Flight delays often have typical explanations ― bad weather, technical issues or late-arriving crews, for instance. But then there are the less common reasons, bizarre occurrences, like bees congregating on the wing or a mysterious rice spill in the aisle.
As is customary with air travel incidents, passengers often post on Twitter to vent ― or laugh ― about their flight disruptions and the underlying causes. Below, we’ve rounded up 31 tweets about some of the wildest reasons for flight delays, from the hilarious to the borderline frightening.
My flight leaving Houston is delayed because bees have congregated on the tip of one of the wings. They won’t let us board until they remove the bees. But how on earth will this happen? Won’t they leave the wing when we take off? pic.twitter.com/DhodBz0m5n
— Anjali Enjeti (she/her) (@AnjaliEnjeti) May 3, 2023
Ever had a flight delayed due to a coyote on the runway? ..there’s a first time for everything.
— WhitneyPaulsen (@WhitneyTolzin) February 26, 2020
Well this was a first. My flight that was about to takeoff just got delayed because someone opened the exit door on the plane and ran off with it before we left the gate. The police are chasing him to try and get the door back @Delta
— Denver Stovall (@DenverStovall) July 7, 2020
Why is my flight delayed? Because this baby is chilling on his own inflatable bed, and the flight crew is making calls to determine whether this is a safety risk. pic.twitter.com/PVmHigrrjU
— Sam Eshaghoff (@SamEshaghoff) March 30, 2023
Well that’s a first… Flight delayed because the pilot “left his glasses on the last plane and has driven over to get them”.
— Jim Scott (@jimscott_uk) November 23, 2021
Flight delayed because of a fistfight on the jetway lol oh Florida…
— Lilly Dancyger (@lillydancyger) May 13, 2022
My flight from Toronto to St. John’s being delayed because of a ‘fish incident in the cargo hold’ is, well, kind of hilarious really.
— Hasan Hai 🧜🏾♂️ (He/Him) (@HasanHaiNL) April 29, 2022
Only in Belfast do you get a flight delayed “because the air traffic controller is on his break”
I miss this sort of thing in London.
— Luke Blaney (@lucas42) December 28, 2021
flight delayed due to swans on the runway
— Aaron T. (@TBFUnreality) April 17, 2023
Because my travels seem to involve unintentional comedy:
Just boarded the plane and somebody spilled food. The flight attendant screamed “who spilled rice?” and is walking up and down the aisles. They are refusing to leave the gate until someone cleans the rice. pic.twitter.com/f5SfdjZcGr
— Jennifer Schaper (@jenschap) April 15, 2023
From what I’ve been told, my flight was delayed because someone airdropped graphic photos of plane crashes to everyone on board, implying that would happen tonight.
Terrifying, but I’m grateful to the @Delta crew for handling the matter thoughtfully and thoroughly.
— Taylor Hale (@TheTayMack) January 3, 2023
It was just announced that my flight isn’t boarding yet cause it’s “too hot to board”.
Flight delayed due to plane being sexy AF.
— alisonhaislip (@alisonhaislip) December 17, 2021
Well, this is a first. I now have a delay because a passenger on the inbound flight left “a very valuable purse.” We had of course pushed back from the gate. We have to open a service door and hand it out and run a few additional checks and will be on our way.
— JJH (@jjhiler) July 28, 2021
Sitting on a plane, delayed, because a woman got too drunk before we even took off. Captain just personally escorted her off the plane. Never a dull day.
— Jeff Yuan (@jeffyuan19) May 10, 2018
Our flight was delayed 4.5 hours yesterday because a bat(!?!?) flew into the engine and they needed to do repairs. This happened well before we got on the plane but that was a first for me. What’s the wildest reason you’ve had a flight delay?
— Kate Sonka (@kate_sonka) April 4, 2022
HERE WE GO!! First flight delayed because bathroom door handle is broken 😂 #BlissTravels
— Lexi (Kaufman) Cabrera (@AlexaBliss_WWE) June 1, 2022
First time having a flight delayed because they hit a bird on the way down. Someone is shouting for a refund now 🤣🤣
— Courtney (@39yentruoC) May 31, 2021
Given how often I travel I suppose it was just a matter of time, but tonight is the first time I’ve had a flight delayed because we had to go back to the gate and have a drunk Karen taken off the plane to police. She apparently started vaping while we were taxiing out 🤦♂️
— Drew Lewis (@siwelwerd) October 3, 2022
My flight is delayed because the bathroom exploded on the plane… so how was your day?
— 5up (@5uppps) August 10, 2021
Flight delayed due to a rocket entering the air space from China in Ibiza, ya couldn’t make it up 😂 pic.twitter.com/pVxBVjkJg1
— Dwayne Nolan (@DwayneMuffin) November 4, 2022
My cousin was going back to naij yday but his flight was delayed because someone got deported and decided to poo and smear his poo all over the plane 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
— foundational soft life babe (@ImaniDH_) October 8, 2022
Flight delayed because of a circuit breaker issue. Pilot says maintenance is on it; they’ll shut the aircraft down for 5 minutes and turn it back on. 💕 when metal tube set to fly to 30,000 feet gets the same treatment as my Netgear router.
— Lauren Goode (@LaurenGoode) December 4, 2019
Plane delayed because the concession carts are too big for the aisles
— C🎃🎃K🏳️🌈 (@unusualcook) May 9, 2018
This is a first! Flight cancelled (after over four hours delay) because once the plane got here it caught on fire. I never fly @AmericanAir if I can avoid it, and now I have a new reason! pic.twitter.com/qaNnG27OcR
— James Lindsay, Darth Lindsay (@ConceptualJames) December 14, 2022
Plane delayed because they loaded TOO much fuel. What??
— dannyboi (@DanielJRob) March 10, 2019
Flight delayed due to a bird strike. Not totally sure if that means they pooped on the windshield, flew into the engine, or are picketing on the runway…
— Blake Flattley (@BlakeFlattley) April 24, 2022
Flight delayed ‘due to complications in parking the aircraft’. If they can’t park it, not sure I want to go up in the air on it.
— Tom Rowley (@tomjrowley) August 23, 2019
Y’all … my flight is delayed because a TRAY TABLE in row 17 is broken. & we have to wait for maintenance. I CANT MAKE THIS UP 😂 3rd AA flight that’s been delayed this week 😂🙈
— Lexi (Kaufman) Cabrera (@AlexaBliss_WWE) September 13, 2022
Here’s a good one. Flight is delayed due to a pothole in the runway
— Jim Deshaies (@JimDeshaies) June 7, 2022
We have a dog barking delay on @JetBlue flight…this is a first…
— BucciOT.Com (@Buccigross) August 30, 2022
Ever have a plane delayed because a window was about to fall out? No? Lol.
— Anthony Michael Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) October 12, 2022