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What unusual things have you seen at airports?

What unusual things have you seen at airports?

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Old Feb 7, 17, 7:04 am
  #16  
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Cop on a Segway getting off an elevator at SFO. Dressed in all black with a helmet and dark glasses. It was like a weird Paul Blart/Terminator crossover
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Old Feb 7, 17, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
6. boarded the wrong flight that was at the adjacent gate but got off in time.
Boarded the wrong flight at HND back in the days when they bussed you out to some planes and I spoke no Japanese. Crazy thing was the cabin crew were checking boarding passes and it was only when someone else turned up to claim my seat that the error was noticed. Something to tell the grandkids I guess.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 7:34 am
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Dgosche View Post
Last week at JFK term 8, an older woman attempting to figure out how to go down the up escalator. She was tepidly stepping on and then back off. The gentleman in front of me directed her to the proper escalator. I don't believe this was a cognition problem, rather I think this was the first time in this woman's 60-70 years that she had seen an escalator.
Reminds of me of something similar: a couple years ago (2014 or so), I actually met a guy at MCI who was about to board his first flight ever. He was about 18, had enlisted in the military, and was traveling to a base somewhere in the Southeast U.S. He was from somewhere in rural Kansas and had taken a Greyhound bus to KC.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 8:01 am
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My home airport is joint use- the local civilian government has an agreement to lease daily flight slots and the land underneath the civilian commercial terminal from Eglin AFB. There have been one or two times over the years when there was stuff the civilian side wasn't allowed to see. The plane would be going down the mini Polderbaan that connects the civilian and military sides and just before the runway turnoff, the pilot would come on and say tower has informed him of a DoD request that they go window shades down while on the runway because of the presence of in-development aircraft.

Stuff I have missed but seen by people I know:

The space shuttle- Eglin was an alternate refueling stop when they had to bring it back from California on the back of a 747 and their usual Texas refueling point suddenly got The Weather

One of the earliest (and possibly the earliest) longer distance flights of the 787. Like many companies, Boeing rents out the McKinley Climatic Lab on base for cold weather testing and they were down with it in Florida (yes, you do go to Florida to get a nice constant -40C temperature) as part of getting the plane certified for commercial use.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 8:19 am
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'Adult entertainment' store somewhere in Europe about 15 years ago, airside. With proud display of dildos and vibrators on pink neon lights.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 8:58 am
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Having your China Eastern 747 aircraft surrounded by machine-gun-wielding Chinese Red Army troops when it stops in Harbin for an unscheduled refuel.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
One of the earliest (and possibly the earliest) longer distance flights of the 787. Like many companies, Boeing rents out the McKinley Climatic Lab on base for cold weather testing and they were down with it in Florida (yes, you do go to Florida to get a nice constant -40C temperature) as part of getting the plane certified for commercial use.
I happened to travel to Eglin AFB for work for a couple of days when the 787 was there for the cold weather testing. Didn't know about it in advance, just happened to drive by and saw it on the ramp. I parked my car, walked over toward it for a better view, and learned that it was currently open for visitors, so I was able to go onboard and take some pictures!
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Old Feb 7, 17, 12:56 pm
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No queue at LHR T2 security a couple of weeks ago. Literally nobody in front of me.
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Old Feb 7, 17, 1:14 pm
  #24  
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I saw a 787 at a small airport in Sanford, Florida and thought it was bizarre. A little airport in the middle of nowhere...kinda between Orlando and Daytona...with a huge aircraft from the Netherlands. I flew out of there on Allegiant (don't ask) and it was pretty much just us and the people on that 787 in an otherwise-empty terminal.

Afterwards, I learned from this board that it's not bizarre at all: European ULCCs have used this little airport instead of MCO, TPA, JAX, etc. for quite some time.
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Old Feb 8, 17, 1:06 am
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Prince or Princess on board. Happened twice. Once a Norwegian prince on an SAS flight Oslo to London. Second a MidEast royalty Dubai to London on Emirates. On both occasions we got to gate pretty quickly but then had to hang around till the royalties had left.
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Old Feb 9, 17, 4:11 pm
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I didn't see it but would have liked to see it? The Japanese guy who decided to live in Mexico City airport for a while? Would have been interesting.
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Old Feb 9, 17, 4:21 pm
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A wave pool for surfing at MUC.
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Old Feb 12, 17, 12:09 pm
  #28  
 
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Having the fire/rescue trucks follow us back to the gate after our ORD-LAX flight had to return to ORD because of a malfunctioning engine. This was also my first time having to return to the departure airport after already being in the air.

Sat across from a group of college age guys on an early morning flight from ORD to LAS, it was obvious that they'd already started their drinking before they'd boarded. One was barely functional by the time we landed in LAS and of course had to get up during taxi to use the bathroom. He couldn't figure out that the bathroom door was locked, so kept fiddling with the latch and finally resorted to banging on the door.
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Old Feb 14, 17, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I saw a 787 at a small airport in Sanford, Florida and thought it was bizarre. A little airport in the middle of nowhere...kinda between Orlando and Daytona...with a huge aircraft from the Netherlands. I flew out of there on Allegiant (don't ask) and it was pretty much just us and the people on that 787 in an otherwise-empty terminal.

Afterwards, I learned from this board that it's not bizarre at all: European ULCCs have used this little airport instead of MCO, TPA, JAX, etc. for quite some time.
Yup, TUI does that from AMS. Cheaper than MCO. I think it has a stop at MIA on the way back.
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Old Feb 24, 17, 6:20 am
  #30  
 
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Smile

So, here is a post I shared with my friends and family a few years ago (Jan 2012). Most of this wouldn't surprise me now (that was like my first year having any kind of status). WARNING: It's long (and probably not well written) but I thought I'd share. Feel free to skip it.

---------------------------------------

My very strange flight home from Atlanta.

After another relatively normal work trip, I drop off my rental car at the airport in Atlanta (ATL) and hop on the SkyTrain to the terminal. Luckily I printed my boarding pass at the hotel as traffic prevented me from getting to the airport as early as I would have liked.

I get off the SkyTrain and head to the North Security Checkpoint. It used to be a little known secret that this checkpoint even existed. I used to be able to walk to it (located on the left side and about 200 yards passed the main checkpoints) and just 'fly' though security. Not the case anymore. ATL has been promoting this area so now it's only marginally faster than the normal screening area. Nonetheless, I am used to using it, so I still do.

While in line waiting to have my ID checked, the girl behind me is having an incredibly loud conversation with her boyfriend. She is trying to explain to him that she cut her finger and it 'really hurts. Like really, really hurts!' She then wags her finger in my face and asks me to verify the fact that it is bleeding to her boyfriend. I give an affirmative shoulder shrug and she continues on with her conversation. Atlanta. Seriously.

Once through security I hop on the Tram and head to C terminal. Once I arrive at my terminal, I check the monitors to see my departing gate. C1. All the way at the end of the terminal. Fun. I head up the escalator and begin walking to my gate.

I arrive at the gate area, and it is pretty empty. I check in with the gate agent to see if there are any seats left in Business for Elite flyers, and he does. Yes! I can ride home in comfort and have a free drink. He asked for my ID and once I show it to him my new boarding pass was issued. Seat 2F, a window. Nice.

So, you may be thinking, 'Miguel, this is not very interesting so far.' With that I will agree with you. Here is where it starts to get interesting.

I fly a lot. Not as much as George Clooney in 'Up In the Air,' but quite a bit. When you live in DC and fly as much as I do, you can usually tell if there is an Air Marshal on your flight. Since I am publishing this on the web, I won't describe in detail their procedures, but they can be spotted once you know what their routines are. I will however tell you that once they get on the plane, they almost always go straight to the back and come sit down right after everyone has boarded (I am only stating that as it is pertinent to the story). Again, most people probably don't notice them, but for some reason I do.

Okay, back to my tale. The gate agent just let us know we are about to begin boarding. I scan the crowd and, just for fun, try to guess if any of my fellow passengers are Marshals. I pick out 2 guys that fit the bill (it turns out later, that I would be right). I usually have no way of knowing for sure, but that would not be the case this time.

I get into my seat, and the person sitting next to me puts his bag up, then goes straight to the back of the plane. So far, I am liking my guesses as to who may be an Air Marshal. I put on my headphones and start listening to some Friendly Fires on my iPhone.

Every seat in Business is taken, and boarding is almost complete. The last person to board the plane apparently had a boarding pass for the seat right behind me, 3F, but it is occupied. The flight attendant asks to see it and asks his name. He replies, 'Mike (can't remember the last name)' and shows his boarding pass and ID to the Flight Attendant. The other passenger (the one already in 3F) also has a boarding pass for that seat, and says his name is 'Mike (same last name).' To eliminate confusion, lets call the one who was already seated Mike1 (as he was on the plane first) and the other, Mike2 (since he was the last to board). The Flight Attendant asks Mike1 for his ID. He clams he put it in his checked bag.

For some reason, no one else seems to be paying attention to what is going on. They are all enjoying their pre flight cocktails and talking on their phones. My seat mate is still in the back of the plane at this point, so I have no one to share this weird story with!

The Flight Attendant apologizes to Mike2 and puts him in 1A (apparently, the person in that seat worked for the airline, so she just moved back into coach) for the time being. Mike1 offers to move to the back as well, but the Flight Attendant (FA) tell shim there is no need, they worked it out.

At this point I am figuring that the Gate Agent accidentally gave an upgraded boarding pass to the wrong Mike and that is how this all started. Then I started thinking - how could Mike1 have gotten through security if he checked his ID? He couldn't, right? Just as I had that thought, I overheard one of the Flight Attendants tell other FA that there is only one Mike (whatever) on the manifest. Now I am properly freaking out.

Just as I am about to get up and talk to the FA, my seat mate returns. I say to him, "Hey, I'm kind of freaked out right now." He tells me to calm down and asks why. I reply, "The guy behind me and the guy in 1A claim to have the same name, but there is only one person with that name on the manifest. They guy behind me said his ID is in his checked bag, so he can't prove who he is. Weird, right?"

The guy next to me (who of course is an Air Marshal, so I will call him Marshal1 from here on out) then pulls out his blackberry and starts feverishly typing a message. Marshal2 (who was the other guy I pegged as one in the gate area) hops up a few moments later talks to the FAs and then walks off the plane to talk to the Gate Agent. At this point I am 100% sure that they are Marshals as civilians would not be allowed to do that (walk off an already boarded plane).

About a minute later, a gal from TSA asks Mike1 to come off the plane with her so they can figure this out. He asks if he should grab his bags, and she tells him that he should until they can work this all out. I sort of recall that Mike1 brought 2 bags and shopping bag on board, and I am not 100% sure he took all of his stuff off the plane. I share this with Marshal1, but he assures me that Mike1 grabbed all of his stuff. Marshal1 also said he had been ‘watching’ Mike1 in the gate area since Mike 1 was ‘wearing a funny looking jacket’, so there is no need to worry. I am still wondering about the potentially checked bags that Mike1 may have also had, but nothing I can do about that.

Marshal2 returns to the cabin to give some ‘looks’ to Marshal1 and heads off the plane again. Marshal1 continues to sit next to me while Marshal2 talks to Mike1 in the jet bridge. I then overhear the Flight Attendants discussing that Mike1 is an imposter and something else I couldn’t hear clearly. Seconds later, Marshal1 hops out of his seat and on to the jet bridge.

After a few moments, the Captain comes on the PA and lets us know there is a ‘mechanical delay’ but we will be on our way to DCA soon. Again, no one else is thinking anything of this as they are just enjoying their drinks and chatting. At this point I figure I should have a few more. I flagged down the FA for a Bloody.

As I am feverishly typing notes of this event so I can write this post, both Marshals return to the plane and the door closes. Not 60 seconds later we hear a banging on the door and we have to reopen it! TSA is now on the plane. They walk through, then leave. Doors close, again, and the Caption says we just need a few moments for ‘paperwork’ and we’ll be on our way.

When we fully push back and take off I can’t tell if I am relieved to be heading home or should be crazy nervous over what could happen. I basically just stared forward and zoned out to music. Marshal1 was on his Blackberry the whole flight. Writing notes about the situation I assume.

Shortly before landing I thanked the Marshal and he replied “No problem, but you were right to be nervous…especially now.” ...! Asked what he meant and said, “Sorry, I’ve said too much.” I left it alone (which I regret), and just looked out the window while we landed. I really do love flying into DCA at night.

After we deplaned I headed for the curb where ***** was there to pick me up. On my way out I did notice the Marshals in the hall (the one that you take to get to B/C, which is empty that late at night) having a heated discussion. I just moved on so I could go home - and sleep in my bed.
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