… and where the hell is that stewardess with my bamboo?!

"As soon as we land, check on my takeover offer for Panda Express, then move the board meeting to 2 PM and move my Tai Chi class to noon.  And get me two tickets for the Bears game tonight."

Now close the shade; 'Kung-Fu Panda' is on.

At least somebody’s making deals in this bear market, Elizabeth L.



  1. How come I never end up on these flights?

  2. marsheeeee says:

    I have got to know what the story is behind this picture. And….

  3. (the original) Mel says:

    I wanna watch Kung Fu Panda on the in-flight movie.

  4. marsheeeee says:

    Ok, maybe not bleen. Foot.

    Yeah, Corinne, me too. Howcome?

  5. Wha? Where is he/she going? I wanna be on that flight!

  6. (the original) Mel says:

    Oh. I just saw the hovertext.

  7. biscuithead says:

    Tell me that’s a cuddly toy + not the real thing.

  8. I can’t think of anything..guess I will watch Kung Fu Panda with everyone else.

  9. Totally cute, but I’m not sure the panda can fulfill the duties of being in the exit row in the event of an emergency.

  10. berthaservant says:

    If he was flying Qantas, I wonder if he’d get into a fight with the koala.

    “You’re not really a bear, you Aussie marsupial!”

    “Yeah, well, you’re not a bear either because you’re about as scary as a black-and-white.”*

    “Yeah, well at least I get animated movies made about me and not some fruity airline commercials!”**

    “Hey, buddy, at least the world doesn’t have to stop and take a picture every time I mount my girlfriend!”

    “That’s a low blow, eucalyptus breath!”

    * — it’s a cookie http://www.bagelboss.com/store/images/black-white-lg.jpg

    ** — for those too young to remember http://www.tvacres.com/adanimals_qantasbear.htm

  11. Does anyone ever stare at the screen with their jaws hanging open from certain posts? I certainly just did.

    I would SO love to be on this flight! Add one more to Awesome Jobs of Qteness.

  12. @biscuithead: I don’t have any backstory for this photo, but it did occur to me that this might be a stuffed animal. But then I considered that a toy would more likely have been stowed in the overhead bin, under the seat, or checked as baggage. So your guess is as good as mine.

  13. Yeah, what on earth is going on? That is too cute to be true!

  14. photogirl says:

    UnBearably Cute!
    (even tho Pandas are technically members of the Racoon family)

  15. The Gabster says:

    People…er…pandas seated in exit rows should be prepared to assist the flight attendants and other passengers should the aircraft need to be evacuated in an emergency.
    Obvy this panda is ready to do his duty should the need arise.

  16. Mrs Grackle says:

    Wait a dang minute, here!He gets the EXIT ROW? I’ll bet his feet don’t even touch the floor.

  17. warrior rabbit says:

    It’s stuffed. But I love the photo!

    (No real panda would be allowed loose, and a stuffed panda wouldn’t fit in the overhead.)

  18. charliewabba says:

    And while you’re at it, bring me one of those furry bagels I’ve heard so much about.

  19. Love it! Maybe panda is just too precious to put in the cargo area of the plane so he gets to ride in the cabin. 🙂 Would be nice to lean head on panda while napping on plane; they look so comfy. Prolly a stuffed animal though. The bottom half of him is covered in a plastic bag, and I can’t believe a real panda would put up with that for too long.

  20. Looks like they had a little extra room in the business-class section. Can you imagine getting a ticket for yourself AND one for your stuffed panda?

  21. photogirl, I think science has changed its mind about pandas…they’re now officially bears:


  22. Shenanigans (maybe?), but so cute.

  23. I think he just had an empty seat next to him and figured that was easier than trying to stuff the toy into an overhead bin.

  24. Boomer's Babysitter says:

    Did the guy buy an extra seat? When does anyone see a flight with extra seats for animal compnaions, stuffed or not, anymore? The PEOPLE are too stuffed in there… 😦

  25. scooterpants says:

    biscuithead and warrior rabbit- giggle*snort- you two are too much!
    I have been on MANY a flight where there were wild endangered species running loose about the plane!(and they ALWAYS get to sit in the EXIT row, Duh)
    Havent you?
    (how come i always have to sit by some chatty old woman with bad breath and 17 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren and a 14 year old poodle…. and….and….)

  26. My other favorite part of this photo, besides the obvious fact there is a GIANT STUFFED(?) PANDA SITTING NEXT TO A GROWN MAN ON AN AIRPLANE, is the discreetness of this photo. You can tell someone was giggling as they took the picture from somewhere in the airplane kitchen.

  27. It also appears that the panda has a plastic bag wrapped around his lower half. I’m leaning more towards stuffed animal….or they were doing the horse parade bag thing to keep the bad stuff off of the nice air plane chairs.

    I’ve heard of people buying an extra seat for cello’s or guitars but a stuffed panda O_o?

  28. CoffeeCup says:

    I’ve been on plenty of flights with extra seats and empty seats.

    The text on the door is Chinese, so it’s definitely an international flight. Domestic flights generally only have english, spanish maybe french, but international flights make different language more prominent.

    That doesn’t look like coach either, so that might explain it… if there are sections of business class, first class or the new premium economy class on some airlines (better than econ, but not quite as cushy as business) there are bound to be more empty seats as most people would fly coach.

    On international flights (or any flight, actually) you’d be insane not to have carry on so I think he probably took a chance and checked his (one allowed) carry on and took panda as the carry on instead. And it was probably too cramped to stuff it in there, and you wouldn’t want to give some poor flight attendant a scare when he/she opens the compartment and there’s a panda staring back at you. And also there’s something that seems almost inhumane about stuffing a stuffed panda in a bulkhead.

    And of course it’s not a real panda. Really, people. Logic!

    I think if there was an emergency, this guy could use the panda as a flotation device.

    I have a panda almost that big. I want that panda!

  29. Even if he did buy an extra ticket I’m surprised that they’re sitting in the emergency row.

    Heck with Air Marshalls packing heat next to you, you don’t tangle with the FAA regulations. I honestly don’t think this kid’s the required 15 yrs old or can perform the emergency duties without assistance.

  30. Of course it’s stuffed, sillies! They wouldn’t let a live bear on like that, they can take peoples’ arms off what tries ta pet ’em!

    BEARS! (Stephen Colbert!)

  31. CoffeeCup says:

    Kar, I think non-U.S. airlines have different rules. I don’t think everyone is governed by the FAA, so the exit row rules might not be the same. Also, I don’t think air marshals are on non-U.S. airline flights.

  32. asianmike says:

    Who got a picture of me on my last flight?!

  33. Tony James says:

    Ok, clearly we are reaching a nuff/no nuff event horizon here, so it’s time for clear thinking and an explanation.
    Recognizing the colour scheme as China Airlines Airbus 787, I called their Public Relations department for an explanation. Unsurprisingly this picture is not unknown to them, and the sent me the press release that they had prepared:

    China Airlines is a proud corporate sponsor of the panda snactuary at Cheng Du and was happy to help out recently with the transfer of a young panda cub to a zoo in the United States of America. After extensive consultation with the Sanctury’s veterinary staff it was concluded that the importance of the panda cub precluded it from traveling in the hold of the aircraft, where attending to its needs would be difficult. Thus China Airlines agreed to donate seats in its Business Traveler First cabin for the panda cub named Squee Squee and his carer, Fu Jiang Lang, seen here sitting in the window seat. In the interests of hygiene Squee Squee wore a plastic nappy to take care of pandapoop during the flight.
    We are happy to report that Squee Squee arrived rested and relaxed after his 14-hour flight, and is settling into his new home well.
    During the flight we can report that he didn’t watch any of the flight movies as we couldn’t find a headset big enough for him. He did order the bamboo from catering menu, with a side of bamboo, and bamboo mousse for desert.

    If you don’t believe me, I’ll send you the release so you can check it out for yourselves. Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction, folks.

  34. @Tony – that is an intense amount of research but.. thanks! That’s awesome!

  35. warrior rabbit says:

    Squee Squee? LOL! Tony… you are too much.

  36. revolution724 says:

    …his name is SQUEE SQUEE? Are you kidding?

  37. charliewabba says:

    Thank you, Tony James.
    I feel so much better knowing the truthiness of what happened.

  38. charliewabba says:

    Oh – and, Berthaservant-person?
    Loved your koala/panda showdown.

  39. Oh, where to begin. How am I supposed to get through a meeting today while the In-Flight Panda™ floating through my head?

  40. Anyone remember the Snickers commercial about Panda Lunch?

  41. SQUEE SQUEE !? I’m not buying it, Tony James!


  42. charliewabba says:

    a haiku:

    The panda in flight
    merits the exit row seat.
    His thumbs are opposable.

  43. warrior rabbit says:

    Yes, he’s kidding. Squee Squee should be the first clue. Great creative effort! Tony, you remind me of my dad. (Are you a dad?) Goofy dads are the best!

  44. I started feeling bad that I’m such a skeptic, but I’ll hold to my original line of thought that there’s no way a live panda would be allowed out of a cargo area.

    Nuts, I tell ya. Nuts.

  45. tubbysnuggles says:

    His name is Squee-Squee?

    OH SQUEEEEE!!!!!!! that rocks. How adorable IS THAT? How cute that he’s REAL? He’s so perfectly clean and anerable that he DOES look like a pretend pandie.

  46. tony james you’re my hero!!!! thats a wonderful story!!!

    i would have just believed it to be a stuffed animal and thought it pretty cute. but this way its just brilliant 🙂 thank you!

  47. scooterpants says:

    ‘shaking head with face in hands’
    I give up. There is no place here for being realistic.
    YOU PEOPLE KNOW that they would put a puppeh-pee pad on the seat under the Panda.
    They would NOT (laughing hysterically) put a plastic bag in his lap.
    GAH! You people are silly.

  48. completely redonk. love it! *bleen!*

  49. People are nuts, and they prefer the cute story. lol

  50. charliewabba says:

    And clearly the person who took the photo didn’t use a flash, cuz that would have started Squee-Squee, and created a pandemonium.

  51. I work in PR and would kill for a chance to use the word “pandapoop” in a news release!

    You know, airlines might consider having a big stuffed panda on every flight, just for those of us whose knuckles turn a wee bit white to hug while there’s turbulence.

  52. What?

  53. “panda” monium, Charlie.

  54. Dexter Fishmore says:

    Ever seen a grown panda naked?

  55. I want to believe TJ. I really really do!!! That would be completely awesome.

  56. After having worked with pandas for some time, I can say with certainty that this is not a live panda. 1) The nose is wrong and 2) It’s a FREAKING BEAR and even in China where they really really love pandas, they don’t let bears loose on airplanes cause bears can kill people. Even panda bears.

  57. charliewabba says:

    yes, of course.

  58. Why isn’t it in a cage?

    In May when I was flying from Las Vegas to Indianapolis, I shared a flight with Bamba and Muuri, two koalas from teh San Diego zoo. They were in covered cages the whole flight, so no one got to see them. But we did get free zoo tickets at least.

  59. Dexter Fishmore, you are now officially my hero.

  60. The panda is adorabuhls. I thought it was a blankie over his lap, not a plastic bag.

    Scooterpants: I’m not sure of the whyfors of your airplane seating problems. I myself want to know why I always get seated next to some snarky attitudinal 20-something who thinks his or her poo doesn’t smell.

  61. While a doing a brief little search of the interwebs about pandas flying on planes, I found something almost better than a panda flying on a plane– and that’s a plane that looks like a panda!

    Check it: http://ahboon.net/2007/08/30/fly-panda-with-nippon-ana/

  62. ha ha, you know what I just realized. No one gave Meg hell for using the word “hell” cos it’s a family site, man!!! Obviously everybody was too taken with the giant floof monster-teddy bear.

  63. MaggieBee says:

    Squee Squee?!?? Oh em gee, rolfcopter! Totally brought a smile to my face!

    Thanks Tony for the wonderful story!!

  64. freetomato says:

    I work for the Air Marshal Service (and shall not confirm nor deny any speculation 🙂 and I’ve gotten a huge kick out of this photo – it is now cube decoration.

    [Air Marshals have cubicles?? – Ed.]

  65. Tony James says:

    Sk – I don’t remember a Snickers ad, but there was a classic ad for KitKat back in the day…

    Warrior Rabbit – no, I’m not a dad, unless you count having to ground a 700lb ex-tomcat on a regular basis for using the Anarchists Cookbook to make anti-mouse devices as a function of fatherhood. The other day I found him constructing an ittybitty guillotine trap using a pair of crampons and a whole box of Gilette Mach3 razor blades (which are prohibitively expensive, hence the grounding). I shudder to think what would happen if he ever found out about the interwebs.

    Kate – the way around your dilemma is to insert “PandaPoop” as one of the keywords in white type at the bottom of the release. It won’t show up on the print version (white on white, you see), but you will be able to search for the tag and have yourself a private giggle. Don’t ask me how I know this.

    Jlws – yes, it’s a bear. Then again, so was Winnie the Pooh and Paddington, and no-one seemed to mind when they traveled in first class. Just accept that there are some bears that are better behaved than others. Given that you work with pandas, maybe you can make it part of your mission to ensure that the next generation of pandas is brought up properly (wipes its feet, doesn’t interrupt when grownups are talking, stands up when a lady enters the room, etc.) and then we can all enjoy long-haul flights in the company of bears. I for one would welcome the diversion.
    If you’re not prepared to do this, please don’t argue when others are able to instil a sense of discipline and decorum into the pandas in their charge.

  66. Engleesh? TJ, eh?

  67. Stressfactor says:

    It’s a stuffed toy but OMG look at the detail on that thing! If you look close it’s even got some bamboo shoots in it’s front paws!

    I really want to know where that guy even FOUND it!

  68. Sorry, didn’t see that it was an international flight.

    Strange thing is, if that were a real panda, I’m thinking they wouldn’t put him in the cabin for his own health. They seem pretty germ & sanitation crazy about those things so they’d rather have ’em isolated in the hold. It’s not like you can dose ’em with those airplane herb packets or stuff their nostrils with bacitracin.

    And thank you Dexter for that reference. I loved that movie and still chuckle over the whole colored “zone” dialogue.

  69. @charliewabba: *polite golf claps* Cute, though I think you have a few extra syllables on the last line.

    Pretty sure that is stuffed, but it’s given me this idea (if I were incredibly rich and bored) of booking a flight for me and my family of stuffed animals just to freak out the other passengers.

  70. This is just completely bogus. I looked up Squee Squee in the online panda registry: no such panda!

  71. I’ve missed you, Teej.


  72. The idea of a panda snoozing in an overhead compartment has me smiling.

    Niiiiice way to entertain the peeps. Tony James, Berthaservant,charliewabba, just to name a few–thanks. K.

  73. Has Totalee Puppy been around lately? Hi there, if you are lurking!

    There is an on-line Panda Registry? Oh, man….

  74. freetomato says:

    Support personnel do, ed 🙂 The guys I showed that pic to would prefer a panda seatmate across the board! Probably less smelly and obnoxious than most humans!

  75. TJ – yep, you still got it.


  76. berthaservant says:

    Love the haiku Charlie!

    But I have to nominate Tony James for perhaps one of the best posts ever. I would have believed it except for the “Squee Squee” and “pandapoop.”

  77. scooterpants says:

    so… freetomato- “Air Marshall Support Personnel”
    YOU must be the guys on the ground that control the ‘ACME Eject-O Seat’ buttons then Aye ??? sweet…

    (i hope that panda is wearing its seat belt, i cant believe no one brought that up yet)

  78. i want more pics of this lol

  79. I thought it was REAL!

    And I still do! 😉

  80. charliewabba says:

    I most humbly stand corrected. What was I thinking. But a poet is worthless if she cannot handle criticism and deal with revisions. hence:

    Why does the panda
    merit the exit row seat?
    Opposable thumbs.

  81. makosmommy says:
  82. girlnextdoortn says:

    Ok, I admit it. I screeched, “What the F*&^!?!?” when I saw the pic at first.

    It took a few moments to realize it couldn’t possibly be a real panda.

  83. @Tony James: If I ever get to be high & mighty and powerful & impotent, you will be in charge of my PR department!

  84. Mako – only on China Southern, and only on domestic routes. Internationally they fly Club or First.
    Don’t believe me? Next time you’re at the San Diego or National zoos, ask any of the pandas. They’ll tell you the same. You think they’d suffer the indignity of cargo for that long a flight? They may not be much in the sack, but they know what they like.

  85. Man, I wish it was real!

    How fun would that be? Hee! ;D

  86. This probably has a very logical explanation- The panda is a souvenir or gift that he didn’t want to store in the overhead compartment.

    But why, oh why, does it have a blanket in its lap to keep from being chilled by the airplane A/C? *melts*

  87. Wow rcoover.
    You’re right.

    When the heck did science finally decide that?

    Does that mean that someday, there hope that the ‘Theory of Evolution’ will not just be a theory? 🙂

  88. Gail (the first one) says:

    @Katrina: “Saw” Totalee Puppy on one of the previous posts (mebbe the bagel-kvetcher Boston?)

  89. Aaaah, Tony ::shakes head:: you tewtelly had me going there *lol*

    Has anyone stopped to think that maybe there was a person sitting on that seat who has popped off to the bathroom (or lav – whatevs) and that is why the (stuffed) panda is sitting there, enjoying all the comforts and amenities? Hmmmm?

    Not that I want to burst anyone’s bubbles or anything.

    Additionally, I thought everyone knew that bears in planes (Hmm, note to self – movie idea.. “Bears On A Plane”)travel on the jump seat in the cockpit area. Duh. So that they can take control in the event of one of the pilots being incapacitated.

    Why? you ask.

    Opposable thumbs.

  90. Ladies and germs, Teej is STILL the master. Tell him the other one’s got bells on.

  91. this is like one of those candid camera punk’d thingys…

  92. Looked this up online, it’s a stuffed bear. I could tell this was NOT a United flight as they CHARGE YOU EXTRA to sit in the emergency row and save everyone.

  93. Selphie van der Boffin says:

    I thought it was a toy first off, because the nose is not right. Panda’s noses are wider and shorter, rather than round. Also the black around the eyes is more defined in a real panda and the ears are narrower at the base. Haven’t we had enough panda pics on this site to pick a real from a fake?

    [Well, see, that takes you dangerously close to “OMG PHOTOSHOPPED!!” territory, you know, and There Be Tygers. – Ed.]

  94. A former boss of mine was on a flight with one of the Sea World penguins and it was not in a cage of any kind – they marched it down the aisle and stood it up in a seat. It was a short flight like to Tucson or something, and everyone thought it was hilarious. I presume they had encouraged it to, um, evacuate before boarding.

  95. So unfair! I always have to sit next to the elephant seal and end up getting off the flight smelling like fish. Plus they always hog the armrest and never want to move when I have to get up to pee.

  96. totalee puppy says:

    Katrina…How are you doing? I always read your
    comments…ALWAYS. I’ve been lurking over at the Boston Bagel post to promote the best Kosher
    delly in Chicago–Ashkenaz, which I understand is named for Jewish families from Russia. (Never sit with me on a plane, so boring…)
    Now for inflight laughs, sit with Tony James or
    Berthaservant or charliewabba or scooterpants…Now say with me…”It’s all right to
    tell a panda joke if you’re not a panda.”

  97. hamster on rye says:

    Hey, freetomato, love the
    name! Lovin’ the name Squee
    Squee too, but, really, it sounds like one of those
    items where you call the
    1-800- number and charge
    $19.95 plus shipping on the ol’ credit card. Call now and get 3 Squee Squee refills absolutely free!

  98. Decca-LOL!

  99. FWIW: It could easily be the inside of a Singapore Airlines 767 — they have similar looking interiors.

    And it doesn’t have to be business class either – They look like they’re near a bulkhead or something – hence the extra legroom (mid cabin toilets?)

  100. Totalee Puppy, “phew”, now I feel better, thanks.

    This whole thread has been so funny to read. My best flight experience was on a short-hop flight with Andy Williams on board. He has such beautiful eyes!

    I can imagine a world where pandas are free to roam around the cabin…yeah, sure!

    I do love how my fellow peeps can be so willing to read such sweet ideas!

  101. Hee hee! Thats funny. One time I was on a plane and bought a bear that I took with me *on the plane* and no one was sitting next to me, so of course I put the bear there. Well the stewardess that he was SOOOO cute and buckled him in!

  102. http://www.ctcgifts.org/pandacubhansa45432fttallrealisticplushstuffedanimal.aspx
    THat is a link to a very real looking stuffed panda and I found lots more too

    not always so realistic looking
    I also looked and saw they only transport pandas in fancy STRONG steel cages but Dang it I really want Tony James story to be true… because who wouldn’t want to fly on a plane with a baby panda playing in the passenger area?

    PS Bertha Servent. HEheheh I grew up with those commercials too bad they switched to the roo for their logo!

  103. I am now officially the world’s most gullable person.



  104. awsom en`bjh\ythvu

  105. charliewabba says:

    Aww, totalee puppy – that is one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said to me.
    Although I’m really very shy, and generally don’t talk to strangers on planes. I don’t even talk to my husband on planes.

  106. lynn crago says:

    nice pic

  107. I bet its a guy in a panda suit. 🙂 The two guys got together and staged it to get more chicks. You know, guy with a panda, chick magnet.

    I fly all the time, I never get cuteness. Much less peanuts.

  108. So he’ll be taking the in-flight vegetarian meal?Don’t think they do a eucalyptus option…