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Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:30 am

Whats the worst experience you have ever had in a airport. I was stuck in GIG for 10 hrs last yr waiting for my UA flight to IAD. What made it so bad and soo boring was that we could not check in until 4 hrs before departure time so we had to sit in the small food court for 6 hrs just sitting there, was not very fun. 
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Aug 31, 2010 1:02 am

In July of 1990 I arrived in La Paz, Bolivia at 6:00AM on my way to Chochabamba. As I walked onto the tarmac my heart began to race due to the extreme altitud. What was to be a one hour wait turned into 10 hours since there was a work stoppage by airport workers. We could not leave the airport, we were all suffering from altitude sickness and were guarded by the Bolivian Army since we were passengers in transit. We did recieve food vouchers.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:19 am

three years ago i was flying from ITM to CDG with a transfer through NRT and LHR (half price of the nonstops).

my flight arrived in NRT at 9am- so i had the choice of the 11am flight or the 12:30pm flight- my travel agent advised me that the 2 layover would be too short so i should take the second flight. my flight landed and i was able too check in for my LHR flight while everyone for the first flight was checking in... had no yen for lunch inside the terminal, and a five hour wait, not fun.

ranking with that was a song flight that my dad and i got bumped off of... the boarding card said our seats would be assinged by the gate agent- and so we asked the gate agent, who gave us the run around untill after boarding had compleated. we went back up to her because she hadnt called our name- as we got to the desk we herd the warning bell on the gate go off- and she said the flight was full. the gate agent then gave us tickets for a delta flight 3 hours later in the next concourse with a connection in SLC- which finally got us to orlando after midnight, 6 hours after we were supposed to get there.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:47 am

In 1994, I was on a Balkan Airlines TU154 bound for Sofia, already delayed by 7 hours. There were no announcements made by the crew and we were, by my estimations, way overdue for descent. As we finally started our descent, we were told that we weren't actually now landing in Sofia but in Varna on the Black Sea - Sofia was apparently fogged out.

We landed in Varna where nobody seemed to speak any English. Ours was the only 'large' aircraft on the tarmac until, as we were deplaning, another TU154 arrived, then a third. We thankfully near the front of an ever growing queue to be 'processed' by immigration after which we were gestured to wait in the arrivals hall. It was mid-January and freezing cold, and the doors of the terminal were locked. There were no shops, restaurants or anything, and I had a raging hangover (as the result of a 7 hour delay earlier in the day) exacerbated by 4 hours on a TU154!

After 1.5 hours, huddled on the floor of the ice cold arrivals hall, we were herded onto a bus and given a coloured card (turned out to be a reboarding card). Still nobody knew what was happening. We were finally taken to a hotel where the first English speaking person we'd seen since we arrived told us we'd be flown back to Sofia the following day.

I suppose it could've been a lot worse, we did at least get put up in a hotel for the night. But locked in that airport (keep in mind that signs of the communist era were still very much obvious) with no indication of what was happening was quite a scary and traumatic experience.

Seems we weren't alone, by the time we got back to the airport with our colour coded boarding cards the following morning, there were no fewer than 8 TU154's and a couple of 737's on the apron. We did finally get to Sofia, 29 hours later than planned!
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:21 pm

Too numerous to mention but my latest bad day at the scareport was in mid July 2009.
I was going to MCO to the Airliners big one and a month earlier picked CO as my carrier.
At that time I could get NW mileage on CO.
I took a Q2000 from FNT to CLE and the flight arrived 15 minutes early around 1055am and
my out bound was scheduled for apx 2 00pm. I have time to kill.....walk,sit, read, eat, have a beer or two, people-watch(my favorite pastime) .
At 1 30pm flight was posted delayed....a new 737-900 ship 433 with a maintenance of some sort.
2 15pm further delay
3 00pm...further delay with announcement at 330
3 35pm xcled....
Next flight to MCO was 7pm.....and me with silver status got a nice center seat on a model 500....ok, it works.
This one was 10 minutes late off the blocks......A good sign!!
Finally blocks at MCO around 9 15pm, a little late but there.........(a little?)

That was my latest nightmare. You might say I spent a week in Cleveland one day.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:04 pm

The worst for me had to be Memorial Day 09. We were trying to non-rev out for a friends wedding in DEN (actually it was closer to Montrose, but easier to get in/out of DEN). All flights out of IAD-DEN were booked solid. Same with IAD-ORD-DEN. Basically any combination of flights you could think of, we couldn't do it. So I checked the day before and BWI had about 15 seats left on it's morning flight. So we booked a hotel room on priceline so we wouldn't have to fight DC rush traffic in the morning. Of course I had to play golf that afternoon and took a bad shot off a hill and injured my back (actually re-injured...I have 2 slipped discs in my lower back due to a work related injury at UA a few years back). So I still had a few pain pills left, no big deal, should be fine. Get up to BWI fine, stay at the Holiday Inn, wake up the next morning and I can barely lift my legs 2 inches of the ground. So I'm shuffling my feet basically through Pier D at BWI, get to the gate, to find out the 6am ORD flight had canceled, so DEN was oversold. I was PISSED. Thankfully we put a standby tag on our bag when we checked in (and the ramp actually payed attention) so we got our bag and drove home (took us 5 1/2 hours due to traffic) all the while my back is killing me...

Ahhh the joys of non rev....
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:05 am

March 03. My mom and I were coming back from a long weekend at Disney, and a snowstorm back home cancelled our flight. We arrived at MCO to check in for what would have been the last flight of the day and as soon as we walked in the terminal we see the notice. The TZ staff we talked to were nice enough but couldn't do anything for us other than rebook us on the first flight in the morning. That part wasn't too big a deal, but we ended up not being able to get a room for the night since, at the time my mom didn't have a credit card (or even a debit card) and she forgot to bring the checkbook that she meant to for emergencies (go figure). We ended up sleeping on the chairs in the atrium. Since we weren't supposed to leave our stuff unattented we had to sleep in shifts, and needless to say it wasn't the most pleasant experience.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Sun Sep 05, 2010 11:54 pm

The worst one for me was my birthday in June 2005. I was traveling around the EU with some friends, and we were booked on a Thomsonfly DSA-IBZ flight. We got to DSA about 2hrs prior to departure at about 1800, it was one of only a couple of flights leaving DSA that evening. We checked in, which took the better part of an hour, the agents were incredibly slow. We waited at the gate, for the remaining hour, and up to this point the flight was still displayed as on-time. It wasn't until half an hour after the scheduled departure time, did an agent come to the gate and say that the flight had been delayed a further hour. Then at the one hour mark, a TOM 737 arrived, everyone got their hopes up but it parked at the next gate over (and was actually RON... a lot of people were frustrated saying 'why can't they use that plane?!). The agent came back and said that the in-bound aircraft had a medical emergency and had to divert to LGW, and would be leaving LGW "within the hour". It wasn't until about 2200 that the agents came back and informed us that the inbound aircraft had gone tech while at LGW and they weren't sure if they were going to repair the plane, or if they were going to send a new aircraft.

By 0000 everyone was getting rather pissy and demanding to know what was going on, all the shops were closed (they were the only source of 'food' at the time). We didn't get the next update from the agents until 0100 when they said that a replacement aircraft was being flown in and would be arriving at 0245. At 0230 they then informed us that it took "longer than expected" to get the aircraft, and that it would now be arriving at 0330. It finally came in at something like 0345. It took about 45min to board the aircraft and we just sat there for another half an hour. We finally got into the air just after 0500 and into IBZ a couple of hours later. The delay caused us problems with our hotel, who thought we were a 'no-show' and had already reallocated our room, so we had to wait until mid-afternoon to get into our room. I guess when we paid £30 one way, we really couldn't complain too much, we essentially got what we paid for, but spending my birthday sat in an airport with nothing to do except play cards, wasn't exactly ideal.

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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:21 am

I don't know how to link the story, but see my account of my trip through JFK in February in the post titled "Is DL that Bad?"
That's the worst I've ever had...
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:24 am

I was once in JFK terminal 3.

Need I say more?

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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:22 am

Cairo December 2007. Domestic flight with AMC down to Luxor as part of a tour group. First we were told that we could purchase water and that we could take it onto the plane. Ha! As soon as people lined up to go through the scanners, bottles of water were confiscated. Opened bottles were emptied into a bucket: full bottles set to one side. Perhaps the bucket of water was used to wash the floors or make coffee in the coffee shop, but the bottled water was taken straight back to the shop to be sold again to other unwitting tourists. This I saw with my own eyes. There is clearly a cosy deal going on between the shopkeeper and security personnel.

The "departure lounge" was simply a large room with insufficient seating. The monitors displayed arrivals but no departures. When a flight was ready to board, a man appeared at the stop of the steps and shouted something unintelligible. No microphones it seems,or at least none that worked.

Eventually our group was called and we made our way to a bus that had formerly been used in the Netherlands (all the signs in the bus were in Dutch, including the instruction not to spit.) and we drove for ten minutes to a remote stand. The bus sat there for a good twenty minutes with the doors shut, during which discussions took place on the tarmac. It seems that we would not be boarded "due to a technical problem" and we drove back to the terminal.

Having officially departed we were not allowed back into the terminal, so we sat for another twenty minutes with the doors shut and the temperatures rising. Eventually the bus driver left and was replaced by a new one starting his shift. We still stood in the bus, tempers rising along with the temperature. Another twenty minutes passed and security relented and we were allowed back into the terminal where we were at least given some fruit juice or water to drink.

Finally we were called again and this time we could actually board. The reason for the delay? In two days time a new tax on fuel was coming into effect and haggling was taking place over what price that AMC would pay.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:37 am

Circa 1997 on 'Caledonian', LGW > SOF SOF > LGW

The outbound flight was on a L1011, that I swear I flew 14 years earlier on my first ever flight with Delta to Atlanta (I recognised the interior and the bits that were falling off 14 years earlier had finally fallen off and never been replaced. I'd be interested to find out if Caledonian ever acquired ex DL Tristars).

On final approach to Sofia we went around and the pilot announced "sorry about that, we selected some flaps and nothing happened, so we're going to try again". Finally landed at Sofia. No baggage belts working so literally had to climb down the baggage belt slope and start throwing bags up myself.

Best mate broke his ankle on 2nd day of skiing.

Return journey (with mate in a plaster cast). Bussed to airport, waited on bus for hours, to then be told the aircraft had just gone tech (funnily enough flaps related). Several hours later we were booked on a BA flight, but on check-in my bag was tagged to Birmingham rather than Gatwick. Enquired why this was and agent told me the flight would do a 'double touch', stopping at Birmingham first, but I wouldn't have to de-plane. So I ask, how does my bag get back on if it's only tagged to Birmingham. Was told I would have to re-check in at Birmingham. Told her she was lying to me, was assured she wasn't. On the flight, all the Caledonian passengers were asked to raise their hands as BA didn't have enough food for the extra PAX, and was handed the most atrocious food 'box' I have ever encountered. Even the fried cockroach was under cooked. Inflight crew knew nothing about an onward trip to Gatwick, we were headed to Birmingham and that was it.

Landed at Birmingham and waited 2 hours to be told a coach would then take us to London. Many, many pissed off people. Wrote letter to Caledonian, expressing my disgust about being lied to. They didn't give a monkeys.

When Caledonian disappeared as a brand I clapped, I laughed and I cheered. Do not lie to us PAX just to make your job easier.

Was a toss up whether this was my worst experience compared to any of my many trips to the US where the first people to greet you regard you with utter contempt.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:33 am

Back in July 2001, I was schedules to fly JMK-ATH-HER with OA;
Upon check-in at JMK at 0530am, it was impossible to have the boarding card for the ATH-HER flight.
As the connecting time at ATH was 2 hours, I did have plenty of time.
When I arrived at the connection desk, the OA agent told me that the flight was cancelled and I was rebooked on the 0200pm flight.
This flight finally left at 0700pm and for those who know the old domestic terminal at ATH, I let you imagine how nice it was to wait in this terminal!!
Flying is amazing!
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Sep 07, 2010 11:57 am

5 hours in CDG en route from HEL to JNB.

CDG should be renamed HELL.

Enough said. I don't want to be banned.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:12 pm

LHR is the worst place on earth.

Enough said.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:13 pm

I think my worst was a trip to Charleston in February on United and we had to go through Chicago from San Diego. Well we pushed back from the gate and found out we would be sitting there for a while until ORD reopened because of a snow storm (Living in San Diego I forget that actual weather exists in other states). After 2 hours we finally took off, eventually we made it to Chicago. We deplaned and we had to go to another terminal (United was nice enough to automatically rebook us for the next available flight). Two problems arose, the first problem was that having never been to ORD airport we had to take a shuttle bus to another terminal which involved walking outside into the freezing weather in jeans and a T shirt. Right as I stepped outside to get on the bus they shut the door and said it was full, the line had followed behind me and we couldn't step back inside. So there i was in the snow with a T shirt on waiting for the next bus haha. Finally we got on the bus to the next terminal. Then we realized that we would be flying on a CRJ and once again have to go outside to board the plane for this fight. Again right as I got to the top of the stairs to board the flight, the line stopped for a good five minutes while some people moved around. I don't think i actually thawed out until we got to Charleston. Not really a bad airport experience but it wasn't very fun.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:32 pm

Quoting jlarsson (Reply 14):
LHR is the worst place on earth.

Enough said.

I have flown through LHR several times and I have never encountered any problems there.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:44 am

Quoting B747forever (Reply 16):
Quoting jlarsson (Reply 14):
LHR is the worst place on earth.

Enough said.

I have flown through LHR several times and I have never encountered any problems there.


I actually like LHR a lot.
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:08 pm

PHL, no contest. The worst was the time when an evening US PVD-PHL arrived about an hour late due to weather. At least 2/3 of the pax were connecting, including myself, so we'll all lined up at the counter trying to redo connections, and out comes a fat b**** supervisor who loudly announced that she was taking all the counter agents away to work another flight that had come in late. When we asked "what about us", she said, and I quote, "I don't care about you. Your flight's not my problem. You're on your own." And left.

Yes, that experience was an outlier, but I've never had a pleasant connection through PHL. The attitude at PHL makes JFK look like happy valley. I haven't been through PHL since, and I haven't been in any rush to fly US since then either.

(CDG is no picnic either, but somehow I've always managed to just barely make my connections there.)
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 08, 2010 6:52 pm

Back in Jan. 2005 I was to fly RDU-ORD-SMF on United. Thanks to a snow storm in Chicago that day, there was a ground stop on flights into ORD. After maybe an hour or two of delays, we were told we would be able to depart soon, so we boarded and pushed back from the gate and started taxiing. Then the captain informed us that the ground stop had been extended, and we were going to have to wait for a while longer. After an hour or so of waiting, with passengers starting to worry about missing their connections, the FA took a poll among the passengers -- should we keep waiting, or cancel the flight and return to the gate? (I thought that was a pretty good way of handeling a "stuck on the tarmac" situation.) As most of us had missed our connecting flights anyway, we were ok with canceling the flight. Back at the gate, the agent rebooked me RDU-IAD-SMF. I had a 7 hour layover at IAD, but hey, at least I was still getting there that day. Man, that was 7 loooong hours. Actually it became 9 hours when the SMF flight was delayed 2 hours due to the crew going to the wrong airport, apparently. The one good thing that happened to me that day is that I ended up sitting in that exit row seat on the A319 with no seat in front of it.

The worst airport I've ever been to (which is what I thought this thread was going to be about), would probably be OAK. My first and only time flying from OAK was in April 2007. I had booked an award flight from there because there was nothing available from SMF. The bus from the BART station was a little beat up, but adequate. Then I went to check in for my flight. The Continental counter was all the way at the end. No real problem there, except to get from there to security I had to squeeze past the crowd of people in front of the TACA counter. You see, the lobby is so narrow and this line so long that it wound all the way through the ropes and was backed up to the front wall, leaving no space for anyone to get by. I got through there and followed the signs to security. I saw a line near the checkpoint that I assumed must be the line for the checkpoint, so I stood in it. After waiting for a while I discovered was not in the security line, I was in the Mexicana check-in line. Their ticket counter was tucked in its own little alcove next to the TSA checkpoint, and when their line gets too long it ends up in front of the checkpoint. (What is it with Latin American airlines and long lines, anyway?) As it turned out, there was barely a line for security and I got through quite quickly. Once airside, it was pretty much an average airport experience, but man, that lobby was poorly laid out.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:16 am

Quoting jlarsson (Reply 14):
LHR is the worst place on earth.

Enough said.

I've never had any problems in the ~10 times I've used LHR, and quite prefer it if I absolutely have to fly into London... LGW on the other hand is another story!


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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Fri Sep 10, 2010 2:13 am

Probably HNL - we diverted their on a red-eye UA flight SYD-SFO and arrived at 4:10am in the morning.

We departed at about 12:30pm the same day. Very bad after having been in the air for so long already. The travellers were mostly too exhausted to be angry at the confusion.   The worst thing is in that UA check-in hall, there was nowhere to sit while waiting for so long - standing the whole time. And the checkin hall wasn't airconditioned - so it was steamy and hot the whole time.

I would have loved it if we could just have been moved to somewhere more comfortable to spend so many hours waiting. Or just if we'd been provided with some basic fold-up seats or something similar.

I'd also have loved it if they'd have remembed to re-assign the exit-row seat to me on the emergency rescue plane as they'd done on the failed flight. But I'd have just settled for somewhere to sit for so many hours.

After that, I no longer fly economy class. I'll always stump up for Business Class, or at the very least, Premium Economy.

[Edited 2010-09-09 19:18:41]
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:56 am

CUN this year. The worst of the worst experience, even the experienced travellers I was with agreed. Three hours in heat to get thru it, off-peak. A total shmozzle best to avoid.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:56 pm

1.Long time ago I had to spend 2 or 3 hours in a glass building in Puerto Rico waiting for our plane to be refuelled - the aircondition wasnt working while it was approx. 40 C inside.

2. Preveza/Greece this year. After watching the first half of the stunning GER-ARG quarter finals gamein a pub I had to rush to the airport to check in. There wasnt a single TV screen in the terminall, and ca. 50% of the pax there were German. After waiting for 45 minutes in a queue (while Germany scored 3 more goals) I got to the counter finally. Guess what they said: "Sorry, your flight is delayed by two hours". The game was over, and for the next two hours there was zero to do in that bloody boring no-frills airport. A small bar with bad sandwiches at prices a shopkeeper in JFK or LHR would be afraid to ask that much for was all. Thank you, Greek idiots!

Quoting jlarsson (Reply 14):
LHR is the worst place on earth.

To be fair that depends on which terminal. The whole layout is a maze and LHR´s terminals are indeed bad for the most part (as is JFK btw though I havent been there since 10 years), and the old termianal where LH planes arrive (next to the so-called "Queen´s Building) is nothing better than third-world standard. Its being redone right know I heard.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 16):
I have flown through LHR several times and I have never encountered any problems there.

I´ve flown through LHR approx. 30 times and apart from the ugly, cramped and lowstandard terminals I had no real problems there either.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 22, 2010 4:43 pm

LaGuardia on a 6 hour delay.
if assumptions could fly, would be the world's busiest airport
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:43 pm

Quoting na (Reply 23):
apart from the ugly, cramped and lowstandard terminals I had no real problems there either.

But one cant really say that about the T5 complex.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:09 pm

My most annoying airport experience was not due to a flight delay. It was at Frankfurt, and it was due to the lack of toilet facilities. I still cannot believe that an international hub of renown - and in Germany yet, which is known for professionalism and efficiency - would have one toilet for each of ten gates. I raced from one toilet to another, finally waited until one was vacant, and nearly fell over from the stench and filth. I am planning a spring trip to Moscow on Lufthansa. I am praying that our tour connects in Munich, which I heard is far superior to Frankfurt.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:26 pm

TWA, L-1011, STL-EWR, December 1990. Blizzard began. We pushed from gate on time at 17H30. De-icing delayed, deiced, could taste the fumes (rear cabin), froze up by the time we got to runway; returned, no gate, 6 hours on aircraft eating the fumes, back on gate 1am, ran out, back on aircraft 1:30, back out, deice (5th time), off at 3am... in the blizzard the rear FAs looked at each other preparing for emergency evacuation - no one believed we would take off OK as wings had iced again. Scared to death, we took off and made it... arrived back home 12 hours late and traumatized and feeling like i had a lunch full of deicing fluid and jet fumes. Today that would be considered illegal, the 6 hours we did on snowdy taxiway ingesting fumes. The STL-LGA flight I was originally scheduled for (727, I wanted L1011) had a 20 minute delay!
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:26 am

By far would have to be a 12 hour delay I had in LHR this past January during the snow storm. I was flying MIA-BOS-LHR-BCN. my BOS-LHR flight was delayed 5 hours but it was not too bad as BOS was not busy and I knew when my flight was going to leave etc.. Just had to re-tag my bags. Landed in LHR thinking my BCN flight was on time so I was rushing through security thinking I might not make my flight. The Board kept saying please wait for hours. Then it said 6:20 then back to please wait. No one knew anything I did not know if I had time to eat, sit down nothing. Also this was T3 which is pretty bad. Finally around 7pm it says go to the gate. I take the long walk to the gate and wait in that area for about 3 hours. Boarding starts on our snow covered 757 around 10:00pm we wait about 90mins to be de-iced sitting on the plane and takeoff at 12:30am. Land in BCN at 2:30am. My total delay was about 14 hours.

Of course I also got stuck in MUC during the Volcano trying to get back to BCN. But I found a bus for 150 euros the day I needed to leave and took a 18 hours bus ride to Barcelona. But at least I knew what was going on. LHR is a mess.
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:27 am

Not particularly the airports fault, but rather courtesy of lovely immigration officials and AA...

I first visited Canada in October 2003 for vacation with a friend and hit YYZ, did Niagara, CN Tower etc etc and headed on to YYC for the Rockies experience. Anyway, my sister had a friend in YYZ area, (her photos indicated she was worth looking up...... ) which I did. End result, got on super well with her, her parents (particularly mom ) and her sister and was asked back for xmas. Last minute cheap airfares LON - YYZ at xmas were non existent, so cheapest was AA LHR - BOS - YYZ. The day before I leave I come down with flu and have a real runny nose. Rather than use dozens of kleenex's Im unable to dispose of, I have a couple of good old fashioned foot square hankiechiefs!

Arrive in BOS, and find my flight to YYZ is cancelled, so off I go to the AA desk. They offer I can wait 9 hours for the next one or I can route via LGA. As that will take about 4 hours, I take that option, but I have to go reclaim my bag. Fight my way back to baggage reclaim and find the LHR belt had long since stopped by this time, but fortunately they had put it to one side in a pile - just that I had to remove what felt like hundreds of bags to substantiate the fact and eventually unearth mine, not fun with the flu. I then seem to recall I had to get a bus from one terminal to the other for my LGA flight, and it was one of those high up ones where you have to go up several narrow little stairs up to the driver and in - again not fun with a 20 kgs bag with the flu (surely they would have more suitably designed busses to transfer pax with luggage????). Arrive at the correct terminal, recheck in (with no guaranty my bag would connect in LGA too or if I had to reclaim it) and go through security. Mr TSA buddy things Im a representative from the Axis of Evil, so we go through the motions. He notices the massive bulge in my pocket and asks what I have in there without even waiting for a reply and dives straight in there. I got a lot of satisfaction from the electric shock reaction speed withdrawal as his hand closed around my drenched snot rag!!  Off I go, just make my flight, and the only consolation is I get to ride on an ERJ135 which was a new type for me, but disappointed to remember that the only 'food' I would be getting was a bag of pretzels, and there must have been 4 bits in there maybe.

Arrive in LGA, not much time, but head to baggage reclaim, and nothing comes through, I show the baggage tag to the AA CSA dude, but he cant confirm if I have to reclaim or not, just offers me a hopeful it will connect airside to YYZ. I didnt have time to wait any longer to find out and head to my gate, and am pleased to see a Fokker 100, another new type for me. Pretty worn out by this time, I get another 4 mouthwatering pretzels.

I arrive in YYZ 5 hours late, exhausted with the flu, early start incl 1h20 mins on the Piccadilly line from North London to LHR, my aggravating day, and now lack of food too. Fortunately my bag did make it, though it kept me waiting, even after I found out that the CBSA are even worse... I get referred to the Gestapo HQ for questioning as I had just been to Canada 2.5 months previous and they couldnt understand why I have been in LHR, BOS, LGA & YYZ all in one day. So line up forever, I recall theres an Asian gentleman in front of me who seems to have half a farm in his luggage and it seems they have to call in a horticulturist or someone to identify it all... anyway, there are three officers, including a blond who is actually super hot. I was wishing I would get her, then I could do the British accent thing on her. My wish was granted, but what a BEE-ATCH! So I get grilled about my flights. Why did I visit both BOS & NY in a day? Surely up to no good. Produce my itinerary, explain the BOS - YYZ was cancelled, here are my boarding cards, I didnt actually leave the airports in BOS or LGA, I didnt have time to even get a water... then they move on to why Im coming to Canada again. Visiting a new friend I made on my last visit and invited back for xmas holidays. Do you have return tickets, basically asking if Im planning to impregnate her etc etc etc. I was with that hot blond officer for over an hour. She also went through my luggage and unwrapped - yes, ripped open - my nicely wrapped xmas presents!! Went through all the ladies make up stuff I bought for them all in LHR and the Scotch for the old man, needed receipts on it all. Meanwhile, said old man is waiting outside patiently for me for 2 hours, I finally get back to their house around midnight, should have been there for supper...

At least she was well worth the trip....   
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RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:05 pm

March 2008
Place: IAD
Airline: United Airlines

Booked on an itinerary of BUF-IAD-FCO. Flight at BUF is delayed 3 hours due to the RJ flying it being delayed in the morning. Land in IAD and just miss our new connection on the 6:00pm to FRA. So we are rebooked onto the 7:45pm to FRA. We board on-time and sit on the plane for an as the genius guys at UA MX fix the 2 of 3 APU valves that aren't broken, and the flight deck crew decides to switch aircraft so that they wouldn't time out on us (the only real customer service I received during this ordeal). Time is now 9:00pm, spare 767 being pulled to a new gate and catering, bags, cargo being moved. Everyone lines up to get new connections, including myself. Full 767, 2 agents. Not really a huge deal as the new aircraft needed to be uploaded with everything, flight crew had to prep the aircraft. Well, the line took a long time. Aircraft was ready at 10:10pm (nice job by UA ground crew for going so quickly), but the line was still moving slow. At about 10:30pm, one of the two agents logs off of her computer, and starts walking away. You can imagine the reaction that go from an already frustrated and tired crowd. As she walked down the hall, I yelled "Are you going to leave all these people here?", her response was something along the lines of "It doesn't matter to me, my shift is done." I started walking towards her as she walked down the concourse and I said (with the crowd now looking over at me "Are you serious, you are going to leave over 200 people here just because your shift ended, how about some service?!?" She turned around and said "You get service from me when I am on shift, and sir, get back or I am calling the police." I was at the end of my fuse, and my Dad came over and pulled me away. Lucky he did, I would have followed her to the airport doors.

To this date, I never have,a nd I never will fly United Airlines. I may reconsider once the merger is complete, as I did 4 segments on CO in December and it was one of the best airline experiences I had ever had (YYZ-EWR-TPA-MIA-TPA). But until then, no way. I know I shouldn't have followed her, but her attitude got the better of me.

If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.
Posts: 3413
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:22 am

RE: Your Worst Airport Experience....

Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:35 pm

I have been on A-NET for a few years now and noticed a common denominator.....
UNITED AIRLINES is number one in the registered complains here at A-NET.
There have been complaints to almost all carriers on the globe but UA seems to lead the way.
Anyone else notice that over the years?
UAL folks, understand I am NOT picking on you but only making an observation with knowledge gathered
over a long time frame.
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.

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