A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

15 Craziest Requests People Have Made on Airplanes

No, the pilot isn't going to turn the plane around because you forgot something.

1 / 15
Clouds and sky as seen through window of an aircraft

“How do you roll down the window?”

As much as we might like them to, cars do not fly. And yet some people seem convinced that cars and metal contraptions flying 35,000 feet in the air function exactly the same way. Many a flight attendant has had to break the news to a passenger that plane windows can not be opened. Doing so would send the temperature inside the plane plummeting to frostbite-inducing levels, endangering everyone on board. Why the passengers want the window open in the first place is a mystery to us—it’s already cold enough on airplanes. Make sure you know the real reasons behind those weird airplane safety rules.

2 / 15
Open suitcase packed for travelling, close up
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

“I forgot something. Can you turn the plane around?”

Yes, it’s incredibly frustrating to forget an item at home, especially when you’re embarking on a long trip. But considering that you’re not the only one on the plane, the fact that you left your sunscreen at home is not reason enough for the entire plane to make an emergency landing. These are the bizarre reasons flights have been delayed.

3 / 15
Airplane in the cloudy sky - Passenger Airliner / aircraft

“Can you fly the plane lower? My wife is scared of heights.”

Sure, it’s no fun to be on a plane when heights make you nervous. But, considering that planes need to fly at a certain height to minimize air resistance and drag, the pilot probably won’t be sympathetic enough to oblige if you ask this question. And besides, how much less nerve-racking can the plane flying at 20,000 feet, rather than 35,000 feet, possibly be, anyway?

4 / 15
Flying over Grand Canyon

“Can you fly the plane lower? These clouds are blocking the Grand Canyon.”

Unfortunately, a commercial flight is not a sightseeing tour. If you want to see the Grand Canyon, you’ll have to book a flight to Arizona where you can see it up close.

5 / 15

“Can you avoid flying too close to Windsor Castle? I’m worried it might annoy the Queen.”

According to cabincrew.com, one passenger flying into Heathrow was so concerned about the Queen’s well-being that he alerted his flight crew. Heathrow is very close to Windsor Castle, and this royal-conscious flier wanted to take a detour to spare the Queen the noise pollution.

6 / 15
happy middle aged airplane passenger relaxing during flight on air plane

“Can I sit backwards like the stewardesses?”

One passenger seemed to think that this would reduce his or her seasickness during takeoff. The request was not granted. These 12 airports have the scariest takeoffs and landings in the world.

7 / 15
Passengers on the airplane.
Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

“Can you tell me who I’m sitting next to? I hate sitting next to strangers.”

Hate to break it to you, customer, but the person you’re sitting next to is probably a stranger to the flight attendant, too. If you want to avoid strangers, airplanes are not the place to do that.

8 / 15
Rear view of pilot and copilot operating controls of private jet
Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

“Can I sit next to the pilot? It’s my birthday.”

Many people might want to fly first class on their birthdays, sure. But even that wasn’t enough for this passenger, who wanted to be right in the middle of the action in the cockpit. Don’t miss these 40 secrets airline pilots won’t tell you.

9 / 15
activated emergency slide on the plane
Mario Hagen/Shutterstock

“Can I use the rubber slide to get off the plane?”

Sure, maybe the safety manuals make the giant inflatable slide look like fun. But considering that the slide is only activated in the case of an emergency evacuation, passengers should probably stick to being grateful if they don’t have to use it to get off the plane.

10 / 15
Chips / Nachos - Selective focus
Fauzan Fitria/Shutterstock

“Please stock the plane with Cool Ranch Doritos and Kiwi Strawberry Sparkling Ice.”

This very specific request came from a celebrity (whose name was not revealed) using the booking app JetSmarter. This app is popular with big stars, since it allows them to book private jets and avoid the crowds (and potential paparazzi) at airports. Plus, it allows them to make ridiculous, very specific requests, like this one.

11 / 15
Poker gamer. Poker chips on green canvas.

“Can I bring one of the world’s best poker players with me?”

Another JetSmarter customer was determined to practice for the poker competition he was flying out to Las Vegas for. Via private jet, he flew an unnamed world-renowned poker player with him from Europe to Las Vegas and spent the entire flight practicing. Sadly, the JetSmarter spokesperson did not reveal if the customer won the competition.

12 / 15
Downtown Los angeles cityscape with flashing fireworks celebrating New Year's Eve.

“Can I celebrate New Years’ Eve twice?”

According to a spokesperson for PrivateFly, not one but several of their customers request to celebrate New Years’ Eve twice, on two different continents. They want to ring in the new year in Sydney, Australia and Los Angeles, California, two cities separated by a 19-hour time difference. The company grants this request by flying these eager customers from Sydney on a super-speedy Gulfstream G650, so that they can make it to Los Angeles in time for the countdown.

13 / 15

“Please play only Liberace music the entire flight.”

One JetSmarter client specifically insists on only hearing the sounds of Liberace every time he or she flies. Another rich family asks to have music from “Mamma Mia!” play right before takeoff every time they fly, according to Magnus Aviation. And one celebrity couple actually requested for an opera singer to join them on a flight and sing to them for an hour. We definitely don’t think these requests abide by the airplane etiquette rules every plane passenger should follow.

14 / 15
Close up of man taking cash from ATM with credit card.

“Where is the ATM onboard?”

We’ve heard of secret sleeping areas, hidden buttons that give you extra legroom, and even a McDonald’s on planes, but sadly no ATMs. Here are some of the coolest airplane features you had no idea existed.

15 / 15
Plane engine
Alexander Snahovskyy/Shutterstock

“The engine noise is giving me a headache. Can you turn it off?”

This one might be the winner. According to cabincrew.com, one passenger asked his flight attendant what the “dull whirring sound” was, complaining of a headache. Even after the attendant told him that it was, in fact, the engine, the passenger requested that the attendant tell the captain to shut it off. When this request was denied, the passenger threatened to file a complaint saying that the airline’s terms and conditions “did not state how loud the engines were during the flight.” Oh well…flying isn’t for everyone. Next, check out the craziest requests VIP hotel guests have ever made.

[Sources: Lastminute.com, The Telegraph, Travel & Leisure, The Daily Mail, cabincrew.com]

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.