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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, ... 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I'm a keen traveller,
and spend all my spare money travelling round various odd bits of globe. Two years ago I was in Inner Mongolia in China, photographing steam railways and various bits of industry, when I took ill with a rather nasty Mongolian bug.

Obviously, my immune system, which was brought up on nice Western bugs, didn't have a clue what to do with this bug, and I got pretty ill. Added to this was the total lack of medicine available in Mongolia. You can have Chinese traditional medicine, but if you want anything that might actually make you feel better, your best bet is alcohol. After several days in a hotel room feeling sorry for myself it was eventually time to go home. Only one problem. This was the height of the SARS crisis, and I had a raging fever. At Beijing airport, there were heat scanners to detect anyone with a temperature, and lots of official people to 'take you away' if you had one. I must admit that I was really nervous at this point. China was really upset about it's international prestige being hurt by SARS, and I had visions of myself being conveniently disposed of somewhere. So to avoid becoming a statistic, I was forced to tailgate people through the scanners to avoid being picked up. Americans were the best because they cover a wider area and leave you more margin for error.

Fortunately, I got through safely, finally boarded the plane and made it home to nice Western medicine. And I'm flying out again in 4 weeks!
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:47, 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)
A few years ago I was in Africa, doing research in a game park. We had no access to the outside world unless we left the research station and took an hour drive in the landy to the nearest village.

One week into the expedition we went to the local village (Nanuki if memory serves) and I got a copy of the local daily paper.

on page 34, halfway down I noticed Sabina had gone into receivership. My ticket was for Sabina, so I spent a week in the bush wondering if I was actually going to get home!!!!

oh, and flying out was on 23/09 two weeks after the world trade centre was hit... security was ridiculous.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:41, Reply)
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)
Oh Dear
Well this story might be a repost, if a fellow b3tan hasn't already posted it.
Heck i'll tell it anyway.

Me and friends, were going on a lads holiday to sunny, warm, guinness laden dublin (fantastic you might say, which it was).

Bearing in mind the date we travelled on this wonderous journey was 14/7 last year. Yes one week after the bombings in london.
So we get off the plane at 11:59 and take a walk to the terminal. What we didnt know being generally loud teenage lads was that on the plane they did announcement for a two minute silence for the bombing victims at 12:00.

You can see where this is going cant you?

Well anyway, arriving to the terminal we notice that its quiet and noone is moving. So my friend Tim shouts "Jesus christ!, its like a fucking funeral precession in here."
Quick as a flash my next friend comes into the terminal then shouts "Have they not heard of fast-tracking round here?".

A little old lady tugs on my jacket and quietly explains why noone is moving and its quiet.
"Oh" says i.

I could of died.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:37, Reply)
So... I'd been to france one summer to meet up with a rather nice girl I'd met some years back. The week went rather well and on the last night things got very fruity indeed. However, this was all taking place in her parents house who had no idea anything was going on, so at 5am she leaves my room to go back to hers "as if nothing happened" So I go to sleep a happy man...

Next morning I wake up and start to pack my stuff. It's then I notice she's left her underwear on the floor, and her parents are about to come in and sort the room out. What to do? Simple, I thought. So I bunged it all in my bag with the intention of giving it all back to her later. Honest. No, really...

Anyway, I forgot all about it and was getting a connecting flight back to england from Paris cdg. I was going through the x ray scanner jobbies when the belt stops, the guy operating it looks confused and then my bag goes back through the scanner again and this woman with a moustache starts to walk over to me.

Its at that point I did the thing that most people do in such a situation and looked completely guilty even though I'd done nothing. Mrs moustache then says in her best broken english "Err, can I look in ze bag?" and obviously I replied "Yeah! Of course! No problem..."

As the words left my lips I had vivid recollection of what I'd stuffed in my bag that morning. I could see said items in my head, and they were... At the very top of my bag. Time stopped as she slowly undid the zip. My mind was racing "How in gods name do i explain having womens underwear in my bag??"

She looked at me

I looked at her

I grinned. Inside, I was dying...

The lesson to be learned here children, is that NO one is going to believe you in such a situation if you try to make out you're not some weirdo transvestite wannabe who likes having a bit of lingerie in their hand luggage...

Oh yeah, why did they want a look in there? I had a block of cheese in there and they thought it was something dodgy. Bugger...

Length and girth? Not since the operation...
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:21, Reply)
I was on a flight to London...
...leaving from Dubai. The chap set next to me was from Karachi and all excited about being on a plane for the first time. He was going to Cairo.

I remarked how strange it was to fly Karachi/Dubai/London/Cairo. He said "London? No, I'm going to Cairo." Momentary panic on my part and then it dawns. He's never flown before, no one told him he might need to change planes.

So I calls the steward over and explain, cue rather grumpy police trooping on board and carting the poor bugger off.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:21, Reply)
Innocence of a child...
One I'd just remembered. I was flying to Germany (again, but for a wedding this time not a booze up... well not initially) with parents when I was about 7.

Two things I remember was that we flew via Lufthansa which I kept - in honest childish innocence and nothing to do with the fact my father gave me some sweets to do so - referring to as Luftwaffe. My mother was disgusted at this, my father pissing himself laughing with everyone giving me the "aww how sweet" looks (apart from the pissed off staff) with me havign a grin on my face no idea what I was saying.

The second was when I was on the flight and heartbroken to find out that when flying over the sea and countries was that the name of the sea and places weren't written down like they were on maps I'd seen in school.

I was a special child.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:19, Reply)
What's going on
This happened a couple of years ago, when I went to pick up a friend at Dusseldorf International. It was pretty late at night and the airport was almost empty already. I was waiting for my friend outside the gate, when I noticed there were a couple of suspicious looking guys, all with big black shoulder strap bags, loitering in the corners of the waiting hall. They all stood several yards apart from each other, which was weird because they all seemed to know each other, as from time to time one would casually walk over to one of the others, mumble a couple of words and walk back. Anyway, the next plane arrived and I rushed towards the doors to check if I could spot my friend. Then all of a sudden I was surrounded by maybe twenty guys, all in their twenties, all tanned, all wearing the same suits and ties and black overnight bags. At this moment all hell broke loose. The suspicious looking guys from the waiting area whipped out cameras from their big black bags and frantically started taking photos of us, it was flashlights everywhere. I was totally confused and asked two of the suit guys in my crowd if they had any idea what was going on here. They gave me broad grins and nodded: "Yess! Ve arre Real Madrid!"
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:15, Reply)
As part of a spaecial football charter, we flew to Cambridge in January 2001. We got back to the airport at 7pm, to be told that the de-icer machine had broken down, and there was no space in the heated hangar to de-ice the plane.

Thus, the stewardesses brought the food trolleys out of the plane, and we sat eating our food (chicken ceasar salad and a trifle) in the tiny departure lounge at Cambridge, which was a little surreal.

We eventually had tog et a coach home, after bribing the coach driver who brought us to the airport to take us all the way back to Morecambe. We got back at 4am as we had to stop to pick up a replacement driver and let them have their 45 minute breaks. Naturally, instead of being home nice and early, we were last back.

There was also the time we were 9 hours delayed at Orlando, but that isn't interesting unless MagLev's excite you.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:15, Reply)
I knew there was something...
Some background - this happened at Plymouth Airport. Plymouth Airport is tiny - the firecrew doubles as the baggage handlers, and you can get away with turning up about 30 mins before the flight in most cases.

They had started a new service, Plymouth Manchester, and I was on the first flight. It was all jolly cheerful and smiley, with free coffee and stuff. We taxi out to the runway, and the engines start to work up to takeoff.

All of a sudden, power off. Captain comes over the tannoy and announces that he has been contacted by the tower and needs to return to the stand. Passengers, all sitting there wondering what has fallen off the plane.

Turns out the fire crew were having a cup of tea, and had forgotten to load the luggage...
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:10, Reply)
Going through customs...
Wih my father as te two of us were off to a certain drinkin festival, I had to show my passport, of course, now this was in Germany last year... SO I show my passport to the friendly Aryan with a glint in his eyes resembling that of a axe-murderer, and he looks ta my passport, looks at me, looks back at passport.

He repeated this several times, each time the grin on his face widend.

The problem was I'd forgotten that in my passport photo taken only 6 months ago i had longish blond hair ... whereas just a few weeks before I'd had it all cut off and done very dark brown as the Krout didn't believe it was me!

Cue being taken aside and manhandled by several tutonic twats bodychecking me and jabbin me with metal detectors.

It took us several hours before we were able to convince them and airport authorites that we are who we said we are.

The thing that pissed me off the most was that the buggers made me miss an HOUr of precious drinking time. For which I'll never forgive them.

(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 12:00, Reply)
Not really an airport...
When I was young and foolish (a couple of years ago) I decided to go skydiving. What better way to get over my fear of heights, I thought to myself, than floating down from a great height.

Well, the plane ride up was scarier than the jump itself. The plane had electrical tape all over it holding panels on etc, and they didn't have a proper door - just a rolled up piece of plastic loosely tied at the sides. Now this door was the real problem, because the plane floor was on a steep angle as they went up and up forever, and I found myself continually slipping down towards the door. As it was a tandem jump I didn't have a parachute on, and I wasn't clipped in for the ride up. By the time we got to jumping height, I was more than happy to clip in and jump out. I now wonder if they set it up like that on purpose.

Oh, so this question is meant to be airports rather then airplanes then. Ok, same day, after landing, I was in the little shitty airport area, and decided to make small talk with the guy I'd been strapped to. So I ask when the last time was that he'd had to use his emergency chute. Last jump before this one he said. Then I remembered that while I was getting kitted out lots of people outside had stopped at one point, looked up and oohed and ahhed. Glad I didn't know that before I jumped.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:53, Reply)
Used and abused in Bristol Airport
Seven years ago I worked at Bristol Airport as a till-monkey in the shops, behind the bars, in the restaurant and so on. I tended to work “air-side” in the departure lounge as I was deemed trustworthy enough to work unsupervised and not rob them blind like the rest of the retards who worked there.

This was great, I didn’t have managers breathing down my neck and the customers were always more relaxed and pleasant once they had checked in & were in the departure lounge. However, I did have to go through security and even though I was a member of staff with the appropriate security clearance I had to be patted down when the metal detector was set off which was EVERY SODDING TIME. This would happen 4 or 5 times a day due to the nature of the job.

Most of the security guards were old farts who would roll their eyes when the saw me coming as they knew they would have to get off their fat arses and do their job which usually consisted of a half-arsed patting down of my arms & torso before I was on my way.

Then a new guy started. He was mid-twenties, quiet looking but I was glad to have someone nearer my age to make small talk with. He was eager and didn’t seem to resent having to do his job when I turned up at security, which I put down to wanting to make a good impression in his new job.

The first time he patted me down was at 4am when my shifts started, I stood there half asleep with my arms out…he patted down each arm…down the torso…up the inside leg and WHOOPS EASY TIGER a quick brush of ‘Steven and the twins’. I put it down to being new and not him being a pervey weirdo.

Turns out I was wrong. He WAS a pervey weirdo. He lasted 2 weeks until he was fired due to customers complaining. However, in those 2 weeks he must have searched me at least 10 times and I never once ‘truly’ thought he was touching my tackle on purpose. I mean, he never even bought me dinner or said he loved me (kidding).
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:42, Reply)
Not leavng on a jet plane
I used to have a funny-looking name on my passport that made customs people want to put their fingers up my bottom. Not long after I changed it, I was looking forward to my first anal-invasion-free overseas trip, to check out the Israeli dance scene. All went fine until my compulasory "exit interview" at the airport. The guy at the counter refused to believe there was such a thing as an Israeli dance scene, even when I showed him the CD I had just been given by Israel's top DJ (who had also helpfully got me wankered on Israelijuana on my way to the airport). I had to go into a special room for a whole battery of probing physical and motivational examinations.
To make matters worse, all the rest of the staff at the airport were amazingly gorgeous girls in army uniforms, all of whom I fancied. One of them started talking to me about how good the club were in London, so I gave her my mobile number to butter her up. Then the first bloke appeared, took my mobile off me and turned it on - the start-up message was, hilariously, "I must destroy", so he took it away to "examine" it/blow it up. Not that it mattered, as the army girl then found the fluffy animal I took with me to pose in amusing photographs. The conversation dried up pretty quickly at that point. I had to stand there in stony silence, apart from me occasionally whining 'Can I have my phone back, please?', while she scowled at me, obviously thinking I was some sort of nancy boy. The whole thing was like a Chuckle Brothers episode scripted by Franz Kafka, and I haven't had an erection ever since.
Still, I can highly recommend Israeli raves, they're fucking great.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:34, Reply)
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…

(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:23, Reply)
two incidents of memory for me.
First was going through customs at heathrow, about to go snowboarding with one of my mates. Rather large line at passport control. Having already had a few sherberts, I made a witty little joke as an icebreaker when I got to the front of the line.

says I "If Id have known it was going to be such a long uncomfotable wait, I'd have stashed a far smaller blade up my arse".

Customs man then takes me to one side and gives me an extreme bollocking in front of everyone, and tells me Im lucky not to have him and his colleagues checking my ring out. Note to self. Forget icebreaking humour.

later on in the year, Im returning from spain to gatwick. Late night flight, lots of rain, and an electrical storm. As we descend to land, everyone hears nasty nasty noises as the undercarriage tries, unsuccesfully, to deploy.

Pilot pulls a turn, and starts circling. We hear the undercarriage noise a few more times. Peole are starting to look unsettled. The pilot gets on the comm and says not to worry, the problem will be sorted soon. And in the meantime relax with some music.

R Kelly's "I believe I can fly" plays throughout the plane. Ive had a few G n T's, so I shout out, "this is it people, we are going in to the ground".

Took the cabin crew a good few minutes to calm everyone down, before the undercarriage finally deployed.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:22, Reply)
Bloody customs
I got strip searched after going through a metal detector when I was about 14 because, after passing through the gate about 5 times, removing belts, shoes, coins, watches at each turn, they couldn't find what was beeping.

All became clear when the pointed out the 14 inch scar on my left leg. I'd forgotten there was a metal plate in there, put in about 6 months previous.

The bastards also ripped open each individual teabag from a box of 80 Yorkshire Teabags.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:09, Reply)
From a previous post, but hey, its topical...
Was at Nice airport in France...
a couple of years ago on route to visit a mate in Monaco, and got stopped by French customs who, for some reasons must have had it in for me.

They basically accused me of having cocaine in my bag, ganja in my pocket and then swabbed my hands for explosives!! - wtf!!

Having done none of the above, i was then nearly attacked by a passing sniffer dog, who was obviously so high on weed that he must of thought i was 'carrying'.
This then resulted in me being surrounded by 6 armed French cops, who carted me off to a side room. I was then asked to strip naked and remove my 'pantalons'.
After being asked to turn round i clenched my teeth (and arse cheeks) and awaited the inevitable. - Luckily for me, all they did was stare at my arse for a minute and told me to get dressed (Fucking perverts).
I was then released and allowed to carry on my way. But i was still given a 'we'll get him next time' dirty look???

Spose' i shouldn't have walked through customs in the first place with a lit fag in my mouth, shades on, wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt, whilst on my mobile.

No apologies for length, girth, tightness of arse cheeks etc. (which is also what i said to the pervert French customs guy while he stared at my cock. The puff.)
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:04, Reply)
Salaryman slap

For those of you who've been to Tokyo, you'll know just how immense Narita Airport is.I've turned up three hours early for my flight to Sydney just to make sure that all runs smoothly. Imagine my distress when I get to the aircraft-hangar sized check in lounge to discover that the baggage handlers are on strike and there are queues running the length of the place.

After enduring two hours of having my ankles rammed by small children with luggage trollies, I made it to customs only to find yet another monstrous queue waiting to entrap me. Another 45 minutes later and I'm sweating with worry that I'll miss my (due to leave in 15 mins) flight.

Anyway, two nice Belgian chaps let me jump to the front, the passport is duly stamped, and I'm off across the departure lounge like a rabbit fired from a grenade launcher. Three hours of constant caffination provide me with the speed and agility of a greased cat as I bob and weave through the crowd toward my gate.

This all suddenly goes into slow motion as my fashionably 'phat' trainer sails from my foot on its upswing and arcs across the lounge at mach 2 and then connects with the back of a Japanese salaryman's head with a satisfying 'thwok'.

He was angry. I bowed and scraped like a peasant (cunningly sweeping up my trainer at the same time) and legged it for the gate with enraged shouty salaryman in tow. At this point I'm fully expecting to be ritually decapitated. The air hostess at the gate looked at me like I was last week's airline dinner, but she still let me on the plane.

Karma was forthcoming though, I also lost my gameboy on that dash, forcing me to watch Ice Age six times in a row.

No apologies for length, you'll just have to stand further away.

(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:04, Reply)
I hate airports...
Spending about 6 hours waiting to leave the Falklands where I had working as a contractor - the plane iced up on the tarmac and the de-icer lorry was brought out and then promptly broke down on the way over. A second one was brought out and got to the plane then froze itself. In the end the RAF resorted to putting some poor sod on the end of a cherry picker with a broom to try and de-ice the wings. Not suprisingly the pilot told them to f*ck off if they thought he was going to take off. Back to the mess for food and then sitting in the airport for hours surrounded by models of landmines. Thrilling...

SJH - I had the misfortune to fly Peach Air about 8 years ago. The plane was a flea-ridden piece of shite and appeared to be barely air-worthy.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 11:01, Reply)
I'm gonna hurl
Nothing too impressive but what the hell. It was my 21st and I was travelling up to London. At Victoria station in my wisdom I thought I'd get some food, a burger to be precise. On eating the last bite I knew something was wrong. Oh well I thought. I met up with some mates and went to a quality gig. On the way to my mates house after the gig I knew that burger was a really bad idea. We arrived at the nearest tube station and I literally ran the 15 min walk from the station to my mates (not something I willingly do), to then start a vomit marathon which would last a whopping 9 hours. Yay food poisoning. So how does this relate to airports....

Well I had to fly home the next day (early). So one the tube once again to get to victoria then gatwick. I took a carrier bag along with me in case it needed to vom. I actually checked it had no holes!

Finally at gatwick, and my stomach hasn't erupted. Oh joy of joys the flight is delayed. So I find the only bench thats free, it also happens to be in the loudest part of the airport, right next to some arcade machines. The ones small kids hang off and scream. Four of the pukiest hours later my flight is finally called. I spend the next three days of my birthday weekend in bed. YAY ME.

Sorry for the muchos grande length and for the majority of it not being about an airport. But what the hell.

To name and shame the fast food establishment... it was a Burger King.... but which one? Mwahahaha
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:54, 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)
when i was eight
i was on holiday in greece with my mum, her lesbian friend (another story) and my two year old brother, and , as a young man can do in greece bought quite a collection of flick knifes and small replica daggers and used to wander around the near deserted hotel complex alone, completely kitted out, playing mercenarie
ialso stayed secretly tooled up all the way tro the airport, through crap greek security and onto the flight
when we arrived home it was a different matter when we went through the "anythging to declare" area and i had the whole lot confiscated, and my mother threatened with a charge of "threats to airport security" from the airport police

kids, youve gotta lover em, i woinder if you could get away with that now!
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:45, Reply)
Good timing
In 2001 my girlfriend was working in Florence and I flew to Italy to visit her. Being then a bit of a cheapskate I flew Easyjet Aberdeen to Luton (after few pints at Airport), bus to Stansted (after couple of pints at Luton) and from there Ryanair to Pisa. Had got myself settled in departures at Stansted and got a beer in when nearly everyone buggered off to watch the TV screens. Hear mutterings about a plane crash but I was more concerned whether I could neck another pint before I had to board (which I managed).
Plane boarded fine, took off, couple of hours later I'm in my hotel in Pisa and I stick on CNN, to find that the Twin Towers were now gone. If it had happened a couple of hours earlier I'd have never got off the ground. So if anyone asks what I was doing on September 11th 2001, I can say, mainly getting drunk at airports.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:45, Reply)
Not really airports, but still...
We'd just taken off from Gatwick to go to Kefalonia — the Greek island some of you may remember as the setting for Captain Correlli's Mandolin — when the pilot calmly announced over the intercom that we would be returning to Gatwick. The reason? They hadn't shut the bloody cockpit door properly. Cue several mental images of bits of paper flying everywhere while the pilot nearly falls out of the plane, or something. Actually no deaths were involved, luckily.

Anyway, we turned back and had to spend the next six hours sat in Gatwick's shitty departure lounge. As you will know, there's only so much fun you can have in these places. I wasn't even old enough to get pissed.

Having said that, the people I felt most sorry for was the people at the other end, waiting for our plane to land so they could return to England on it. Just seeing them through the big glass windows of the airport terminal building as we got off the plane in Greece, with that "we're very pissed off at having just spend 8 hours sat in this sweltering shithole" look on their collective face made me glad we had spent that time in the relative comfort of Gatwick airport.

The airline we flew with were called 'Peach Air'. The only other time I've met someone who's flown with them before told me about the time they had also had to turn back as the pilots had "forgotten the navigation equipment". How the fuck do you manage something like that?!
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:40, Reply)
American immigration control hell
One summer I went to visit my sister who was working in Boston, and took full advantage of American Airlines free booze policy, resulting in being very very drunk when leaving the overnight flight. I also only had hand luggage as I'd planned on buying all the clothes I'd need for the week while there. Big mistake.

This meant that I was flagged up as a threat, which meant being questioned for 4 hours, being asked all sorts of questions, none of which I could answer due to the fact that I was blotto. I'd also forgotton that you're not supposed to take fresh produce into the country, so the two apples and satsuma in my bag made things even worse, with mentions of 'deportation', 'prison' and worse. Eventually I was able to phone my sister and explain everything, leading to her boss phoning a friend of a friend to get released. The immigration control people were quite nice after that, although they were confused as to why a Senator would phone them direct at 7am. I have never forgotten this and am forever grateful to my sister for saving my anal sphincter from certain harm.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:36, 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!

(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:31, Reply)
Various airports around Europe
As part of my job, I quite often have to go to other countries around Europe to see factories making product for the company i work for. This Isn't as glamorous as it sounds, as all I ever see is the inside of airports, planes, taxi's and the inside of manufacturing plant in various salubrious industrial estates in the arse end of nowhere.

Trouble is I tend to look like every customs officers ideal pull.....

Berlin airport, forgot i was wearing steel toecapped boots, as I'd had to get on a plane quick. By God that sets the alarms off! Germans scanning my sweaty socks for contraband.

Schipol Airport, Amsterdam (Now thats a place thats mispelt)
Made sure all the detector unfriendly stuff was either stowed or in the tray, or thought I had. The detector caught a 2 euro coin that was lost in my pocket. Cue the new boy customs officer having to frisk me. I'm like yeah OK,not a problem lets do this, I wanna get on the plane and kip, he on the other hand is obviously very straight and having to do the full frisk on a big hairy bloke, under the eyes of his boss.
He was more nervous than I was, and was quite releived I think when he didn't find owt.
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:30, Reply)
Airport Hobbies!
I recently flew to Italy with my wife and her relatives. My wife is of Italian Extraction, and her parents have an Italian Surname (my wife, of course, no longer does). She and I walked through customs with nary a glance, but the my in-laws surname was closely matched, it turned out, to the alias used by some wanted drug couriers. They were seized by the police and marched down a corridor to a small whitewashed room where they were questioned at length in Italian.

Upon denying they spoke the language they were shouted at loudly, until they noticed the UK passports. Then they were escorted out, dodged the queue and were able to toast us with coffee from the airport coffee shop after we'd struggled through with our bags.

Not sure if that was good or bad, on balance!
(, Fri 3 Mar 2006, 10:15, Reply)

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