Major Airline Flight Attendants Shares Their Horror Stories

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It was literally the scariest moment that I’ve ever had flying.

Hi, I’m Megan. I’m a flight attendant with a major commercial airline. I’ve been a flight attendant for about four and a half years. – My name is Ulysses. I’ve been a flight attendant for two years. Our company basically deals with charter flights most of the time.

– This one flight I was flying from JFK to the Bahamas, and I picked up this trip because it’s only an hour half flight and hour half back. I thought I’d be home in time, no big deal, it’s gonna be a quick and easy flight. There was some kind of, like, thunderstorm season. The pilots will warn us if there’s gonna be a lot of bumpiness, you know, in our briefing.

This time they said, “Yeah, it’s gonna be a lot of turbulence, but we’ll tell you when to stay seated.” Turbulence is always kind of scary for most people flying. For flight attendants it’s really nice because it usually means that we have to cancel the service early and we can just sit in our jump seats.

(giggles) So we’re going through the flight, we did our service no problem. Basically right after we pull our carts back the captain comes on the PA and he’s like, “Flight attendants immediately get to your seats and fasten your seatbelts”. And when that happens, you know it’s serious.

We ran to our seats, put our seat belts on, kind of frantically started closing all the bins and immediately the plane drops 500 feet from the sky. To put this into perspective: typically it would take a plane to descend 15,000 feet in about ten to twenty minutes. So, if you can think about that, we descended 500 feet in about three seconds.

We’re airborne. Like, I’m still in my jump seat and my seat belt’s on, but I’m like (spring bouncing) this. It was literally the scariest moment that I’ve ever had flying. Everyone started screaming, and I genuinely thought that something bad had happened. Passengers don’t know what’s going on.

They were freaking out. A lot of them were screaming. (high-pitched squeal) It was a good thing that we were in the back alley because if we were sitting in what we call the princess seat, it’s this jump seat that’s facing the passengers, it’s kinda hard to control that kind of fear, so I’m glad that no one was sitting there.

‘Cause no one would see us. When it was safe enough to get up we got off of our seats and walked down the aisle, just making sure everyone was okay. This is where we’re paid to smile because we’re supposed to be cool under pressure. If anything crazy happens we’re still smiling, so the passengers know that everything’s okay.

We just walked around and made sure everyone was okay. Was like, “You know what guys, we’re gonna get through this together. Everything’s gonna be fine”. We had to land in the Bahamas. We’re petrified. We have to check the plane for external damage and stuff before we go, so it was like a three hour delay.

But turns out it was just a normal air pocket. That sometimes happens, but still, it was so scary. – Due to the nature of us only having thirty passengers, we are the only flight attendants of each particular flight. And we are also in charge of making the stock and leaving the aircraft spotless. There was this one time where I was cleaning the aircraft and all the other girl flight attendants had put their gloves on to check the seat back pockets.

I usually don’t because I like to be pretty quick and get things done quickly. Pretty normal procedure. I scoop into the bags and take out whatever trash is in there. On this particular one I scooped it in and I felt something poking me, but it wasn’t hard enough for me to be alarmed, so I continue to feel what it was and I scooped it all out.

We serve little pretzel bags and people usually rip off the corner, so I thought it was a bunch of those at first. So I was like, “whatever”. As it turns out, the customer bit off his nails and left a collection of every single one (laughs) for me to clean up. He took the time to put them in the seat back pocket.

But even with my disgust, I took the time to count the nails and there was exactly ten of them. I bite my nails every now and then, which is the grossest thing in the world, so like, you know, I unders– (record scratching) No, I don’t understand still. I don’t know what was more gross, though: the fact that I just kinda had ’em in my hand and I took my time to count them or the fact that I’m not wearing gloves and I still don’t wear gloves and I still decide to clean the aircraft like that.

I’m flying a trip from JFK to Las Vegas.

It’s a really notoriously terrible flight because everyone’s pretty drunk and ready to party on the plane. It’s fine, we got our game faces on, we’re ready for the flight. So these two guys come on board. They’re friends, they’ve had a great time last night and they’re pretty hungover, probably still a little bit drunk, but we let ’em on the plane anyway.

And they sit down. One of them is asking for drink after drink after drink and finally I had to cut him off because, a lot of people don’t realize this, but if you drink one drink in the air it’s worth two on the ground. So he was basically drinking six drinks. It had only been maybe two or three hours into the flight at this point.

So I cut him off, give him some water, expect the normal, you know, “okay, that’s fine”. And then he looks at me, he’s like, “What, no. Like, I mean I’m not drunk, it’s fine”. And he is obviously really wasted. And I just have to give him the water, ignore him and go back to the galley.

The flight continues and he’s pretty drunk, so he just passes out on his friend’s lap. He just takes over the entire row. Maybe twenty minutes pass and the flight attendant that I was working with, Drew, and I we both smell vomit (retching) from somewhere. So we’re sniffing around, we’re searching.

We’re like, “Is it on us, is it in the bathroom?” The bathroom’s clean. And we finally realize it’s coming from that row. We peer over and it’s actually everywhere. It’s kind of on the seat, but it’s mostly on the floor and it had like trickled back because we’re kind of on an incline.

It was everywhere. It was so gross. And so we kinda wake him up and like, “Are you guys okay, like do you want some water?” And then he freaks out. He’s like, “What, there’s vomit? Like what? Oh my god, no, girl, no that wasn’t me, like, uhmmm, you need to clean up this vomit, someone threw up, like, on the floor.

Man it stinks.” And we’re like, “Yeah, it was you, that’s why it stinks”. He’s like, “No, bra, it wasn’t me, like, are you kidding me right now? Like are you saying that I threw up and I didn’t know it? And so this continues the entire flight. He’s denying that he threw up, even though there’s clear evidence that he was the only person that could’ve done it.

Finally, we have proof. The guy behind him is complaining because there’s throw up on his bag. And literally the only person that could’ve done it was the person in front of him. I gently tell him, I was like, “Sir, this guy’s complaining, you threw up on his bag. There’s nothing more you can say at this point.

” And he just stares at me for the longest time and is like, “Oh, oh man that sucks”. But he never admitted that he was the one that threw up. I felt so bad for the other guy, so we did what all flight attendants do for any kind of clean up situation: we just put seltzer water on it and hope for the best.

And when we landed we called the clean up and they did their thing to clean up the throw up, but I will never forget that day. It was so crazy. I had just initiated my service. I was taking drink orders. Shortly after, this lady comes up to me. She asked if the bathroom was locked in any way, shape or form.

I simply was like, “No, you know, it must be occupied”. About five minutes after, she comes back to me. She’s like, “Can you double check again?” Then I go and I finally knock this time. This gentleman was like, “I’ll be right out”. He sounded annoyed, so we left him alone.

The gentleman finally comes out. As soon as I pass by him, I did notice an odor. I kinda looked at him, noticed he was a bit stained. I didn’t know how to approach it, so the first thing I did I just go to the restroom, see what in the world happened that he ended up messy. So when I walk back to the restroom, I close the lav door behind me.

To my left I see clumps of (beep) on the lid. More clumps of (beep) on the handle, and the walls were smeared in a very oddly way. He didn’t even try to remotely clean it. Luckily, in our little restrooms we have Clorox, we have spray, the whole package to clean it up. I quickly go into the drawer, grab my gloves and the Clorox wipeys and just start clumping away the (beep).

I kinda had to grab it with the wipeys, throw it away. After the third time, I’m switching my gloves. I finally got rid of all the gooey poop on the wall. I thought I could handle it ’cause I’ve dealt with gross stuff before. But once I got to the lid, it was game over. It was such a big clump of poop that I couldn’t handle it.

I got weak. I just threw up all over the sink, to the point where I stained myself. And that created a whole ‘nother issue before I was able to come out the restroom. I was pretty proud of myself, I managed to contain all that poopy stuff. Cleaned the restroom. It was spotless, as far as I was concerned.

Once I was done cleaning, I go back to the galley because I did have extra wipeys and I also had a Tide pen. I approached the gentleman with the Clorox wipeys, asked him if he needed to clean up. He can go back in the restroom ’cause I had finally cleaned it up. While walking out of the jet he was like, “Thank you, appreciate your service”.

Yeah, it was pretty gnarly.