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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.

....you'd flown for 46 hours for a footie game and this wasn't the first thing you told the Oz passport control when questioned? If this had been the first words out of your mouth they'd have carried you around the airport like some sort of Saint mate. :)

My only real airport story is that at Rome airport some nuns pushed in front of me and the missus at check in. I tell you, if we hadn't have been in the holiest city in the world. A kicking would have taken place. :)
(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 10:52, Reply)
Theiving git!
Running a bit late, due to soon-to-be-wife's miscalculations, so we rush on through security and, due to being in a tizzy, didn't watch my belongings in a basket as carefully as I should of. Said basket contained my wallet with my driving license (which had my address on it) and my front door key.

As I nip back for a second or five to help my partner, someone steps past, swipes my wallet and runs off to check their ill gotten gains. I don't realise until I come to buy some AA's for the camera...cue sheer panic as we are already cutting it close for boarding.

My wife-to-be is in tears, I'm one step away from assualting the numpties in security who won't look at the security tapes whilst I fill in a ridiculously long claim form whilst my mind races as to how I'm going to fix this up. Cancel credit cards, contact real estate agent to change the locks, join vigilante force to reduce thievery using torture and blunt spoons.

We jump on the plane, thankfully being one of two couples delaying the flight and I spend the next frantic few minutes alternately trying to calm my fiancee and telling her it wasn't my bloody fault!!!

On jumps my angel, wallet in hand saying it was turned in at one of the fast food places.

Joy gushed from every pore and I crushed the my angel to me like a rock to a limpet, kissing her repeatedly then dancing back to my chair in triumph.

Thank you to my parents for my length and girth.

Postscript: If you get deja vu reading this, it's cos I wrote about this back in Dec 04 in the "Lost" question :D
(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 9:49, Reply)
Airport moment
I do quite a bit of travelling with my job and regularly fly into the US. On September 11 2001 I was expecting one of the usual boring trips into JFK when, almost as we were on final approach, we were told we were being diverted to another airport for security reasons. The general consensus was that someone back in cattle class had had a bit too much hooch but oh no, twas not the case. Courtesy of our little middle eastern chum I spent the next four days in a place called Gandar in Newfoundland. A place justifiably referred to as the "biggest gas station in the world". The people were very hospitable but more than a little stretched having had over 6500 people dumped on them at no notice at all. A group of us holed up in one of the lounges there and watched the drama unfold in New York, all a bit more than a little relieved to be in Gandar rather than shot out of the sky by some trigger happy F16 flying National Guardsman.
They didn't check us through security though. Bit bloody slack considering.
(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 8:58, Reply)
the things I do for my team!
Ok, picture this. My life is shit. Just shit. I have a failed marriage behind me, am 28 and living at my parents house, where I am not even allowed a hamster. My aching genitals havn't seen ladyfruit in quite some time. I live in Hull. Got it.... ok, then, I meet a girl on t'interweb, shes from Australia, we fly around the world with each other, fall in love, marry and I move to Sydney. I blag a job where I do bugger all and get paid a fortune and have a nice tan.
Ok, scene is set.
Then, and only then do Hull FC(rugby league you southern nutsuckers) start fucking winning. We get through to the final of the cup, against Leeds, a city, team and people I hate (and I know, used to run a pub there its terrible, even worse than Hull). I decide I have to go. My dad rings me and after an hour of emotional blackmail which ends with a sentence containing the words PILGRIMAGE and DUTY, i decide I HAVE to go. My wife sort of disagrees, but I don't care, and I lie to the bank that a relative is terminally ill (i know, i'm going to hell) and they lend me $5,000.
Work cant give me much time off, so i decide to fly out on the Thursday, arrive Friday game on Saturday, fly back Sunday arrive Sydney 7am Tuesday work 5am Wednesday. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but wasn't in retrospect.
Flew out, everything all good via Kuala Lumpur, lovely flight landed Manchester, Mums cooking for the first time in 2 years, then the game in Cardiff where we won...much Guinness consumed, and set off back on the Sunday. Flight to KM, shite... plane hit turbulance so bad the oxygen masks dropped, but ONLY IN FIRST CLASS! only the rich breathe apparently? Then I got to Sydney. The guy on the desk.... "This your passport is it?" me.. "yeees, why?" "doesn't look like you" me.."well its 9 years old isnt it, do you look like you did 9 years ago?" then and only then do my tired, jetlagged eyes look up. He's a burns victim. I cringe and start to gibber complete shite at this guy and then he says "you only left Sydney on Thursday?" I reply yes and he nods at this guy who has appeared from nowhere, and he takes me to this room and they start asking me questions about my trip, who did i meet etc, how come i spent 48 hrs travelling for 36 in the UK. what drugs did I have up my arse? what WMD's had bought and arranged for the mormans of Wollongong to attack the opera house with? By the time he'd finished my confused, drunk and jetlagged mind was agreeing that yes, I was responsible for the Bodyline test series in the 1930's and yes, I had raped Rolf Harris.
He then looks through my bag and finds my Challenge Cup match programme. He says "did you go over for the game?" I reply yes and he says "why didn't you tell me? my cousin played in that match" Turns out his cousin is Shane Mcmemamy who has played for Hull for 4 yrs. He let me go, just as the other guy was coming through the door with the gloves on. A close shave and no bloody mistake.
Just looked at this as I post it and realised there was no need for telling you all how shit my lfe was before I moved to Aus. fuck it anyway!
(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 6:40, Reply)
ah.. airports.... I like airports....
When my mates brother got married, as best man he had access to thier hotel room. He had found out a few days before the wedding, that his brothers new wife had been "playing the field" a wee bit.. and she was also a right two faced cow.

one small batch of earing bags (the little ones with self sealing tops) and one sherbert fountain later, they left on thier honeymoon to New york.

with these little bags hidden in thier luggage.

Imagine if you will the look on thier faces when customs snapped on the latex gloves :-)

(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 2:13, Reply)
First Post
Last year I was going to an NUS conference in Edinburgh (I'm not old or corporate enough to get to go to real job-related conference).

We went from Swansea to Cardiff airport to get a plane (our student's union was paying, what did we care?) and the only food being served were sandwidges for around a fiver each from the crappy newsagents (which, of course, only seemed to sell the Daily Mail).

We sat down in the departure lounge (which had all of around 3 seats - Wales is nothing if not an unpopular destination) and after a minute or so realised we had to go get on the plane.

We got to the security check before I realised I'd left my super-expensive sandwidge in the departure lounge.

So obviously I dropped my luggage at a security guard's feet and ran.

I believe there are only 2 reasons I'm not a bullet ridden corpse.
1- I'm white.
2- No-one cares about Welsh airports enough to give the security guards guns.

(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 2:09, Reply)
upgrade downfall
On a trip to the USA and Canada a few years ago, I decide I'm going to try to get an exit row seat, for the extra legroom. I enquire politely at check-in and, to my surprise, they give me one, and I enjoyed the extra space on the way to New York.
On the way back I did not ask at check-in, but they must have recorded my preference, and gave me one anyway. The thing was: the return flight was overnight, and exit row seats do not recline at all. Cue a restless night and a sore neck for a week. Bugger!
(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 1:58, Reply)
While it isn't VERY interesting,
when I was seven I spent four hours in Tashkent Airport, in Uzbekistan, waiting for an Uzbek Airways flight to Thailand. I watched a Russian TV show about cossacks or somesuch and ate the national dish, which was runny mashed potato, and everybody I looked at seemed depressed or likely to kill me without a thought.

I only learnt later about the grave human rights abuses going on in that country and one day I like to think I'll go back and overthrow their government, but I probably won't, so never mind.
(, Thu 9 Mar 2006, 0:52, Reply)
December 7
So my birthday is on December 7 which, for you historians out there, is the anniversary of Pearl Harbour. Recently I have been spending a lot of time flying backwards and forwards between London and LA, which means I have passed through US Immigration on countless ocassions. Without fail, the last 5 times I have passed through immigration the scary man from the Department of Homeland has remarked, "Born on December 7, that's the anniversary of Pearl Harbour you know."

The last time I got fed up with this, so in rather a bad mood at my two hour delay before the man could finish his sentence I blurted out "Like fucking Pearl Harbour, I know!" Unfortunately he didn't take too kindly to me butting in and turned to another colleague and motioned towards me. Cue me getting the full treatment - questioned, searched etc.

My advice to you all, if the man from Homeland Security makes a joke, appear interested.

Pop - there goes my B3ta cherry
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 23:36, Reply)
Teen trauma
I was 13 - my father had died a few months previously and, to take my mind off it my mum had agreed to me flying over to Hamburg to meet and stay with my penfriend and his family.
The trip went well, Hamburg entranced me, the family were sweet and I was utterly charmed.
Then I arrived back in Blighty at the somewhat intimidating Heathrow airport - just to add to my unease you don't land at the same terminal you fly out of (Yeah ok - obvious to YOU maybe - but I was 13 and had only flown once before - when I was 4 so...).
Anyway I land safe and sound eager to share the joys of my trip with my loving mother.
She wasn't there.
Ahh - I think - she screwed up and went to the terminal that she dropped me off at, so me and all my bags trail the full length of Heathrow to find my mum not there either. I drag my cases back again.
Still no sign of mum.
I try to call home, no answer. I try to call my grandparents, no answer. I realise that I just spent all my cash on two useless phone calls.
I get the information desk to page my mum.
I've now been stranded at Heathrow for over an hour with not even the cost of a cup of tea and some rather unsavoury gents have started to notice me.
Feeling rather shakey by now I perch on a bench near the information desk.
An hour an a half after I landed my mum breezes in claiming a traffic hold up.
She had forgotten that Germany is an hour ahead of us - so although my flight left at two pm it landed at 2 pm too.
Scared for life and still getting drinks out of her to shut me up at family gatherings.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 22:24, Reply)
Back in November
Me and my family went to America back in november, we were going to do the overnight check in with virgin at heathrow, but as we were waiting to check in this stunning blond in red uniform stops us and explains that the flight we are supposed to be on has been fully booked out and they offered us to take another flight, running a few hours later and a cash suppliment to take this flight, when we asked how much, she told us £400, £400!!! that was the cost of the tickets!! so thats what we did, we waited about 3 hours for the tickets to be sorted and all was great, we had to change at jfk and went through customs there which took us about 10 mins, then we were ushered into the domestic departure lounge,it was a hole, crap filled shit pit. the plane we got onto this time was shit, we were flown by song airways and it was practically falling apart! the only good thing about this flight was the music library, you could create a playlist and fall asleep to it.
first post for ages! Woo!
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 21:31, Reply)
Dimwit brother
A few years ago my brother and I had to fly to the US to resolve my fathers estate following his death.

After going through all his belongings and sorting out what should be kept and what we could palm off on his friends as momentos of him, my brother announced that he'd kept a few things back that he wanted.
A cavalry sabre, a couple of huge bowie knives, and a few other smaller blades which you concealed in a wrist sheath. Bugger!

I phoned the US airport, and they confirmed that if all the weapons were secure and handed in with our luggage there would be no problem, I omitted to mention the slightly illegal ones that were making the trip with us.
To disguise the smaller knives he taped them to the larger ones so that if they were x-rayed the smaller blades wouldn't show up (hopefully).

My brother is a frequent flier due to belonging to a re-enactment group and has appeared in re-enactments all over europe, so despite my telling him that there was a duty free limit when returning from the US, went to town in the DF shop and bought way over the limit to bring back. I decided that I would as well, realising we were going to have to go through the goods to declare line on landing.

We collect our baggage and off we go, without thinking my brother went into autopilot and follwed the rest of the herd into "Nothing to declare". Since he is deaf in one ear, he didn't hear the customs officer asking him to step over, and just before he was about to be leapt upon by several of her majesty's employees I had another officer call him back saying that he didn't realise that my stuff was on the trolley and I had to declare some of it.

We wander into the declare section and look around for someone, apparently very few people go into the declare line so it's often unmanned, or the guy is sat in the office drinking coffee and reading. Just as we were about to walk off, this guy sticks his head out and asks what we have to declare.
I go for sympathy and start with "The remains of our fathers estate...", cunningly slipping the sword and knives into the list first and hoping he'd forget them as I added my new watch, clothes, several bottle of booze and cigarettes over the limit, but no, the first thing he asks is
"Are the sword and knives the genuine article?"
"No, replicas" say I,
"Don't worry about it then. On your way lads".
And that was how my brother became the proud owner of what we later discovered was a genuine American Civil War cavalry sabre, and narrowly avoided the invasion of his anal cavity by a customs officer.

Later, speaking to a friend who is a customs officer, I was told that since you were willing to declare it they really can't be bothered, and nine times out of ten you'll get told to carry on without even being checked.

Apologies for length, but it was a sword.

(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 20:34, Reply)
Teenage apathy.
Back when I was a mere nipper (well, about 14) I used to be in the Air Cadets (which I guess kind of gives me a divine right to post some sort of airport story) - anyway, this one day I've been volunteered to do some helicopter marshaling. Which was fun. Got a lift from Elstree airport in a little Bell Jetranger (Registration G-DOFY - renamed after the Duchess Of York who learnt to fly in it... yes, I was in Budgie the fucking helicopter) over to Marlow where the marshaling was taking place. After a very uneventful day we flew back to Elstree airport where, upon landing, the pilot turned to me and said "I've just heard on the radio that Axl Rose is just landing. Fancy meeting him?". My reply? "Nah, fuck it, got to get home, Neighbours is starting soon."

Oh well :)
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 19:28, Reply)
internal flight
I was flying from Southampton to Manchester to visit a few friends & generally get hammered a while back, & i'd secreted about a 1/4 of fairly potent herbal products in the bottom of my bag (hang luggage), inside a sock etc etc. i get pulled over for a check by security after i've gone through the metal detector (no probs, just a weird 6th sense on their part). they searched by jacket, my wallet, my phone etc - rubbing them with this odd machine which checked if they'd come into contact with explosives. i was understandably a bit twitchy, but they left my bag entirely alone for some reason. so i went on my way & proceeded to smoke it all before i flew back.

and paul sturrock, who managed southampton at the time was having his stuff searched at the same time as me. he was short & a bit sweaty looking.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 17:24, Reply)
an almost complete tour of New Zealand in 2 days
I used to fly a lot about NZ during my time as a government spy on fishing boats (Observer) and have many fab stories of pain on flights, but this one was pretty fun. Started with a normal 1 hr flight from Auckland to Wellington to report in to work at the fishery headquarters. We tried to land in Welly twice in a nail biting fashion as the winds were up to 150 miles per hour, (or something stupid) pulling up at what seemed to be the very last minute and causing some terror and pukeage amongst the passengers. So it was announced that we were going to Christchurch instead (about another hr away) and had to stay the night there. I wasn't too bothered by this as I'd planned to stay the night on my cousins floor before heading to work the next day anyway and a hotel was considerably fancier. So the next day on the plane again off to Wellington, comforting a lady who was still freaked out by the last nights flight. I arrived fine and dandy and head to work where I'm told the boat I'll be getting on is leaving from Bluff (the arse end of the south island) so we (me and another spy) are flown from Welly down to the nearest airport (Invercargill) via Christchurch, where we have to jump in a cab for a 1/2 hr drive out. Once in sunny beautiful Bluff (ahem) we soon discover that our boat isn't around, and making inquiries we find its actually in NELSON (ah only at the complete other end of the south island) there aren't any more flights out of Invercargill so we have to hoon to a rental car agency rent a car and drive 2 1/2 hrs to Dunedin where we then jump on yet another plane which takes us to Christchurch (hello again!) and then finally to Nelson, where we finally arrive at the boat having pissed off a whole boat load of fishermen who we have to spend a whole month with. Hurrah. Not to mention the Harbour Pilot who was pissed cause he was going to miss coronation street or something. And this was just after they'd stopped feeding you on domestic flights so I spent the whole day starving as we'd had to race around so much and couldn't stop to eat. Still I earned a nice bunch of frequent flier miles for that lot.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 17:22, Reply)
Family holidays are always intresting for the MacGregors. But waiting at the airport is always the worst part. We flew out from Manchester smoothly. Two weeks in Flordia and time to come home.

Go through customs at Sanford, Orlando, and they took away our lighters. And everyone else flying out too. Four hour wait in departures and only one person had a box of matches. Of course, they were soon used.

What bastard made that rule? Hundreds of Brits going home with no way of lighting a fag. Plus when we got to the otherside of the pond, que hundreds of us looking for a newsagent to buy shiney new lighters after a 12 hour flight.

(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 17:19, Reply)
i was very very lucky
to get one of the most innatentive customs officers ever at gatwick. having gone to a party the night before leaving for france, and got fairly merry, i completely forgot that i had purchased a small quantity of marijuana and wrapped it, in my wisdom, in tinfoil. as i idly rummaged through my jeans in the queue for customs, i came a across it again. the metal detector went off, i went white as a sheet, and the customs officer looked over.

"ah never mind, it's probably just your belt."

thank fuck.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 17:06, Reply)
Stag Doo - Amsterdam
Last year A group of us were off to Amsterdam for a weekend of...well...the usual thing 15 20something lads get upto in amsterdam.

Our flight was at 8.30am and the taxi was expertly booked in advance for 5.20 allowing us ample time to arrive and have a few beers pre flight.

It all went wrong from the off when the night before I hit new levels of wreckedness and passed out at around 2ish into a sleepy, beer and w33d induced coma.

Needless to say i slept in, slept in through 14 lads taking it in turns ringing my phone and trying to kick my front door in. The boy was sparko!

I finally come round at 6ish and proceeded in soiling myself before re-grouping and forming another plan.

Can't drive to the airport, my breath alone could still strip paint so made the little boy phone call of a lifetime and rung daddy up for a lift.

He';s there by 10past, i've spoken to the lads who'd had to set off without me and they'd spoke to the gate and managed to keep it open a further 15mins giving me *just* enough time to get there.

There may be a chance yet.

Gather my possessions and we're on the way to Liverpool airport.

I inform Dad en route that we are going to terminal one......

" there's only one fcukin terminal at liverpool, what are you on about?"

cue another phonecall to the boys, yup, should be going to manchester Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii7e, U-turn, we're back on route.

Traffic at this time on a friday morning's absolutley savage so its touch and go all the way.

finally screech up to the airport with minutes to spare, minutes that were duly wasted inside when i couldn't find the gate.

Found the gate and I've made it, they check me in and send me through passport control. beeper goes and i'm searched, no biggy i thought!!

Gets through fine and the euphoria was almost worth nearly missing out, sits down wth the boys, and takes a swig of the pint before me, reach for my ciggies......

...only no ciggies, in their place was the bag of w33d i'd tidied up the night before and stashed in an empty box out of the way.

It felt as though the Gods were testing me, after all the shi7e that had gone on, to top it off, i nearly became the first idiot in history to be caught smuggling w33d into the only country in europe where you can buy it over the counter.

Sorry for the length, first post, not quite as airporty as I thought it was when i started typing.....chin up!
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 16:50, Reply)
Flying into Belfast
I spent the night before somewhat drunkenly packing all my stuff for a fabulous week in Ireland, and was debating whether I could smuggle a bit of skunk across as I knew I'd want a joint and I didn't fancy trying to score on the other side.

So, having packed all of my clothes into two bags, I look at the options and try to decide whether my sock, the "secret" drugs pocket in my trousers or one of my bags is the best place to stash my eighth. And then I realise that, about to fly into Belfast, I have packed all of my things into two British army kitbags.

I quickly realised that I never will be a mastermind, criminal or otherwise. I repacked my bags into touristy holdalls and left the weed at home.

As an epilogue, I didn't even have to show my passport or talk to anyone at the other end. I could have carried through a bagful.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 16:03, Reply)
Damn you Ryanair
So many things went wrong with this trip but it would take far too long to tell it all so I'll just stick to the airport bit.

A few years ago I was flying to Nimes in the south of France, quite chuffed with the super-cheap Ryanair tickets. I was a bit later than planned getting to Stansted and at checkin I was told to head straight through to the departure gate.

I was feeling marginally panicked the queue for security took forever but I made it to the gate where everyone was lined up waiting to board.

There was one flaw however. No plane. Don't worry the helpful Ryanair staff tell us, we'll just be leaving half an hour late. 30 minutes pass and the delay is extended to 1 hour. Another hour passes, still no plane. Finally about 4 hours after we were due to leave the plane arrives and everyone breathes a sigh of relief and gets ready to board.

Then comes the announcement, Nimes airport is now closed, the flight is cancelled. Arsebadgers. Everyone rushes back to the terminal to try and get alternative flights but due to other cancellations all available flights were booked up for the next few days meaning a crappy night's sleep on the terminal floor and a bus home the next morning.

Turned out there had been a small fire on a plane at Stansted in the morning meaning all flights out had been delayed. When I arrived at the airport the plane can only just have left for Nimes on its previous run but rather than tell us this they kept pretending everything was still fine. Bastards.

Apologies for length, I'm told it takes getting used to.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 15:58, Reply)
Christmas Do
Christmas 2004 the company i work for in Manchester paid for us (small branch 3 people and the boss) to fly to Edinburgh where our Head Office is based. The flights were booked by our office manager. Flight out of Manchester at 7am flight back at half ten that night. Sorted.

We arrived for a champagne breakfast and later a 4 course Christmas lunch followed by a few more drinks in Edinburgh town centre before heading to the airport for our flight home. Taxi to the airport please.

We arrive at the airport to be greeted by... absolutely no-one. A faint sound could be heard from a cleaner sweeping the airport. No flights were listed on the overhead screens and no-one could help us.

The dosey Office Manager had, as well as conveniently calling in sick, booked us on the 10.30am flight home that had originally took us up there!!!

The taxi home cost our boss £450! Not suprisingly last year for our Christmas do we went to a restaraunt probably about ten addresses away from our office!
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 15:45, Reply)
Terror in the skies
A few years back I'd taken a wee sojourn in British Colombia to escape the evils of the Uk and generally wander around & look at things, slide down mountains on skis, that kind of thing. A great time was had by the lord & i wasn't looking forward to returning home as home sucks.

everything about the check in & vancouver airport was just spiffy. until i get called to my gate. which has a tv wall showing CNN on it. this is happening a mere 3 months after 9/11 so everyone is a touch jittery. CNN is running a constant barrage of 'terror in the skies' with terrible rumours of nasty people wanting to blow our large aluminium tubes up & kill us all. our flight was delayed by 4 hours. most of which was spent by me staring at the tv wall, slowly getting more & more scared.

we get in. we don't die. we get to heathrow. we have to circle around heathrow for an hour. we finally land but are told that due to a security alert we can't leave the runway. we sit on the runway for about ninety minutes, with fucking TANKS rolling all around us. was worrying.

eventually we were let off & thankfully i have continued not to die. but it was the day that the police thought nasty sorts were going to attack planes at heathrow with surface to air missiles, so you can see why they were twitchy. it just wasn't nice after an 11 hour flight + delays. was worried, i tell you.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 15:00, Reply)
Many, many airports, one abiding memory...
I've spent a great many hours in a great many airports over the years, from elephant-dung studded grass strips to the very big ones. But my best airport experience happened in Colombo.

I was on the Emirates flight that stops there on the way to Singapore from London. I'd been out the night before and I could still feel the pills as we landed in Sri Lanka. I decided to get out and have a few beers- not hearing the request to stay on board.

After an hour and a half of very enjoyable beer drinking, I began to wonder why my flight had not been called or displayed on teh departures board. So I strolled nonchalantly up to the Emirates desk. But before I could open my mouth, an angry Arab jumped up and said 'You're Mr _!"

They put me in a van with two men carrying AKs and drove me to the plane where I was scowled at by several hundred passengers and was served no more booze.

I'm sorry, Emirates.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 14:45, Reply)
KLM / Sabena cock-up
A few years ago, me and mr b3th went to Berlin for a little holiday. As this was before the days when Easjet flew to Berlin, we had to find cheap flights with someone else - and settled on Sabena (the Belgian airline).

I booked flights from Bristol via Brussels, with about an hour between the two flights. Since it takes approximately two hours to walk from one end of Brussels airport to the other, this was possibly not my cleverest idea. Obviously we missed our connection, and had to wait about six hours for the next one.

On the way back, we were waiting at Berlin Templehof (as mentioned before somewhere, it's basically a hangar with communist tendencies - no shops, just one manky cafe and a small waiting room).

So, sitting in the small waiting room, we suddenly hear "will mr and mrs b3th please come to the check in desk?". Filled with trepidation, we turn up, to be told that we don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of making our Brussels connection, and Sabena are refusing to fly us. Instead, says the nice lady with the humour deficiency, we have to leg it to one of the other airports in Berlin (the big one, I forget what it's called) and fly with KLM via Schipol.

Fair enough. Except that leaves us with about ten minutes to get all the way across Berlin in rush hour traffic. We made it (just) and then had to argue with the KLM johnnies that our Sabena tickets actually were valid, and they really were expecting us, honest.

So, true to form, we get to Schipol and are refused entry on the connection, as our original tickets were via Brussels. Then it gets fun....

KLM refused to help us further as our tickets were with Sabena.

Sabena refused to help us as they had basically palmed us off on KLM.

I swear to god, this poor rep from Sabena spent THREE HOURS running from one desk to the other (on opposite sides of the huge departure area, obviously) trying to sort it out, while mr b3th and I were reduced to gibbering (tired and hungry) wrecks collapsed on the floor.

Eventually KLM lost and had to put us up in a hotel for the night, then fly us home in the morning. I got my first ever 5 star hotel visit, and I had veal for dinner.

From Schipol to Bristol the next day, KLM decided the easiest route was via Dublin! Fucking DUBLIN!!! Arsemonkeys. And the whole way I had to listen to mr b3th whinging about it being my fault for booking the tickets in the first place. And of course, because our luggage had gone straight from Berlin to Bristol, we had no clean changes of underwear etc, so I spent the whole time worrying about personal hygeine.

Thank you. I feel better for that.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 14:16, Reply)
Oh, a few...
Its not often I go on a plane, but the times I have have led to some unforgettable memories.

First trip to Australia,2001. Heathrow-Dubai-Singapore-Melbourne, visiting family. Me and mum have seats right at the very fucking back of the plane, and end up speaking to the air wenches for much of the flight. Get off at Melbourne with two straining carrier bags full of the mini white wine bottles they serve in first class. Score.

Return trip. During the course of the holiday mum's picked up a didgeridoo. Not a small touristy thing, oh no. Six foot black torpedo of wood, and I had to carry the fucking thing round the airport, its getting on for the better part of a stone in weight which on your average 11 year olds shoulder with a needle thin strap is annoying as buggery. Get to the check-in desk.

Check in fool: Im sorry, but that didge needs to go in the cargo.

Me: Really? Whys that?

CiF: It can be used as a hand weapon. You could try and attack people with it.

Me, after looking at him to check hes not joking: Its six foot long, weighs a ton. Im a weak little bugger. Theres no way I could try and swing it in that flying coffin.

CiF: Rules is rules,mate.

The thing went in the hold. WE get home and we find its got a crack for fully halfway along its length.

Second trip to australia, 2005. The brother tags along with me and mum this time. In Dubai we've got a fairly long wait. Mums vanished looking at the big gold counter they've got there. Alex and I spot one of those baggage carts they use for ferrying invalids around with, recently vacated with the keys hanging from the ignition. We share a significant look.

'Lex: How long before they'd catch us?

Me: I dunno. I'd quite like to keep my hands, though.

'Lex: Good point. Well saved, there.

The journey home was quite savage. We got to Dubai, and at that point I hadnt had a shit for about three days. I head straight for the gents to try and put king kong to shame, but theres a queue that stretches nearly completely around the lavs. When I eventually get a cubicle, its one of those things where you have to squat down and shit over the hole. After about ten minutes of straining, nothings happening, and I'm nearly overbalancing on these fucking little platforms. I resolve to wait till I'm on the plane.

Two hours later, I bolt the lav door and sit down, and try again. Five minutes of near-blood-vessel-bursting strain, I finally manage to get this mammoth turd out with a thud that shakes the seat. And other people,apparently. I walked out of the lav to see a hostess trying desperately not to laugh.

Her: Are you alright, sir?

Me: Yeah. Remember, a split ring is not just a car part.


Apologies for length and girth, but bloody hell, I didnt half feel good after I got rid of it.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 12:55, Reply)
X-ray Beer
Once went to Spain for a Skydiving trip and we just made it back to the airport in time on the way back, hence the fact that i still had a few cheap 'Gnat's piss' beers to finish off which was going to mull me over in the checkout lounge. They not only let me on the flight still holding a metal beer can but they X-Rayed the blooming thing (which nearly was a complete disaster since the little blck flappy things at the front of the X-Ray machine nearly toppled my beer over).

On the plane some cheeky git put on all his skydiving equiptment (including his parachute) and asked some scally kids how to open the emergency exit, happy days
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 11:59, Reply)
Football in the South of France
I was "forced" to spend a year in Marseille as part of my degree, and decided teaching English in a school was the way to go.

The Head of English took a shine to me, and made sure I had as much holiday as possible, so I took advantage early on to go home and collect some more of my things. My flight back to Marseille involved me shaking and trying not to vomit due to the vodka and sambuca session the night before, which was not helped by the fact the plane was full of Chelsea scum/fans (delete as appropriate) flying out for a Champions League game against Olympique Marseille.

The queue at passport control was taking ages and once I finally made it to the front, the immigration guy asked me:
"You are 'ere for ze foootball?"

so I replied in French:
"No, I teach English in a lycee here. My residence permit is at the back of my passport. Anyway, I hate Chelsea, I'm an Arsenal fan, so I hope Marseille kick Chelsea's arse!"

He beemed back at me, and I swear he later picked out a cctv picture of me and put in up in all the immigration booths, 'cos from then on I got waved through immigration every time without so much as a look at my passport!!
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 11:48, Reply)
Korhogo Airport, Ivory Coast. Sweating like a rapist waiting to get through customs cuz Africa is bleedin hot.
Officious security bod stops me and finds some suspicious looking pills on my person. He dosn't speak English, I don't speak French. Spent ten minutes miming 'they stop you getting the shits', with added grimicing, gesticulating, and straining... Damn well nearly shat my pants from all the effort.
Then security bod says - in his best barritone impersination of James Earl Jones doing the voiceover for Darth Vader, "have a nice trip to Abidjan International, the weather's lovely up there at the moment."
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 11:36, Reply)
Landing at Jersey
We had booked nice week long break in Jersey (the Channel Islands one)
The flight was normal, the landing at St Helier airport was very close to crashing.
In all my years of air travel I've never had such a bad landing. We hit the tarmac with such force it caused most of the O2 masks to drop from above and a couple of overhead compartments to open.
I was sitting with a good view of the cabin crew, they looked terrified.
I (and I'm sure everyone else) had a slight whiplash Injury, apart from that great holiday.
(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 10:37, Reply)
I was absolutely sure that my ticket was for Tuesday ..
.. so no reason to double check, right?

But it was for Monday. As I found out Tuesday morning, during check in at the airport.

(, Wed 8 Mar 2006, 9:06, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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