Best and worst flying experience?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 27, 2013 1:37 AM GMT
    My best flight was any one where the airplane is virtually empty...hahah. Red eyes are the best, too. My worst flight was on USAirways flight that was re-routed due to weather [not their fault]. But, the customer service after the re-routing at the airport in Charlotte was THE WORST! I avoid USAirways as often as possible.
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    Jan 27, 2013 1:54 AM GMT
    Same. Had a red eye flight. Got a free upgrade to 1st class. Plane was empty. There were a few other people in 1st class with me, but they were all airline employees.
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    Jan 27, 2013 4:10 AM GMT
    Jan. 30 1988 (25 years in a few days!) flew an Eastern Air Airbus 300 with only like a dozen people on it 8AM depart Saturday morning LAX>ATL...The service was astounding. And I had an entire 5 seat row to myself!
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    Jan 27, 2013 4:14 AM GMT
    Last May, my partner and I were upgraded to 1st class upon our return home. We certainly weren't expecting it and we were chosen at random. It was my first time in 1st class and when the flight attendant asked me what I wanted to drink, I asked her if there was any rum. She then asked me how many mini bottles did I want. It was the best and shortest flight ever!
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    Jan 27, 2013 4:29 AM GMT
    A good & funny experience: I was flying coach, all the Army would authorize for official travel. When I tried to sit in my assigned 3-across seat, a husband & wife already in 2 of the seats wouldn't allow me.

    The woman started screaming (and I literally mean screaming), that their travel agent has assured them they'd be all alone in the 3 seats, not have to share them with a 3rd person. Showing them my ticket only made the woman more hysterical, claiming my ticket was a misprint or something.

    In the meantime I'm stuck standing in the aisle, while people are trying to squeeze past me to take their own seats. I motioned to a flight attendant, and explained my problem. She told the couple I had a valid ticket for the seat, and whatever their travel agent told them wasn't true, the 3rd aisle seat in their row had been sold. If they had wanted 3 seats across they should have bought them all.

    The woman only got more hysterical, claiming a right to my seat because this travel agent (of which she had no proof) had promised it to her, though she hadn't actually paid for it. I had a valid ticket, and she didn't. The husband said nothing through all of this, looking rather embarrassed and sheepish in my view.

    Finally I took the flight attendant aside and quietly said I really no longer wanted to sit next to these 2 unpleasant people anyway, and I would take whatever available seat there was to solve the problem and not further delay boarding. She said the flight was booked, but she'd check.

    A moment later she pulled me by the arm, and took me forward into First Class. I asked if that was OK, and she said yes, you sit here on the aisle. I turned around and gave that woman passenger, who was staring at me from coach, a big smirk, as if to say: "Thank you bitch, you just got me a First Class seat. So go take your 3-across coach seating and fuck yourself."

    The best part was that the plane was still boarding, and was indeed over-booked. So that the flight attendants eventually forced the couple to surrender their precious 3rd seat to another passenger, anyway. While I got to fly in 2-across First Class, which included a full meal with free drinks, something more common 25 years ago. (To my credit I told the First Class Steward when food service began that I was bumped up there, in case I wasn't entitled to the meal perk. She said if I sat in First Class I got to eat & drink First Class icon_biggrin.gif )

    Meanwhile the coach couple got peanuts and paid for whatever drinks they had in crowded 3-across. That was definitely a best experience. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:05 AM GMT
    My best that I can think of was a red eye from LAX to O'Hara on an almost empty 777 in super smooth skies where we had the entire row to ourselves with fold down armrests and sharing a couple of blankets with my little bumpkin beside me.

    DSCN0574-1.jpg
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    Jan 27, 2013 4:50 PM GMT
    My worst was a flight from Dulles to Chicago then on to SF. Plane was going on to Hawaii and beyond but never made it. Guy had a heart attach in the concourse section (747) and we landed in Salt Lake City. They let over 400 of us off the plane at 9pm. Chaos! Couldn't tow a 747 to the runway so waited for a tow bar from SF, then a tire problem, waited for a tire from Denver (where they could have landed). Passengers were unbelievably rude, obnoxious and inconsiderate!

    Total time from my hotel to my bed at home....24 hrs...long ass flight! I just want to go home icon_cry.gif

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    Jan 27, 2013 4:55 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidA good & funny experience: I was flying coach, all the Army would authorize for official travel. When I tried to sit in my assigned 3-across seat, a husband & wife already in 2 of the seats wouldn't allow me.

    The woman started screaming (and I literally mean screaming), that their travel agent has assured them they'd be all alone in the 3 seats, not have to share them with a 3rd person. Showing them my ticket only made the woman more hysterical, claiming my ticket was a misprint or something.

    In the meantime I'm stuck standing in the aisle, while people are trying to squeeze past me to take their own seats. I motioned to a flight attendant, and explained my problem. She told the couple I had a valid ticket for the seat, and whatever their travel agent told them wasn't true, the 3rd aisle seat in their row had been sold. If they had wanted 3 seats across they should have bought them all.

    The woman only got more hysterical, claiming a right to my seat because this travel agent (of which she had no proof) had promised it to her, though she hadn't actually paid for it. I had a valid ticket, and she didn't. The husband said nothing through all of this, looking rather embarrassed and sheepish in my view.

    Finally I took the flight attendant aside and said I really no longer wanted to sit next to these 2 unpleasant people anyway, and I would take whatever available seat there was to solve the problem and not further delay boarding. She said the flight was booked, but she'd check.

    A moment later she pulled me by the arm, and took me forward into First Class. I asked if that was OK, and she said yes, you sit here on the aisle. I turned around and gave that woman passenger, who was staring at me from coach, a big smirk, as if to say: "Thank you bitch, you just got me a First Class seat. So go take your 3-across coach seating and fuck yourself."

    The best part was that the plane was still boarding, and was indeed over-booked. So that the flight attendants eventually forced the couple to surrender their precious 3rd seat to another passenger, anyway. While I got to fly in 2-across First Class, which included a full meal with free drinks, something more common 25 years ago. Meantime the coach couple got peanuts and paid for whatever drinks they had in crowded 3-across. That was definitely a best experience. icon_biggrin.gif

    Awesome.
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    Jan 27, 2013 4:59 PM GMT
    Best: London - Vancouver on sparsely occupied early morning Air Canada flight. Got 3 seats to lie across.

    Worst: Brize Norton (UK) - Ali Al Salem (Kuwait). C130 stuffed with cargo and 6 pax squeezed in.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:12 PM GMT
    Worst Flight: On a small prop plane to see my family and the landing gear wouldn't come down. The plane had to slide on its belly. Nothing makes a memorable experience for a parent than seeing firetrucks on the runway while the plane their child is on sliding to a stop. icon_eek.gif

    Best Flight: My partner and I were upgraded to First Class from Barcelona to Miami. Now that's the way to fly!
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:14 PM GMT
    Best: Sept. 1986...1st time I ever flew...a flight to Denver for a job interview and seeing the rockies in the distance as the plane decended. Everything about that trip stands out as a positive experience including getting the job.

    Worst: April 1989...flying back home for my grandmother's funeral and missing my connection in Chicago.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:18 PM GMT
    Another time I was flying out of Will Rogers International in Oklahoma. Once again I was on official Army travel in coach. I'd been working non-stop for days, assisting Oklahoma Army Reserve units for potential deployment to the first Gulf War, at that point called Operation Desert Shield, later Desert Storm when we went in.

    I went up to the Delta ticket counter to check my bags, and the agent commented that I looked really tired. I explained to her why. She also saw I was wearing an Army uniform, Lt. Colonel at that time if she would have recognized the rank.

    "Would it help if you flew First Class?" she asked me. "Yeah, sure, thanks," I replied, "but I'd have to change out of my uniform into civilian." Army regulations prohibited any uniformed Officers and Senior NCOs (Senior Sergeants) from flying in First Class because of the negative impression that might cause with the public.

    "You have time before your flight to change," she said. Fortunately I did have a single civilian outfit in my carry-on bag, and also a Crown Room membership, thanks to my frequent flier status. So I took the upgrade, went to the Crown Room to change in their men's room, and had a very nice flight back home, sleeping most of the way, as I remember, after a complimentary Grand Marnier to relax me. I must say I was almost always treated very courteously, even generously like on that occasion, when I traveled in uniform. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:20 PM GMT
    Worst - probably an Eastwind Air flight (Eastwind was a late90s carrier that had an original hub in Trenton NJ and then moved to Greensboro NC before it folded) as it was unnerving to be told "we will be on the ground in 20 minutes" and almost 40-45 minutes later still flying where I could tell we weren't descending. I was thinking: can this pilot find the small TTN airport? And it was a mid April flight from BOS and it was windy so therefore quite bumpy as we got closer to TTN. Eventually he came in for landing and a wind gust caught the plane broadside and tipped the wing to where I swear (as I was watching it) that it would clip the ground. I exited the plane with knees trembling (it was going on to Greensboro - GSO) and I told the flight attendant "good luck on the next leg"
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:29 PM GMT
    I haven't too much difficulty with ground delays other than waiting for deicing a few times and in air nothing more than losing an engine after hitting geese and a few really rough flights and a couple heavy crosswind crabbing landings. Cool to be looking straight down the runway from your side window just seconds before landing.

    Overall has been mostly good over the years.
  • hebrewman

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    Jan 27, 2013 5:30 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidAnother time I was flying out of Will Rogers International in Oklahoma. Once again I was on official Army travel in coach. I'd been working non-stop for days, assisting Oklahoma Army Reserve units for potential deployment to the first Gulf War, at that point called Operation Desert Shield, later Desert Storm when we went in.

    I went up to the Delta ticket counter to check my bags, and the agent commented that I looked really tired. I explained to her why. She also saw I was wearing an Army uniform, Lt. Colonel at that time if she would have recognized the rank.

    "Would it help if you flew First Class?" she asked me. "Yeah, sure, thanks," I replied, "but I'd have to change out of my uniform into civilian." Army regulations prohibited any uniformed Officers and Senior NCOs (Senior Sergeants) from flying in First Class because of the negative impression that might cause with the public.

    "You have time before your flight to change," she said. Fortunately I did have a single civilian outfit in my carry-on bag, and also a Crown Room membership, thanks to my frequent flier status. So I took the upgrade, went to the Crown Room to change in their men's room, and had a very nice flight back home, sleeping most of the way, as I remember, after a complimentary Grand Marnier to relax me. I must say I was almost always treated very courteously, even generously like on that occasion, when I traveled in uniform. icon_biggrin.gif


    change out of your uniform? i upgrade military folks in uniform all the time when i'm working as the cabin service director. in fact, our airline, always upgrades military personnel to first or ENVOY (now you know who i work for) regardless of in or out of uniform. and there is NEVER a complaint from passengers when they see a military man or woman sitting in first. i flew from denver to charlotte last summer and there were exactly 16 military folks headed east with us. do you know that every one of the first class passengers volunteered their seats so these men and woman could enjoy the larger seats and the meal. it was, hands down, the easiest group of f/c passengers i've dealt with in my 26 years of flying.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:32 PM GMT
    hebrewman said
    ART_DECO saidAnother time I was flying out of Will Rogers International in Oklahoma. Once again I was on official Army travel in coach. I'd been working non-stop for days, assisting Oklahoma Army Reserve units for potential deployment to the first Gulf War, at that point called Operation Desert Shield, later Desert Storm when we went in.

    I went up to the Delta ticket counter to check my bags, and the agent commented that I looked really tired. I explained to her why. She also saw I was wearing an Army uniform, Lt. Colonel at that time if she would have recognized the rank.

    "Would it help if you flew First Class?" she asked me. "Yeah, sure, thanks," I replied, "but I'd have to change out of my uniform into civilian." Army regulations prohibited any uniformed Officers and Senior NCOs (Senior Sergeants) from flying in First Class because of the negative impression that might cause with the public.

    "You have time before your flight to change," she said. Fortunately I did have a single civilian outfit in my carry-on bag, and also a Crown Room membership, thanks to my frequent flier status. So I took the upgrade, went to the Crown Room to change in their men's room, and had a very nice flight back home, sleeping most of the way, as I remember, after a complimentary Grand Marnier to relax me. I must say I was almost always treated very courteously, even generously like on that occasion, when I traveled in uniform. icon_biggrin.gif


    change out of your uniform? i upgrade military folks in uniform all the time when i'm working as the cabin service director. in fact, our airline, always upgrades military personnel to first or ENVOY (now you know who i work for) regardless of in or out of uniform. and there is NEVER a complaint from passengers when they see a military man or woman sitting in first. i flew from denver to charlotte last summer and there were exactly 16 military folks headed east with us. do you know that every one of the first class passengers volunteered their seats so these men and woman could enjoy the larger seats and the meal. it was, hands down, the easiest group of f/c passengers i've dealt with in my 26 years of flying.


    Really really wonderful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • hebrewman

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    Jan 27, 2013 5:35 PM GMT
    DiosMio saidMy best flight was any one where the airplane is virtually empty...hahah. Red eyes are the best, too. My worst flight was on USAirways flight that was re-routed due to weather [not their fault]. But, the customer service after the re-routing at the airport in Charlotte was THE WORST! I avoid USAirways as often as possible.


    i'm truly sorry for the way CLT CSR'S treated you. i wonder how overtaxed they were with all the reroutes that day. and i've also experienced, first hand, some of the shoddy treatment from my own fellow employees. now, did you at least get to your destination? i hope they gave you a meal voucher. sometimes i just shake my head though when i see people being treated poorly. again, i'm sorry for your bad experience. maybe things will improve when we change our name..... .to american airlines. if that cluster of merger ever comes to be. frankly, the size and scope of it terrifies me.
  • HndsmKansan

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    Jan 27, 2013 5:43 PM GMT
    I'll put "a really good experience" inside a bad.....

    Flying back from Detroit to St. Louis right after 9/11. Wasn't sure I was even going to get home. The Toronto airport had been closed. Had to take the train to Detroit before.

    We flew back on a 737 and there were about a dozen people on the plane.
    I had some great conversations on the plane and the staff was remarkably nice. Was absolutely elated when we set down in St. Louis.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:43 PM GMT
    Best: Westjet Winnipeg to Ottawa. Hot hot hot flight attendant named Kendall. I was at the back of the plane so when ever he came to the back we talked.

    Worst: Air Canada Ottawa to Winnipeg....Rude staff right from the counter to the flight attendants. Learned my lesson and never flying with them again.
  • SomeSiciliano...

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    Jan 27, 2013 5:46 PM GMT

    Best: flew on Thai International on an airline employee ZED fare from LAX to BKK with a stop in ICN (Seoul). We got upgraded to Royal Orchid on a 777 that was staffed with 18-20 F/As. (my airline we are lucky if we get 11 on 'premium' international flights). The cabin crew was up and in the aisles 15 minutes after wheels up and didn't sit down until we were on final. I felt like I gained about 20 pounds on the 20 hour trip.

    Worst: Ryanair. Makes Spirit look like Thai.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    A funny flight: I was taking a short 90-mile connecting flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Oxford, Alabama, a regional airport that served Anniston, AL, home to Ft McClellan (since closed).

    It was a twin-engine de Havilland Otter, with a single row of seats on each side of the aisle. I was in the front row, and could see into the open cockpit that had no door.

    As we're waiting for the pilots to arrive I noticed that a number of dials were missing from the instrument panel, just round holes through which I can see the wires running behind. I was hoping those weren't essential, and wondered what had been there, because obviously something had been or there would have been blocker plates instead, not open holes with wires almost hanging out. But what really concerned me was when I read a yellow handwritten Post-It note on the panel, reading:

    MAX SAYS OK TO FLY

    Who the fuck is "Max" and why is there a question about this plane flying? And doesn't the FAA require airworthiness issues to be cleared through multiple approval levels involving tons of official forms & certificates? Not on a damn yellow Post-It note stuck to the instrument panel?

    Then the pilots arrived, and they threw their black raincoats between their seats, covering up the throttle controls. I thought "That's not the best place for those, is it?" At that point I was almost ready to bail.

    As they started the engines and began to taxi they had to keep lifting their coats to access the controls underneath. I hoped we wouldn't encounter any emergency situations in flight requiring quick access to all the controls under those coats.

    The flight was short but in cloud cover the whole way, no view of the ground, flying totally on instruments. I hoped none of the missing ones was making a difference. We landed OK, but I swore I'd never fly them again, and I didn't.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:54 PM GMT
    Worst: flying into JFK from Paris in a storm, with a crosswind on the landing. The wind made us come in at an angle. We hit hard, bounced and by the time the pilot hit the brakes and reversed the engines, we were pretty far down the runway. I was pretty sure it wasn't going to end well...but we survived.

    Best: flying home from another trip to Paris, on a 757 with lots of open seats. I got a whole row to myself. I lifted the arms, and laid out for a good nap, with the sun streaking in through the windows. The plane flew over London and over the coast of the US. Beautiful.
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    Jan 27, 2013 5:57 PM GMT
    hebrewman said
    change out of your uniform? i upgrade military folks in uniform all the time when i'm working as the cabin service director. in fact, our airline, always upgrades military personnel to first or ENVOY (now you know who i work for) regardless of in or out of uniform. and there is NEVER a complaint from passengers when they see a military man or woman sitting in first. i flew from denver to charlotte last summer and there were exactly 16 military folks headed east with us. do you know that every one of the first class passengers volunteered their seats so these men and woman could enjoy the larger seats and the meal. it was, hands down, the easiest group of f/c passengers i've dealt with in my 26 years of flying.

    That was an Army Directive in effect in the 1980s until I retired in 1994. I have no idea what the current policy is. I understand soldiers can now fly in combat uniforms, something that was also forbidden to us back then. We could only fly in civilian dress, or in Class "A" or "B" uniforms.

    The Army was concerned about appearances, afraid the public would think it was wasting taxpayer money on First Class airfare. That applies to other Federal branches, as well. And in fact that's all the Army would purchase, and I often saw uniformed General Officers flying in coach.

    But we were free to purchase an upgrade at our own expense, or use our frequent flier miles if we participated in the program, which I did with all the flying I was doing. We just had to wear civilian clothes when we did it, not be in uniform. That wasn't an airline policy, but an Army one, as the airline didn't care what uniform you wore, not their job to enforce such a thing. But you could be reported by other military if you were caught in First Class in uniform.

    UNLESS, and here's the really strange exception, you were a Private or no higher than Sergeant/E-5. Then you could wear your uniform in First Class. Go figure....
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    Jan 27, 2013 6:10 PM GMT
    Warning: Self-promoting story.

    Was returning from a week in Atlanta on the 3pm flight ... looking forward to being home early. FA comes over the PA and asks for one volunteer. Everyone stays put. She says "there's a serviceman..." and that's all I needed to hear, I rang my call button and hopped off the plane.

    The kid (and I do mean KID) at the top of the jetbridge, in uniform, was all of 19. "Thank you sir, thank you thank you" he says. I say "No, thank YOU, enjoy your flight."

    They're re-booking me on the 6 when they tell me that he's headed home to see his family, and had I not given up my seat he would've overnighted in Denver (sleeping in the terminal) before flying on to the west coast.

    I'm confirmed in First on the next flight, with a $400 voucher for my trouble. Come boarding time, as I settle in, the Purser comes to my seat and says "Ground crew told us what you did. The Captain has given me instructions to fully take care of you."

    They got me rather loopy with the alcoholic bevvies. Then, the Captain walks me off the flight, takes me to the curb and pays for my cab to get me home. Tells me he was a serviceman back in the day and has a soft spot for people who do nice things for military personnel.
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    Jan 27, 2013 6:58 PM GMT
    Good for you!!