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Flights from Hell

Ausbt

Established Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
1,340
It wasn't that bad I guess but I copped a bit of a maddie once. SQ PE and my new seat-mate in aisle gave me quite a look as I indicated my window with a smile and a please. She told me she had been at a psychology conference 'all week' but had become a little bored an skived off. Anyhoo, she was a talker. She told me "listen, if I fall asleep just be aware I sometimes scream out while sleeping". Ahhhh ok. And boy, did she scream. The guttural, jumpy shrieks that truly made me wonder if I was going to be targeted as some sort of attacker myself. Anyway, we made it back to SYD, but the couple in front were most amused as we all (including the shrieker) had a friendly chat about it later while standing in the aisle.
 

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I had an interesting experience in a journey from LHR to CPT via DBX. My flight was booked through QF (points), but the actual metal was BA LHR-DBX and EK DBX-CPT. When I arrived at the F check-in at LHR was informed that BA could only give me a boarding pass from LHR to DBX, as BA does not have a cooperation with EK. Additionally, they informed me that my luggage could only be tagged through to DBX. This was a slight problem, as I only had 1.25 hr layover in DBX.

Flight in BA (Premium econ) was interesting - one of the passengers was clearly more plastic than flesh, and had everybody looking at "her" walking down the aisle. But the interesting thing was what she was doing to a fellow passenger under their flight blanket (I'll let you guess) - this was being watched by many other passengers, more gob-smacked than angry!

So, we arrive in DBX. FA said to me that she wondered whether said-woman had been to DBX before, because it was likely that she would melt in the heat!

Then having to deal with DBX airport - I was sent from one floor to the next, then one terminal to the next, and then back again. EK would not give me a boarding pass as the gate had closed. I was in the terminal so took my chance of running to the gate and hope for the best. Strangely, the gate attendant let me through, without boarding pass! Well, I thought I'm going to get on this plane, but heaven knows what is going to happen to me luggage.

So, got on the flight, bound for CPT. Over Yemen somewhere, some guy a couple of rows back starts yelling at another guy and calling him racist. Then a big punch-up starts, with one of the guys' toupe flying all over the place. This went on for a while. And where were the EK FAs? Standing watching!! The two guys were eventually separated by passengers.

Arrive in CPT. Told that my bags (which they showed me pictures of) would arrive on the second daily flight to CPT. Four days later they eventually arrived!

All in all, a bizarre experience. I enjoyed CPT though, in my smelly clothes!
 

Mansfield

Newbie
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
9
I had an interesting experience in a journey from LHR to CPT via DBX. My flight was booked through QF (points), but the actual metal was BA LHR-DBX and EK DBX-CPT. When I arrived at the F check-in at LHR was informed that BA could only give me a boarding pass from LHR to DBX, as BA does not have a cooperation with EK. Additionally, they informed me that my luggage could only be tagged through to DBX. This was a slight problem, as I only had 1.25 hr layover in DBX.

Flight in BA (Premium econ) was interesting - one of the passengers was clearly more plastic than flesh, and had everybody looking at "her" walking down the aisle. But the interesting thing was what she was doing to a fellow passenger under their flight blanket (I'll let you guess) - this was being watched by many other passengers, more gob-smacked than angry!

So, we arrive in DBX. FA said to me that she wondered whether said-woman had been to DBX before, because it was likely that she would melt in the heat!

Then having to deal with DBX airport - I was sent from one floor to the next, then one terminal to the next, and then back again. EK would not give me a boarding pass as the gate had closed. I was in the terminal so took my chance of running to the gate and hope for the best. Strangely, the gate attendant let me through, without boarding pass! Well, I thought I'm going to get on this plane, but heaven knows what is going to happen to me luggage.

So, got on the flight, bound for CPT. Over Yemen somewhere, some guy a couple of rows back starts yelling at another guy and calling him racist. Then a big punch-up starts, with one of the guys' toupe flying all over the place. This went on for a while. And where were the EK FAs? Standing watching!! The two guys were eventually separated by passengers.

Arrive in CPT. Told that my bags (which they showed me pictures of) would arrive on the second daily flight to CPT. Four days later they eventually arrived!

All in all, a bizarre experience. I enjoyed CPT though, in my smelly clothes!
 

Mansfield

Newbie
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
9
Flying does give me some great stories to tell - not all from hell...on a BA Flight to Heathrow in Y my seat was getting a real kicking . It was night and I thought I will just have a peek over ... well ...I couldn't help myself - I said to the male and female who were in an amazing position on the 2 of the 3 seats and said " hurry up and join the Mile High Club I would like to get to sleep ". The fellow had the good grace to apologise . The young lady started to giggle. Seeing the funny side of this and remembering I was young once I said "don't apologise - just get it done as soon as you can !! He did and obviously a happy ending ..
 

TripleB

Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
219
A number of years ago I was flying BA LHR-SIN on one of their 747s in Y. It was one of those miserable English winter's days and the 100mi drive down the M1 from the midlands had taken a good 6 or 7 hours. Then Heathrow was a complete mess and the flight was a couple of hours late (we got out just before curfew). I got on the plane and I was completely exhausted. To my delight the doors were closed with the cabin ~60% full and I had snagged the holy grail of economy class - an aisle seat with a free seat next to me!

I was in the G seat and there was dad+2 kids in the ABC with mum in the D. Nobody in EF - brilliant. I can put the arm rest up and wedge the pillow into the gap between my reclined seat and the adjacent seat - I'll sleep a fair chunk of the way to Singapore. Or so I thought.

After takeoff the little boy (he was probably about 3 and a half) sat with dad over in the ABC bank comes and sits next to mum in the E seat. Fine. Then mum collects all the pillows and lays him down with his head next to her across the E and F seats. Fine I can deal with that - I just want the armrest up a tad and to encroach into the F seat a bit - two little feet aren't going to bother me. Except whist sleeping he kind of stretched his legs every 30 seconds and dug his heels into my thigh every time. Which meant that I wasn't getting any sleep. After about 2 hours he woke his mother up with a particularly violent thrash. At this point I I very politely asked her if there was some way the arrangement could be adjusted a little so his feet weren't digging into my thigh every 30 seconds. The response was breathtaking "well if you weren't so fat you wouldn't need the arm rest up and it wouldn't be a problem". I let that slide and said "is there some way we can adjust the arrangements so he doesn't kick me every 30 seconds please". The response to that was 'If you don't like it go and find another empty seat to sit in". By this stage of course all the empty seats across the cabin had someone sprawled in them so that wasn't really an option. Not wanting to have a fight - I just put the arm rest down and dealt with him bashing that every 30 seconds - which kept me awake. Eventually I gave up and turned the TV on and started watching. About 45 minutes later the mother appeared in the aisle next to me and turned the TV off. I took my headset off to ask what the problem was and she snarled "I've asked you 3 times now to turn that off so you don't wake my son up with the light". I said that I would happily turn the TV off if she could rejig the sleeping arrangements so I wasn't being kept awake by his thrashing - but I wasn't going to sit there in the dark. The TV stayed on and he stayed thrashing for another 7 or 8 hours. Eventually the boy wakes up and wants to watch TV so sits upright in the E seat. At which point I fall asleep - until I was woken up by the mother leaning over from the D seat to shake me by the shoulder. I asked what the problem was and she said 'this is payback for falsely accusing my son of kicking you'. She did it twice more as I nodded off again. Then the lights came on and food was distributed prior to landing.

Mercifully as they were disembarking she put her rather swish coat and scarf (aquascutum - which I later learned would have been a couple of grand) over the back of the seats in front as she went to get a bag out of the overhead locker and then forgot to pick it up before she walked up the aisle. I was so tired-cross that I just kept quiet. To my delight upon getting back on for the SIN-SYD leg 90 minutes later, the coat and scarf were still over the back of the seat but the woman and her family were nowhere to be seen.

On the next leg I slept from shortly after takeoff in Singapore until the wheels hit the runway in Sydney without even reclining my seat.
 
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Triple B, I can cope with unruly ankle-biters, but the unruly parents are yet another matter!

I was on a AY flight in J a couple of years ago (HEL-SIN). A couple of unaccompanied kids (probably not orphans, as J!) were in the front middle row. I was on the front side window. I'm not a great lover of kids on a flight, so leaned over and said to them that if I heard just one peep out of them on the way to SIN I would open the door and throw them out! ....Didn't hear a thing!
 

gazzax2

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Jan 15, 2016
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My flight from hell was a Virgin Australia flight from Townsville to Brisbane in 2012, during a very hot and humid February day 35 degree heat, it was an afternoon flight, the hottest part of the day, the plane was incredibly hot upon entering, maybe the air con hadn't been switched on?

I was sitting with two friends in a row of three in the very back row of the aircraft, the legroom was almost non-existent, and it was fairly fun flight.

The flight was delayed and we sat on the tarmac at the gate for awhile, on an already very hot flight, with warm sun pouring in the windows.

Myself and other passengers were dripping with sweat. This was when Virgin still charged for water, I asked a stewardess if we could have some water, despite being visibly very hot and dripping with sweat, she refused.

The air con did seem to kick in sometime after takeoff.
 
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hmmm

Intern
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
50
PER-MEL-CBR on QF 737 in business class 2017 - when the previous passenger had obviously puked on the seat. I could tell this by the chunks down the side of the seat and the smell. I was P1 at the time in a relatively empty cabin and they would not let me move seats despite my asking nicely a few times and then less nicely a few more times. So I fixed that by passive-agressive pushing on the call button asking for a sick bag as the smell was (genuinely) setting me off, plus a complaint to P1 line as soon as I landed in MEL. Before I even boarded the CBR leg, I was whisked away and plied with several bottles of wine to take home, chocolates and most importantly of all, an acknowledgement that the previous pax HAD puked on the seat and that the seat was supposed to be taken out of service!!
I’m not QF’s biggest fan but I simply don’t believe this is true. Business class, P1 , an empty cabin and you’re claiming they refused to move you to an open seat despite you finding chunks of human vomit in your seat?

And despite this quite significant incident that could almost warrant a lawsuit, you accepted a few $15 bottle of wine as compensation?

when something doesn’t sound right, it’s usually untrue.
 

hmmm

Intern
Joined
Feb 1, 2017
Messages
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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.
IIRC, it wasn’t ‘dumped’ on Qantas. They voluntarily leased it.
 

Danielb56

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Sep 3, 2015
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This was back in the early 90s. I was flying Syd/Man/HKK on Philippines airlines. The flight was relatively good until about 2 hours out of Manila. We hit a massive storm - rain, wind, lightning etc. The turbulence was pretty bad. We just had dinner and I needed to go to the bathroom as the FA were collecting the dirty plates. On my return they were about 2-3 rows blocking me from my seat. So there was a vacant aisle seat that I decided to sit in until they passed me. All this time there was constant turbulence. As I sat in the seat and put my seatbelt on the plane hit an air-pocket and dropped significantly with plates flying every where and people started to scream. As it settled down and I was able to get to my window seat we had about another 45mins before landing. We approached landing in Manila with torrential rain, wind etc all still happening and as I could slowly see the lights on approach at airport the pilot then suddenly took off again and circled the city. As we were on the other side of the city there was no rain and by the tome we circled and landed the rain had also decreased and the landing was perfect. Having said all that the 2 hours in that storm felt like 20 hours. After we landed many people yelled and cheered. I was in Manila for a few days and I must admit my flight onto HKK, although very good, was a little nervy with any turbulence. All good now.
 

DaveinCanberra

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Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
23
Decades ago, backpacking in Nepal . . . took a twin-engine plane (Otter?) from Pokhara to Kathmandu to avoid a repeat of the hair-raising bus trip from the capital. Stuck on the tarmac (well, grass) while mechanics attempted to stem the flow of black oil spewing from the starboard engine. Finally took off and I spent the whole flight nervously watching the oil continue to leak, as we flew over the jagged peaks and deep valleys which would have afforded no chance of a decent forced landing anywhere. And I'm a nervous flyer at the best of times.
 
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About 7 years ago I booked an "aerovega" flight from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca. I thought a 1 hour flight vs a 10hr bus ride up through the mountains was a no-brainer.

I turn up with my wife at the closed airport at 7am to be greeted by a stocky moustached mexican man named Juan-Carlos holding a tin of oil with his vest on inside-out. We hand over our luggage and are taken to a 3 seater cessna. Juan-Carlos does something with the oil and the engine and off we go. We notice a sticker on the window that says "US customs - plane inspected 1987" next to a bunch of rust in the window sill.

We have taken off early in the morning a the temperature in the afternoon makes it difficult to fly with the thermals up to the mountains..... well, let me assure you the thermals were well and truly in action. At some points the plane felt like it would drop a hundred metres at a time. At one stage we were heading right at a mountain ridge only to do a complete turn to get more height to pass over it. I thought i was going to die.

My wife cried the whole time and I cried when we landed.

My advice if ever needing to make this journey.... Take the bus.
 
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Apr 20, 2020
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My most "interesting" flight was on Indian Airlines from Udaipur to Delhi in the 90s. The plane looked decrepit even from a distance. One of the windows was covered over with a solid piece of metal riveted all around. There were long streaks of black oil like stalactities dripping down from the engine cowling. My seat was stuck permanently one notch back from upright. Across the aisle was a gentleman in a bright orange turban. After the eminently forgettable meal, he fell asleep with his head on the armrest protruding out into the aisle and his seat fully reclined. We flew very low the whole flight (couldn't get higher because pressurisation was compromised by the missing window with the riveted cover, is my best guess). Coming into land, we struck intense turbulence. Seatblet sign came on, FAs handed out boiled lollies and giggled a lot. They requested me to put my seat upright, and refused to believe it was stuck. Two of them tried to force it up, but had to give up. The sleeping Sikh was left as is. The turbulence increased, his turban rolled off his head and down the aisle, but he didn't wake. We did a very hard landing and all the oxygen masks popped out. He still didn't wake and his head was blocking the aisle. One of the FAs rescued his turban and very gently woke him and handed him the tuban, which he replaced. I have often wondered who he was that they were so reluctant to disturb him.
 

flyingfan

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What a thread! Loving the stories - sorry for the dramas/vomit/fear you faced, but thanks for sharing the tales!

Made me realise I've had it real good - my worst flights pale in comparison to these stories. Probably the most disagreeable flight I've had is CBR-SYD (what is it with that 22-minute sector?). It was 3 hours late on a Friday (and I definitely would have gone by road with colleagues in hindsight), back before CBR was renovated. I got in on a friend's QC membership and after that, and emerging into the refugee camp of the old main terminal, vowed to never fly again without lounge access. Didn't witness projectile vomiting once the flight was airborne, although missed out on any service on a subsequent CBR-SYD leg because of turbulence - poor FAs were literally throwing bottles of water to the rows of J before they had to 'prepare the cabin for landing.'

Apart from that, the most frustrating might be a 40-minute ATC hold on a MEL-SYD and a few other minor delays due to damaged cargo door, problematic tug or deadheading crew... yeah, I've had it real good. But this gives me an idea for the Ask the Pilot thread...
 

serfty

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After takeoff the little boy (he was probably about 3 and a half) sat with dad over in the ABC bank comes and sits next to mum in the E seat. Fine. Then mum collects all the pillows and lays him down with his head next to her across the E and F seats
In that circumstance (having used priority boarding) experience has taught me to sit in the F seat with the rollaboard underneath in the E seat.

On example of such experince back in the 90's was on BA redeye from KUL to SYD. I was allocated a row of 4 being emerald (QF Gold) and let myself be bluffed out of three of the seats. Wet behind the ears back then.
 

Seat0B

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I’m not QF’s biggest fan but I simply don’t believe this is true. Business class, P1 , an empty cabin and you’re claiming they refused to move you to an open seat despite you finding chunks of human vomit in your seat?

And despite this quite significant incident that could almost warrant a lawsuit, you accepted a few $15 bottle of wine as compensation?

when something doesn’t sound right, it’s usually untrue.
Sorry you feel that way @hmmm. I assure you it is unfortunately all too true. Most disgusting. I moved myself and was given a BS story about aircraft weight and balance meaning I had to stay in allocated seat. As a former military loggie, I knew that was just totally rubbish.
 

jb747

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Mar 9, 2010
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Ah, vomit in aircraft. Having instructed at Pt Cook, I’m sure Straitman can relate to that.

Doing a manoeuvre that takes the aircraft into the vertical until you run out of airspeed, and experience zero g (hammerhead, or stall turn). Bloggs cuts loose with breakfast in the middle. Some very inventive control inputs follow, as you attempt to ensure the glob of doom stays over his side, and preferably returns to its owner.
 

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