I had properly booked my flights I would have left more time for the connecting flight.

I informed her that I had purchased a vacation package from the airline and I had no choice on the connecting flight as it was prearranged by the airline in the vacation package.

She told me not to get “snippy” with her or she would make sure I would never get the connecting flight.

I held myself back from a retort, as I knew she had all the power at that moment - but did I fume for days over this. Her airline, their prearranged vacation package, and yet it was my fault…really!?

Luckily, as it turned out there were 16 of us on the plane in the same situation and they delayed the connecting flight.

Martin Campbell


13. This Is Truly A Nightmare

I had a colostomy bag for about 6 months to let my colon heal after an accident where it was perforated. (I fell and was impaled on a barbed wire fencepost.) On the plane, I was coming off painkillers so I had really bad gastrointestinal issues. And it turned out my colostomy bag was not attached correctly.

I was dozing off when I felt warmth and that horrible human waste smell. My colostomy bag leaked copious amounts of liquid all over the front of me. It stunk up the cabin badly - I had to go into the bathroom and try to get it off of my dress shirt and slacks. I stayed in there as long as I could, but I still came out soaking wet and about as embarrassed as I've ever been.

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12. The Cherry On Top

It was an overnight flight. I checked in online with an aisle seat but didn't realize it printed as a middle seat until it was too late. I had a guy next to me trying to get comfy all night by putting his butt on my arm. That's until everyone woke up because, while passing out customs forms, the flight attendants realized a gentleman had died in his sleep sometime in the last 5 hours.

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11. This Happens Waaaaaay Too Often

A guy that sat a few rows behind me died of a massive heart attack. It was a flight from Kenya to Stockholm and I think I was around 11. They couldn't land, as we were right above the desert, so they just kinda put a sheet over him and stored him under the stairs (it was a double-decker plane). I remember walking past the corpse on our way out the following morning and the sheet didn't cover his feet. I was 50% excited and 50% terrified that I had seen dead person feet.

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10. So You're Just Not Going To Parent?

Lady behind me brought her kid who screamed the entire 4 hour flight. Kicked my seat. Screamed some more. Had a tantrum and was climbing over the back of my seat and shaking it furiously. Meanwhile, the mom is just sitting there smiling, not even apologizing or trying to correct the behavior at all. I had the worst headache when we got off.

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9. In The Pocket

I'm a former flight attendant. Only once, to my recollection, did I raise my voice in anger to a passenger.

I was working the beverage cart making my way through the cabin and serving each row. Atop the cart was a stack of beverage napkins but I also kept extra napkins, for possible spills, tucked into the pockets of my service apron. The apron pockets were wide and deeply angled in a way that overlay much of the groin surface.

I'm serving the passengers on my left when suddenly I feel a hand shoved deeply into my right side pocket, groping around directly over the area of my privates.

I was so startled and offended that I reflexively shouted, "Stop! What the heck do you think you’re doing?!" The tone and timbre of my voice surprised even me.

The woman to my right who had reached so deeply into my pocket turned red as a beet at my scolding, and said she was trying to get a napkin.

I just said: "Ma'am, please, if you want something -- ask!”

The woman probably wasn't even thinking when she reached deep into my pocket, but I certainly felt violated, and that was the only time I really ‘lost it’.

Lynnie Page

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8. Chickens Screwed You Over Twice

I have two to share.

One: I got food poisoning from chicken on a flight over to Ireland. It was wholly unpleasant.

Two: I asked for a vegetarian meal on my way home from the same trip (I learned) and they forgot to have any veggie meals. So they gave me fish. I explained that I actually don't eat fish, so they took my meal away. I asked if I could have at least the bread and salad, but it was a no go. Note: I had spend the night before at the airport and hadn't eaten in about 12 hours by the time I boarded the flight. Then the flight couldn't land so we were in a holding pattern. Then, at customs, I found out that my bag had incorrectly been marked as having live poultry, so I had to go through extra screening.

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7. Murphy's Law In Practice

This was a school trip, so we had close to 30 teenagers present. We were heading to DC from the west coast, with a layover in Chicago. Because of the large class size, we had to arrive at the airport around 5 AM so we could get through security.

We made it to the gate area by 6 AM, and our flight was boarding at 7:30. However, they pushed the flight back 30 minutes ... then 30 more minutes ... then an hour ... then another hour, until four hours had passed. Because they kept changing the time, we had to stay in the gate area in case of a sudden announcement.

My teacher spent almost $200 that day just to buy us lunch because we were planning to have an airline meal. We finally took off around 12:30 PM

When we land in Chicago, it's 5:30 PM with time zones adjusted. We're a hoard of zombies by this point, since we had almost no sleep the night before due to excitement. We've missed our original connection by hours, and any other flights to DC that day are full, so we're booked onto a flight to Baltimore instead - which also gets delayed an hour. Once again, my teacher saves the day by buying us pizza for dinner - and my teacher is the type that buys gourmet pizza at a time like this, so she spent even more of her money like that.

We take off at 8:30 PM from Chicago. Everyone wants to sleep, but my teacher won't allow it because if we sleep, we'll be even more tired once we're woken up. With time zones adjusted, it's 11:30 PM when landing in Baltimore.

Guess what - because of all the delays and airport switching, our luggage is lost. But the airline just tells us to keep waiting at the baggage claim - until it's almost 1 AM. Don' forget, this is a group of 30 sweaty teenagers who can't change their clothes.

So after a 40-minute bus drive to DC - still no dozing off allowed - we locate our luggage, and get it. It's almost 2:30 AM when we finally got sent to bed -- and we have to wake up in 6 more hours for our first day exploring DC.

In all seriousness though, that was easily the most fun day of the trip. While stranded at the first airport, my teacher talked to a lady at the gate who was a professional artist. After chatting a bit, my teacher arranged for my artist friend to show the lady some of her drawings, and she got some pointers on how to improve. My teacher also organized a drawing contest with a few students, while another group used a blank notebook to create a full role play game that lasted all 4 hours. One student who brought a book was reading out loud to not just our classmates, but to some of the other passengers as well. While waiting at the Chicago airport, one talented boy pulled out a Rubik's cube and showed his skills for the entire gate area.

It sounds horrible when I lay it all out there, but I think it was actually my best experience on an airplane.

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6. Rocky Road

I'm not fond of flying to begin with and this was my nightmare fuel for months after. On a trip from Portland OR, to Las Vegas in December of 2005, the pilot comes on the radio about 15 min after take-off and tells us we're about to hit a really rough patch of turbulence and that nobody can get out of their seats. I'll never forget his words "This is going to get rough folks, I'm sorry, but we'll be ok."

For the next 2 hours, I experienced exactly that, the worst turbulence I have ever experienced on a flight. This wasn't just minor bumps, this was up and downs and big dips into massive air pockets. The lights flickered a few times, luggage compartments opened and stuff fell. I was sitting in the rear and all I could hear clinks and clanks of the flight attendant drink trays. It was truly awful. If you've ever seen the airplane scene from the movie Almost Famous, that's what it felt like, for 2 hours.


5. Not Even In Coach, Dude

I was once on an airplane sitting in first class. There was a man sitting in my row who was clipping his freaking toenails and they were FLYING in all sorts of directions. He then proceeded to take that long metal thing on toenail clippers, clean out his toe jam, and wipe it all over his seat.

He wins the most treacherous human being award, in my opnion.

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4. The Stench And The Wench

My husband and I took a trip to Maui when I was 14 weeks pregnant with our first. A babycation if you will.

Well, while waiting for our (delayed) flight home, a young hipster type man passed us in the waiting lobby and EVERY SINGLE SOUL waiting covered their mouth and/or nose and immediately began to point and whisper. This kid (early 20s perhaps?) smelled absolutely awful. I mean the worst body odor I think is humanly possible, seriously. It hung in the air for ages after he passed by. With my uber sensitive pregnant lady nose, I was disgusted, but we walked around a bit pre-flight and moved on.

Fast forward to boarding. Hubby is in the window seat and I am in the middle seat with the aisle seat open. The flight attendant told us there will be a few open seats on the flight because the delay caused some to reschedule. "Yes!" I say to my hubby. "We will have an open seat next to us!"

Down the aisle, we hear voices quiet down, heads turn towards their windows. Here he comes. Here comes the legendary "plane stinker." At the time he is coming, my husband and I were taking post-Hawaii selfies on the plane. The exact moment that the plane stinker sits down in the open seat next to me is captured. It is priceless. My hormonal preggo senses are going wild and it's such a terrible smell that I just start crying. My husband is embarrassed by me and mad that I'm crying but I really don't care at this point. It's gross, it's nasty, people around us are asking to change seats. I wrap a scarf around my face the whole flight home and bury my face in my husband's arm.

It was still the worst smell I've smelt to this day and I have two kids who have produced some special deliveries for me.

This is long but I must add: I do not care if I am judged for crying upon learning the stinker was my seat-mate. You didn't smell it. It smelled truly horrendous and the flight was 6 hours. He knew he stunk. He wasn't wearing poor man's clothes and he had a nice bag and guitar with him. This dude could've rinsed in the bathroom prior to boarding. He knew. He knew he stunk and quite honestly sitting next to a completely wasted person would've been much nicer. Ain't no shame in my game



3. No Earplugs Can Save You From That

Not just one.

Not just two.

No, not even just three.

Four. Four screaming babies that refused to go to sleep and instead turned what would have been a mild 3 and a half hour flight into one of the single worst experiences of my life. It was like the screams of the cursed in the deepest pits.

My only comfort was that I was not alone in my misery.

It was just one perpetual cyclone of screams and torment. One would get another crying, who'd get another crying, who'd get the other one crying, who would keep the first one crying.

It was Satan's chain reaction of audible torture that not even the most hardy of men could withstand. Seasoned combat veterans would have thrown themselves down on their knees and wept to the Almighty, crying out for him to call them home and end their suffering.

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2. That's What That Noise Was!

At the end of my trip to Canada, all I had was a hoodie, no clean t-shirts. So I chuck everything in the hold of the plane except my iPad and headphones. So I am queuing with my boarding pass and this dude behind me makes this weird sound but I'm British so obviously I don't turn round to look because that would be rude.

When I get on the plane, the air conditioning is cold, like, REAALY cold. So I pull down my sleeves, put my headphones on and pull my hood up.

Yeah. So anyhow, that dude behind me had been sick in my hood.

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1. Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Not Sorry

The flight was delayed several times due to "ground operations at O'Hare". I was stuck waiting from 8am all the way to 5pm at the airport. Then finally they let us board the plane only to make us sit there for another 2 hours. After that interval, they told us that the "crew had timed out" so they had to go find another crew.

Another hour later, they announced they couldn't find another crew today, and we all had to exit the plane immediately.

Then, back in the airport, they announced that the cancellation was actually somehow due to weather and therefore they would not be issuing any sort of credit or hotel reimbursement and we were basically just out a flight.

Thanks, United Airlines. Thanks for all that you do.

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