Jetting off every other week means business travellers are predisposed to witness some of the more eyebrow-raising moments of travel – many of which are documented in our online forum.

But some stories emerge that are just so astonishing, they’re hard to believe. These ten incidents from 2018 are some such examples.

Feathered friends
In late January, a woman attempted to bring a peacock on board a United Airlines flight from Newark Airport to Los Angeles, claiming the bird was for “emotional support”.

Stowaway pensioner
A 66-year-old woman managed to fly from Chicago to London without a ticket or passport in January. The woman reportedly hid behind other passengers in order to evade security to board a British Airways flight in Chicago, but was stopped at the UK border, repatriated to the US and arrested. This was not her first offence.

X-treme measures
In March, a woman in Dongguan jumped into an airport x-ray machine alongside her purse rather than part with the bag as it went through security scanning. The woman was reportedly trying to protect money inside her purse.

Dry in the sky
In February, a female passenger on board a packed Ural Airlines flight from Turkey to Russia was seen drying her underwear by holding it up towards the overhead air-conditioning vents.

Up in smoke
In February a power bank caught fire in a passenger’s carry-on bag that was located in the overhead bins on a China Southern flight from Guangzhou to Shanghai. Crew extinguished the fire but a replacement plane had to be found for the flight.

Typo terror
A 65-year-old woman caused a portion of Brisbane Airport to be cordoned off in April after she wrote the words “Bomb to Brisbane” on her luggage. The woman, who was travelling from Mumbai, had mistakenly written “Bomb” rather than “BOM”, Mumbai’s airport code.

Access denied
A Syrian man has spent more than three months living in the transit section of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Hassan al-Kontar was deported from the UAE to Malaysia in 2017, where he was initially given a three-month visa, but was blacklisted for “overstaying”. Following a failed attempt to travel to Cambodia, he was sent back to Malaysia on March 7 this year and has been living at the airport ever since.

Juvenile jolly
A 12-year-old boy from Sydney managed to take a solo trip to Bali in April, after he stole his parents’ credit card in order to pay for flights and a hotel, travelling on a flight to Perth and then another to Indonesia.

Take a breather
In May, a 25-year-old passenger got a US$10,000 fine and was detained for 15 days after he opened an emergency exit door on a Lucky Air flight in order to get some fresh air while waiting to get off the aircraft in Sichuan, China, inadvertently deploying the aircraft’s evacuation slide in the process.

The rat’s out of the bag
A passenger from Arkansas who lost their luggage after taking an American Airlines flight had their bag returned to them five days later, only to find a deceased rat inside. The passenger was given US$1,600 by the airline in restitution, the maximum international payout.

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