As much as we like to romanticize travelling, the truth is that a whole lotta planning goes into vacations and business trips. There is no way out, but through. This is why things can take an ugly turn in a hot second. A tiny nap or drink can end up with you missing a flight, and a national or international crisis can end up with you stuck at the airport for the longest.

Credit: Giphy

These airport horror stories by people are so hilarious, but also low-key interesting to read. Because yes, let us know what can go wrong so that we can make sure that we do not make the same mistakes! Here, read the confessions:

1. “During COVID I had a seat on the very last flight from tightly locked-down Malaysia to Thailand – got to the airport and the board was a sea of red. I ended up staying in KL for over a year, but for most of it, it was semi or fully locked down.”


Credit: Giphy

2. “On a flight from Orlando to Houston, there were heavy storms and the pilot came over the system and said, ‘Heavy sigh I have some bad news.’ My heart dropped into my stomach. Apparently, though a plane in Houston had been struck by lightning and planes had been grounded for a few hours, his bad news was that we had to stop in Austin to refuel because we didn’t have enough to circle overhead. I thought we were going to die for a second there.”


Credit: Giphy

3. “Flew our family of 6 (including young kids) to the WRONG ISLAND in The Bahamas. We landed in the Bahamas from Atlanta and walked out of the airport and asked the taxi driver to take us to our resort (we had booked 7 nights using points) and he says, ‘You’re on the wrong island.’ Had to go back to airport and take the regional airline to the next island, which meant hours of waiting in the airport and then a ride on a tiny aeroplane with all our family luggage. Good times.”


Credit: Giphy

4. “Not me but my old boss fell asleep at the Brasília airport and not only did he miss his flight, he could have gotten the last flight out to Sao Paulo, but he also missed that flight because he was dead asleep. And he was up all night at the airport because he was dead asleep between 7-10 pm.”


Credit: Giphy

5. “I went to Eurovision Tel Aviv in 2019. I immediately ran from the hostel, grabbed my backpack, had a taxi ready, made it to the airport on time.

It was all going smoothly until I tried to get my boarding ticket. An interrogation started. Why did you come to Israel? (… my face literally was still painted with an Italian flag on each cheek while sporting Eurovision gear). ‘How long were you here for? What’s your name? Pronounce your name? Why is it pronounced like that? Why / Who gave you that name?’ (I’m Mexican-American and have a Spanish name that apparently sounded like ‘Hassan’ to them.”


Credit: Giphy

6. “Many years ago (paper tickets) I read 17:45 as 7:45pm. The counter at Newark was packing up & going home when I showed up to check in!”


Credit: Giphy

7. “During Covid I was returning from five months in Taiwan. Had a layover in Seoul, and the airport was completely dead. Literally, it looked like a sci-fi movie because in the giant terminals, the lights were only half on and the only thing moving around were robots with information screens on them. I get near my gate and have three hours before the flight boards, so I set my alarm for two and a half hours and nap/watch YouTube.

My alarm went off at the time I had set on it. So I walk to the information screen to see if my gate had changed, and as I’m looking at the board, I don’t see my flight (Seattle) on it. I start getting confused, look at my phone, says I still have 30 minutes, look back at the board, and notice the clock on there was one hour ahead of my phone. In the past my phone auto changed the time, but this time it decided not to.”


Credit: Giphy

8. “Getting to the airport at 11 pm for the 12.05 am flight. Yeah, that flight was 23 hours ago.”


Credit: Giphy

9. “Stayed up partying all night at a club in Berlin and went straight to the airport at about 7 am, roughly 3.5 hours before my flight boarded. I was the first one in the terminal and said ‘Fuck it’ and laid across 3 chairs to take a nap…. Woke up in an empty terminal, jumped up, ran to the window and saw my plane rolling away for take off. No one bothered to try and wake me up but I kind of understand because I was the asshole laying on 3 chairs.”


Credit: Giphy

10. “I had to spend 4 days in an airport (thankfully it had a hotel inside of it) because of COVID testing requirements to get back to America and I had lost my phone.”


Credit: Giphy

11. “When I was in Florence, the morning of my flight to Paris, there was a marathon in the city centre and all of the trams to the airport from the city centre were cancelled. All of the detours and temporary bus routes were posted in Italian only. There were no taxis available at the taxi stand. Rides kept cancelling on us. Eventually, we walked about a mile and a half with our luggage to catch a tram that went to the airport and when we arrived, our flight was delayed.”


Credit: Giphy

12. “Was flying to San Diego to visit some friends for two days. I got out of the parking lot and saw the terminals were ABC but my ticket said terminal 3. My stomach dropped and I realized I went to the wrong airport lol. I cancelled the trip.”


Always double check the timings folks.