airline stories


Prepare yourself to soar through the fairy tale landscape of majestic Cappadocia in a spellbinding new video experience from Turkish Airlines and renowned filmmaker Rob Whitworth.

Experience the towering fairy chimney formations, immense subterranean cities, stone-carved mansions, and inimitable cultural energy that make Cappadocia one of the world’s most unforgettable travel destinations.

Shot in the filmmaker’s signature flow motion style, the video takes viewers on a time-distorting, gravity-defying tour of Cappadocia’s unique natural and manmade attractions, while immersed in a lyrical narrative of the region’s cultural and historical pedigree. Filmed in brilliant 4K resolution using cutting-edge hyperlapse techniques, the video presents one of Turkish Airline’s most amazing destinations as it has never been seen before.

I was waiting in the bar near my gate, as usual before a flight. I tend to gravitate that way at airports, as a bit of alcohol always calms my nerves before flying. I’m super anxious so I’m drinking whatever beer she put in front of me and decide to chat with the people on either side of me for distraction purposes, as I dont normally just chat up strangers for no reason. The men on either side both drove from Cleveland to my tiny airport because bad weather was shutting it down, cancelling flights left and right. 

The guy on my right is very friendly, clearly drinking more than he should. But he’s funny and chatty so we talk and joke. Not a terrible thing to find someone to talk to when waiting for a flight. He’s nice, and says we should sit near each other, since the airline lets you pick seats upon boarding.

Boarding begins, and I get a window seat, which I LOVE. I never wanna get up, just settle in and get in the zone. Stay there til we get off the plane, no big deal, easy peasy. The chatty guy sits aisle, but I’m really focused on the storm that had hit Cleveland hitting our airport and watching the snow falling as we prepare for takeoff. Not a minute later, the man is in the middle seat, next to mine. He talking much more aggressively, and telling me I have great legs and that he would totally fuck me.

He puts his hand on my thigh, and I try to make it clear I am not amused and that I am concerned about take off. He thinks he’s slick and tries to hold my hand (like he’s concerned about me. right.) He’s touching my leg and telling me he wants to fuck me and I am literally boxed in with him. I’m trapped. I can feel myself starting to panic, and try to figure out what to do. I’m already angry because I can’t just tell him to go away and then leave, I NEED to get home. He’s leering at me, and puts his big beefy hand on my leg again and again, flexing his arm muscles like I’m supposed to be impressed and tries to get me to touch his leg too. I’m so disgusted and continue to try and show my disinterest.

He is totally drunk, and after a few minutes, leans his head back and closes his eyes for a moment, so I wave at the people across the aisle. They wave back awkwardly and I mouth “I don’t know him” and “help” and they don’t seem to understand, or know what to do. The one lady just shrugs and I wanted to scream in her face IF THIS WAS YOU, YOU’D FUCKING DO SOMETHING, but I don’t. Then, after we are at altitude, he gets up to use the restroom. Literally the second I see the door close, I hit the call button for the flight attendant and the guy is quick to walk over and ask if I need anything.

“The man sitting here is making me really uncomfortable and I don’t know what to do.” (Honestly, I don’t remember my exact words and they might have been more like “I’m freaking out, this guy is creepy” but you get the idea.) The flight attendant asks if I want to move, no questions asked. I say yes, and I grab my bag and he moves me back several rows. He didn’t need a justification or explanation, he just moved me. He told me if I needed anything else, just ask. I thought I couldn’t be more grateful, but while I’m sitting there crying into a tiny square napkin meant to go with my beverage, the senior flight attendant comes over and kneels next to me. 

“I heard what happened and I’m so sorry. Is someone picking you up?” (I say yes) “If you’d like to wait until the other passengers deplane I will walk you to them. I’m so sorry that happened.” And just like that, I have two men I’ve never met before trying to make sure I’m safe. I cry through most of the flight, and I do wait until everyone else has gotten off the plane, watch the Hank, the flight attendant do a quick clean up and then he and I leave together. He said the man who was touching me was making lude comments at other women on the flight too, and as a man with daughters it was making him very angry. We talked casually and I felt so safe as this man protected me through the airport.

He had no obligation. Humans are NOT obligated to be kind. But he chose it. And I went from being violated and trapped on a plane next to a creepy (married with children) man for 2.5 hours to safe, rows away from him and then escorted to my ride. I have fresh respect for Southwest airlines and the people they chose to hire. I don’t know that first man’s name, but if you ever see a bald guy on a Southwest airlines flight and his name is Hank, tell him he’s a girl’s hero.

I am proud of myself for getting myself out of that seat and away from that man. I know it was basically all I could do. But I am disappointed I got so scared and felt so helpless, but at least I got myself away from him. I hope that never happens to anyone else. Definitely press that call button. Definitely ask a flight attendant to move you. You don’t even need to wait for the person bothering you to get up. I felt I needed to share this, to get it off my chest. That man had NO right to talk to me that way, or touch me. Hank said “the good news is, the odds are that will never happen to you again.” He’s probably right. But that doesn’t mean it wont ever happen to anyone again. I’m grateful the flight attendants didn’t judge me or ask questions, and I hope passing this knowledge on helps someone else. There ARE people out there that will help you in a crisis moment. Don’t hesitate to ask.

Should have listened to the airline employee...

(warning: long story)

When I was a freshman in college, I worked at a regional airport as a gate agent and our operations solely consisted of shuttle flights to the nearest hub for Continental. At such a small airport (there were seven flights out and seven flights in scheduled daily) gate agents performed a variety of duties such as handling luggage, boarding passengers, parking/chalking the airplanes, etc. and on this fateful day, I was the last guy you see before you step on the airplane from the little hallway (called a jetbridge). On smaller aircrafts (hell, even on larger ones) you are allowed to “gate-check” items rather than paying the fee or carrying them on. Essentially, you drop this item off at the end of the jetbridge and agents put it in the main cargo area after all checked baggage has been loaded. When you reach your destination, agents put the gate-checked items back on the jetbridge for you to pick up. This helps keep the overhead bins less cluttered and makes for an easier boarding/deplaning by minimizing the bags or items brought onto and subsequently off of the aircraft.

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This is particularly impressive. During Tuesday’s Solar Eclipse, an Alaska Airlines flight slightly changed its schedule so that it could fly directly through the eclipse path. This is the remarkable view those passengers got out their window from 10,000 meters elevation - look how the shadow just expands and engulfs the sky. Remarkable.


White people congratulate white writer for daring to write about slavery

The New York Times published a book review Monday for Ben H. Winters’ new novel Underground Airlines. The story takes place among runaway slave catchers in an alternate-history United States, where the Civil War never happened and slavery was never abolished. The Times’ consensus? Winters was really “brave” to write about such a “risky” topic because he is a white man and his book is about black people and slavery. They failed to mention the black woman who did this in 1979.