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What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 12:03 pm

I was just wondering but what was your worst flight ever?.

Mine: I was flying with my dad to Burbank and right after we took off a passenger got really sick so we turned back the captain said we would on the ground for about 20 min. Guess what we were on the ground for over an hour. Pissed

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 12:08 pm

Boy, it's been really sweet for you. I was on a Northwest 744 bound for KIX from DTW. Fucking thing kept on breaking down - or at least the mechanics who had no contract kept the thing on the ground - and it eventually took off 12 hours late. We left DTW when we were supposed to arrive in KIX. Un-fucking believable. The passengers were about ready to riot. They even brought that whale of a plane to the gate and let passengers who had previously boarded leave the aircraft - a MAJOR breach of security - because they were afraid of our wrath.

I wrote a letter to the CEO and threatened to go to the media and they gave me 25,000 frequent flyer miles in addition to the round trip U.S ticket that they gave everyone on that god-forsaken flight.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 12:22 pm

Last December, I was on an American Airlines Fokker 100 from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Oklahoma City. We boarded the plane 30 minutes late, after which time, the pilot announced that there was a problem with the air conditioning, and that there would be a slight delay. After a short while, the pilot announced that the mechanic had gotten his glove stuck in the unit. This took about 15 minutes to extract. After about 20 more minutes in line, we departed. As we climbed out of DFW, the pilot announced that the panel covering the unit that the mechanic was working on had fallen off in flight, and that the plane couldn't be pressurized. We had to make an emergency return to DFW. When we landed, there was not gate available, so we waited about 15 minutes for one to open up. Finally, one did, so we parked. It took around 30 more minutes for the panel to be reattached. Thinking we were ready to go now, the pilot announced that we needed more fuel, for even the short flight had used up more than required. We got more fuel, at which point the pilot announced that some had spilled on the tarmac, and that the DFW fire dept. had to be called out. 30 more minutes elapsed, and then we finally got in the air. We finally arrived in Oklahoma City, 4 hours late. Keep in mind, this is a 35 minute flight and a 2 1/2 hour drive. Obviously, my worst flying experience!

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 12:35 pm

Delays seem to feature in the above responses but my memories of bad flights stem more from the airline involved - namely Philippine Airlines.

I flew with them in 1994 from Brisbane to Manila and return - both flights direct on B747 classics. On the flight there, we were upgraded to business class (which is the first and last time I have ever been upgraded).

The seats were nice and spacious in J class but the aircraft interior was tired and a bit tatty. My seat would not completely fold up so the foot rest just seemed to hang out. We were served fairly nice food but the service was robot-like. In fact, we had to eat so fast because the cabin crew were intent on collecting up all the plates etc as quick as possible.

When we took off from Brisbane, the overhead baggage door above us flew open and then a flight attendant came along and glared at us (as if it was our fault that the door opened - ie that we had been standing up or not in our seats for take off!!)

When landing in Manila some 6.5 hours later, the cabin crew were still cleaning up the galley while we were hurtling down the runway - not once during the landing did they sit down and strap themselves in like most airlines require!

The return journey was delayed by 45 mins, we were in economy and they ran out of dinner by the time they got to our row of seats. It was abysmal.

I would not fly PR ever again and have managed not to do so. I was not sorry to see them collapse in the late 90s and was horrified to see that they are flying again - albeit using A330s into Australia.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 12:42 pm


The airplane and the airline performed wonderfully. But half hour after having some orange juice & cream cheese & bagel at the terminal, my intestinal system DIDN'T perform wonderfully.

And we were #15 to take-off.

(It's amazing how hard you can concentrate on the rivets in the wing just to take your mind off of....uhhhhh.........)
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 1:15 pm

November 5, 1994. AA flight from MIA-DFW. The plane was a DC-10. I was returning with three friends from a cruise. Two of us were from Austin, two others were from Salt Lake City. This was back when AA was really ramping up service at MIA, but they hadn't completely given up the hubs at RDU and MIA.

I had made the reservations 10 months prior to the trip and double checked on our seat assignments right before we left to go on the cruise. I had given my travel agent fits making sure we all had seats together in the middle section on the MIA-DFW leg.

We pull up to MIA in the limo and there must have been 200 people standing in line outside to be checked in by the skycaps. The lines inside the terminal were even worse. It was so crowded there wasn't enough room for everyone on the actual sidewalk, so there some people who were standing in the street. The skycaps were yelling at everyone to get back on the sidewalk and STAY IN LINE! It was mass bedlam, and it was hot and humid.

We finally checkd in. Mary, my friend from AUS, and I already had our return boarding passes, but for some reason David and Lili (the 2 from SLC) did not. So we go to the gate and David and Lili get in line. Mary and I were in 34 C &D. David and Lili finally got to the head of the line and got their boarding passes. Lili ended up in 24E and David ended up in 18E, so we obviuosly were not going to be sitting together. That kind of bummed me out, but at least Mary and I were still going to get to sit together.

The plane (I think it was coming from SJU) finally got to the gate late and the ground crew was trying to make up for lost time, so they were rushing everyone onto the plane. Of course, when Mary and I got to our seats, there were two ladies already sitting in them. We asked to see their boarding passes, and they, too had Seats 34 C & D. And then IT happened. Mary went ballistic.

She's kind of um... assertive, if you know what I mean. So in this LOUD Suzanne Sugarbaker-from-Designing-Women-Voice she yells, "EXCUSE ME! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!", and starts going off on one of the flight attendants. All conversation in the cabin stopped and all eyes were on us. God, I was so embarrassed I just wanted to crawl away and die.

The flight attendant asked us to come and stand at the rear of the plane and they'd get things sorted out. As we walked down the aisle, the other passengers were smiling at her and telling her to relax - these things happen all the time, but Mary just scowled and fumed at them. As I walked behind her, I just shrugged my shoulders, shook my head and rolled my eyes.

At the back of the aircraft, there were about 6 or 7 other people whose seats had also been given away. We all stood there, and Mary was going on and on and on - God I wanted to strangle her! They let everyone else board, and then those of us in the back got to take what was left over. (So much for "assigned seating".) They told us to go back up to row 11.

So we trudge all the way up to the front of the plane, only to find out that our "new" seats were ALSO occupied by other passengers. Well don't you know that set Mary off and she had to start going off on this other group of flight attendants who were near the front. "THIS IS RIDICULOUS!! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!! BLAH BLAH BLAH!" She got about 10 seconds into her tirade and this male flight attendant cut her off and hissed through clenched teeth, MA'AM! Just take the first available seat!"

So Mary yells "FINE!" and with a flip of her hair she stormed nto the first class cabin. I looked at the ceiling and said "Lord, just kill me now." I turned and went back through coach and finally found a vacant seat in 12E. They ended up removing Mary from first class and of the four of us, she was the only one who got an aisle seat. The rest of us were in the dreaded middle seat of the 5 seat middle section.

Finally, everyone was seated and we were ready to go (we thought). We sat and sat and sat some more. It was hot, it was crowded and people were getting irritable.Then the captain came on and said the delay was because they were still loading bags. He explained that AA had recently added a bunch of flights at MIA and there just weren't enough employees to do the job and asked for our patience. (So much for them rushing us onto the plane to try to make up time.)

Finally, we pushed back from the gate and got behind a long line of planes awaiting our turn to take off. We'd taxi a little then stop, taxi a little bit more and stop. Then, all of a sudden, we turned out of the line and went over to the side.

Captain came on again and apologized, but said that not all the paperwork was done and it would need to be completed before we could take off. This took another 25 minutes.

We finally took off and got to DFW about two hours late. I didn't speak to Mary again for a year and a half after that nightmare trip.

And that is the story of my worst flight.

THE END.  Smile


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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 7:48 pm

Mine was in 1978 on an SAS DC-10 bound for Bangkok and Singapore, I was sick from the moment the plane left the ground at Karachi right upto landing in Singapore, it was a nigthmare I was 8 then and really looking forward to the flight more than the trip itself so it turned it to be quite a disappointment, since then I never travel without taking motion sickness pills Sad
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 8:14 pm

Two flights. By co-incidence LHR and SFO involved.

1) BA 747-100 LHR-SFO late 70's. Aircraft went tech. Replacement a/c needed fixing. When fixed LHR was fog-bound. Bussed to hotel in Kensington, arrived at midnight. Took an hour to get a room. Had to get up after 3 hours for bus back to LHR. Sat on plane waiting for fog to clear. Then ATC at SFO screwed up our descent clearance and we had to overshoot. (that was the beat bit actually). Arrived 22 hours late, knackered.

2) Pan Am 747-100 SFO-LHR, 3rd July 1987. Flight heavily overbooked. Total chaos with around 50 angry people wanting seat assignment at the gate. Finally got a seat right at the back by the toilets. Plane was filthy inside and out. No sleep due to constant rattling of interior. Only one meal, no choice of food which tasted disgusting. And I had a full fare economy ticket.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 8:51 pm

HEL-ARN on finnair

no sleep, and the WORST hangover ever, got stuck in the cockpit as the plane was full. and believe that was the last place i wanted to be at the time. Purser offered me some smelly salmon sandwich, which i politely declined and after that batled against throwing up on the instruments for the remainder of the flight..

cheers jetboy
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 8:55 pm

My worst was an AA flight from LIT to DFW one summer a few years ago, using a Fokker 100. I was supposed to connect in DFW to return to DCA, but things got a little complicated.

First, there were thunderstorms in the route between DFW and LIT. The incoming flight was delayed. Then around 1400 (as I recall, but my memory may be off a bit) we boarded, and all seemed fine until takeoff, when the captain stopped it just after starting it. He said he saw something wrong on the instruments and we'd go again. Finally we took off, and all seemed well until we started making a big circle in the sky. Thunderstorms had developed over DFW, and we couldn't proceed.

We circled for about an hour (very boring, I might add), then the captain said there was no way we'd get through anytime soon, so we returned to LIT. About 2 hours later we reboarded, and we thought we were on our way. Well, almost. First, new storms had cropped up and we had to fly past Shreveport, then turn west. Then the storms were still over DFW, so we flew down almost to Houston. Then we started heading back north and I thought everything would be ok. Not quite.

Around 2030 (I think) we were on the outskirts of Ft. Worth, a few miles southwest of downtown, when the captain said we'd have to land at AFW (Alliance) to refuel. He said we didn't take enough fuel on at LIT to make it all the way in. AA has a big maintenance base there.

By then I had long since given up any hope of getting back to DCA by morning, but I thought at least I could get a good night's sleep at a hotel somewhere. But another problem arose - the mechanics at AFW didn't know how to refuel the plane! I was sitting by a window watching them, and they apparently didn't know how to use the equipment. Also, after many flights I knew that they weren't grounding the fueling unit, which with thunderstorms not too far away caused me some serious concern. I thought we might go up like the Hindenberg.

Finally, we got refueled and I thought we'd be at DFW before 2200. Wrong. They had put too much fuel in the plane, making it too heavy to land. We had to sit on an apron for 30 minutes running the engines at high speed to burn it off.

We arrived at DFW around 2220 or so, on the far west side of the airport. It took another 10 minutes to taxi over to the gate, a few more minutes to get parked and get everyone off. It had taken over 8 hours to get there from LIT.

My first priority was to book a flight the next morning for DCA, so I went to the nearest ticket counter. I wasn't surprised to see that there were 200 or more people ahead of me.

But AA, in one of their finest moments, had roving agents working the line, and one asked me where I wanted to go. When I said Washington, she said there would be a special flight to IAD at 2 something, and there were plenty of seats. I went to the AAir TrAAm to get to the other terminal, and thought all would be ok. Guess what? The TrAAm stopped for over 20 minutes due to a power failure.

To end this way-too-long story (I've actually omitted some of the details!), the flight to IAD arrived around 0500, I got home around 0700 after waiting for passenger services to open and give me a taxi voucher. I called in to work to say I wouldn't be coming in, and went to bed.

I know you may not believe this, but it's absolutely true. I got AA to give me 10,000 miles to compensate me for my misery, and I chalked the whole thing up to experience. After all, I had made so many flights with no problems at all I figured I was overdue for some.

The plane was 2CL, which I have learned is currently in storage at TUL. So if you happen to see 2CL there someday, remember that there was a guy on it in seat 12F one night making an 8+ hour flight from LIT to DFW.

As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 10:05 pm

This is not a delaystory, but the worst flight I ever had was when I was on my way home from Mallorca.
The A320 is a nice A/C, but not that day. After T/O my hangover from one weeks constantly drinking came over me. And when we flew over the alps the turbulense started.
That didn't make it better I can tell you.
I don't think I need to write where I spent most of the flight. I was "driving the bus".
When in doubt, flat out!
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 10:18 pm

I have flown about twenty times in my life (i´m 15) and every flight has been a good flight. It has always been a pleasure to be in airplane. Maybe it´s because my flight experiences have been quite small beside yours.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 10:25 pm

I have 2 worst flights, and neither was due to the airline or aircraft. My first, was a flight from Dallas to San Antonio. I was on my way to Basic Training, so being filled with so much uncertainty and fear, it was a horrible flight. Second, I has on a World Airways military Charter from Seattle to Suwon Air Base Korea. The weather at Suwan forced us to land at Kimpo International instead. There, we were on the ground, for over 5 hours, because the pilot didn't speak Korean, and couldn't get us the fuel and a new flight plan we needed for a 6 minute flight Suwon. Plus, in the back of the plane, were I was, the AC was not working, and it was hot as hell back there.

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Oct 26, 2001 10:40 pm

A Delta Express flight from IAD to MCO. We missed our beautiful United B757 because we were coming in late from Frankfurt.
And I was soooo much looking forward to my first UA flight. That was in 1997.
The Delta Express 737-200 didn't offer food, the plane smelled horrible, the seats looked like introduced 30 years ago.
And I was feeling sick by the way.

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 12:11 am

It was from Frisco to L Tahoe with American Eagle, a a/c smaller than a Treotube*and THAT´S SMALL*, up over the mountains and down to Tahoe, about 25 min.
but the updrafts was so strong and this little piggey
wanted down so there was prayirs from all 13 of us....
anyway, we got down but I´ll never been so scared and luckelly I had a Valium in my pocked when I saw the a/c in Frisco Smile/happy/getting dizzy)))) *maybe an SAAB 340??*
Michael/ SE
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:11 am

The worst experience for me was not because of bad service nor getting sick (I never get airsick! Big grin).

It happened on the Thanksgiving weekend in October (Canadian Thankgiving, that is.) of 1998. I was supposed to go to Vancouver from Edmonton. I had tried to book a nonstop CP flight from YEG-YVVR return - and all flights were booked solid even two months in advance!! (Ironically, after AC brought up CP, I now find it far easier to book a nonstop on the YEG-YVR route) This meant having to connect in Calgary - a pain in the ass for me, often because flights between YEG and YYC are delayed half of the time.

The day came, and I had to board a Dash 8 to YYC, not a bad plane in itself, but there was a delay fo about 40 minutes, so when I landed in YYC, I had to run like an Olympic runner on steroids - the flight was just starting to board. I tried to use my Canadian Plus upgrade stickers to go on Business Class, as I was boarding a Fokker F28 - which I had never flown on before and was soon to be my least favorite jet aircraft. Unfortunately, I was politely told that business class was full. The flight was totally full - and I got stuck in an economy class seat which was so small that it was designed more like it was for a nine-year-old kid rather than an adult like me. I'm 5'10", BTW, and the seat pitch was hell! Felt like it was no more than 27"!

Next, the real fun began. The F28 pulled out of the gate and the pilots cranked up the turbofans - the engines didn't exactly roar like a 737 or an A320 would - they actually screamed like giant hair dryers. Holy cow, until that time, I had never been in a plane where the cabin noise was too close to that from outside. The noise changed to a roar after taking off, then resumed its screeching after landing. But it was loud the whole time. There was no freaking way I could hold a conversation with anyone.

To top off the whole experience, the flight was very turbulent after going over Banff and it was violent until about 10-15 minutes prior to landing in YVR(Vancouver). It was so rough that meals and drinks couldn't be served at all - and the seatbelt sign was lit the whole time. Interestingly, I never saw any passengers getting sick, although I'm sure at least a couple were close. I did see quite a few people literally white-knuckled during the whole flight. None of the crew was rude, however. In fact, they were apologetic for not being able to provide the service the passengers wanted.

I felt truly relieved after getting off the F28, and although I did have to fly one of these damned Fokkers back to YYC on the way home and the flight was better, including an upgrade to Business Class, I vowed to avoid all F28 flights completely. I've never had to go on an F28 again anyways, since there was always the option of AirBC or WestJet. Fact is, I'm glad they don't fly F28s into YVR from YEG or YYC anymore.
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DL 117 - STR To ATL

Sat Oct 27, 2001 3:54 am

I Flew Delta from Austin to Stuttgart, Germany in February of 2001, and had a horrible trip. The flight to Stuttgart was not bad, but flight 117 from Stuttgart to Atlanta was horrible.

The largest problem was the length of the flight, 10 and a half hours. The jet was not prepared properly for a flight of this length. The 767 was filthy, and appeared that nobody had attempted to clean it. The seats were very small and uncomfortable. It was very hot aboard the plane, and the flight crew told us there was nothing they could do to make more comfortable.

The jet was not very well stocked for a transoceanic flight. They ran out of every amenity you expect from an airline. They did not have any newspapers left for the people at the back of the plane; the people up front got them. There were no playing cards or magazines available. It was the same way with beverages (no Coke or Sprite), Ice cubes, and meals (no beef dishes when they got to me).

To make matters worse, the flight attendants were not very cooperative or understanding. They were never there when you needed something, and ignored the attendant call button. They were very rude, especially when you asked for something they did not have.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 4:01 am

Worst delay: 20+ hours on a scheduled 1-hour fuelstop (that took slightly longer to repair a major fuelleak that almost crashed us on the first leg).
Those 20+ hours were mostly spent locked up in a waiting room with 3 seats for about 40 people (the natives were worse of, they were left to sit in the open outside the airport building) under armed guard.
Second leg was not the Ty-154 of the first, but an An-24 and was diverted to a grass strip (where airport workers had to lead away the sheep before we could land) because the destination airport had suffered major damage due to flooding rendering the runway inoperable.
The trip continued several hours later in some minivans with wooden benches, a 3 hour ordeal over unpaved roads with potholes deep enough to swallow a wheel.

In all, a 5 hour flight lasted 2 days.

Welcome to Siberia!
I wish I were flying
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 4:46 am

About 10 years ago I was on an Air UK Leisure B737-300 going from London Stansted to Jersey in the Channel Islands. The weather was really crap at Jersey, low cloud, high winds and rain. Nothing else was landing. We cruised around for 30mins and then set down at Southampton where we sat for another 45mins. Then it was announced that there was slight hole in the clouds and off we went to Jersey. By the time we got there it had gone again but our guy thought he'd give it a go.
The engines spooled up and down like yoyos, then I looked out of the window and saw a guy by a greenhouse looking up for what seemed like ages but was only a split second. Then there was loud bang as we hit the runway with enormous force. Some of the overhead bins popped open and some masks came down as well. The deceleration and vibration was incredible as we rolled to the end of the very short runway. My girlfriend (wife now), had her eyes shut firmly and when we got into the terminal she threw up and cried for an hour.
...Apart from that, we had a great time!
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 5:07 am

Out of 50+ flights here's the tops! So take your pick... my favorite is the last one.

July 1987: EWR-LGW Continental (Former PeoplExpress) 747-100
The air conditioner unit above my parent's heads leaking in First Class... Departure delayed 60 minutes as techinicians take the whole overhead thingie apart and scratched their heads... Determined it would stop leaking once in flight and parents forced to sit back somewhere in Economy for takeoff and landing. Passengers behind get dripped on during takeoff.

July 1987: VEN-LHR Alitalia MD-80
Due to a work stoppage by employees, the airplane was fueled up, ready to go, and we sit at the end of the runway for 4 hours while the employees have a sit-in. No food service or support from FA's at the time. Forced to cut stay short by one-day in anticipation of work stoppage due to impending transfer for flight home.

February 1988: TUS-ABQ-MCI Eastern 727-200
Mechanical problem causes flight to ultimately be cancelled. Stuck in Tucson for 8 hours before being reaccomodated on a CO flight through Denver to Newark. No room for standby as we watched 2 flights to Denver leave without us. End up catching red-eye back to Newark. Arrive home next morning as the school bus pulls up to the house.

February 1989: EWR-IAH(-SAN) - (EWR-LAX-SAN) Continental A-300
Mechanical problem with A-300 causes flight cancellation. Douglas DC-10 flight to Los Angeles with the only occasion in my entire life in which I did not get a Window seat. Aisle row of Middle section. Transfer to USAir at LAX was tricky. Arrived too late for rental car company... refused to accomodate us.

February 1990: PHX-EWR Continental 737-300
As soon as aircraft pressurized, head began to throb in pain. Tylenol did nothing. Headache of likes unfelt since lasts for entire flight until we descend through about 10,000 ft. for landing 4 hours later.

August 2001: EWR-IAD - Continental Embraer ERJ-145
ATC and then weather force cancellation of 4:00 PM flight. Airline cancels all remaining DC area flights and can only accomodate in the morning, too late for business meeting. Airline lies about location of bags (had flown to IAD on a different flight since I checked in early) and keeps me at airport to 11PM when they tell me the bag is in IAD. Received no compensation from baggage department. Yelled at by staff, and they called police when I yelled back. Ended up driving. Total time for trip: 17 hours to get to Washington D.C. from Newark, NJ. Nasty unresolved situation with credit card company, Best Western Newark Airport, Travel Agency, and the airline. Only received upgrade coupon as compensation this week in the mail.

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 5:15 am

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:33 am

This was October of 1996. Along with another friend we booked a Western Pacific Mystery Fare. It included hotel and airfare and was very cheap. WestPac told us to pack for 70 degree weather and since we were leaving from Newark we were pretty excited. We arrived at the airport to find out we were going to San Francisco. Neither of us had been there since we were kids so we were both excited.

The flight from Newark to Colorado Springs was uneventufl until it was time to land, we were informed that the airport was closed and we would be diverting to Denver. We landed in Denver and were informed that a bus would take us to Colorado Springs. As it turns out all of WestPac's westbound flights were diverted, I counted about 5 planes. To transport us, they had 3 buses. There was literally a mob of people trying to get on these buses. There were no representatives from the airline and the bus drivers only response when asked about more buses was "he didn't think so, but he didn't know". I managed to get a seat in the floor of the aisle of the bus, my friend got an actual seat when a woman was thrown off the bus for arguing with the driver about when it was going to leave. Upon arrival at Colorado Springs, we joined the mob at the check in desk, everyone was informed no flights would be leaving that night and all of our question about being reaccomodated were met with "I don't know". Finally they gave us hotel vouchers and told us to call the 800 number at 7AM. it was now around 12:45 AM local time. We then went to get a cab outside, we met another couple who were headed to the same hotel. We finally hailed a cab, the driver asked where we were going, when we told him he turned to the people next to us, asked them and told them to get in, telling us, they were a better fare. Finally we got another cab and got to the hotel around 2AM.
We woke up, finally got through to the 800 number and were told that the person who could help us wouldn't be in until 8. We called again, got through, they promised to call us back, we waited until 9, then called back when we realized we were going to miss the first flight out to San Francisco. They told us that they couldn't get us on a flight that day, we even offered to go to another city, but they said no. The only choices we had were to spend one day instead of 3 in San Fran, or spend our trip in Colorado Springs and forfeit the rental car and hotel portion of out trip. (not to mention we weren't packed for the Colorado cold) Fortunately my friend is a good fighter and we settled for this offer, a full refund if we got on the next flight back to Newark, so we raced off to the airport and got on that flight.

Overall it was a free overnight in Colorado Springs, I had about 20 minutes of daytime sightseeing on the way to the airport. We didn't even have time to eat a meal in Colorado except for breakfat at the airport.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:39 am

Manila-Cebu, Philippine Airlines B747-200.
When I entered the plane, it was very packed. After takeoff, I wished to travel on a window seat but as I said, it was packed. I was very uncomfortable in the middle. The plane was very hot and stuffy, and I was sweating like hell. Luckely on the Cebu-Manila sector it was B747-400.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:58 am

Hot breakfast with undercooked egg (I think) on an AC A320 from YYZ-YOW. Upset stomach within 1 hour of landing. Puking soon after in terminal, at my company's offices. Returned to YOW airport for flight home a few hours later....puked again in YOW airport, on YOW-YYZ flight home, in YYZ airport. Puked in car driving home from airport.

At least AC serves hot meals on short 45 minute flights.

Complaint letter to AC was answered with "we've reviewed our kitchens/processes and can't confirm food poisoning...blah, blah, blah". Ya, no kidding. 5000 addl aeroplan points did little to chear me up.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 8:01 am

With Spanair from POP-LGW (767-300)...flew in terrible storms for 4 out of the 9 hours. we were on the trailing edge of a hurricane and the cabin crew were told to take their seats (for 4 hours)! people being thrown madly around in their seats....it sounded like world war 3 had broke out in the galley behind us with most things crashing to the floor....i thought they had to tie stuff down during bad weather....nevermind....total nightmare...put me off flying for a while...of course British Airways got me back on the road to recovery!
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 8:09 am

Flying into CDG with one heck of a cold...Thought my ears would explode.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:41 pm

Alitalia MD80. AMS-FCO. My ears felt like they would explode during landing, sadly chewing gum diddn't help.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sun Oct 28, 2001 1:05 am

This flight p*ssed me off no end...trying to get from seattle to heathrow with American.....
First, got to SEA at around 9:00pm...got on a nightflight from SEA to ORD which left at 11:00pm ish...this leg went OK, except I couldn't sleep on the aircraft, being 6'5" in economy is not that comfortable.
Got to ORD around about 3am some time zone... sat around in ORD at the gate for the 777 flight ORD-LHR.
It was at christmas time, hugely cold outside (-16) so the gate area was really really cold, again couldn't sleep. Hung around really bored till 9am, looking forward to a 777 flight. Anyhow, got to boarding time, me and my friends got to the gate, and at the machine that reads the boarding cards, they said ..'these aren't valid, go to the gate check in area and get new ones.' Ok, did that. Got on the aircraft. The cabin crew come up to us, and say in an angry manner ' you can't sit there! Those are crew rest seats!' She assumed we just decided to sit there. We showed her our boarding cards, and she just said 'Oh, I'll chase this up.' No appologies. Anyhow, got on our way, finished lunch, and then get told that the plane is loosing fuel (I think from engine number 2) so that engine had to be shut down..its not always the nicest feeling while over the atlantic to be told that you are loosing fuel, and 1 engine....so returned on one engine to JFK at somewhere around 10,000 feet with pretty harsh turbulence at that altitude....land at JFK with fire egnines, ambulances and police around the aircraft....eventually get to the gate. Queue for ages to get rebooked, get on a night flight from Newark to LHR. Soo, go get bags, rush to bus....spend 2 1/2 hours through new york rush hour traffic to get to newark, really pissed off and tired by now. Arrive about 1/2 hour before schedules departure at Newark, being told that they would sort everything out at newark for us, on arrival told that they new nothing about us.. By this point had a bit of a go at the AA staff, as the one's I was dealing with had no clue. Eventually got sorted for the next flight after a real test of patience.
That flight left over an hour late...a crappy A300-600 without the increase legroom....so stuck for another night on a crappy aircraft. Arrived home emotionally and physically drained.
I complained to AA about their service. They wrote back discussing my fear at loosing an engine! I didn't say that, and as I GA pilot myself I don't exactly find flying that scary.
Oh well.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sun Oct 28, 2001 7:40 am

Mine was October 2000 SEA-ORD on a UA A319. Now I was excited,as this was my first Airbus flight and all. Anyways,we all board the plane,door was shut & armed . Then the pilot says there is a ground-stop on all ORD-bound flights. So we wait at the gate for 30 minutes. Then they decide that they want to let some people on that were waiting for the later flight. Anyways there goes the empty seat next to me. So we eventaully take off,and I plug in my own headphones that I bought after another UA flight that when I went to put them on they were all nasty & sticky.Anyways the f&^%ing headphone jack got smashed in so the end of mine wouldn't make full contact. The guy next to me was using his and he seemed like an a$$hole anyway. So...we're flying along and then the lady 2 rows up and the other side decides to change her kid's daiper right there on the seat! OHHHH THE SMELLLLLLLL!!!!!!!! Then she had the nerve to try and give the diaper to the f/a who kindly declined due to serving food. Never the less the smell turned my stomach and we had a bumpy approach to ORD and I couldn't wait to get to the terminal toilette. So I'm feeling better and I check the gate assignment for my flight to ROC. The inbound 727 (!!) is late because of the remnants of a hurricane passing thru ATL. So we wait at the gate and this 2 fat loser duchebags start bitching aloud how bad UA is tec,etc,etc. I wanted to knock him out. Anyway,the plane arrives we board and I get seated next to a very nice young lady and we have a great talk all the way home. The other good part was the very nice oriental lady who checked me in at SEA. All in all only the headphone jack was UA's fault.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Sun Oct 28, 2001 7:48 am

Mine was Air Transat Flight 554 from YYZ to MCO on Aug the 18th 2001. I was on a Lockheed L10 11-150 when I saw the young women throwing up a few seats away from me. I can not take it when I see, hear or smell vomit, I would rather see someone get shot. I just wanted the flight to end so I could never see this woman again. There should be a law about people who puke on flights. DONT FLY!!!! I dont mean to sound rude but I just cant take it. I have not been sick since 1988 and I plan to keep it this way. I cant look at that Air Craft the same again after that.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 4:11 am

These are great. Here's mine.

In 1991, I was 19 years old, and traveling from FMN (Farmington, NM) to EVV (Evansville, IN). This was the routing: FMN-ABQ on YV, ABQ-DFW-ATL-EVV on DL. The ATL-EVV portion being on ASA. The return was the same, except the ATL-DFW portion actually made a stop in SAT (San Antonio).

Unbelievably, I had trouble coming and going.

FMN-ABQ on a YV Beech 1900 was uneventful and on time.

ABQ-DFW on a DL727 was delayed one hour on a ground hold at ABQ due to weather in DFW. I only had a one hour connection in DFW for my flight to ATL.

Landed in DFW....conx agent yelled RUN to gate whatever if you're going to ATL on flight so-n-so. I promptly did, about 15 gates away. I raced to the next gate arriving at departure time, to luckily see the DL L1011 still parked at the gate with the door opened. I ran down the jetbridge and plomped into my seat in coach, surprised that the flight only appeared to be about a third full. An hour later as we still sat at the gate, it was explained that the flight was holding for the large number of connecting passengers. We pushed approx. 90 min past sched departure time. No problem I thought, I've got two hours sched ground time in ATL. We got to ATL and held due to traffic congestion. Finally landed, and I had about 10 min until my ASA departure. Unfortunately, there was no widebody gate available for us. So we waited about 45 minutes...in which time I observed dozens of ASA EM2s departing, one of which was certainly my flight to EVV.

Finally deplaned, and was sent to Cust Service, where I was given a meal voucher and told my new flight would depart at 10:00pm. (It was now 4:55pm). Oh well....that flight left on time, and I arrived in EVV around 11:30 or so that night five hours past my sched arrival.


EVV to ATL on an ASA EM2, right on time.

ATL to SAT to DFW on DL MD88 departed ATL right on time.

Arrived in SAT right on time.

Departed SAT right on time.

Gear malfunction shortly after departure, made a "precautionary emergency landing" back at SAT complete with emergency vehicles and all. Taxied to the gate where the captain explained the flight was now cancelled. I was lucky enough to get one of about 20 empty seats on the next DL departure an hour later (a 727) whilst about 100 others got left behind in SAT. Arrived in DFW, missing my scheduled DL flight, and was then put on an AA MD80. Departed DFW on time, and was hoping I would make the last YV flight to FMN from ABQ. (Sched departure 9:45 PM). As crossed over the Sandias into ABQ, the Captain announced due to thunderstorms in ABQ, we would be circling for a while. (i.e. "Goodbye" last flight to FMN).

15 minutes later, the Captain announced we were diverting to ELP for more fuel.

We landed, were on the ground for about 20 min, took off, flew back to ABQ and landed around 11:45. I now needed a hotel voucher...AA said I had to go to DL to get one since I was actually "their passenger". I went to DL, but it was locked up tight.

I called a friend at UNM, she came at got me, snuck me into the girls dorm, where I slept on the floor. We got up at 5:45 am, and she drove me to the airport, where I caught the first YV flight back to FMN.... I arrived, my bags weren't on the baggage claim. GREAT.

I went to the YV counter where they promptly produced them from the back. Apparently my bags had gotten on a nonstop DL flight from ATL to DFW, surpassing the SAT nightmare, and had arrived on orig scheduled flights DFW-ABQ-FMN the evening before.

The End.


RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 4:12 am

WN HOU-TUL 1994, intoxicated man, went crazy, landed at DAL, SWAT met us on board.

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 5:26 am

Mine wasn't only a worst flight, but also a very bad trip in terms of air travel.
Sat. 12/23/00
AA 1537 DTW-ORD:
737-823 N924AA
The flight was supposed to depart at 7:10am. In DTW there was about 2.5 feet of snow on the ground from the past week, but it was a cold, crisp morning around 10 out. We became suspicous when it was ten of 7 and they hadn't towed the plane up the gate. (In DTW, AA only has 2 gates and they keep 8 planes overnight). The make an announcement saying ORD has a ground stop due to weather and they we might we'll be boarding about 7:15. Then they call our family's name to the counter, they upgraded us to first since coach was oversold and my dad is a million-miler on AA. Well, the board us about 7:30, then push back from the gate about 8, get de-iced then taxi out to the notorious "penalty box" at DTW where the capt. shuts down the engines. Then the Capt. says ORD is still under a ground stop and we should be allowed to take-off about 9am. So at 8:55, he starts up, we taxi to the runway and takeoff.
Upon arrival in ORD at 9am instead of 7:30, the weather is bright and sunny, but it had been snowing earlier. Our connection to EGE (Vail) was to have departed at 8:45, but fortunetly it was still sitting at the gate. However we arrived at K15 and had to run over to H15 and the plane was delayed to depart at 9:30am. Releaved to have made the connection, the agent says they held the plane for about 50 connecting passengers since all flights in to ORD were messed up. Once on the plane, people were in our seats, 10ABCD. Apparently, the F/A's told people that there were lots of people who had missed their connections and they could spread out about the cabin. Now 50 people show up to fill the flight, and arguments are breaking out everywhere about people in the wrong seats, not to mention the overhead luggage situation. Finally most people got settled, my dad had to sit 4 rows back, since this one guy was insistant on sitting by his family even though none of them were in their correct seats and none of them were together originally.

757-223 N644AA (plane that hit pentagon)
Now we push back at approx. 9:45 instead of 8:45. Get de-iced, Capt goes to start the port engine but then shuts down. Attempts again....shuts down. Next we are being towed back to the gate. Capt says that the APU isn't supplying enough air for engine start, needs to get a mechanic. Half hour later a mechanic shows up.....Half hour later, Capt says it will be awhile until fixed, F/A's will serve drinks & snacks. About 45 min. later, (11:30) Capt says we are ready to go. Pushback...now have to wait 15 min. for a de-icing crew to show up. Goes to start-up, same thing....not getting enough air from APU. Get towed back into gate, call mechanics again.....15 min. later they arrive. Capt says it will be awhile, lets people off the plane. At about 12:45, they annouce reboarding. At this point the pilot, maintenace, F/A's and ops are in an argument in the jetway. Ops is claiming that EGE doesn't have a start-cart for start-up without the APU. Pilot claims every airport has them. As we are boarding, the co-pilot is at the door talking to everyone. Now maintanance claims that the problem can't be fixed easily and they need to take the plane out of service, but the next available a/c (can only fly 757's into EGE) won't be until 6pm. The pilot is arguing to use a start-cart. Finally, the pilot wins. At 2pm, they hook up a start-cart and are able to start up the engines, we are pushed back and on our way, now over 5 hours late and spending most of that time on the plane. We arrive in EGE at 4:30pm, instead of a scheduled 10:45 am. On the plus side, they later complimented us with 10,000 miles.

Next Sat. on return:12/30/00
Due to the fact of a blizzard on the east coast we call up AA to find out our flight from EGE-ORD has been cancelled, and we now have to drive to DEN. First they say they can't get us out until Sunday, but they were able to get 4 seats on an Sat. afternoon flight, one of the few that wasn't cancelled. In DEN the departure had been delayed an hour. Upon arrival in ORD, an hour late, we find our connecting flight to DTW is delayed 2 hours from 6:30pm to 8:30 pm. We finally got into DTW at 10:30, instead of what was supposed to be 6:30 (EGE-ORD-DTW), but now through DEN and two hours late on top of that.
Now to make matters worse, my suitcase doesn't show up in DTW. The other 3 suitcases and 2 ski bags make it, but not mine. And being home on college break, I had very little in the way of decent clothing in the house. Due to it being late, and the next day new year's eve, they really didn't feel like working too hard to find my luggage. I eventually got my back five days later on 1/03/01 and all the locks & zippers had been busted off. Apparently my bag went DEN-ORD..where it somehow got put on a flight to SLC...once in SLC they didn't know what to do with it so they sent it DFW. Then it spent several days in DFW..before being sent back to DTW.

Thats my trip from hell.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 8:30 am

Worst flight? Hmm..

Flying on a B777-200 from Seoul to Sydney, encountering both heavy turbulence (gotta love it when you ris & fall some ½ a meter!) as well as an intoxicated man! ("But the Japanese kills whales too!!!").
The man was restrained in the rear galley, and guess what, he didn't like it! So he spent most of the last 5-6 hours screaming for help etc.
Guess who was seated on the last? Me! (only good thing, however, was the window seat & the view as we descended along the coast before the right hand turn into Botany Bay for the approach).

Kudos to Korean Air for the way they handled the man & to the Aussie police for the impression the gave when walking opposite us in the jetway (mp5 machine guns DO look lethal from 5 feet away!).
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 8:51 am

Mine was on a Pan Am flight from London to Los Angeles on a Boeing 747 in the summer of 1987. The aircraft left LHR about two and a half hours late, but that was nothing compared to the problems our flight encountered later. Several hours into our flight, one of the passengers had an epileptic seizure, and the pilot announced that we would make an unscheduled landing at the nearest airport. We made an emergency landing in Winnipeg (which did not have regular scheduled Pan Am service) and the epileptic passenger was rushed off the plane. It turned out that the passenger was a citizen of Iran. It being 1987, the Canadian authorities did not want to take the poor Iranian into custody, so instead they had our flight wait while the airport doctors pumped the poor Iranian full of drugs. Two hours later, the Iranian was returned to the aircraft. The Pan Am 747, dwarfing all other aircraft at the Winnipeg airport, taxied out to the runway. While waiting for clearance to depart, the Iranian had a second seizure. The PA 747 returned to the terminal, and the Iranian was rushed off. This time the Canadian authorities felt they had no choice but to keep him. However, Pan Am's crew felt obligated to leave the Iranian's luggage with the Iranian. Therefore, they asked all passengers to disembark and claim their luggage from a carousel. We poor passengers then had to claim our luggage from one carousel and put it on another. What was left over was given to the Iranian. You can imagine the difficulties for three hundred half-asleep passengers. The Iranian wound up "inheriting" an amazing pile of luggage. I would say he wound up with about 30 pieces of unclaimed luggage! This is why I think that Pan Am's crew were idiots. Six hours after our original unscheduled landing in Winnipeg, we departed for Los Angeles. We arrived at 1:30AM rather than 4:00 PM. In Los Angeles, Pan Am staff initially refused to put its connecting passengers up in a hotel, relenting only after an hour of ceaseless complaints a mob of inconvenienced people. Pan Am found a real roach motel for all of us, with a single six-person shuttle van to shuttle seventy people over to the motel. Naturally, I was one of the last to get to the hotel. The next day I took a bus to San Diego rather than fly any more.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 12:17 pm

I was on a 722 flight comming back from flordia. I flew with my sister because she is underaged, so she needed the "kids Program" The Bitch at the gate was sopose to let us on first, for secerity reasons. We got on loast, after the standbys. WE HAD TICKETS 5 MONTHS IN ADVANCE!! We didnt get our seats. we were sopposeto sit together, but the standbys took our seats, so that was rule number 2 broken. It gets worse!!! I was then put next to and emergency exit. well, some lady was bitching to the FA that she wanted a window seat. so I was kicked out of my seat, and put in the middle seat of some family. IT GETS WORSE, BELIVE IT OR NOT!!! the guy behind me that was part of that family had his girlfriend back there, so the whole flight I was getting kicked by here because they were playing footsey. it has yet to stop! The wife laided her seat back all the way, so i could not eat me ceraerial without hitting my head. now then, they were also passing food through me. It got beter though because we hit turbulance, which I like, but then a guy pucked. It was BAD!!!!!!!
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 12:39 pm

>>The Iranian wound up "inheriting" an amazing pile of luggage. I would say he wound up with about 30 pieces of unclaimed luggage!<<


That must have been hilarious when he was given his luggage and he saw all those bags.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 12:49 pm

My worst flight ever?

Wuhan-Guangzhou on a CAAC Antonov 26 turboprop plane in 1989.

Imagine the horrid conditions:

1. NO effective noise insulation--you could hear and feel the turboprop engines during flight.

2. Uncomfortable seats with uneven seat cushioning.

3. Airplane windows that looked like they haven't been cleaned in a couple of years.

4. Turbulence during the flight.

5. The flight lasted 2 hours 15 minutes but it felt like 20 hours.

It's small wonder why I kissed the ground at Guangzhou when the flight ended. I was sick as a dog getting off the plane.  Nuts

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 12:55 pm

Worst flight...

Southwest Airlines: CLE-ONT (with 3 layovers)

Cleveland-Chicago (Midway)-Ohama-Las Vegas-Ontario.

I don't think I ate a bag of peanuts or pretzels for months after that flight. The flight back I had layovers in Phoenix and St. Louis. The plans were packed, the seats were nasty.

Runner Up for Worst Flight...

Northwest Flt# 32. Jun 12, 1997.

This was my first trip to Europe (I went with my High School). DC-10 a/c. I got booked in an E seat which I think is the 3rd seat center. The food SUCKED! and the head phones didn't work for the movie, and when I asked what the problem was I was told it was mechanical! Just what you want to hear on your first international flight! Then, as we were landing in LGW all of a sudden they start to climb against and I got the biggest head rush and thought I was going to hurl all over the place. That first day in London was spent in the toilet bowl.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 12:58 pm

Mine was a combination of flights to create the worst flying experience. during my high school spring break in 1998 within a 9 days i flew, LAX-HKG-BKK-HKG-NRT thus leading up to when problems started. On the flight to Tokyo Narita from Chek Lap Kok on CX504, 747-400(B-HOP) my stomach was feeling aweful!! so i didnt enjoy the ride in the old colors 747-400 nor in the flight deck to much due to the pain. During the few days in Tokyo I started to feel a bit better. then we flew NRT-ORD. By the last 4 hours of the flight the same horrible stomach cramps came back and I felt horrible! we arrived ORD rather early. Flying standby to PHX turned out to make the experience worse! all the flights were jam packed so we waited in ORD from 8AM until 4:30PM and got on a flight to LAX. I get a middle seat on this A319 and my stomach just starts feeling horrible again. I spend the majority in the flight hanging around the bathroom drinking water, begging for the flight to end, and trying not to throw up... amazingly i made it to LAX without vomiting and got a hotel room at the sheraton, after a nice hot shower and a rest i was perfect! lesson of this story, dont eat and drink anything you can get your hands on while in Asia! it will end up kicking your ass afterwards like it did mine!

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Mon Oct 29, 2001 6:30 pm

It was on my first transcontinental SEA-PIT-Reagan National, a red-eye deaprture out of SEA so I'd arrive early and ready to get going at this conference I was attending. This was the first of many trips from home, but this was a complete step into the unknown for me (17 at the time), didn't know anyone I was meeting or anything. Started off after a long day and a barbecue, so already tired. Got stuck on the window (normally I like that) but get hemmed in by a rather large gentleman who as soon as we got airborne passed out and refused to move. But being so worried/excited couldn't sleep at all. Compounding the problem was the lady in front of me who tilted all the way back (my seat wouldn't!) so I spent the flight with her bleached blonde afro in front of my face...
Anyways arrived in DC tired, worn out and miserable, not a great first time.
Second worse was a flight on NW MSP-LGW which really went well until as I was drifting off to sleep an old woman tripped in the aisle and stiff-armed me in the chest. Woke up to an old hag staring me in the face. She had a mole with hair coming out of is and scraggly teeth and bad breath. Tweaked me so bad couldn;t fall asleep for the rest of the trip as we boucned our way across the Atlantic.
Oh well, could have been much worse!
is that a light at the end of the tunnel or just a train?
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Tue Oct 30, 2001 8:00 am

Boy, there have been some bad flights on here!!
23 victor, turn right heading 210, maintain 3000 till established, cleared ILS runwy 24.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 6:01 am

Year 1987. Aeromexico's night flight MEX-ZIH(Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo) on a DC-9-32 was already 2 hours late. When were about to leave the pilot informed that we would need to go first to ACA!!! to drop a crew for a stranded AM DC-8-51 that had come from Montreal. So basically we gave those guys a ride to Acapulco and arrived to Ixtapa at 1:00AM.
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 6:05 pm

Worst flight for me came at the unfortunate age of 8 while traveling alone - soured me on flying forever (I'm still interested in aviation, but mainly from afar). The year was 1980, and I was flying from Newark to SFO on a United DC-10 - I already was afraid of DC-10's after a series of incidents involving the type in the preceding months and years.

Flight took off as normal; first sign of trouble I can recall is a few rows full of people on the opposite (right) side of the aircraft letting out some loud exclamations - I wouldn't call them "screams" but they were definitely loud enough to get my attention from the window seat all the way across the aircraft and ahead several rows. A short time later the captain announced that we had had an engine fire - which had been put out - and that we would be making an emergency landing back at Newark "in about 20 minutes" (I remember his announcement as if it were yesterday).

If this sort of thing hadn't happened until I was older I probably would have been ok, but as young as I was I felt a tremendous wave of panic. I was convinced I was going to die and I had nobody with me to tell me otherwise. I think a few other people felt the same as I did, especially with the climate surrounding the DC-10 at that time, but I do remember a good number of people being pretty calm so I'm sure my fear was overblown. There was a family of three behind me, a woman and two children, and while her children were crying just as I was, she seemed just fine.

The flight attendants kept us all busy with the emergency landing instructions and I remember wondering when things were going to start happening - it was pitch black outside (night time over water) and I couldn't tell how high we were, how fast we were going or whether or not we were descending. The anticipation was probably the worst thing; even though I know now what happened to my plane was not such a big deal, at the time I was convinced we were about to crash and I just wanted it to be over as soon as possible. The flight attendants were actually still going up and down the aisles when I saw the lights of the airport out the window - I think my first reaction was "huh?" It slowly dawned on me that we were actually lined up to land fairly normally. I quit crying, wiped off my tears and just watched as we passed by the dozen or so emergency vehicles lined up to greet us. We landed fine.

Funny thing is the flight after that was probably the *best* I ever had. There was one other child traveling alone on my original flight, and the airline took good care of us - neither of our parents were still at the airport so the airline took us out to eat, bought us chocolate sundaes and then put us in first class on a late flight. We (along with an airline psychologist) were the only people in first class - and back then, first class on UA DC-10's was more like a lounge. Ended up being a really nice flight; I don't even remember any turbulence.

I've been obsessed with this incident ever since - I'm terrible on airplanes now because of it. Actually found the FAA incident report a while back, which simply says "ZK ENGINE SHUT DOWN AFTER COMPRESSOR STALL. MAINTENANCE CHANGED ENGINE." Sounds so simple. I'm sure it was not just a compressor stall; there was a visible fire as well according to both the pilot and those on that side of the a/c. Also found a picture of the plane itself on this site (it's now been scrapped). This is my own personal nemesis:

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Photo © Andy Martin

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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 7:58 pm

I also had an experience which took a further 24 hours of flying to calm me back on subsequent flights.

It was a JMC Air flight from Gran Canaria (LPA) to LGW on a 757-200

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Photo © Jonathan Simmons

We were the last flight to leave the island on route to the UK at 1am, an hour after the previous fligth had gone. The pilot announced to us that on the inbound flight, they had experienced some turbulence for 10 minutes, and expected the same as we passed over the area on the way back.

20 mins after t/o, we began to experience some bumps, and they passed. Then the food was delivered and the real fun beagn. The a/c was thrown about as though it was on a bucking bronco, trays slid onto the floor, people felt sick, and everyone was silent. The pilot announced this would go on for about 20 minutes. 20 minutes passed, trays still on tables, cabin crew sat down, and the turbulence was very severe. The cpatain announced that an aircraft 1 hour north (over portugese airspace) was experiencing the same and so we tried to descend to 26,000, and then up to 38,000 to find some settled air.

After 2 hours, the bumps finally subsided, and I didn't like the experience at all. I have never wanted to get off an a/c so fast in my life!

The pilot updated us every 10 minutes and said that we had experienced 2 hours of SEVERE CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE.

When we landed, they couldnt get the baggage doors open, because everyhting had shifted around, and we waited 1.30 hours for our luggage!!!

Each time I have flown since, I get scared in turbulence!

Im getting better now though!
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RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 9:01 pm

HKG-LHR in March 1994 on B744 BA (City of Norwich). Just about everything went wrong:
1. Flight Time over 15 hours (!!!) in
2. Terrible weather (fasten seat belt sign was on about 9 hours
3. Some completely fucked up sickos (pimps from Manila!!! as one of them introduced himself), that made such a mess in the upper deck toilet, that even the hard-boiled stewardess nearly had screaming fit ( she had her fit allright, but not that loud, as it was a night flight)
4. Broken down entertainment equipment
5. After landing in LHR (on a Sunday morning), it took about 25 minutes to get one (1!!) bloody ladder to the aircraft for about 360 passengers.
6. The captain was nearly in tears from frustration, when he tried to excuse himself and BA by telling us that this is not the way things are done normally at BA.
7. About 2 years later I met a lady on the BA009 service to BKK that could remember that flight as well, as she had a vomiting child in the next seat.
I know it's only VfB but I like it!
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Joined: Wed Nov 08, 2000 10:53 pm

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 9:32 pm

My worst flight is on December 1999 aboard Air India A310-300, SIN-CGK. I took AI because it offered the cheapest fare.

First, the plane was delayed for 1 hour, with no clear reason.

Second, the plane was a mess.....When I boarded, all the lights were switched off, the air inside was hot, the seats were dirty and some of the cabin panels were loose. Well, I got what I paid for I guess......

Third, the flight was full of Indonesian maids, no offence to them though...... (for those who are not familiar, many Indonesians and Filipinos work in Singapore as maids). Most of them have only flown once or twice before. So, they were kinda disoriented, even the one sat next to me did not know how to fasten the seatbelts. The problem with them was they were noisy! As if they were in the open market or such.....After the seat belt sign switched off, most of them stood, went to their friends' seat, gossiping loudly and blocking the aisle.... The F/A tried to organize them, but no luck....after the F/A was out of sight, they started talking loudly again.

Fourth, the food was horrible. The F/As were rude as well.....The one who served me didn't bother to ask about my choice, she just put the tray on the table. Lucky, I got the non-vegetarian food, although it tasted horrible. My friend who sat three rows before me got the vegetarian food, although he's not vegetarian at all.......Then when they served coffee, I asked politely whether I could get tea instead, then the F/A shouted to me!! She told me to be patience and wait until the tea is served......

Thank God it's only 1.5 hrs flight.........
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2001 3:36 am

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 4:59 am

One more from me, not as bad as my UA DC-10 flight but still pretty bad:

Must have been 1978 or 1979 - HUGHES Airways if anybody remembers them (the airline owned by Howard Hughes, later folded into Piedmont). Bright yellow DC-9, although the first look we had of it showed it obviously hadn't been washed in about 6 years. Interior of the plane was a dump, looked like a teenager's first car. About half the lights were out, seats were literally torn up, garbage everywhere. I was young but I still could not believe any plane could actually be in this condition and be allowed to fly (especially in this country). We were seated in or near the last row, just ahead of the engine pylon - I don't know why actually, as there were no reserved seats (like a bus) and I don't remember the plane being full. I remember pointing out to my stepmother that the engine didn't seem to be fastened on properly. Obviously this was not correct or the plane would have eventually crashed, but it was indicative of the lack of maintenance I think, that it even *looked* that way (the aerodynamic metal "apron" of the pylon was not flush with the fuselage; the pylon itself was exposed). It was enough to worry my stepmother through the entire flight.

And a long flight it was. San Francisco to Portland, with four stops in between; seemed like we never actually reached any sort of cruising altitude, just up and down each time. Took us around 7 hours on a trip that should have taken under 2 I believe, and because we were so up and down there was no meal service. The plane did not seem to have any noise insulation at all; I've been on other DC-9's and even back by the engines they're not that loud. We literally could not hold a conversation in that plane, and it was loud throughout the plane, not just where we were.

Felt like flying on one of those third-world prop planes. It was near the end of Hughes' life and they obviously did not have money to maintain their aircraft properly, at least cosmetically. I'm sure my stepmother booked the flight because it was cheap, but sometimes the cheapest flight is *not* the best value!
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
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Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2000 5:26 am

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:25 am

My worst flight was GRU - AMS two weeks ago on KLM. It had nothing to do with the airline or the airplane but I just wanted to stay in Sao Paulo with all the people I got 2 know there!

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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2000 1:44 pm

RE: What Was Yoour Worst Flight Ever?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 5:43 am

4 Yeas ago,we arrive early on Buenos Aires(EZE),final destination Cartagena(Colombia),conection in Bogota,Airline AVIANCA,Airliner 767-200.Thank to the fog,the plane was diverted to to almost 2 or 3 airports,but all closed for the same reason.So finally almost empty of fuel landed at La Rioja.
My flight was schedule for 540 am.EZE reopened around 11 am.My flight in La Rioja.The rempacement crew in EZE,have to flight to La Rioja.
I take my plane 8 30 pm,14 hours later,and obviously lost all kind of conection in Bogota.
My schedule was to arrive in Bogota 2 pm, but I arrived,next day 5 am,24 hours from the moment I arrive at the airport.

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