U.S. Olympic beach volleyball player Stafford Slick captured footage of a couple exiting a commercial aircraft bathroom together. A long line had formed outside the lavatory while the man and woman were inside for several minutes. According to Slick’s caption, he believed the couple were using the opportunity to join the ‘Mile High club.’
It was a wild year for air travel, as many commercial airline passengers made headlines with their shocking, bizarre or even downright vulgar behavior.
As millions of travelers pass through the skies around the world each day, the odds of wacky and wild events feel inevitable – though these 10 strange stories take the cake for some of the craziest things people did on airplanes in 2019.
1. Passenger claims men boarded flight with ’emotional support falcons’ in viral tweet
In April, video footage of two men boarding their flight with “emotional support falcons” went viral on social media.
The expensive birds, which were not likely genuine support animals, got Twitter users talking about the popularity of falconry in some parts of the world, especially in the Middle East. Many airlines have policies specifically about handling birds of prey on flights.
2. Passenger delays flight, gets detained after throwing coins at engine for good luck
Passengers traveling out of Wuhan Tianhe International Airport were likely exasperated when one of their fellow passengers threw coins for "good luck" at the plane's engine and delayed their trip.
In CCTV footage of the incident, the offender was seen dropping the coins through a gap between the plane and jet bride while boarding. Three 1 yuan coins were later found on the ground near the engine.
According to a report, the man told police that his mother-in-law insisted he practice the superstitious act for a good flight, as it was his own daughter’s first time flying. He was reportedly detained for 10 days for endangering the safety of the 101 passengers on board.
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3. ‘Disgusting’ passenger shamed for shaving his head during flight
One United Airlines passenger got shamed for getting a little too comfortable during a flight, seizing the moment to groom himself on the go. The bald man was filmed using an electric razor while shaving his head in his business class seat, and his questionable behavior was later shared with the popular @PassengerShaming Instagram account.
4. Passenger shamed for putting foot in baby’s face on plane
The viral photo shows an unnamed passenger rudely sticking their bare foot somewhere it doesn’t belong. (Passengershaming Instagram)
Babies and bare feet are two things most people would rather not be seated near on an airplane, but one passenger made things worse when they stuck their naked toes in the gap between the seats in front of them — dangerously close to the face of a neighboring baby.
“Pour water over that nasty foot!” one social media commenter exclaimed of the August incident.
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“Dude would be missing toes if his foot was that close to my baby’s face,” another warned.
5. ‘Mile high club’ couple annoys passengers waiting for airplane bathroom
Weeks later, an unnamed couple got called out on Passenger Shaming after exiting an airplane bathroom following several minutes together inside the cramped space.
Several passengers were already lined up outside to wait their turn, and based on their reactions, not everyone was happy to finally learn why they had been waiting for so long.
“Couldn’t believe my eyes … I’ve heard the legends, but never thought I would see it in real life," U.S. Olympic beach volleyball player Stafford Slick, who filmed the scene, commented of the new, rumored members of the "mile high club."
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6. American Airlines passenger pops blister, splashes seatmates with blood
Passengers on a September American Airlines flight were likely left cringing after a woman’s foot blister popped during the flight, in a medical mishap that reportedly splashed blood onto two people, a book, the plane cabin’s walls and a window.
After landing in Florida, a witness claimed the plane was greeted by the Miami-Dade Fire Department, The passenger also shared a video of a “great” flight attendant patiently explaining the next steps to the woman whose blister popped, as well as the men hit by the blood and fluid.
7. ‘Plane passenger opens emergency exit for ‘a breath of fresh air’
The woman opened the emergency exit door of the aircraft because she reportedly felt the cabin was “too stuffy” and wanted “a breath of fresh air.” (AsiaWire)
You’re not supposed to do that!
One Xiamen Airlines passenger delayed her flight’s departure by one hour when she opened the emergency exit door of the aircraft because she reportedly felt the cabin was “too stuffy” and wanted “a breath of fresh air.” Video footage of the unbelievable sight is said to have gone wildly viral on social media in China.
8. Aubrey O’Day claimed flight attendant made her take off a shirt
Singer Aubrey O’Day claimed she was forced to remove her shirt during an American Airlines flight in September in "front of the entire plane." (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
Later in September, singer Aubrey O’Day sparked a social media melee when she claimed an American Airlines flight attendant forced her to remove her shirt in "front of the entire plane."
“I was in the Bahamas. I was working with a few different orphanages out there, and I just grabbed a sweater,” the 35-year-old singer later explained in a People magazine interview.
Per O'Day, the shirt spelled out "f–k" and was from "a brand out in L.A,” claiming it "wasn't bad at all."
9. Woman boards Delta flight with no ID or boarding pass
In October, a woman shockingly managed to board a Delta flight from Orlando to Atlanta with no ID or boarding pass.
In October, a woman shockingly managed to board a Delta flight from Orlando to Atlanta with no ID or boarding pass, according to a passenger who helped uncover the alleged security breach after the woman in question took her seat.
The FBI ultimately announced that the woman would not be immediately charged for her actions.
10. ‘Drunk’ Spirit Airlines passenger vomits on woman’s hair, forces everyone to deplane
Days later, a woman on a Spirit Airlines flight from Chicago to Baltimore received an unpleasant surprise soon after boarding when a passenger, who was allegedly drunk, vomited in her hair.
According to a witness, the man puked into the woman’s hair soon after boarding. The two passengers reportedly had no relation. Video footage of a flight attendant helping clean the woman’s locks soon went viral on Twitter.
Fortunately, the "drunk" passenger was escorted off the plane, but unfortunately, so was the entire flight. Every passenger was forced to deplane to allow the aircraft to be cleaned following the mishap.
Honorable mention: Naked man attempts to board flight at Moscow airport
Though it happened in an airport – not an airplane – one unbelievable incident deserves an honorable mention.
Outrageously, a traveler passing through Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport reportedly claimed to be more “aerodynamic” while nude, shortly after stripping off his clothes and attempting to board a Ural Airlines flight to Crimea.
The man reportedly made his way through security at Domodedovo completely clothed, before getting naked sometime ahead of arriving at the boarding gate. Luckily, airport employees intercepted the man before he was able to board – though not before now-viral footage of the shocking scene hit YouTube.
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Fox News’ Alexandra Deabler, Michael Hollan, Sasha Savitsky, Mariah Haas, Gerren Keith Gaynor and Michael Bartiromo contributed to this report.