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Worst airline experience

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  • Worst airline experience

    From the Transat/Sunwing thread. What are your worst experiences flying?

    I was flying from Memphis through Minneapolis to Regina. Moving with my family back home. I have 3 young children. 3,2, and brand new. We get through check in and my youngest is only a few weeks old, believe it or not in Arkansas it takes awhile to get a birth certificate. We get to the check in and my wife has a copy called a "proof of birth" from the hospital but no birth certificate since we hadn't gotten one yet. She wasn't going to let us on the plane without a birth certificate. Now the king doesn't get mad easily but it's already been a long day. Before it was over I thought one of us was going over the counter at the other one. So an hour later and a couple managers later they finally give us our boarding passes. Now we are late. We get through security and the youngest goes through no problem. The middle guy they want to go through the metal detector which is fine he can walk. Back then for a period they had you put your feet in an outline before the scanner so they could do the hand wand thing. My middle guy is only 3' tall he can't spread his legs as far apart as an adult but they insisted so I had to pry his feet far enough apart to fit into the outlines. But eventually we get through, I haven't even looked at the boarding passes yet. Get up to board and that original b**** check agent has us spread out throughout the plane (doesn't work with three small kids). I have to barter with other passengers to change seats so we could actually sit together. Finally make it to Regina close to midnight and then I have to rent a van to get where we are going, quite possibly the longest day of my life.

    Go (as Mao would say)

  • #2
    Holy crap!! Thatís crazy!

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    • #3
      Worst experience was Air France, during a pilots' strike. Wound up spending almost two full days in the terminal at Marseille (with a few hours in a crummy, overpriced airport hotel), much of that in line. My general high regard for French civility does not extend to Air France management personnel. We were eventually compensated (generously, though not with good grace) for our trouble & expenses; but, after a further three hours on the tarmac before an unexpected midnight flight to London, I was glad to leave French airspace on that particular occasion.

      Best experience was the following day, at Heathrow. If you can manage to look old, exhausted, & confused (not difficult for me), English customer service reps will go far out of their way to help you.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Oldguard View Post
        Worst experience was Air France, during a pilots' strike. Wound up spending almost two full days in the terminal at Marseille (with a few hours in a crummy, overpriced airport hotel), much of that in line. My general high regard for French civility does not extend to Air France management personnel. We were eventually compensated (generously, though not with good grace) for our trouble & expenses; but, after a further three hours on the tarmac before an unexpected midnight flight to London, I was glad to leave French airspace on that particular occasion.

        Best experience was the following day, at Heathrow. If you can manage to look old, exhausted, & confused (not difficult for me), English customer service reps will go far out of their way to help you.
        My mom who has since passed used to like to take a yearly trip out to BC to visit with her niece. The last time I was pretty nervous as she wasn't doing great. So I requested wheel chair service in Regina, Calgary, and Vancouver. I took her up to security and said sorry ma this is as far as I can go. She said the service was excellent. They picked her up at security and took her to the gate and got her on all of the planes, all I had to do was pick her up at baggage when she got back. Not a worst experience but a positive one from AC.

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        • #5
          I'll add another one I am flying from Minneapolis to Regina at night. I got bumped to first class for some reason and a colleague of mine and his wife are on the same flight in coach. We get circling Regina and I'm watching planes land when the Captain says we can't land we are going back to Minneapolis. I say pardon? Look at all the other planes landing? I was later told that US based planes have a different threshold as far as it is considered too cold too land.

          So the flight attendant starts handing out booze like it is candy to people in first class and we drank the plane dry. When we get to Minneapolis they had rooms booked for all of us. They sequestered those of us in first class and we got a private ride to a nice hotel and I had a beautiful suite. My colleague on the other hand was put in a bus and shipped to a hotel. The next morning I chat with my colleague and his wife and they looked like they had a night from hell.

          Not sure if this is a best or worse experience.

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          • #6
            A few years ago we are flying into Palm Springs. Happened to be a windy day with lots of turbulence, they attempt to land with no success so they announce we are heading to Vegas as a plan B. By this time a 1/4 of the plane had puked due to the shaking.

            We land in Vegas and sit for an hour or so while the top brass up front discuss a plan of attack. They finally announce that itís too windy to try again in Palm Springs so you have 2 choices, either get off here and your on your own or head back to Calgary and try again tomorrow. Literally every person stood up and started to leave the plane.

            We grabbed our bags and grabbed a couple people we met on the plane and rented a van to drive the rest of the way. Last we heard they had tried to arrange some buses because so many people stuck around but we werenít waiting around to find out.

            So we stuffed 7 people and their luggage into a Dodge Caravan and took off through the desert. One of our passengers was a 7 or 8 year old girl (and her mom) whoís stomach survived the turbulence but couldnít survive the concrete highways outside of LA. We were supposed to be there in time for lunch. We finally pulled in just in time for a late supper that we didnít feel up to eating.

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            • #7
              Back when Air Canada owned Aeroplan we flew to Hawaii Business Class on Points. While there my Father passed away suddenly in Newfoundland. I called Aeroplan on a Fri afternoon and explained my situation. The Operator was nice enough to be able to get me back to Calgary on Wednesday!!!! I normally never take my anger out on a front line worker but I freely admit to telling her to go firetruck herself and it actually felt good. On arrival home a week later from Newfoundland I called Aeroplan to inform them of my disgust and to insure them Aeroplan would no longer be my CC of choice, I got the same level of respect on this call. What a terrible company.

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              • #8
                Anything United.

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                • #9
                  1985 flying from Montreal to Victoria on a proverbial 'milk run". Had a killer flu going on and had to spend 11 hours on the jet and in those days smoking was still allowed onboard. Still has to be the worst 11 hours that I have ever spent.
                  Last edited by Lotus; 02-17-2019, 06:59 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tommy_boy View Post
                    Anything United.
                    Yup. While not a horror story per se, I still laugh at the announcement on our Maui flight the one time. She said ďitís retro movie night!Ē Meaning the giant old school tube TVs hanging from the bulkheads were only showing black and white. So we watched the new James Bond in black and white.

                    Just typical United BS.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tommy_boy View Post
                      Anything United.
                      Yep. You couldn't get me on United Airlines at gunpoint.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jenius View Post

                        Yep. You couldn't get me on United Airlines at gunpoint.
                        Have never flown on an American airline. I have flown on Air Canada, WestJet, Canadian Pacific and Pacific Western. Internationally, I have flown on Air France, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SwissAir, Icelandic Air, British Airways, British Caledonian, Thomas Cook and IranAir.

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                        • #13
                          14.5 hours boarded on a plane with it turned off in 38 degree weather. Flight was finally cancelled. When I finally got off the plane and touched tar I realized I had heat stroke. 6 hours later we were back and almost a 4 hour delay. Finally landed and luggage was not there.

                          worst in-flight experience was a 3000 foot drop. I had a full whiskey, then am empty one. It messed with people's kids and it was 7 hours of crying after that by probably half a dozen.
                          Last edited by Beacon.x; 02-18-2019, 02:43 AM.
                          #keepthepromise

                          Onward with escaping the hopeless fantasy of an artificial freedom and darkened picket fences the disillusioned front of friendly foes

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                          • #14
                            Only one bad - for me -experience, way back in January 1985. The charter dropper me off in Pearson on the evening and Air Canada was to fly me to Regina the following day. So, upon arrival at Pearson, I dropped in at the Air Canada desk to reserve my seat.

                            The miserable witch had assigned me to the last row. The seat would not recline and I had someone`s head in my lap for the whole trip. I realize someone has to sit there, but thought late comers could take what`s left over. You shouldn`t treat people reserving more thaan 12 hours ahead like that.

                            Why did she do that? I was nothing but polite and accommodating.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Beacon.x View Post
                              14.5 hours boarded on a plane with it turned off in 38 degree weather. Flight was finally cancelled. When I finally got off the plane and touched tar I realized I had heat stroke. 6 hours later we were back and almost a 4 hour delay. Finally landed and luggage was not there.

                              worst in-flight experience was a 3000 foot drop. I had a full whiskey, then am empty one. It messed with people's kids and it was 7 hours of crying after that by probably half a dozen.
                              Good lord, I would have gone insane.

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