Overheard On A Plane

August 14, 2023 | Sammy Tran

Overheard On A Plane

Planes are strange places—people are excited, or nervous, or just plain angry. And overhearing your seatmate’s chitchat can be very interesting, as these Redditors found out.

1. VIP On Board

There was this kid behind me who kept telling her dad she lost her tooth. The dad was disgruntledly trying to find it, and some guy nearby said, “Hey kid, I hear if you lose your tooth on a plane, the tooth fairy gives you 50 bucks”. But the dad had the perfect response.

The dad replied, “Hey look sweetie, the tooth fairy decided to sit next to us on the plane!”

Young girl traveling by plane sitting at a seatFamVeld, Shutterstock

2. Make It A Fast One

Everyone is boarded and the plane is in the middle of the taxi. That’s when a kid about 10 seats up and on the left side (I was on the right side) starts crying and screaming at the top of his lungs "I NEED TO POOP" and "I'M GOING TO POOP" over and over again until the seatbelt signs came off.

I've never seen so many worried faces and the look of panic as the mother picked up the kid and bolted to the toilet.

A lavatory sign on planeekarin, Shutterstock

3. You Look Like You Could Use It

I am a pilot for a major airline. Decades ago, I was running for a deadhead flight home and managed to snag the last seat. A mother and young daughter were seated next to me. Halfway through the flight, the mother, seeing my disheveled look after flying all day, asked if I wanted her daughters PB&J sandwich that she wasn’t going to eat.

I politely declined, but she insisted. Honestly, that was the best Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich I’d ever had.

Smiling airline passenger with a paper cup of coffeeArtie Medvedev, Shutterstock

4. Yes, Please Go Ahead

When the plane was literally about to touch down, a lady got up and started walking urgently towards the bathroom.

The cabin crew immediately started saying “Madam! We’re about to land! You have to sit down!” It just took four words to shut them up. The lady responded by screaming in a panic “I’M GONNA POOP ME-SELF!!!”

They allowed her to continue.

Airplane with four engines landing on runwayIgor Karasi, Shutterstock

5. Playing Dirty

I was sitting next to a father with his small child. The child wouldn't stop hopping around, until the father said: "Sit still and be a good boy or the plane will crash because of you and we will all end up dying”. Never seen a kid so quiet before.

Father and son traveling by planeYaroslav Astakhov, Shutterstock

6. Close But Not Close Enough

I was on a flight once that was almost nothing but turbulence; I think we were flying through weather. I am already incredibly susceptible to motion sickness, so I was curled up in the window seat of the last row with the barf bag in front of my face.

The lady in the aisle seat glancing at me nervously every few minutes. I hear the announcement that we are starting our descent and I am like, "Oh thank god, I think I can make it without barfing". I was so, so wrong. Literally, the wheels touch the tarmac and I lose it, it's barf time.

A flight attendant comes up to me shortly after and is like, "Well, at least you made it all in the bag!"

An Asian female traveler suffers from an acute attack of nausea during turbulencefrantic00, Shutterstock

7. No Sleep Till London

This was on a charter flight from Goa to the UK. This old couple beside me called the flight attendant over after I took a sleeping pill. I couldn’t believe the words out of their mouth: "He's taking substances, and he has a knife in his bag”.

I said, "I don't have anything like that in my bag, and I'm taking a sleeping pill. I just want to go to sleep". The stewardess believed me and moved the couple.

A female flight attendant in uniform is speaking with a passengerRUBEN M RAMOS, Shutterstock

8. Strange Things Are Afoot

The pilot accidentally left the intercom switch on, so the whole plane heard him say, “Oooh, that’s weird”. Nothing else. The plane took off amid varying levels of anxiety throughout the cabin. I’m here to tell the tale today, so thankfully it wasn’t too weird!

Pilots operating airplaneKelly, Pexels

9. Up, Up, And Away

I sat in front of a kid (12-13) and his older sister, who I assume was his guardian. It was a cross-country flight, and the kid was casually talking about how he had never flown before and he is looking forward to it. He seemed likely on the spectrum a bit.

It is pretty wholesome so far. Then the plane starts to move and he instantly freaks all the way out, screaming, "WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! Let me off this plane, it's a coffin, you're all going to die. It's going to be a fireball,” and on and on.

The stewardess comes by and tries to calm him down. The sister is talking to him in English and Spanish, trying to get him to relax, telling him he is embarrassing her, she's never taking him to Puerto Rico if he keeps acting like this, etc.

The guy in front of me turns around and loudly offers the kid Xanax. Finally, the hero of the story, a big Southern black lady says, "James honey I'm gonna need you to calm down sweetie 'cause you're making all the rest of us real nervous now, ok?"

Eventually, and for no noticeable reason, the kid relaxes and starts talking about how cool flying is. Like a switch, he starts looking out the window, saying things like, "Wow! The view is really cool! I feel safe now, everything is OK after all”. Audible collective sigh of relief.

Where was his sister flying him to? Astronaut camp. I think about him every time I fly.

Caucasian boy  looking into a plane window during a flightkrolya25, Shutterstock

10. So Busted

Once when I was flying, there was a guy coming home early to bust his cheating wife. He was on the phone with a friend/family member who told him the other guy was at his house because they didn't expect him back until the next week. Always wanted to know the ending to that story.

man passenger on a  planeGratisography, Pexels

11. Orange You Glad You Flew Economy?

When we were still long distance, my wife was travelling from the US to the UK to see me, which was about 8 hours in the air. She was sat next to a man who, from the very get go, looked pale and sweaty.

He was adjusting the overhead fan, breathing deeply, etc, and it was obvious he was feeling unwell. When the flight attendant came around with drinks, he ordered a cup of orange juice, drank some of it—and then it happened. 

He suddenly vomited orange juice back into the cup, all over the tray, and down his shirt, with my poor wife trapped in the seat next to him. The flight attendant rushed back and helped him clean up. But it wasn’t over. 

The worst part is she offered him a change of shirt and he REFUSED, saying he was fine, so my wife had to sit next to this guy with barf down his front for the rest of the flight.

The most bizarre part was that he apparently felt fine now and ordered food when the time came. My wife, bless her, couldn't eat at all. Orange juice still makes her feel queasy to this day.

frightened woman on planeMilkovasa, Shutterstock

12. A Lifetime In A Moment

Not something I overheard, but something semi-interesting nonetheless that eventually ended up on a plane. So I once went and got sushi with my mom and I noticed a guy and a girl at another table very clearly on their first date. They were both dressed very nice, lots of awkward laughter, and the guy was being ultra gentlemanly like pulling her chair out for her.

You know, just the usual stuff that tips an observer off that they were still very much getting to know each other and wanting to make a good impression. Fast forward two and a half years. I was boarding a plane in Atlanta, GA heading to Colorado with my brother to go skiing when I saw the same couple seated near the back of the plane.

I was in the row directly in front of them, so when I put my bag up, I turned to them and said, "This is going to be super weird, but did you guys have your first date at (insert sushi restaurant)?" They both got wide eyed in shock and laughed and told me that they had in fact had their first date there.

I told them I was there that night and just happened to recognize them when I boarded the plane. It was friendly and we chit-chatted for a bit. Turns out they were going skiing at the same place we were, so it was cool and all.

Day 2 of our trip, my brother and I decide to go to the top of the mountain and take a few of the more advanced slopes down to the bottom. There were maybe a dozen or so people up there, and before taking off we decided to look at the trail map to make sure we were going to get back to where the shuttle could pick us up without having to hike our gear for 2 miles. 

About 20 feet away from us, a guy got down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend and everyone clapped as she jumped up and down with excitement and said, "YES!!" They took off their helmets and goggles to kiss. I couldn’t believe my eyes. it was the SAME FREAKING COUPLE!!

I literally was there for their first date, met them for the first time on a plane purely by chance because I was sitting in front of them, and was present when he proposed to her. I assume they're still married because at the rate we're going, I'm probably going to run into them again if one of them decides to file for divorce.

A man skier makes a proposal to marry his girlfriend  high in the mountains in winteryanik88, Shutterstock

13. Fair Point

I was sat next to a teenage boy and his dad. The kid was telling his dad how much he loved Marvin Gaye and all the slow sensual jams and all that. When the kid was finally done talking the dad just looked at him and said, “You’re a virgin”.

teenager passenger traveling on plane  looking at the  windowSong_about_summer, Shutterstock

14. Letting It All Hang Out

A couple in their 50s were all over each other. Like tongues in ears, the whole nine yards, right in front of everyone. They were busy working out the logistics of their next getaway. But there was more. 

Apparently, they were both cheating on their partners and laughing at how gullible their partners were for believing that another "business trip" would come up so soon.

senior couple with suitcase in airportA Lot Of People, Shutterstock

15. A Little Too Honest

I sat next to a college guy on a plane once who, while drinking some beverages, started crying and telling me he fatally injured his best friend in an accident after he’d been drinking. Because he had good lawyers, he got off without any time behind bars.

He just kept sobbing and drinking. When we landed, I made sure he was NOT driving.

Scared man on a plane in gray t-shirtParilov, Shutterstock

16. That’s Nice For Him

Not so much what he said, but I sat next to this fully grown man who was playing Plants versus Zombies the whole 3-hour flight with incredible enthusiasm. Every time a plant got eaten or he got a difficult zombie, he'd jump in his seat, pump his fist and aggressively whisper, “yeerrsss, YEERRSSS, gert em yessss...”.

adult Asian male passenger using his smartphone during the flightBongkarnGraphic, Shutterstock

17. There’s Only One Crybaby Here

I was flying to Seattle from Atlanta and there was a baby crying for the majority of the flight. The parents were doing their best and it really was not their fault, just a bad situation. It led to a nightmare. About halfway to Seattle, the man seated in front of the baby snapped.

He started screaming at the baby and his parents, cursing at them and saying how they’re awful parents and he’s gonna beat them all (including the baby) to a pulp when they land. A flight attendant tried to ask the guy to calm down and he said he would also beat her up.

The pilot had to come on and tell everyone to calm down or else we had to make an early landing. We made it to Seattle and the guy ended up having to be tackled by four officers at the gate because he was trying to run away after being approached by them.

Father holding his crying baby daughter during flight on airplaneIrina Wilhauk, Shutterstock

18. It’s Exactly What It Sounds Like

One time on a flight, I got on really buzzed and sat next to this girl who struck up a conversation with me. She was going to Oregon to join what any reasonable person would notice was a cult. She described the whole thing to me—she had to give up belongings, worship and work together with the other people to built a commune.

I as soberly as I could told her to just be really careful and that it sounds like a cult, to keep her wits about her and leave if she felt in anyway uncomfortable. But then some religious lady in front of us chimed in and started saying she is just finding her lord and savior and I have no right.

I spent the better part of that flight in a really weird fight to save this girl from a cult. I’m sure someone overheard this and it must have been the weirdest thing they have heard on a flight.

I don’t know, maybe it was none of my business and maybe I shouldn’t have got into this on a flight but at the time I felt it was my duty to save her.

Couple on plane sitting next to each other talkingRawpixel.com, Shutterstock

19. No Such Thing As Double Jeopardy On Planes

This came over the intercom: “The part that was broken on the first plane is also broken on this one. Just sit tight and we’re going to get it fixed”. I was certain I was going to be stuck on this plane for hours.

I then saw a couple of guys getting lifted up on a platform to work on the engine. They ended up getting us another plane, but now the flight crew couldn’t fly. They eventually had to take one from another flight. A pretty awful travel day all in all.

PlaneMaria Tyutina, Pexels

20. Kids Just Know

I was sitting next to a dad and his daughter, who was about 5. He was super cool and was chatting away while his daughter started talking to me. She was so sweet and bubbly. But she also gave wayyy too much information to me.

She said something along the lines of "I went to my grandma and grandpa’s house and they're married. I wish my dad would marry my mom but they can't talk to each other but I always wish they were married like my grandma and grandpa”.

Her dad would have been horrified, and I was just sad.

Man with his daughter standing by a large window at airport terminalJacob Lund, Shutterstock

21. Talking My Earphones Off

I was flying solo into Orlando. The woman next to me was so excited about her new boyfriend’s boat and was going ON AND ON about how excited she was for this trip and the new boat, and just generally talking my ear off about it, like I actually cared. Which I did not.

Eventually, I nodded and put my headphones in as politely as I could, thinking that was the end of that. Nope, I was wrong. About one minute later, she grabbed the cord on my headphones and pulled it out of my ear so she could blather on about it again. I asked her if she had lost her mind.

Couple on a planeGorodenkoff, Shutterstock

22. Not The Words Anyone Wants To Hear

Last December, I was flying from Frankfurt to Chicago and was seated in the absolute last row of the plane, where the staff prepares stuff. So you can hear them just chatting with each other.

Right before takeoff I heard one of the flight attendants say to another, “Is that thing STILL broken?? I swear they’ll never get around to repairing it”.

Obviously, this is not something you want to hear on a flight. The guy next to me was like, “Did you hear that?” looking at me like what the heck, I hope nothing major is broken. Oh, but it got much worse. The attendants then said something like “Well at least it’s not maggots this time”.

Me and the guy next to me were now thoroughly concerned about how this flight would go. After laughing it off a bit, I then spent the next 9 hours chatting to this complete stranger about our entire lives, relationships, family drama etc.

We had four glasses of red and decided to watch The Matrix together, making sure to pause whenever the other person paused. I don’t think we exchanged names, but if you’re out there guy from Wisconsin living in Italy and teaching English, thanks for the most fun flight I’ve ever had! I’m glad we made it.

Cheerful black fight attendant and cabin crew assistant checking travel tickets1st footage, Shutterstock

23. Sit Down, Junior

Bit was just before takeoff, after the doors were closed. Suddenly, a kid of about six or seven years old towards the front of the plane stood up on his seat, faced the rest of the plane, and yelled “We’re all gonna dieee” while his parents tried to pull him back down.

young child on planeShanti Hesse, Shutterstock

24. A Long Journey Into Night

"Ladies and gentlemen, we've been facing some strong headwinds and...it appears we burned up a little more fuel than we anticipated, so we will be making a diversion to Fiji”.

This was flying from the US to Australia in a 747. I had seen on the trip map that we had been flying in the wrong direction for like 2+ hours, and yeah, I thought it was bad but I didn’t think it was that bad.

Then when we did land, we landed hard. They told us that because of the rough landing we had to sit on the ground with the engines off—in Fiji, in the summer—while technicians looked at the plane.

When we were airborne again, our destination was fogged out and we diverted from Sydney to Melbourne. I don't ever want to spend 26 hours on a plane again.

Passenger  on a planeBizi88, Shutterstock

25. Here, Watch This

Once I was nervous flying on a plane, and I apologized to the man next to me about how I might be a little fidgety for that reason. He said, "I know what will make you feel better". I never could have guessed his next move. He proceeded to show me a video of him playing guitar for a group of deer.

It stunned me out of my nerves, to say the least.

Man passenger afraid of flying on an airplaneillpaxphotomatic, Shutterstock

26. Not Right In The Head Room

Ohh, I got this one. So one passenger is struggling to get his luggage into the overhead compartment and another passenger seated next to me starts getting upset about this, because the guy’s carry-on clearly doesn't fit.

The seated passenger speaks up, saying to be careful because his luggage is there in the overhead too. A flight attendant comes over and says the standing passenger needs to check his bag. The guy grows increasingly disturbed, but it works out.

When it’s all done, he then says to the flight attendant, "I'm sorry, it's just that I haven't taken my medication. I get so nervous with all these body bags on board. You know I have body parts in my luggage”.

The seated passenger turns to me and says, "Did you hear that? I just have a laptop in my luggage!"

man putting luggage on airplaneMila Supinskaya Glashchenko, Shutterstock

27. This Old Broad Knows Some Tricks

I have a buddy who has flown many, many times and is comfortable with it, but there was a moment that sent a chill down his spine. He said one time he heard an older lady, somewhere in her 80s, talking about how easy it would be for her to sneak an explosive device on the plane.

She apparently went into detail with her “gals” about how exactly she would do it. He said he didn’t really worry because about her intent necessarily because it sounded like she was joking, but it made him uneasy because of how simple she made it sound to accomplish.

An attractive and happy senior Asian female passenger  looking at the view outside of the plane from her window seatBongkarnGraphic, Shutterstock

28. Shoot Your Shot On Your Own Time

A flight attendant once hit on two women for the entirety of the flight. Like, he skipped handing out snacks and drinks, and the other flight attendants were clearly so annoyed at him. Meanwhile, he performed a couple very subpar magic tricks in front of his targets and gave them free drinks.

The two women were clearly not feeling it, but enjoyed the free stuff. The cherry on top was when we started the descent, he pulled out a harmonica and played a little tune for them.

Male flight attendant standing in aircraft wearing gray uniformFriends Stock, Shutterstock

29. Boy Meets Boy

Once I was flying between two Australian cities, and there were a bunch of highly manicured young men sitting in front of me. They looked somewhat familiar, but I couldn't place them. Naturally, I spent the entire flight trying to figure out who they were, mostly by looking between the seats while they were texting their friends.

I saw them write a bunch of messages to their mates about how much "They didn't want to hang out with us" and "They just spend all their time in their rooms". Now I’m fully intrigued and want to know what’s going on. The whole story was better than I could imagine.

It wasn't until we landed and I walked out into a room of screaming teenage girls, signs and selfies at the ready, that I placed that we'd been sitting directly behind Five Seconds of Summer, an Australian boy band that was reaching popularity at the time.

I can only assume they were texting about the band they were touring with—a little-known outfit called One Direction.

Latin man on vacation wearing floral shirt hat sunglasses at airport confusedcunaplus, Shutterstock

30. You Just Had To Be There

Whelp, I did it. I was the person who had a weird conversation. So I was flying home from Seattle through Vegas in the late nineties. Since it was a last-minute business flight, I was glad for any seat, even the middle seat of the last row. Which was exactly what I got.

I'm slim, but at 6'3", even slim takes up space. The aisle seat was then taken by a gentleman who was absolutely buffed to the max. Completely jacked....and sporting a Klingon insignia ring picked out in diamonds.

Oh heck yeah, I'm starting a conversation. He was a firefighter, an IT professional, and on his way to the Star Trek Experience. I was a Microsoft subcontractor on my way home from work on Outlook '97.

We geeked out for the entire flight, loudly and animatedly talking Star Trek, coding, IT, computers, fire and firefighting, physics, thermodynamics, and everything else. And, coming into Vegas, I finally look over at the window seat.

A tiny, elderly gentleman was practically crawling up the fuselage, trying to get out of the way of the gigantic nerds sitting next to him. I can't imagine what he thought of us.

Passengers on the airplaneMatej Kastelic, Shutterstock

31. Don’t Shoot The Messenger

I still remember the absolute mayhem that broke out when the captain announced that we were in fact not going to get to take off because of night air traffic restrictions at our destination. Of course, this was after we had been sitting and waiting in the aircraft for 2 hours already.

That entire evening was just a giant mess, in fact. First, we had to wait for a flight attendant who was called from standby, then we finally got to board the plane, but apparently the airline had a severe ground staff shortage so there was no one to get the luggage onto the plane.

Then, when the luggage was there, we didn't have a tow, then THAT is when the captain told us we wouldn't get landing clearance at our destination. Still, more was coming.

See, it turns out that we couldn't deplane either, because, well, ground staff shortage, and the only guy who was allowed to attach the jet-bridge was busy with other planes. So we sat there for another 2 hours.

It was absolute horror for the flight attendants because people were raging and didn't understand that the airline employees on the plane had nothing to do with rescheduling, compensation, or the reasons for this mess in general.

I actually kind of enjoyed the whole thing, to be honest. It turned out to become a little adventure for me. I got to transfer to another airport in the city, spent the night there and flew out with a better airline the next morning, paid by the original airline plus cancellation compensation.

But man, the poor flight attendants.

Pilots inside a cabinESB Professional, Shutterstock

32. This Baby Has Some Kick To It

I was on an Aegean Flight from Athens, and a baby/toddler apparently was repeatedly kicking the guy's chair in front of him for the whole flight. The guy got up and was angry, and threatened to hurt the baby.

The father yelled back and threatened to press charges, and soon they were both yelling and ready to fight. They had to be separated. Thankfully the flight continued and they even reconciled a bit by the end.

little baby traveling by planeNadyaEugene, Shutterstock

33. Loose Lips Sink Planes

I was sitting on a plane in Chicago, waiting for take-off. There was a delay so the guy across the aisle was talking on his phone, very loudly. He looked familiar and was wearing a hat from a company in my hometown.

I end up overhearing his entire conversation. This is where it got very revealing—and very awkward. In this conversation, he proceeded to trash talk my brother, whom he indirectly works with.

We were over 500 miles from home, I mean there’s no real way he could think that there would be anyone who knew him around. But he was using full names, details that couldn't be misconstrued, and it was hilarious. I wanted to call him out on it but he looked a lot crazy so I kept quiet.

Young attractive businessman on plane talking on phonenicepix, Shutterstock

34. Nice To Know Ya

The lady beside me told me that she was farting a lot, and she didn’t care about telling me because she wouldn’t see me again.

Airplane passengers relaxCandyBox Images, Shutterstock

35. How Many Stops Are We Making?

A five-year-old boy once said "Dad, can you ask them to pull over so I can go to the toilet?"

A five  year old boy traveling by planeDziurek, Shutterstock

36. Ducking It All Up

“Cleared to Land, Any Runway”. This was said on a United flight on Thanksgiving two decades ago, listening to “from the cockpit,” after our transcontinental flight had a duck go through an engine at our dawn take-off from an airport that was surrounded by wetlands.

There was smoke in the cabin and the pilot had declared an emergency. Ground control didn’t respond at first, raising the question of whether the bird had first hit something else and damaged the radio.

Postscript: We landed fine, were met by emergency equipment, and were towed to the gate. Our flights were auto-rebooked before we could get off the plane. Our re-rebooked flight was direct to our destination region, making up for the later departure, although involving a little more driving in the snow.

Airplane at the landingm.mphoto, Shutterstock

37. The Cat Didn’t Come Back

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. It was and probably will always be the most messed up thing I’ve seen on a flight.

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 darn thing went truly crazy.

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 cat’s body, sobbing quite profusely. It was so sad to me after the fact, but in the moment it was all just too bizarre to take in.

Woman Traveling with a cat by planeHelena Zezulkova, Shutterstock

38. Lending A Helping Hand

On a redeye 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. It got weirder.

Apparently, they used my hand to hold the mask 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?"

young man sleeping on planeArtOfPhotos, Shutterstock

39. Buckle Up, Folks, It’s Going To Be A Bump Ride

I’m on a flight. We're flying from SF to Cincy. In the middle of the flight, the pilot announces to fasten belts because they are expecting a bumpy ride. Apparently, there is a very tall weather disturbance that had been reported. Just prior he casually announced that we were at 40,000 feet, expected time, etc.

After the announcement, we hear pop..pop....poppop. POP..POP..pop. Tons of them and we're all like what the heck is going on? Really bumpy...Turns out it was giant hail hitting the plane. Really bumpy. The pilot again announces more sternly for all crew to take seats and for no one get up.

Now it’s really really bumpy. Them wham! We freaking fell out of the sky. There is no other way to describe it. It was like you were just sitting in a chair suspended from a rope at the top of a cherry picker and someone cut the rope.

DROP, drop drop, then wham! It's like the plane landed in an enormous vat of creme filling . I know that sounds off, but that's what it was like—kind of soft but still a big jolt. However, it was worse on one wing than the other, so the plane 'landed” askance.

Suddenly, sorts of stuff went flying out of the right bins and toward the left, nailing people in the heads. Some people who were not completely or at all buckled up (idiots) flew up and hit the ceiling, then slammed back into their seats.

There was screaming everywhere. It was absolute chaos. Only, it was about to get so much worse. Suddenly, the pilot started SCREAMING into mic "Denver, we're in serious trouble up here. I need—”. Then he said a few other words we couldn’t understand.

Apparently, while all this was going on, the pilot pretty understandably forgot to turn off the main cabin speakers as he was warning the crew to take seats during this monster, 40,000-foot hail storm.

We had just dropped out of the sky while hitting huge air pockets. Bags and people were flying everywhere. But the scariest thing was hearing the pilot's panicked voice scream that announcement right after it all began. We all thought we were doomed. It kept going, though.

Rough rough rough, then drooooooooop again. It was the same thing as before but a much harder landing. I mean, we dropped for what seemed like minutes but was probably 10-15 seconds. Wham! An even harder landing.

Bags still flying everywhere, people crying and praying and screaming. Nuts. We cruised through that eventually and it became smooth again. The pilot later announced that he was sorry about the mistaken overhead announcement, etc.

He also said that the current altitude was something like 18,000 feet. Whatever the exact numbers were, we had freaking dropped about 10,000 feet, or 2 miles during our “descent”.

It was the worst of my 500,000+ air miles. You never heard so many people clapping upon landing.

turbulence on planeMelnikov Dmitriy, Shutterstock

40. Bit Of A Mood-Ruiner, If I’m Honest

I was about 15, flying on a family trip, 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 wing man ever.

Anyway, I get up to use the restroom and the girl says 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 poop. To this day I have no idea how you respond to something like that.

Toilet sign in a Boeing 787 DreamlinerJordan Tan, Shutterstock

41. Getting From A To B Is Hard

This one was kind of funny, all things told. So we're flying out of Cleveland and the pilot comes over the PA and gives his welcome. Blah blah, me and the rest of the plane are only half paying attention.

"So we're just leaving Cleveland, we should be in.....ummm" and then slightly under his breath, but not quiet enough that everyone else didn't hear, he says "...where the heck are we going?" long pause..... ”Chicago!"

Everyone laughed. Ah, good times in high times.

Pilot flying aircraftDC Studio, Shutterstock

42. I’m A Doctor—And I Play One On TV

I was taking a business flight to Chicago when about halfway through the flight, a man was walking back to the lavatory. However, on his way he completely passed out and hit the floor next to me (I was in an aisle seat).

People started chattering and calling for help while this guy pops out of First Class and says "Don't worry, I'm a doctor” and assesses the situation like a boss. It was Dr Oz.

doctor at airportcunaplus, Shutterstock

43. Not A Great Day On The Job

I was flying Calgary to Houston, which is about a four-hour direct flight. We were just about two hours into the flight, or coincidentally JUST about to come over Denver. Then the pilot made an announcement that made my stomach sink. He said we would have to turn around back to Calgary!

So around we go and land in about an hour and 15 minutes. He really cranked on it. We touch down and taxi over to the mechanics, where they obviously have to fix an issue…or so I thought. They open the cargo door, and simply shut it again.

Then in 15 more minutes we were fueled up, in the air, and off to Houston. This time it was about a 3-hour flight, full thrust the whole way. This pilot obviously wanted to get the heck to his destination. I was honestly pretty confused…

Luckily, there was an industry guy behind me, and I overheard him speculating the reason. His idea was that since the airline had paid mechanics in Calgary and probably not in Denver, it would be cheaper for them to turn around all the way to Calgary than pay all the costs associated with landing in Denver.

It also seemed like it was just a little glitch, and not a true problem, but the true issue was anyone’s guess. Then I realized what that was too. I have a friend that is very familiar with the inner workings of a plane, and he said that any time they open the cargo door and unplug a certain cable during maintenance, some switch has to be flipped to reset that alarm system for that door.

He said it's an extremely common mistake for that switch to not get flipped after work has been done, and it results in false alarms. That’s probably what happened that day. All that cost, likely in the tens of thousands, because one guy forgot to flip a switch!

two pilots sitting in their seats preparing to start the flightRaullazaro, Shutterstock

44. Flip That Around

"All right ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking...we're right on time for our landing in Chicago...We'll be making this flight at 50,000 MPH, flying at 500 feet”. Everyone kind of paused in the cabin. I will treasure that mental image forever.

pilot in plane cockpit speaking to passengersOlena Yakobchuk, Shutterstock

45. Not Kidding Around

I was on a flight from Amsterdam to New York 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 him and he ran smack into it face first.

She said to him, "Oh, sorry, I 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.

kid running on plane between seatsMaria Sbytova, Shutterstock

46. Thanks For Nothing

This wasn’t on a plane, but in the security line. About 6 years back, while about 10 people were in front of my family in the line, a guy runs past the metal detector. It goes off, but he doesn't stop. I couldn't tell what one of the security men yelled, but he yelled it three times.

Instead of stopping the guy, though, all the guards and people behind the desks run into two rooms and close the doors, leaving all us passengers standing there freaking the heck out. A minute or two passes, and a ding goes over the PA system. Then everyone comes out of the rooms.

The PA system then says, “Thanks for being cooperative during our drill, and have a nice day”. Apparently the drill is to leave all the passengers to die while the staff remain safe at airport check-ins.

passengers boarding a flightAnton Havelaar, Shutterstock

47. Mother Of All Lies

I was flying alone and this little girl (maybe 5) wandered down the aisle and said hello. I asked where her parents were. Her response stunned me. She said they died, and an officer was flying with her to take her to her aunt.

My brain was not able to conjure any response at all apart from "errr.... sorry". She then asked if she could look out my window, so I moved over to the aisle seat and let her, with me continuously looking for an officer that she might be travelling with.

She then told me how her parents were driving back from a party last week and their car got pushed off the road by a truck and into a tree. She was quietly crying while telling me this story. Suddenly I hear "Oh there you are" from the aisle. There's a woman standing there. The girl says "hello mommy" and leaves with her.

Girl sitting by aircraft window and looking outsideMNStudio, Shutterstock

48. Information Overload

Not exactly overheard, but I had a guy sit next to me on a plane when I was about 14 and he was absolutely sloshed. He even told me he went to just about every bar in the airport before the flight, and then let me know all about some wedding he was going to.

He even asked me for some of the candy I was eating. But the best part was that he let me know the wedding gift he was bringing. This “gift” was still the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard of. He said it was a humming bird carcass, and also that he had a machete in his suitcase?

It turned out he was in the wrong seat, by the way. The plane had not even taken off and he managed to tell me all this before he was moved.

young man waiting for the planecunaplus, Shutterstock

49. Oh, LARRY

I was on a plane coming back from a work trip. About halfway through the flight home, I start hearing "GODDARNIT LARRY!!" and people groaning etc. Like the whole plane is having a group conversation in a way and I'm unaware of what’s happening.

The person sitting next to me sees my confusion and takes the opportunity to fill me in. "Larry" is sitting a few rows up from me and is Air Dropping, er, “intimate” photos to everyone on the plane. The exasperation is because he has done this multiple times during the flight and he just keeps doing it, so they're trying to call him out very publicly and he KEEPS doing it.

So much so that the plane has identified exactly who Larry is and they are continually yelling at him TO HIS FACE in disgust—and Larry only responds with ANOTHER PICTURE.

It was glorious and terrible. I was laughing when I had to tell my wife the story about what happened on the plane ride on the way home.

Cabin of a modern airplane filled with passengersl i g h t p o e t, Shutterstock

50. Find God, Lose A Relationship

I was sitting next to a young woman and her boyfriend on a flight about to depart to San Diego. They were going for a romantic getaway, and apparently she decided to “find God” on the way to the airport. What did that mean?

Well, she decided that they weren’t having anymore hanky-panky until he married her, but kissing, hand holding, and other PG-rated intimacy were perfectly ok. The boyfriend tried his best not to flip out, but you could tell he was very agitated.

An hour later, we’re in the air and they’re both awkwardly sitting there without saying a word. She gasps and starts crying rather loudly. She’d just made an intense discovery. Apparently, he logged into the planes Wi-Fi, canceled the hotel and booked himself a turnaround flight home. Pretty sure they were done as well.

Unhappy couple having argument while going on a vacationwavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

Sources:  Reddit,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at contribute@factinate.com. Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.