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Most Uncomfortable Plane You've Flown On  
User currently offlineBoeing 777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 5434 times:

I'd sure like to know what's the most uncomfortable plane or flight you've flown on. Like in terms of legroom, loudness, bad landings, etc.

In my case, it was on a Canadian Regional F28. I flew on them from YYC to YVR and back on the Thanksgiving weekend in October of 1999. The F28's economy class seats were even smaller than a Dash 8's! The legroom was even worse than a Dash 8's, believe me. I'm only average sized for a man, about 5'9", but my knees were pressing against the seat in front of me. The engines were LOUD. Think of the whining shrieking sound that any large airliner makes from the outside when taxiing - that's exactly what it sounded like INSIDE the cabin when taxiing before and after landing, only a notch or so less. But still awful. During flight, the shriek was replaced by the roar, yet it was still louder than a 737-200 or a DC-9! The turbulence was so bad over the Rockies that drinks and snacks didn't get served, and nobody could get up out of their seats. The FAs were pretty good, though, and the plane was clean. Coming a close second were the Convair CV580 flights on Time Air(now part of Canadian Regional) from YQU(Grande Prairie) to YEG, back in the'80s. Yep, they did indeed have at least a few of these ancient prop planes. They were loud, rattly and had old, musty cabins.

41 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineRWally From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 555 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4975 times:

Mine was a Boeing 727. It was an American Airlines flight from ORD to BNA. It was really bumpy the whole way. The whole flight was bad. That was my worst flight.

User currently offlineBojicat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4970 times:

for large body: A340. Slow and really uncomfortable.
Small body: I don't like the 737-200. Boeing 727 was not one of my favorites either. A320 isn't that great, as well.

Anyways, it's good to see another Edmontonian posting here. I thought I was the only one.

User currently offlineTWA717_200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4965 times:

The ATR is the most uncomfortable plane that I've ever been on. The seats recline in the MIDDLE of your back! It's loud, and the gear has no travel at all. Feels like your in the Flinstonemobile when you're on the ground. Oh yeah, and when the gear doors open, it's such a loud bang that it scares the crap out of me everytime it happens.

User currently offlineAsdf From Austria, joined Mar 2014, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4954 times:

This is an easy one for me. A Northwest Boeing 747-400 from Detroit to Seoul. I was stuck in the row against the bulkhead, meaning that I couldn't recline my seat at all. The seats were really uncomfortable too. Even the DC-9's were comfortable than that flight.

User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4954 times:

One thing I don't understand here. People say things, but don't back them up - they make unsubstantiated claims.

They also don't differentiate between airline and airframe related issues. However, let me make it clear that you are most entitled to have your opinion, just that it infuriates me when people

a) say something like, "The A320 is crap." end of story.

b) make up rubbish like, "Oh, the A320 crash at Mulhouse was caused by the early design of the CFM engines". Rubbish - the CFM engines actually spooled up faster than their book figures; they performed better than they are supposed to.

Back to the point. Why do people always say that the A340 is slow, slow etc. People don't complain about the 737, which is M0.05 slower than the A320, but the A340 is only M0.02-3 slower than the 747, M0.01 slower than the B777 and M0.02 FASTER than the B767.

As I said in a previous post, it would require a 17hr+ flight for a A340 to be an hour slower than a B747. It would require a 12hr+ flight for a 767 to be an hour slower than the B747. Do the math, its really quite simple.

The bottom line is cruise speed for all jet aircraft (bar the BAe146 & Concorde/TU144) is largely insignificant on the bulk of flights. To a certain extent, cruise speed can be determined by the airline (fairly limited) dependign on the Airlines Cost Index (punched into the plane's FMC). For example, on Ansett, depending on the length of the flight, the A320 will fly at M0.80, when most fly it at M0.78.

Bojicat, why was the A340 uncomfortable? It's quieter than the 747, 777 and any othe widebody. If it's because it's cramped, don't blame Airbus (you should thank them for designing aircraft where it is impossible to squeeze an extra row, ala B777 9 abreast vs 10abreast, etc.) blame the airline. It's THEIR FAULT. If the food is bad, it's the AIRLINE'S FAULT! Next time, please say the airline as well as well as the aircraft, as it's really useless by itself unsubstatiated.

Most uncomfortable flight, MEL-KUL. My view of MAS (MH) pilots was significantly discoloured to put it nicely. What happened was during the approach (established on a very long final) the pilot did not circle to hold for landing (800m vis), instead he pitched the aircraft up and down to slow its progress. This made the landing sequence very uncomfortable as the aircraft would undergo some fairly strong G forces, where one moment you felt weightless, the next moment you can feel the springs and bolts in the seat press on your buttocks (Yes, I'm not joking). The flight was ordinary (just like plain old Ansett domestic service {it's great, but it's domestic service. You expect better on international services {AN Intl. is amazing I'm told}), but the flying really was detrimental to my experience.

Another thing, MAS really does recirculate its air. During late '97, there were some serious forest fires in Indonesia, which led to a large cloud of smog (the haze) in South East Asia. During the decent, only then did the smoky smell enter the cabin, despite the fact that we were flying through a black haze.. While this example seems a bit trivial, I did have the recirculation confirmed by the FO.

I wondered whether this was legal. In the light of the MAS incidents at LHR and the common image of MAS in Malaysia as "Mana adda sistem" - there is no system (excuse my Malay) and the fact that their pilot's fly very "chin chai" - carefree, simply, simply do, etc (accd to my aunty), I wondered whether this is a general trend.

Still, I think our Aussie Ansett & Qantas pilots are pretty good. Make the Ansett pilots pretty damned good :-) Especially the Skystar A320 ones, eheheh.



User currently offlineWiL SW737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4932 times:

My most uncomfortable flight was on an Air China 737-300. I usually like 737s because they are nice and comfortable, but on this flight, the seats were stiff! It was raining so most of the flight was pretty bumpy. I had average legroom. On approach, it looked like we were going to do a go-around, but we bumped the runway once, and it felt like we went up a little, and then we came back down for a hard landing. We didn't make a go-around. The Captain apoligized for the landing. He said it was really hard to land in weather like this.
I'm glad I live in the U.S where the 737's seats are comfortable, not that international carrier's 737 seats are uncomfortable, just Air China's.

-WiL SW737

User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4931 times:

The most uncomfortable plane I've ever been on was a KLM 737-200. The exit rows had only one seat, to make up for this the pitch was about 1/2" (just kidding) they seats were so small and the aisle so wide that I literally couldn't move my arms without hitting the passengers on either side! The A/C was configured as a commuter, it was without question my best and worst flight, the service was excellent (good food, real china, a Steward (not a F/A, a Steward) who spoke, with no accent, Dutch, Spanish, German, English (american or British accent) and french. Given this case I'd have to say that the flight was a decent flight overall, but it was without question the most uncomfortable. My second most uncomfortable flight was with Northwest on a 747-400 from Detroit to Amsterdam, I was infront of the bulkhead, no recline, small seats, bad flight.


User currently offlineDan-air From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4916 times:

Any NWA DC-9. I get stuck on these 25/30-year vintage crates a lot. DTW-MCO sitting in the last row - no recline and the guy in front of you has his seat in your face. Bonus - you are close to the lavatory. But you can usually smell that blue stuff from your seat because the airplane's fixtures and fittings are so ancient that the gaps allow the odors to escape. "First" class on these things is bearable if you can get the upgrade.

NWA please do your pax a favor, convert the C9's to freighters, sell 'em to Kitty Hawk and expedite the delivery of the A319s!!!! Then turn your attention to the DC-10-40's.....

User currently offlineOSL From Norway, joined Dec 1999, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4901 times:

My most uncomfortable flight was on a Fokker 50, from Oslo to Gothenburg (In Sweden, don't think that's how you spell it, but anyways...) Fokker 50 are a turboprop, which you all know, i'm sure. It's not a big aircraft, it's rather very very very small. Worst tubulence ever...funny sometimes, but not in a prop.


User currently offlineOSL From Norway, joined Dec 1999, 62 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4895 times:

I forgot to tell you that it was a SAS flight and it was my worst flight, and it's my worst plane.



User currently offlineCX flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6811 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4900 times:

I've got to say that one of my most uncomfortable has been a Virgin A340. Very cramped indeed.

I've also flown a CAP10 doing aerobatics. Didn't particularly enjoy it the first time. Ended up vomiting. That was very uncomfortable!

User currently offlineTomindc From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4887 times:

I don't need to think about this one --- it was Aeroflot from Moscow to Samarkand in the former Soviet Union. An old, dirty, vile Tupelov airplane. It was a mob scene trying to get onto the plane. Many seats didn't have working seat belts and the overhead bins were just netting and overpacked. The flight was almost 5 hours if I remember correctly and food --- well one scrawny chicken wing and a glass of water. When I requested a second glass of water it was nyet, nyet, nyet (no, I'm not kidding). The toilets were unclean and had numerous flies.

Then as we began our descent we thought the nightmare was over, but alas we landed and taxied to a terminal and sat. Nothing at all was said, neither in Russian nor English. We had been in Russia for about 5 days so we were beginning to adjust to the alphabet, but the airport sign sure didn't look like Samarkand. And in fact it wasn't, it was Duchambe, an area for which we did not have any travel documents, which were mandatory. We were taken off the plane, still no information, and taken to a hotel. At the hotel we received dinner and then were taken back to the airplane.

After a relatively short flight we landed in Samarkand and were taken to our hotel. There in the hotel was an entire group of French tourists who were sitting in the lobby because their flights out of Samarkand had been cancelled "because the sandstorm had closed the airport". In speaking with them, they wondered how we had gotten there? We told them, by plane, but not directly as was planned. They questioned us as if this couldn't be true since they knew the airport was closed by the sandstorm! Sandstorm, we said?

After the fact, we tried to decipher what in the world had gone on since no information was ever forthcoming from our Intourist guides --- from their perspective, no answers were needed, things just were, that's all. This was in 1981 and we assumed this must have had something to do with troop movements into or out of Afghanistan and the Russians didn't want the French tourists or the American tourists looking over their shoulders......but we'll never really know.

See why I had not trouble deciding on this one?


User currently offlineFlyVirgin744 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1313 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4892 times:

Delta 727 from Atlanta to Denver. No leg room what so ever and I was near the noisy engines in the back.

Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky.
User currently offlineATA757 From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days ago) and read 4881 times:

A CRJ filght from IND-CVG, only 18 minutes, but those things are tiny; maybe it's because i'm 6'2" 250 pounds?!?!?! EMB-145's sound a lot more comfortable!


User currently offlineN4KHGirl From United States of America, joined May 1999, 297 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days ago) and read 4883 times:

Hey yall, the most uncomfortable plane i've flown on was a little old Lear 23, S/N 16, that was soooo crapmed! even worse than any regional! It was as fast as a rocket, but i was so cramped, and boy was i glad to get off of that thing in CMH.


User currently offlineIlyushin96M From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2609 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (16 years 4 months 2 days ago) and read 4876 times:

Mine had to be Aeroflot's IL62 flight SFO-ANC-SVO, in 1993. Russian airliners have the most horribly uncomfortable seat cushions I've ever experienced; I had to constantly shift my position, because there is a bar right at the back of the cushion which chaffes, and the cushion itself is concave. Also, legroom was minimal, and there was no in-flight entertainment. Not an experience I'd care to repeat. Though the food and service were pretty good in and of themselves.

User currently offlinePurdue Cadet From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4861 times:

The worst for me was a United 747-400 on a four hour flight from Honolulu to San Francisco. The service was pretty good - there was a little snack box that you don't see on short red-eyes in the mainland (west coast-Chicago, e.g.). The aircraft, however, was extremely uncomfortable. My legs were pressed against the seat in front of me and I had no personal space. I couldn't imagine being on this plane for one of UA's long US-Asia flights - hat would really be torture!

User currently offlineNWA Man From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1828 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4862 times:

My most uncomfortable flight was a Northwest DC-10-40 from Minneapolis to Boston. I was in seat 26F, in the middle of the 5 seats in 2-5-2, the legroom was weak, the plane was full, and to top it off, my giant roll-on didn't have an overhead bin, so I had to put my feet on it. Other than the lack of space, the flight was good, because of the good sandwich and the strong tailwind!


Create your own luck.
User currently offlineBojicat From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4863 times:

Dude, have you ever flown from YVR-HKG? I have on both a 744 and on an A340. Both flights were going the exact same route, but the A340 took two hours more. Weather conditions on both flights were good, and during the same time of the year. What's with the two extra hours?

As for it being uncomfortable, it's one hell of a crammed plane. Narrow, noisy, just plain uncomfortable. I wouldn't know about the 777 because I've never flown it, so I can't comment nor compare it. And I think Air Canada has a pretty good reputation in terms of service and spaciousness.

User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4848 times:


I cannot say I have flown YVR-HKG.

However, on a east-west route like that, you can never make a fair comparison between the flights unless you have perfectly replicated the weather conditions for both.

I am not saying you are a liar, but your comparison is flawed as weather conditions have the potential to increase hours and any strong wind at altitude is usually a lot more useful that any increase in cruise speed.

To say that the weather was the same is incorrect as merely saying it is good. For example, I've flown MEL-PER with a 40kt headiwnd and conditions were good, great. I've flwon PER-MEL, 2 days later with a 120kt tailwind and it was bloody fantastic, smooth flight all the way. If you can hand me some hard evidence such as a flight plan, then I can believe your claim that the A340 is so much slower and such a terrible plane :-) My point is, saying flight conditions are good is no real answer.

It is not feasable for an A340 to be 2hrs slower than a 747 in 'windless' conditions.

The A340 cruises at M0.82, which is 870kmh. The 744 cruises at M0.85 (If heavy, starts at M0.86 slowing to M0.84) which is 920kmh (I'm being very generous here - do not believe airline magazines, I have lot's of flight plans and some simulator experience to back myself up. Realistically it's about ) Noone flies 744s at M0.92 (985kmh?). Mach number is roughly proportional to ground speed, it doesn't dramatically differ with altitude.

So, the 744 is 50kmh faster than the A340. Agreed - this is windless conditions, it would be stupid to compare a A340 with a 120kt headwind with a B744 with a 120kt tailwind. Agreed?

Seeing the 744 is 50kmh faster than the A340, an A340 would require 17.4hrs to be 1 hr slower. You cannot deny this. Simple math, 870/50 = 17.4. You can test it out, 17.4 x 920 = 16008km. 17.4 x 870 = 15138km. 16008 - 15138 = 870km = 1hr flying.

Any more argument? But let me make it clear that I'm not saying you're a liar (easterly winds can make aircraft supersonic (gspeed wise)) - but this is the reality.

In regards to the A340 being noisy, I cannot relate to that as the A340 according to Airbus and Flight International has the quietest widebody cabin in the skies and Boeing has never challenged that. I can tell you the 747 is quite noisy. Strictly the speaking the A340 should be quieter as it has full length nacelles which is an advantage. CFM56 engines are fairly quiet too.

I don't think the A340 is narrow, it is 5.68M wide and the benefit of the Airbus design is that you cant squeeze an extra row to make it 9 abreast. Like they do 10 abreast with the 777.

Perhaps if you were on an empty flight, things may have been different. But the A340 isn't narrow. A 767 is only 4.8M wide in comparison, for those who feel that the A330 (which shares the same fuselage x section with the A300/310 & 340) is it's real compeditor as opposed to the 777). There are several factors which affect a passengers impression of an aircrafts comfort.

However, I thank you for responding to my challenge and at least you have explained yourself better.



User currently offlineAmir From Syria, joined Dec 1999, 1254 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4836 times:

IL 18 (Interflug) from Berlin to Damascus nonstop! (7 hrs.) back in 1981


User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4829 times:


I have found some great discrepancies in your posts, just looking at the ones in this forum and the one on the 4 Jet Poll page.

You said "even the 767" is faster. Now I take it that's not on the YVR-HKG route as that's probably too long for a 767, but how do you make this.

This shows to me to me a total lack of knowledge of basic flying principles.

To put it in simple terms.

Optimum Cruise Speeds.

B762 & B763 - M0.80
B764 - M0.81

A340 - M0.82

It would be foolish to fly the A340 at a speed below M0.82 as the aircraft would be flying below it's optimum AoA (esp at high weights) so I don't understand your argument, especially when that M0.02 is rougly 20km/h.

Translated, that means the aircraft would have more drag flying at a slower speed, which would mean the engines would need higher N1 settings, which would mean more fuel burnt for no reason.

Again, I put to you, that if that happened, there are 2 possible factors.

1. The aircraft (B767) was being flown extra fast (uncommon as it's not economical and generally not much time can be made up)

2. The weather conditions meant that the A340 was at a disadvantage (winds).

Can you produce METAR reports, etc? I'd like to see that.



User currently offlineNothing stupid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4828 times:

Hi Bojicat,

That explanation made absolutely no sense, firstly, you argued basic laws of aerodynamics, increasing AoA will slow you down, it doesn't cause such a dramatic effect you need to add afterburners, it makes a small difference, and secondly Skystar was talking about set speeds, not comparisons of real life events, rendering the second half of your post irrelevant

just clearing up stuff


User currently offlineNothing stupid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (16 years 4 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

try 25 hrs, i think with 2 stops for fuel, and a 6hr wait for protesters to clear the runway

i think that illustrates how no matter what the aircraft is, or how good the airline, there are some things that no-one has control over


25 David_mx : I flew twice on a Aerolitoral Fairchild Metro III from MTY to MFE (50 min. flight) and it was LOUD and with very small seats I'm an average mexican (5
26 USAir : MD83
27 Bizclass : The most uncomfortable plane I ever flew on was an Air Transrat (actually Transat) 757 from LHR to YVR via Iceland and YYC. This is a charter airline
28 Bojicat : Gosh, you guys must have nothing better to do with your times than to check out my previous posts. A boeing 767-300 (according to the Austrian air/ La
29 Skystar : Bojicat, I only check your posts on this thread and the post on the 4 engine airliner poll page (seeing that I voted there). Now, look at this. You sa
30 Louis : What is this here? Anyways, BOJIcat: ha-ji-ma! Skystar, you're not doing any better. I don't know, I thought this place was somewhere where you could
31 Boeing 777 : Weird. I thought AC A320s and A319s have pretty good legroom . I flew a YEG-YYZ flight on an AC A320 last year in June, on my way to Moncton. No, I wa
32 Skystar : Friends, I participage in many forums, mainly on a more technical nature. This is a blend of everything, air travel tips, technical aviation, etc I ho
33 Pandora : dc-10 is the worst!
34 CPDC10-30 : The worst would have to be an ATR-42 on Canadian Regional. I can remember bumping my head on the storage bin and having no leg room- and I was only 12
35 Viscount : BA 747-100 Y class, JFK-LHR.
36 Panaman : Without a doubt, it would have to be a Virgin Express Boeing 737-300. Talk about terrible! Steve
37 LHMark : I would have to say a Lufthansa (still my favorite airline) 747-200 from IAD to FRA. I'm a tall guy, but Jeez! The coach class seat width and pitch we
38 220389 : My most uncofortable flight was from Port Of Spain Trinidad to Toronto onboard a Canada 3000 Boeing 757-200 ER.The flight is approximately 5.5 hours.
39 Kaitak : I've flown on quite a few cramped aircraft, but somehow the Avro RJ (Cityflyer)stands out. It wasn't just the lack of seat pitch, must have been aroun
40 Alcalde : I have to break this into jets and props. Most uncomfortable jet: F28 from YOW to TOR Most unpleasant jet: L-1011 Most uncomfortable and unpleasant pr
41 Eg777er : my most uncomfortable flight was on Gulf Air A330-200 from Bahrain to heathrow. On the outbound (from LHR- in row 24) it was OK but on the return back
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