One of my favorite readers suggested I do an email about funny or unusual airline stories. Unfortunately, most fall into the unusual or sad, rather than funny or happy, that being the nature of airline travel these days. But here is a feeble attempt at it, with an open invitation to each of you for adding your own true stories.
One of the worst things that can happen is when a nearby passengers has gas, by that, I mean flatus, farts, stinky, and sickening. We were on our way back from Costa Rica, sitting in First Class no less. The lady in front of us, and I use the term lady quite loosely, is farting up a storm. So, I grab a newspaper or magazine and starting fanning the air. The couple next to her has a blanket over their heads! And the couple behind us are rolling around on their seats in total hysteria watching all of us!
This one has probably happened to several of you. An old lady goes to the toilet, and walks out with the end of the roll of toilet paper neatly tucked into her underwear and pants. Now, however respectful we tried to be, once we saw this, we went into total catatonic laughter. I could not even tell her what she was doing. Finally, the shy little flight attendant tapped her on the shoulder with the hilarious news. “Lady, you either have toilet paper following you, or you are a paper tiger with a paper tail!”
Do you remember the “golden” days of flying on our domestic airlines? When they first started the frequent flyer programs in the 80’s, the airlines actually had a buffet laid out in first class as well as coach. I recall making my own sandwiches, adding some sides like salad and fruit, then topping it off later with a self serve soft ice cream machine with toppings!!! Nobody does this now, not even Singapore Airlines, the best in the world!!
Of course, as Americans nothing freaks us out more than religious fanatics on a flight. I see them praying constantly before, during, and upon landing. But these monks from Cambodia actually sat on the floor, and started to light incense on a “No Smoking” flight!!! They paid no attention to the flight attendants, so the captain had to come and force them to snuff them out!
Seeing a passenger in handcuffs is always a little alarming. It is even more alarming when they take the cuffs off before they enter the toilet. What is one of their friends placed a gun, knife or other weapon in the toilet?? She was not a threat, but let’s just say that I would not want to meet her in a dark alley, anywhere!
Over the years, I have seen many “famous” people on the airplane: Bob Duvall, Jim Franciscus, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, the Prime Minister of Zambia, George Burns, Don Rickles, the Grateful Dead, Don Nelson, Linda Evans, Bob Denver, Mark McGwire, Frank Robinson, Willie McCovey, Carmen Policy, Al Davis, Rodney Allen Rippey, Reggie Jackson, Don Meredith, Governor Jerry Brown, Andy Rooney, Don Shula, Rod Laver, and skier Phil Mahre. Maybe a few others, but I don’t remember (nameless politicians). Best of all, George Burns was met at LAX by two of the tallest blondes I have ever seen! One of them lit his cigar, and off they went!!!
A little bit of a foreign language can be a blessing or a curse. My ex-sister in law, a flight attendant, knew a little bit of German. So, on her charter flight from or to Germany, they asked her to tell all of the German passengers to sit down during some turbulence. All of a sudden, about half the plane is standing on their seats. She said “versetzen” instead of “setzen”, or “stand” rather than “sit”!!!! She said it was hilarious to see all of the krauts trying to stand on their seats during the turbulence. When she finally came back to reality, she told them to sit down “jetzt”, or now, immediately!!!!
Now read this crazy story. A co-worker was returning from a big Maui vacation trip that we earned for reaching our sales goals back in the 80s. When she boarded the plane for the east coast, she jumped on the lap of a handsome young stranger in First Class. She told the startled flight attendants that they were on their way back from their honeymoon, and hinted at an upgrade. The man next to him “volunteered” his seat so they could sit together. And unbelievably, they later got married!!!
I wish I could tell you a juicy or sexy tale of meeting a stripper or swimsuit model on one of my flights. I did get to meet some famous people, but nobody who I wished was naked for the entire flight! Maybe you can share some of yours??