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Last call for all passengers flying to Hell

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cynismus, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. cynismus

    cynismus
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    American Airlines sucks

    A few years ago, I went on a trip to Florida to hang out with my cousins. My parents hooked me up with some miles, but for some reason did it round trip from Houston to Orlando (I live in Dallas). I had to book my own (albeit cheap) flight to Houston, then take the free flight to Florida and back.

    I picked my return flight to Dallas from Houston based on the expected arrival of the flight from Orlando into Houston. I gave myself about 3 hours of layover time, which I thought was sufficient enough to deplane, get my bag, check back in, and get on the plane back home.

    Yeah, that didn't work out so well because American Airlines is run by a bunch of retarded monkeys.

    I landed in Houston around 5 pm, and my flight to Dallas was scheduled to leave around 8. I got my stuff, checked back in, and was in the gate waiting area by 6. I took a mini nap, read a little, and basically fucked around. Around 7, the board that displayed the flight status/times said that the flight would be delayed by 5 minutes. No big deal, right? Right, until 15 minutes later, they updated the delay status to 15 minutes (8:15 departure). I figured there were some weather issues in Dallas that was delaying the flight coming in. The problem was that they kept on delaying us more.

    Frustrated, I called a friend in Dallas and asked her what the weather was like...and she told me it had been gorgeous all weekend - no rain or otherwise inclement weather to speak of over the past few days.

    8 pm rolls around, and there is no plane at the gate, no passengers getting off...nothing. 8:30 - someone at the desk FINALLY decides to let us know that they were waiting on a flight crew to show up. Why? Because the flight crew that was supposed to be on the plane in Dallas MISSED THE FUCKING FLIGHT. You would think that Dallas of ALL cities in the US (major hub for AA) would have another flight crew available, but no. The people at the gate desk kept on saying that they were waiting on a Houston-based crew to show up, but I stopped believing them at 10 pm.

    These motherfuckers dicked us around for about 3 hours before telling us that we would have to catch the red eye flight at 6 the next morning to get back to Dallas. They put us up in some shit-tastic hotel near the airport, we didn't get checked in and in bed until close to 12:30 because the shuttle driver seemed half-awake when he picked us up and GOT LOST on the way back to the hotel.

    I thought I had it bad because I had a big meeting to get to at work at 9 am and I would barely be rested / prepared for it...but there were these two ladies who had just gotten back from a funeral, and their bags had inexplicably already left before them, so they were wearing the same clothes that they wore at the funeral ALL day/night Sunday and into Monday morning. On top of dealing with the emotions about the funeral, these poor women were stuck wearing the same clothes for close to 24 hours. Terrible.

    Fuck American Airlines.
     
  2. kuhjäger

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    My biggest issue with an airport was leaving a country to get to another one thanks to a dick customs agent.

    When I was living in Germany, I decided to take a trip to Poland to meet up with some girls I met in the Czech republic.

    I had to fly from Berlin to Cologne to Krakow, a little bit of back tracking, but Europe isn't that big. So I got on my plane, in Berlin, and it was announced that we had to wait to pick up passengers from a delayed flight to take.

    I was getting a little antsy, as I had a limited time between my connections, and there were only a couple of flights to Poland a week on my airline, and were I too miss it, I would be shit outta luck.

    So finally the plane takes off, and we arrive with only 8 minutes to spare. I race off to the next gate, explain my situation to gate attendant, she makes a quick call to the gate where my plane landed, and lets me through.

    Now first a little background: A student has three months to obtain their visa in Germany, I was on month 2. Now normally your entrance stamp covers it, however as I had come in through another EU country, I didn't have a stamp, instead I registered with the police, and received an entrance stamp on a piece of paper with my info on it, and I had brought it along.

    Now as I went down the gate area I saw that there was someone there stamping passports. Remember that the plane was supposed to leave in 3 minutes.

    He takes my passport, and I hand him my registration. He looks at it all and asks where my stamp is. I point to my entrance papers, and say here it is. This is what I have used before. He looks it over, and goes through my passport again and starts going off on how it was my responsibility to get an entrance stamp, and a visa and how he is not sure if he should let me leave. I explain to him the finer points of EU border law, and German residency requirements.

    Finally, after 5 minutes of hemming and hawing, he gives into the crushing weight of my logic and stamps my passport.

    5 days later, I was coming back from Poland, and had to get my passport stamped again. We disembarked at the same gate, and there was my nemisis, Hans the border guard. Before I even handed him my passport he gave me a hearty, "Hallo Herr Kuhjäger" takes my passport, and stamps it.

    Somehow this prick made it harder for me to leave his country than to get back in.
     
  3. lust4life

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    The lust4life corollary: When making a connection, the distance between gates is conversely proportional to the amount of time between arrival and departure.
     
  4. Currer Bell

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    In Feb 1996 I had to take a business trip to NH, and we flew into Boston and rented a car. When it was time to fly back home, we arrived at the airport and did the usual wait to board the plane. While we were waiting, we had a lovely view of the Boston skyline. It started to snow, and over time the falling snow was so thick that we could no longer see the skyline. We boarded the plane, and sat there forever. Eventually they had to taxi to another part of the airport so they could de-ice the plane. Thick pink goo poured down the sides, it was like being covered in pepto bismol. We waited awhile longer, and then the plane taxied back to our gate and we had to get off. After another wait, we got back on, and once again had to go get de-iced. After the second pepto bath, we finally took off without further incident.

    Eleven years later I planned my second flight to Boston to meet up with some internet friends. February 2007. A few days before my flight, my car had some problems and I had to put it in the shop and use a rental car. I decided to turn in my rental car at the airport, and when I got back from Boston I'd take a cab to the shop to pick up my car. After I turned in the rental I went to go check in for my flight and was told that it had been cancelled because of a shit...I mean...snow storm in the Northeast. I don't know if y'all remember the great JetBlue fuckup of Feb07. There wouldn't be another flight until the morning. The airport was across town from my apartment, so I wasn't thrilled by the idea of cabbing it home and then cabbing back to the airport the next morning. Fortunately I had a friend who lived right near the airport and I called him and bunked there for the night.

    After my weekend in Boston, it was time to go home...except there were more cancellations. I absolutely could not stay another day or two, so I cancelled my reservation and took a Greyhound bus home. From Boston to Virginia. Fun times!

    So if I ever fly to Boston again, it will be in the spring, summer, fall, but definitely not goddamn winter!
     
  5. Dcc001

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    I've lived in four different countries and my most recent round-the-world trip lasted almost a year. Needless to say, I think I've been in every shithole airport and had everything go wrong you can imagine. Some samples:

    - Being in an airport in Indonesia during the uprising against Suharto, when a riot was going on in the town I was flying out of. We had to stay within the airport building itself, since the military had secured it.

    - Having to pay 220 EUORS for an overweight bag in Frankfurt. That wasn't actually overweight.

    - Turbulence so bad on a flight to Cairo that the flight attendants, who were strapped into the jump seats, screamed (I kid you not) "YEE-HAW!!!" and the entire contents on my food tray bounced off my table and landed upside down on the legs of the passenger next to me.

    Nothing compares to my mom's experience, though. We were both living in Calgary, and her mom got sick in Ontario (that's halfway across the country, for you non-Canucks). She flew down without knowing how long she'd have to stay. I flew down some weeks later. Her mom was still ill, and this was before 9/11 so no one gave a shit what name your ticket was registered under. I decided to fly back on her ticket and she would fly back on mine; that way, she'd get to stay longer and not have to pay a re-scheduling penalty.

    I flew home no problem. Her, not so much. The small town were from has a flight that goes directly to Toronto in a small Dash-8 aircraft. Upon approach, the pilots noted that the landing gear wasn't coming down. They tried several times; nada. They radioed the tower, and the tower had them do a flyby. The tower was also unable to confirm if the landing gear was down and locked (meaning a faulty indicator light in the cockpit) or if it was down and unlocked.

    So the emergency system kicked in at Toronto Pearson Airport. The plane had to circle for 2 hours while the manufacturer of the plane was contacted and consulted. Also to dump fuel so that if it crash landed it wouldn't explode as bad. The flight attendant moved everybody around, and when it came time to land no one was sure what was going to happen. They had to land in the "brace" position, bent over their legs, with the flight attendant screaming at them the whole time not to lift their heads. My mom, ever the cool one under pressure, put her passport in her front pocket so that when her body was identified and my father called he would know it was her, not me, who was dead.

    The plane landed fine. Burnt out bulb after all. They landed on an auxiliary runway lined with EMS. The only problem? No one thought to bring a bus for the passengers because no one expected people would be walking away.

    The best part was when her second flight of the day landed in Calgary. A giant piece of something sheared off the wing. There was some nervousness and the crew notified what happened. The pilot made the following announcement, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Calgary. Some of you may have noticed that a piece of the aircraft has fallen off. There is nothing to worry about, since we've already landed."

    One of the few times I've seen her drink.
     
  6. Currer Bell

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    Flying Tip #3,456: if your favorite way to relax is to enclose yourself in a biosphere of cigarette smoke and BO for many hours, then Ukrainian Air the only way to travel.
     
  7. jets22

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    Twelve or thirteen years ago I was flying back home to Newark from Sarasota, FL with the family after spending a week down there. I had school the next morning, so we booked a flight that was scheduled to leave at 9 am. We get to the airport around 7, grab a quick breakfast and board the plane without incident. Everything's normal, we'll be home by noon. Good trip, right?

    After waiting in line for a half hour to take off, the captain comes over the intercom and tells us there's something wrong with the plane and we'll have to go back to the gate for them to fix the problem. They herd us off the plane and we spend the next two hours waiting in the terminal while they fix this mysterious problem. Finally, everything seems to be fine and we re-board the plane. The plane pushes back from the gate and, despite the pilot's reassurances that they fixed whatever was wrong with the plane, we don't even make it to the line to wait to take off before he comes back over the intercom and tells us the plane is still broken and we need to go back.

    After another hour, we're told that they can't fix the problem with the parts they have there and they're going to pack the necessary parts in a van and drive it down from Tampa, which is a good hour and a half away. Two hours later, still no van, and we're informed that the van is stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, but once it gets there, they should have the problem fixed in a half hour and we should be boarding around 4:30.

    Shockingly, they actually keep this promise, and the plane starts to board again. Just as I'm about to step on the plane, someone inside starts screaming and the flight attendants start hustling the people in front of me out of the plane. Apparently one of the old people in first class just had a heart attack. The ambulance comes onto the tarmac and they take the guy off the plane and everyone finishes boarding. By this point I'm convinced that with all this bad luck, there's no chance that this flight isn't gonna end up plunging into the ocean someplace, but I follow my parents onto the plane and buckle in.

    But it turns out we didn't crash into the ocean, because we didn't even make it away from the gate before the captain comes back over the intercom and tells us that the plane is irreversibly fucked, and we'd have to get back off again. We're then told that since there aren't any available planes, we'll have to wait until the next flight from Newark gets down there and they get the plane turned over so we can fly home, which won't be until 8 pm. But they give us $10 food vouchers (thanks Continental!) and about half the passengers head off to eat dinner, us included.

    We get back to the gate at around 7:30 and are shocked to see that nobody is waiting in the seats by the gate. With about ten people crowding around the desk at the gate, the woman explains to us that there was a spare plane after all, and because our flight crew had such a small window of time to take off before they would have been on duty for too long and couldn't fly, they decided not to make an announcement for everyone that was eating and they'd just take off with the people still waiting at the gate. And of course, the plane that was supposed to be ready at 8 is delayed, and we should expect to take off at 10 pm.

    By this point, everyone left at the gate heads down to the main Continental desk to get refunds for the flight. They do us one better and give everyone $400 vouchers for tickets anywhere in the US. Slightly less furious, we're walking around the airport when I overhear a final boarding call for a Continental flight to Newark from our gate. An hour earlier than they said it would leave. We rush back to the gate, make it onto the plane, and depart without incident. 14 hours after getting to the airport.

    On the bright side, the free flight to Utah made for an incredible week of skiing and I've never had another airport-related mishap since. I like to think the gods still owe me for this debacle.
     
  8. Kratos

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    Not necessarily about the airport, but fucked up flight situations.

    I unfortunately used to have to fly Barbie jets for work a lot because my destinations generally weren't the big cities when I flew. Normally the CRJs are fine but I had some pretty bad luck one trip. Apparently both legs the on the MSP -> CLE -> MSP trip decided to break the wing flaps so we had to make emergency landings.

    1st leg: in the air and had to turn around after 30 minutes due to flap issues. Another 4 hours at the gate and we were on our way.

    2nd leg: half way through the flight they reposition some people to the emergency exits. This is standard procedure because they rarely check if you can actually perform the exit row duties pre-flight. We make the normal destination but the landing wasn't very fun, it was extremely hard and we used the entire runway.

    I could probably elaborate more but I'm at work and do not have the motivation.

    Also, Philly has by far the worst airport in the country. Hands down. Atlanta has really started to piss me off as well since DL thinks it's a great idea to start funneling as many former NWA flights through there as possible. Talk about crowbarring extra flights in.
     
  9. Dcc001

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    I beg to differ. Three horrible, horrible letters: LAX.
     
  10. Queef Debris

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    http://www.gadling.com/2007/06/28/hilar ... complaint/

    This was a real letter of complaint to the airport
     
  11. Kratos

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    If you guys really want to see how fucked up the airline industry is, read the forums at http://www.flyertalk.com. There are quite a few horror stories on the airline-specific threads. I frequent these boards quite a bit and it actually does have quite a few good tidbits for getting perks on your flights as well.

    It wouldn't let me edit my previous post otherwise I would have added this on the bottom.
     
  12. Silly_wabbit

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    I fly every other week, and in general, I don't have a lot of complaints, most of my miles are on Delta, and they've treated me pretty well.

    However, every once in a while, my connection from Atlanta into my small town will have issues.

    Three times now, I've been flying home on the last flight of the night into my hometown, witha projected arrival time of 11:50 p.m. We'll get within sight of my town, only to be turned away due to fog on the runway. The plane will be circle over the airport for 45-60 minutes, hoping the fog will clear, before finally heading back north to Atlanta. And I'm exhausted, and I've been on the road all week, and all I want is to get home and sleep in my own bed.

    And I can't get home.

    They turn around, fly us back to Atlanta, unload us at the gate at around 1 a.m. and I start calling hotels to get a room for the night.

    It sucks ass. It's almost enough to make me cry. Almost.
     
  13. Pan Sapiens

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    I was in Chicago, waiting on a long delayed flight to Pittsburgh. The flight was departing out of one of the small wings, so naturally there was no available seats while I waited for any information on exactly how long the delay would last (five hours).

    About an hour into the flight, the captain informs us the plane is over-fueled. As a result, the plane could not land safely because it was too heavy. I assume this meant "landing" would consist of plummeting from the sky and perishing in a fiery inferno, which sounded like a dandy plan to me after 48+ hours of travel time.

    Instead, they opted for Plan B. Dropping cruising altitude to 11,000 feet, dropping the landing gear, and circling around Niagara. Fucking NIAGARA! I guess the flight crew thought the flight was heading to Pittsburgh by way of Beijing. Of course, we hit a storm.

    "Turbulence" isn't an adequate word. It was an amusement park thrill ride with a significantly higher risk of death. Men prayed, women cried, and children screamed. I'd like to say I remained calm because of an innate coolness under duress, but I was simply too drunk and tired to process the severity of the situation. I did briefly consider lighting a cigarette.

    Obviously we all survived, but the ordeal wasn't over. Apparently our little detour didn't burn quite enough excess fuel, because we didn't so much land at Pittsburgh as drop out of the fucking sky and luckily hit wheels first.

    This all happened in 2005, I haven't flown since.
     
  14. Jubes2681

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    When I studied abroad in Florence for a term, my journey there was the longest journey I have ever undertaken.

    We boarded our plane in Logan (Boston) an hour late at about 7pm, which wasn't that bad. Unfortunately, we continued to sit for nearly two hours on the tarmac with no explanation. Mind you, our connecting flight in Paris only had an hour connecting time between the flights. This 3 hour delay in Boston meant we missed our connection in the city of lights. C'est la vie - we were sure there was another flight we could easily catch.

    How silly we were. We landed in Paris to find out that our 60 min connection had turned into 7 hours. There we were, 25 students stuck for 7 hours in the Charles de Gaulle airport. To pass the time, a few friends and I got shitfaced in the airport bar. It was clearly our only option.

    7 hours go by and we get to our gate, some hungover, some still tipsy, others just tired. We board the plane. Thirty minutes go by and we are told to deplane. We go back to the gate. They tell us it will be about an hour. We twiddle our thumbs. They put us back on the plane. They take us off. We twiddle our thumbs some more. Three hours go by before we get back on the same small plane. The flight attendants told us that the landing gear was now fixed. Lovely.

    We landed in Florence at 11pm. We had left Boston the night before at nearly 9pm. The majority of our time was spent in the airports or on the tarmac. It was the longest 7 hours in the air I have ever spent.

    But damn if it wasn't the best decision of my life to study in Florence for a term.
     
  15. breakylegg

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    I was hungover and flying from Vegas to Seattle one summer afternoon. As we boarded a guy was outside using a drill on the wing, which is never a good sign before take off. The cabin was stifling and we sat on the tarmac for about an hour while the heat and drilling continued as other planes took off. The captain never spoke the whole time until finally informing us we had another hour to wait before take off. They wouldn't let anyone off the plane until then, and they wouldn't serve drinks. After a lot of random bitching from the passengers, the pilot caved and decided to give us a free treat to kill the time with: John Tesch Live at Redrock... The view screens lowered and for the next hour we were subjected to the painful sounds of barfy new age music and drilling in the triple-digit heat. Until then, I'd always kinda dreaded the bumpy take-offs.