Hey there, fellow travelers! Buckle up as we dive into the wild world of air travel and unruly passengers. Get ready for jaw-dropping stories that will make you laugh, cringe, and maybe even appreciate your seatmate a little more. From smelly situations to poor passenger etiquette, these flight attendants spill the tea on the passengers who took turbulence to a whole new level. Fasten your seatbelts – it’s gonna be a bumpy ride! All content has been edited for clarity purposes.
“She Smelled Like She Spent A Week At A Sweat Lodge”
“My husband flew a lot for work, so he had a ton of crazy stories about insane passengers. The most recent and ridiculous, however, took place on a trip back from Hawaii.
While he waited to board the plane, he noticed a distinct smell of body odor. He did the whole ‘Wait, crap, do I stink?’ panic, trying to surreptitiously sniff his armpits when he noticed a bunch of the other people waiting were all doing the same thing. Figuring it was either someone else or there was a stockpile of raw onions nearby, he stopped thinking about it. Until THEY boarded the plane.
Because of all of my husband’s Delta miles, he was in first class, in the aisle seat. He sat down and pulled out a book. The window seat next to him is empty and stayed empty for a while, so he thought, ‘Cool, empty row!’
Then, just as boarding finished, suddenly, a horrible, pungent smell FILLED the cabin. It was so bad, my husband said every passenger in first class reacted, snapping their heads up to see what in the smelly hell just walked on the plane.
It was a young-ish woman, probably in her late 20’s, or early 30’s. Very hippie-chick style, wearing sort of a flowy top over a tank top. And she smelled like she had not bathed in days. Seriously, my best guess was she’d spent a week at a sweat lodge and hadn’t cleaned herself since. And, of course, she plopped herself down right next to my husband.
Now, as I said, he was a seasoned traveler, so he was used to a lot, and his tolerance was pretty high. However, my husband said this woman’s smell was so bad, his eyes immediately started watering. The flight attendant came over, and the woman ordered a Mai Tai. Then she pulled out a book and started highlighting passages. Meanwhile, call buttons were beginning to light up like crazy, with pretty much every other passenger on the plane saying, ‘Oh, HELL no!’ about being stuck in a metal box from Hawaii to L.A. with someone who smelled like she slept with every member of Phish back in 2006 and vowed to never bathe again.
Anyway, over the next fifteen minutes, while the woman sat there reading obliviously, my husband watched as the poor flight attendants had multiple whispered, nervous conversations at the front of the plane, all the while staring at the smelly lady. My husband was alternating between texting me in horror and making eye contact with the attendants. He was doing the ‘wide-eyes-of-terror’ at them, and they were nodding at him and wide-eyeing right back. By this time, my husband was nervous about getting a migraine because the smell was so overwhelming. People nearby were wrapping shirts around their faces to combat the odor.
Finally, the gate agent approached. She asks the woman to follow her to the front, where apparently, they gave her some soap and a new shirt, and sent her into the bathroom.
A few minutes later, she emerged wearing a new shirt, but still smelling atrocious.
‘They gave her soap but no instructions,’ my husband texted miserably, ‘Can’t they SEE she doesn’t know what to do with it? SOAP IS HARD FOR HER.’
The woman sat back down and promptly ordered another drink. Another few minutes passed, with more wide-eyed-silent ‘help me’ faces from my husband. Passengers nearby were increasingly voicing their complaints about the woman’s odor. It was abundantly clear that if actions weren’t taken, there was going to be a big ol’ mutiny in the first class of a Delta airplane.
At this point, two agents approach the row. Now, this lady had the window seat, and my husband was in the aisle, so this entire conversation had to take place with him awkwardly in the middle.
The agents leaned in and told the woman, ‘We’re sorry, but you can’t ride on this plane. You smell too bad, and you aren’t fit to be a passenger.’
The woman was incredulous, and kept saying, ‘Just because YOU think I smell bad? Sounds like a lawsuit to me!’
Meanwhile, the agents were being as friendly as they could, explaining how they would happily put her in a hotel for the night so she could take a shower. However, they couldn’t allow her to board another Delta plane until she cleaned herself off. The woman didn’t make too much of a scene, and they all gathered her belongings and walked away together.
The best part, though, was how right before she stood up, she whined, ‘I have an important meeting back in Los Angeles today, and I HAVE to fly out this afternoon!’
One of the flight attendants smiled and brightly said, ‘Well, we can’t help you, but I think there’s still room on a United flight!’
My husband said it was one of the most surreal experiences ever.”
“It Was Dead Silent On The Plane”
“My mom always tells this story from her days of being a first-class flight attendant.
Two years ago, she was on a plane, and the passengers had just boarded. The plane was sitting on the tarmac about to pull away from the gate. Sitting next to my mom was a typical rude business guy who was on a phone call yelling at someone on the other end.
A nice flight attendant came over, leaned over my mom, and said, ‘Sir, you’re going to have to turn the phone off, the cabin doors are closed.’
Of course, if it were economy class, the flight attendant would have been more forceful. However, this was first class, so the attendant only gave him a small warning.
The guy quieted down, but he still didn’t get off his phone. At this point, the flight attendants were doing the safety protocol speech as the plane began backing up. All of a sudden, the guy started yelling again on the phone.
A different flight attendant, a bit more forceful this time, said, ‘SIR. We need you to turn off your phone!’
The guy turned to her and said, ‘Was I talking to you? SHUT UP! You’re just a worthless flight attendant!’
The flight attendant gave him a ‘humph’ face, then turned and walked into the cockpit.
Where the guy messed up, is that he didn’t realize a lot of pilots were veterans. Military men didn’t take any lip from guys like him. So, only seconds later, my mom heard a door slam. The pilot storms out of the cockpit, so angry she could see the veins on his face.
His eyes bulged as he yelled in rage, ‘WHAT DID YOU SAY TO HER?! This is MY aircraft, and in case of emergency, I expect every passenger to follow the commands of my air staff. You disrespecting her is disrespectful to me, and it puts every person on this plane at risk!’
The guy, being berated by a massive angry ex-soldier, completely cowered. He put away his phone and stammered an apology.
Without missing a beat, the pilot continued, ‘You can take your sorry and shove it! You’re not going anywhere! It is a federal crime to disobey an order from an aircrew. You can tell whoever was so important on the other end of the phone call all about it after you talk to TSA!’
The pilot went back into the cockpit and pulled the plane back to the gate. Some uniformed police come in and took the guy off.
It was dead silent on the plane. Everyone in unison took out their phone, waved it in the air, and showed it in the ‘off’ position. Just like the ‘tickets’ scene from Indiana Jones. Priceless.”
“She Saw A Lot Of Stuff People Could Never Get Away With Now”
“My mother was a flight attendant in the 1960s, so she saw a lot of stuff people could never get away with now.
For example, she once had a schizophrenic man urgently call for a flight attendant because he claimed to be receiving messages from aliens.
The man said, ‘Aliens are going to intercept the plane! I need to talk to the pilot! Somebody needs to do something!’
My mother heard the commotion, ran to first class, and grabbed a silver salad bowl.
She then proceed to put it on the man’s head and explained, ‘This will protect you from the alien’s messages. If you wear it, they won’t be able to track the plane.’
So, naturally, the man spent the remainder of the flight with the bowl on his head.
Another time, a man who was about 5’2 wearing a tweed suit and round glasses came onto the plane. He strapped his bag in his seat next to him instead of storing it away.
My mother walked up to him and politely explained, ‘You need to put the bag in storage. You have a ticket for it, see?’
The man put his bag away in storage, and all was seemingly fine. All until my mom walked by him later, and in place of the bag, was a taxidermied monkey the man was having a conversation with.
He asked my mother, ‘Do you have a banana?’ and then attempted to feed the monkey.
This went on for the entire trip, and then he packed the monkey up at the end of the flight.
Finally, on a separate occasion, my mother went to the front of the plane and found a man trying to open the door.
After she stopped him, the man replied, ‘I’m going to be late for my meeting. I need to get off now!’
My mother replied, ‘But sir, we’re over the Atlantic Ocean.’
He then proceeded to argue with her until she said, ‘Oh sir, they’ve moved your meeting to the coat closet.’
He thanked her for the update and sat in the closet for the rest of the flight.
Needless to say, my mom had her fair share of weirdos. The 60s were wild.”
“It Angered Me To No End”
“One of my best friends was a flight attendant for a few years. So, I have heard quite a few insane stories about unruly passengers from her.
My absolute FAVORITE story my friend told me was about Nicki Minaj. One time, my friend had to wait on Nicki Minaj on a first-class flight. She said Nicki was pretty much the absolute worst passenger she’d ever waited on. She was rude, demanding, and kept doing weird things.
The weirdest thing Nicki did was order a vodka cranberry, and when my friend would deliver it, she’d take one sip, hand it back, and ask for another. Nicki’s whole posse kept doing this until they’d gone through all of the mini bottles.
As a bartender, the story angered me to no end.”