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Worst Flight Ever

worst flight ever stories

Most of the time, flights are seamless. Perhaps a few delays, running late, little to no leg room. But how about when things go really wrong! Missed flights, double-booked planes, food poisoning, lost luggage, what's the worst you can think of? Here are a few stories by world travelers as they tell the story of their worst flight ever!

What would your worst flight ever look like? I would love to hear your stories

Nele from thenavigatio.com on her dream trip to Tokyo - Did her worst flight ever ruin this trip?

I’ve been on quite a few planes in my life. Especially now I live abroad, a visit home always requires a 50-minute flight from Manchester to Eindhoven. Add that to my travel blog and you’ve got quite a few flights every year! Normally, things go pretty smoothly. I’m experienced enough to know exactly what to do before flying, what time to get to the airport, avoid overpriced airport restaurants etc. One flight, unfortunately, has a different story.

I had been dreaming of going to Japan since I was about 10 years old. I promised myself that I’d make this dream come true as soon as I finished university. In between studying, my social life and starting my travel blog, I worked 20-30 hours a week to pay for rent and save some extra money on the side. With that money, I purchased flights to Tokyo! I was over the moon! The dream was becoming a reality! A few months after graduating, I was waiting at Amsterdam Airport (Schiphol) for my flight to Frankfurt. In Frankfurt, there was a 2-hour overlay and my journey would continue to Tokyo afterwards. I arrived super early, mainly because I could barely contain my excitement. After the usual baggage check and passport control, I got myself a coffee and read a few chapters on my kindle.

Everything was fine until I heard an announcement. My flight to Frankfurt was delayed. Only by 30 minutes, but because I only had 2 hours to change to my Tokyo flight, I got a bit worried. I asked a member of staff about it, but she told me there was no one from Lufthansa (the airline I was flying with) at Schiphol Airport. I’d have to call them for more information. Even though phone calls aren’t really my favourite thing in the world, I called Lufthansa. The man I spoke to didn’t help much. He said it should be fine. It’s only 30 minutes. I felt like I was overreacting, but I couldn’t shake the stress.

Waiting at the gate, the plane for delayed more. 40 minutes. 45 minutes. An hour. Nobody told us why it was delayed or how much longer we would have to wait before we could get onto the plane. But an hour delay meant I would only have one hour to change flights. It still may be possible! It would be okay - I kept telling myself.

Once I finally got onto the plane to Frankfurt, it didn’t move. For another 20 minutes, the plane stood still while everybody was already aboard the airplane. No updates. No explanation of why they weren’t rushing us to get to Frankfurt. I HAD A PLANE TO CATCH! When the plane finally started moving, it took another 20 (!!!) minutes to get to the runway. I’m pretty sure we departed from the Polderbaan, which is known to be the runaway at Amsterdam Airport that’s located 7 kilometres from the terminals. It took forever! At this point in time, I was almost certain I was going to miss my flight to Tokyo. The flight itself was just crazy. Normally, it takes about an hour to fly from Amsterdam to Frankfurt. This time, it took 30 minutes. I suspect they tried to catch up on the delay, but flying so quickly felt really strange. My ears were popping through the entire flight and there was so much turbulence!

Once landed, I tried to rush out of the plane. A member of the cabin crew asked me why I was in such a run while they opened the door. I told her I was going to miss my connecting flight. She was really lovely and called the pilot of the Tokyo flight for me, but unfortunately… They had already finished boarding. I was greeted by someone from All Nippon Airway at the terminal, who informed me I had missed my flight. I was devastated. In tears.

At Frankfurt, I found out there was one last flight to Tokyo that day. But when talking to Lufthansa, they told me there were no flights left and I had to stay in Frankfurt for the night. I could get another flight the next day at 2 PM. This would mean I would miss 1.5 days of my dream trip to Japan. No bloody way! After talking to her for a while, showing her the flight numbers of the last flight to Tokyo, she finally caved. “Oh yes. THAT flight. I guess we can book you onto that one… If you really want.”

I understand it was with a different airline and Lufthansa obviously wanted me to fly with them, but this was my dream trip. Something I’d been looking forward to for 13 years and worked so hard for. I ended up getting the last flight to Tokyo from Frankfurt - with a stop in Dubai. I arrived in Tokyo 11 hours later than planned, but I was there. The entire journey from my parents' house to my hotel in Tokyo took almost 28 hours - but I was so happy to be in Tokyo. I cried of happiness when the plane landed on Japanese grounds after the trouble I went through. Even with a rough start, Japan turned out to be even more amazing than I could’ve ever wished for. It was by far the best trip of my life and I hope to return in the future - hopefully without any delays 😉

You can read about my time in Tokyo in my 6 day Tokyo itinerary.

worst flight ever to tokyo

Kimberly from Two Travelling Toques will never fly with this airline again

You always read about other people and their terrible flight experiences and think “wow, it really sucks to be them”. Until it happens to you!

I’d heard a lot of different complaints with people flying Spirit Airlines before. Some from my own friends. But my family and I had flown with them 3 times already, and everything went smoothly. So why should this time be any different?
 
It all started on a beautiful, sunny day in Fort Lauderdale. We arrived at the airport 3 hours ahead of time, just like we were supposed to. But as soon as our cab rounded the corner, I saw a sight I’d never seen before at an airport. People were lined up outside the airport for about a kilometre long. At first I thought “this can’t be right, they must be lined up for something else”. But it wasn’t. Everyone, likes us was waiting to get on a plane.
 
So after standing in line for 1.5 hours, we had finally gotten close enough to the door to see what was happening. An airport agent was calling out different cities that the plane would be departing for soon, and she was taking those people into the airport with her. No problem, I thought. When it’s close to our time to fly, she’ll be calling out Detroit. But we waited and waited, and there was no mention of Detroit.
 
When it got to be 20 minutes before our plane was departing, and we were still outside in line, I started to get really worried. We were waving and trying to flag down the agent to come over to talk to us. When we told her our flight is supposed to be leaving in 20 minutes, she looked down at her paper and said “come with me and run”. She took us straight to the front of the counter, and they checked us in quickly. Normally, we travel light with a backpack each. Or sometimes one small carry-on. But this day, we had one bag to check since we had purchased some liquids.
 
Then with the agent we took off running as fast as we could through the airport. Security took two seconds that day. We jumped on the plane right when they were closing the door. We had made it! What a relief! Well not quite.
 
There were 4 of us. My husband and I, plus our two boys age 14 and 15 at the time. I had pre paid for my seats ahead of time because our family likes to sit together. But when we went to what were supposed to be our assigned seat numbers, there were already people sitting in two of them. I showed our tickets to the people in the seats, and they showed me theirs with the exact same seat numbers on them. I’m guessing they gave away our seats since we were so late getting to the counter.
 
Then the one flight crew started barking orders “everyone take your seat now”. We told her two of us were missing a seat. And her reply was “oh not this again”. My youngest son and I took the two seats that were available. And the flight lady said to my husband and other son “just go stand at the back of the plane till I figure this out”. The plane was completely full. So I didn’t know how she was going to magically produce two more seats.
 
It turned out two other flight crew people were flying home on that plane, so they took them and put them in the cockpit. So now my husband and son are left sitting in random seats. One at the back of the plane and the other in the middle. My son says he had a wonderful conversation sitting between two 80 year old women.
 
Finally we're in the air and my son pulls down the food tray. Written on the top of the tray in black marker was “Spirit Airlines sucks!”. At this point we couldn’t help but laugh.
 
So after waiting in line for almost 3 hours outside, then running and jumping onto the plane, I had to go to the bathroom. But every time I looked, someone was using them. Finally I got tired of waiting, and went and stood outside the door. (She had previously told us no blocking the isles, and one at a time at the bathroom). So the flight crew snapped at me and told me I’d have to go back to my seat to wait. Luckily for me, the person in the bathroom came out.
 
Then after this whole ordeal, we make it to the Detroit airport and head over to pick up our one checked backpack. We get to the carousel and notice all the zippers had been opened on our bag. Gone was one six month old I pod. Lesson learned! Also bring locks.  Although we tried to put a claim in for it, we were one day late submitting the forms. Because we couldn’t find the receipt ourselves and were waiting on the bank with our credit card proof.
 
I’m guessing from Spirits track record, it was inevitable that our luck would run out. Needless to say, that was our final dealings with Spirit.
worst flight ever

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