Just recently, a United Airlines plane had to make an unplanned stop at Belfast in a flight that was supposed to go from Rome directly to Chicago. The cause of the unexpected pit stop? – A passenger who was incessantly asking for snacks. Yes. Snacks.
Even though the passenger, a man from California named Jeremiah Mathis Thede, wasn’t violent or disruptive, he was becoming a nuisance to both the flight crew and passengers by continuously standing around, blocking the aisle and making repeated trips to the lavatory.
The pilot ultimately made the decision to land in Belfast, delaying 282 passengers who had to wait almost 24 hours before they could fly again and had to sleep on the terminal floor. The incident also cost the airline over $500,000 for refueling.
While that particular incident deserves a special mention on the nightly news for being particularly troublesome for all parties, there are some weird airline passenger demands that only the flight crew can tell us.
A flight attendant under the pseudonym “Betty” just started writing a column for Yahoo.com about the crazy things she and other flight attendants go through every day.
Here are some of the weirdest airline passenger demands we’ve ever heard of:
Sleeping pills. Flight attendants are trained in basic emergency protocols and first aid but I hardly think they are licensed to dispense drugs. Wait, are they? In the off chance that they are, sleeping pills do sound like a good idea for a long haul flight in coach.
Flying too close to the Queen. On cabincrew.com flight attendants reveal some of the craziest things passengers have ever requested from them. Among the craziest has to be a complaint from a passenger who was concerned that Heathrow Airport might be too close to Windsor castle and asked the crew to do something about it as to not to disturb the Queen. Umm, okay.
Do something about the noisy engines. Sure, there’s a button here for that somewhere. Or we could just go out to the wing at 40,000 feet and fix the engines. Or, you know, you could put your earphones on. Seriously, does anybody here know how planes work?
Babysitting. The children were probably getting rowdy and one of the parents asked the flight attendant if he/she could take the children to the play room. Another crazy demand was when parents asked if any of the crew members could play magic tricks to appease their bored and fidgety children. Maybe just get an iPad like everybody else.
Diapers. I can’t even with this one. Do these passengers even realize how long they will be on this thing? If you, as a parent, forget to bring your child’s diaper I think it would be kind of weird to expect the crew to have some in the back.
Getting a blanket from the suitcase. A steward told cabincrew.com about a passenger who asked for his blanket to be fished out of his suitcase – in the hold. After the passenger described the bag in detail, the steward politely declined saying there is no way to access the hold from inside the cabin. The passenger then proceeded to insist he himself would get the blanket instead.
Starbucks. It’s amazing how often this happens, but sometimes passengers do think there’s a Starbucks on board.
Pair of tweezers. This one’s from “Betty” at Yahoo.com. A passenger once asked her for tweezers. When she asked the passenger what they needed it for, the passenger went on to tell her about how he/she fell on a plant, got a thorn stuck on his/her butt and now needs a pair of tweezers to take the thorn out!
Screwdriver. A passenger once asked the flight attendant for a screwdriver. After telling the passenger they had none on board the curious flight attendant asked what it was for. The passenger told her that they needed it to take apart the chair. Wait, what?
Hemorrhoid cream. Let’s just not even go there.
Pen. A pen seems normal enough, right? Not if the passenger asked for it because they needed something to clean their ears with.
A cup, a lid, a straw and a knife. “Betty” has seen a lot of things in her career but this must’ve been particularly perplexing. She had a passenger ask her for a cup, a lid, a straw and a knife once. You ask what for? Well, the passenger wanted to D.I.Y their own catheter. Surprise!