An airline might lose your bags now and then, but you can be damn sure that at any given moment they know where you are. The airport is a series of sealed areas that you can't enter without ID, and they make sure that you keep your ass planted in your designated seat for the duration of the flight, barring bathroom emergencies. Which is why it has to be so disheartening when passengers fall asleep during a flight only to have the flight crew just abandon them.
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
But if he'd been a cellphone in use during takeoff, you can be sure they'd have caught him.
For instance, in 2010, passenger Kris Lines fell asleep on a flight from Calgary to Vancouver and didn't wake up when the plane landed. Anyone who has flown on an airplane knows that it is virtually impossible to sleep through the deplaning process. There are ding-dings beeping from the ceiling, the captain's voice hyuk-ing over the PA at ear-bleeding volumes, and the general cacophony of a winged metal cylinder defying the natural order. Still, he managed to do it, and the crew just ... left him there. He didn't wake up until an hour and a half later, suddenly on a dark, empty plane, being roused by the ground crew.
But Lines got off easy. In 2010, Ginger McGuire fell asleep on a one-hour trip from Dulles, Virginia, to Philadelphia, only to wake up three hours after the plane had landed to find herself locked inside it.
AP via Telegraph
In this dramatic re-creation, McGuire shows us what it looks like when she sleeps.
McGuire had her cellphone with her, but she only used it to check the time -- 4:00 a.m. -- and didn't think to use it to call for help (a cleaning crew eventually rescued her).
We don't know what's weirder: the fact that McGuire didn't immediately call up emergency services, or that the crew somehow lost her inside a tiny 50-seat regional jet. What'd she do, build a "slumber fort" under a pile of SkyMall catalogs?
Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Knowing that even bringing a toy gun onto the grounds of an airport will probably summon a SWAT team, there probably isn't a worse place in the world to stage a heist. If you wanted to steal something being transported on a plane, for the love of God, wait for them to get it onto a truck and just go hijack that. Can you imagine the panic that would ensue if a group of armed men stormed a plane in today's climate?
"As long as their shoes were clean, I've done my job."
Yet, in February 2013, a team of eight gunmen made off with a cache of $50 million in diamonds from the tarmac of Brussels Airport, all without shooting anyone or even having anyone really take notice of what they were doing.
Julien Warnand/European Pressphoto Agency
The fence was actually drunk on duty that night.
How is that even possible? Well, the men were equipped with police officer disguises, machine guns, and a knowledge of the precious few minutes that the diamonds would be unguarded. OK, but how did they even make it that far in the first place? Sure, we had a drunken guy earlier who climbed over a fence at JFK, but this is a group of eight gunmen in a van.
Yep, it's still not that hard, it turns out -- the thieves cut a gap in the security fence large enough to drive their van through, drove up to the jet, collected the diamonds from the hold of a plane, and then peeled off through the same hole. That's it. If this were the plot of Ocean's 14, the movie would be over by the time Carl Reiner's name popped up in the opening credits. So yeah, these crooks (who are still at large, by the way) relied on the exact same tactic you used to sneak into concerts as a kid. But their prize was a $50 million payday, instead of a gripping double bill of Lifehouse and the Baha Men.
We didn't think a plan could be too stupid to fail, yet here it is.
Stockbyte/Getty Images/Martin Poole
No system is guaranteed to work unless you check it from time to time. So it makes sense that the TSA regularly attempts to smuggle fake weapons and explosives through their own checkpoints to ensure that airline security is up to snuff (and on some occasions, they fail miserably). But Slovakian airport officials take security so gosh-darn seriously that they once tested their own security standards using real explosives.
Kamil Pisko / Associated Press
"Balls to the wall, Mr. Reporter. That's what I was thinking."
In 2010, Slovakian border police head Tibor Mako instructed his staff to attach two caches of plastic explosives to a single piece of luggage traveling from Poprad, Slovakia, to Dublin, Ireland. Not their own luggage, either -- the luggage's owner was oblivious to the fact that he'd been drafted into this security test. A sniffer dog discovered one of these caches, but the police officer inspecting the bag somehow failed to notice the second.
That's bad, but it gets worse. When officials realized their mistake, they informed the pilot that the explosives were in the plane's cargo ... at which point he took off anyway.
Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images
"If those explosives were dangerous, someone would have warned me."
The pilot assumed that, because the 85 grams of plastic explosives lacked detonators, everything would be hunky-dory, right? Nope, the entire situation was still the most royal of fuckups. You see, it took Slovakian officials three days to inform Ireland about the lost explosives. When Irish officials learned of this pop quiz gone awry, they briefly detained the passenger -- a 49-year-old electrician, who still had no clue what the hell was going on -- and evacuated a city intersection and several apartment buildings to remove the passenger's new souvenir.
Unsurprisingly, Mako resigned after this escapade. And if there's a silver lining to this story, it's that nobody totally lost the plastic explosives. This is the opposite of what happened in 2004, when Parisian airport security ran the exact same drill and inadvertently gave an unknown passenger somewhere in the world a free pack of detonatorless explosives, courtesy of Charles de Gaulle Airport.
"And I didn't get them anything."
For more ways people have boned up on the job, check out The 5 Most Hilarious Ways Anyone Ever Failed at Their Job and The 7 Most Impressively Lazy Employees of All-Time.