Maybe it has something to do with the altitude (or the wine), but we’re guilty of getting teary-eyed on an airplane – some of us on several occasions – and we know we’re not alone. If you’re up for feeling a little emotional in-transit, go ahead and pre-load your tablet with one of our favorite tearjerkers now.

Apollo 13
“I’ve always been obsessed with space and this Tom Hanks movie captures the post-moon-walk NASA era perfectly. When the Apollo 13 crew looks out and sees Earth, unsure if they’ll get home, it gets me every time. The cheers go up in the NASA mission control room. Jim Lovell’s wife, Marilyn, breaks down. And as I’m whizzing safely above Earth in a tin can, everything seems extra emotional.” – Annie Fitzsimmons, digital editor, Virtuoso

The Fault in Our Stars
“Teenage love meets terminal illness. I cried so hard watching this in the theater that I came out with little bits of soggy Kleenex stuck to my face, which caused my friends to laugh so hard they cried. Bonus points if you watch this on a flight to Amsterdam.” – Marika Cain, managing editor, Virtuoso Life

Lion
“This Academy Award-nominated movie is still in the theaters, but will likely be available in-flight soon. You will definitely tear up during this movie, based on a true story about a boy separated from his family in Calcutta. You’ll need a few minutes at the end to reflect and recover.” – Josh Mason, vice president of engineering, Virtuoso

Rocky Balboa
“All of the Rocky films, but especially this 2006 installment, when the aging, widowed boxer reflects on the ups and downs of his life and then reemerges from retirement for one last fight.” – Joel Centano, senior editor, Virtuoso Traveler


A Better Life
“This honest, heartbreaking film about an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. follows a single father trying to give his son the opportunities he never had. It was released in 2011, but feels timelier than ever.” – Veronica Rosalez, graphic designer, Virtuoso

Inside Out
“I love how this Pixar film can be so happy and sad at the same time. I remember crying three times when I saw it for the first time.” – Rebecca Ratterman, assistant editor, Virtuoso

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
“You can go ahead and add this film, along with Stepmom and Soul Food, to your list of movies to never watch by yourself with two glasses of red wine on a plane.” – David Kolner, senior vice president of global member partnerships, Virtuoso

The Light Between Oceans
“I’m not much of a crier, but my transatlantic Kleenex moments have come from Marley & Me, Steel Magnolias, Bambi, and most recently, The Light Between Oceans, a film about a lighthouse keeper and his wife who live on a remote Australian island. It’s based on the novel by M.L. Stedman.”  – Melanie Fowler, art director, Virtuoso Life

Brian’s Song
“A classic movie based on the true story of an unlikely friendship between Gayle Sayers and Brian Piccolo, the NFL’s first interracial roommates, as Sayers recounts the tragic death of Piccolo.” – David Hansen, vice president of events, Virtuoso

Like Crazy
“I love a good cathartic cry, which makes sad movies my absolute favorite. My go-to is this quiet roller-coaster of a love story between a man from California and a woman from the UK. It feels fitting to watch their transatlantic romance – which doesn’t go as planned – while flying over an ocean. I could watch this over and over and still sob every single time.” – Amy Cassell, assistant editor, Virtuoso Life

Did we leave out one of your favorite sad movies? Share the films guaranteed to make you shed a tear or two in the comments below.

One comment

  1. In a similar vein to “Brian’s Song” is “Bang the Drum Slowly,” which I did watch on an airplane one time. It stars Robert De Niro as a baseball pitcher who learns he’s dying of cancer and has a short time left to live. A definite tear-jerker.

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