Hawaii: Hurry up and wait
I arrived at my local airport in Kailua Kona to catch a noon flight to the West Coast. We boarded the plane, but it didn't take off, no announcement from the flight deck, until, after an hour, when the captain finally relayed that there was some sort of mechanical problem. They offloaded us back to the boarding area, where, after another hour, they canceled the flight.
They told us to come back at midnight; later we were told noon the next day. Repeat the same scenario the next day. Repeat the same scenario on day three. I flew a different airline on day four. - Jeanette Foster
Ireland: Just another day in Dublin
My husband and I were having coffee at a Dublin airport concession area when I heard a loud voice above the usual din, not just another airport announcement. People raced for the doors. I grabbed my husband's arm, and we joined them. Approaching us in the terminal, about 100 yards away, was a young man holding a leather satchel above his head yelling, "Bomb! Bomb! I have a bomb!"
Imagine the shock. Yet, the police nonchalantly herded us to an area just outside the doors, and the Irish around us seemed unfazed. They chatted about the weather, about where they were going on holiday. I couldn't speak, but in my head, I was shouting, "Hello, People. Bomb!" At one point, a single police car arrived, its siren the only hint of urgency. Almost as an afterthought, we were then moved into a parking garage a bit farther from the terminal.
It turned out to be a false alarm, a desperate stunt by a disturbed man, we later heard, and within two hours we were back in the airport and on our way. I learned a couple things that day: how understated (and, perhaps, used to bomb threats) the Irish really are and how healing a shot of Jameson on a flight from Dublin really can be. - Laura M. Kidder