questionswhat was your worst flight (delay/cancellation…


(continued) Flight to Newark was so late that our flight home was missed - though we found out (while waiting for our flight from Houston to be allowed a gate) it was canceled anyways. Spent night at a terrible, terrible, Travelodge in Newark - don't ever stay in that hotel under any circumstances. Went back to airport first thing the following morning and found we couldn't fly home that day, either. Took a flight to another airport (~2 hours by car from our own) and then took one-way rental car to get to our own car and home. Our luggage met us the following day. We were 24+18 = ~42 hours late getting home vs original schedule.

The positive side: In Mexico City the airline paid for our night in the hotel, plus dinner and breakfast before flying. In Houston we weren't forced to board until we finally new when we were going to take off. In Newark while we sat on the tarmac not moving after landing the stewards brought water service and opened the bathrooms.


When I was 16 I went on a trip with my girlfriend (now wife) and her family to Acapulco. We flew out of Detroit on Allegra Airlines (who knew, it's not just an allergy medicine!). While we were in line on the runway, waiting to take off, there was a strong gasoline odor. A lot of people complained to the crew until the captain finally told everyone that it was just because we were in a long line of planes waiting to take off.

Once we started to take off, it was apparent that something was wrong. When we made it into the air, my wife and my mother-in-laws hair was blowing like we were in a hurricane. People were screaming, but you couldn't hear anything. My ears popped like they've never popped before...

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After about 10 minutes in the air we made an emergency landing back in Detroit. We didn't hear from the captain or crew during the entire ordeal. Once back on the ground for about 15 minutes they finally told us that the maintenance crew forgot to shut the food service door. We all had to de-board, and because it was an international flight, go through impromptu customs experience before we could reboard. When it was all said-and-done, we left for Acapulco 2.5 hours late.

No compensation from the airline, only an apology over the PA system in the plane from the captain.


I was flying to Baltimore a few years ago. A moderately bad thunderstorm blew through shortly before my plane's scheduled arrival. Despite the storm being long gone by the time we got there, we were redirected to the Norfolk, VA airport. I spent 12 hours there, about half of that time was inside the plane sitting on the tarmac.

The airport was crowded beyond belief (I think a lot of planes on the East Coast were stuck there) so the airport was packed. There wasn't even much sitting room on the floor, much less chairs. The airport restaurants were running out of food, and no one could leave the terminal because we had no idea when our plane would be taking off again. I was hungry, tired, and uncomfortable.

For years its been an inside joke amongst my friends that I'm bad luck for travelers. Something seems to happen in every single trip I take. I was also traveling on the East Coast during the 2010 "Snowmageddon," so I guess you can blame that one on me too. :P


The longest delay was on a flight home from Frankfurt when I got stuck in Newark and ended up getting home a little over 24 hours late. Fortunately since it wasn't a weather delay but just backed up traffic from a previous weather delay the airline paid for a hotel room and meals.

The worst delay was when I started feeling the symptoms of swine flu waiting for a connection home in Atlanta.


Loosing an engine about 15 minutes into a flight was awesome. Along with the rapid descent/ears popping and being met by the fire department when we landed. At least we landed wheels down in one piece.
This was after a delay of changing planes because the first one had a smoke detector that wouldn't shut off after we began taxiing.


Worst flight experience I've ever had was the 47.5 hours that it took me and some friends to get home from India. Unfortunately it was planned to be almost that long. 4 flights on three continents including a 12 hour layover in Mumbai. The one flight the whole trip that wasn't delayed was the final one. Newark to DFW...which we missed because our previous flight was delayed and there were long lines in customs.

My worst unplanned flight experience was trying to get back to school after Christmas one year when I was in college. It should have been an easy Detroit to Atlanta flight. But there was a blizzard that hit the Great Lakes area the night before my flight. No one was going anywhere so I was delayed a day. We borrowed a neighbor's 4-wheel drive vehicle to get to the airport the next day. I got on a flight from DTW to O'Hare with the promise of a direct flight to Atlanta from there. Which didn't happen. O'Hare was more a mess than DTW.


So I got to O'hare but the flight going to Atlanta wasn't going. I don't remember if they didn't have the crew or didn't have the plane but basically not much was getting out of Chicago that day. There was a guy who had just camped out at one of the bars and had been there for like a day and a half. I made some new friends. We played cards and shared snacks. About four hours later I was able to get onto a flight to Kansas City, again with the promise of going on to Atlanta. But at least this time it was the same plane and Kansas City was outside of the snowzone. I refused to get off the plane in Kansas City, along with a number of other passengers also headed for Atlanta. About two hours later we did manage to take off for Atlanta and arrived without further incident. It wasn't a pretty journey but I was just glad to be back at school and glad for the extra day I had built into my travel plans that break. I think the regularly 2.5 hour trip took me over 12 hours.


Several awful memories of flights. None seem as bad as others here. Once got stranded in O'Hare overnight on a trip from Denver to Las Vegas. Slept on the floor in the airport. Meh.

On a trip from the Orlando area to Athens Greece. With my mother. Out of JFK, stuck on the tarmac for a couple of hours. "Working on one of the engines," they said. And yes, they were. I watched. Never told my mother that this was the same flight that crashed in Long Island before. I was very, very nervous. Did say to my mother, that it was better they fixed it before we left. (Seriously.)

On a trip home from Spain, landed in JFK. Connecting flight missed. Customs & long, long trek through airport. Airline did not care. Further insult...was jostled in women's rest room line. Wallet, passport, driver's license, credit cards gone. Did not know that until I land in Orlando.

I still LOVE to travel!


I once spent 3 days in the MAC (military airlift) terminal in Hawaii trying to fly to California on my 7 days of leave. The plane kept getting delayed for maintenance while three other flights went to the same place but they wouldn't let us change flights because we had signed up for the first one. I was not happy. I never did get out.


Drove out to LA with a buddy who was dropping out of school to move in with another friend of ours. He picked me up in Colorado, I had flown there from Chicago + stayed with an uncle. We drove to LA. While we were moving buddy #2 out of his Camaro and into an apartment, the airline I had my flight booked back to Chicago on went bankrupt. No more flights. The only airline that would honor my ticket flew me to Newark from LA on the redeye, then I transferred to Chicago, arriving the afternoon before classes started for the fall semester.

I hadn't told my mother where I was staying in LA because we didn't know (and to avoid a lecture) so she showed up out of the blue at daybreak at Newark Airport to hand over my winter sweaters and not speak to me. I don't think I unpacked my stuff (which I had stored at the frat I'd been living in over the summer) for a month.