Flying Machines and Flight Quotations

The Quippery

Airline agent to waiting passengers: “Boarding first will be the disgruntled, followed by the hopelessly late and, finally, the just plain infuriated.”
– Charles Almon –

Airline food is not intended for human consumption. It’s intended as a form of in-flight entertainment, wherein the object is to guess what it is, starting with broad categories such as “mineral” and “linoleum.”
– Dave Barry –

Americans have an abiding belief in their ability to control reality by purely material means. Hence… airline insurance replaces the fear of death with the comforting prospect of cash.
– Cecil Beaton –

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is the very first Fokker airplane built in the world. The Dutch call it the mother Fokker.
– Custodian at the Aviodome aviation museum, Schiphol airport Amsterdam –

Both optimists and pessimists contribute to the society. The optimist invents the aeroplane, the pessimist the parachute.
– Gil Stern –

Did you hear about the little old lady in the US who wasn’t allowed to take her crochet hooks on board the airplane … they were afraid she was going to make an afghan.
– Author Unknown –

Eagles may soar, but weasels never get sucked into jet air intakes.
-Author Unknown –

Flying a plane is no different from riding a bicycle. It’s just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.
— Captain Rex Kramer, Airplane Movie-

Funny, isn’t it? The airlines go to all that trouble to keep you from taking a gun on board, then they just hand you a dinner roll you could kill a musk ox with.
– Dave Barry –

Granted, this system is insane, but we must not let sanity stand in the way of airport security.
– Dave Barry –

How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
– Author Unknown –

I did not fully understand the dread term ‘terminal illness’ until I saw Heathrow Airport for myself.
– Dennis Potter –

I don’t have a fear of flying; I have a fear of crashing.
– Billy Bob Thornton –

If black boxes survive air crashes — why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
– George Carlin –

If you want to be a millionaire, start with a billion dollars and launch a new airline.”
– Sir Richard Branson, Virgin –

I just heard George W. Bush’s new plan for airline security. From here on out, every plane will now have its own hockey dad.
– David Letterman –

In the Alaska bush I’d rather have a two hour bladder and three hours of gas than vice versa.
– Kurt Wien –

“It looks like flyin’ is mostly tryin’ to land”, and Carmody clapped him on the back. “Son, you just learned all there is to know about aviation. Any damned fool can get a plane up in the air. Trick is to get it down.”
– James A. Michener, Alaska –

It was as though they had been plunged into a fabulous dream.
This, thought Harry, was surely the only way to travel — past swirls and turrets of snowy cloud, in a car full of hot, bright sunlight, with a fat pack of toffees in the glove compartment…
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets –

I was lying there looking up at all the dials … and toggle switches on the control panel and I thought “Good grief, just think, this thing was built by the lowest bidder.”
– Wally Schirra, Mercury 5 Astronaut –

Just saw a career counselor. Turns out I’d be perfect working for the airlines because I’m always late and I lose things.
– Simone Alexander –

Law of Airlines: The shorter the time between flights, the greater the distance between gates.
– Doug Larson –

Most big companies don’t like you very much, except hotels, airlines and Microsoft, which don’t like you at all.
– Bill Bryson –

Newton’s Law states that what goes up, must come down. Our Company Commander’s Law states that what goes up and comes down had damn well better be able to go back up again.
– sign in the Operations Office of the 187th Assault Helicopter Company, Tay Ninh, Viet Nam, 1971 –

Part of a WestJet flight attendant’s arrival announcement: “We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of WestJet Airways.”
– Flight Attendant –

She would arrive every July by helicopter, her favourite form of transport. “The chopper has transformed my life,” she once remarked, “almost as much as it transformed Anne Boleyn’s”.
– Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Heritage Today, June 2002 –

The airlines have become so cash-strapped, they charged me for my emotional baggage.
– Author Unknown –

There are two critical points in every aerial flight – its beginning and its end.
– Alexander Graham Bell, 1906 –

There may be fifty ways to leave your lover, but there are only four ways off this airplane.
– Flight Attendant –

The only way to lose weight is to check it as airline baggage.
– Peggy Ryan –

The scientific theory I like best is that the rings of Saturn are composed entirely of lost airline luggage.
– Mark Russell –

The weather in San Fancisco is 61 degrees with some broken clouds, but they’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive.
– Pilot Announcement –

To prevent our passengers from arriving at the terminal before our aircraft, please remain seated with your seatbelts securely fastened.
– Author Unknown –

Trouble in the air is very rare. It is hitting the ground that causes it.
— Amelia Earhart, 20 Hrs 40 Mins 1928. –

United hired gentlemen with the expectation of training them to become pilots, Northwest hired pilots hoping to train them to become gentlemen. To date, despite their best efforts, neither carrier can be considered successful.
– Ed Thompson –

We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.
– Werner von Braun, comment on the business side of putting a man on the moon –

We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?
— Cockpit crew, Airplane Movie –

Why can’t the airline industry understand that people simply want an airport they can reach in five minutes, to board a plane that won’t fly over anybody’s house?
– Bill Vaughan –

You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.
– Frank Zappa –

You land a million planes safely, then you have one little mid-air and you never hear the end of it …
— Air Traffic Controller, New York TRACON, Westbury Long island. Opening quotation in the 1999 movie Pushing Tin –

2 thoughts on “Flying Machines and Flight Quotations

  1. “I did not fully understand the dread term ‘terminal illness’ until I saw Heathrow Airport for myself.”

    I’ve never been to Heathrow, but I know enough people who have to believe it! 😀


    1. I liked that quote too. Heathrow actually started to feel kind of homey when it wasn’t our arrival or departure point anymore, but a layover from the Middle East…

      Liked by 1 person

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