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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)
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Oh dear...
1)Three years ago I was meant to be going to Prague with my family (2x parents + 1x brother) Up until then, we'd spent every Christmas at home - mainly to satisfy the grandparents. That year I'd lost my last Grandparent so we could do whatever we wanted to. I suggested that we totally break with tradition and spend the Christmas break in Prague. Excellent! I booked the flights on BA and my dad told me to book a nice hotel so we booked a 4* right in the middle of Prague. IT WAS NOT CHEAP.

Along comes Christmas Eve. We get to Heathrow (early) and we're all dead excited. We get to the check in desk and hand in passports. The lady looks at them all and then picks me out and asks me to come forward. She tells me that I am not eligible to travel and BA won't let me on the flight because my passport is not valid. "Hold on," I thought, "yes it is, I checked it was before I came." I was right, it was in date but only by about 84 days. At that point (2003) your passport had to be in date by at least 90 days from the time you leave the Czech Republic. "Bollox!!!" The BA woman told me that they could technically let me fly but I'd be thrown in jail at the airport, beaten up and deported the next day. To me, this didn't sound like a viable option.

Tail between legs - we were moved aside to decide what we should do. I suggested the other three went and for me to stay in Britain. They declined and decided to stay. I thought I could go to the passport office and fly later that day but it was closed. I phoned the hotel and cancelled the rooms. My dad lost 50% (i.e. circa £1,500) We also lost all the money on the flights.

We came home and had absolutely no food nor presents for each other since we were going away and decided not to buy for each other. Needless to say, it was a crap Christmas and it was all my fault. I've never felt more guilty for anything in my life. It was horrible. The worst part now is that this doesn't apply since the Czechs are part of the EU. It was truly the worst thing that has happened to me in an airport!

2) Turn the clock back to 1997.
I was on a really crap plane at Madrid airport (for those that care, it was a 1976 DC-9 registered to a shitty subsidiary of Iberia called Aviaco. It was so shit that you could smoke on it!!) The plane leaves the gate and taxies to the runway. We then line up and hit it. The plane is accelerating to takeoff speed. About 15 secs in, there is a huge thud. The nose was just lifting up and the pilot pulled back on the power and the nose dropped. At that point, I thought it would have been best to abort the takeoff.....not quite. We just shot down the runway at full pelt and then just before the end, he took it off.

I was shit scared (rightly so) The aircraft then proceeded to circle over Madrid airport. Whilst this was happening, a smell of burning started to waft in. "Jesus, we're all dead," I thought. Eventually, the captain comes on in Spanish and announces that we've hit 'livestock' on the runway (which turns out to be rabbits; Madrid has a bad rabbit problem)which has been minced in the engine. We were circling to see whether we'd 'lost an engine' and whether we needed to make an 'emergency landing.' We circled for a further 10 mins. The stewardesses then came through the plane with awfully scented lemon air freshener (which was worse than the smell of burnt rabbit!)

To top it all off, the guy behind me said that the last flight he was on had an engine catch fire on landing. Thanks for that!!!! Twat!
(, Mon 6 Mar 2006, 13:03, Reply)

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