Pilots have a lonely job, spending at least eight hours of every day cooped up in a cockpit with just one other human being for company.
So it’s hardly surprising that they unleash moments of genius in the rare opportunity they get to take over the plane PA.
Cool under pressure
Passenger Tim Morgan said: “In 1982, A British Airways flight from Singapore to Australia flew next to an erupting volcano near Indonesia, and ash shut down all four of the engines.
The captain said: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem — all four engines have stopped.
“We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.’”
Welcome to your private plane
Passenger Doug Massey said: “My favourite is what the pilot said to me when I was the only passenger on a plane meant for 100.
“They said: ‘Welcome to the Doug Massey Private Airline. We hope you enjoy your flight to Burlington. After we’ve reached the cruising altitude, I’ll turn off the seat belt sign and encourage you to try all the other seats in the cabin and let us know which one you like best.’”
Short and sweet
Passenger Maarten Albarda said: “A short flight on Southwest Airlines from Indianapolis to Chicago’s Midway Airport.
Chicago, known as the windy city, treated us that day with a particularly bumpy approach.
“Shortly after, the pilot came on and all he said was: ‘We’re here.’”
Left eye’s view
Passenger Cory Patterson said: “On an American Airlines flight from Houston to Seattle, when approaching Seattle the captain keys in, ‘Ladies and gentlemen if you look to the right you’ll see a fantastic view of Mt. Ranier.’
“We looked and Mr. Ranier was nowhere to be seen, so everyone was confused.
“Then the Captain came on saying, ‘I’m sorry folks, I meant to the left.’
“Then right after he chimed in again with, ‘So the passengers on the right side aren’t disappointed, if you look to your left you’ll notice the happy faces of the left passengers enjoying the view!’”
Pushing my buttons
Passenger Thea Kvant said: “Flying to Hungary from Sweden last year, the plane was taking quite some time to start moving — at one point the engines started, ran for about a minute and then shut off again.
“Then the captain said: ‘I would like to assure you there is nothing wrong with the plane, I just pressed the wrong button.’”
Better late than never
Passenger Serge Habourdin said: “Many years ago, we were seated on a flight due to depart on early morning for a domestic flight from Paris to Nice and nothing was happening.
“After a while, the passengers started to grumble and the pilot talked over the public address system.
“He said: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have a little technical problem that is to be solved soon. I don’t know about you, but, as far as I am concerned, I do prefer to arrive late in this world than to arrive in advance in the other one.’