Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Laws of Air Travel = Horrible Travel Experiences

We've been hitting the friendly skies lately, and for better or worse, all of the places we've gone have required upwards of 24 hours inside a plane (forget about the layovers!!). But, strangely enough, our flights have pretty much gone as planned.

My worst travel experience was actually flying from Maine to Memphis, probably 5 years ago. I can't remember which airline we were on, however, I do remember that we have 3 layovers and at each new airport our flight was either delayed or canceled. I'm sure, everyone agrees, hours in an airport is not a fun time!

I take back my earlier statement about my worst travel experiences. Our flight from Johannesburg to Paris was pretty awful. It's a long flight (maybe 8 hours or so??) and we were in the middle two seats of the four seater in the middle. Not only were the seats really close togather, the flight was a night one so you were crammed next to your fellow passenger who was inevitably sleeping when you needed to go to the bathroom. Horrendus!! Then to top it all off the flight attendant wouldn't give me soda with breakfast (and I know they had some in their little galley because they gave us some earlier). But, get this, they served sandwiches for breakfast. Not like egg mcmuffin types of things...these were like ham sandwiches!! That made me really angry...it happened four months ago and I'm still fuming!!

I started thinking about all of this after reading Murphy's 13 Immutable Laws of Air Travel. Luckily none of these rules have happened to me, although I will say that the loud child is ALWAYS next to me at a restaurant, hanging over the back of a seat or talking to me!

So let's hear it. I know you all have some awful experiences to share!! Or maybe some really good ones?? I want to know who to avoid and who I should book with!


susan said...

When I flew to Ireland by way of France and London, I sat next to an 8ish year old daughter of either the pilot or one of the flight attendants.

She didn't speak English and I didn't speak French, but that did not stop her from communicating with me. She was adorable and I really enjoyed talking with her, so before you think I'm a bad person for using this as a "horrible" experience, bear with me.

Every time I would nod off on my red eye flight, she would tap my shoulder gently, but hard enough to wake me up. And then we would go through all of her lip glosses while she taught me the various flavors in French.

I never slept and then I had to get on a plane from Paris to London and then another to Ireland.

It was my first flight out of the country. Like I said, she was adorable and it was great talking with her, but I don't think I've ever been that tired in my life.

gretchen said...

Last year's trip to Austin sucked, as far as travel. Both directions, we got stuck in CVG overnight (they put us up, which was nice, but sucked that we lost two full days with my TX family :() ) but I actually kind of like long layovers and delays for the awesome people watching. (I used to hang out at BIA when I was in HS, even, smoking in the coffee shop with my friends.) On my LAX-AKL leg, 10 years ago, the guy next to me passed out and dumped his whiskey all over my lap. That kind of sucked, too. And the first time I flew alone, at 16, I got stuck overnight in Memphis.

San Diego Momma said...

I am TERRIFIED to fly, so any flight is a horror show.

Still, I've got to say I haven't had any horrible travel experiences...except the time I thought we were going to plunge into the Rockies due to turbulence. But I'm pretty sure even that was in my head.

an ordinary Saffa girl said...

I have to say I LOVE travelling, but the novelty and excitement of airports is long gone!!!

We fly with Virgin for our longhaul flights and on our first one they ran out of food!!!! We were on a direct flight from London to South Africa (11 hours!) and we could hear the steward telling thos ein front of us ''sorry ma'am, we only have 2 of the 3 choices left now...'' and didn't think much of it tbh.

When they got to us they said ''we have run out of food, we are so sorry! But we can offer you a spud with beans, the steward food. Plus you can have free food from the snack counter all night (twas a night flight)''. (!!!)

We were NOT happy! I was dieting (no carbs!!!) and beans on a flight are a big no no for me haha. And I didn't want crisps and choclate and crap to eat for 11 hours! So we were starving by the time we reached Joburg.

We were not charmed and thankfully every flight since with Virgin has been a good one. But seriously Richard (Branson), you do need to ensure your fridge is stocked properly dear lad!!!

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Nothing too terrible with flights but I get dangerously close to missing a cruise because a tractor trailer ran over a car about a 10th of a mile in front of me on the highway. We sat still for three hours.

Vanessa Rogers said...

I've had some bad travel experiences but the worst one I can remember on the spot was our flight from Lima to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. It was a super cheap flight on Spirit Air, it was a red eye flight, and our seats wouldn't lean back, not even an inch. We had to pay for water and snacks and we got absolutely no sleep. I was so grumpy, tired and I was miserable. So there is my sob story :)

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