- There are lots of steps that go into getting on a plane.
- Lots of things can happen between the departures gates and boarding the plane.
- Aeroplane employees share what they have seen.
The airport can be an adventure even when you’re just flying. But from going through airport security to boarding, the employees who work in the airport have really seen everything (and sometimes even documented their experiences).
We took to Reddit to find out some of the weirdest things airport employees have seen while on the clock. Although INSIDER cannot independently verify these claims, these stories are still highly amusing to read.
“There was a man sitting on a bench out front, with an apocalyptic-looking storm bearing down on us, wind whipping everywhere, just soulfully playing the trombone.”
“I work at my local airport (I live on a tiny island and this airport is smaller than our library), and just last summer we had a hurricane looming down on us. Everyone is getting packed up to evacuate, we’re renting cars like crazy to people fleeing and we’re trying to get them out of the storm area. No idea where he came from or what he was doing but it was surreal. Like something out of a David Lynch film.
“I was out checking on the cars we had and when I walked back up there was a man sitting on a bench out front, with an apocalyptic-looking storm bearing down on us, wind whipping everywhere, just soulfully playing the trombone.” – DomLite
“Rolled in place for maybe a minute before someone shut the thing off.”
“Watched an older woman tumble down the ‘up’ escalator. Every time she flipped over she yelled ‘I’m OK’ like Filburt from Rocko’s Modern Life. Flop. ‘I’m OK.’ Flop. ‘I’m OK.’ Flop. ‘I’m OK.’ Rolled in place for maybe a minute before someone shut the thing off.” – Streder
“She exclaimed, ‘My bloody brother, I’ll kill him!'”
“A school friend’s father worked on Passport Control in the mid-’80s. In those days passports were often handwritten and had spaces for things like ‘distinguishing features.’ One day a young woman presented her passport to him, and he opened it and compared the photo… and then paused before saying, ‘This is a bit unusual.’ He showed her the open passport which read in part: ‘Distinguishing Features: BIG T—.’ She exclaimed, ‘My bloody brother, I’ll kill him!'” – Flupsy
“The wind blew the entire plane sideways toward the ditch next to the taxiway.”
“Worked at a tiny little airport with puddle hopper planes. The plane landed on a really f—— windy day in the winter so there was still some ice on the ground. I went out to flag the plane in and watched incredulously as the wind blew the entire plane sideways toward the ditch next to the taxiway. The pilot had to do some serious engine-revving to keep the plane from going into the ditch. Kind of funny and a little scary. Luckily no passengers were on board.” – non_clever_username
“Human eyeballs, human genitals, snakes …”
“I was a ramp agent for a while. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means I loaded and unloaded bags. Some of the more interesting things I saw were at baggage processing.
“A list of things I saw in baggage processing:
-A human head transport: It was a big, nitrogen cooled container. It was declared as a human head/ tissue.
-Human skin: for skin grafts I suppose
-Lab research rats: A big medical college is one town over
-Horse Semen: Midwestern airport, so I saw it a lot.
-Doggos in cages. I always tried to calm them down. Please don’t fly with your dogs if you can avoid it. It’s a terrifying experience for them.” –[deleted]
“One of his employees came in and explained they told him he needed dental records for TSA and wanted us to play along.”
“There was a group of people coming through for a business trip and their boss had never flown before. One of his employees came in and explained they told him he needed dental records for TSA and wanted us to play along.
“So the boss comes in and hands me his ID and an x-ray from his dentist to check in for his flight. Trying not to laugh, I show it to my coworker who points at it and says, ‘Well, TSA might have an issue with that.’ Dude’s face went white as a sheet until his employees busted up laughing. He got super red in the face and eventually started laughing at himself. Never let it be said that airports are humorless places.” – Vrael22
“She points at the plane and answers ‘That’s him in the coffin.'”
“A guy I once met works at the counter for a big local airline. There was a lady about mid to late 50s about to board with 4 big suitcases. This was a time when you normally could bring up to two suitcases or 23kg.
“He notices this and tells the lady she would have to pay for the extra two suitcases. The lady nonchalantly says ‘Oh, my husband is carrying those,’ he asks about her husband and again, completely relaxed and in a natural voice she points at the plane and answers ‘That’s him in the coffin.’ After that, he apologizes and let the lady board.” – sfxster
“He comes back down the ladder, white as a sheet. It’s a body.”
“My parents worked in airports and told me this story that happened sometime in the late ’70s. They notice a patch of purple on the marble floor near the check-in queue. Thinking someone has spilled their red wine on the floor, a cleaner comes over and clears it up.
“About half an hour later, there’s another pool of purple. A different cleaner comes along, clears it up. Eventually, the original cleaner comes back, notices the same pool he cleared up already is back. He doesn’t know what’s going on. He looks up. There’s an air vent, dripping something. Maybe it’s air conditioning coolant or something? He reports it to his supervisor. Nothing happens for a day or two, they just keep mopping up this coolant. Eventually, they send an aircon tech into the roof. He comes back down the ladder, white as a sheet. It’s a body.
“Turns out someone had tried to break past security by climbing through the air ducts. This is pre-‘Die Hard,’ remember, so quite clever. What wasn’t so clever was taking a wrong turn in the dark, and falling 30 feet into a fan mechanism drop.” – EffityJeffity
“Hawk flew after starlings, smoked the glass and broke its neck.”
“Airports employ falconers. The birds are used to keep other birds away from aircraft because a bird in an engine can really mess up someone’s day.
“So this falconer had come into the airport with his bird to grab a cup of coffee. He decided to try to impress some ladies by taking the hawks hood off and doing a little demonstration. What he failed to notice was the starlings resting outside on a steel beam. Hawk flew after starlings, smoked the glass and broke its neck.
“Thousands of dollars worth of highly trained bird, gone.” –Anonymous Redditor
“One day we saw a pickup roll out on the service road near the marsh, and hear several shotgun blasts.”
“I work the cargo ramp. We’re at the very edge of the main runway, and there’s a marshy area about 200 ft from the end of the runway. One day we saw a pickup roll out on the service road near the marsh, and hear several shotgun blasts.
“A couple minutes later, the airport guys in the truck roll up and ask if anyone wants some free geese. One of our crew took two dead geese home and smoked them for us. Delicious. Apparently, the geese were just coming right back to that spot if they were forcibly relocated, so they had to be permanently removed.” – EatLard
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