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LotsaRunway
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Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:03 pm

After enduring 3 hours pressed against the bulkhead or a CRJ-200 by a very large seat mate who must not have had the chance to shower before the flight, I became curious how often miserable flight experiences occur. Are some airlines, routes, airports just more likely to provide a miserable flying experience?
Maybe a flight has a higher than average delay and/or diversion rate. Maybe they have uncomfortable seats for unrealistically long periods of time, lots of screaming kids or putrid odors onboard, etc.

I also wonder if it's getting worse. I don't remember many really bad experiences 20 years ago, but maybe I'm only remembering what I want.
What are your thoughts and worst experiences?
 
StTim
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:25 pm

In general we have got bigger, seats have got smaller and all flights are non smoking so now the smoke does not obscure "other" body odours and emissions.
 
directorguy
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:34 pm

Sometimes it's not the flight itself that makes the trip 'miserable' but rather the pre-flight experience (commute to airport, check-in, security etc) that makes it terrible. It's all subjective of course.
My worst recent experience was on QR out of CAI-there were security checks getting into the terminal, and an additional security check inside the terminal to get to the actual check in desks. Each one was around 20 minutes and very chaotic. Plus, relatively long lines for check-in. All in all, exactly an hour just to get my boarding pass. The flight to DOH was okay, but then I had to contend with a chaotic transit security experience at DOH. On the DXB leg, we were put in a holding pattern which turned what is thought of as a quick 45-minute hop into double that. Remember feeling very exhausted. My ideal airline on that route is usually MS, which leaves first thing in the morning, and is of course, a nonstop.
My only unpleasant flight in recent memory was VIE-CAI on MS-it was a full 738 (and I don't really like narrowbodies for any 2h+ flight) and some of the passengers were loud, noisy, and intrusive. Plus very indifferent cabin crew. Was actively looking forward to the end of that flight. Ground experience at both ends was good (in fact, I found VIE an absolute pleasure to use).
 
Sightseer
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:10 pm

directorguy wrote:
Sometimes it's not the flight itself that makes the trip 'miserable' but rather the pre-flight experience (commute to airport, check-in, security etc) that makes it terrible.

Fully agree.

I don't know if this is just par for the course at "budget" terminals, but T2 at LIS is probably the worst, most congested terminal I've ever flown out of (this coming from someone whose primary airport is ATL). It's basically just an undersized, overcrowded warehouse with an extreme shortage of seating and space. Fortunately it's only used for departures.
 
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reffado
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:40 pm

Excluding bad pre flight experiences, my worst flight was a JJ GRU-SCL on an A332. I was sitting in the bulkhead, in the first row of Y. There was a crib attached to the bulkhead, which wasn't the bad part. The baby was surprisingly quiet. But the mother... She was a piece of work. Kept being loud and being rude to FAs. She eventually asked the FA to heat up milk for her baby, and while she was doing that, she ran and sat in J. Took a full half hour till the FA came back and asked me where she went, and why she left the baby alone.

My flight became worth it when I saw the reprimand the cabin crew gave her, not only for sitting on a seat she didn't pay for, but for abandoning her newborn in flight.
 
Armodeen
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:46 pm

I've had a few. I did a flight in a Y window seat on an MH B744 (weeks before the A380s arrived) LHR - KUL. Full flight, next to a large Malay gentleman, who pretended not to speak English and literally ignored me totally when I asked to get out to stretch/use the bathroom, no response whatsoever. I had to stand on the seat and step over/around him, as there was no chance I could get past his legs (he wouldn't move), much to amusement of everyone around. When we landed he immediately pulled his phone out and started talking in fluent English :roll:

Also had a horrible flight in a middle seat on an EK 77W (in Y), DXB - MAN overnight. Just really cramped, couldn't wait to get off.
 
Yflyer
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:04 pm

My worst flight that comes to mind was about 2 years ago, on a United A320 IAD-SMF. It was the last leg of a return trip from Europe, and since the flight had been booked as a codeshare through SAS I wasn't able to pre-select my seat and was simply assigned one at check in (I guess I could have called UA and gotten a seat assignment but at the time I thought I'd take my chances. I won't make that mistake again). I ended up in a window seat in the very last row, so no recline. The overhead bins were all full by the time I boarded, so I had to put my backpack under the seat, so I couldn't stretch my legs into that space either. Not to mention those new slimline seats United has on the Airbuses are some of the most uncomfortable I've been in, with horrible seat pitch. So basically I felt like I was crammed into a tiny space for the entire transcon flight with no space in front of me, beside me, or behind me to stretch out. Oh, and I was seated next to two hyperactive unaccompanied teenagers. The only thing that made the flight tolerable was the fact that I was so exhausted from the entire day of travel and corresponding jet lag that I fell asleep for much of the flight in spite of the discomfort.
 
masgniw
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:03 pm

StTim wrote:
In general we have got bigger, seats have got smaller and all flights are non smoking so now the smoke does not obscure "other" body odours and emissions.



This is the first time I've ever heard someone argue the move to all non-smoking cabins has made air travel worse.
 
usflyer123
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:16 pm

YYZ-ATH on AC rouge is terrible. 11 hour flight without any tv or anything to do on the plane and the seats are super cramped.
also NK flights are terrible with the 28 inch chairs(!).
for most people the sky is the limit. for those who love aviation, the sky is home...
 
EIDL
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:21 pm

KL MD11, YUL-AMS where I was between a Quebecois couple who talked and handed stuff over me all flight. They wanted window and aisle and clearly didn't expect someone in between.

Was meant to be a compensatory Y+ 'upgrade' after attempting to refuse me boarding for overbooking on the outbound at that.
 
StTim
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:24 pm

masgniw wrote:
StTim wrote:
In general we have got bigger, seats have got smaller and all flights are non smoking so now the smoke does not obscure "other" body odours and emissions.



This is the first time I've ever heard someone argue the move to all non-smoking cabins has made air travel worse.


There are many many bad things about smoking - and I for one would not want to go back to those days. Remember waking up and you and your clothes stank of smoke. I was just pointing out that smoke, which we were all accustomed to, covered certain other odours which are now more obvious.
 
b747400erf
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:28 pm

The old days of flying with the loud and cramped props has made me appreciate even the worst conditions of airplanes today.
 
AZa346
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:50 pm

DL AMS-PDX... I was in a window seat... Super stressed because i was leaving home For one year and i was sitting next to this fat woman who didnt speak a single word of English. She smelled Like henna and ate her food by hands... And never went to the restroom to wash them... Quite an unforgettable flight
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:57 pm

Air France A340-300 from DTW to CDG. Even though I was in premium-Y, the air conditioning did not work in our cabin alone. J class and Y class were fine. It was AWFUL, and I'm a reasonably tough guy. I wrote to AF asking for compensation and got some canned reply in French.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
masgniw
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:19 pm

StTim wrote:
masgniw wrote:
StTim wrote:
In general we have got bigger, seats have got smaller and all flights are non smoking so now the smoke does not obscure "other" body odours and emissions.



This is the first time I've ever heard someone argue the move to all non-smoking cabins has made air travel worse.


There are many many bad things about smoking - and I for one would not want to go back to those days. Remember waking up and you and your clothes stank of smoke. I was just pointing out that smoke, which we were all accustomed to, covered certain other odours which are now more obvious.


I'll gladly stew in someone else's fart or sweaty armpit before I sit in a cloud of cigarette smoke. They all smell better AND aren't known carcinogens.
 
southsidesilver
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:20 pm

I'm fine in Economy up to say 5 hours, anything longer I try and get business class if I can.

So I've had plenty of long flights in coach, and i'm normally fine, but my worst flight ever.....last December.

United IAD-LAX, even in an economy plus seat the legroom just felt terrible, new uncomfortable seat and the flight took almost 6 hours.

The absolutely low point was the trailer trash woman sitting behind me who had two kids with her, once was about 5 and the other maybe 1, she sat in the middle seat and her 5 year old in the window, who kicked my seat for almost the entire flight. I knew that if i turned around to ask her to control him she would have kicked off as she was real trash.

The highlight was when she decided to change her babies nappy after it had taken a number 2. The cabin then had the worst smell in it ever, she changed it on the tray table and then to top off the experience shoved the used nappy down the back of my seat, where after five minutes the back of my seat became warm.

It was the worst flight I have ever had, and I definitely understand why tray tables have the most germs.
I make videos about my airplane travels.
 
pcash
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:24 pm

A flight on BD from LHR to DAM in an A320 and seated in the very back row on the aisle right by the loos which means on a five hour flight that you have a queue of people standing by you, and jostling you, for much of the flight.
319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 343, 346, 350, 380, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787, BE1, CRJ, D10, DH3, E90, EMB, F27, F100, HS7, L10, M11, M80, S20, SWM, VCV
 
spacecadet
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:27 pm

Probably 10 years ago now (can't believe it's been that long!) I got stuck on an ANA 747-400 that was one of the "D" models that they had converted for long distance use. I think there were two of these; they may have originally been non-D's converted to D and then back again. Anyway, this was an equipment sub for the regular plane, which had gone tech IIRC. It had no IFE of any kind, which on most flights is not a huge deal, but on that one trip I had not brought anything at all with me to do - I normally do but I was trying an experiment of traveling as light as possible, since normally when going to Japan I have more stuff coming back than I can even carry. So no computer, no tablet, not even a book or magazine. And ANA normally had very good IFE even in those days; it was advertised, and I'd never had an ANA flight without it. I'd had flights with the older, non-AVOD system, but not without anything at all. The outbound flight had had the new AVOD system. So I didn't think I needed to worry about bringing my own stuff; I'm fine if I know that ahead of time and can prepare, but I didn't.

So I had 14 hours of basically just staring at the empty seat back in front of me. I read the in-flight magazine cover to cover, and as much of the newspapers they had on board as could hold my interest. Tried to sleep too, but I can't sleep well on planes. I didn't get a good seat either, so I was just jammed into a regular row in the middle; no window, and no room to stretch out. It was the longest, most boring flight I've ever been on. I must have looked at my watch 100 times over the course of that flight, often after only 5-10 minutes had passed. (It felt like longer!)

Another pretty miserable experience was on that same route; this one due to a screaming baby right across the aisle from us through the entire 14 hour flight. I mean seriously; that baby just didn't quit. Never seen anything like that. This isn't really anyone's fault and it was just bad luck for all involved, but my wife and I still talk about that flight years later. The parents did seem to give up after a while, though I don't know what they could have done. The flight attendants also were trying their best; the only brief respite we ever had was when they took the baby on walks around the plane for a few minutes at a time. That seemed to me to be the parents' job, but as I said they seemed to give up and let the flight attendants deal with it. And it didn't really calm him down; it just gave those of us near him a little break. (That was probably the actual point of them doing it.)
I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
 
JamesAlice
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:34 pm

I booked a flight in May with EY from HKG-AUH-MAN in J Class.

Having had really good experiences with them before, preferring their 777 to EK's I was absolutely horrified when an Air Seychelles A330 rolled up at the gate and we were ushered in to it.

Worst J class ever. And the lumbar support in my seat was fully inflated and wouldn't deflate for love no money. F/A's couldn't sort it either. And it was a night flight.
 
CO953
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:52 pm

How about most miserable ARRIVAL experience?

I had it in May, flying a 3-leg trip: American Eagle from LFT to DFW, connecting to American Airlines from DFW to SLC, then back to American Eagle from SLC to LAX. To cut to the chase up front, I have flown AA into LAX plenty, but had never before flown American Eagle into LAX, and I will NEVER AGAIN book that airline combination into that airport. What a primitive, 3rd-world fail of an experience.

Sorry, I've needed to vent on this one.

Fool me wanted to get one more lick in an MD-80, had the opportunity to fly First Class and check out the supposed silent up-front MD ride for the first time, and so chose the 3-leg trip to get the MadDog from DFW-SLC.

Two bags checked in LFT, both "Priority," which supposedly gets some sort of special treatment. Arrive by RJ into DFW with a 65-minute layover. Get to the gate and wait for nearly an extra hour, until a sudden gate change is announced - seems our MadDog has a cracked windshield, so they're pulling a spare MD-80 up to another gate. Oh well, so far so good.

Depart DFW for SLC. Yes, it is pretty quiet up there! Also enjoyed the steep climbout - reminiscent of DC-10s when I was a kid. Smooth flight- great flight. Also, nice quiet flight, without all the IFE in the seat back staring at me.

75-minute layover in SLC, and now it's simply SLC to LAX on a regional jet and home free on short sleep, right? Wrong.

Arrive LAX and ready for home- then the first surprise. We pull up to some unfamiliar gate. I'm disoriented, and figure this is some sort of temporary set-up due to the LAX construction. OK fine, we deplane on a primitive, ziggurat-like steel-pipe-and-wooden-plank apparatus, then into a small crowded terminal - where - surprise - I'm directed into a long line of folks, waiting for a bus, lined up to the right-hand side of a rope. This is my first introduction to the LAX remote gates. OK, no problem. Then the commotion begins. I notice a constant background chaos of people speaking in a lot of different languages trying to walk down the left side of the rope, straight out the door, and being herded back into the line with sign language, turning around and causing a continual pedestrian traffic jam, running head-on into more people not speaking their language trying confusedly to go out the same door. I realize that arriving international passengers are being funneled into the same shuttle line as arriving domestic passengers. Strong stench of kerosene blowing in the doors and permeating the chaotic terminal.

Wait 15 minutes for a shuttle bus and then the real fun begins. CRAMMED into an unventilated, overheated box with a few seats and the rest hang straps and poles to grab. People jostling each other. Unshowered armpits shoved in the face as the chassis sways. Strong body odor of unshowered international travelers permeating the bus. Easily 50 people in there and jabber of every language on earth except the language of the country the airport's in. Young people taking the seats, elderly people standing. Elderly Asian man coughing heavily into my face from 18-inches away with no apology. Driving along the runways getting awesome up-close views of all the big birds. Driver playing chicken with other airport vehicles. Near right-angle collision as a truck runs in front of us and our driver slams on the brakes and we fall against one another. Stench. Wonder about tuberculosis. Realizing that if I had sent my 76-year-old mother on this itinerary she would not have been able to endure this Mr. Toad's Ride from hell ride and would have fallen to the ground.

Arrive at Terminal 6 (American Eagle) and then led across the tarmac to a steep outdoor double flight of stairs. No way my 76-year-old mother could have climbed them, and she's not disabled. Make my way to baggage claim and wait for luggage. 20 minutes later it's there - one of the two bags, that is. Wait another 10 minutes and no 2nd bag and the area clears out. Walk to baggage office with my claim check and the girl tells me her computer system is down but I can file a claim and have my bag delivered. NO, I can't do that, because I have a meeting the next day and need what's in the bag. You mean you can't call Terminal 4 and ask them? "No," she can't call them to ask - but if I'd like, I can exit the terminal and walk down to Terminal 4 and ask them to check in person. So much for Priority luggage. So I have to walk outside, lugging 100 pounds of baggage + carryon - a long way around lots of obstacles due to the cluttered LAX curb arrival setup.

Inquire at Term 4 baggage office - oh- it turns out that one of my "Priority" bags didn't make the flight at DFW, despite the ample layover and Priority tag, and was sent direct from DFW to LAX - on an American AIRLINES flight - not American EAGLE. SO, that means that my two bags were sent to TWO DIFFERENT TERMINALS at LAX, and no system in place to reunify them. But the bag should be arriving soon at the Term 4 carousel. Wait another 15 minutes and the carousel horn finally blows and the PA says that bags can be picked up. Nothing happens. 15 more minutes and multiple announcements later and the carousel finally springs to life. Finally, there's my bag.

Including taxi time, I've been on the ground now for nearly 2 hours. Aggravated. My hip replacement is killing me. Wondering if I have just picked up TB from being shoved into a cattle car into unacceptably close quarters with unscreened passengers fresh off the plane from all corners of the globe with varying rates of vaccination. My elderly mother has been patiently waiting in an off-site lot the entire time. She's tired. I'm tired. Ridiculous arrival for a domestic flight. Bags split between two airlines and two terminals.

I will never, ever fly American Eagle into LAX again. What a wretched, unprofessional travel experience.

Rant off.....
 
tcaeyx
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:35 pm

My worst experience has to be a Dragonair flight I took several years ago, HKG-KTM. It was as if everybody on the plane decided they would not shower in the weeks leading up to the flight. Popped a sleeping pill and slept with the blanket over my head for 5 hours.
 
MisterScott
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:58 pm

I fly DEN to SBA frequently on whatever United regional variant is servicing SBA that day. Every now and then we get the EMB 195's but usually it is some variant of a CRJ. A month ago returning SBA to DEN when rasta man next to me (full flight) who had not showered in days and decided to pull about 15 tubes of prime California sense prior to the flight. I swear, if I had to pee in a cup I would have failed for weeks. Awful flight.
 
MisterScott
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:01 am

The most disappoint flight I ever had was when I did LGA got DFW on AA in a Mad Dog in first. This was years ago and I was sitting next to an AA pilot who was transitioning from Airbus 300 (I believe) to the 777. All I wanted to hear about as we emptied the plane of scotch (delayed for 2 hours at LGA - go figure) was how excited he was to be a pilot. To him it was a job and all he wanted to hear about was my work in oil & gas. So disappointing that it was not a passion for him....
 
Viscount724
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:46 am

usflyer123 wrote:
YYZ-ATH on AC rouge is terrible. 11 hour flight without any tv or anything to do on the plane and the seats are super cramped.
also NK flights are terrible with the 28 inch chairs(!).


Schedule shows 9:40 YYZ-ATH eastbound, not 11 hrs. Block time is 11 hrs westbound. Many people would prefer that nonstop to at least 2 or 3 hours longer with a connection in Europe and more risk of delays, strikes, baggage going astray etc.
 
GregB145
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Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:55 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:05 am

A flight from Freetown to Brussels via Abidjan on SN Brussels was my miserable flight. After 20 months working in SL i was ready to return to the UK. I was booked on their daily run and had been given a J class ticket by the MOD. This is unusual as their lordships are normally parsimonious. However it was reasoned that with the extra baggage allowance required it was cheaper.

First thing to go wrong was on arrival at Lunghi after a flight in a rickety Mi-8 was that there was an all white A-300 sitting there. Next on check in I was told it was all Y class and my baggage entitlement had been culled because of this. Add to that the normal African buffoonery of customs, passport stamping and a heated discussion with the excess luggage staff where I refused to hand over cash for the excess and insisted it would be a card and receipt job only, it was now starting to get irritating. I was informed that there would be a rep from SN-B awaiting me in Brussels with a card machine and it would cost me more. :)

We then boarded and I found that my exceptionally fat seat mate not only smelt like he was clad in decomposing badgers, but he was also trying to stuff a bloody block of frozen fish around the size of a box of A4 paper into the overhead. I discovered this when it started to rain on me inside the aircraft. The FA was helpfull but had to cope with Mr Badger pulling out a UN passport and whinging that he worked for the World Food Programme and that the gently defrosting fish was essential for his trip. Anyway, I removed the fish and took it to the doorway whilst Mr Badger had a typical West African temper tantrum. As a thank you, the nice FA moved my to an exit row seat away from a still loudly whinging Mr Badger. I suppose me telling Mr Badger very impolitely to go and do something was a contributing factor to the move.

Anyway, I settled into my new seat and waited and waited and waited. After about 45 minutes, the Captain announced that we were waiting for the President of SL (Kabbah) to board as he was off for a meeting with el Presidente of Cote d'Ivoire and he was expected anytime soon. Any time soon turned out to be 3 hours later than scheduled and when he finally turned up with his entourage and bodyguard I was told to move by a big gorilla in a badly fitting suit and "Oakey" sunglasses as he wanted the exit seat. Mr Big Gorilla got the same response as Mr Badger had and after a few minutes he disapeared into the rear of the cabin.

Off we eventually trundled, through a very stormy sky to Abidjan. On arrival, you guessed it another delay due to a cake and arse party being held on the pan whilst the two el Presidente's and their entourage talked bollocks. The 1 hour turnaround got longer and longer and again I had concerns about crew hours ending up causing an overnight. Luckily, we finally got moving again just before the cutoff. The rest of the flight was fairly uneventful. Mr Badger was still whinging, Mr Gorilla was still dirty with me and I was getting fairly decent service from the FA's.

On arrival at Brussels, I had missed my connecting flight and had a 5 hour layover whilst they tried to get me on another one to LHR. As for the excess baggage, funnily enough it was never paid.

J class, it was pretty dismal ;)
 
hoons90
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:25 am

Most longhaul Y flights are a pain for me especially because of bloat. Thank God for Gas X.

My LAX-YYZ flight on AC last year was quite miserable, although the staff were fantastic.
It was a red-eye operated by an A321, and the cabin was kept uncomfortably hot throughout the whole flight. Had at least two crying babies near me as well.
I had to show up to work later that day as well. Don't ever plan to take a transcon redeye in the future if I can avoid it.

CLT-SEA on the US A321 was also quite miserable with uncomfortable seats. We were rerouted on this flight from a different one, and the well-intentioned agent offered us to assign us bulkhead seats as recompense, but it turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing because there was absolutely nowhere to stretch my legs.

Although Y class sucks in general, my flights on EK Y (A380 of course) were probably the most comfortable I had in Y.
Flown: 2L 7C 9E 9L AA AB AC AF AY AZ BA BR BX B6 CA CO CP CX DL EK EY JL KE KL LA LH LX MQ NW OZ PD RW SQ TG TP TR TS US WG WN WS XE XJ
 
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afterburner33
Posts: 195
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:36 am

I've not really had any truly terrible flights - I guess the worst would probably be on a hot, cramped, and uncomfortable AC A343 YVR-LHR a few years ago. Having booked the window pair of the 2-4-2 arrangement, we were unpleasantly surprised to be reallocated the middle pair of the centre row. No personal entertainment systems meant it was boring too. And on arrival at LHR, both the air bridge and the luggage conveyor broke.

It was a shame, as normally I would choose an A340 over almost anything else.

That flight was also notable for discovering at check in that AC had reduced their luggage allowance from 32kg to 23kg between us booking and flying, and had not thought to tell us. The check-in agent was somewhat sympathetic, but we still had to pay quite a bit in overweight charges.

On another occasion, being screamed at by an AA gate agent at ORD for doing exactly what her colleague had asked us to do 60 seconds earlier was another lowlight.

But overall I think I've gotten off fairly lightly over the years.
 
Shuttle12T
Posts: 160
Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:34 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:28 am

Earlier this year, a flight that I was looking forward to was my first flight on a Fokker 70 with KLM, FRA-AMS. Started off at FRA T2, cleared security with about 2hrs prior to departure to find one of the worst terminals I've ever been to, a coffee shop, a newsagent and a duty free store with zero view of the outside world. The flight itself was fine until it was announced that poor weather in AMS was restricting arrivals so we would slow down and enter a holding pattern, my original 1hr connection was pretty much halved and whilst I knew missing it would simply result in a rebooking and a few hours wait I really didn't fancy waiting the 4 hours til the next flight. In the end I made the connection but it became a fairly stressful experience.
Don't miss a trip report: https://voyagereport.wordpress.com
 
michaelg90222
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:54 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:06 pm

A couple of weeks ago I had a dreadful Iberia A319 on my Marseille-Madrid flight. Awful 28 inch seat pitch (according to SeatGuru), crammed full, hot - not helped by the air from the overhead panel which wouldn't reach me (no free drinks either to alleviate the hotness), sweaty man next to me.

Luckily it was only a short flight! (trip report coming up :mrgreen: )
 
usflyer123
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 6:21 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 12:30 pm

Shuttle12T wrote:
Earlier this year, a flight that I was looking forward to was my first flight on a Fokker 70 with KLM, FRA-AMS. Started off at FRA T2, cleared security with about 2hrs prior to departure to find one of the worst terminals I've ever been to, a coffee shop, a newsagent and a duty free store with zero view of the outside world. The flight itself was fine until it was announced that poor weather in AMS was restricting arrivals so we would slow down and enter a holding pattern, my original 1hr connection was pretty much halved and whilst I knew missing it would simply result in a rebooking and a few hours wait I really didn't fancy waiting the 4 hours til the next flight. In the end I made the connection but it became a fairly stressful experience.


yes i had a bad experience on FRA also. their terminal 1c is just awful, no stores or duty free shops(only one tiny coffee stand) and you cannot go back to the main termianl after you passed security. i think from 1c goes flights to south america, israel,bulgaria and the middle east.
i wonder if its because of security reasons.
for most people the sky is the limit. for those who love aviation, the sky is home...
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:03 pm

Armodeen wrote:
Malay gentleman, who pretended not to speak English


In case you weren't aware, English is an official language of Malaysia (the other being Bahasa Malaysia) - almost everyone speaks fluent English there.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
Zombus
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 2:33 pm

GregB145 wrote:
the normal African buffoonery of customs, passport stamping and a heated discussion [...] fat seat mate not only smelt like he was clad in decomposing badgers, but he was also trying to stuff a bloody block of frozen fish around the size of a box of A4 paper into the overhead. I discovered this when it started to rain on me [...] a typical West African temper tantrum [...] badly fitting suit and "Oakey" sunglasses [...] cake and arse party being held on the pan whilst the two el Presidente's and their entourage talked bollocks.

Thank you for taking time to write up this hilarious anecdote. It made me laugh out loud - much to the annoyance of colleagues. Oh the wonders of Africa. By contrast, even the most 'miserable' flight in Europe or the US would just be a different shade of mundane.

I personally wouldn't consider an of my flights miserable. Sure, I've had a couple of odd and mildly unpleasurable experiences, but nothing I'd define as 'miserable':
- Seatmate reeking of old sweat on SN, BRU-AGP;
- Seating so cramped that even skinny me had to fold up on a TU 732, BRU-TUN;
- Spoiled and foul reeking porridge/scrambles eggs (couldn't determine) for breakfast on KL MD-11, CCS-AMS.

I guess I like flying too much - I'm willing to suffer a lot if the prize is flying. I mean, whatever may come up (yes even trash ladies putting fouled diapers in seatback pockets), remind yourself of the fact that you're in a pressurized tube, whizzing through the sky, 10 kilometers above earth, at almost the speed of sound. It'll make many things tolerable, if not downright amusing.
306/310/319/320/3323/342356/AN28/AT72/B19/712/722/7323458/7448/752/7634/7723/C172/C208/C402/CR9/
D228/D328/DC9/DH6/E120/E145/E170/E190/F50/F70/F100/MD11/MD83/MD88/R44/RJ85/RJ100
 
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redzeppelin
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Re: Miserable Flights

Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:23 pm

I was booked to fly ORD-MSP-BZN on DL on a summer evening. It was the end of a long, multi-city work trip. I had already endured delays and cancellations earlier in the trip due to weather. Thunderstorms were in the forecast, and we all know the mess that ORD can be when that happens. My meetings in Chicago wrapped up early, and given my rather short layover in MSP and the risk of delays, I went directly to ORD and got on the stand-by list for an earlier flight. I was the last person to be boarded on the 100% full flight, and was seated in the last row of the MD90, on the 3-seat side, against the wall. There is no window at this seat due to the engine pylon. I was very happy to make the flight -- I wanted to get home that night (my scheduled flight ended up with a long delay, and would have stranded me overnight in MSP). But a combination of several factors made this the most uncomfortable flight that I can recall. I was exhausted after the long trip (I don't sleep well in hotels), we were delayed for a long time on the ramp in ORD, hot and stuffy aircraft, it was crowded, I was unable to see out of any window. Like many here, I'm normally excited and happy to take any flight that I can, but a switch flipped that day, and I started to shut down. I got jittery and claustrophobic. I felt nauseous. My head hurt. I started to panic. I wanted out, and it took all of my strength to stay still in the seat. Once we were finally airborne, the engine noise put me to sleep (I usually can't sleep on planes). I woke up somewhere over Wisconsin, and felt much better. But I couldn't wait to get off at MSP. The long wait for my turn to stand up and move was miserable. I had a cold drink at the airport, and my connecting flight to BZN was entirely normal...
 
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boilergo
Posts: 43
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Re: Miserable Flights

Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:18 am

I've jogged my memory as best I can, and I can't really say which of the 3 flights were the worst. I will say that all of them had one thing in common: I was suffering a hangover straight from the fires of hell.

#1- Up all night partying in Pensacola with Navy buddies. Flying home NRSA...got the middle seat on the last row of the MD-90, and of course no APU during the middle of summer. This was the very first flight of the morning on a very unhappy Sunday, and I thought I was actually going to vomit. That was a the longest 1H flight I have ever been on.

#2-Up all night partying in Seattle with former work buddies. Flying home NRSA on the 0500 SEA/DFW...Actually got F class on the 738, but bulkhead row, and being 6'4'' this really didn't do me any favors. I was so tired/hung over that I actually had to set an alarm on my phone /at the gate/ in SEA so that I could wake up to see if my seat had cleared. I sort of remember boarding, and the next thing I know we are hitting the ground at DFW. The headache which I wokeup to was one for the history books. Even better, the No 1 FA told me when we were back in Dallas that I, 1) Ordered about 5 mimosas which I have no recollection of. 2) Ate two full breakfasts which I have no recollection of. and 3) Was apparently "family guy dead" sleeping the rest of the flight, but was very polite in my meal and beverage requests. This would definitely be the worst had I not been in F. Gods know what would have happened if I had been in Y.

#3-Up all night partying with a girl I went to Purdue with. Flying home on a paid ticket, in F. Apparently in my drunken state a couple short hours prior to this trip, I decided that I could do some serious dance moves on a club dance floor requiring the gracefulness of a gazelle, and flexibility of a gymnast. Unfortunately I do not possess either of these abilities, so on top of the hangover, my back and crotch were screaming death. Upon arriving DFW airport, I promptly visited McDonalds. I promptly revisited this meal about halfway to the parking garage at a bathroom in the same terminal. I was so sick I had to have my parents come collect me from the airport, and after a several hour nap on their couch, returned to collect my car and drive home.
 
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fallap
Posts: 1025
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Re: Miserable Flights

Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:38 pm

FRA - JNB SA A346

Was trapped in the window seat for ten hours, as my obese seatmate next to me were sleeping and impossible to get over. Also, I was eighteen at the time and couldn't muster the courage to climb over him.

This is the reason why I always choose a seat by the aisle, when flying for more than three hours.
Ex grease monkey buried head to toe inside an F-16M
Now studying Political Science
 
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readytotaxi
Posts: 7623
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Re: Miserable Flights

Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:12 pm

My business partner took a flight with Air Nigeria, a DC10, way back when from LHR. He had booked a J class seat but he said it was the worst flight of his life, ever. He said the service and food on board was very poor and that a few of the cabin crew appeared to have been drinking. But the over all memory of the flight was the intense smell of stale body odur thoughout the aircraft. So much so that he used the ear plugs from the dismal amenity kit to plug his nose for the rest of the flight. He returned to the UK with another airline.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
Growing older, but not up.
 
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longhauler
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Re: Miserable Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:10 pm

I had an abysmal flight on Westjet a few years ago from BGI-YYZ.

I won't go into details, but I wasn't alone. After 4 1/2 hours of hell, when the safety demo was repeated (it's law in Canada on longer flights) they made the cute announcement "There are sensitive smoke detectors in the washrooms and if you are caught smoking, you will be fined $1000, and if you wanted to pay $1000 for this flight, you would have flown Air Canada". Someone, (I swear it wasn't me) yelled out, "I'd effing pay $1000 to be on Air Canada right now" ... the whole aircraft cheered!

But ... bottom line, the fare, taxes in was $217, Air Canada was about $900 and almost full (or I would have used an employee pass). The flight was on time, the aircraft was clean and I know it was operated safely ... what else do I want for $217. I'd fly them again.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
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novak500
Posts: 182
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Re: Miserable Flights

Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:09 pm

Viscount724 wrote:
usflyer123 wrote:
YYZ-ATH on AC rouge is terrible. 11 hour flight without any tv or anything to do on the plane and the seats are super cramped.
also NK flights are terrible with the 28 inch chairs(!).


Schedule shows 9:40 YYZ-ATH eastbound, not 11 hrs. Block time is 11 hrs westbound. Many people would prefer that nonstop to at least 2 or 3 hours longer with a connection in Europe and more risk of delays, strikes, baggage going astray etc.


For this reason (Viscount724's comments) we picked Rouge for our flight to Lisbon this month. Can't say I'm looking forward to the cramped Rouge expereince but it is direct and that is worth something.
 
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csturdiv
Posts: 1996
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Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:38 am

Recently I suffered a miserable flight, but thankfully I was asleep for much of it....I think. I do not remember much of it, a big block of time is missing from that flight.

In early June I flew SYD-LAX-ORD on AA. A despite being in business class on the SYD-LAX portion, I could not fall asleep on the flight. By the time I got onto the LAX-ORD flight, I was basically in a zombie like state (minus the craving to eat people). The LAX-ORD flight was on a B788 and I was in the first row of the Main Cabin Extra seating, in the middle seat in the middle row. Guy next to me was a larger guy who was kind of occupying some of my space and the other guy next to me was an older guy who laid claim to that arm rest and would not give it up. I was squeezed in between these two in that zombie like state, just feeling miserable. Thankfully I did fall asleep or zone out enough to where I was oblivious to my miserabilty.
An American expat from the ORD area living and working in SYD
 
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PITingres
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:59 am

Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:42 pm

I don't know that it's getting materially worse than years ago. I've had my share of unpleasant experiences but nothing really horrible. I get "the fat guy" next to me maybe one flight out of 9 or 10, which is tolerable given the size of the US population in general. (Oddly enough, I get "the fat girl" very rarely.)

The worst flights I've had were generally due to a combination of weather and ground foolishness. Example: connection in EWR going home to PIT on a Republic Q400 in UA paint, scheduled to leave at 2 PM. We leave the gate at 2:30, drive out to the end of the taxiway, sit for an hour, and return to the gate due to weather. Departure is rescheduled for 4:30, but then the crew times out. (Foolishness #1: this was a surprise to someone?) Rescheduled to 6:30, something dumb happens (I forget what), and now it's 7 PM. Plane loads, we all sit there for 45 minutes, then they announce that Maintenance wants to change out a tire and we have to deboard. Foolishness #2, because this is THE SAME PLANE that has been sitting idle at the gate since 3:30 PM or so, and they just now checked? The tire is changed, taking a good solid 90 minutes, because (more foolishness!) they don't have any decent lights and the gate agent (!!!!) has to go out and hold a flashlight for the mechanic. we finally got away at 10 PM or so, with a planeload of deeply unhappy people.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
Boeing747Girl15
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:31 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Fri Jul 15, 2016 2:40 pm

My friend told me he had a miserable British airways flight. There was this fat man sitting next to him which my friend describes him as smelling of cheese and body odour. Also my friend also said he got trapped in the lavatory of another British airways flight.
 
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VCEflyboy
Posts: 1237
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:30 am

So what's the etiquette if you're sitting next to someone who has unacceptable BO and there are no other seats available?
 
hinckley
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:53 am

Re: Miserable Flights

Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:06 pm

Early-80s . . . EI 742 from DUB to BOS via SNN. I got stuck at the back of the plane in the smoking section . . . middle seat in a 2-5-2 config. When we landed in SNN, the plane went tech and needed a part flown in from LON. Six hours of hanging in the SNN duty free shop with a lot of increasingly drunken passengers. When we finally re-boarded to continue on to BOS, the attendants announced free booze on the remainder of the flight to compensate for the long delay. Oh boy. Middle seat . . . smokers . . . drunks!!!
 
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aerdingus
Posts: 2717
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 8:58 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:43 am

EI flight from BCN - DUB last year. Was dying of a cold and coughing me guts up. Thought I had a free row until two absolutely vile Dublin pax turned up, completely shitfaced, drinking since 11am that morning (the flight was in the evening). They soon passed out and snored for the next two hours while I tried me best not to drive everyone mad while I was hacking away. Never occurred to me to ask for a few glasses of water after I finished my bottle which seemed to sate the coughing. On approach a woman across the aisle gave me a pack of Tic Tacs to help me. Not sure how it helped but was grateful anyway. When the two alcos beside me finally woke up in DUB the female wanted to wait, thankfully her partner copped that I did not want to remain in their company for one second longer and I stormed out of the row past them. Disgusting, Should not have been allowed to board.
A306 A313 A319 A320 A321 A333 A346 A359 ATR42 ATR72 B734 B737 B738 B744 B772 B789 C152 MD80 RJ85 S340
 
ushermittwoch
Posts: 2616
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 10:18 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Sat Jul 23, 2016 3:22 am

Quite honestly, I have not had any really bad flights in ages. The ones that come to mind are from long ago when it was still allowed to smoke on board.
Since basically all flights are non-smoking, I have never had any major issues. Luck maybe. But I am also not the complaining type. ;)
Where have all the tri-jets gone...
 
DesertAir
Posts: 1450
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:34 am

Re: Miserable Flights

Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:22 pm

My only memorable bad flight was on Northwest between Amsterdam and Detroit. It was an old DC-10 with poor air-conditioning, cramped seating, unfriendly FAs and an undercooked breakfast.
 
usflyer123
Posts: 567
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 6:21 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:00 pm

i just flew iberia a320, the flight had a really terrible legroom(im 1.82 meters).
for most people the sky is the limit. for those who love aviation, the sky is home...
 
Luxair747SP
Posts: 648
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 2:24 pm

Re: Miserable Flights

Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:31 pm

The most miserable flight was Vueling some years ago from FCO to AGP. I never experienced such baking hot cabin during boarding. As boarding was rather early, we needed to sit in this heat for a good 30mins before the air/con has been turned on. During these 30mins they sold a lot of drinks from the BoB already.
Ryanair to PMI always is sort of miserable, with half of the cabin already drunk before boarding.
 
RohanDXB
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:26 am

Re: Miserable Flights

Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:20 pm

Most miserable flight for me: red-eye from PEK to DXB while having a bad throat infection (obtained in Beijing). After a certain point, the crew voluntarily started offering me brandy & hot-water at regular intervals.

Thank God I never had to see those people again.

Ro
 
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OzarkD9S
Posts: 5761
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2001 2:31 am

Re: Miserable Flights

Sun Jul 31, 2016 10:45 pm

My worst ever flight was UA HNL-ORD in the 70's. The 747 was overbooked and they brought in a DC-8 as an extra section. My first and last DC-8 flight (no fault to the aircraft itself). An overnight flight we were given a dinner right before we hit some of the worst turbulence I have ever been subject to. People were vomiting all over the place, airsickness bags were full within minutes. I managed to avoid blowing chunks but the entire plane reeked of puke. People were staggering off the plane at ORD, even the flight attendants looked green. Being a kid at the time I was kind of amused by the whole scenario but I can still smell the stench from that poor plane. So glad I didn't have to clean that -8.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream

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