15 Times Airplane Passengers Witnessed Something They Would Rememberer for a Lifetime

2 years ago

Aerophobia is quite a common thing, though airplanes are considered to be a fairly safe mode of transport. Still, negative experiences sometimes leave unforgettable traces that overshadow any stats. Perhaps it’s connected to the fact that we’re off the ground when in flight and tend to perceive things much sharper than we normally do.

Reddit users shared stories about the worst flights of their lives. We at Bright Side empathize with these people and are sending them many rays of kindness.


My father was flying in Russia and there was a terrible storm during the flight and obviously, it caused extreme turbulence. Then the captain turned on the PA system and told everyone: “This is captain Bezsmertniy speaking, we are passing through some light turbulence so please fasten your seat belts,” in the most monotonous voice possible. Just to note, the name Bezsmertniy translates in Russian to “undying.” Also, a lightning strike hit the wing, which was pretty scary. © Hellothere6545 / Reddit

On a 13-hour flight, my neighbors declined to eat any of the airline’s food, and instead, they were eating some kind of fermented mushrooms they brought in a jar with them. The mushrooms stank horribly, and each time they opened the jar it immediately woke everyone around them up, and then the smell lingered in the area for a while. © RobertoBologna / Reddit


A 6-hour flight to the west coast. Behind us was a mother in the aisle seat with a toddler in her lap. The toddler would screech every couple of minutes and run up and down the aisle. The 2 older kids behind me spent most of the flight climbing on my seat and playing on the floor, hitting my seat. The mom did nothing the entire flight, even with requests by the staff. She only said, “This is why Daddy doesn’t want us to visit.” © SparkEE_JOE / Reddit

This was when I was 10 or 11 years old. Went on a 9-hour flight and had the middle seat. An older woman sat in the window seat and had a horrendous smelling perfume on. The kind that gives you a headache in the first 10 min. She went to the restroom and re-applied her perfume every couple of hours. The smell plus the turbulence was enough for me to throw up for the duration of the flight. For years after, I was so scared that I took motion sickness pills every flight. Only to realize I didn’t have motion sickness, it was just that old woman’s horrible perfume. © DudeAbides29 / Reddit


I was on a small regional jet. I was talking to my coworker in the seat across the aisle as we approached Chicago. One moment I’m looking face-to-face with him, then suddenly I was looking down at him. Right after that, I was looking up at him. When the pilot brought the plane back under control, the captain opened his microphone, cleared his throat, and said, “Sorry.” He was a man of few words, I guess. To be honest, when we arrived, I considered kissing the tarmac. © DoubleNickels2020 / Reddit

I was on a nighttime flight 15 years ago. All of a sudden, the cabin lights are turned on to full blast and the captain makes an announcement. “You may be smelling a noxious odor. We have an electrical fire on board, and can’t be sure how quickly it might spread. We are being diverted to the nearest airport and will be executing an emergency landing in 15 minutes.” I had my 11-month-old with me and was advised to hold him in my arms and assume the crash landing procedure as best as possible to shield his body with mine. Everyone on that plane thought we were dead. I was talking quietly to my baby, pointing out the window at the earth below and telling him how beautiful it all was. I didn’t want him to die scared. After about 10 minutes and no catastrophic failure, we all began to relax a bit, thinking that the fire was contained or spreading extremely slowly. We landed smoothly and without incident. That was a really, really bad 15 minutes. © XelaNiba / Reddit

This was probably both the best and the worst flight I had ever been on. It was the best because there were literally only 20 passengers, including me, a fully staffed crew, and the catering was stocked. We got to sit anywhere we wanted and they allowed us to stretch out over 3 seats and sleep. But throughout the entire flight, an old couple was chasing me and talking to me about everything. I was trying to be polite and told them I’m going to move to another seat to read my book, but it didn’t help. No matter what seat I took, they would sit next to me soon after. The last hour of the flight they fell asleep and I legged it to a seat right at the back in a random place and finally had peace. The empty plane ride was already ruined. © Dr_Stef / Reddit


I used to have a terrible flying phobia, but I’d grin and bear it. I got on a plane and was seated next to a lady who was convinced a man behind us had a bomb (of course he didn’t) and she would not let up, even when I called a flight attendant over who verified everything was fine. She was so paranoid and chatty and upsetting, which triggered me, and I just sat there crying. It was a disaster. © mothman_1991 / Reddit

I was on a small commuter plane (think about 20 seats, single file, the length of the cabin), and we hit a wind rotor (I think that’s what it’s called) off the mountains. It felt like a giant baby grabbed the plane and shook it like a rattle. Hands down the worst turbulence I’ve ever felt. © humanitymonster / Reddit


They had to do an emergency landing during a snowstorm after running out of fuel because we flew in circles for 3 hours waiting for the storm to clear at any nearby airports. Eventually, they had to land in 0 visibility (I couldn’t even see the wing out the side of the plane) and the landing felt like a car accident, then we overshot the runway and ended up parked in a farmer’s field. On the plus side, we got to use the slide and I rode in a fire truck back to the airport. Since I was 14 at the time, it was the greatest day ever. And to this day, I still get super tense during landings. © ThatOtherGuy_CA / Reddit


I was seated next to a woman with an “emotional support animal.” If I had to guess, it was a pug chihuahua mix. Whatever it was, it was small enough for her to keep on her lap. Apparently, the dog needed its own emotional support animal because it was a wreck. It kept standing up and whining anytime someone walked by. © MizzDevious / Reddit

My husband and I were flying to see his grandparents for vacation. We got seated (I was in the middle) and the guy next to me was clearly VERY ill. He was coughing up a storm, snotting everywhere, white as a ghost and all clammy. It was gross. I just looked at my husband. We both knew this was going to be a bad time, I have a bad immune system, there was no way I was not getting sick. Less than 36 hours after we got to his grandparents, both husband and I had 102* fevers and were super-duper sick. Also, his grandma is immunocompromised so we spent most of the vacation locked in a room. © idtapthatpinata / Reddit


It was a 12+ hour flight. I got a middle aisle seat. The seat recliner was broken, the guy next to me took his shoes off and his feet stank, the woman to my left spilled orange juice on me, and the headphone plug for the in-flight entertainment was broken. I did get extra potato chips as compensation for the seat problem though. © 26pointMax / Reddit


I was seated next to a woman who kept rocking back and forth, leaning her head down between her legs, and making whispered statements accompanied by whimpering throughout the entire flight. It wasn’t until the end that I heard a small bark come from below her seat, and I notice the pet carrier holding the small dog this lady was calming. I thought for sure she was just going to have a complete psychotic episode next to me the entire flight. © Drew707 / Reddit

On an 8-hour flight, an enormous guy with huge hair takes the seat in front of me, and as soon as we’re off the ground, he reclines his seat all the way to the point where his big curly hair is basically tickling my nostrils. He had a sleep mask on and was either completely out or faking being completely out. Couldn’t read a book because there wasn’t enough space, couldn’t have my meal because nobody could wake him up to get him to put his seat upright, couldn’t get out of the seat, and couldn’t watch the movie because I had the window seat. I’ve never hated anyone more after spending 8 hours staring directly into their disgusting hair follicles. At the end of the flight, he just got up and walked away as if nothing had happened. © JonNorris / Reddit

Have you ever been in any curious situations while on a flight? Please share them with us in the comment section!


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The one from DoubleNickels really scares me now of flying planes... I thought the planes were controlled by computers these days


I had a similar experience about the emotional dog support one.

I was flying from Denver, and when the plane started going to take off, a dog in a cage several rows in front of me started whimpering like crazy, and everyone on the 737 could hear it. The whining continued for hours without end (and sometimes it would bark), until we landed. I hadn't rode a lot of planes then. but still wasn't a very fun flight


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