Engine failure, horrific turbulence and passing out from food poisoning in the loo: Travellers share their very worst experiences on planes

By Chris Kitching for Mail Online

All sorts of unfortunate incidents can take place while flying. Photo / iStock
All sorts of unfortunate incidents can take place while flying. Photo / iStock

With nearly 100,000 flights taking off every day, it's no surprise that almost every passenger has a horror story about a rude seatmate or frightening turbulence.

Many of them may be enough to put some people off flying altogether.

In a new thread on Reddit, anonymous travellers have revealed their worst airport and plane experiences from a pilot entering the cabin to look at the wing to an engine failure over the ocean.

An unfortunate case of food poisoning

Reddit user psycht, from the US, became so ill that he passed out in a plane's lavatory shortly after boarding, forcing the captain to abort take-off and return to the terminal.
The flight was backing away from the terminal when he got out of his seat and rushed to the toilet to be sick.

He wrote: "Some moments later I opened my eyes to realize I was on the floor and had passed out. It took me a second or two to realize I was still on the airplane and not sure how long I was out."

He cleaned up and returned to his seat, only to find out that there was another embarrassing mess.

He added: "When I sat down I felt a squish in my pants. Yep... came out both ends, and I quickly rushed back to the toilet, feeling like s*** and completely embarrassed." The plane returned to the terminal, where paramedics were waiting.

The embarrassed traveller added: "My clothes were ruined and had to be tossed but thankfully an agent pulled some clothes out of my checked luggage ... and took me to a lounge where I slept it off and rehydrated for the next five hours till I felt strong enough to get a flight home."

Pilot causes a scare

User cucumber_salad69 and other passengers received a scare when a pilot suddenly emerged from the cockpit.

They wrote: "All of a sudden the pilot raced out of the cockpit, stopped at the row in front of me and started frantically demanding they get out of their seats because he needed to get a better view of the plane wing.

"Once the row has gotten up, he kneels over and looks from the window seat for about a minute. He thanks them, turns around and goes back to the cockpit."

Passengers had no idea and began to panic.

About 30 minutes later a pilot announced that everything was OK and a warning light came on in error.

The Reddit user added: "I didn't really feel much calmer after that, so it was another two hours of panic and fear for me."

Luggage tumbles out of bins

Several users, including liberalsareidiots2, told tales of nerve-wracking landings.

They wrote: 'Flying into [Salt Lake City] in the summer, late afternoon, plane is about 200 feet above the runway [and] gets hit by a huge downdraft, luggage comes flying out of the overhead compartments, plane has to pull up and circle around for another approach.

"I had to check my drawers after I got off the plane."

"We fell out of the sky"

User rileymanrr was on a flight that was forced to circle an airport for about an hour due to a dust storm.

He wrote: "That was the most intense landing because there was a 20-plus mph crosswind gusting even higher.

"We fell out of the sky like a rock with the pilots fighting with all the controls and hit the runway in a minor skid.

"Then all the brakes and reverse thrust. It was intense."

Engine failure over the ocean

Planes can continue to fly on one engine after the other fails, but that doesn't mean it isn't a stressful experience for passengers.

User G01denW01f11 was flying over the Atlantic Ocean when an engine died, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Iceland.

They added: "End up sleeping in the terminal. There's a glass ceiling and it's one of those days where the sun doesn't set.

"Then, before going through customs in America, the system went down."

Bumped, bumped... and bumped

Getting bumped from a flight can be an awful experience, although it may never happen to some travellers in their lifetime.

It happened three times in one day to Reddit user Joabyjojo.

They were bumped from a flight from Miami to Atlanta before being bumped on a flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles.

They were then bumped from a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, which they had missed anyway after being bumped twice earlier.

The Redditor added: "That's a 24-hour delay on my flight home because there's only one flight to Sydney each day.

"That sucked. But that seems to be pretty much par for the course when flying, where social norms disappear and baser instincts kick in for people."

Stranded for two days

Severe weather can wreak havoc on air travel, especially in congested areas such as the northeastern seaboard in the US.

One user described a nightmarish experience after a blizzard hit the New York area.
They wrote: "Ended up being stranded there for 50 hours without so much as a pillow or blanket."

Musical chairs

A user named Irrational_claims said her flight was stuck on the ground at Ben Gurion Airport, in Tel Aviv, for three hours '"for a totally preventable reason".

She said ultra-Orthodox Jewish men on the flight refused to sit next to women.

She added: "Spent the whole time playing musical chairs to appease them. As a woman it was ... infuriating because I had to move multiple times."

The infectious traveller

Many travellers have had an awful time travelling while ill or on little sleep.

User vbrow18 said their worst experience came when they were heading home from college.

They wrote: "Slept two hours the night before (just finished finals) and had untreated strep throat that I swear got more and more painful with each passing hour.

"Got to Atlanta and realized my connecting flight was delayed seven hours.

"Sat at my terminal crying and hacking up globs of mucus ... for the next six hours. Got a lot of dirty looks that day.

Point taken

User trjones said he was stuck on the tarmac at Newark Liberty International Airport for five hours, adding: "As the pilot explained it, "the air traffic controllers were trying to make a point".

"It was a hot day with no air conditioning and barely even fans. Eventually they opened the door to get some air flow.

"Of course, the air was barely cooler outside and was full of jet exhaust, so it wasn't much relief. Then we finally took off and had a cross country flight ahead of us."

Trapped in Paris... for four days.

While some passengers vented about hours-long delays, one user was trapped in Paris for four days because they didn't have the proper documentation.

They wrote: "I was stuck in Paris for four days because apparently I needed an unabridged copy of my birth certificate to enter my country of birth.

"I spent the four days on train rides to and from embassies and help desks."

- Daily Mail

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