These people have not had the best luck with airplane rides and are sharing their complaints from all of the challenges of traveling.
The Worst Turbulence Of His Life!
“I’m not fond of flying, to begin with, and this was my nightmare fuel for months after. On a trip from Portland OR, to Las Vegas in December of 2005, the pilot comes on the radio about 15 min after take-off and tells us we’re about to hit a really rough patch of turbulence and that nobody can get out of their seats. I’ll never forget his words ‘This is going to get rough folks, I’m sorry, but we’ll be ok.’
For the next 2 hours, I experienced exactly that, the worst turbulence I have ever experienced on a flight.
This wasn’t just minor bumps, this was up and downs and big dips into massive air pockets. The lights flickered a few times, luggage compartments opened and stuff fell. I was sitting in the rear and all I could hear clinks and clanks of the flight attendant drink trays. It was awful. If you’ve ever seen the airplane scene from the movie Almost Famous, that’s what it felt like, for 2 hours.”
His Cousin Caused His Interrogation At The Metal Detectors?
“So my story starts out in the metal detectors before I actually got onto the flight. My stupid cousin had thought it would be hilarious to put a couple of weapons into my carry on the night prior when I asked him to check it for anything I may need.
I had no idea, so I was naturally shocked when I got pulled into the side room and interrogated for about an hour and a half. I was terrified and, to date, it was one of 4 times I have ever cried in my life. Being 15 didn’t help matters either.
Eventually, they believed my story about me not being a terrorist and let me go, but because I was separated from my carry on, it got checked automatically so I no longer had that.
After I had finished that awful mess, my flight had left without me. So I was put on the next flight to Denver. I wasn’t too worried, they would surely take care of me. If they couldn’t they would wait until the next day, right? Wrong. They had no seats reserved for me on any flights in Denver. Oh, but before I got to Denver, the chili my grandmother had fed me hit me. Hard. I was seated next to a very large black man who, upon smelling me, told me he would beat me up if it got worse. I was terrified and he would not let me move past him to go to the bathroom so I sat in horrid abdominal pain for the two hours until we landed and I could rush to a bathroom.
Once I landed, security met with me and told me that I had to rush to catch my next flight, as it was on the other side of the Denver airport and boarding at that moment. After a quick bathroom break, I was escorted to my connecting flight.
The problem was that they didn’t reserve me a seat. So going with the theme of my day being completely terrible, I did not get a seat on that flight. Or the next. Or the next. They shuffled me from possible flight to possible flight for the rest of the day, and at ten they gave up and sent me on a flight to Salt Lake City and I would have a flight home in the morning.
I had never traveled alone up to this point and was very scared of any horror stories I had heard about being alone to come true. That night I landed and was ferried to a hotel and given 8 dollars in meal coupon ticket things. I got a pizza and sat scared in my hotel room until the next day when I would finally get shipped home.
The following day, my flight actually went very smoothly and I had no problems at all. Once I landed back home, I was not surprised to find out that all of my luggage was lost, and would take several days to return to me. Once I did get it, all of my belongings were very obviously gone through, and my snowboard was broken because those are usually weapons of mass destruction. I was informed once I did get my luggage that I would be put on a watch list for the rest of my life. So here I am, seven years later, with a seething hatred of my cousin and a nice paranoia the trauma I experienced at the hands of my cousin and the airport.
I totally get the airport’s reaction to the weapons, but relentlessly screwing me over, for the next two days, was unneeded I think. and for anyone wondering, me being on a watch list means that if something happens, anything weird on a flight I am ever on, I am going to be put on the no fly list and arrested. I hate my cousin so freaking much.”
Issue With The Lavatory…
“I had to go to the toilet and was about to go when it was announced we were starting our descent and everyone had to return to their seats. Ok, I thought I could hold it for another 20 minutes. But no, we got into a holding pattern.
So it’s been about 45 minutes now and I’m feeling the pressure and I’m just about to get up from my seat and head for the lavatory when they announce we’re cleared to land.
Ok so now so it seems like the slowest landing ever but now we’re finally on the ground but I really really really gotta go. We get to the gate, the engines shut off, everyone stands up waiting for them to open the door… waiting… waiting. Then the flight attendant comes over the loudspeaker informing us that the pilot has accidentally stopped a few feet short of the jetway and would everyone take their seats, please, while they get a tug to pull the plane the last few feet to the jetway.
Now my eyes are tearing up as my bladder is about to burst. Everyone stands up again and we are waiting for what seems like forever. Finally, I whisper to my wife I’m going to have to pee in the air sickness bag so she needs to shield me from view as best she can. I open the air sickness bag and just about to unzip when… the plane door opens.
When I got into the jetway I sprinted past people walking up the ramp pushing them aside, sprinting into the concourse and into the closest bathroom. Just in time.
Since then I make frequent trips to the lavatory when flying on planes – you never know.”
At Least He Made It In Time?
“I was trying to fly home to New Hampshire from New Orleans for Thanksgiving while on a break from college. I had a layover in Knoxville. The layover flight got delayed because they were having a terrible snow storm and we had to wait for it to pass before we could take off. 5 hours later, I’m in the air headed home.
The flight goes mostly normal for the 2 1/2 ish hours it was supposed to last. The pilot comes on and says that we should be making our final descent towards the airport. I’m thinking it’s probably another 30 minutes or so before we actually touch the ground. 20 minutes go by and the pilot comes back on. He tells us that the storm we had to wait out in Knoxville moved faster than they thought it would and was now at the airport and keeping us from landing. He told us that, instead of diverting us to another airport like Logan or maybe to New York, they were turning the plane back around and going back to Knoxville! And we did!
Got back to the Knoxville airport about 4 1/2 hours after we had taken off. It was completely dead.
They gave me a voucher for a local hotel and got me on a flight out the next day. The next day (Thanksgiving Day) I was finally on a plane back to New Hampshire. My luggage, however, was not. I had to have my dad come pick me up at the airport at like 6 am and drive me to the closest Walmart to buy new clothes so I had something clean to wear to Thanksgiving at my grandparents because apparently the ‘Alcatraz Psycho Ward – Outpatient Facility’ t-shirt I used to wear while flying, wasn’t really Thanksgiving/Family Holiday appropriate.”
Too Sick To Travel!
“I got sick the day before I left Japan. Anything I ate I was in the bathroom 5 minutes later and it was never a pleasant bathroom break. I also developed a cough.
The next day rolls around and I ended up feeling even worse, but I force myself to eat prior to the plane so that I can attempt to not eat on the plane (a 10-ish hour flight).
I laid in the terminal for about an hour and, just then, decided that I should go looking for Tums or the Japanese equivalent 20 minutes before my flight. So I’m running around the airport looking for a pharmacy or convenience store. I end up finding one on the other end of the airport, huge line. 5 minutes left and my buddy texts me that boarding started. I’m got to the front of the line. Got checked out and just a dead sprinted to get back to my terminal. I got there just as my group starts boarding.
It went a lot better than I planned, my whole row empty baring my seat, the dude across the aisle from me hooked me up, cough drops, Tums, Tylenol, he even gave me his bread from meals and offered to let me use his battery pack to charge my phone.
I still felt terrible, got home and got even sicker, but that random dude was a life saver!”
Shady Experience For The Kid
“We’ve all had in-air experiences with crying babies, fat people, strange odors, and broken amenities, but those are pretty much par for the course when you fly. I’m not sure I’d feel like I got my money’s worth if I didn’t disembark with a stiff neck and a troubling numbness in my legs. Still, my worst in-flight experience didn’t come as the result of any such expected inconvenience, but rather at the hands of someone trying to be nice.
I was about eight years old, and although I can’t recall what destination my family had chosen, I doubt if I’ll ever forget the time that I spent on that flight.
Due to some issue or another with our tickets, the four of us — myself, my younger brother, my mother, and my father, had been seated in seemingly random spots throughout the airplane… and none of us were next to each other. This would have been fine if it hadn’t been for the fact that my neighbor was an incredibly attractive young woman who seemed to be entirely oblivious to every rule that governed polite society.
Or, at least, every rule as they were understood by an eight-year-old.
Within moments of sitting down next to the girl, she’d done her best to engage me in conversation. I knew that I wasn’t supposed to speak to strangers, and thus her friendly small-talk made me very uncomfortable…not, as you might think, because I was wary of dialogue with her, but because I knew that my parents might walk by and catch me.
Her next transgression was taking out and turning on her Walkman while the plane was in the process of taking off.
I can remember scrambling to grab the safety pamphlet from the seat in front of me, then frantically pointing at the section that warned about electronic devices being inactive during takeoff. The girl just smiled reassuringly and kept right on with her forbidden activity, causing me to grip my armrest in terror.
If that had been the end of things, I might have escaped without the psychological scarring that I still carry… but unfortunately, the young woman was far from finished. About midway through the flight, she dug through her purse and pulled out a small package of something, which she opened with a nonchalant smile.
‘Max,’ she said to me, ‘would you like a cherry cough drop?’
Alarm bells rang in my head like they never had before. My mother had always told me that any stranger who offered me medicine was gearing up to do some very bad things to me. She had never specified what those bad things were, but I knew that they had to be truly abhorrent. Maybe, though, just maybe, the girl didn’t realize that cough drops were medicine, and was simply one of those people who ate them for their flavor. I’d heard legends of people like that, and if it happened that my seat-mate was one of them, maybe this was an opportunity for education.
‘Oh, no, no thank you,’ I replied. “I’m not sick or anything.”
‘Okay!’ the girl said brightly.
‘… Are you sick?’ I asked, hoping to prod the conversation forward. (In the face of this new potential threat, I’d all but forgotten about not talking to strangers).
The young woman shook her head. ‘Nope!’
I felt the panic in my chest start to subside. ‘Then why are you eating cough drops? They’re medicine, you know.’
‘Oh, I know!’ the girl said with a laugh. ‘But they taste wonderful, and they help me relax.’
The klaxons in my head started blaring with renewed vigor. Not only was this stranger talking to me, but she was also one of those people who ate medicine for fun…and she was trying to offer me some! I’d been warned about all three of those things, but never in my life had I expected to meet such a threatening trifecta of terror.
I spent the rest of the flight in complete silence, all the while ready to scream if the petite seventeen-year-old next to me showed any signs of attempting anything illegal.”
An Uber Picked Up The Plane Mechanic?
“Just over a year ago, I made a cross-country move from Louisiana to California. Not long before that, though, I had to fly out here to look for apartments (which prompted several stories on its own), and my flight from Dallas to San Francisco experienced a rather odd mechanical failure just before takeoff.
‘Well, folks,’ the captain said over the intercom, ‘I’m, uh… I’m holding the door to the First Class bathroom door in my hands here. It looks like it…uh…fell off.’ He paused for a moment, perhaps to let news of this dire calamity sink in. ‘We’re going to get the mechanic out here to fix it for us. It, uh… it looks like it only needs a screw, so we should be in the air before too long.’
I had already been delayed by a full day at this point — inclement weather having canceled my previous morning’s flight — and I could all but count the precious seconds ticking away. After about half an hour, the captain came back to offer us an update.
‘It, uh, looks like the screw is a, uh…a special part. The mechanic is going to have to go get one. Not long now, though, folks. Just, uh… sit tight, and we’ll take off as soon as we can.’
Groans punctuated the announcement, and I heard a man in front of me mutter about how First Class passengers didn’t need their own bathroom. Several more minutes went by, after which the tense atmosphere was again filled with the sound of the captain’s voice.
‘Okay,’ the man said, ‘so, uh…the Uber is here to take the mechanic to Home Depot. Once he buys the screw and brings it back, we should be able to get underway.’
At first, everyone in the airplane seemed to think that the announcement was a joke, but an air of horrified dread darkened the cabin as the captain’s words were revealed to be a completely factual account of events.
Worse still, the trip to the hardware store turned out to be for naught, as it was soon discovered that the door was missing a washer and some ball bearings, which were allegedly stored on the opposite side of the airport. This necessitated an even longer trip on the part of the mechanic, who, after having allegedly been informed of the problem by cell phone, needed to make his way to whatever hidden cache of parts would house the ones he needed.
I found myself wondering why he didn’t just buy them at Home Depot.”
Shaky Landing On The Runway
“This happened a long time ago, in the 80’s. I was flying into Minneapolis on a low-budget commuter plane, DC type. There was severe weather in town when we came in. After circling for what seemed like hours, we dove through the clouds in a small opening. Suddenly, there was the runway. We were quite low already. The pilot had a hard time keeping the plane lined up with the runway.
The pilot committed to the landing and we hit the runway hard. So hard that from my place near the tail, I could see the plane flex. Several of the overhead compartments came open. If that weren’t bad enough, the plane then started to tip to one side. We apparently landed on only one side of the landing gear.
Now the plane was rocking left and right and we weren’t slowing down like you’d expect. The plane finally settled and the nose went down hard. The brakes were on hard and reverse thrust was beginning.
We were just at the very end of the runway by the time we stopped. Almost overran it.
Worst. Flight. Ever.”
Awkwardly Snapping A Photo Of The Flight Attendant?
“I was sitting next to an older gentleman who seemed very nice. I was flying southwest so I just took the first available seat and didn’t want to go looking for the seat and it just so happened to be the window seat at the very front of the plane.
As the flight attendant was doing the safety speech, the guy took a picture of her. She’s young probably mid to late twenties. She asks, ‘Did you just take a picture of me?’ And she looks completely nervous and creeped out by this. He says, ‘yes’ and then she says, ‘Can you please delete it?’ and then I just sat there and was hoping that she didn’t think I knew him or was with him because I had literally just met him.
And to make it worse, it took him about 5 minutes to figure out how to delete the dang picture. It was such an awkward plane ride…
I felt so bad for the flight attendant and the man. But like, seriously, what was the dude thinking?”
Happy To Be Alive After That Wild Ride…
“My wife and I were on our way back from Puerto Vallarta, flying United. We had a connection in Phoenix. As we descended, my ears popped, which is typical, but after landing I could not pop them. Come to find out later, fluid had gone up and into my ear canal (forget the technical term)… everything sounded like it was under water to me for a solid 4-weeks, no exaggeration.
We take off from Phoenix, and as we were ascending I had the most excruciating pain that I have ever felt inside my ears. It felt like someone was jamming an ice pick through my skull. I couldn’t do anything to ease the pain, and it felt like time stood still. Horrible, horrible pain. We reach elevation; the pain subsides a bit, but comes and goes.
We reach our destination and there were huge, tornadic storms all around. We are flying through storm clouds, lightning everywhere around us. It was dark. Every time the plane would drop a few feet people would scream. Horrific. This nervous talker behind me kept talking about how she had a dream about a plane crashing or something, full of anxious laughter. The lady next to me (complete stranger) grabs my leg and screams.
I strike up a conversation with the lady next to me. Turns out, she held (holds?) the world record for loudest belch. She is known as the belching queen. I looked her up afterwards and, of course, it was her. She also started talking about how she was in a haunted house ghost hunter reality show or something. I could barely hear her because, you know, my ears and terrible pain.
So, the storms are still around, and our plane is circling the airport. You could look out and see other planes circling below us. They looked close at the time as far as commercial airlines are concerned, but maybe they were spaced far enough… Anyway, we are circling for a bit, then the pilot has the brilliant idea to try and land. We descend toward the runway, more bouncing, more lightning, more screaming. We get pretty close, start going sideways, then the pilot pulls up suddenly and we ascend again.
At this point, people are freaking out! Everyone is terrified. Everyone seemed to be talking, nervously chatting all around them. We circle some more and the pilot decides one test of fate was not enough. Let’s go in again! The whole plane grew silent.
Same result. Try to land, rocking, screaming, have to abort and pull up. Then, we get back to elevation and the genius pilot comes on the P.A. and says, ‘Folks, we are about to run out of fuel. We are going to have to land at [other city 300 miles away].’ Those were his words. ‘We are about to run out of fuel.’ How do you think that sat with people?
Now passengers are in a rage. People need to go to the bathroom. Crew won’t let them. People yell at the crew. Crew is yelling back at people. I specifically remember a larger-set red-head stewardess that was a raging c-u-next-Tuesday. She would just yell irately at anyone who dared to question her.
We land at the other airport to fuel up and wait out the storm. They will not let anyone off the plane. We have been on for about, I’d guess, 5 or 6 hours at this point? I don’t really recall, but it was a long time. Naturally, people were fighting the stewardesses about not being able to get off the plane, stewardesses fighting people. We fuel and head back.
The storm is still on the tail end. Captain stupid decides he’s landing. Commence screaming! We get down and are twisting, going sideways, etc. But he’s committed all the way this time! The wheels hit ground, we bounce, people flip out, but we land and come to a stop. Some people clap because they are happy to be alive, some clap because they are done with this situation.
As we exit the plane, the crew would normally be there to wish you well and thank you for flying. Nope. They did not acknowledge one person as they came off the flight. It was almost like they hated everyone on the plane.
Also, they destroyed my suitcase. That flight sucked.”
Simply An Unfortunate Scene To Witness!
“I’m 6’3 and I got seated in the front next to the bathroom wall next to a guy two or three inches taller than me on one side and a whale of a lady on the other side with her kids behind me and the tall dude.
Kid vomited all over his sibling after take off and so the mom had to get up and down a million times grabbing things out of the overhead carrier to clean up her smelly sickly kids covered in puke.”