Flight Attendants Share The Worst Travel Incidents They’ve Seen Or Heard Of
So you’ve finally booked that flight, drawn up a super detailed itinerary after hours of research, and are all packed for that long-awaited getaway. Nothing can go wrong, right?
While we’d hate to fearmonger, the harsh truth is that anyone is vulnerable to all kinds of travel mishaps, whether it’s before they board the plane or a week into their vacation.
Flight attendants, who spend a huge bulk of their time travelling, would certainly concur. MS News spoke to several former and current cabin crew to hear some of their horror stories, and let’s just say, you really never know when something might happen.
It also pays to be prepared – and we’ll get into that at the end of this article. But first, let’s see what other travellers have gone through…
Flight delays & diversions that affect holiday plans
Most people plan and book their holidays many months in advance, so it’s understandably very frustrating to arrive at the airport only to find that your flight has been delayed.
31-year-old Ms Angelica recalls experiencing multiple delays in her 10 years as an air stewardess.
These range from minor setbacks where passengers could be on their way just an hour or two later, to major disruptions that completely alter plans.
The most memorable incident Ms Angelica witnessed involved an elderly couple who were supposed to catch a transit flight to another destination for a cruise.
Unfortunately, their flight was severely delayed due to aircraft technical issues, so they had to call off the cruise altogether. Bummer.
Flight diversions can also throw a wrench into one’s meticulously crafted itinerary.
Although it’s been a long time since Ms Olivia (not her real name) left Singapore Airlines (SQ), she distinctly remembers the time her flight was diverted to the German city of Köln — which was not an SQ destination — instead of Frankfurt due to bad weather conditions.
While the passengers were naturally disappointed, Ms Olivia said that most of them were understanding and were thankful for a safe landing.
She added that she and the rest of the cabin crew and pilots decided to make the most of the situation and spent some time exploring Köln before taking a two-hour bus ride to Frankfurt the next day.
We guess that’s the travel equivalent of the old saying “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
Falling victim to theft overseas
Living in Singapore, it’s easy to take our safety and security for granted. In other places, however, it’s a different story.
Ms Kimberly (not her real name) shared that she personally witnessed one of her fellow flight crew members get pickpocketed right in front of her.
This happened during a layover in Rome, right outside Vatican City.
“It was so sudden and happened in just minutes,” she recalled. “If it were me, I wouldn’t have known how to react.” It’s unclear if the victim ever got her belongings back.
In fact, pickpocketing is such an issue in some places that travellers have put together entire guides to help others avoid falling victim to them. Better safe than sorry, after all.
There are also numerous posts from folks whose belongings were stolen overseas, which was not only traumatising but caused them to waste a lot of time filing police reports, among other steps when they could have been enjoying themselves instead.
Spending their vacation in quarantine
While Covid-19 travel restrictions are pretty much a thing of the past, everyone who flew during that period would remember how intense things could be.
Former flight attendant Ms Jane (not her real name) said she had a friend who jetted off to Seoul, South Korea when a negative PCR test result was still required to enter the country.
Unfortunately for her friend, he tested positive for Covid-19.
It was only then that he realised he had forgotten to purchase travel insurance for the trip, which he normally remembers to do. Talk about suay.
Ms Jane said that he ended up needing to quarantine for his entire week’s stay in his accommodation. To make matters worse, he had to bear all the costs himself due to his lack of travel insurance.
“So basically, he just spent money to go overseas and get quarantined,” Ms Jane said.
Protect yourself with travel insurance by Seedly
Unless you have the power to see into the future, there’s no way of telling when one of the above tragedies might strike.
What you can do is be prepared.
Personal finance community platform Seedly has officially launched its very own travel insurance, which promises affordability and comprehensive coverage.
There are two tiers to choose from: Seedly Travel Safe and Seedly Travel Secure, which are underwritten by HL Assurance Pte Ltd and are available for both individuals and families.
Parents of young children would be happy to hear that the family plan offers complimentary coverage for up to four kids aged three months to 18 years old so the whole brood can travel with peace of mind.
The maximum age goes up to 25 if the child is studying full-time in a recognised institution of higher learning at the commencement of this insurance.
Adrenaline junkies can also enjoy coverage for adventurous activities like trekking or scuba diving — up to a certain height and depth — with no extra charge. And should you be like Ms Jane’s poor friend and get Covid-19 overseas, you won’t have to top up for medical coverage either.
If you have an upcoming trip and have yet to purchase your travel insurance (which you absolutely should), Seedly is offering 50% off their travel insurance premiums from now till 31 Dec 2023.
Psst — key in the promo code <SeedlyCommunity> at checkout for an extra 5% off.
You’ll also get a free 3GB travel eSim from Airalo so you can stay connected on the go. No need to hunt for free WiFi at cafes just so you can scroll TikTok or upload your vacation #OOTDs.
In addition, each sign-up gets you a chance to win S$600 worth of Klook vouchers — which is equivalent to a return flight to Bali for two — or a Samsonite Volant Spinner 68/25 Exp worth S$480. Sounds good, right?
It pays to be careful
Part of preparing for a getaway involves making detailed checklists of things to do and items to purchase to ensure a fruitful and enjoyable trip.
However, as we’ve seen from the tales above, a smooth sailing journey is unfortunately not guaranteed, which is why your checklist must also include ways of making sure you’re equipped to face uncertainties.
After all, peace of mind is just as priceless as the memories you will make on your trip. Happy travels!
This post was brought to you in collaboration with Seedly.
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