She Thought Yelling Would Get Her Home Quicker
“It was a bad weather day into St. Louis. We got struck by lightning. We got priority to land because we couldn’t be sure what damage occurred. Once on the ground, I did a walk around and saw the damage. It happens.
The outbound flight, the last of the night, was canceled because the plane was down for what I would think were obvious reasons.
We didn’t have a hotel for the night, as we were supposed to take the plane back out. So while waiting for news from crew scheduling, we were supporting the gate agent. Man, people were ticked off, insisting we go. I pointed out the window at the melted wingtip and large scorch mark on the aircraft.
One lady got in my face and screamed, ‘Do you think I give a hoot about your paint job?! Get me on that plane and get me home, or you’ll be sorry!’
Needless to say, that lady didn’t go on any flight with us the next day. Don’t mess with gate agents or crews that were nice to them.”
“My grandfather made a career out of aviation in the military. After he retired, he became one of the first pilots for a new company called Executive Jet – which would eventually be bought out by Berkshire Hathaway and become NetJets. He flew almost every celebrity you can name. They would ask for my grandfather by name to be their personal pilot. The two he flew consistently were Billy Graham and Johnny Cash.
Grandpa flew many obnoxious people, but two that come to mind who were obnoxious was a mix between two, and yes – they were celebrities. The first he told me was Sammy Davis, Jr. He got on the plane and refused to shake my grandfather’s hand. After take-off, he noticed that some of the flight attendants were talking about him in secret. Later, one of the attendants came up and said Sammy was humiliating the ladies in the back. He kept grabbing their rear-ends. A female attendant finally came up and complained because he wouldn’t stop and he treated it like a joke even after being asked to stop. Grandpa had to walk back, took Sammy Davis, Jr.’s drink off the table, and told him straight that he better quit treating the attendants as they were, or the flight might ‘experience some turbulence’. He immediately quit being a prick. My grandfather, by the way, was a hardcore World War ll veteran who saw and experienced more than you can imagine. He didn’t care if an individual was well known or not. He only cared about the character.
The second obnoxious celebrity was actually a band. The Mama’s & the Papa’s. Halfway through the flight, they all began to smoke pot. He heard some of the attendants ask politely to put out the smoke, but the band refused. Grandpa got on the intercom and asked them politely to put it out. Again, they refused. So once again, he had his co-pilot take control, walked to the back, and basically told them he was going to land the plane right where they were if they didn’t put it out.
Again, they laughed and refused. He sarcastically laughed, walked back to the cockpit, and began lowering the plane. They apparently noticed close to tree level that he wasn’t messing around so one of them yelled, ‘Fine! We’ll cut it out’.
Supposedly, he had one of the attendants watch and confirm the smoke was put out before he took the plane back up.”
Their Comment Had This Employee Scratching Her Head
“One of the biggest issues we ran into was enforcing small rules that people didn’t agree with, especially with electronics. But that was my job and the government has rules for a reason. At some point, it was forbidden to store iPads and tablets in the seat pocket and I had informed a young couple of this rule.
Couple: ‘So can I just hold on to it?’
Me: ‘No, I’m sorry sir/madam, but I’d be happy to put it in your bag or in the overhead bin for you. In case of emergency, you don’t want an iPad being flung in your face at high speed.’
Couple (getting angry): ‘Aw! Come on man! That guy is holding a baby!’ They pointed to another couple traveling with a small infant.
It took me a second to compose myself and answer politely as that had to be one of the most ludicrous comparisons I had ever heard.”
Family Or Not, Safety Comes First
“I have a private pilot license and I shuttle some of my family members around. Well, I was convinced to shuttle my rude cousin. The same one who took a selfie at my grandpa’s funeral. Her friends and she were going to Disneyland. I was planning to go to Los Angeles anyway so I thought I could make a quick stop at Bob Hope Airport.
She insisted she sat in the co-pilot seat. I reluctantly let her because her friends were scared of flying and wanted to sit in the back two seats. This was a Cessna 172 and I really didn’t have a choice. So we took off and she right away started texting on her phone. About 15 minutes in, she woke up the friend who was scared of heights, grabbed the yoke, and started turning and using the rudders to change the yaw. I yelled at her in the loudest voice I had and she got those ‘puppy dog’ eyes.
I turned around and landed at the closest airport which was Mesa Falcon Field. Anyone who lives in Arizona knows that’s far from upscale Scottsdale – where she lives. I took her to the terminal, got her out, and throw her luggage on the Tarmac. I told her since she endangered three lives, she could drive to Disneyland.
She called her mom and she got angry because my cousin told her I kicked her out for no reason. One of my buddies owns a hanger there and said I could park outside it until the parents came. I let the mom know what happened and she was livid. She profusely apologized to me and told her daughter that she was no longer going to Disneyland. I asked the friends if they still wanted to go and they could their parents who said yeah.
I ended up taking them there with no problem.”
Rule 72: Don’t Joke About A Fire On An Airplane
“I used to work for an airline which meant I got to fly for free as a standby passenger. This is called ‘non-revving’ (non-revenue passenger). So this one day I was taking a flight to New York as a non-revenue passenger and there was a girl from our airline who worked as a gate agent on there with a bunch of her friends. Non-revving is a delicate thing sometimes, there are a lot of rules that the airline makes you follow so you don’t tarnish their image. I almost got denied entry once because I wasn’t wearing dress shoes.
These girls got boarded and immediately started acting like idiots. It was warm in the plane so clearly, the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) hadn’t been connected to allow the plane power to run the AC. As soon as the APU was connected and activated, the AC turned on and something started blowing out the vents. At that point, the plane was fully boarded but people were still putting bags in the overheads.
But then what looked like steam or dust or mist or something started coming out these vents and one of the stupid girl’s friends decided to shout (jokingly), ‘FIRE! THERE’S A FIRE ON THE PLANE!’
On a fully boarded flight.
Needless to say, the flight attendants did not find that hilarious, and the girls were all taken off.”
Which Actors Were The Worst To Deal With?
“My father was a pilot and my mother was a flight attendant. I’ve always said my mom should write a book. In the 1960s, my mom’s route was Los Angeles to New York and back (first-class cabin) so it always had a famous person or two. And actors were always the worst for her.
Most notable was being manhandled by Robert Goulet as he proceeded to tell the whole plane that he had an intimate encounter with her which didn’t happen.
After my mom asked Lucille Ball what she would like to drink, Lucille Ball replied ‘I don’t talk to servants.’
Johnny Carson was also a prick to flight attendants. He would put a sign on his seat which read, ‘Yes I am him. No, I don’t want a drink.’
My mom also said that musicians were always the most kind. Her favorites were Jim Morrison and The Mammas and the Pappas. She always said, ‘if they seemed nice on TV, they usually weren’t.’ And those who had the worst reputations were usually the nicest.
My dad didn’t interact with passengers, so he didn’t have any good stories. The only thing he talked about was ferrying football teams. Whenever he hauled John Madden’s Raiders, they’d have to double up on flight meals because if a player played well, Madden would give that player two meals.”
Pilot Problems: Female Edition
“I was flying out of some Texas airport once, looking at weather at the gate agent’s station.
Some prick came up and said, ‘If I knew we had a girl pilot, I would have gotten on a later flight!’ Then tried to laugh it off.
I blew it off and went back to my job. Just another insecure prick in an industry full of them. Well, the gate agent told the Captain what had transpired and the Captain proceeded to kick the passenger off. He told him he could get on the next flight. I thought this was awesome but I had another idea.
I suggested to the captain that we let the prick on and let him know I would be flying the leg. I greased that bird into our destination as I had never landed before (trailing link helped a bit). I made it a point to be at the door during deplaning and the passenger apologized, shook my hand, and said it was the best landing he’d ever seen.
Hopefully, his mind opened up a bit that day.”
Sir, That Was For Your Daughter
“We used to serve special meals on trans con flights. You had to place the order online at check-in in ‘both’ directions. So if you checked in for the departing flight and made an order, then it didn’t carry over to your return flight one week later. We had lots of problems with that, but usually, people understood and accepted whatever we could offer as an alternative.
But one guy threw a fit. He accused us of eating his meal or serving it to someone else. I showed him the list, his name wasn’t there. He continued to throw a fit about what was his daughter going to eat then. After we served everyone else, we had one fruit plate remaining so we gave it to him for his daughter, she was maybe three years old.
The guy proceeded to eat it himself and then continued to berate us for the remainder of the flight about what was his daughter going to eat. Trans cons are four to five hours in length, so a long time to deal with one passenger. Also, the crew was not stocked with food for themselves, meaning unless we wanted to purchase food in the airport, we hoped something was leftover from passenger meals. That fruit plate was mine.”
Since When Was Dad An Air Marshal?
“My dad traveled two to four times a week and has some of the most insane airplane stories. It should be noted that he has a strict policy about not talking to the person seated next to him.
So, one day he was flying from San Jose to New York. It was a long flight and he was seated in first class. My dad was your typical, straight-laced businessman stereotype: salt and pepper hair, lined face, stern look, crisp suit.
He boarded the airplane and went to sit in his seat. His seatmate (seated on the aisle) was a red-faced Irish man, who was sipping a glass. The minute my dad sat down, the Irish guy twisted around and declared loudly, ‘My wife just had a baby!’
His breath reeked of drinks. My dad politely congratulated him and fell silent. Then the flight took off. The Irish man was persisted in trying to keep talking to him, yelling at boarding passengers, demanding drinks from the exhausted flight attendant, all the while, sloshing his glass around and spilling some on the floor (and onto a passenger’s sneaker). The Irish man was tipsy and loud and my dad had enough of it.
‘No offense,’ My dad said. ‘But, I’m pretty tired and need to nap. I fly a lot and I tend to keep to myself. I hope that’s okay,’
The Irish man smiled, throwing back the tail end of his glass, and smacked his lips. He kept going, this time getting out of his seat as the plane was rising, trying to get into the flight attendant’s cubby and demanding another drink. The flight attendant forced him back in his seat, refusing him another drink.
‘You need to settle down, sir,’ She said sharply.
The Irish Man sat back down into his seat, folding his arms across his chest.
‘Prick!’ He replied, digging into his boot and pulling out a series of travel-sized Jack Daniels bottles.
The flight attendant came back, demanding that he get his act together or there would be consequences. The Irish Man saw that as a challenge and started getting aggressive, slapping the flight attendant’s behind. She disappeared into the cockpit, presumably to talk to the captain. Meanwhile, my dad just wanted to take a nap. He eventually pulled the Irish guy aside.
‘Look man, you gotta settle down or they’re gonna pull you off this plane when we land and arrest you.’ He explained calmly. ‘Understand?’
Suddenly, the Irish man’s eyes went wide.
“I know who you are,” He says in a hushed voice.
My dad sat back in his seat, uncomfortable, and asked, ‘What?’
The Irish man pointed his finger at my dad’s chest.
‘You’re the freaking air marshal!’ He exclaimed.
‘No! No, I’m not!’ My dad retorted.
The Irish man slapped his head.
‘I can’t believe all this time, I’ve been sitting next to an air marshal! Do you have a badge? A weapon?’ My dad spent a good hour trying to convince this hammered man that he was not an air marshal, he was just a businessman, and that he should settle down or he was going to get arrested.
The Irish Man seemed to be calmed by this, trying to convince my dad to look out for him when they land. Finally, exhausted by the man’s insistence, my dad promised, so long as the Irish Man chilled out. The man agreed and fell asleep.
Hours later, when the flight landed, the police and homeland security were waiting for the plane at the gate. An agent came aboard and grabbed the Irish man, arresting him in front of all the passengers. The Irish Man was screaming now, demanding that the Air Marshal promised that he’d make sure he was okay.
The agent looked around at the passengers and asked the flight attendant if there was an air marshal on board. She looked at the manifest and seemed confused. Meanwhile, all the passengers on the plane were thanking my dad for keeping them safe and asking if he was the real air marshal. While the Irish Man was flailing as he was being taken off the plane.
‘You promised! You promised!’ He yelled at my dad. ‘Tell ’em, you’re the air marshal!’
The pilot came back and shook my dad’s hand, saying he didn’t know there was an air marshal on this flight. At this point, he just nodded sullenly and agreed.”
Karen Cared More About Her Flight Than The Sick Boy
“I once had two unaccompanied minors traveling together. Just after we pushed back from the gate, the eight-year-old boy started to have a panic attack and said he couldn’t fly, so we pulled back to the gate. The pilot announced that we were returning to the gate so that paramedics could come on and take a child off the plane. He didn’t mention what the medical issue was, just that a child was sick.
One lady immediately hit her call button and very rudely suggested that we better make sure that we hold the plane for her in Atlanta since we were obviously going to be late now. The whole episode amounted to maybe a 30-minute delay and no one missed their connections. One of only a handful of times I wanted to punch a passenger.”
Grandma Woke Up And Chose Violence
“My mom was a flight attendant before I was born. She always told us this one story of a very old lady, most likely 80 to 90 years old. She was very restless and kept asking for the window to be open because she needed air. My mom explained that wasn’t possible and showed her the air vents above her head. The lady then started trying to open the window with her hand and said that it should be able to open right after my mom said it wasn’t possible. Apparently, she had no idea what cabin pressure was, and if she opened the window she would not be able to breathe and most likely die.”
“I Want A Refund!”
“I recently left my job as a flight attendant. The obnoxiousness in people usually came out as soon as there was a delay or cancellation. I had men and women screaming at me because their flight was delayed an hour and they were going to miss their connection. Here’s a tip: Always give yourself at least an hour between connecting flights. Ninety minutes if you’re not familiar with the connecting airport.
Passengers always take it out on the flight attendant, like we were the ones who did this to them. I had people who were seated in the back of the aircraft on a full flight who upon landing only had 15 minutes to get to their next gate and expected me to hold the entire plane up so they could get off first. Another tip: Always choose your seat beforehand. The most I could do for them was make an announcement that people would ignore anyway.
The most obnoxious that stuck out in my mind was a woman who was flying out of Charleston, South Carolina. I worked as a solo flight attendant on an ERJ145, in other words, a small 50 seat regional jet. During boarding, I was required per Federal Aviation Administration’s regulation to remain in my boarding position and not leave. This woman was the first to board and was seated towards the back.
As I was greeting other passengers, I heard, ‘WHERE IS THE ATTENDANT? ATTENDANT!’, in an angry, snooty tone.
I halted the boarding process to walk over to see what she needed, but before I could even get a word out she bombarded me with, ‘I am never flying this airline again! This plane is too small! How dare they not warn me of this beforehand? I want a refund! Put my bags up for me!’ talking to me like I was some lowly peon.
I always found it easier to just apologize and gave them what they wanted. But this woman was just never happy. During the entire flight, she was just ringing her call button to get her a kleenex, to take her garbage, and to get her another glass (and she demanded it for free because I didn’t have as big of a selection as she wanted). That flight was the longest 35 minutes of my life. and she still told me she was writing the airline about her horrible experience as she was deplaning.”
Ugh! Another Celebrity
“I was a flight attendant on private charter flights. Do you know that kissy-type noise you make to a cat to get their attention? When he wanted my attention, a certain NBA (National Basketball Association) star (cough-Shaq-cough) would constantly call to me like that. I politely told him my name every time, but he refused to say my name, ‘ma’am’, ‘miss’, or any other form of polite conversation.
He also sulked in the corner of the plane with his headphones on the whole time, playing video games like a child, while his wife (now ex-wife) watched their five kids. She cut up all of their food, entertained them, and made preparations for after the landing. He was totally useless the whole time. No wonder they divorced.”
Was The Child Even Sick?
“Honestly, the last few days had been like a zoo with Chicago being the most heinous. We were going from Chicago to Milwaukee and back, then we were done with a four-day trip. So we were definitely wanting to get on with it and go home. We were all boarded and waiting for the de-icing truck to come and spray the plane because it was snowing.
After waiting for over an hour for the truck, they finally sprayed us down and we started pushing back. As we are pushing, the flight attendant called up and told us there was a lady that wanted to get off the airplane. We told her we couldn’t, so the lady then told the flight attendant that her baby was having a medical emergency and needed to get off. Fine.
We pulled back up to the gate and let her off. Mind you, the baby looked fine and we asked her if she needed paramedics. She denied medical attention and refused to take the baby to the clinic that was literally 50 feet away. They had checked bags, so we had to call the rampers to dig through the cargo hold to find their bags. Finally, we had them off and we were getting ready to go again, about two hours late at this point.
As we were getting ready to close the door, the gate agent ran up and said that when the lady found out that we were on the last flight up to Milwaukee, she begged to get back on the airplane and come with us. The captain and I looked at each other in shock, told the gate agent there was no way in heck she was getting back on the airplane, and got out of there.”