What’s the Funniest Thing a Pilot Has Ever Said to Passengers?

Apr 25, 2017

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Tim Morgan, commercial pilot:

Oh, that’s an easy one. In 1982, British Airways flight 9 from Singapore to Australia flew next to an erupting volcano near Indonesia, and ash shut down all four of the 747’s engines. The captain, in inimitably perfect British stoicism, said over the PA:

“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.”

Philip Wakeling, private pilot and aerospace aluminum metallurgical engineer:

I was on an AirCal flight from Oakland to Los Angeles back in the 1980s. AirCal was a West Coast airline that flew B737’s with more legroom. Unfortunately, it was purchased by American Airlines and that benefit went away. Anyhow. After taking off, the captain made the usual post-departure announcements about altitude, route of the flight, time of arrival, etc. Then, he said:

“So, sit back, relax and join us in a cocktail.” About 10 seconds later, he was back on the intercom saying “Of course, we are not drinking cocktails up here on the flight deck. So go ahead without us. We don’t mind.”

Everyone onboard enjoyed the comment.

Doug Massey, former microchip designer, tutor/mentor in retirement:

My favorite is what the pilot said to me when I was the ONLY passenger on a plane meant for 100 on a flight from Philadelphia to Burlington, VT:

“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.”

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