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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, 7, 6, 5, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Thankfully before September 11th
New Year 1999 I was flying over to see in the new millennium (yes I know it isn’t but they'd arranged this big party and everything) to party in New York. Was feeling very good at getting a phenomenally cheap ticket, celebrated in the pub and then headed to the airport early the following morning.

Arrived at the airport still drunk from the previous night's shenanigans and found everyone very jolly – the check in staff were even wearing reindeer ears. I can only blame it on being so relaxed but when asked "Did you pack your bags yourself sir?" I wittily responded "Why no, I let a small, middle eastern gentleman do that for me."

Cue a white face from the operator and whatever good vibes fled immediately.

"I'll ask one more time sir," she continued and repeated the question..

With visions of a thick fingered customs officer pealing on a shoulder Marigold a small "Yes" was the response.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 12:57, Reply)
On holiday...
at Malaga Airport with one of my more homophobic mates he was "Cupped" by the customs guy frisking him, Cue me and my other mate carrying him by the elbows and sitting on him till he calmed down the customs bloke doesn't know quite how close to death he came that day...

'POP' there goes the Cherry
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 12:51, Reply)
on a mates stag do...
to Amsterdam a number of years ago.
For a dare i walked through the airport boarding gate, across the tarmac to the plane, boarded the plane, walked up the aisle to my seat...

with my left bollock hanging out of my jeans.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 12:44, Reply)
My name is not Derek...
Fun at Nice

Every summer, I fly out to the south of France with some friends for some good times and a break from the grind. As such, I’ve become used to how anally retentive the French are about their security. I used to think that UK airports were bad with my highly dangerous nail scissors being confiscated one year. (I did try to contain my laughter as they were waggled in my face while being told that they constituted “a major security risk” by some airport flunkey.) However, two year ago, Nice airport staff took the biscuit.

I had watched my friends pass through the security checkpoint with no major issues. As I went through the bleeper went off. No problem I thought, having forgotten to take my keys out of my pocket.

Back through again, BEEP BEEP BEEP! Ah, I thought, my belt! I wear a heavy belt buckle so off that came to be X-rayed. Once through again.


Eer, what next? My boots? Apparently combat boots have so many eyelets in them that they trigger the alarms. Especially with the shoe bomber etc, they were being even more astute. Ok, so off they come.

By this time, my friends are on the other side of the checkpoint, pissing themselves laughing. They thought any minute, I was going to pull a Derek Smalls and take the foil wrapped vegetable out of my underwear. Close, my friends, but no cucumber.


Even the airport staff were getting a bit twitchy by now. The nearby armed guard started fingering his rifle.

“Le pantalon, s’il vous plait,” says the attendant.

“My what!?” I think I asked even though I understood every word he’d said. I looked down. My trousers have about thirty D-rings sewn into them. They had to be joking, surely? But no, the attendant is standing there, waiting for me to remove my trousers. I look over at my friends. They are having trouble breathing for the laughter.

Thanking the gods that I had not chosen to go commando that day, I did what I was asked and removed my trousers in front of Nice airport security and a queue of passengers waiting to board flight 106 to Gatwick. I strode through the gate, waiting for the piercings to set off the alarms again but this time got away scott free.

I was handed my dignity by the attendant on the other side, who I think was checking out my butt. I was so glad that the flight home only lasted an hour.

However, after reading about how many people have taken dope through airport security, I’m reminded about the time when I almost considered doing the same. We gave a mate £20 to go and sort us out while we were in France. Testimony to his bartering skills, he came back with almost half an ounce. With only a few days left to go, we smoked until we were blue but there was still loads left. We considered smuggling it until we hit upon a better idea.

So somewhere in Nice, there is a hotel with a dodgy light fitting, and a whole stash hidden away there waiting for our return. And the summer is only a few sweet months away…!
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 12:43, Reply)
Quite a nice one....
Started off badly in Montreal with a cumulative seven hours of delays, up to and including two planes which were missing parts, two thunderstorms in different airports stopping replacement flights from getting off the ground and a false start boarding. Things then turned for the better...

Airline rep notices that I and one other guy, a chinese student I think, have been sitting in the same lounge for seven hours and I get bumped up to the next priority and put in first class. The joy was indescribable; had a stupid grin on my face for the entire face and flirted shamelessly with the crew because they were putting on their first-class faces as opposed to their nonplussed coach-class faces.

Made the connection flawlessly, which cheered me further and then embarked on the transatlantic leg of the flight (in coach unfortunately, but a surprisingly pleasant journey).

The topper was when I got back to England feeling tired and somewhat out of sorts standing in the passport control hall; new EU passport and I walk straight to the short queue, past all the tired american tourists - bonus. Then there is a nice guy at the desk who checks the passport and just says, "Welcome back, Sancho." and waves me through. I could have cried; it was just what the doctor ordered.

My good mood lasted for the rest of the day...
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 12:35, Reply)
so many horrors
many many... like another on here, i am blessed with fewer than the average number of legs (which by definition is less than 2.. think about it) - so am always setting off alarms. Cue many hilarious events where chap patting me down comes across 14" of carbon fibre... although it's never been removed, it usually leads to a more in depth check of my other belongings; so, dusseldorf last year, usual rigmarole with beeping, lights -a-flashing etc, and me explaining about prosthetics. All good, but he then made a point of going thru my coat, on the conveyer xray thing.
as a dirty smoker, i have a lighter on me most times - this time i had a Zippo that was a pressie from mrs 2 shoes. The hulking great cherman chap seized this like it was a winning lotto ticket, and told me i couln't take it onto the flight. Bristling a this, as i wasn't about to lose my lighter, i asked why... he opened the lid, ran his finger along the edge, and told me it was too sharp and could be a weapon.. twunt. So i did what any good B3tan would do in the face of such idiocy, and pissed myself laughing. Instead of him getting angry and wheeling me off to all manner of unspeakable interrogations, he looked sheepish and then decided to find a better reason. So - i kid you not - he opened the zippo, poked the cotton wool wadding inside with a pencil, then told me it could be used to start a fire. I casually mentioned tht it was a fucking lighter, what in the name of all that's holy did he think it was for (and by the way what did he think the gas lighter he'd already looked at and given me back was for)? nonetheless, he sent a minion away to get something, and lo! she returned with some tweezers and an envelope, and made me pull all the wadding out and put it in the envelope, and told me if i wrote to the airport it could be sent back to me... he seemed to be having a terrible time understanding why i was honking with laughter at his very inventive interpretation of travel laws....

couple of years previous, swung my backpack up by the straps off the luggage carousel at heathrow, as i spun and took the weight i felt some resistance and heard an "ooooofff" noise. Turned round, to see Pierce Brosnan clutching his groin from where i'd smacked him in the double-oh-pods.... MI5? Bond? pah. You're not that hard....
there are many more but if i stop now i'll not have to apologise for length; against my principles.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 12:29, Reply)
Airports. I've been to a few
I've been frisked by men with automatic weapons at Dubai, after setting all the alarms in the world off, but my best ariport story is surely one from about 7 years ago in Iceland.

I'd gone out there on a week's holiday to see the volcanos, and being 15 at the time, and this being my first real trip overseas, was having a right old adventure. Part of the trip involved a visit to the Westman islands, or Vestmannaeyjar as they're known, to see the volcano that erupted an destroyed half the town there in 1973. To get there we flew out in this teeny little light aircraft, and me being big for a 15 year old had to sit in the co-pilot's seat. When the pilot got in, I found that I had a full set of working controls infront of me, including the steery thing. Fortunately, the pilot didn't pass out so I kept my hands to myself.

The airport on the island has two runways in a cross shape, and apparently you just land when you feel like it, as our aircraft had to abort at the last second as someone was landing on the other runway and would clearly have been in our path. It was pretty scary, but the view from the back of the plane was so bad, that I was the only passenger that noticed.

When quizzed about it later, our pilot merely replied that he'd never had an accident yet.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 11:51, Reply)
A series of unfortunate events
I actually spent about six months a couple of years ago constantly fucking up every time I flew.

1. Arrived a day late, having mis-remembered when I was meant to be flying out. Airline was very good about it, put me on another flight.

2. Arrived at wrong airport - turned up at Gatwick, but was flying from Luton. Had forgotten than Luton existed. Realised on the Gatwick Express, got to Luton 20mins after boarding closed, ended up flying out the next day.

I started getting paranoid about reading my tickets repeatedly and carefully at this point, but that didn't stop the disasters.

3. Set my watch to the wrong time zone after arriving at my transfer point, and was sat in the bar when my flight boarded. Why don't they have tannoy speakers in airport bars? Bah.

4. Got really drunk the night before, and on two hours sleep overslept despite three seperate alarms. Of course this also caused me to miss my connecting flight. And when I finally got home, I accidentally left my passport in my jeans when I washed them.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 11:32, Reply)
The first time I went to the UK...
...I was already alerted to the fact that my travelling companions weren’t exactly a model of responsibility or even remotely mentally sane.
Our first ‘adventure’ was at the airport at home: we were practically accused of kidnapping my friend’s kid because his dad wasn’t coming with us and she’s too stubborn to explain to people he’s not even married to her – she thinks it’s no one’s business and doesn’t understand the reason why the people at the airport asked (duh).
The trip turned out to be a disappointment because we had no money at all to see the sights (apparently, our ‘pal’ who invited us and was going to save us some money by letting us sleepover suddenly decided her landlord wouldn’t find it acceptable to have three people sleeping in her tiny rented bedroom so we ended up spending our first night at a taxi driver’s house who was gracious enough to offer it as a temporary hotel). I was truly sorry I didn’t get to enjoy my first real tourist experience, but it’s my own fault (I live in a Mediterranean country with miles of beaches; why should I even bother to go anywhere else?).
So after a not-so-pleasant 10 days in London eating Tesco-based meals and walking until we couldn’t stand anymore (no money for bus fares), I decided it was time to go home. Also, my mother was scheduled to have a cancer related emergency surgery and I guessed I was better off heading back home as soon as possible.
The three of us (me, a friend and her, at the time, 8 year old son) leave the Hostel two hours past check-out time because we couldn’t pay for another night and it’s constantly raining, cold and we don’t find the idea of spending the next 12 hours hanging around a central station very appealing. Our flight is at 9 a.m. the next morning and we have to kill time.
We drag our huge bags across the city to Stanstead Airport and nest there for the night.
All was going as planned when suddenly my friend’s 8 year old kid, who was playing football with some other children, appears to us with his head and face covered in blood.
We nearly freak out until the boy says he split his head open by smashing it into a security barrier when trying to catch the ball. His mother doesn’t speak a word of English so I stay with him while he gets patched up by a paramedic. At this time, I’m very nervous – my mother’s having life threatening surgery a million miles away, I have no money left to get this kid to a hospital and I start feeling very, very sick. While the paramedic is explaining to me what he can do so the kid can have his head in one peace until we get home I start seeing him divide into three equal people at the same time the floor decides its going to aerobicize under me.
The paramedic asks me if its because of the blood and I say no (which was true), but I need to get to a bathroom as soon as possible.
In the small stall I calm down and when I get out of the bathroom the kid’s ready to go (btw, thanks to that super nice paramedic – you saved what was left of my sanity, guy). We’re back on track. Now if only the people around me at the airport didn’t look so strange I could actually get some sleep until check-in time. Except I don’t. While my friend and her kid sleep like the dead, I stay awake and guard the luggage, us and the last two pounds we have in our pockets.
After checking in, I get a weird look from the people x-raying our bags because I have a foldable umbrella in my back-pack and they think it looks like a bomb. I also have a small office knife in there, but this was before 9/11 so no one notices that.
By the time I’m on the plane, I’m so stressed and tired I fall asleep even before the damn thing takes off.
I wake up in my radically warmer home town and run to the hospital so see my mother, only to get criticized because I was having my fun in London instead of being at her bedside.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 11:14, Reply)
American Security
Coming back from NYC and, f*cking shoes in hand, we queue through labyrinthine snakes of zigzagging queue barriers. We were about halfway through the ordeal when a couple of holidaying American families get to the front of the queue where an armed security guard is making sure nobody crosses a line on the floor 10 meters in front of the two metal detectors. One teenaged kid, about 14 was talking to his dad and inadvertently stepped on to the line.

"Get BACK from the line" (no pause) "Get BACK from the line SIR." (How do they make sir sound like "Although I am the missing link proving the theory of evolutuion my rednecked Creationist neanderthal family contests, my position here today has granted me a modicum of authority over your lives for this brief moment which I now intend to exert theat authority as much as is simianly possible"?)

The kid, busy talking, didn't respond quick enough to be told no fewer than three times before looking round and then down at his offending foot - 2 inches over the line.

His bemusement at this pettiness, and the fact that by this time one of the metal detectors was now free meant that rather than move back he and his family actually started moving forward.

"BACK! Get back over that line!" They were all puzzled and slightly incredulous and so paused (Surely he wasn't going to be this petty?)

"Everyone get back over the line".

Another pause and then they went back the six inches they had all moved. As soon as they stepped back over the line.


Absolute and spectacular f#cktard.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 10:57, Reply)
surprise package
went to west africa for a month to stay with friends who had just moved there. the evening before the flight, a friend of said friends comes over and asks me to take along a gift for them.
"no problem, what is it?"
"just this small parcel."
"alright. i suppose there's nothing inside that could get me in trouble."
"nooooo. just a few spices and a surprise for their wee daughter."
"spices, eh? are they legal, those spices?"
"of course they are, absolutely harmless."
so i am off to tempelhof in the morning, a very small 1930s inner city airport with so little traffic that it felt like *everybody* looked when i heard my name over the tannoy and two customs police officers asked me to come along. on the rather dark and creepy way to the underground luggage inspection room i thought up numerous ways of killing mr. spice guy.
unpacking my rucksack and unwrapping the gift with now four officers looking on we behold a sachet of curry paste and a box of sparklers, which had showed up on the monitor as explosives. i was allowed to keep the spices, the sparklers were confiscated to be "destroyed" later on.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 10:52, Reply)
Ignorant youth
When going on a Christmas holiday just after my school navitiy play, i was in the waiting lounge like a bored 5yr old. A mass group of Arabic men (white robes, teatowels etc) walked through and looked shocked and offended when i jumped up and down with excitment screaming 'Mum! Mum! Look Sheperds!'

To be fair they did look like sheepherders
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 10:33, Reply)
travelling from Turkey to England...
I thoguht it would be a good idea to buy a gun shaped lighter and bring it back to England to show my 15 year old friends how cool and realistic it was (truth be told, not very)Anyway, off the family go to the airport, up to the metal detectors we go and I show the friendly Trukish staff my cool new toy, just so that they knew it wasn't a gun adn was in fact a lighter - I am then seperated at gunpoint from my family and marched off and questioned in Turkish until a pilot no less came and spoke to me and told me he would have to take the 'object' onto the plane himself - he was very nice about it.

The lighter was broken when I got it back to England, but at least I got the pilot to hand me a gun whilst the plane was in flight and say 'If you'd put that to my head and said take me to Cuba I probably would have done.'

(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 9:59, Reply)
I fly a lot at the moment
what with living far far far away from any semblance of normality*

1) Flying for Barcelona to London I was asked to take off my belt, no worries except for wearing baggies that are 2 sizes to big, cue me waddling about like lame duck trying to hold up my jeans. I decided to stick my hands in my pocket to hold them up, as so as I did the Security guard asks What are you hiding in your pockets, to which my smart arse reply was 'my cock'.

My mates are bent over with laughter while this guard decides to make me stand up with my arms out side ways so he can redo the metal detector and take just long enough for my jeans to ride down below the bottom of my boxers.

2) Flying from Geneva some time after 9/11 I get my bag unpacked my customs as I have one the mini penknives in, fair play they are doing their job, when my mum walks over just as they are removing the offending item, and pipes up 'is that it I have one in my handbag' to which confiscate it my dear mother had to spend 2 hours convincing the security that she was no single-handedly going to hi-jack the plane.

(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 9:07, Reply)
From Inchon to Narita
I was going along with a group of people (about 2 dozen) to Japan for a music festival. Most of them were musicians, and I was the only Canadian. Also there was my friend Paul, a half-American/half-Korean who had American citizenship also.

He had a bit of a problem, on account of the fact that his passport had gone through the laundry and his dog had chewed it up pretty badly. The woman at the ticket counter made him go to immigration so they could verify that it was a valid passport and give him some sort of certification. He popped off there and got it done with no problem, then went back to the airline booth, where they made him write a statement that he wouldn't hold the airline (NWA) accountable if Japanese immigration didn't accept the passport. This is what he wrote, and I know because I got a picture over his shoulder.

"I, Paul K Brickey, take full and total responsibility for crappy red tape crap and will not be pissed off at NWA."

The image:

The supervisor for the NWA counter was a little confused by his language, so I explained that it's English slang. That was enough for him.

Anyway, we got through the checkpoint and were headed to the plane, when security grabbed me again. It turns out that Paul had put a bullet belt in his suitcase and they had a problem with this (yeah, you'd think). It led to my friend being handcuffed, interrogated, and his belt being melted. He made it onto the plane just in time.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 5:59, Reply)
Just 2 quick ones
1. I got Paula Abdul's autograph at Honolulu Int'l airport - this was when she was famous for being a singer, not an American Idiot Idol judge so that was a loooong time ago.

2. My dad consistantly gets stopped at the security gates after 9/11. I guess he shouldn't wear a black hat, dark sunglasses, black shirt, black pants, black shoes, big black puffy jacket, black "fanny pack" with nail clippers inside to airports anymore.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 5:56, Reply)
for a long plane trip

I asked my Mum to pack something for me to read.

She packed my own autobiography.

Story of my life really.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 4:22, Reply)
Fake leg
Bleeps every time
One time they in fact made me take it off and sit on the floor, until they could run it through the x-ray machine, and some idiot decided that the pole down the middle was obviously something very dangerous and wasen't allowed on the flight

luckily someone with sense came along and let me and my leg on the flight

although when i got on the plane they played Keane music over and over, depressing the entire plane crew into swearing and declining to give out food, so maybe it wasen't such a good thing i got on
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 2:52, Reply)
"Cheap as Chips" - Strangely Orange Guy...
Chuffed to bits at getting one the (in)famous flights to Spain for 1p...

Until flight home cancelled.

At 23.30.

In an airport which closes at midnight.

Said airport located in the middle of nowhere.

As I turn away to get a taxi before everyone else figures this out and a stampede starts one guy kicks off at the check-in girl. After 30 seconds of solid abuse (including the immortal but not very helpful line "You can't do this - I'm British!" she raises her hand, stopping him mid rant and replies - "But of course Sir, you are entitled to a full refund" and lifts up her other hand holding a shiny new penny piece.

(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 2:49, Reply)
Off topic? Kinda but Customs related...
Whilst working abroad at Her Majesty's pleasure I found myself in a dry camp. Not only dry as in desert - but NO ALCOHOL! Arrg!

Several schemes followed including making mango wine using bread yeast (scummy but better than it sounds) and getting peeps back home in Blighty to send stuff over.

One poor confused relative was asked to send over some gin but told "to disguise it". Cue an whisky bottle filled with gin posted over - complete with clear statement on the customs label - "Whisky"

One lass was surprised by a quantity of port hidden in a shower bottle. The surprise was that when she got it she tipped in the small amount of soap that she had left before going off to the shower block. Her screams still haunt me...

Oh.. and the time my mango wine exploded all over the bunk and kit of the guy next me - sounding like a gunshot so everyone came running... Priceless.

I could go on and on, but figure that I already have...
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 2:22, Reply)
old ladies huh...
I remember when i was knee high to a grasshopper, me and t'family went on holiday to the island of menorca.

Got on the plane and we were taking off when my even younger sister shouts rather loudly


A rather worried old lady who was sitting opposite became rather more agitated and just said in that stereotypical stuck up old lady voice " Oh i hope not"

I hope she shat herself, come to think of it she didnt smell too great.
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 0:33, Reply)
It's tea, honest guv
While on holiday in Turkey I decided to buy a couple of bags of the local "apple tea" to take back (you couldn't get it in England at the time). Stuck in it in the bottom of my rucksack and thought no more of it.

Until, that is, customs at Gatwick decided to pull me over and search my luggage on the way back and pulled out two sealed clear plastic bags packed with light brown powder. Hmmmmm. Managed to avoid the rubber glove treatment as the tea actually does smell of apple.
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 23:32, Reply)
heres one
a few years back i was still quite into warhammer and decided, quite innocently enough, to bring all my stuff along for a nice painting session in spain. oh dear.
so off through the xray machine my briefcase of painting and modelling gear goes. and what shows up on the xray machine? several dozen suspicious looking tubs, wires, clippers and modelling putty which unfortunatly comes in 2 coloured plastique style strips. oh what fun
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 23:30, Reply)
Oh and my Mum
sat me down the night before I was due to fly to Dublin and made me spend time with the family before I went away.

We watched a rather interesting TV programme called

"When Planes Crash!"
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 23:27, Reply)
was flying out of hanoi
when just before getting our bags checked my freind remembers his pockets are full of spent ak47 cartirages. he wants to put them in my bag so starts taking them out of his pocket. he then accidently drops them on the floor. so we are standing there with bullet cases rolling around at are feet. smoothe. cant belive we didint get strip searched
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 23:00, Reply)
(This takes place about a year after my wife was taken hostage) We'd had a bit of a rocky patch but she flew home from another city to see me and the kids. Unfortunately, some terrorist group decided to take over the bloody airport and forced a plane to crash. I was bloody scared for my wife cirling above.

Fortunately I'm a gung-ho policeman so grabbed an MP5 and killed them all. Was a bit dangerous when I was on the wing of their plane and they tried to take off :S

(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 22:54, Reply)
B3ta nearly got my friend arrested!!!11one
Just been speaking to a friend on MSN who said that he's just got back from his holiday in Thailand. He took his laptop with him and as a security check on the way back, they asked to have a look.

Apparently it was procedure as lots of perverts tend to go over to get child pr0n.

Anyway, he fires up his laptop and his browser opens...on the last page he viewed.....which was this.

Poor bastard got interrogated for hours!
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 22:30, Reply)
Pisa airport
Never, ever put condoms in your hand luaggage or you will be forced, as I was, to open your toilet bag and have a security guard rummage through your Magnum XLs in front of a packed airport.

Embarrasing, although at least I get to feel slightly smug about it.
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 22:02, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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