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Old 06-20-07, 06:39 PM   #1
Bikepacker67
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Flying Sucks

Although, sometimes it sucks more than others...


Anyone want to share their horrair story?
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Old 06-20-07, 07:03 PM   #2
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Yeah- mine are pretty benign compared to these, but annoying as hell anyway.
1. Had a flight from LA to Denver then to Philly (the Denver leg had a 2.5 hour layover, mind you- should have been plenty of time, right?). The LA flight was late leaving becuase of "mechanical problems" with the gateway. Missed the Denver connection (yeah, we sat buckled in for over two hours in LAX- no air, no drinks, no nuttin'). "Customer Service" (I use the term broadly here) representative met us with connections (for the next day, of course) and handed us these useless hotel discount slips to get a room for the night- no more flights to Philly or NY or DC that night. All hotels were booked. So, I hiked to the other terminal in Denver to see what I could do to get at least a little closer to Philly. After waiting 3 (yes, THREE) hours in a line of very angry, sweaty passengers, I got the last seat (a middle, natch) on a flight to Chicago. Got there around 12:30 and spent the night. Now Chicago is one of my very favorite towns, but ORD is not my idea of luxury accommodations. ALL NIGHT LONG they played that stupid, insipid, meaningless, fear-mongering TSA announcement "The Transportation Safety Agency announces that the security level has been raised to..... (drum roll please) Orange." All night long! Anyway, got the first flight to Philly, at 6am, and arrived home in time for a 3-hour meeting at work. Fun, huh?

2. A flight from SF to Seattle to Philly- another missed connection. Got to SFO on time, only to find out that the flight from Seattle to Philly had been CANCELLED! Why? Because it was Alaska cruise season, and the airline (I'll tell ya who in a second) didn't schedule enough equipment (I call them planes, but go figure). Sooooo, I spent the night in SFO (one of the dingiest, most un-user-fdriendly airports in the US, IMO) but with a ticket in hand for an 8:30am direct to Philly, I felt like I had won a consolation prize. Or so I thought. Little did I know that this was the last day of the air traffic controllers' contract, and they had issued a work slowdown. So traffic was like impossible. Finally took off from SFO around 2pm, after no sleep, no food (like I said, SFO is inhospitable), and lots of angry people and crying kids.

The airline in both cases was...... United- I never fly them except these were codeshare flights with US Air (and unlike many people, I have little problems with USAir). I will never fly United again.

Oh, there are other stories- weird irate passengers that get thrown off planes, inconsiderate passengers who throw their seat back on top of you after checking to make sure you're working on a laptop on your tray, and of course, the seat back grabbers who tug at your seat as they make their way down the aisle for the head- always on overnight flights, of course. And one last one- the guy who's throughly enjoying (shall we say) his porno DVD collection in the seat across the aisle, invariably within a little kid's viewing range.

Oh yes, we love air travel. Just love it to pieces! (And I actually do love to fly- just not commercial so much anymore- crowded skies, the TSA, and crappy "equipment" have really taken the fun out of it.)
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Old 06-20-07, 07:10 PM   #3
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A Turkish Airlines F28 flight from Ankara to Istanbul was at a cruising altitude of some 12000 feet when the front door blew open. The captain had his seatbelt off and was sucked out the door. The copilot had his belt fastened and brought the craft to a safe landing. A few days later a shepard found the captains' body. I got this from the Ankara English language paper while I was working in Turkey.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:12 PM   #4
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US Air got mad at me cause I sat at an aisle seat, when I was under 15. Luckilly we always fly American so, seeya US air.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
A Turkish Airlines F28 flight from Ankara to Istanbul was at a cruising altitude of some 12000 feet when the front door blew open. The captain had his seatbelt off and was sucked out the door. The copilot had his belt fastened and brought the craft to a safe landing. A few days later a shepard found the captains' body. I got this from the Ankara English language paper while I was working in Turkey.

Holllly crap! I actually like the Fokkers- now I'm not so sure
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Old 06-20-07, 07:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ123
US Air got mad at me cause I sat at an aisle seat, when I was under 15. Luckilly we always fly American so, seeya US air.

And American's seats have more leg room.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:23 PM   #7
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My last job in Vermont was refininishing jet airplane parts
for a number of different engines. Thats pretty scary to me.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:28 PM   #8
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I was on Aloha Airlines flight 243 traveling from Hilo to Honolulu in 1988. The roof of the plane ripped open and I saw a flight attendant get sucked through the hole. This is what the plane looked like when we landed:



I was pretty shaken up. I refused to fly home from Maui to Honolulu - my parents ended up chartering a boat to get me home. I didn't fly for a few years but I have no problems getting on a plane anymore.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:33 PM   #9
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An elderly lady boards a red eye carrying two large shopping bags, which she sets down in front of her. A Co-worker of ours then notices something moving in one of the bags but thinks nothing of it. The lights are dimmed, people are falling asleep, and then there are screams and shrieks from all over the cabin. Then he hears the flutter of wings coming and going, along with more screams. There were two birds in the shopping bags and they were flying back and forth, lightly touching the tops of the passengers heads. They were yelling and screaming like a scene out of Airplane The Movie.
+++
I'm on a flight to Detroit, the plane's on taxi and all of a sudden we hear shouting in the back of the cabin.
"Ladies please sit down immediately! I'm an Air Marshall and you need to sit down!" Well, there were these two innocent Asian women who were making their way to the bathroom. We look and see an 80 year old man who said he was the Air Marshal. We look at each other and say "That's an Air Marshall???!!!"

Then we hear another voice, "I'm the real Air Marshall and everyone better sit down now!!!" The Fake Air marshall was escorted off the plane at Detroit by Cops in full riot gear.

+++

An old lady checks her dog into baggage in a container. This airline had a rash of animals dying in the Cargo Hold due to lack of O2 and as they unloaded the baggage they noticed her dog was dead. Not wanting to have another claim on their hands, they run out and buy another of the same type of dog.

Lady faints when she picks up her baggage and the dog. She was transporting the dog to bury him at her destination.
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Old 06-20-07, 07:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBLover
And American's seats have more leg room.
Yeah that's pretty true. I was in the CRJ a few weeks ago going to Pittsburgh, and damn I was cooped in there. This one guy next to me was pretty big, and he had his elbow on the armrest the whole time. I was practiclly along the window the whole time just staring out the window, with no slouching room.
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Old 06-20-07, 08:06 PM   #11
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No real horror stories - a few garden variety late flights, one or two misdirected luggage tales, nothing major. For me, it has never been an accute horror story so much as a chronic comfort issue. Of course, being 6'3" and 285 on a coach budget will do that.

My comfort issues have less to do with leg room (although that's bad enough) as it has to do with the lack of shoulder room. I'll pretty much do anything up to and including begging to get an aisle seat, and just deal with the fact that I am going to whacked by pretty much every passing person and at least twice by the beverage cart.
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Old 06-20-07, 08:29 PM   #12
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Yes flying does suck. With todays cheap seats the bus crowd is flying now. I average 100 flights per year and I hate it. I enjoy riding in a cab much more than flying.
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Old 06-20-07, 08:35 PM   #13
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More of a minor inconvience, but kind of cool none the less. I was returning from a youth trip from the D.R. Our plane got delayed 8 hrs. at the D.R. airport (nothing to do there). We finally got a flight to Miami, they put us in the downtown Miami Raddison for the night because we of course missed our flight, then instead of flying directly to Detroit, we had to fly to Houston and Dallas airports before getting to Detroit again.
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Old 06-20-07, 08:57 PM   #14
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I remember that!
Damn... What a story!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
I was on Aloha Airlines flight 243 traveling from Hilo to Honolulu in 1988. The roof of the plane ripped open and I saw a flight attendant get sucked through the hole. This is what the plane looked like when we landed:



I was pretty shaken up. I refused to fly home from Maui to Honolulu - my parents ended up chartering a boat to get me home. I didn't fly for a few years but I have no problems getting on a plane anymore.
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Old 06-20-07, 09:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenng
With todays cheap seats the bus crowd is flying now.
The bus crowd, eh?
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Old 06-20-07, 09:00 PM   #16
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All I can say is that if they tried to keep me on the jetway for 7 hours, I'd open the door and jump off. Seriously, I wouldn't take that kind of crap.

I just wish someone would make a hassle free airline. If they did, people would be highly willing to pay more, and it would make competition, causing everyone to raise the bar for service. Sucks, but ****ty service is a fact of life with every airline I've ever been on. That is why I drive unless I absolutely have to fly.
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Old 06-20-07, 09:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
I was on Aloha Airlines flight 243 traveling from Hilo to Honolulu in 1988. The roof of the plane ripped open and I saw a flight attendant get sucked through the hole. This is what the plane looked like when we landed:



I was pretty shaken up. I refused to fly home from Maui to Honolulu - my parents ended up chartering a boat to get me home. I didn't fly for a few years but I have no problems getting on a plane anymore.
You were on that!?
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Old 06-20-07, 09:25 PM   #18
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I actually do this for a living, can I play? All I ask is that you do not shoot, lynch, torture, burn at the stake, apply thumbscrews, send to the rack, and/or strap into an electric chair the flight crew. The crew is doomed to the same fate of being stuck in a small aluminum tube with the passengers and, like the passengers, is subject to the same mushroom treatment of being kept in the dark and fed crap. It wasn't the vision I had of the job when I signed up.

My worst to date started in Cabo, Mexico. It sounds far more glamerous that it is. We fly to DFW, dodge a few thunderstorms, and land. We are supposed to take a different jet to Mexico City. It is delayed due to thunderstorms. Go figure. A couple hours pass and our jet shows up.

We load up and fly to Mexico City. The ground folks there are frantic to get us turned to fly back to DFW. We rapidly get the jet loaded it when the load planners tell us we are overweight due to the decreased performance of a high altitude airport like Mexico City and we are carrying fuel for an alternate airport. So, they take 4 unhappy people off the jet. Now, they have to pull the bags of the four passngers from the three cargo bins. This takes a while. In the middle of this mayhem, the airport authority tells us they want the gate and we have to move. The bag searching stops and we commence to be towed to another location. The bag searching resumes and the bags are pulled. We taxi out and execute the longest takeoff roll I have ever seen in 20+ years of flying.

So far, so good. Until we get near DFW and are vectored off the arrival. No problem. Then we are instructed to hold. This is a problem. We don't have the fuel to hold. We can do a lot of things with the jet but flying without fuel is not one of them.

We divert to Oklahoma City landing at 11pm on a Sunday night. I have a public education so doing math in public is not my strong suit but I do manage to figure out we have been working for 15 hours. FAA rules says we can work 16 hours and there is no way in hell we will be back at DFW with the throttles off in 16 horus which means we are finished, kaput, stick a fork in me because I'm done.

Combine this with the fact that the Customs and Immigration people don't seem to work on Sunday nights in OKC and we seem to have a problem because we can't get off the jet. I liked the call from Ops about 1am asking us about the 911 call. A passenger called 911 and said he was being held hostage. Nobody would have been happier than me if the SWAT team had actually shown up but the SWAT team was also sleeping.

To make a long story painfully shorter, we eventually make it to DFW about 415am after another crew flew up from DFW to fly us home. I think we started out on the jet in Mexico City somewhere in the neighborhood of 8pm. Our day started in Cabo around 7am and I still had to drive over an hour to get home.
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Old 06-20-07, 09:26 PM   #19
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Sprocket Man, that's horrifying.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenerife_disaster
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Old 06-20-07, 09:47 PM   #20
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I saw a man in a 2 propeller engine who couldn't get his landing gear all the way down circle the airport till he got the perfect descent and then went down. Minute he tcouehd the ground his landing gear crumpled naturally because it wasn't able to go all the way down so it couldn't lock. Thankfully he managed to land it and kill the engine such that aside from a few sparks everybody was in great condition .
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Old 06-20-07, 09:48 PM   #21
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When I was going to Pittsburgh, I was staring out the window for like 90% of the time. Well all of a sudden, I saw this 757 for maybe 1 second below us, and I saw the contrail come out and it was very very cool cause it was so close. Maybe 500 feet below at most. The contrail lasted about 2 seconds before all disappeared (sure was huge), but when I first saw the 757 it looked like it was heading straight at me!
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Old 06-20-07, 09:57 PM   #22
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we saw some b-52 bombers fly past us when i flew up to seattle.
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Old 06-20-07, 10:02 PM   #23
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Oh, and I took this at Oshkosh.
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Old 06-20-07, 10:04 PM   #24
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I was going to junior olympics. My flight was delayed about 14 hours. We ended up taking off right when the registration for my strongest event was closing.

That sucked.
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Old 06-20-07, 10:11 PM   #25
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I have a training thing for work near LA on Friday. The company would have flown me for free, but I chose to drive a car I hate for ~12 hours (round trip) instead. I really have no desire to board a commercial airliner in this day and age, nor support the airline industry in any way.

To be honest, I kind of wish the government hadn't bailed out the airlines after they pulled their "Oh boo hoo we had to close for two days now we don't have any moneys please help!" schtick in 2001.
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