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Red in Chicago
02-18-2007, 07:12 PM
earlier this week, jet blue had several instances where passengers sat on the tarmac for more than 6 hours due to inclement weather. there were lots of stories about crying babies and overflowing toilets. i can't imagine being stuck on the tarmac for over 6 hours and not being given the opportunity to deplane. there is talk of a passenger's bill of rights, but who knows if this will ever pass. i understand that the weather conditions were bad, but being stuck on a plane for so long in this day and age, makes no sense whatsoever. the company has offered free round trip tickets to anywhere they fly, but i don't think that would ever make me want to fly them again, if it had happened to me. jet blue only recently came to chicago, but stories like this certainly discourage me from wanting to use them.

so what's the longest you've ever sat on the tarmac and what did the crew do to make it as pleasant as possible? for me, luckily, it's only been about 45 minutes, but i was ready to lose my mind the entire time. one thing i've learned from that, is to never store anything under the seat in front of me. the extra leg room in situations like that are key.

vaticanplum
02-18-2007, 07:19 PM
9 hours. Prior to an 8-hour flight.

I don't even know if I have the energy to tell the story. I've considered writing a book about it, it was that bad. And this is just one of many airline horror stories to my name. I can't claim many superlatives, but I do think I may have the worst air travel luck of anyone who's ever lived.

redsmetz
02-18-2007, 07:29 PM
1977 - 10 to 12 hour delay in the Frankfurt Germany airport. I left Germany a few days after a major blackout in NYC and since our plane was a charter flight, all of their flights were still working to get back on time. We were given some food vouchers and we hung out in the airport all day.

We had gotten up in Heidelberg about 6:00 to take the train to Frankfurt. By the time we arrived in Chicago, it was midnight central time and we'd been up 24 hours. We had made reservations at a hotel in Chicago since we'd gotten in too late for the flight back to Cincy and when we got there they didn't have anything on it. Everyone at the hotel had come in from somewhere which had been delayed and when we started grumbling about it, other folks behind us started grumbling because they'd all be up a long time too. They gave my buddy and me a suite for the night. That was sweet!

Funny thing at the airport, I order coffee with cream using the German word for cream. In Germany they always say "mit Milch" instead of "mit Zahne" (cream) and they brought me a cup of coffee with whipped cream in it. Little did I know I was twenty years ahead of Starbucks! Instead of going with the invention, I said, "nein, nein, mit Milch". Missed my chance.

pedro
02-18-2007, 08:12 PM
I spent 17 hours in Stapleton airport once.

westofyou
02-18-2007, 08:18 PM
5 hours stuck in CVG in the AA Terminal, followed by 8 in ORD.... all because of one American Eagle canceled flight.

vaticanplum
02-18-2007, 08:35 PM
I spent 17 hours in Stapleton airport once.

Where the heck is Stapleton?

I want to point out that the nine hours I mentioned before was ON THE RUNWAY. (though they did let us off the plane two different times) I've spent longer in airports themselves, including in a snowstorm over Christmas in Detroit, the world's most godforsaken airport...but never 17 hours, to be honest. That's unbelievable.

westofyou
02-18-2007, 08:36 PM
Where the heck is Stapleton?

Denver's original mess.

RedFanAlways1966
02-18-2007, 09:22 PM
One time I had a flight from Boston to Philly to Dayton. When I got to Philly I was told that all flights to Dayton were cancelled due to bad weather. They were courteous and told me that they would pay for my hotel. Only one problem for this dumb diabetic... I had put my syringes and insulin in my luggage. Somehow my luggage was put on a different flight and I was told not to worry... they'd have my luggage waiting for me in Dayton when I got there at 11:00 am the next morning.

So much for that daily ritual of taking an 8:00 am injection of insulin (gulp!). On the bright side high sugar levels can be tolerated to a certain level. I was able to cope despite feeling yucky and having serious dry-mouth. I dosed up in the Dayton airport bathroom the minute I got my luggage. I also learned to always carry my goods in my carry-on luggage. Live (thank goodness) and learn!

pedro
02-18-2007, 09:47 PM
Where the heck is Stapleton?

I want to point out that the nine hours I mentioned before was ON THE RUNWAY. (though they did let us off the plane two different times) I've spent longer in airports themselves, including in a snowstorm over Christmas in Detroit, the world's most godforsaken airport...but never 17 hours, to be honest. That's unbelievable.


that would suck.

I got delayed in a big snowstorm at newark 2 years ago about 2 in the afternoon. realized I was going to have to spend the night there about 10 pm. called my dad who found me a hotel (which turned out to be pretty scary, think i'll stay at the airport next time) so I was at hotel from midnight to 5 am, then back at at airport. i charmed my way onto a flight on another airline (it always pays to be nice to the agents at the counter as they have way more discretionary power in the these situations then you may know) and got on a flight about 9 am which routed through minneapolis and got me home to portland about 8 pm. that was a crappy day too.

Chip R
02-18-2007, 09:48 PM
About 9 years ago we were coming back to Iowa from a ski trip in Jackson Hole. There was a problem with the plane after we were on the tarmac. They wouldn't let us off the plane for a couple of hours. Finally we got off and the Jackson Hole airport is not a good place to be if your flight is delayed. Luckily they sold books in their coffee shop and I bought a biography of Robert E. Lee to read for the rest of the time we were there - which was pretty much the rest of the day. Finally we got out of there and had to wait at O'Hare for our plane back to Des Moines. I don't know what happened but our flight was cancelled and they put us up for the night in a hotel. First thing in the morning we flew to Des Moines and I got to work late. That afternoon I had to go back to the airport because I was flying to Cincinnati for my first Opening Day on Tuesday. Then I flew back to Des Moines after the game.

RFS62
02-18-2007, 10:46 PM
8 hours on the tarmac in Honolulu. They had already pushed back from the gate, then stopped and worked on the compass and finally replaced it.

Everyone there was ready to kill.

marcshoe
02-18-2007, 10:52 PM
Fortunately, I hadn't reached the tarmac, but my longest flight delay was a PHX-ORD flight on September 11, 2001.....

I ended up driving.

My longest on the tarmac was also in Honolulu, fwiw. Not all that long, though. 3 hours, maybe.

Yachtzee
02-18-2007, 11:40 PM
Kansas City to Chicago. 1 hr flight took 8 hrs. We actually borded on time and flew all the way to Chicago as scheduled. Unfortunately, after circling for 45 minutes due to severe weather, the pilot decided fly back to Kansas City. Imagine being so close to your destination, only to go all the way back. When we landed in Kansas City, they let us off to go to the bathroom and get something to eat. They also hooked up some of our passengers who were missing their flight in Chicago an alternate flight to Providence, RI. When the weather broke in Chicago, they told us all to reboard, but we had to do it quickly because severe weather was now heading toward KC. Unfortunately most people were still going to the bathroom or getting food, outside security checkpoint at the gate. When we finally got on the plane, we could see the weather heading our way. The flight at the gate next to us, also going to Chicago but scheduled to depart 2 hrs after us, was able to get off. Unfortunately, this being Southwest, they had to fill the seats of those Providence passengers, so the flight attendants start counting empty seats. Meanwhile we can see the line of thunderstorms on the horizon. People are yelling at the flight attendants to forget about the empty seats, close the door and get going. Very tense situation. By the time they filled the seats, the thunderstorms caught us. We sat for what seemed like 2 hours waiting for them to pass. Nobody dared get off the plane, even though we were still at the gate. When we finally got to Chicago, there was none of the usual clapping or jovial banter from the flight attendants that one typically sees on a Southwest flight. It was quite possibly the closest I've seen a plane full of people come to mutiny.

Not quite as long or uncomfortable as many have experiences, but the fact that we were so close, yet so far multiple times really pushed people to the edge.

letsgojunior
02-19-2007, 12:34 AM
Almost 12 hours in Orlando, FL. Originally scheduled to take off at 3 PM, took off at 3 AM. The rumor floating around was that they had to fly in a major part for our plane from Texas. It was highly comforting knowing that.

Johnny Footstool
02-19-2007, 10:37 AM
Kansas City to Chicago. 1 hr flight took 8 hrs. We actually borded on time and flew all the way to Chicago as scheduled. Unfortunately, after circling for 45 minutes due to severe weather, the pilot decided fly back to Kansas City. Imagine being so close to your destination, only to go all the way back. When we landed in Kansas City, they let us off to go to the bathroom and get something to eat. They also hooked up some of our passengers who were missing their flight in Chicago an alternate flight to Providence, RI. When the weather broke in Chicago, they told us all to reboard, but we had to do it quickly because severe weather was now heading toward KC. Unfortunately most people were still going to the bathroom or getting food, outside security checkpoint at the gate. When we finally got on the plane, we could see the weather heading our way. The flight at the gate next to us, also going to Chicago but scheduled to depart 2 hrs after us, was able to get off. Unfortunately, this being Southwest, they had to fill the seats of those Providence passengers, so the flight attendants start counting empty seats. Meanwhile we can see the line of thunderstorms on the horizon. People are yelling at the flight attendants to forget about the empty seats, close the door and get going. Very tense situation. By the time they filled the seats, the thunderstorms caught us. We sat for what seemed like 2 hours waiting for them to pass. Nobody dared get off the plane, even though we were still at the gate. When we finally got to Chicago, there was none of the usual clapping or jovial banter from the flight attendants that one typically sees on a Southwest flight. It was quite possibly the closest I've seen a plane full of people come to mutiny.

Not quite as long or uncomfortable as many have experiences, but the fact that we were so close, yet so far multiple times really pushed people to the edge.

That seems like complete insanity.

Ltlabner
02-19-2007, 10:40 AM
Got to the airport at 6:00am for a morning flight to Las Vagas. Flight canciled due to mechanical issues. Ended up not getting to Vagas until 11:00pm Vagas time after having flown to O'Hare and having long waits to leave Cincy and O'Hare.

Heath
02-19-2007, 01:55 PM
I have a story that I would like to have HAD a flight delay.

January 4, 2003. Sunday. I had a flight that would have taken me from Dayton to Ft. Lauderdale. The flight left at 5:45am and would have been in Ft. Lauderdale at 9:55....which would have been plenty of time to have my wife pick me up and take me to the beach and then back to the rental house to watch the Browns play the Steelers in an Wild-Card playoff game.

I got on the plane fine. Waited an hour to de-ice. Waited another hour to take off to Atlanta. So much for the beach.

Anyway, there are about 200 people who HAVE to get to Lauderdale. Seems they all need to be at the Port by 12 Noon to get on the cruise ship. Delta rolls out a 757 to the tarmac and there are 203 seats available. There are 210 people who need to get on this plane. I patiently wait my turn in line and realize that I could just hang out at the Hartsfield Airport, go to the bar in Concorse C and watch the game.

About 4 ladies in front of me are going ballistic at this one guy. He's a CS Manager and he's getting an earful. So, I thought I'd take the high road. I get to this guy, and I explain - Hey - I can wait all day here, no problem - the whole story - football and all. He looks at my itineary - and has a flight leaving at 4:55 to FLL. He books me ---- with one caveat. Every seat HAS to be full and as a single flyer, it's a pretty good bet my number will be called.

There was one seat left on the 9:40 flight to FLL...and it had my name on it. I was the last single passenger left.

Then, when I land, my wife informs me that Sunday's the only nice day in the forecast. We're going to the beach. However, she's thinking of me. She bought a 10" Battery powered TV.

Worked great..but the Browns still lost.

15fan
02-19-2007, 02:35 PM
5 years ago, my wife and I took her mother with us to Italy for a week. My mother-in-law hadn't been on a plane for 30+ years, and was absolutely terrified. (Thank you prescription drugs!)

After we boarded the plane, they kept making announcements that they needed a (singular) volunteer to give up a seat. $200 voucher was on the table, but no takers. $300 voucher was on the table, but no takers.

I looked at my wife, but got the "don't even think about leaving me alone with my mother on an 8 hour flight" look.

After $400, the offer went to $1,000 and first class on the next flight. A guy jumped up and literally ran down the aisle to the stewardess to make the deal. After he got off, a lady got on, and we pushed back.

One of the flight attendants was the wife of one of my wife's co-workers. The story is that the pilot was making his last flight, and as such, got to take anyone with him. He was taking his wife, but there wasn't any room on the plane for her. Pilot basically said that he wasn't budging until his wife got on the plane and the airline needed to do whatever it took to get her on there.

Highlifeman21
02-19-2007, 04:59 PM
Thanksgiving of 2000 comes to mind for me.

I was supposed to fly from Cincinnati to Detroit to Syracuse, being an undergrad @ SU at the time. Given that Detroit's in the equation, those of you guessing this has something to do with Northwest Airlines would be correct.

At the time, Northwest was going through one of their many baggage handlers/grounds crew strikes, so I knew going in that there was a damn good chance I wouldn't see my luggage, so my parents shipped my luggage via UPS. No problem.

The problems started when I called to check on the status of my flight to Detroit and found out the flight had been cancelled, due to no workers being on the ground at CVG at the gate. Hmmm. Northwest gives me 3 flight options to get to SYR that night: Louisville to Detroit to Syracuse, Indianapolis to Charlotte to Syracuse or Columbus to Detroit to Syracuse. I chose Columbus.

I get to Columbus, and that flight is delayed leaving to Detroit b/c they also have limited grounds crew, due to the strike. Northwest promises me they can get me to Detroit, but they can't promise me that I can get to Syracuse. I remember having something of importance the Monday following Thanksgiving, and absolutely needed to get into Syracuse Sunday night.

I arrive in Detroit, and every outgoing flight with Northwest has been cancelled that night. Zero chance to get to Syracuse that night. Northwest refunds my money for my flight on that Sunday, and gives me a free flight at 6:15 the next morning to Syracuse, and gave me a free round trip on top of that.

After I used my free round trip with Northwest, I haven't flown them since.