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Flights from Hell

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NLH-Never Leaves Home

The BA people didn’t think much of it either, which is presumably how it was available to be dumped on QF.

I was pleased to have never flown it.
Don't think I was ever a passenger on NLH, but I am reminded of a flight Feb 1989, QF1 Melbourne to London on a non-Qantas aircraft.
I was rather chuffed getting an upgrade to F, but on boarding finding it a bit strange.
The 747-200 was (wet?) leased from Martinair.
The F seats were not up to the QF standard for the time, but I don't think that really qualifies as a "flight from hell".
 

Mattg

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I've had a few flights that weren't particularly enjoyable, such as flying JQ overnight in Y, or flying PEK-CDG right after getting nasty food poisoning in Beijing. But I think my worst experience was with American Airlines.

On Valentine's Day in 2014 I was booked to fly DCA-FLL in AA F at around 7am. It's a ~2 hour flight. I would then stay in Miami for the night and take a flight to Brazil around 9am the next morning. Simple enough, right?

On the night of the 13th there was a huge snowstorm in the Washington DC area. The airport closed and all flights that morning were cancelled. I was "lucky" enough to get rebooked (albeit in Y) on a DCA-RDU-MIA itinerary leaving around 5pm, with about 2 hours of connection time in RDU.

After waiting at the airport (without lounge access) the entire day, the departure time for the DCA-RDU flight came and went. We ended up leaving DCA over 2 hours late and obviously I missed the connection in RDU. By this time it was late at night and there were no American Airlines employees anywhere at RDU. I tried calling and could not get through to the call centre. Meanwhile, all of the hotels around the airport were full because it was Valentine's Day. So, I found a place to sleep on the floor of the airport terminal and waited for the first AA staff members to arrive at 5am the next morning. This is not exactly what I had in mind when I booked a first class ticket!

After barely sleeping, I was put on a ~7am flight to MIA the next morning. We landed in MIA just in time to watch my TAM flight to GRU taking off - I'd missed it. I had to get rebooked and the next available flight was at midnight that night. I arrived at my destination a day late and never received any compensation or even an apology from AA as the delays were "weather related".
 
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Mattg

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Oh, I almost forgot about this one!

A couple of years ago I flew with Scat Airlines (a local Kazakh airline) from Nur-Sultan to Shymkent on an old 737-300. It was below -20 degrees, snowing and there was a layer of ice on the wings, but the airline did not even bother to de-ice before take-off. I'm not normally a nervous flyer, but that was one nerve-racking take-off wondering whether or not we were going to crash. (I wrote about the flight in detail in a trip report at the time - Christmas in Central Asia)

I figured at the time that the airline must know what they're doing as they fly in those conditions for a living and none of the Kazakhs on board seemed concerned. A year later, another Kazakh aircraft crashed after taking off in similar conditions from Almaty (Bek Air Flight 2100 - Wikipedia). According to the accident report, some of the passengers slipped on the ice that was on the wing during the evacuation. :oops:
 

Guvner

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The aircraft rego was G-BNLH and became VH-NLH when QF leased it. The aircraft was in a dire state and the QF staff joke was to call it Never Leaves Hangar.
Pretty sure I flew that on a CNS-MEL sector once. It came in from Tokyo I think. Pretty much everything in the cabin was broken, I can't see how it was airworthy!
 

Guvner

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Flew LHR - PDV on Balkan (Tupolev 154 from memory) in the late 90's. Plane shook from ascent to descent, the engines spooled down about 5 minutes after take-off, I swear they actually stopped. A few people screamed. The seat in front had a broken recline so the pax had to literally hold the headrest in front to keep upright. My seatbelt wouldn't lock in so I tied the straps together. Catering was a Toblerone bar thrown from the aisle and a warm beer.
Arrival was met with armed police/army tanks and bags hurled from the hold on to the tarmac. Pick up your own.. Welcome to Plovdiv.

Forgot to add, the windows dripped water mid flight as there was ice forming on the inside of the window frame.
 
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TerenceM

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Dec 6, 2019
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Not really a flight from hell but I was flying PER-SIN on a SQ A330 in Y. I was sitting in an aisle seat in the middle section next to two middle-aged Australians men and and an older asian woman on the aisle seat on the other end. The two flagged down an FA every time one walk passed on either aisle and managed to drink around 7-8 gin & tonics each.

They were very drunk at this point and they pressed the call button again, but instead of asking for a drink he tells the FA that he managed to shove the plastic tip of the earphones SQ provides in into his ear canal. He asked the FA if she had tweezers and if she could remove it but the FA said that it would be best if he goes to the clinic once we landed at Changi airport.

He insisted on asking for tweezers and that his friend could take it out himself. The FA asked around and was able to borrow some from another FA's manicure kit. She gives him the tweezers and asks if he could return them after as she just borrowed them from her colleague.

The two then get up and go to one of the restrooms and manage to remove the plastic tip from his ear. The FA then comes by and asks how things went and then asks if she could have the tweezers back. The man just slurs "what do you mean, I threw them in the bin". The FA just looks defeated and says "oh I borrowed those from my colleague so..." and just walks off.

The cabin crew manager later came by and knelt down in the aisle next to us and repeatedly apologised while the man still drunk, ranted about what an awful experience this was and how it's Singapore Airline's fault for providing crap earphones all while I was between him and the manager that was kneeling down and apologising. I felt bad for the FA's that had to put up with them and were still friendly.
 

DJSYD81

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In 2010 I was flying TG F from FRA to BKK and onward to SYD.

Upon boarding in FRA there was an older Thai gentleman and myself in the cabin until just before doors closing a rather large Scandinavian fellow boards.

This guy proceeds to drink the plane empty of alcohol and passes out a few hours into the flight.

Thai man is sitting behind me and we are keeping to ourselves enjoying the flight and service.

A few hours pass and I am sleeping only to be awoken by some banging and commotion behind me. I turn around to see the Scandinavian guy has his hands around the Thai guys throat and is choking him!

I jump up and start yelling at him to stop and he turns his attention to me! He starts to come at me so I think I'll have a go if he has a swing (expecting to be knocked out) but just at that time every male flight attendant on the plane comes bursting into the F cabin, jump on this guy and apprehend him. It takes 6 of them to bring him under control and they cuff him with zip ties then sit him on a jump seat near the galley.

For landing they bring him back into the cabin and he has 3 guys sitting in the surrounding seats to keep an eye on him.

When we land in BKK no one leaves the plane as soldiers with machine guns board and take this guy away - never to be seen again.

Flight to SYD was uneventful.
 
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Colster

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I have two that stand out....

1. QF Dash 8 CBR->SYD - Thunderstorms closed both Sydney and Canberra airport so the flight was delayed extensively. After about 2 hours in the J Lounge in CBR (and many pax with many drinks), the lounge angel announced that there was a brief weather window, and our flight was called straight away. We almost run on to the flight, get airborne in a bumpy way. However, shortly after lift off, the weather closed in and the FO comes over the PA, and announces that both Syd and CBR have closed again! Circle work above Goulburn in one of the biggest thunderstorms I have experienced with down and updrafts to match, caused many of the pax (quite a few who had imbibed a bit too much in the lounge) to start being sick. This caused a ripple effect where the aircraft really started to smell.. 30 minutes of the odd vomit happening all throughout the cabin. Pilot comes on and says that they have another hour worth of fuel and will have to look at diverting to Nowra if they can't get a window at Syd or CBR. Luckily we got down to Syd and all was good. When I got home, the kids said "What's that smell?" - Wasn't me (didn't throw up) but the smell had lingered....


2. DFW - > Syd QF 747 - Sitting in exit row in Y up the front. FA sitting across from me as we taxi and hit V1, V2… and then KABAM! fully fuel laden 747 gets a bird strike that takes out engine 1 (although we didn’t know that at the time) and the plane shudders left to right like it’s dipping it’s wings to say hi to someone. I’m looking directly at the FA and she’s looking back at me and I think we both have the same look in our eyes and she just shrugs a bit. 30 seconds later, the phones start pinging all over the place and she gives me the thumbs up (phew).

Once we get stable and higher (about 2 mins later) the captain comes over the PA and says words to the effect of “Well ladies and gentlemen we have had a bird strike on engine one, and have 3 fully functional engines which are more than enough for us to fly on. The bad news is that QF policy is not to fly transpacific on a 747 without all four engines, so we will be diverting to LAX. Good news is that we have enough food and alcohol to get us to Sydney, so if you feel like it, drink up and enjoy the flight to LAX”


“Can I have a gin and tonic please?”

-“Keep the bottle” :)

Captain further comes over the PA and says that as we are so heavy with fuel, we need to dump to get to a safe landing weight. So if you are at a window, you will see fuel streaming out of the wings and not to worry. And then he says:

“I hope no one is having a bbq in Texas or Mexico tonight”.


Flight was uneventful, except all the fire engines chasing us down the runway at LAX, and 3 days without much info from QF in terms of when and how we are getting back to SYD.


Saw the flight crew at the Marriott Long Beach and the captain showed me a photo of the dead engine and said that he didn’t know that there were lesser pterodactyls in Texas…
 
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nickykim

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Just thinking about it, both my tales of woe start in Paris...

When my daughter started secondary school she did NOT want to learn a language, I insisted and she chose French but I was told she wasn’t interested and wasn’t progressing. So the following year I booked a September holiday break for the two of us in Paris and Toulouse (flying Air France). We were (of course) travelling in Y but I had wised up enough at that stage to book aisle seats for each of us (me-aisle-daughter). When we boarded the seat next to my daughter was filled by a tipsy Frenchman so we swapped seats. Once we were airborne he continually asked the FA for more drinks and eventually was so intoxicated he passed out. He came to just before we landed in Singapore and politely explained to me that he had been on an Aeroflot flight that had crashed on takeoff and being so drunk he couldn’t move was the only way he could cope with flying.

Older and wiser, mid last year I was in Paris staying at an airport hotel ready for a mid-morning flight back to Melbourne with a three day stopover in Hong Kong. I was booked to fly J but because of the civil unrest in Hong Kong I had already booked a fully refundable Y seat with Thai via Bangkok, just in case. I woke at 4.00 am that morning feeling awful, I couldn’t stand without losing my balance and felt really unwell. Rang my travel insurance company, who said they would arrange for their emergency doctor to contact me. Waited for three hours, the doctor rang and said they were too busy and couldn’t see me. So I made the decision and went with the Y seat all the way back to Melbourne. I was expecting it to be absolutely awful. I was pleasantly surprised. Mostly because although I did not have an aisle seat, on both flights I was flanked by very polite young people in their late 20s who were a pleasure to sit beside. Got home, diagnosed with an inner ear viral infection. Fortunately it cleared up within three weeks.

I did spend lots of time in the back seat of a 172 flying around mountains in Queenstown while my (now deceased) husband was completing his NZ CPL and then two years in FNQ in the back seat of a 206, taking up a free seat and dodging thunderstorms. And there was that time that the pilot had to do running repairs on an Islander on the runway at Bamaga....
 

Fergo747

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Interestingly (and luckily) my 'worst' flights have never involved potential physical threats against me or any other passengers but have more been weather related which on the surface isn't too bad.

The first was a few years ago when I was doing weekly SYD-AKL for work. I normally booked myself on the EK codeshare flight out of AKL on a Friday afternoon which arrived back in SYD around 6pm, however this particular Friday I managed to wrap up work earlier than expected so moved myself onto the earlier QF flight. All well and good until we're about 30 mins out of SYD and there are some massive storms over SYD so we enter multiple holding patterns until captain makes the call (due to fuel) that we need to divert to CBR. As this was an int'l flight and there were a number of other diversions to CBR due to the weather (including a QF 747 from JNB) we were stuck on the plane for a number of hours. Finally we got the nod that the storms and airport congestion had cleared and could proceed to SYD. If memory serves me correctly, we ended up getting into SYD around 8.30pm - when I checked my original EK flight I found that it had arrived bang on time at 6pm as the storms had just cleared at that point. TL;DR: moved myself onto an earlier flight only to arrive home ~2.5 hrs later than the original flight...oh and traded an A380 for a 737.

The second relate to a series of flights and again are weather related. Last year I was doing some back and forth between SYD and CLT so always booked SYD>DFW>CLT. This was over the April - July period so getting into peak storm season in the south of the US where delays just have massive knock on effects. On one of my particular trips, all flights were disrupted except for the final QF8 out of DFW. On the way over I turned up at SYD airport and got myself nestled in the Flounge only to be told that we had a 5 hour delay in SYD. Finally got to DFW and my connecting flight to CLT had been re-booked. A flight that was originally for 8.30pm was then continuously delayed over the course of the next few hours until it was delayed until 10am the next morning. At this point I went to try and understand my options only to find that the AAdmirals lounges were closed and the customer service line was >300m long. Also all airport hotels were fully booked. Called travel agent and they found me a hotel not too far from the airport. Got there, showered and tried to get some sleep however was nervous as I was unsure about flight. I kept checking and at about 3am the flight was officially cancelled - at this point I decided I would head back out to the airport at around 5am (as that's what time staff came on) to figure out how I was going to get to CLT. Got out to the airport and told I could either wait until 5pm to catch a direct flight OR go via DAY to CLT which would get me there at 2pm. Luckily that part went smoothly and I arrived ~22hrs later than expected. Now, the return of this particular trip was the icing on the cake. Get to CLT airport and everything is looking on time - even the incoming flight that we would be taking to DFW. Get to the boarding gate and the sign says boarding in 1 min with the plane at the gate. Instead of ticking over to 'boarding' it ticks over to 'Cancelled'. This prompted a rush to the lounge to figure out how I could make it to DFW to catch the 8 home. As I get to the front of the queue, I get a call from AA stating they had re-booked me via JAN, however the connection between my incoming and outgoing flight at JAN was <30mins so no room for error (I was HLO). We ended up about 20 mins late out of CLT so I was sweating the entire way, however luckily ended up making my connection and arrived about an hour prior to QF8's boarding time. Ended up getting home on time, however it wasn't a pleasant trip prior to getting on the 8. Can't say the same for a colleague who unfortunately got routed via CVG and stuck there for some maintenance before landing in DFW as we were pushing back so ended up having to spend the night in DFW.

Luckily for me I haven't experienced what I would consider THE absolute flight from hell - running out of champagne in first. Oh the humanity!
 

dcvr

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Apr 17, 2011
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ASW->ABS and back with Air Memphis.

The sight of the rickety old DC9 wasn't inspiring to begin with, and confirmed when I got on and found one end of my seatbelt wasn't attached to anything, fun for what was a turbulent flight. The aircraft barely ascended - we were told later that they didn't like to pressurise the hull!

On the way back at ABS we were seriously considering switching to road transport but went ahead anyway. In the airport they came around calling "Aswan? Aswan?" and anyone who said yes was handed a random boarding card. Can't remember the name on mine,but never got to meet him :)
 

Snowant

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Syd-LAX, the only time I flew in an A380 (used to tweak my itinerary to fly in a 747, and after that a Dreamliner). Was down the back in economy. Window seat as usual BUT the wall was too far from the seat to sleep against it like in other planes. First disaster.

Second was the Family From Hell that got on and took over most of the bulkhead row. Muh, Duh, scores of young children and, the dreaded Baby. Just their behaviour as they got settled had the nice new england ladies next to me gasping in horror, but it was actually worse than even they feared.

FFH managed to be noisy and disruptive for the entire 13-odd-hour trip. Kids were hyperactive and loud. Dreaded Baby sang The Song of its People for most of the way. And Duh ignored his progeny by making frequent trips to the self-serve bar for the entire trip... when we were finally within sight of LA he actually darted to the bar for one more. I heard him say they lived in Chicago (they were Australian).

It was utterly hellish. So hellish that I started amassing heaps of points and got strategic about when and what i flew, so have scored points upgrades for every flight ever since. I had flown economy from AU to the US every year from 1997 (sometimes via Japan and Canada) but this did it for me. Never again.
 

ja1

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Seems I had dodged a bullet.
If you were dodging bullets then the other pax was actually an air marshal.. :)

Yes, it definitely seems like a close call. There's nowhere to de-escalate (i.e you're in a closer environment). Seems like that FSD really did do their job well..
 

Gremlin

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I have one that is weather related - similar to @Colster - flying CBR to SYD, but on Ansett. I'll skip over that one other than to say I was one of five people in the entire plane not to vomit. Two of the others were flying the thing and one of the others was a FA.

I have two others...

First, I was flying CNS-BNE and sitting in Row 3 on VA with the two mini-Gremlins next to me and Mrs Gremlin across the aisle. The middle seat next to Mrs Gremlin was free and there was a bogan in 3F at the window. Halfway down the runway for take-off, the bogan pulls out a cigarette lighter, takes his hat off and sets it alight. I immediately double-ding the FA Call button repeatedly (I know what that means and I felt it was appropriate). I have line of sight with the FA in the jump seat and she is staring at me with daggers. As soon as she could, well before she would normally unbuckle, she does so and storms towards me. I just point at the moron. FA goes ballistic at him. Confiscates his lighter and hat. He's told in no uncertain terms that if he even blinks out of line then the restraints will come out. Rest of the flight was uneventful, but as we disembarked we could hear the guy arguing with the FA about wanting to get his hat and lighter back.


Second one. I was flying HKG-SIN on SQ on my way to CBR. I'd been in the lounge in HKG and took a pre-made sandwich. I took a small bite and it tasted to me like the butter was off. I didn't eat any more.

I got onboard and took my seat in Y. My seat mate was a young, bubbly and very talkative Hong Konger. As we taxied down the runway, I knew something wasn't right with the sandwich. As soon as the seat belt sign was off, I did a mad dash for the bathroom. Violent output ensued. After about 10 minutes, I made my way back to my seat feeling somewhat ok. That lasted about 10 more minutes and I started to feel crook again, this time with cold sweats added for good measure. My talkative seat mate noticed and the following conversation was had...

Her: You are feeling sick?
Me: Uh huh.
Her: (Smiling brightly) I will give you medical attention.
Me: (Side eye) You a doctor?
Her: (Emphatically) No. (Bright smile)
Me: You a nurse?
Her: No. But I am studying at University.
Me: You're studying to be a nurse at Uni?
Her: No. I am studying architecture. I will be a very good architect. But now I will give you medical attention. I have exactly what you need in my bag. (Pulls out an apple and goes to hand it to me)
Me: Umm. No thanks.

At that point, I felt the need to get to the bathroom very, very quickly where I was more violently sick than I'd ever been in my life. About 15 minutes later, a FA knocks on the door asking if I was okay. I told them I wasn't. The F cabin was practically empty, so they moved me to the back row there, made up as a bed, ignoring the comments of my seat mate who continued to assert that she was able to provide medical assistance. I remember being given oxygen. The call went out for a Doctor on board. There was none. I recall hearing one end of a conversation between the FA to the cockpit. I worked out that they were trying to decide whether to divert to Ho Chi Minh City to offload me or whether I'd be right to make it to SIN. I was desperate to hold on. If I was going to be hospitalised, I wanted it to be in Singapore not Vietnam. Somehow I made it.

I had to wait until everyone else had disembarked and then was met by a doctor who assessed me onboard. They took me in a wheelchair to what looks like a small operating theatre somewhere in the bowels of the airport where they asked me to sign a document (I know not what) and then they injected me with something. As the needle is going in, the nurse says, "You wouldn't have this in Australia as it's banned in your country!" I remember thinking that I needed to count my kidneys if I ever made it out of here alive. But whatever it was they gave me, it worked! Within 15 minutes I was completely human again. Amazingly, I even made my connection to Australia.
 

Beano

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On a flight from WLG-SYD, pax next to me starts singing along with his headphones. I asked him to be quieter but still persisited. When i said I would speak to the FA he stopped. The PAX in front of him thanked me for getting him to stop.
 

ja1

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I have had nothing like a FFH or anything close to some of the experiences above.. but had a couple of interesting trips. Keep in mind almost everything for me is Y..

1) Was commuting BNE-CBR for a couple of years and often the 'direct' flight might be more expensive than a route via CBR-MEL-BNE.. and since I was working for ANU and they weren't paying for the commuting part.. so sure, I'd book anything to save a buck.. (and you can work on the plane and on the ground...)

This was back when VA had the really nice E jets (Embraer 190 from memory). I would always ask for and almost always get an exit row and on this flight had a really nice chap sitting next to me - except he was 7 foot tall and a basketball coach at the AIS. We of course get the mandatory safety briefing being in the exit row that explains evacuation procedures. I am in the aisle.. Coach is in the window seat. This part is important to the rest of the story.. Flight was uneventful until we get to landing at MEL. Captain advises rough weather into MEL and a large thunderstorm is arriving but not quite here yet.. so we're going to land.

We come in to land and.. it turns out to be the closest to a touch and go I've had (passenger behind me yells out they can count all the leaves on the gum trees on the way in..). Captain wants another shot but now we are parked out doing circles over Geelong while waiting for everyone else to land in their slot before we get given another chance.. Turbulence is high and a bunch of people have started to vomit. This of course sets off more people and this isn't a great sound to listen to...

On the way in to land.. even heavier turbulence.. I turn to my exit row coach to make a joke and note he has passed out. So I am thinking.. we're going to land.. maybe hard and none of those evacuation procedures covered what to do in the event of a 7 foot tall human blocking the actual exit... (do I work around him ? do I try to get him out ? how ?). I desperately check the safety doco in the seat pocket again but no.. no references to 7 foot tall humans between you and the closest exit.. damm.

We all brace.. and captain puts E jet down pretty hard (wasn't taking any chances this time I guess).. and we hurray (still weak retching noises coming from the back) and head to the gate.. Coach still passed out but I'm checking to make sure he's able to breathe and his head isn't hitting anything.. He comes to (dazed) just as the plane reaches the gate.... I make sure he's as OK as I can tell and let the FA know he had passed out and might need to be checked out medically as I'm trying to exit the plane quickly (except.. exit row in the middle of the plane so.. exit quickly but not so much.. oh well).

I have a connecting flight onto BNE on a 737.. and by running from my exit gate to the next gate (no luggage helped and apparently I was the only idiot to try to fly CBR-MEL-BNE to save money..) and made it as the last person on board with about 30s to spare before they were calling me a no show and taking off.. because that thunderstorm was almost here.

MEL-CBR 737 was packed (not a spare seat) and I was in a middle seat.. sigh. Look to the left and there is bright sunshine and bunny rabbits could be hopping around and all is beautiful outside. Look to the right window and the sky and horizon are almost black and the grass looks like it is lying down flat with the wind gusts.

737 takes off without a hitch.. (I guess it's a lot bigger than the Ejet) and uneventful flight back to BNE..


2) I was a kid travelling with parents, in a 747 in the US. Plane is heading down the runway and almost gets to V1 and then pilot brakes and shuts everything down and it turns out we are not taking off after all.. Find out that they had noticed a door had apparently not been secured properly (?!). Very exciting as a kid (not often you're in something the size of a 747 and a pilot hoiks on ALL the brakes and the G force is throwing you that far forward.. parents not so happy..



I would have talked about the 'wait from hell' stories but they're all on the ground and the actual flights involved were quite nice so it doesn't really qualify for this thread..

I am really envious of some of these FFH stories.. I would have loved to be on that flight in the Andes..
 

Melburnian1

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On an SQ trip to India, boarding was chaotic in SIN (the flight was operated by subsidiary MI).

The cabin crew were painfully slow with dinner.

There were (as one might expect) fewer than 10 Westerners on board. We were served last. Call me fussy but the 'food' was inedible, and (in a typically first world whinge) they'd run out of the dish I thought might be slightly more acceptable.

On a QFi trip from LHR to MEL via SIN, I had an absolute grump of a 65yo male next to me who gave me the 'Julie Bishop death stare' every time I needed to go to the toilet. I had tried to make conversation but (as was his right) he wasn't interested. At least I knew that after five seconds.

Years ago travelling to South America on a now vanished airline, I found it disconcerting that numerous passengers stood up for almost the entire flight, blocking narrow aisles and sight lines, and all bar me clapped when we landed. Standard practice but how was I to know that?
 

ajf

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Flying as a single passenger from SYD to LHR in June 2001, I was asked by flight attendant if I would kindly swop seats so that a father and son could sit together.

No problem, I said and happily obliged.

Ended up sitting squished in the middle of 3 seats in an ancient 747 on a 24hr flight with Tweedledum on one side and Tweedledee on the other, made worse by the fact that the IFE (a small screen high up in the cabin as it was in those days) had no sound at my seat ........and I hadn't brought a book!

A nightmare trip.
 

Mansfield

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Had a Thai flight from Bangkok in Y. Across the aisle were 2 very elderly Japanese gentlemen. One in front of the other. It became obvious the the one in the front seat was annoyed with the one in the seat behind because he was kicking his seat .I was unable to work out what was being said but it was getting heated and waking people. All of a sudden the one in the front undid his seat belt and leaned over and punched the one behind right on the nose . Blood was pouring out when 3 female cabin crew came running to break up the fight.When order was restored a younger Japanese male took one of the elderly gentlemen away to another seat. ( turned out it was his son.). Landing in Sydney we were told to remain seated while the AFP entered the plane.The 2 AFP were all of 182 cm well built and the 2 elderly ( 80+and 165cm )off the plane in handcuffs. Sadly it looked hilarious - with the wives of the two men yelling I presume at the AFP or their husbands. The night sleep was broken but rather entertaining in hindsight.
 

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