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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)
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No ticket.
After road tripping the US and Canada for a while, I decided that it was time to go back to Blighty. Thing was, I’d lost my Virgin Atlantic ticket from JFK to London. Both me and my folks at home spent many a long a weary hour on the phone trying to organise a replacement ticket from both ends of the Atlantic. No dice say bransons’ lot - I’d have to buy a new ticket, and get a refund for the old one. Fair enough, but I didn’t have the £1000 to get a new ticket.

Next best thing, get a cheap flight using a cheaper airline. Cheapest available? Pakistani international airlines.

By the time this lot get organised my visa has run out, so I’m now overstaying my welcome in the US. (If US immigration are reading, I’m making this part up) So, 2 weeks after my visa has run out, I turn up at JFK to board my PIA flight, this time to Manchester. I’m ok with that, I happen to live in Manchester with my girlfriend, so its all good. This ticket was bought online, an ‘e-ticket’ if you will, something flyers with easy jet are familiar with. During queuing, and feeling the whitest I’ve felt in my life, a little Pakistani lady comes up to me asking me to carry several items onto the plane for her. That’ll be a no then. She looks like I’ve slapped her in the face. So I get to the desk, the man asks for my ticket. “I’ve got an e-ticket!” say I. “I don’t know no e-ticket”. Bollocks.
Can you look me up? No. Piss off. You don’t have a ticket. Desk closes, plane takes off.


So, I’m in new york, with approx. $4.00 in my trousers and no way to get home, and in the country illegally. Goody! With nothing much else to do I decide to lag all my kit over to the virgin desk in another terminal to see if I can blag it.

I find it and talk to a girl called Lisa (I’ll never forget her, I swear) who after hearing my story looks at me and hand writes me a ticket (hand writes!) a ticket to London for me. And the fee? “It leaves in 30 minutes, run”

Honestly, I had tears in my eyes. I told her I loved her very loudly and ran.

The man at the checking didn’t look at my visa date, and I found my seat – the last empty one, right at the back – and flew to London.

I’d had 4 hours sleep in the past 3 days by this stage (good old road trips) so I was a little messed up. After 8 hours in a national express coach to Manchester I wasn’t feeling any better. My girlfriend meets my at the station to inform me she wants to break up. Oh ffs…

Next day I wake up to find the twin towers have been hit. Yes, I’d managed to escape New York on September the 10th 2001.

Next year, I went to China, feeling that I'd had an unfair advantage in the U.S. by speaking the same language.
(, Sun 5 Mar 2006, 3:59, Reply)

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