While it seems like extravagant celebrities would use only the most exclusive methods of travel, they often travel the same way that we do. No matter how famous a person is, they probably are just as frustrated at airports or long car rides as the rest of us. The people in these stories were lucky enough to share some of the most unique travel experiences with the rich and famous, giving them some of the best travel stories of their lives. This content has been edited for clarity.
"I stopped at a gas station and was gassing up my bike. Another rider came in on the goofiest looking bike I had ever seen. We start chatting and he asks if I want to go riding with him up in the canyons. We go riding and stop a few times and check out the view. This whole time I still hadn't seen his face, neither of us had taken off our helmets.
We were talking about getting lunch and he wanted to stop somewhere nice, so we stop at Nobu Sushi (an expensive sushi place) but it's not open. Right as I said, 'Well, where else do you want to go?' he says, 'They'll open it, trust me.'
He walks up to the door, takes off his helmet, and knocks. They couldn't open the doors fast enough for us. We had three waiters, three sushi chefs, we got to sit at the counter, and they handmade exactly what we wanted the entire time. Afterwards, all the staff got pictures with us (them thinking I was famous too).
The rider in question? Brad Pitt."
"I was reading for fun in a 24-hour diner in Portland over a decade ago. This guy came over to the table and started making conversation. He starts asking me bizarre questions, such as what the most horrific thing I'd ever experienced was. He then proceeded to talk about research he was doing, such as reading early case studies in lobotomy research. He quoted some of it as if it were poetry, these violent little lines about severing the frontal lobe with an ice pick.
I became uncomfortable and tried to find a more familiar topic. I'd just seen Fight Club in the theater a few months earlier, and it was still fresh in my mind. I asked the man if he'd seen it, and now he became uncomfortable.
'You know what the first rule of Fight Club is, don't you?' he replied. The conversation dwindled into an awkward place and he excused himself.
A few years later, I went to a Chuck Palahniuk reading. The first thing I noticed was how unlike his publicity photos he looked, yet he looked familiar in a completely different way. It came time for the Q&A portion, and someone asked how he came up with ideas for stories, and he said he often gets ideas from talking to strangers. Sometimes, he said, he'd just approach a stranger while they're reading and ask them what the most horrific thing is that's ever happened to them. It was then that I realized I'd asked Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club if he'd seen Fight Club."
"I was in Jackson Hole skiing with a bunch of friends. I was buying dinner supplies at the local grocery store. I am looking over a tomato or two to purchase, when I realize this guy is staring at me, waiting for me to move.
I'm about to give him the stink eye, like a, 'c'mon man, back off' type of presence, when I realize it's Harrison Ford. Han Solo. My eyes become super wide, and he sees that crazy look in my eye, as if I'm about start screaming, 'ITS ACTUALLY HAN SOLO!'
He grabs the produce and says, 'Yeah, I know. It's me.' And Ford BOLTS out of the store.
I literally could not remember his name until a few minutes later, when I found my friends. I just met Harrison Ford."
"Never thought I’d be star struck if I met a celeb, but then I randomly met Arnold Schwarzenegger.
My now wife and I were at Brooks Brothers in the fitting room getting my suit adjusted for our upcoming wedding when one of the staff comes running in all excited. I gather someone famous is outside but don’t think anything of it. The gal helping me asks if she can be excused for a moment so I think, 'why not,' and go with her to see who it is.
And there he is! The Governator himself just casually checking out shoes. I take a look, think to myself, 'Cool, I have a story to tell,' then head back into the fitting room.
Next thing I know, he comes back there! Now it’s just me, some lady he’s with, my fiancée and two staff. The tension is palpable so he cracks a couple jokes, and everyone tries their best to carry on with their business like there isn’t a mega star in the room.
At some point he overheard something about our upcoming wedding and asks us when the big day is. We chat a bit and then he cracks the best dad joke I’ve ever heard.
'You know, there are three rings in marriage: The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the sufferRING!'
I'm still upset I didn’t think to invite him to the wedding."
"I was in Charlotte for business in 2007, and it happened to be my birthday. I was by myself but didn't want to spend my birthday in a hotel, so I wandered down the street to a little tavern to get a drink and a burger. The place was pretty full, so I grabbed an open seat at the bar next to gruff bearded guy.
Then I ordered my drink, and when the bartender checked my ID he commented on it being my birthday. I said, 'First round's on the house, right?'
He told me it wasn't, so I jokingly said something like, 'That sucks. Traveling alone, on my birthday, and I have to pay for my own drink.'
The guy to my left said, 'I hear ya man, life on the road gets old.'
So we got to chit chatting about our lines of work, and he said he was in a band. I asked if it was anybody I'd heard of, and he said 'The Zac Brown Band.' I told him I was sorry but I hadn't heard of them. He laughed and said, 'Well that sucks, I'm Zac Brown.'
He bought us a round, then I bought the next one, and we spent a couple of hours getting drinking together. He offered to buy another round but I told him I had to work early the next day, so he told me to come down to another bar the following night to see them play, and he'd buy me a drink after the show. I ended up going, and I was floored. They were awesome. Two years later they won a Grammy for Best New Artist, so I realize now how cool it was to be able to hang out with the guy like that while he could still hang out at a bar without getting mobbed."
"My dad had a business trip to Indianapolis when I was about ten or so, and my parents decided to make it a family trip. This was at the same time they were hosting the NBA draft, and everyone happened to be staying at the same hotel as us. My little brother was super-excited and spent the whole time running around the hotel collecting signatures on a pennant (that is worth so much money now, if he ever had any interest in selling it).
We were eating breakfast with our mom in the hotel restaurant when this guy one table over starts cursing up a storm talking to his colleagues. Really vulgar curses too, not just the tame stuff. Well, my mom is a very forthright person who has no issues making herself clear to people, especially when she feels her children are being harmed.
So she gets up, walks over to this table, and proceeds to give this guy a huge, loud, public dressing-down on his shameful behavior.
Later that night we're watching the draft and realize this guy was actually the commissioner of the NBA."
"My co-worker and I had just completed a three-day gauntlet tour of Florida. We flew into Orlando on Wednesday night (in the middle of a hurricane), worked a conference all day Thursday, drove down to Ft. Meyer Friday morning, worked a conference Friday afternoon and evening (still in the middle of a hurricane), drove down to Miami late Friday night, and worked a conference all day on Saturday.
We get in the hotel elevator with a middle-aged gentleman wearing a dark T-shirt and a baseball cap. He sees our rolling computer bags and us leaning against the wall and asks what we're doing in Florida.
I proceed to let him know that we worked for a loan servicer, and were doing conferences to meet face-to-face with borrowers and try to help them get back on track with their mortgages. I start letting him know where we'd gone and how often we did this.
I then paused, looked at him in the face, and I said, 'Hey, you're John Travolta!'
He smiled and said, 'Yes, yes I am.'
'Cool, I love your movies-' and I kept on going.
When my partner and I got off on our floor, she started giggling, because she had recognized him immediately and was wondering when I was going to realize who it was that I had been talking to. She busted up laughing even harder when the only thing I could say was, 'Huh, I thought he'd be taller."
"When 'Iron Man' was filming, I was in the Air Force Department as an on-base police officer. I was in charge or verifying all the people working on the production. I was given a 23-page list of every name with an Iron Man poster as a cover page.
One day, a Lincoln town car pulled up and handed me a stack of drivers licenses. I checked them and noticed a 'Downey' wasn't on the list. I looked in the vehicle and Robert Downey Jr. was staring at me like I was in shock. I said, 'I'm sorry sir, you're not on this list.'
He pointed to the Iron Man poster and said, 'There I am.'
I asked the driver to pop the trunk. while giving a firm, commanding presence and investigative demeanor. He popped it and I asked the actor if he had any illicit materials in the trunk. He was super nervous but just started laughing. I told the two of them to have a good time.
Fast forward to the filming of 'Iron Man 2.' The same town car pulls up and hands me a similar stack of licenses. Robert Downey Jr. looks at me and says, 'Oh no, don't pop the trunk!'
"My parents were in an airport on layover and decided to have a drink at the bar. They were there for a few minutes before two big guys dressed in upscale clothes and gold chains, sat at the other end of the bar. My mom keeps telling my dad that she bets they are football players.
Soon enough, my mom leans across the bar and asks if they are indeed football players or not. The bigger of two men, looks at my mom, smiles and says, 'No, we're ping pong players.'
My mom and dad laughed it off and they ended up buying each other a few rounds before they parted ways.
Fast forward through the vacation until my parents are back at home. Sitting on the couch watching Comedy Central, when all of a sudden this commercial comes on.
'Hi, I'm LL Cool J, and you're watching Comedy Central.'
Both my parents spring up and shout, 'that was the guy at the airport who bought us drinks!'
I laughed, but realized they were being completely serious."
"It was in an Atlanta airport, October of 2010. I wanted some Ben N Jerry's before my flight. I got in line behind a nicely dressed guy and all the girls working at Ben N Jerry's were blushing and basically going nuts. I was totally oblivious, but I noticed he was having problems with his Blackberry. I, too, had a Blackberry and knew how to unfreeze them, so I offered to help. He was a really cool dude and was really appreciative when I fixed his phone.
I noticed the women making a fuss about him so I quickly glanced at the name on his plane ticket. It was a ticket from ATL to LAX and the name read 'Jaleel White'. After he walked away, I asked the ladies who were working who it was and they first looked at me like I was stupid then realized I honestly didn't know. It was STEVE URKLE FROM FAMILY MATTERS! He was a nice guy and I thought it was pretty cool."
"My mom worked as a property manager in Park City, Utah, for several years and every year during the Sundance Film Festival, she'd have awesome stories about the celebrities she'd gotten to meet. Anyways. Sundance is crazy and the entire town gets booked up forever in advance.
So when this long haired shady looking guy comes in and asks her for an upgrade to a better room, she turns him down. However, he's very persistent. And my mom, being the awesome lady that she is, says that if he begs on his knees, she'll do it for him.
And he does. He gets down on both knees and begs her. After the guy has left, she is told by one of her younger employees who it is. Which leads her to ask me when she gets home that night if I know who Kid Rock is."
"My uncle met and had dinner with Will Smith without knowing it. My uncle is a priest, doesn't own a TV, and never goes to the movies. As a result, he is somewhat disconnected from popular culture. He was in Ghana at some point and was allowed to look around the prisons and buildings the slaves used to be kept in before being sent across the Atlantic, which is normally closed to the public. While he was looking around, he met another guy in the prison, and they started chatting and said a few prayers together.
As he was leaving the guy invited him to dinner on the beach with his family. My uncle accepted and turned up and found the guy had a pretty impressive layout, but didn't think anything of it. He had dinner, thanked the man, and he left.
Afterwards, while back at his hotel room he switched on the TV to the news and finds out that the man he just ate dinner with was Will Smith (apparently Will Smith being in Ghana was a pretty big thing for the country)."
"I was working Night Audit (overnight) at a Mid Luxury hotel in Napa. Dave Chapelle and a group of his friends rode up on motorcycles at like 2 am and asked to get rooms for two nights. Apparently, they were on a road trip to nowhere and would just stop each night where they stopped. They had a few people following them in a truck and trailer.
He is a pretty legit insomniac and would sit on the front steps for a few hours each night on his phone smoking. They decided to extend their stay and ended up staying a total of six nights. On night two, I went out and asked for a light, and we ended up chatting a few hours. It repeated for three nights and I got to hang out with him about 10 hours total. Smart, thoughtful, articulate, and genuine person. The humor is just him. I was actually blown away with how precise his natural whit and timing was.
I saw him at a show in San Francisco last year, and he recognized me. He shouted out from stage,'Yo, I know you! You still working nights?'
"I once shot a movie with Spike Lee. It was a very low budget, independent thing with a tiny crew and even smaller cast. We were together every day for a week, but he never said a word to me beyond some notes.
On the last day of filming, we were coming back from lunch, and I was standing outside having a smoke when he comes walking by. He says something like, 'Ahh, so this is where the smokers all hang, huh?' and I just kind of laugh and nodded. He looks at my beat up sneakers and goes, 'What kind of shoes are those?' I tell him I don't actually know, and he looks at me like I just took a dump on the sidewalk and says, 'You don't know?' and I tell him I had run a 5k three years earlier and had needed some running shoes, so I bought the cheapest ones.
This dude reaches into the cargo pocket of his pants and pulls out a fat envelope. He opens the envelope and I see that it's full of Nike gift cards. Like, a hundred Nike gift cards. He pulls out two, hands them to me, and says, 'There's two gift cards, $75 a piece. Get yourself some new Jordans,' and walks away.
"I ran into George Takei! It happened while I was attending Dallas Fan Expo back in 2015. Apparently, we had both been staying at the Omni Hotel because I had recognized his husband, Brad, in the lobby.
I was in the hotel restaurant for breakfast that morning when I saw Mr. Takei take a seat at the bar to order his meal. As soon as I recognized him, I had a mild freak out, silently at my table. Then I sheepishly approached him with the 'Has anyone ever told you that you look A LOT like George Takei?' spiel.
In his unforgettable voice, he said, 'Why yes, I do hear that quite often!' with the biggest grin on his face. He was so polite to let me sit next to him at the bar and let me geek out for a moment. I had a chance to talk with him for a few minutes where I learned that he's fluent in Spanish! Still one of my favorite moments in my whole entire life."
"I was working in the airport and was hanging around passport control. I see a confused guy, so naturally I go check if he's ok. He was waiting and looking for a service that was supposed to take him on the fast track. Although not my job, I offered to help him out, so I spoke to the controller on the fast track and allowed him through.
This was at least five years ago. He seemed familiar but I didn't know where from, so I asked him. He said he played in 'The Office', which I didn't watch at the time, among other things. I felt quite uncomfortable because I am usually pretty good at movies and actors, so I tried changing the subject and asked him he travelled to London often. He said that he did since his wife was from here.
Eventually we reach the control and he goes through, but not before he shakes my hand and thanks me repeatedly. He was very friendly, very humble.
Later I checked him out and found out that it was John Krasinski. His wife was Emily Blunt, which I really liked as it was not too long after 'Edge of Tomorrow' was released.
The funny thing is that I told this story before online, and a guy pointed out that Krasinski appeared on 'The Tonight Show' a year ago where he said a story very similar to this one, but if it is about this incident, he definitely simplified and spiced it up a little."
"I was an air marshal on a flight the day they allowed commercial flight over the US again after September 11, 2001.
I was sitting in first call from Los Angeles to JFK in NYC. Lauren Bacall pre-boarded the flight and was seated next to me. She had her assistant with her that carried her lap dog, a Papillon. She asked me if I minded if her dog sat with her while on takeoff and I said no problem.
She was kinda haute with the way she spoke to the flight attendants and her assistant, but I assumed it was because of the events of the last few days, and everyone was on edge. Throughout the flight, she was kind of complaining about security and other issues related to terrorism and the US and I would just nod and give single word answers. I was pretty on edge myself and was prepared to take action if there were sleeper teams on board.
After a while, I relaxed and we engaged in more conversation and I told her that my mom was a huge fan. We talked more, then she napped and I pet her dog, which crawled over and was laying on the arm rest area between our seats.
Once we got close to NYC, things started getting tense again and people were visibly nervous on board the aircraft. Half of my job was reassuring the flight crew that if anything happened, it would be handled by myself and my team.
The Captain did a fly over of Ground Zero, and the flames and smoke were still evident and visible in the night sky. I looked over as Ms. Bacall and she was crying and hanging on to her dog. She was visibly shaking. At that moment, she turned to me and said that now she understood why there was so much security and she felt bad not realizing how bad the attacks were until now.
I told her that it was going to be ok, and that we will all recover from this and be stronger for it. I then did a 'cheese move' and handed her my business card. She looked at it, then at me, then she whispered, 'Do you have a weapon?' I nodded yes and told her I had her and her dog covered the whole flight and she laughed and squeezed my hand and thanked me. I asked her a favor: could she sign my boarding pass for my mom?
She did me one better: she took out her boarding pass, put it together with mine, and signed both with a nice note about me to my mom.
My mom loved the gift and hung it on our wall of fame at home."