5 most unbelievable airport horror stories
Airports are the places of numerous stories. While they are joyful most of the time, some might turn out to be unpleasant. Read through these bizarre, sad and funny little stories. You will be amazed by what did actually happen.
A desperate woman in love: “There's a bomb on board!”
Happened in Chile early February 2011. An Iberia flight from Santiago de Chile to Madrid was preparing for takeoff when a phone rang at the airport. A stressed woman's voice mumbled there's a bomb on the plane. All 312 people on board had to be evacuated immediately. After a thorough search resulting in no explosives found, the plane left for Madrid with a significant delay. The following investigation quickly revealed who made the call. It was indeed a woman's last desperate attempt to stop her sweetheart from leaving. The price for this foolish act of despair will likely be a several years in jail.
An immigration officer blacklisting his wife
Three years ago, a British immigration officer wanted to rid himself of his wife. Having access to the “terrorist blacklist” he had just been waiting for the right opportunity. When his wife went to visit her family in Pakistan, her name suddenly appeared on the list. The result: she was not able to return to Britain for three years. The officer's fraud would have remained uncovered if he hadn't needed a higher level of security clearance for a promotion. When the illegal manipulation saw the light of day, he confessed and got fired immediately.
When the airport becomes your home
The history has seen several people involuntarily stuck at an airport. Probably the most famous example is about a man who spent 18 years at Paris Charles de Gaule. Mehran Karimi Nasseri is an Iranian refugee whose documents got stolen. That's why he was forced to stay in the airport transit area. His story inspired Steven Spielberg's 2004 movie The terminal.
But what if someone decides to live at airport on his own? Hiroshi Nohara arrived at Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City September 2008. He settled down at the food court, barely talking to anyone, managed to survive this way till late December. He had no legal obligations to stay there. In a press interview, he expressed his interest in the Mexican culture and became a local celebrity soon after.
TSA horror stories
Enter “airport horror story” into Google and TSA will surely be the most common related word in the headlines. Since it's creation in 2001 (as a response to 9/11) the Transportation Security Administration, an U.S. agency responsible for the public travel safety, has been filling the news unintentionally. The employees, referred to as “agents” have earned the fame thanks to their notoriously bad behavior. The Internet is full of humiliated passengers' stories. To get a better picture, we'll shortly name a few of them.
In 2008, Mandi Hamlin was forced to remove her nipple rings with pliers in order to pass through the security check. Even worse, Robin Kassner was violently assaulted over a bottle of contact lens cleaner. She has been using the security camera footage in a $10 million lawsuit. Even small children didn't avoid TSA's controversial practices. The thorough pat-downs are especially stressful for them. Last year, a 4-year-old had to remove his metal leg braces he couldn't walk without for the check. He was then heartlessly requested to walk through the full-body scanner unaided.
What's worse than spending the holidays at the airport?
When Mother Nature strikes, there's nothing a man can do. Last Christmas season is a clear example. Thousands were stranded at airports in the US and Europe as the world had seen one of the snowiest Decembers in the recent history. Some were happy to get a room in a nearby hotel, the others were given at least a military-style bed. Despite the unfortunate situation, people organized improvised Christmas Eve suppers. Surrounded by their luggage they ate tinned salmon and drank champagne from plastic cups bought in local airport shops. Surely an unforgettable holiday experience!
Airports are not always so unpleasant
The stories mentioned above all have a sad touch to them. One might get convinced airports represent a hostile environment. And that's definitely not true. We'll prove that with the following video. This so called „flash mob“ has taken place at London Heathrow airport late October 2011. Watch all the surprised passengers getting a warm welcome upon arrival.
Jiří Parimucha, Mar 1, 2011
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