Air travel can be totally unpredictable. Here are some of the funniest, most bizarre moments that have ever happened in airports.
Sometimes layovers can be very tricky: too short to leave the airport, but too long to simply sit and wait. This annoying scenario usually leads to the sad conclusion that you’ll be sleeping in the airport on the uncomfortable seats that don’t allow you to lay down. Luckily, this lady was thin enough to lay under the armrests. Her diet was all worth it for this moment.
Sitting on a plane for 12 hours definitely can cause aches and discomfort, especially in the neck. This passenger came prepared with a travel pillow to maximize her comfort. Since it was tied to her purse and slung low over her hips, it made people double take, as she had unknowingly given herself a new, tan-colored tush. Who knows, maybe she sat on it rather than using it on her neck- it’s definitely more comfortable than the scratchy pillow airlines provide.
Is This The Cockpit?
At first, it might seem like this pilot forgot where the cockpit is located. Hopefully, even passengers flying on the most discount of airlines do not have to sit inside the jet engine. In reality, this is pilot Maria Pettersson of Sweden, who loves flying and yoga, and has garnered a lot of attention through social media posts of photos of her combining those two loves. Here, we can see her de-stressing, looking as if she is about to start mindfulness meditation.
These days, millennials are becoming less and less mature. They are likely to move back in with their parents for an extended period of time after going to college. The babying of this new generation took new heights when this twenty-something greeted his parents at the airport with a tongue-in-cheek sign showing his helplessness. The penguin-themed onesie pajama look added to the sophomoric vibe. Hopefully, for his and his parents’ sake, this was all one big joke.
Traveling can be nerve-wracking, and traveling with a couple of kids is extra stressful. You already have the anxiety of making it to the gate on time, but you also have to make sure the little tykes don’t wander off and accidentally board a plane headed to Malawi. This parent thought she could keep her kids on a leash, literally. Turns out they were not as domesticated as she thought. Looks like she needs some biscuits and a ball to keep these rascals busy.
Sometimes traveling with your teenage daughter can be tough – moodiness and attitude enhanced by the groggy lack of sleep, uncomfortable seats, and tasteless airplane food. Your only hope is the movie on the plane is something she is interested in. Otherwise, good luck. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just check her in with your suitcase, and pick her up at luggage claim? It looks like someone did. This picture is only a tease, though – it’s a teenage girl participating in the 2010 “planking” craze.
Every day, these shoe shiners use polish and some elbow grease to give their clients’ leather shoes a glinting, burnished look. Usually, they cater to the business-class crowd: those with pressed suits and briefcases who can’t stop reading emails on their phones. This time, however, the ladies took care of folks in town for Comic-Con in San Diego. The pair were dressed as versions of Iron Man, and their whole body armor, not just the shoes, needed shining badly. Hopefully, they tipped extra.
We’ve all heard of messenger pigeons, but these falcons on a commercial plane took the idea a bit too far. A Saudi Prince traveling from the United Arab Emirates got passports for his falcons (yes, really) which have a three-year validity and allows the falcons to travel between certain Middle Eastern countries. Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways both allows falcons onboard, but usually with a limit of six. This Saudi played the royalty card and was able to bring a whopping 80.
The city of Aalborg in Denmark is ranked as the European city where the citizens have the highest satisfaction with their living situation. This might be due to the fact that the government is not only interested in making the city run smoothly but also sensitive to the emotions of the people living there. That’s why at the airport, instead of simply having a sign forbidding idling, the city put a sign designating a smooching area, where loved ones can say goodbye before a flight.
Check Your Lightsabers At The Counter
These Star Wars uber fans got together in Denver for a meet-up just before the release of The Force Awakens. As a fun gag, some dressed up as stormtroopers, who held up a sign meant to catch the attention of their leader. When Darth Vader came out, they played the “Imperial March” on their phones and celebrated the reunion loudly, to the delight of the other folks in the terminal. Darth probably drove whoever he was sitting next to on the plane crazy with his loud breathing.
This Toronto family decided to prank the woman of the house by offering her a welcome home that she’d never forget. The trio awaited her arrival from Rotterdam anxiously. When mom finally came through customs, they cheered, and her smile turned to a blush when she saw her daughter revealing the “from prison” sign. Since she was jet lagged and absolutely mortified, mom walked away from them, pretending not to know her own family. Now, she looks back on the prank and laughs.
This Italian airport allegedly has very tight security, but one passenger who passed through security noticed that their officers might not be as vigilant as they should be. Upon closer inspection, the passport-checking software was open behind a game of solitaire. This is not a good sign for Italy, but somehow they have been spared from the terror attacks that have been plaguing Europe recently. Whatever they are doing is working, so it’s best to let them shuffle the cards, and play another game.
Traveling with a child can be a handful. They need to be fed, entertained, and given time to rest when needed. When this little girl’s parents chose their itinerary, they did not realize that having two layovers would be so taxing on her. She was unable to go on, but they had to make it to the gate to make it to dad’s conference in time. So in a brilliant moment of improvisation, the girl slept on a rolling bag, and her dad wheelbarrowed her around the airport.
Seattle is known for its large hipster population, and it shows even at the airport as two separate people were spotted within weeks of each other casting aside laptops for its predecessor, the typewriter. The bulky alternative is not easy to travel with and probably caused a nightmare at airport security. Plus, all the clicking and clacking causes a disturbance to other passengers, who are stuck with the annoying noise for hours upon hours in the cabin. Next time, just bring a laptop like a normal person.
Red Light, Green Light
The symbolic beauty of the Rock Of Gibralter can be reached by landing at the international airport nearby. Whoever designed this airport must have barely passed his or her civil engineering courses. In a huge blunder, the runway has an intersection with Winston Churchill Avenue, a major street where cars can pass! The setup is incredibly dangerous and inefficient for both the motorist and pilot. If you are thinking about going, it’s probably best to consider taking a boat from Spain or Morocco instead.
Place All Cuddly Objects In A Bin
Traveling with a baby is hard work, because not only do you have to make sure they’re wearing clean diapers and fed, you have to fend off the annoyance of other passengers on the plane when the rugrat cries. The other big obstacle is security. This lady absentmindedly placed her baby in a bin for inspection. The TSA is at the center of many air travel horror stories, but even they would not put this tot through the X-ray machine (hopefully).
Flying To See Jenny
Traveling is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to see. This man at the Nashville International Airport was dressed exactly like Forrest Gump, complete with the haircut and Nike running shoes. It is unclear where this fellow was heading, but perhaps he had a ticket for Alabama and was heading to see his mama or perhaps his Jenny. The good news is, if he is late and rushing to his gate, we all know to yell, “run, Forrest! Run!”
When ‘Mokie’ went on his first business trip for work, he knew he could rely on his old college roommates to pick him up, but he never expected this sort of welcome. When he stepped off the plane to his friends holding signs that brought back an embarrassing memory of him choking on a mozzarella stick at their favorite bar, that happened to be captured in a perfectly-timed picture. Luckily for Mokie, he was not traveling with his boss on this trip.
This couple had been together for years. At one point, she was called away to a work conference, leaving him back in New Jersey. For about three months, he considered proposing to her- as they had been going out for almost three years already. Doubts engulfed him every time he was going to do it, but her absence over a long weekend showed him how much he really missed and loved her. He came and asked right when he saw her arrive at the airport. She said yes!
Sparking An Idea
Not having enough battery on your phone can be the difference between waiting at the airport bored out of your mind, or being totally occupied, watching a movie, and texting friends. That’s why airports like Newark Liberty International provide charging stations to make sure all passengers have enough juice for their phones. However, this particular charger only worked if you fed it quarters. One passenger who was not willing to pay found a simple hack: just plug it into the same socket as the machine!
What A Welcome
This guy was always a prankster both in everyday life and in his relationships. When his wife went away on a business trip, he decided to pick her up dressed as a limo driver looking for a “Smokin Hot Italian Chick.” Even though she came to the arrivals hall with her co-workers, and was a bit embarrassed by her husband’s stunt, he was able to use his natural charisma to make the stunt lighthearted and fun for everyone.
These Sri Lankan-American graduate students planned to travel back to see their families, but had the bad fortune to only have vacation during the typhoon season. So even though it was clear skies in Minnesota, their flights were grounded for days. With nowhere to go, they eventually decided to set up camp and wait for clear skies. Suddenly they understood the value and relative softness of a cardboard box as opposed to the ground. When they finally made it home, they appreciated their beds more than ever.
When you travel with your four-legged friend, you have to think about their needs. It’s important to bring a carrier bag and to pack doggy biscuits. Your typical trainer cannot teach dogs to use human toilets, and walking your pup onto the runway to relieve themselves on a baggage handler is not an option either. The San Diego airport realized this and put in a pet relief area, complete with a fake fire hydrant. Like a dog park, it’s a great place to meet other pet owners.
Well, That’s Reassuring
When you take off from Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, you’re greeted with a chilling sight: the skeleton of a crashed plane. The remains come from Dagestan Airlines Flight 372. The engines of flight 372 failed shortly after takeoff, and the pilot was forced to do an emergency landing in freezing rain conditions. During the tumultuous landing, the plane broke into three pieces, causing two fatalities and 92 injuries. The remains were not cleaned up immediately, as they were used as evidence in the pilot’s trial.
This man has traveled many times in his life and has had the bad luck of losing his luggage multiple times. Airlines have sent his bags to the wrong city on multiple occasions, and once his bag was even stolen from the claims area. To make sure this never happened to him again, he decided to get his face printed directly on a hard-shell rolling bag with his most important items, so there could be no confusion about who owned it.
Nunderneath The Robes
The TSA sometimes chooses the most unlikely people to search extra thoroughly. This nun was checked for weapons underneath her robes, which seems ridiculous, as the only weapon this sister might have is a ruler. However, the TSA must check, because bad agents may try and dress innocently to pass security at a lower level of stringency. She got through no problem, as all she had with her was her simple dress and some books- the New Testament, and a diary of a famous nun from the 1600s.
When these guys started learning gymnastics, everyone laughed at them for wearing tights and hanging out with all the girls at the aerobatic gym. But when parkour became popular, they were primed and ready to transition to the sometimes dangerous, always impressive hobby. When they did stunts, the pair took amazing, gravity-defying pictures and posted them on social media outlets, where they became immensely popular. They really threw it in the faces of those who laughed at them early on.
Make Yourself At Home
After a flight cancellation, hundreds of passengers are thrown into disarray. A mob of angry customers usually head to the service desk and make a scene, and kick up dust. Finally, everyone begrudgingly gets into a line, and it takes forever to sort everyone as final destinations vary from person to person. This fellow decided to make himself at home and stretch out on the ground, using a backpack as a pillow, to wait until the crowd died down before getting his ticket re-booked.
Many Hands Make Flight Work
In the age of television and the internet, nothing is impossible anymore, and even the strangest things that you can think of exists on the web. One of the most bizarre things out there is this picture of a group of little people pulling an airplane. This feat was pulled off for a television show called Man Vs. Beast, where animals and humans compete. This episode had 44 little people and an elephant race to see which group could pull DC-10 planes faster. The elephant was faster.
The Grinch Of The Airport
Some things you cannot bring on airplanes are no-brainers. Firearms, knives, gas canisters, and anything that would be a risk to the passengers or cabin pressure are banned. Airlines do sometimes have strange restrictions. The TSA acted like the Grinch when they banned snowglobes, as they have water that might be switched out with a clear explosive liquid. The Bangkok airport banned flying with Durians, a fruit native to Thailand and Malaysia, as they smell bad and can make passengers dizzy.
Not Taking Any Chances
This passenger might be the most high-maintenance person to ever fly. He is wearing intense, noise-canceling headphones to block out the constant hum of the engines, a sleep mask to block out any light, and a surgical mask to block any germs. Along with covering every sensory organ on his face, this guy is using a neck pillow with adjustable straps to achieve perfect tension. It would be hard to get this guy’s attention when you need to get past him to go to the bathroom.
In Plane View
Just how far will people go to get social media followers? This Brazilian pilot, Daniel Centeno, has almost seventy-seven thousand people following his Instagram page, due to his death-defying plane selfies. This picture shows his plane flying high above the Palm Islands in Dubai, UAE. Many were skeptical as to if these photos are real, as the speed at which the plane was going would not only throw off Daniel’s glasses but also probably be a mortal mistake. Turns out the images are photoshopped (yet still awesome!).
I Saw The Sign… And It Was Illegible
When Christmas time rolls around, this little girl, six, loves nothing more than getting presents. The first grader, although young, always remembers that her best presents come from her grandma and grandpa. Last year, she had gotten not only exactly the doll she asked Santa for from them, but also grandma’s warm sugar cookies. She made a sign to welcome them to the best of her abilities. It is so illegible, it’s cute. Either way, she got a huge hug and kiss from both of them.
Drawing The Line
When you are a kid, everything is a toy. Unfortunately, the son of this Chinese man happened to find daddy’s passport and used it as a doodle pad. With a black felt pen, the four-year-old gave his father a beard and a pet pig. This was an issue, as the family was in South Korea on a vacation, and the border patrol did not find the boy’s artwork as endearing as his parents did. His family went home, and he had to go to the embassy.
It looks like somebody who works at the airport is very gifted at Tetris. These trolleys have an incredible number of suitcases piled onto them, and are shockingly balanced. Many people think this image is altered in some way, but, the images are, in fact, real. The luggage, though, does not belong to any customers. It’s an art installation called “Samson” at the Sacramento International Airport. It’s too bad it’s not real, as an entire jumbo jet could simply use one trolley, saving time and money.
Good To Keep In Mind
This sign is not your typical “no parking” or “no idling” sign. This parking lot is in extreme proximity to the runway of the nearby St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport, which was poorly designed- people can stand close to the planes taking off. In July 2017, a 57-year-old tourist from New Zealand was thrown to the ground by the gusts from a jet engine, and she hit her head, leading to her eventual demise. Instead of posting a sign, they should probably re-design the airport.
All airports have the problem of birds flying and landing on and near the runway. In worst case scenarios, the birds can collide with engines, and cause what is known as cascading failure. Airports generally have traps and sirens to shoo birds away. The Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan decided to fight the problem by hiring an unconventional employee: a border collie named Piper. He patrols the perimeter, and chases animals and birds away from the runway, all while wearing ski goggles and ear protection.
This picture taken by photographer Mike Kelley is incredible. It is called “Wake Turbulence,” and shows all the departing flights during a single day at LAX, Los Angeles’ international airport. He took 400 images, and then took 75 of the best ones, and put them all together in one amazing photo you can see here. There is something poetic about this flock of metal birds, with its cosmopolitan travelers on board, all leaving from the same place and spreading across the globe.
One-Way To Antarctica
These Humboldt penguins were poached by exotic bird hunters, and through the quick action of conservationists, were able to be brought back to their native habitat, an island off of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Strangely enough, it turned out the easiest way to get these little guys back to their natural habitat was on a commercial plane, rather than driving them to a boat and then sailing around the Cape. Security treated them like everyone else – who knows what these guys have under their tuxedos?
Delays on the runway usually have to do with icy, wet weather, especially when you look at Alaskan airports. In the Anchorage airport terminal, there are many stuffed bears: trophies of the grizzly hunters who live in the area. On this particular day, a polar bear wandered in from the ice onto the runway, delaying all flights until authorities could move him safely using tranquilizers. Perhaps the bear was simply trying to visit his stuffed family inside, to pay respects to them.
Always Log Out
These friendly Geordies are some of the most fun baggage handlers in the whole of the Newcastle International Airport. The pair usually uses the kiosks with tablets and free internet access on their lunch hour after taking a smoke break. This particular day, one of them noticed that a traveler called Jasmine had left her Facebook logged in. He and Steve, always the pranksters, decided to teach her a lesson in a playful, yet public, way in the form of a cheeky selfie.
We Talked About This
This girl was always a little bit concerned when it seemed like her boyfriend, spent more time taking selfies than she did. He is a bit social media-obsessed, taking a selfie stick everywhere. Once, he even brought it to a funeral (although he did not end up using it, but still). She talked to him about it, and convinced him to throw away his selfie stick and deactivate his social media accounts, to better live in the moment. As we can see, it didn’t work.
Flying on a holiday is hectic. Everyone is desperate to get home, and nobody is happy to be missing precious family time. Spanair executives understood this, so on their Christmas Eve flight to Las Palmas, they did something special. They put personalized, wrapped presents for each customer on the baggage claim conveyor belt! They even made sure that kids and adults got the right presents for their age- candy and toys for kids, and electronics and beauty products for adults. This gesture was truly in the holiday spirit.
Powerful Beach Breeze
One of the most notable beaches in the world is Maho Beach, on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. It doesn’t have the bluest water, or the finest sand, but it is close to an airport runway. Due to the architecture of the airport, planes fly very close to the sunbathers at the beach. Many “plane spotters” as well as curious tourists congregate there to take incredible pictures. However, it can be very unsafe, as the jet blast can push people down into the water.
In No Rush
This tired grandma was on her way to see her grandson’s high school graduation but was in no rush to get to the gate, even putting her carry-on bag on the ground. Standing in the middle of the conveyor, she had no notion that she was holding back a gaggle of people trying to walk around her. Luckily, nobody in the crowd was in a dire rush, so they were all smiles at the awkward situation. Sometimes it turns out, it’s faster to walk the old-fashioned way.
On the way to LAX, this unprecedented luggage arrangement was seen: a couple driving over 70 miles per hour on a Kawasaki, with a rolling bag driving along on the pavement. This hilarious idea seemed like it was working fine, but even the finest Swiss-made luggage cannot withstand such friction and speed. Surely, the next picture of this couple is them collecting their underwear from the pavement as cars whiz by, cursing each other for not simply ordering a taxi to the airport.