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This is a question Airport Stories

Back when I was a moody teenager I took a cheap flight that involved changing planes and having to go through security again. My bags were pre-checked so, when I set off the metal detector, I honestly said to the security guy that I had no idea what had set it off.

Until, that is, he searched me and found the metal knife and fork stamped "KLM" I'd nicked off the previous flight.

Tell us your best airport stories.

(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:09)
Pages: Latest, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, ... 1

This question is now closed.

I was traumatised for life
Last year In an act of desperation I took a contract job in Saudi Arabia. After hearing all sorts of rumours I was pretty worried especially with the security situation. The Marriott had concrete posts outside to protect against bombers, there were machine gun check points everywhere and a small square outside the hotel where they would behead people on a Friday. All in all I was pretty glad to get back to the airport. The taxi driver on the way back pointed out the power pylons that al-qaeda had blown up the week before and at the airport there were seperate facilities for women and a regular "wailer" every hour at prayer time. By now I was pretty nervous, and felt the need to releive my poor bowels big time. After running to the toilet cubicle and giving the bowl a good splattering I noticed one of those bubbler pipe things that you see in arab markets. Wow. These Saudis sure know how to relax and have just gone up in my cultural estimation. Relax, take a dump and a smoke. Heaven. I picked up the pipe, put it to my lips and with a contented sigh pressed the lever and took a good deep breath.

Fucksox. I nearly choked and drowned as my lungs filled with the shitty water from some arabs crap box. These fucking things are for washing your ass. It took me nearly two hours to stop urging and I have never been back to the middle east since.
(, Sat 4 Mar 2006, 9:07, Reply)
Jolly cheerful immigration official
I feel a little cheated, as I've never had a bad airport experience.

At JFK starting a weeks honeymoon we'd timed the flights to arrive late local time and get some kip to reset the body clock. Similarly, we were leaving early local time to have a long day on the flight back and do the same. Having done it a few times it seems to work.

Anyhoo, the emmigration chappy was one of the biggest guys I've ever seen. At least 6' 8" and built like a brick outhouse. Not in stereotypically american lardarse sense, but just 20 stone of bulging muscle.

"Purpose of Visit?"

"Holiday, well, honeymoon actually"

"Congratulations sir, but why New York?"

"I like shoe shops"

"OK, works for me. How long will you be staying?"

"Seven days, but eight nights" (I was worried that I might be thrown out on the stroke of midnight on the last day, I get very nervous around authority)

"AAAAAALLLLL RIIIIGHT!!! EIGHT NIGHTS MAN!!!"

The rest of the lounge is then treated to the impressive sight of this collosus standing up and miming shagging someone bent over his desk, while also spanking her ass and whooping and hollering as if his life depended on it.

Needless to say I laughed so hard stuff came out of my nose. It took at least half a dozen attempts to take my picture with the little digicam thingy because I couldn't keep a straight face.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 16:07, Reply)

"And now, for your in-flight enjoyment, the blockbuster film Final Destination! Thankyou for flying with Ryan Air"
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:20, Reply)
vibrating luggage
you can probably guess what i'm gonna say already, but every time i recount this story it makes me do a laughter wee. names and places have been changed a little bit to protect the guilty.

i was with my girlfriend vicky in new zealand and it was her birthday. we go out, get very drunk and decide to visit a sex shop. while vix isn't looking i buy a rather large black vibrating dildo and some batteries. we're due to fly the next day, so upon our return to the hostel i quite undiscretely secrete the dildo into her suitcase. we wake about 3 minutes before we are due to fly so panic sets in. vicky discovers the dildo and finds it hilarious. she wouldn't have found it hilarious if it not were for the alcoholic stupor, says thanks but she'll leave it here as she has me to satisfy her lady urges.

but no, i aint leaving $50 of black cock for the simple reason of price. so i chuck it in my hand luggage and manage to transfer it back into her suitcase en route in the taxi. we get there just in time and check the luggage in, go to the gate and get on the plane.

but what on earth is the delay? the captain says we've now missed our take-off slot and have to wait another half hour. the reason he gives is that there is a "sound emanation" from the hold. we sit and watch the suitcases come off the plane. vicky leans over and asks me why they are inspecting her case. its definitley hers cos its fucking massive and fucking pink. a member of the ground staff boards the plane and asks if a miss victoria markham is on board. the daggers i get from said (now former) girlfriend are enough to draw blood. she storms off the plane knowing full well what i've done. but this is the best bit. in clear view of the whole plane, vicky opens her case and pulls out the wobbling phallus to rapturous applause. but wait! she cant turn it off, its stuck to vibrate more violently than michael j fox in earthquake country. for a good ten minutes groundstaff grapple with the cock before vix rips it off them and hurls it on the floor. only this managed to pop the battery cover off and bring the vibrating fun to an end.

anyway, i get a good old bollocking from vicky and the groundcrew. but the best bit is that we get pissed on the plane and she lets me up the dirt track in the toilet 5 miles high. bonus!
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:35, Reply)
My most dignified moment
I'd gone to visit a mate in Malmo, southern Sweden, and the nearest airport was a ferry trip away in Copenhagen. On the last day of my stay we elected to have an all-day bender in Copenhagen.

And what a bender it was. It ended at about 1am with me throwing some poor bastard's bike into the docks as my mate sailed away on the last ferry (I am not terribly proud of this), then I had several hours to kill until I had to check in for my flight home at 7am - so I had the wonderful idea of carrying on drinking at all-night bars until I set off for Copenhagen airport.

To this day I have no idea what happened during the next few hours.

The next thing I knew, I was being roughly shaken awake by a rather agitated security guard. A queue of people were standing about 30 ft away tutting at me and turning their childrens' heads around to point elsewhere. It took me a while to work out why; or, indeed, where the hell I was. But as my senses slowly came back to life all became clear.

I was laying flat on my back in the middle of the terminal at the airport, with my rucksac nearby, all the contents strewn wildly about the floor, including the large amount of porn I had presumably purchased somewhere along the way. And, inexplicably, a big black dildo.

And I was drenched almost head to foot in piss and vomit. I can only hope it was my own.
.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:17, Reply)
Security for proles
Security for proles
Back when I was working as a temp for airport security post 9-11 Gatwick airport was the most tedious place in the world to be at 4 in the morning.
However, you met some interesting people and I got to spend a bit of time with the rifle bearing lads of various police divisions.
Now airport duty is dull, dull, dull. So when something exciting happens everyone tends to be 'on form and up for it.'
Que me, politely asking people to check their bags for knives, scissors, various naughty objects that are now verboten in hand luggage.
I was checking the prole-express to some piss hole in spain - lots of ruddy checked wideboys already goggling the equally vile women in the queue.
"Allright lads - nothing that shouldn't be in your hand luggage then?" *I actually show them diagrams, just to get across the point*

"Yeah - my mate 'ere has got an uzi and I'm carrying a grenade - what can you about it?"

This particular brand of gorilla actually attempted to intimidate me. Now for those who don't know every inch of Gatwick is monitored - the only blindspots are the khazi cubicles.

I tell him to back down - even as I'm doing so I can see two black clad and armoured blokes moving to covering positions on the balcony - they're wielding the the semi-auto version for the MP5 for the gun connoisseurs amongst you.

I can smell stale booze on the gorilla who is mere inches away from me and glaring at me.

"I'll ask you again - you don't have anything on this list in your baggage?"

"I fucking told you already - uzi and grenades."

His mates have stopped laughing as two more armed men circle out behind him and signal for me to move away.

I break into a smile and give them the space to 'politely ask him to lie down, not move an place hands out flat'.

I think he may have actually shit himself.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 17:39, Reply)
Crash!
I was on a plane that crashed. Thankfully rather than being at 36,000 feet we were on the ground at an airport and doing probably about 30mph.

We were off on a skiing holiday and after an pretty boring charter flight we landed at Lyon airport. We were taxiing to the terminal when there was a huge crash, the plane lurched to the left, a stewardess fell over and my mate Mark shouted, "Yes, I've always wanted to go down the slides!". I was on the left of the plane and couldn't see out the window what was going on. In fact, it's all a bit of a mistery until one of my friends on the other sides of the plane called out, "Bloody hell, we hit the sodding lamp post!!!".

Yes, our highly trained pilot had driven the plane into a lamp post and torn the end of the wing off. Numpty.


(, Sat 4 Mar 2006, 21:39, Reply)
Many times...
...I have got the sack for being late.
.
.
.
.
Bugger.
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 2:01, Reply)
Mr Nice
I was only 5 people away from the customs desk in LAX when I realised I had a Cooks Matchbox full of Fijian weed in my pocket. There were sniffer dogs and everything. 18 years old, and I was going to be put to death!

I jumped the queue and went up to the customs woman and said "excuse me, I need to declare my tent".
"You need to do what, Sir?"
"I need to declare my tent. The pegs have got soil on them".
"Right...."
"Yes, they have soil which might be contaminated, mightn't it? I'd better give you my tent".
"No that's fine Sir, please keep your tent".
"Right ho, I'll just give you my bags then and you can have a good old look through them".
"No that's fine, Sir, please go through, Have a nice day".

And I SWEAR that as I walked past, one of the sniffer dogs grinned and winked at me.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 14:33, Reply)
McBain
I handed over my passport to Rainier Wolfcastle who was manning the customs box at Niederrhein airport. He looked at it for a moment and furrowing his giant German brow, he tapped something up on his computer.

"Oh no, you in biiiiig trouble."

There was a brief moment of panic and bewilderment, before he followed up with

"JUST KIDDING!!! HA! HA! HAAA!!"
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 16:24, Reply)
Cyprus
A nice relaxing holiday all in all .... was waiting in the airport for the flight home and walked past a charity collection bucket thing.

Arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh arrrgh... ad inf

img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/garfi3ld/charity1.jpg

img.photobucket.com/albums/v299/garfi3ld/charity3.jpg
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:07, Reply)
We have ways of making you look like a twat...
Anyone who’s read my answer to the ‘Shame’ QOTW will know that Airport security and I have a chequered relationship. But it’s not just confined to projectile vomiting on check-in staff, oh no…

Coming back from the land of bureaucracy (or Germany as it says on the map), I had my bag searched at the airport. The impassive german security guard went through my stuff, finding nothing of interest until he comes across that potentially most dangerous of weapons, a tampon. He held it up, quizzically saying ‘Wass is das?’ ‘It’s a tampon’, I replied (in English as my German goes as far as ‘Bier, bitte’.) He obviously was unfamiliar with the word, so he asked again, more loudly and going slightly redder in the face. I did the traditional British thing of ‘if they can’t understand you, speak more slowly and loudly’. Nope, he just shouted a bit louder back. So I realised there was nothing for it but to mime. I took it off him, unwrapped it, showed him the little cardboard tube thingy, pointed out the absorbent inner core, then pointed at my downstairs lady bits. He looked, if possible, even more confused and angry. Thank god at that point a female guard came over, clocked what was happening, shrieked ‘KLAUS, NEIN…’ and thrust my bag back at me, while dragging him off to presumably explain the fine points of women’s hygiene products. I swear I thought I was going to have to actually shove the damn thing in to make my point that it wasn’t loaded.

I’ve also been made to hop through security with a broken foot as the jobsworth behind the desk thought my crutches were packed with explosives and took them away to be dismantled. He made me hop through four times for him and his mates amusement… Tweezer confiscating cnut…
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 13:08, Reply)
Knob-ring fun
Set the Metal detector off, on the way to Miami.
My Daughter started laughing out loud as the Security guy started running the hand held doobry around me.
'My Daddys got a ring in his willy.' came the extra loud, 5-year old voice.
The guy just waved me past.
So, try smuggling your nail clippers in your Japs-eye.
(, Tue 7 Mar 2006, 23:49, Reply)
Hilarious German Customs Agents
I was flying back from Frankfurt to the UK after a business trip. For some reason, German customs check your passport when you leave country, unlike the UK where check-in staff do that. Anyway, used to this procedure, I handed over my passport and answered the big customs chappie's questions in my piss-poor German:

Customs Chappie, looking at my passport, notices my surname and asked "Is this pronounced Murdock or Murdotch?" (my name is actually Murdoch).

I answered "Murdock".

He called over several of his colleagues to look at it and I thought "Oh crap, someone with my name is an international terrorist".

I was quite relieved when they all burst out laughing heartily saying "Ha Ha! Like the A-Team! Ha Ha Ha!".
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 15:46, Reply)
The Flying Doctor
Airports might be annoying, but you do miss them when they're not there.

Travelling in true wanky student hippy style round Cambodia in 2001, myself and a couple of mates hired mopeds. Muppet mate somehow manages to fall off whilst going about 5 mph on soft grass. The fall didn't look bad- it was practically in slow motion and everyone's first reaction was to laugh, including the muppet mate. When he instinctively tried to leap up, his laugh turned to a scream as he noticed his dislocated ankle. There was some debate about popping it back in again, which we luckily didn't attempt- it later turned out the leg was also broken in three places.

Anyway.

We got him back to the no-hospital village we were staying in. We'd originally got there by jeep as there weren't any roads, but he was in no condition to do the skull-rattling off-road bounce back to the capital city, where the nearest hospital was.

Enter the Flying Doctor.

The Flying Doctor was an Australian chap who sounded (and later turned out to look) like a cross between Rolf Harris and a serial killer. We contacted said medic via a primitive village telephone: "G'day. Yeah. No. His leg, eh? I see. Sure mate. Yeah. Siem Riep? I'll come and getcha. No problem, mate." He then rang off before we had a chance to explain what we'd assumed might be a hitch in his plan to fly out to us in a small plane and pilot us back to safety: the village had no airport.

Five hours later, with muppet mate going grey and passing out every so often, having had no painkillers apart from some paracetamol, we're beginning to despair. But all is not lost. The following memory is best soundtracked to the Ride Of The Valkyries- what's that on the horizon? A tiny speck, growing bigger and bigger... Can you guess what it is yet? Heaven praise the noble Flying Doctor, he's here to save us. But where will he land? He's getting closer, lower... There's no runway, he'll have to turn around and go back again! Woe. But no, the Cambodian villagers tending their crops must instead sprint for their lives as The Flying Doctor lands his aeroplane in their main rice field, scattering mud and crops and triangular hats everywhere. He rolls to a stop, having wrecked most of the field, then jumps out and runs up to us with a cheeky cackle, like he'd just done a slightly dodgy u-turn or something.

I'll add the guilt over excessive length to the daily weight of knowing I was partially responsible for depriving an entire Cambodian village of their livelihood.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:04, Reply)
Wierd Traditions
Slightly off topic but...

I have two bizarre traditions that sort of tie in to this QOTW.

For some reason, I've been collecting one of every type of the safety cards they put in the planes. I've got shit loads!

Worse than this though is my equally strange and strong compulsions to beat off on every type of aircraft too. Seriously, I can't help it! If it's not a model in the 'collection', the minute that seat-belt sign is switch off, I can be seen heading for the shitter for some first-class hand-to-gland combat in order to satisfy this urge.

Who else can honestly and categorically say they've stroked the lord on a....

Airbus: A319, A320, A321
Boeing: 737, 757, 767, 777
McDonnell Douglas: MD-80, MD-90
BAe: 146

??

I get some seriously odd looks sometimes when emerging from the small box of a toilet red-faced and out of breath. People either clock on (and promptly decide to wait for the next toilet) or assume I've just taken a hell-raising shit (and also decide to wait).

Anyway, I can't believe I'm even telling you this. But it's good to share.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:46, Reply)
Fire!
The scene was Manchester Airport, probably over ten years ago. Long enough ago, anyway, to still allow smoking in the terminals. So there's my Grandad merrily puffing away on a cigar to celebrate the start of his holiday with my Granny, Auntie and Uncle. Upon finishing his cigar he discovers there are no ashtrays on top of the bins so he does what any awkward old bugger would do, he tosses the still lit butt into the bin. A couple of minutes later and smoke is billowing out of it. Its at this point that a worried staff-member turns up and starts frantically using his radio.

A couple of minutes later the flaming bin has been put on a trolley and wheeled off to be dealt with and my family, with the exception of my Grandad, are standing around blushing furiously. At this point two burly security guards turn up, but luckily the family's flight is called for boarding. Before they can make their escape, however, the guards are on them asking if they saw who set fire to the bin. My Auntie has visions of them being detained, missing their flight and ruining their holiday and is about to start mumbling apologies about how he's an old man and he's not all there and so on and so forth. At this point she's cut off as my Grandad points excitedly towards a random man on the other side of the terminal and says "He did it. I saw him!". The rest of the family look dumbstruck as the security guards tear off shouting "Hey you!" at some poor man. My Grandad laughed to himself and then walked through the gate grinning, the family quickly followed before his cunning ruse was uncovered. Total git or comedy genius? You decide.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:40, Reply)
Are these real, ma'am?
Last year I'd been conducting a bit of a email/text-based thing with a girl from Ireland. She was really into all manner of "unusual" stuff, and we finally decided to give it a go for real. It all went better than I could have hoped, we spent 4 days of non-stop naughtiness, including the use of a selection of toys and other items I'd bought. I gave them to her to keep afterwards, as I thought she might have more use for them, as the chances of finding anyone else like her was too remote to bother with.

Anyway, I dropped her off at the airport for her flight, said our goodbyes and off I went. I got back to the car and drove home.

I got a call from her that night. Going through security, she'd been stopped for a bag search. To her mortal embarrasement, the guy emptied out her hand luggage and went through a vast collection of dildoes, butt plugs, whips, cock rings, a strap-on, beads, the fucking works. All in front of the other passengers until she asked to be taken to a cubicle, where the security man paraded the entire collection to his colleagues while asking "Is this considered a weapon?" to each item.

We've kept in touch but she's not had the nerve to fly over since......
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:48, Reply)
hmm
Couple of years back I had a run in with those mr big bollocks security guards.

I like to play a bit of tennis when im abroad usually with my sister so I packed our raquets in a suitcase and decided to put 2 balls in my handluggage as usually the pressure at high altitude fucks em up lots so its better to keep em in the cabin.

So right I get to the airport fine and I shove my bag on the x-ray machine and go through the scanner with no beeps, so imagine my surprise when one of the guards calls me over.

"Hi sir, did you pack this bag yourself"

"yes, why?"

"well it appears you have some items that could be considered dangerous on a plane, could you please empty your bag?"

so I did, and he pointed to the tennis balls and a bit of string.

"You see those, well you cant bring them onto the aircraft?"

"Why mate, you cant stab anyone with a tennis ball"

"No but you could put that bit of string into the tennis ball and swing it over your head as a weapon"

"you are having a laugh right?"

"no sorry sir we will have to confiscate these"
----

What kind of fucking terrorist takes over planes with a ball and string? I'm surprised they didnt ask me to chop off my fingers as I could use them to poke out the cabin crews eyes and swear at them.

Apologies for length, put a tennis ball with it though and it could be dangerous.
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 16:19, Reply)
Back a few years
The Falklands used to be seen as a nightmare posting by the military types. Now not so much as there's plenty of far worse places they could get sent to.
Just setting the scene, in any of the many bars there'd be one or two women and about a hundred blokes. Female personnel liked getting posted to MPA cos they KNEW they'd get sex.
Now for the real bit. Coming back from MPA to Brize Norton on the Tristar a loadie with only 3 days left in the RAF got on the tannoy.
and made the following announcement:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the captain and crew thank you for flying RAF Tristar today. We will soon be arriving at RAF Brize Norton. Please keep your seatbelts on until the aircraft has come to a complete stop.
Oh, and ladies, you are now all officially ugly again."
Genius
Length, girth? Dunno, but the guy had balls.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 16:06, Reply)
Shoes!
On a long hall flight to America I decided to kick off my shoes to avoid deep vein thrombosis and placed them under the seat in front of me for easy access storage.

The feeling of doing this was really nice walking around the plane with only socks on, I soon decided that a nice snooze would be in order. About 7 hours into my snooze the cabin started to rock and the seatbelt light came on with the usual “We will be experiencing minor turbulence” only to drop 2,000ft like a roller coaster and all the people on the flight to start freaking out!!

I wasn’t that bothered because I know it happens so, after about 3 minutes of this it soon calmed down. Now getting towards the end of the flight and my feet were getting cold, I thought I’d better put on my shoes. Reaching under the chair in front I could only find one shoe! I thought “ahhh the turbulence must have moved it a bit” I reach even further forward and found what feels like a shoe, but it’s stuck!

I start tugging softly trying to get this shoe free from whatever is holding it! After one final, all mighty tug it comes free, only thing is when I bring it into my sight from under the chair it’s not my shoe, but the piss slipper from this 100 year old woman in front of me that I’d pulled off her tiny dwarf foot!!

The whiff of old woman foot wafted up my nostrils as I looked into this fur lined foot holder made me feel queasy as another bout of turbulence juddered out of the blue, I panicked and threw it under the chair next to her as I felt vomit bubbling away in my gut. I then felt around and finally found my own shoe under my own chair.

A near disaster avoided…I thought.

What I forgot was that this 100 year old woman was with her family and wasn’t really all there mentally. Her family was getting their bags and whisking granny off the plane as fast as they could to beat the rush for customs and didn’t realize that she didn’t have a shoe on.

I queued up behind at customs and felt like the biggest dickhead in the world as I watched this family dragging hobbling old granny through the airport with only one shoe on and then getting into a cab.

Sometimes if a breath out too hard I can still smell that granny shoe…

Cheers
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:23, Reply)
Skeletor
When my sister was a medical student she had to learn the bone structures of the body so was renting a real human skeleton from her medical school as you had to do. She rather brilliantly decided to go on holiday but had a lot of work still to do so thought "no problem bung the skeleton in my hand luggage and off I go to Portugal !!" . Imagine the scene, Heathrow airport , xray queue , up comes my sister pops her bag on the conveyor and tells the chap by the machine "By the way just so you know theres a skeleton in there" and walks off through the metal detector. There then ensues quite a scene where the operator calls over all his colleagues to check out the human bones on the display, they all have a laugh and let her go through after a quick explanation. The funnier part was when she was heading back from Portugal, she didnt tell the Portuguese anything about the unusual contents of her hand luggage and they spent several minutes checking out the xray screen and then just waved her through smiling nervously, probably happy she was leaving the country rather than arriving !!!
(, Tue 7 Mar 2006, 14:52, Reply)
edinbourough airport
my first flight ever was a internal uk flight, london gatwick to edinbourough. Since this was post 9-11 each airport had a perspex drop box were WMD's like nail clippers and razorbldes could be deposited.

At the london end the box was full of mundane items like swiss army knifes and gilette razors. At edinbourough the drop box was full of lock knives, snaley kinves etc and aslo contained an ice pick an hatchet a presumably replica luger and stuffed in so it was just poking out a fucking LONGBOW.

Whoever tried to take a longbow through handlugage at edinborough international airport i want to hear your story.
(, Tue 7 Mar 2006, 9:55, Reply)
PIA and Pee
Pain in the Ass (PIA) Airways picked us up in Bahrain, the flight was full of pilgrims on their way to Mecca.
Most of these chaps were on their first ever plane and first ever big trip.

The free tea (Chia) got to a few and the golden rule is, never use the crapper after 30 minutes on a middle eastern flight.

Anyhow, I had to have a pee, so I proceeded in a southerley direction to the plane rear.

A-ha an unoccupied bog, methinks.

So I opens the the door to find a chap trying to balance on the sloping walls next to the bog and piss in a squat position at the same time.

Sitting on your ass and reading the in-flight mag is for wooses and wimen apparently.

Anyhoo, he tries to turn around, falls off and pisses vertically in the air as let go of the autoclosing door and trap his head in it.

Steward sees the tell tale signs and sends me to first class; never found out if the guys surgery was successful or not.
(, Sat 4 Mar 2006, 17:44, Reply)
Luton Airport, July 2004
Taking a cello on a plane is a total nightmare. For starters, you have to book a seat for it because if you leave it

a) to be manhandled by baggage handlers, and
b) to be frozen at 30,000 feet,

the chances of it being in one piece by the time you reach your destination are pretty negligible.

Then there's customs - a pretty nerve-racking experience when you're carrying something that has steel strings you could use to strangle someone with and a bloody great spike that could easily be employed for stabbing purposes. Normally I get through customs by giggling, tossing my hair and wearing a low-cut top.

Not this time. Oh no. For I had packed a digital metronome in my hand luggage which chose that particular moment to switch itself on and start bleeping at sixty beats per minute.

Her Majesty's Customs were not amused.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 13:20, Reply)
We're all gonna diiiiiiiiiiiiieeee!!!!!!!!!
Madrid to London, January 2004. Taxiing to the runway getting ready for take-off, our plane did a U-turn and went back to the airport. One of the stewardesses said something vague about a "technical dificulty" over the tannoy and told us to remain seated.

Directly in front of me was a ten-year-old boy throwing a tantrum, screaming abuse at the man with him who I originally assumed was his grandfather or something owing to the fact that he didn't seem able to do anything to control the kid. Turns out he was his father.

Next to the Spawn of Satan and his father was a man with a goatee in his mid twenties.

Directly in front of them was a family of Americans, one of whom was pretty hysterical. We learned later that she had been in New York on 9/11 and had been terrified of flying ever since.

It slowly dawned on us that the situation might be more than just a technical difficulty. The stewardesses were looking more and more agitated but were not revealing any information.

9/11 Girl started screaming.

Spawn of Satan continued screaming.

9/11 Girl's father beckoned to the stewardess. Apparently the source of her distress was Goatee Man, who was innocently tapping a rhythm on the back of her seat. She was convinced he was a terrorist communicating in Morse Code to his colleagues.

Stewardess approached Goatee Man and requested, very politely, that he stop tapping the back of the seat as he was upsetting the girl in front. He had no problem with this and was very apologetic.

Spawn of Satan's father got up and yelled at the stewardess for harrassing Goatee Man. He made a speech that went something along the lines of, "I am an American. This man is an American. And God willing I will stand up for my fellow countrymen!" He sat back and waited for applause, but all he got was a load of blank looks from English tourists and a hysterical scream of, "YOU SICK MAN!" from 9/11 Girl, who then ran screaming up the aisle to her father sobbing, "Daddy I want to get off this plane!" for several minutes.

Then eight Guardia Civils armed with rifles with bayonets on the end stormed onto the plane and arrested a man at the back.

Once they'd gone, the pilot finally told us what had happened. The guy had been fingering a knife and muttering about the "extremo del mundo" so the woman sitting next to him surreptitiously handed a note to a stewardess saying, "the man sitting next to me has a knife".

I couldn't help thinking, what on earth would have happened if 9/11 Girl had been sitting next to him?
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 13:44, Reply)
Somebody Been Reading My Blog?
One of my regular trips used to be flying out from Heathrow into Shannon or Galway, staying a few days in Galway working at the plant we had there and then up to Belfast for a couple of days and then fly out of Belfast back to Newcastle for the weekend.

I used to love those trips. As far as the rest of the techies were concerned, Ireland was my patch and death, doom and disaster would befall any engineer who tried to pinch my Irish trips. They could keep Italy, France and Germany as long as they kept away from my Irish trips. One of the reasons I love Ireland and the Irish so much is that it's just such a friendly, helpful country. People won't let you have a quiet drink in a bar. If you're by yourself then they insist that you join them for a bit of company. And, given that a lot of Irish women are absolutely gorgeous, it made for wonderful trips over there.

But of course, there has to be some bugger that spoils it. In my case Special Branch. It must have been my fourth or fifth trip over and I was at Heathrow and waiting in the departure lounge when two large suspicious looking men came over and said the dreaded:

"Can you just come with us sir?"

Every time I've ended up in trouble it's always Sir or Mr XXXXX. I hate it when people call me sir when I'm not in a restaurant. It's nearly always bad news.

So off I trot with Shadrack and Gorbag to a little room. On the door was Special Branch. "Fuck" I thought. "This is going to be some heavy shit." And it was.

They first asked for my travel documentation and then where I was staying, the reason for the trip etc. I explained that it was just a routine work trip and I was going over to Galway to upgrade a few servers and then on to Belfast to do the same.

"Ah yes" says Gorbag "Belfast. We were wondering about your *Belfast* connection."

WTF? It was obvious by his tone that my flying into Southern Ireland and flying out of Northern Ireland didn't meet with their approval.

"So let's talk about Belfast shall we?" says Shadrack.

And so it started.

SB "Who do you know over there"
ME "Only people from work" (I'd be buggered if I was going to tell them that I'd had a couple of *ahem* intimate liaisons with the barmaid of the Social Club on the site where I was working. Their intelligence couldn't be *that* good
SB "Why such regular trips?"
ME "Ask my boss - he arranges them"
SB "Does anyone ask you to carry anything out of Northern Ireland for them?"
Me "Yes. Santa has asked me to pick their Xmas lists as fucking Special branch won't let him in!"

For almost 12 hours. Hour after bloody hour of bone questions. Sometimes they'd repeat a question and I'd give a different answer.

SB "Aha! That isn't what you said the first time sir!"
ME "You obviously didn't believe the truth so I thought I'd see if you were any happier with a lie." (I've always had a problem with authority which was why I was such a lousy soldier.)

Anyway, in the end they let me go. but only after phoning every bastard on the planet to verify I was who I said I was and I was going to do the job which I'd been doing for months. I'd missed my flight, missed my hotel reservations in Galway and was stuck in bloody Heathrow until the next flight the next morning. I was not a happy bunny.

Oddly enough, on my next trip from Newcastle to Belfast I was pulled by a uniformed officer.

"Morning sir" (oh shit. he called me sir, here we go again...)
"I'm BLAH from the North-East Anti-Terrorist Squad and would you mind answering a few questions."

ME "Sigh. I suppose not. What can I do for you?"
COP "Can you tell me who you are and what the purpose of your visit to Northern Ireland is?"
ME "I'm Joe XXXX and I'm a computer consultant for XXXX and I'm going to Belfast to sort out some technical problems for the."
COP "You're a computer consultant? We've half an hour before you have to board your flight so I don't suppose you can have a look at my laptop for me? I can't get the bugger to run Quake at all...."

I like Geordie coppers!

Cheers
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:31, Reply)
"Nobody's" Perfect
I was on a business trip to Townsville (North Queensland, Australia) and had a few hours stop over in Brisbane airport. Seeing as though I was greatly important to the airline I was allowed into business lounge.

I am a huuuuuuggggeee rugby fan, and so I was reading the autobiography of a one John Eales (ex-Wallabies Captain).

I was totally imersed in the book when I felt a tap on the shoulder.
"Good book?" the bloke asks.

I look up only to see the great man himself. Composing myself I reply.
"Nah shit - seems to drag on with no purpose."
(But really its a good read).

He laughed heartily. Got me a beer and we talked for an hour before he had to catch his flight to Sydney.

Nice fella. He even signed my copy.
(, Tue 7 Mar 2006, 12:42, Reply)
I was a kid...
...back on the way home from a holiday in the States.
Seriously confused and jet lagged, the whole family were stuck in Heathrow waiting for a connecting flight.
Despite my best efforts, my bowels refused to accept the new time zone, and I trotted off to the loo.
Every single cubicle in the long line was occupied, so I waited my turn.
On finally entering a vacant stall, I decided that it would be a good idea to wipe the seat with a wad of bogroll.

Imagine my surprise as the seat detached neatly from the toilet and shot under the cubicle wall. There was an ensuing cry of pain and alarm from the next toilet...
I did my business and loitered as long as I could to make sure my injured neighbour had departed. Unfortunately we both walked out of our cubicles at the same time.

As luck would have it, I was wearing jeans and a big fuck-off cowboy belt (yes, and a hat - I was a kid!) so I looked back, put on my best American accent and exclaimed 'Goddam thang has an ejectur seat!'

My victim must have been british because he smiled politely and limped off.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 19:30, Reply)
Beadlemania
At the height of Beadle's About, when the gimp was a staple of Saturday night telly, we once saw the man in Gatwick Airport. We'd just come back from Spain and presumably so had Beadle - but they'd lost his luggage.

He was absolutely furious and started screaming blue murder at the staff... who unsurprisingly burst into stifled laughter.

The terrible little man could not share in the joke and instead jumped up and down on the luggage carousel, provoking massive mirth from everyone in the hall. The more we laughed, the angrier he got.

There's nothing like watching a national legend losing his sense of humour (and his collection of special gimpy luggage) and spit foam all over Gatwick.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 14:59, Reply)

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