Airport Mishaps and Cringy Travel Moments

By: Michael Legg | Last updated: Mar 21, 2024

Airport stories can be a treasure trove of humor and amusement, often featuring unexpected events and colorful characters. From bizarre security check incidents to unforgettable encounters with fellow travelers, these tales can leave us in stitches.

So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of funny airport stories, where the laughter or discomfort never seems to end, depending on which end of the seat you’re on. Get your passports ready, sit back, and enjoy the ride or at least try to get comfortable because thankfully you aren’t these passengers. Safe travels everyone!

Same Guy, Different Hair

Airport security is no joke, making it difficult to promptly get through the security lines. Each airline TSA worker takes their job seriously, and even the slightest change to a form of identification could cause some feathers to ruffle.


Source: David Tran / Canva Pro

One troubling story for an individual comes from a horrible TSA experience. One individual was accused of committing identity fraud due to their hairstyle. Even though they told the TSA agent he was the same person, it still took over ten minutes to get through security.


Who Let the Dogs Out?

Getting through airport security to reach your gate can be stressful, especially when the DHS comes through with the drug dogs. The drug dogs are there in order to ensure nothing is getting transported that should not be, but they can surely cause a backup in security!


Source: Matthew Turner from Pexels / Canva Pro

This story reminds people just how important it is to get to the airport with sufficient time to get through security and check your baggage.

Thunder Buddies

Traveling could cause devastating results on a person’s digestive tract. The cause could be nerves or even airplane food but one thing is for certain no one wants to smell it or hear it either.


Source: EntropyWorkshop from Getty Images / Canva Pro

The public bathrooms can be a disgusting place, and the airport bathroom can be awful in particular. Some would even go as far as to say that it’s a warzone.

Dreaded Delays

Airplanes can experience delays for a great number of reasons. In some cases, the passengers are already on the plane, causing them to be stuck in no man’s land.


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Despite being stuck on the plane in two separate delays, they ended up simply canceling the flight. Almost anyone would be willing to bet their next paycheck that the airline would have just canceled the flight in the first place. But as a passenger sometimes there is just no turning back.

Ridiculous Request

The airport is extremely strict with what you can bring on a plane, and what is not allowed. No matter how much a person argues, there is absolutely no leeway for passengers.

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No matter what happens, it is absolutely imperative to avoid arguing with the staff, you will not win!


Failed Meditation

If you have never been a part of an immigration interview, consider yourself lucky! The process can be quite daunting, making the interviewees extremely nervous.

Source: fizkes from Getty Images

This unfortunate person at least attempted to prevent the embarrassing mistake, but failed to do so! On top of peeing their pants, they even missed their flight to add insult to injury.


Chicago to Seattle

It is no secret that having a kid on a flight could cause major disruptions. While it makes complete sense, it does not improve the situation. Children are typically paired with their parents, but some airlines have confusing and strict seating arrangements. Most parents pay extra to ensure they sit with their children, but this is not always the case.

Source: danr13 / Canva Pro

Despite requesting a seat change, the flight attendant was unable to approve. It really makes you wonder if the airlines want their passengers to be comfortable for their flight or not!


Fake Air Fare

In this technological world, counterfeit items are relatively simple to create and hard to identify by someone who does not work in that specific field on a daily basis. These mistakes can be devastating as airline tickets in particular are extremely expensive.

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To make matters even worse for this individual, they not only spent money on the fake ticket but for the three-day trek home on the bus, which could not have been cheap!


Rainy with a Chance of Vomit

Traveling can make people extremely nervous, so nervous, in fact, that it could cause them to become nauseous. Unfortunately, it could cause some people to miss the bathroom, or simply projectile vomit over everything.

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This must have been an absolutely disgusting and traumatizing event in the airport for both people involved. It may be even more surprising to learn that this person didn’t follow suit by throwing up as well!


Delta Flight

One of the worst situations for a person on a flight is someone kicking their seat the entire time. A close second on this list would be someone leaning all the way back in their seat. This person got them both on the same flight!

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To make matters even worse, they even had to deal with toys being shoved through their seats. At some point, they should have just kept the toys and played with them!


Emergency Exit

Nearly everyone has seen the terrifying video of Boeing losing its emergency door in the middle of the flight. Unfortunately for this flight, a passenger opened it themselves, causing a major disruption, and even a lasting effect.

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If you did not already know, after opening any emergency doors, a loud beeping would typically accompany the opening. Unfortunately for this flight, the company could not even find the key to turn it off!


Catfish Gumbo

A taste of the South combined with seafood is normally a great experience. However, when buying it at the airport, this could lead to some devastating results. If you have a sensitive stomach, it may be best to stick to a simple sandwich or something you know you can handle before you leave!

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Learn from this person’s mistake, and make sure to stick to what you know for a flight! If necessary, bring an extra set of clothes in your carry-on just in case!


McDonald’s Sink

Some people at the airport can be desperate for a set of clean clothes. With limited options, they could even attempt to wash their pants in a sink at one of the restaurants!

Source: Gui Vergouwen from Pexels / Canva Pro

Despite them still being wet, it certainly is better than the gross alternative! Depending on the time of the day, it might just be better to bite the bullet and buy a new pair of pants at the airport.


Wheelchair Nightmare

It is always a good idea to avoid arguing with a TSA agent, but that does not mean that they are always right. Most TSA agents can handle a disabled individual with wheelchairs well enough, but this scenario could have been a catastrophe!

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If you are worried about being treated poorly by the TSA agent or making it through security because of your wheelchair, it may be best to take a different form of transportation. Buses, cars, or trains may take longer, but they are much more handicap accessible!


CDG Flight

Ever since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, security has increased tenfold in an airport. Even something as conspicuous as a backpack could force the security team into action.

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This awful experience reminds people just how careful they have to be in an airport, or any public space in general. They should be mindful of their actions, as leaving their bags at the terminal could lead to spiraling events.


Baggage Claims

Finding your luggage at baggage claim can either be extremely easy or a hassle every time you fly. With hundreds of people on a single flight, it is only natural that it is difficult to find your luggage.

Source: Bored Panda

This individual took a very creative measure to ensure they were able to easily spot their luggage on the conveyor belt.


Bored Workers

Nearly everyone at their job has gotten bored at some point in time. As people do their same duties day in and day out, the daily responsibilities may become boring. While it may be surprising, not everything at an airport is exciting, A case in point, is the airport workers.

Source: 9GAG

While being entrusted with such an important job for a flight, these workers were found attempting to make their jobs more entertaining through any means possible.


Airport Photographers

While it may be surprising, an airport offers an exciting chance for photographers to take pictures. A majority of airports will actually designate a specific area for photographers to set up to take pictures.

Source: Tom Podolec Aviation / Jean Lesage Airport

This specific area is perfect for plane photographers or plane hobbyists to set up to take pictures. This area also ensures the safety of the photographers as well.


Falcons in Switzerland

While it may not be common practice here in America, many flights in the Middle East are able to accommodate falcons on the flight. Several Gulf airlines, such as Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, are equipped to transport falcons in the main cabin or as checked baggage.

Source: failnation / knowyourmeme

In this particular case, the Saudi prince is said to have bought 80 airplane tickets for his falcons, allowing them to fly in first class. Falconry is a popular sport in the Middle East, and the UAE government has even issued about 28,000 passports for falcons between 2002 and 2013.


Jimmy Prepares for Fatherhood

This hilarious banner at the airport is sure to bring a smile to your face. However, amidst the laughter, let’s take a moment to share a friendly reminder: sowing wild oats may lead to some surprises, like suddenly finding yourself the proud father of a whole brood of children.

Source: r/blursedimages / Hamboni-Ravioli / Reddit

This is quite the way to make an impression at the airport, whether or not this sign is a joke.


Colonoscopy Sign

Families truly take the pickup signs to an even more personal level, by bringing up a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy would surely make anyone nervous, and this is a great way to greet your family while picking them up from the airport.

Source: Reddit

While colonoscopies can be a worrisome event, getting clear results is a happy sight for anyone, regardless of where you receive the results!


Kiddie Waiting Rooms

Finding activities for your little one to do while at the airport is imperative for a successful and stress-free flight. However, when you are spending hours at an airport, you could run out of activities to do as you are sitting waiting for your plane to leave.

Source: Bored Panda

While these areas are typically designed for toddlers or young kids, one woman found her boyfriend sitting watching a Pixar movie!


Flying Corn

If you could imagine what an airport in Iowa would look like, this would almost certainly come to mind.

Source: Reddit / ATL, old International Terminal

While you may expect to find this infamous corn sculpture in Iowa, this is actually located in Atlanta, not even close to the corn capital.


Is This What You Signed Up For?

This may come as no surprise, but some people can really get creative with the pickup signs at an airport. At first, it seems to be meant for someone’s daughter, but Nikita is commonly a male Russian name.

Source: Reddit

Some people find this sign to be hilarious, others struggle to find the humor. It truly is in the eye of the beholder, and if it goes along with your comedy style.


Free Speech Booth

Being a part of a democratic nation, you will be able to experience the freedom of speaking your mind. Of course, free speech has to adhere to the guidelines of not causing harm or tramping onto the rights of others.

Source: Reddit

If you have ever experienced a delayed flight, you will truly understand the frustrations coinciding with your missing plane. This airport actually allows you to vent your feelings, even if it does not change anything about your situation.


No Crocs? No Problems

While Crocs have drastically risen in popularity in recent years, it seems this airport still has a problem with them! Can you blame them? Despite being a debatable fashion statement they may also be a safety hazard but not for the reason you think.

Source: Reddit

If you didn’t know, crocs and grates could cause devastating problems. This airport must have had a problem with or a few incidents of someone getting their Crocs stuck in the grates.


Airport Humor

Airports tend to be rather boring, but some airports try to find ways to incorporate humor throughout their environment. At this particular airport in Belgrade, guests are able to pick up their luggage from the conveyor belt that even has a car attached to it!

Source: Belgrade Airport / Twitter (X)

While this conveyor belt adds a bit of humor and excitement to the baggage claims, it does cause some worry that the little ones could mistake it for a play area.


X-Ray Opportunity

This may be one of the most unique experiences to happen to someone while going through security at the airport. One man seized his chance to get a free X-ray scan in the middle of an airport!

Source: Tampa International Airport / Reddit

While these security checkpoints are simply there to identify dangerous items being smuggled in, they could also be used for free healthcare!


Holiday Season

The holiday season can make people feel a wide range of emotions, like stress, happiness, anticipation, or even apprehension. However, we all know at least one person in our lives who gets excited for this time of year.

Source: GoSocial

This particular man even ponied up for a full-on Christmas suit to wear to the airport to pick up his family. This suit obviously has mixed reviews for people, either you absolutely love the suit, or find it to be hideous, there is no in-between!


Bet Conveyor Belt

Baggage claims can be an extremely stressful part of the traveling process. Passengers struggle to fight through the crowds, pick out their bags through a field of other suitcases, and could even lose their suitcases entirely!

Source: Frankfurt Airport / Reddit

This baggage claim conveyor belt at the Frankfurt Airport will surely bring some excitement for passengers picking up their luggage. Passengers can place bets with family members on which color their luggage will come out on! This makes the pickup process much more fun and exciting!


Prairie Dress Pickup

This sight would leave passengers from around the world entirely speechless. Some guests at the airport might try to avoid looking at the sign, while others might just walk up and ask to take a picture to remember it!

Source: Reddit / eager_sleeper

This sign really takes on a controversial topic while picking up family at the airport, and could leave the person being picked up horrified and embarrassed!


Airport Adventures

In conclusion, airport stories serve as a testament to the rich tapestry of human experiences, offering a glimpse into the humor and absurdity that can unfold in these bustling hubs of travel. From the excitement of first-time flights to the unexpected encounters with fellow passengers, these tales remind us that even in the most mundane situations, there is always room for laughter and lightheartedness.

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So, as we embark on our own adventures, let us keep an eye out for the lighter side of air travel, for it is in these moments that we can truly appreciate the unique and unforgettable experiences that airports have to offer.