Worse Airline Experience?

Dec 8th, 2004, 06:23 PM
  #1  
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Worse Airline Experience?

What's everyone's worst airline experience? Now not just delayed a few hours, etc. Real bad....will be interesting read:

Here's some to kick it off: One was spending the night on the floor of the Raratonaga Airport, Cook Islands waiting for parts and mechanics from New Zealand to fly in and fix our plane.

Another was just bad planning, combined with bad weather made a trip home from Spain 24 hours. Still drunk on sherry at 4am drove from Jiminez to Jerez (note: the drivers weren't drunk lol) dodging cows in the road. Flew to Madrid, flew to Paris, (Air France of course)....flew to DC, t-storms rerouted us to Philly (all wine and beer consumed on plane but we still had sherry...many new friends Go to take off from Philly t-storms rolls through there too...ugggg, made it to DC some hours later.

Interested to hear others experiences.
Happy Travels.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 01:43 AM
  #2  
 
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I am a terrified flier - so any trip after which I am alive is a great experience.
gail is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 03:02 AM
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I was flying a small carrier, Lynx Air, to Grand Turk from Fort Lauderdale. They had one weekly flight to Grand Turk, and one return, on a Saturday, and there are no other international airlines servicing Grand Turk.

We got to Grand Turk with no problems. On the return, we believed our plane was leaving at 3 p.m. Our tickets said that, their website said it, the ticket office said it when we called to confirm our flights, and we even sent a confirmatory fax. We arrived at the airport around 1:30, but there was no one at the counter, no one about. When we called their offices in Ft. Lauderdale, they were closed for the weekend. We found out the flight came and went at 12:30 p.m.

With no one to tell us what to do, and with no other flights back to the U.S. from Grand Turk for a full week, we re-arranged our travel on less than 24 hours' notice: bought a commuter ticket to Providenciales for the next morning, and a one-way ticket on AA to Miami (ouch! -- $$$$). Once in Miami, we tried to re-book our internal USAirways flights, and the only way we could get home and salvage some of our itinerary was to get to FLL. No one in MIA could tell us how to get to FLL from MIA via public transportation, so we rented a car and drove (later learning there is a $3 train...).

Our little misadventure cost us $1,500 extra. To their credit, Lynx refunded the full price of the Grand Turk tickets.
Callaloo is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 03:59 AM
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This does not sound so bad, but it was a nightmare for me. It was a Jan.2 in Ft. Lauderdale airport. We are leaving a vacation in Fl and husband drops me and two small kids at Delta and he must fly American for business to TX. I am flying to VA. I walk into airport and there is a line about 2 miles long. We stand in line for 5 hours. No food, no bathroom. I have all the suitcases (about 6) since I was flying home. The kids were total troupers. All to find out we are on a plane in two weeks!! What happened to the flight today? I asked. It has been cancelled. So, I tell her to rent me a car and I drive across Florida to my parents in Naples and I spend a couple of days there. My dad takes me to the airport and we get US air to take us home two days later. It was a trek! My kids were only about 5 and 6 at the time. I was lucky to have family there. I could have stayed in a hotel, but it was comforting to be able to go someplace. It was such a long day for all of us. I literally felt stranded.
girlonthego is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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Although it turned out to be much ado about nothing, and I was young and brazen enough to think it was more of an adventure, I was unloaded from an airplane for a bomb threat. I was traveling with my college chamer choir on my first trip abroad. JFK received an anonymous bomb threat about a Delta aircraft departing for Berlin. I doubt it's relavent, but this was within a year of the German unification. Apparently at the time there were 3 daily flights between JFK and Tegel. One was already in the air, ours was on the runway getting ready for takeoff, and the other was scheduled for a much later departure. We turned back to the terminal and were there for about 4 hours while things got checked out. Most of the adults, both in our group and the rest of the flight, were pretty nervous, so our choir gave an impromptu performance that seemed to take folks off edge. We were running out of repertoire after two hours, but folks kept insisting, so we broke into CHristmas songs and common hymns like Amazing Grace and everyone in the waiting area joined in, too. One of those silver lining moments, really.

Of course now, post 9-11, I would be one of those very nervous adults!
ejcrowe is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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Gosh have I got a few of those, ummmm, which to choose,,,,,,

Ok I was on a Delta flight from Houston, to LGA via New Orleans, as we started to roll down the runway the pilot shut everything off and we came to a screeching halt at the end of the runway. The pilot came on the intercom and said that one of the engines had flared out and we were throwing fuel out of the engine, (He was chuckling as he said that), so we're going to turn around and try it again.

Ok so we take off, and are coming down over New Orleans and I hear the landing gear go down and I hear it go down again,,,,and I hear it go down again, and I hear it go down again, we're now about 500 feet or so from the ground and the jets come on and up we go.

First an aborted take off then an aborted landing.

I know that the grear is now out of commission and that the aborted landing has put the gear so that it will not go back up without maintaince on the plane.

The flight attendent says people can get off the plane while it is being cleaned and that the plane will be taking off shortly.

Oh ya right, so I go out to the gate and ask "What happened to the gear?" (nicely and quitely I might add), next thing I know I am being wisked off to a hotel with vouchers for food and lodging for the night and being upgraded to first class for the flight out in the morning.

I get back to the airport in the morning and see some of the same people from the flight, still in the airport. The flight was finally cancelled about 3 am and most of the people slept in the airport.

In my travels, have done 5 aborted landings and 3 aborted takeoffs, and had 1 (that I know of) near misses, in a 747, looked out the window and saw another 747 right off the wingtip at our alltitiude wiz by.

Ok this isn't really with an airline, but it's funny. I used to live right on the water on Staten Island, and one day was in the kitchen and heard a very funny sound outside. I looked out the window and all I could see was a HUGE "D". It was the Goodyear Blimp. It landed in our backyard, on the water's edge, because of fog. I opened the window and the pilot yelled "Where are we", and I said Staten Island, he yelled back a couple of "oh cjklxxxx"s. They stayed there for a couple of hours and as the fog lifted so did the blimp.
wantsomesun is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 12:55 PM
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Our first trip with my wife since our son was born 12 months ago.
Flying to Aruba from Cincinnati with a Layover in Atlanta.
Plane from Cincinnati to Atlanta was delayed about ˝ hour due to weather. We only had about 50 minutes to make our connection in Atlanta before the delay. We finally get to Atlanta and the flight crew reassured us that the gate agents knew we were coming and they would wait till we got there. We finally pulled into the Terminal (B) and were told that our connection was Terminal (E) at the very end of the terminal, too.
We get to the gate and see our plane docked with the skywalk attached but the door was closed to the skywalk. We were 5 minutes late and pleaded the crew to let us on. The rudest Delta agent I have ever dealt with told us we couldn’t get on. I sat there and pleaded with her for 10 minutes while I watched the plane not move. My wife is in tears; she had a broken toe and had to run from one side of Atlanta Hartsfield to the other.
So after watching our plane for 10 minutes they told us there was nothing they could do except give us a name of a hotel. No discount, no apology, nothing! Atlanta only has 1 flight out a day to Aruba. The weather the morning looked worse than it did when we were delayed. We opted to fly to Miami to spend the night and fly to Aruba the next day because the weather looked better there.
Get to Miami and guess what? No luggage.
Spend hours on the phone and in the Miami airport tracking down our luggage. No luck. Delta blames American and visa versa.
The next morning we fly out to Aruba. We finally get there but no luggage. I go to the help desk and ask the attendant where our bags are. Doesn’t know. Asked when they arrive if he could deliver them to our hotel. Sure I will he says.
That day, no luggage. The next day, no luggage. 3 days of a 4 day vacation goes by with one of those days in airports in Miami and no luggage. The last night of our trip, the luggage shows up at the hotel. We were departing the next morning back to Cincinnati.
amurphy1 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:16 PM
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Callallo,
Wow unfortunate story. The only thing I could suggest is to call morning or or day before flight to reconfirm....with region carriers one never knows. I just returned from Bonaire and used Bonairexel, while its a good local airline it doesn't always run on schedule...for us it ran late and usually runs late, but I had called that morning to find out thus no extra waiting around the airport. Lessons learned, good input. Thanks.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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girlonthego,
I find your story hard to fathom. Firstly, who checks in for a flight 5 hours early? And if you were truly in line for 5 hours I certainly would have asked some questions! As for bathroom or food, leave someone in line even if its a kid and go get it! If a flight is cancelled the airline has the responsibility of getting you home, REASONABLY....not two weeks later, most likely the next day. Sorry story is too bizarre and all my dealing with many airlines over the decades would not happen.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:23 PM
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ejcrowe,
Bummer that kind of stuff happens, hope it never happens again.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:34 PM
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amurphy1,
Must have been one anal gate agent not to take action given you still had access to the plane. First off they have to get you from point A to point B and have to reaccomodate you should hiccups happen. However, weather related delays they do not have to accomodate in the form of hotels, food, etc but do have to get you to your final destination....therefore, it would be an extremely bad choice on the part of that Delta crew to leave you while you could still get on the plane and fill empty seats. I just find that so bizarre, but beleivable! I don't usually fly Delta, only because UA and AA serve my area better for foreign carrier. But have had a few experiences with AA where they've not only held the plane but met us in customs and whirling us through....one instance I was a bit pissed....thinking we've missed this flight and I'd really prefer to stay the night in San Juan but they came through! dirty bastards lol just kidding....really an excellent airline.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:35 PM
  #12  
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Or a foreign carrier!
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 02:45 PM
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Don't know what I was thinking....another bad one forgot to mention. Had a flight to Europe leaving Dulles, we boarded around 5:30pm....t-storms rolled in and we sat on the plane at the gate till 1am till we finally took off. T-storms were one after another, they didn't let anyone off the plane at the gate nor serve any food or drink during that time because they never knew when they'd have a window of opportunity to take off (which would be short)and to reload a jumbo jet just not a quick thing....passengers understood and patiently waited, nice mix and mingle in the meantime...surprised no one got testy at all. We finally took off and 15 hours later landed at our destination.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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Well Traveler, it was 5 hours. I was about an hour early for flight. There were no flights going out on delta and no other airline would honor an eticket. They said I could stay in a hotel (days inn) at the airport for about 5 or 6 days. The next flight they could put us on was something like 6 days later. It was nuts! Delta was having a slow down or something. During the time on line, they were announcing some of the flights that were actually taking off. I guess I kept hoping one of them would be ours. People were actually renting vans together and driving to maryland, new york, etc.. It was a bad scene. You strand about 500 people and no other carrier wants you either. I rented a car and drove across the state to leave out of Ft. Meyers. I left two days later.
Anyway it was a long day for us. Maybe not bad like some stories, but nevertheless bad. This happened about four years ago.
girlonthego is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 08:09 PM
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girlonthego,
Just what might have caused many people to stand in lines so long and resort to renting vehichles approx 4 years ago? I think you might be missing a large piece of my puzzle fitting this scenario together. Might you have been stranded from 9/11? If not, it or the rippling effects you're nuts.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2004, 02:04 AM
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Re: those Grand Turk flights: we DID confirm the times the day before; that's what made it so galling! Nevertheless, we had trip insurance cover some of our expenses, and the airline did right by us when we returned. I might even fly them again...
Callaloo is offline  
Dec 11th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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It was before 9/11. If delta decides to cancel all but 3 or 4 flights, in a major airport , you can imagine an airport filled with people and no place to go.
This is the last time I am responding to one of your posts. You seem rather hostile and judgemental.
girlonthego is offline  
Dec 11th, 2004, 05:41 AM
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Traveler863, girlonthego has a point. You start a topic and "hold court". Evidence some of your replies:

"You have the absolute wrong mindset for planning a vacation"
"You're a tourist with some strange airline stories"
"To go to the front desk and guard your belongings was a WAY OVER REACTION"

On your Tourist or Traveler thread, mm tries to make this point but you chose to ignore it:

"Traveler863: loves the sense of superiority that a faceless travel board can afford. Willing to try new things unless they clash with one's own image of how things should be. Respectful of other persons as long as they agree with him. Elitist who fancies himself as a Renaissance Man in a world of hicks."

While I think you have pertinent travel experiences to share, you might want to realize that some people are going to be offended by your judgemental statements and tone it down a bit.

At the risk of sounding judgemental myself, please take this in the helpful spirit it was intended.
Maggi is offline  
Dec 11th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Of all these stories, wantsomesun's is the worst! Imagine looking out your plane window and seeing another plane whizzing by your wing! That's my (almost) worst nightmare!

I like the blimp story, especially looking out the window and seeing the giant "D". Too funny.

I have been soooo lucky. Never even an aborted takeoff or landing. Knock wood!
joan is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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girlonthego, maggi,
You are right, I'm a bit judgmental....if its court then you need to OBJECT
Please don't let me get anyones dander up, I'm just a pretty direct person...not one who wants to fight about things but just has an opinion which you may or may not agree with but the best thing to do is disagree should that be the case and I'm very cordial but usually again judgemental in my responses and it goes on and on. That doesn't mean you are wrong, uneducated, untraveled or anything like that. It only means I'm opinionated and an obnoxious old fart
Happy travels.
Traveler863 is offline  

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