25 People Share Their Scariest, Most Bizarre Flying Experiences

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Flying is scary for some people. It’s mostly frustrating and anxiety-inducing. Read some of what people have experienced on flights here on this Reddit thread.

Airplane Struck By Lightning

1. Never forget…

Not mine but my sister’s. She was once on a long haul flight from London to Hong Kong. During the night while everyone was sleeping suddenly a woman let out the most blood curdling scream. Since this was not that long after 9/11 everyone was pretty on edge as it was. It turned out that the woman had just had a bad dream. Everyone was pretty annoyed after that.

2. BOOM, like a boss

Drink cart

I was on a flight from Amsterdam to NY one time and there was a kid who was running up and down the aisles trying to bite people. As he was heading down the aisle at full speed, a stewardess suddenly pulled the refreshments cart into the aisle right in front of it and he ran smack into it face first. She said to him “Oh, sorry, didn’t see you coming. You shouldn’t run like that down the aisle.” or something like that.

I know she did that on purpose. It was awesome.

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3. Aw, be nice to the flight crew

I walked onto the plane and gave the 1st steward I saw a bag of Hershey’s Miniatures. “This is for the crew.”

The whole flight I was given free headphones and all the free drinks I could handle. I tried to pay but she just kept giving me my money back with every drink.

4. He’s done it before, and he’ll do it again

I saw someone fart themselves awake then go back to sleep.

5. Holy. Shit. What?

I travel quite a bit and have seen a few weird things, but on a recent trip from Vienna to Venice things were taken to a whole new level…

So, we were about 20 minutes into the flight when I noticed that a woman sitting across from me had a Persian cat in one of those cat carrier bags. The plane was really warm and the cat was sitting in the bag panting. Well, the lady decided to let the cat out of the bag to let it cool off a bit. After trying to shove the cat’s face up into the air vents for a minute, the cat literally freaked out.

It was clawing at everything, attaching itself to the seats in front, jumping around, hissing – well, you name it. The damn thing went apeshit! Anyway, after about 5 minutes of more of the same, the cat completely lost it, tried to climb the seat in front and…wait for it…fell over dead! We couldn’t believe what had just happened – the owner was trying to shake the cat around a bit to wake it up – but it was a goner. For the duration of the flight, she was sat there holding her dead cat – sobbing quite profusely.

6. Today, I learned not to disobey the TSA

Not on the flight but before.

I watched a Hassidic Jew get tazed at JFK for refusing to remove his shoes, setting off the alarms and then freaking out that he will not let them search him.

7. They were treated to a first-class show

An autistic man walking up one of the isles in first class.

Pants down.

Pooping the whole way.

8. “It was embarrassing”

A guy died next to me once.

On a flight from Maui to Dallas, I was half-asleep in the second-to-last row of the plane. While I was listening to music and dozing, I suddenly heard a really loud, hard “THUD” next to me. I look over, and there’s a man lying on the ground, completely still.

I thought maybe he tripped, but the flight attendant came running and he was unresponsive. She frantically ran up and down the aisles asking for doctors. Luckily for him, the flight was full of vacationing doctors and nurses, all of them in ridiculous clothes. 2 of the doctors who came back were in Hawaiian shirts and golf attire, and the female nurse who came back was wearing a very strappy, revealing blue Hawaiian print dress.

The doctors tried to wake the man up, but he was gone. I was surprised to find out just how much medical equipment they have on commercial flights — the docs whipped out a portable defibrillator and shocked the guy, then set up an IV drip for him. I never heard a word out of him or saw him move, not sure if he actually woke up or not. Our flight was diverted to LA, and when we landed half a dozen EMT personnel ran on the plane to pull the guy out on a gurney.

Unfortunately for me, this whole scenario set off a panic attack, and I had to go find a nice spot in the aisle to lay down so that I didn’t pass out and cause more problems for the crew and doctors. It was embarrassing.

9. I saved a person while sleeping

On a red eye flight, just as I fell asleep, a woman passed out in the middle of the aisle and hit my leg. I was so doped up on Dramamine I didn’t even realize it and fell back asleep. The flight attendants put an oxygen tank on the floor and put the tanks mask over her mouth. Apparently they used my hand to hold it in place, so when I woke up a few minutes later, I was like, “Why am I holding an oxygen mask over someone’s face?”

10. And she realized, it was the perfect opportunity to re-gift her birthday present

I was asleep on a flight and the attendant was walking by and spilled hot chocolate on my arm. It briefly started me awake but I was so tired I went back to sleep.

I was woken up a short time later by an attendant apologizing and offering me a free shower radio so there I am half-awake with a soggy chocolate stain on my arm and a shower radio in my hands.

11. I’m calling fake on this one

My wife was coming to visit me in Africa a few months ago. On some third-world airline, a passenger sitting next to her pulls out his cock and starts pissing in a bottle, then hands it to a stewardess, who didn’t even bat an eye.

12. You can’t take a deuce and NOT have the entire notice

I was on a flight from Amsterdam to Leeds-Bradford airport. You know those paper bags they have for vomit? Well a guy used one of those to take a dump.

He’s gotten up as soon as the seatbelt light went out to go to the bathroom but they flight attendants hadn’t unlocked it yet so I think he presumed someone had beaten him to it. He’d been looking over his shoulder for the past 30 minutes and towards the end of the flight seemed to have had enough so got the bag and using his jacket to cover his shame, did his dirty business.

I made a point not to see what he did with the bag. That was just disturbing.

Airplane flying over The Alps

13. You know…at least he was polite about it

Flying from Atlanta to Washington DC. We were about 45 seconds post-takeoff when the guy beside me unbuckled himself and starting running up the incredibly steep aisle. The flight attendants immediately start yelling at him to sit down, even going so far as to fumble with the intercom. About 10 feet from the front of the plane, one of the crew said:

Flight lady: “Sir, I’m going to have to demand you sit down.”

Guy: “Ma’am, I am going to shit my pants.”

He barricaded himself in the bathroom for about 10 minutes and emerged to clapping and angry looks from flight attendants. He ordered a water with no ice in it when they got to our aisle.

14. It was her way of saying “You’re the one”

I was about 15 and flirting with a cute girl in the seat next to me. My family was about 2 rows back with my younger brother and the lady that occupied the third seat pretty much set me up the entire flight. This old lady was the best wingman ever.

Anyway, I get up to use the restroom and she say she has to go too. She gets out first and I’m waiting for her to finish up. We’ve been flirting pretty much the whole flight and she knows that I’m right behind her in line. So she finishes using the bathroom and I walk in. Right there in the toilet is a gigantic unflushed shit.

To this day I have no idea how you respond to something like that.

15. Jesus Christ, this is awful

I was in an aisle seat on a flight from LA to Austin, Texas.

About an hour into the flight I notice this awful smell, I look up from my book just in time to see this 70-year-old woman violently throwing up in her lap. Since I’m a sympathy vomiter, I turn toward the people in the other seats to try and avoid doing the same thing. After about a minute of this and the rancid smell of old people vomit, she is led to the bathroom. As she is leaving her seat, SHE SHITS HERSELF IN THE SEAT. So I get to spend the rest of the flight gagging as this shit and vomit aroma rapes my nostrils. The flight attendants tried to clean it as best they could but it made no real improvement.

16. Orly?

While on a USAirways flight the attendant was introducing the in-flight movie; “and tonight’s in-flight movie is Batman Begins, starring … long pause … Batman”

17. Sometimes, you just gotta

While waiting to use the “water closet” on the way to Panama, the door somehow opened while this guy was hunched over the toilet fapping away ( there was no mistaking it, this guy looked like a poster boy for the vinegar strokes). At first I couldn’t believe what I actually saw, as he turned his head to see the door come open, the most awkward eye contact moment of my life unfolded. He turned to shut the door in a panicked fashion exposing his junk. At that point my WTF face became encrusted into my facial features for the rest of the flight and even the next day. So… since that time I can hardly use any bathroom on a plane. I’d rather just hold it in than see another bukkake party.

18. She hooked me up

I was flying to Denver on Delta in winter 2009, and they were switching from cash to credit only. They just go their brand new machines to swipe cards and i was one of the first people to test em out. I ordered a 7&7, it was 7 bucks. She took my card swiped it, and the thing that printed out was 0 dollars, I left a 3 dollar tip and thought, cool.

About 10 minutes later she came by and asked if I wanted another, I said sure, why not? Swipe the card, another 0 dollar transaction. Bought lunch, 0 dollars. So I ordered 4 more 7&7′s and got hammered for around 20 bucks in tip.

Checked my bank account the day after and sure enough, only the tip showed up.

I have no idea what happened, but that was one happy flight attendant.

19. Just drink whatever man

Sydney to LAX.

14.5 hours.

Full flight.

Middle seat.

Colicky baby to my left.

Severely autistic teenage girl–with a fear of flying–to my right.

Flight attendant assesses the situation; looks at me and asks with a whisper dripping in sympathy:

-“Can I get you something, sir?”

-“Double Jack Daniels?”

-Winking, “Be right back.”

A minute later, she returns. A grave expression on her face…

-“We’re out of bourbon.”

20. “Honey, can we do this without hurting our backs?”

On the way to Japan, I look across aisle and see an old man, sitting with an old woman I assume to be his wife. He reaches into his bag and brings out a large stash of porn mags and proceeds to sit and look at them for many hours of the flight.

21. Ugh, Seattle-ites

Flying Seattle to Vegas. A black lady wearing a bizarre playboy pink sweat suit sits in front of us. She immediately starts talking non-stop to the business people next to her. She tries 5 times, before the plane even leaves the gate, to order drinks. The stewardess has pretty much had it with her already.

The stewardess eventually cuts her off and the lady goes beserk. She’s screaming “You big fat white bitch! I’m being discriminated!”, etc.

She was arrested when we landed (which I think is extreme, but it was amusing).

22. That asshole was me

So, first off I’m not very fond of traveling but my friend was going so I really had no choice in the matter.

Anyway, the day starts out with the normal airport panic and running to catch our flight. When we get there, it was a full plane and we were crammed into the plane like sardines in a can and holy hell there must have been something wrong with the AC because it was hot. Imagine sitting in a leather covered sweatlodge wearing a fur coat, yeah it was something like that. My friend strokes my hair and reassures me and then we take off, suffering silently with the heat ever building. 20 minutes of boiling Hades later, my vision is starting to blur, my tongue is hanging out of my mouth and I’m panting up a storm feeling dizzy. My friend tries a few things to cool me off, but that just causes a commotion and leads to having the whole plane staring at me. NOT the best thing for you, if you are already in distress.

Then comes the WTF part.

You probably wont believe this but I shit you not Maybe it was the heat, maybe too many drinks, but my best and trusted friend FLIPS OUT and tries to STUFF MY WHOLE HEAD into the airplane vent overhead!!!

Well I’m ashamed to say I just lost it. Wouldn’t you?! I was clawing at everything just trying to get away. I tried climbing into the seat in front, jumping around and begging for help, you name it. 5 minutes into my panic attack I felt this pain in my chest and I pass out.

The next thing I know I’m looking down at this chaos from above. My friend is sitting there weeping and sobbing cradling my head. Crazy right? To top it off, some asshole a few rows back thinks this is the funniest thing in the world and takes a picture.

23. Standing ovation

I wasn’t there for it, but this happened to my cousin:

He was flying in South America, and about halfway through the flight, he realizes he really needs to take a piss. The plane he is on is a tiny prop plane made for tiny people. He is 6’5″. He awkwardly climbs over his aisle mates and stumbles/shuffles to the back of the plane. As he is closing the door, the captain comes on the loudspeaker and warns of upcoming turbulence. He thinks, Fuck it. I really need to piss. He crams himself into this tiny bathroom, manages to whip it out, and right as he starts to pee, they hit a huge bit of turbulence that knocks him off his feet, backwards, through the bathroom door, and flat on his back, in the aisle. Still peeing straight up in the air.

He was completely mortified and managed to get back up, pick up the door, and work himself back into the bathroom. He waited for like 20 minutes hoping no one would have seen it / forgotten about it by then, but when he went back out to take his seat he got a standing ovation from every single person on the plane. Ouch.

Airplane cockpit

24. Four incredible stories here

Having flown a lot over the years I’ve had some really WTF moments here are a couple of the good ones.

  1. Was waiting on a flight in I think Denver. Little old man gets on and is arguing with the flight attendants about how he’s in “business class” and he paid for “business class”. This is a 2 class flight – first and coach, flight attendant tries to explain that to him, he’s having none of it. I figure he was probably connecting to an international flight that had 3 classes at the next airport but whatever. Anyway, he decides he’s going to sit in 1st class and to hell with them. So he gets into the last row in 1st class and squeezes all the way over to the window seat and refuses to budge. So the cops get called in. Best part was the HUGE black man (probably 6’8″) whose seat he was sitting in telling the cops (when the came in and asked what the problem was – he was standing in the galley getting a good laugh out of the whole situation) “Hey, it’s not me”. Anyway, the cops spend probably 20-30 minutes trying to talk the poor old guy into moving to his proper seat, he’s not budging and becoming more and more incoherent. So finally the cops have got to do something, they put on their rubber gloves, and grab the guy and drag him out of the seat and put him on the floor to cuff him. The old guy is screaming and crying like someones killing him. Anyway they get him off the plane, the cops come in and get everyone’s contact info in case they need them for a trial, and then the poor flight attendants got to clean the seats because the old guy soiled himself when they were pulling him out of the seat.
  2. We were in Chicago and had finally gotten away from the gate. Bad weather in Chicago and lots of delays so we’re late but the pilot comes on saying that we need to go back and pick up 5-6 people who just got in for the connection. Anyway I don’t have a problem with that, I’ve missed so many flights because of delays that when a pilot decides to go back and pick up folks and save them some trouble I’m pretty cool with it. So the doors open and the people get on and the captain gets on the intercom and tells them to grab whatever seat they can find because all their seats were already given to other passengers when their flight was delayed. So they’re about to pull away and drunk dude gets up and gets into the aisle and starts bitching because he had an aisle seat and dammit he wanted his aisle seat. One of the flight attendants goes back and talks with him and he sits down, flight attendant goes back to get started on the normal airline stuff while we’re taxiing and drunk douche decides to get into the aisle again demanding his aisle seat. Flight attendant goes back and convinces him to sit down again, but is muttering about drunken douches under his breath as he comes back to get started on the safety stuff etc. Anyway you can guess what happens next, and this time he won’t sit back down because dammit he had an aisle seat and this plane isn’t going to take off without him in an aisle seat. Flight attendant gets on the phone with the pilot, pilot gets on the intercom and apologizes for the delay, doors open, cops get on, dude gets to do the perp walk, plane ERUPTS in applause when the cops drag this drunken abusive idiot off the plane. Best part of the story was the cops were holding the guy up he was so drunk, anyway through the windows we see him standing there with them and for some reason they let go of him for a second and he does a FACE PLANT while they’re desperately trying to catch him. Totally deserved.
  3. I’ve seen several couples decide to join the “mile high” club on international flights (and not in the bathroom – those little blankets don’t cover much).
  4. Most shit my pants moment, I was flying from Shanghai back to the US with a connection in Tokyo. There was a typhoon hitting Narita. Plane lands in a heavy crosswind and BANG – blows out every tire on one side of the plane.

25. The fright of his life

I was on a flight home from South Africa, after a family vacation. My dad is a diabetic, but he usually keeps his blood sugar levels pretty regulated so I never worried before.

Mid-flight, I wake up from a nap and see him slumped over the side of his seat. He was taken to the back of the plane, where 3 doctors were examining him.

They said his heartbeat went up to 220 or something, which I think means he was an inch from death. All I remember is seeing my mom and brother break down. I began having flashes of life without my father, and it overwhelmed me.

I felt sick to my stomach, imagining what life would be like, when all of a sudden his heart rate stabilized. The doctors on board said it was a miracle, and I felt so much relief.

The plane had to stop in Senegal, where my dad was transferred to a hospital. He wanted me to keep going, since the semester was starting soon. That flight home alone was terrible; I felt the other passengers watching me the entire time.

He is alright now, but everytime I get on a plane I always remember that feeling of leaving the whole world behind.

Share these bizarre flying encounters with others below.

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