14 Fascinating Stories That Could Only Happen at the Airport
Airports are their own separate world with their own rules, drama, confusion, and failures. It’s there that people sometimes find their love, cats, pieces of gold in wigs, and skeletons in bags.
We at Bright Side love the amazing airport atmosphere with the sense of adventure, anxiety, and emotions we feel when we see new people. We made a compilation of stories so you can feel it too.
So, I work for TSA, and have for a few years now. One day, most of the work had already been done, so it was mostly just standing around and waiting for the odd latecomer. I was working the AIT (the space tube thingy), when 3 passengers came up together, a middle-aged man, a middle-aged woman, and a teenage boy. I figure it was a family traveling together for the holidays, and I go about my work. Mom goes through, all is fine. Dad goes through, all is fine. Kid comes up, I get a good look at him. Hoodie, sweatpants, shortish hair, smooth face. The scanner shows a dangerous object near his chest. I tell him that I have to pat his chest area. He’s a little nervous, I figure that because he’s so young, this is probably his first time getting a pat down, but he says okay, and I start the pat down. I do the left side of the chest, and feel something, which catches me off guard. And then I realize that the kid is actually an adult woman. She doesn’t even know the couple that just came through. I look at her face, which is bright red, my hand is still on her breast, and I pull it back like I just got bit by a snake. I immediately call for my supervisor, who finishes screening the passenger herself. Once that was done, I apologize to the passenger, she tells me it’s fine, that this wasn’t the first time she was mistaken for a boy, and she probably should have said something before I started touching her. I saw my hapless victim later at her gate, waiting for her flight. I went up to her to apologize again, and saw that the flight had been delayed until the morning. I apologize again and invite her to dinner. We ended up talking for a few hours before I finally told her that I had to go home, and I apologized again for my mistake. She said that all was forgiven if I promised to take her on a real date when she gets back. We just celebrated our one year anniversary. She has long hair now. © TifuthrowawayTSA4 / Reddit
- Once, I was waiting for my husband at the airport with a huge poster that had his photo and the caption, “International forum of victims of camel aggression.” I came 30 minutes in advance and just stood there with it. A lot of strangers were rolling on the floor laughing together with me. © Unknown author / ideer
- I was at the check-in counter at the airport. In front of me, there was a lady with a small dog in a crate. The airport worker tells the woman that she is not allowed to take the dog, because she doesn’t have the necessary papers. She checks in for her flight, leaves the crate with the dog, and just disappears. I had a lot of time before my flight and I was waiting for her to come back. So, I called my friends and they picked up the dog. I left my phone number at the airport, but nobody called. This is how I got a dog. © Unknown author / ideer
- I work at the airport. Here is another cautionary tale. Check-in ends 40 minutes before the flight. This is the law. After that, the system just doesn’t allow us to check-in passengers. But there are exceptions. In very rare cases, a representative from the airline can open the check-in. Today, a passenger comes in at 5:30 PM and his flight is at 6 PM. Even though the boarding was already in process, the check-in was still open! So, I check-in the passenger and print out the boarding pass. But here is the problem: this passenger had baggage. And all the baggage is put on the plane before the boarding starts. This means that this person’s baggage will not fly with them. It will travel on the next plane which is in about 12 hours. I checked in the bags, but didn’t send them any further. I went to the company representative and they let the passenger take the baggage right to the plane so that the movers could put it inside. These passengers are always accompanied to the plane. So, we ran to the plane and made it on time. He got on board and so did his baggage. BUT! This is only an exception! He was lucky that someone let him take his baggage. He was lucky we made it on time. REMEMBER! If you are late for checking-in, YOU’RE NOT GOING! Always come in advance. It is better to have to wait for an hour, than to miss your flight completely. © 111valek111 / Pikabu
- A married couple was flying from the UK to the US to celebrate the birthday of one of them. But they were stopped at security. The officers saw an animal inside their bag. It turned out that their cat had snuck inside the bag. The couple convinced the officers that they didn’t plan to take the cat with them. He loved inspecting bags and he probably packed himself. Fortunately, their friends picked up the cat and they made it on their flight to New York. © Nick Coole / Facebook
- In the Tampa airport, a guide dog started to give birth to her puppies, which was completely unexpected for the owner. The dog was helped by a medical team and a fireman who were at the airport. They decided to keep the dog where it was. So, a lot of people gathered and the dog gave birth to 8 puppies right in front of a crowd of people. The law is that puppies can only fly at the age of 8 weeks, but in this case, they made an exception. So, the mother and her kids traveled safely to Philadelphia. © TomPodolec / Twitter
- I worked as an administrator at an airport. A passenger came late, I called the check-in counter, and I was told that the flight was delayed a bit. I told the passenger that everything was okay and that he would still be on time. He told me it was his third attempt to fly. The first time, the flight was canceled, the second time, it was delayed. We go to the check-in counter, and the computer freezes. The second computer does the same thing. So, we checked him in at the end. Then, we found that the bus with the passengers had already left. The passenger was sad, but I told him he would catch the next bus alone as a VIP. He gets on the plane, and the lights go off. That was then fixed. The plane took off, and we were happy that the man seemed to have overcome his bad luck. And... 20 minutes later, the dispatcher announces that the flight is coming back, because a window cracked on the plane. © Unknown author / ideer
- Several years ago, I was flying home for a couple of weeks from a different country. There were several connections, a terrible schedule, I had about a 12-hour layover. I was exhausted, so I fell asleep at the airport and missed my final flight. When I woke up, I found out I was late. I didn’t know what to do and I was crying until some guy came up to me, asked me what happened, and bought me a new ticket. © Unknown author / ideer
Bonus: The Munich airport lost €1 million because of a woman that got into the departure area without being screened. She didn’t even know what happened.
Last year, there was a catastrophe at the Munich airport which was caused by just one passenger. During a security screening, officers found a bottle with liquid in it and the woman whose bottle it was returned to the check-in area to put the bag with the bottle in her checked baggage. Then, she thought that she didn’t need to be screened again, so she just walked past the officer into the departure area. The security service noticed the passenger on CCTV and stopped all airport functions. The police started to look for the woman, but she had already boarded her plane and didn’t even realize what kind of chaos she had started. So, 2 terminals were evacuated, 330 flights were delayed, and 32,000 passengers couldn’t fly on time. The airport lost about €1 million, but the passenger wasn’t charged with anything.
Has anything interesting ever happened to you at an airport? Tell us your stories!
Preview photo credit TifuthrowawayTSA4 / Reddit