5 Unusual Airport Hold-Ups


Flights are usually delayed due to technical problems, mechanical difficulties, or inclement weather, which we have seen during this month’s polar vortex. Over 6,000 flights were cancelled in two days as extremely cold temperatures froze equipment and prevented workers from remaining on the tarmac. However, delays can sometimes be caused by unusual reasons.

Here are five unusual plane delays in aviation history:

1. Larry Walter’s Flight

  • Larry Walters was a truck driver who always dreamed of flying. In 1982, he took flight in a homemade airship with a lawn chair and 45 helium-filled weather balloons. Before reaching an altitude of 15,000 feet, he drifted over LAX Airport, causing widespread delays. Yes, he violated federal aviation regulations!


2. President Bill Clinton’s Hair Cut

  • In 1993, President Bill Clinton was reportedly getting an expensive haircut onboard Air Force One at LAX. Not only was his flight delayed an hour, all other flights landing and taking off were also delayed.


3. Alec Baldwin and His Phone

  • Onboard an American Airlines plane in 2011, Alec Baldwin was playing Words With Friends and was confronted by a flight attendant to turn off his cell phone. After having a fit, the he was escorted off the plane. Passengers were delayed for about an hour due to the ordeal. Does anyone still play this game?

4. Dog On The Runway

  • In 2011, a loose whippet dog on airport grounds at Manchester, England delayed 12 departing flights and redirected an arriving flight to another airport. The dog had to be captured before resuming service.


5. Iguanas Suntanning

  • Iguanas love to be out in the sun…even on runways. An airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico experienced multiple delays because these lizards wandered onto the runway to sun themselves and interfered with landings and takeoffs.


Have you ever experienced an unusual flight delay? Leave a comment below!

Come join us in Miami this May for AirXperience Americas!