25 voters

17 People Are Sharing Their Worst Airplane Travel Stories And We're Stunned

Updated April 22, 2021 161 votes 25 voters 1.6k views17 items

List RulesVote up the most ridiculous air travel stories.

Eager to get up in the air and travel again? So are we! Before you get ready to jet set yourself out of here, check out these airplane horror stories from the people of the internet. Maybe you can better prepare yourself for your next flight experience (or re-think it all together)!

  • 1

    Thai Scare!

    From Redditor /u/Rubbishwizard

    Was on a Thai Airlines flight, there's an announcement in Thai that I don't understand.

    All the Thai passengers immediately look terrified and freak out and put their seat belts on and hold their children and mutter desperately.

    The rest of the passengers (like 80%) look at each other with confused looks.

    The plane shakes a lot.

    The plane shakes a lot more,

    Another announcement in Thai,

    All the Thai passengers cheer and hug each other and take off their seat belts, to this day I still have no clue what happened.

    Lower the landing gear?
  • 2

    A Dangerous Flight Indeed

    From Redditor /u/Check_My_Credentials

    Was a steward (back when they still called them that) when I was young and wanted to see the world. At one point I was spending a lot of time in Africa.

    Well, this happened to be during a time that a certain viral hemorrhagic disease had been spotted in one of the inner countries. Back then, nobody knew much about it. We were flying to North Africa when one of the passengers begins to implode. He vomits blood, so much of it that the bag can't contain it. We clear his row and lay him down. He looks really bad-discoloring all over his face and body, flushed face, insane fever. There was a doctor on board and he didn't know what to do. He thought it might be a severe case of malaria, but it didn't quite match up. The other passengers are obviously freaking out and I'm trying to keep my cool.

    We landed at our destination (since the guy started falling apart about an hour out) and he was taken off the plane in a stretcher. I don't know if he made it or not. I would assume he didn't, considering the condition he was in and the mortality rate of these diseases. But the truly frightening part of this was that since "hemorrhagic fever" had not entered the medical lexicon at that point, all the passengers got off the plane and dispersed. There was no quarantine. It is sheer, blind, stupid luck that a global pandemic did not start from this incident.

    Lower the landing gear?
  • 3

    Oh, Deer!

    From Redditor /u/kayenta

    A guy I know used to fly King Airs for an air ambulance service in Arizona. He hit a deer on takeoff. Right as he rotated his nose gear collided with the buck and he got gear unsafe warnings, the down-and-locked light for the nose gear extinguished, and his landing lights went out.

    He had to make a few terrifying passes near the control tower to see if controllers could see if his gear appeared to be down. He landed after a time and his nose gear was indeed down and locked so it went pretty smoothly for him. The King Air was pretty badly damaged though.

    Lower the landing gear?
  • 4

    A Pilot’s List Of Scary Experiences

    From Redditor /u/500b

    I'm an ex-freight dog, so I've had enough wild scary experiences to get more than a few white hairs at 30. Bad ice and thunderstorm penetration were the norm, but highlights of my time flying freight include:

    • Losing my artificial horizon in the middle of a thunderstorm (no standby either)
    • Getting caught in wind shear event in IMC that had me climbing at 2000 feet per minute with the throttles closed, the gear out, and 10 degrees of pitch down.
    • An encounter with severe ice - airplanes all around were declaring emergencies and I landed with 4-6 inches of ice on all the unprotected areas of the airplane.
    • Losing my Airspeed indicator 30 seconds after takeoff on a hard IFR night
    • A June bug flew out from underneath the instrument panel 2 seconds after takeoff. I thought the wings were falling off for about .0002 of a second
    • As an instructor, I had one partial power emergency, and a super fun smoke in the cockpit (burning wiring) emergency.
    • Getting the crap scared out of me when a cargo door popped open in hard IMC. LOUD.
    Lower the landing gear?