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(Jalopnik)   What's the worst airport experience you've ever had?   (jalopnik.com) divider line 54
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309 clicks; posted to FarkUs » on 08 Aug 2014 at 12:54 PM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-08 07:09:38 AM  
Every time I am at Miami is the worst experience I've ever had. MIA is the WORST.
 
2014-08-08 07:21:34 AM  
Logan airport, September 11. Just got on our plane when everyone's cell phone/pager started ringing and the pilot came on to say the airport was being closed for a security issue and we could rebook our flight for the next day.
 
2014-08-08 08:19:34 AM  
Well, there was the guy that blocked the aisle after we landed struggling to get his overhead bag, muttering to me "YOU can wait...."

/Did I mention my connecting flight was in 15 minutes?
//In Chicago?
///In another terminal?
 
2014-08-08 08:23:03 AM  
Getting into to Newark from Germany dead on my feet for the final transfer flight home, then finding out that the flight AAA booked me on never existed in the first place and I was on my own. I make my own arrangements directly with the airlines now, thank you. Never again AAA, and stop sending me junk and calling me to get me back. It ain't gonna happen.
 
2014-08-08 08:33:47 AM  
Not as bad as some, but still.

Flew into Dulles from Syracuse on a small plane, landed at one end of the airport.
Then had to get all the way to the other end of the airport, most of it on foot, to catch our connecting flight to Vegas, in less than... I want to say 45 minutes.
We made it to our gate just in time.
 
2014-08-08 08:39:48 AM  
I was at my local airport around 7am for a flight at 8am. The flight was delayed an hour, then another. This meant I was going to miss my connecting flight, so I changed my itenerary.

I then waited 2hrs for my next flight. It got delayed hour by hour for several hours. Finally, at 9pm the flight was boarding, but I would not arrive in time to get to the meeting I was headded to so I scrapped the entire thing.

What sucked about it is that I was in an airport all day but only a few minutes away from my house.

It's no horror story, but being jerked around all day caused a mental flare out.
 
2014-08-08 08:41:27 AM  
Probably being stranded in Chicago O'Hare over New Year's Eve a few years back.
 
2014-08-08 08:49:20 AM  

vernonFL: Every time I am at Miami is the worst experience I've ever had. MIA is the WORST.


Well, I can see my answer is covered.
 
2014-08-08 08:50:32 AM  
6 hour layover in Narita.  Customs area shut down. Everyone smoked.  1 bathroom for about 600 people. I was psychotic and hallucinating by the time I got to Singapore.
 
2014-08-08 08:57:39 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: 6 hour layover in Narita.  Customs area shut down. Everyone smoked.  1 bathroom for about 600 people. I was psychotic and hallucinating by the time I got to Singapore.


Goodness, what were they smoking?
 
2014-08-08 08:59:41 AM  
No real nightmares, but I did spend 9 hours at the gate waiting for another flight one time after my flight was canceled.

A few years ago I had to run for it from one terminal to another at Atlanta-Hartsfield in order to make the last plane out after I missed a connection. But that ended with me getting a first class seat, so I hardly would call that a bad experience.
 
2014-08-08 09:05:20 AM  
Every trip that includes the words "Chicago O'Hare".
 
2014-08-08 09:05:33 AM  
I was in Houston hobby when hurricane Rita was bearing down and there was a mass exedous from Houston.  I got to the airport at 7 am and it was already chaos.  The line to go through security was wrapped around and the officer doing crowd control was screaming at the passengers trying to maintain order as they were defying the line and crowding the security checkpoint in a mob.  I thought he always going to pull out his gun and put one in the ceiling to make a point.

After about 30 minutes of his meltdown, the line was controlled and made to be ordered.  It only took 2 hours for me to get through.  I couldn't imagine how much longer it took for the people that got there after me.

Though my flight was at 9 am, it was delayed.  In fact, every flight was delayed.   We were forced to,wait for hours.  Fortunately, the restaurants were stocked and there wasn't a panic.

I eventually boarded my 9 am flight at about 6 pm.
 
2014-08-08 09:10:34 AM  
Jackson International, easily the worst airport.
 
2014-08-08 09:12:30 AM  
Christmas eve... stuck in Stapleton for 6 hours during a blizzard.

Vomiting every 10 minutes because I had a stomach flu (which actually turned out to be hepatitis, but that's another CSB)
 
2014-08-08 09:16:07 AM  
Flying to Hartford one summer via LaGuardia, but the flight to LaGuardia was diverted to Hartford because of thunderstorms in NYC. So I spent 4 hours on the tarmac at my farking final destination so I could get to LaGuardia and catch a connection right back to Hartford. I had no checked bags but they still wouldn't let me off there because reasons. 8 hours on that aircraft without food. They finally relented and let me off in Hartford. I had to call my brother at 1 am to come get me.
 
2014-08-08 09:22:10 AM  

vernonFL: Every time I am at Miami is the worst experience I've ever had. MIA is the WORST.


Orlando is a close second. My parents live nearby and when I visit, MCO is the closest and cheapest with Delta. Quick tip, if you're not TSA PreCheck, go to the left most lane below:

www.ainonline.com

The line is the worst and when I visited around Christmas, I was stuck in the long line in the atrium where some shiatty group was singing shiatty Christmas songs and I wanted to beat them with my roll aboard. Put that on top of all the screaming kids going back to their homes and leaving behind Disney but still wanting to wear those ears and their parents so overencumbered by too many suitcases that they make getting through security 2x as long as any other airport.


That said, MCO does have a nice Delta SkyLounge and there aren't that many kids up there.
 
2014-08-08 09:25:42 AM  
I went to one of those kiosks to get some gum and they didn't have my favorite brand.
 
2014-08-08 09:39:24 AM  
Ft. Lauderdale, involving Spirit Airlines, was the worst (and that's saying something, given that I've been interrogated in Vietnam and South Korea).

F*U*U*U*U*U*U*CK Spirit Airlines. I'd rather drink a gallon of taint sweat than fly Spirit again.
 
2014-08-08 09:40:44 AM  
Newark. Had bad experiences like 5 out of 6 times, refuse to fly there again. Due to weather (it's always weather in Newark, even if O'Hare will fly out in a friggin blizzard), the flight was cancelled on a Sunday, had work on Monday, Continental told me they wouldn't have any more flights I could get onto until late Tuesday.

Rather than wait we took a one-way 9 hour trip on using a rental car company that cost us close to $400. Didn't get home until 5am, didn't get reimbursed. F*ck Newark and f*ck Continental.

Didn't know this at the time, but I'm pretty sure most of the weather crap is due to what I assume are ugly flight ceilings around New York because of the other two major airports.
 
2014-08-08 09:43:27 AM  
Mine have been ... unique. Given I've nearly been arrested and kicked off flights too many times now, I just avoid them altogether.
 
2014-08-08 09:49:16 AM  
It was entirely of my own doing.

My wife and I were going to South Florida for a vacation and, because I had to juggle around work, we had a 9:30 PM flight to Fort Lauderdale that didn't arrive until midnight.  Suddenly, my work cleared up, so we decided to attempt to get on an earlier flight via standby.  Well, because of weather the night before, several flights to Fort Lauderdale out of DFW were cancelled, and there were a ton of people trying to do the same. We ended up spending the entire day, starting at 7:00 AM, at DFW Airport, bouncing from terminal to terminal, trying to get on an earlier flight but failing.  We eventually left on our originally scheduled 9:30 PM flight.  The entire day was nothing but a self-inflicted ass whipping as we hauled our carry-ons from terminal to terminal, stopping in various bars for a drink before the next attempt. I think we spent at least $100 at the airport that day.  I learned an important lesson that day: flying stand-by on American Airlines is NOTHING like flying stand-by on Southwest. And none of the AA employees we talked to were particularly helpful or friendly.

Never again.
 
2014-08-08 09:52:42 AM  

vernonFL: Every time I am at Miami is the worst experience I've ever had. MIA is the WORST.


You've never been to NY?
 
2014-08-08 09:54:22 AM  
DEN

Flying back from a ski vacation (in Colorado!) the ticketing agent was unaware of her airline's bag policy re: ski and boot bags. Namely, that they count as one checked bag, not two. That cost us a half an hour. It could have cost us $400. Due to a failed experiment with gravity, I had just gotten out of the OR not 20 hours prior to boarding. Combine that with all the stuff that a family of four needs to carry around while making a cross-country flight, and I rented one of those little luggage carts. When we got to security, Gandolf the security guard told us in no uncertain terms that the cart shall not pass. We tried to plead our case that I was just hours removed from surgery, and as such trying to carry everything we had in tow (all allowed to be carried on) would be problematic, and that BWI had let us take the exact same style cart through security and all the way to the plane even though I wasn't even infirm. It fell upon deaf ears. Eventually she offered that if I was that much in need of assistance (as if the full arm cast and sling weren't an indication of that), she would call our airline's service people and they could get one of those golf cart thingies to help us out, but then added snidely that, "You should have already set that up at the ticketing counter." Never-mind that I didn't think it was going to be a problem given all the reasons already outlined. After nearly 40 minutes of waiting for said help to arrive, we had no choice but to give up as our plane was set to leave in 20 minutes. It was at this point that the only bit of nicety was bestowed upon us, as they let us use the express security line.

Now, I don't know if you ever been through DEN, but everything (ticketing, security, shuttles, gates, etc) is on a different level and usually at the end of said levels. Further complicating moving about is that the only bank of elevators are centrally located, making getting from one station to another extremely difficult as you have to mosey to the middle of the airport to get on an elevator then walk to one end of that level, then walk back to the middle then back to an end, etc. Clearly it was not designed with keeping 5 year olds happy in mind. Mine decided she had finally had enough as we were approaching our gate on one of those moving sidewalk things. She just threw herself down and refused to get up, as were were approaching the end of said moving sidewalk. Beside the annoyed pages over the intercom reminding "all passengers" (read: us) that final boarding had passed and that we had better hurry our asses up if we wanted to make our flight, I was envisioning my daughter getting sucked into the mechanism of the sidewalk. Thankfully, she was wearing a leather belt, as that was my hand hold to hoist her up and off the sidewalk before disaster struck.

We made the flight, just barely. Next time though, we're flying into EGE.
 
2014-08-08 10:22:02 AM  
I've not really had bad times sitting in Airports. I show up with plenty of time to deal with the crap I am forced to deal with and relax at a restaurant till an hour before my flght leaves. Never even had a plane delayed more than 15 minutes.
 
2014-08-08 10:53:51 AM  
 Well. There was the time the flight I was on, a small private airline ran by a large organization, but under a discrete name, experienced mechanical difficulty.  The craft was forced to set down at the nearest airfield.  Unfortunately, that airfield was not particularly friendly the large organization who owned the small private airline.  The reception involved many gentlemen in military attire carrying what can only be termed a "shiat ton" of hardware.  For the next six hours, we were "detained" as the large organization who owned the small airline tried to work the details of our departure.  Our itinerary was finally agreed upon and we left on a different aircraft.  That was bad.

But nothing compared to Hartsfield in Atlanta the day before Thanksgiving.
 
2014-08-08 10:56:46 AM  
Kismayo.
 
2014-08-08 10:59:29 AM  
I doubt anyone cares, but I did get a $150 voucher for it from Alaska Airlines, though it didn't cover the nine hour flight delay or the musical I missed. Oh, and two $12 meal vouchers, too.

/having to book flights three times is annoying.
 
2014-08-08 11:21:18 AM  
I was 16 and flying from Wisconsin to Oregon to visit my dad for Christmas. My first flight was delayed about half an hour so I was the last person to arrive at the gate for my connecting flight. I get there and the plane is overweight, so I can't catch that flight. They rebook me on the next available flight and that gets delayed because of mechanical problems. All in all, I spent 12 hours in that airport. No cell phone, no laptop, no money for food.
 
2014-08-08 11:47:41 AM  
25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.
 
2014-08-08 11:55:12 AM  
Zagreb, Croatia....January 1989.

I had a toothache, and our flight to Belgrade was delayed.  Combine that with being tired and jet lagged, it sucked donkey balls.

Croatia is an awesome country, but f*ck that airport.

/Had another long/boring layover there about six months later.
 
2014-08-08 12:06:59 PM  
Arrived at airport almost 90 minutes before the flight. Even though it wasn't a heavy-travel holiday like Thanksgiving or some such, I get to the terminal and see the line to check in going out the terminal doors. Something was wrong at the check-in stand and each passenger was taking an eternity to process.

Long story short, my flight took off when I was still about 20 minutes from even reaching the desk. Airline charged me $125 to change my ticket because I should have known to be there 3 hours early for a mid-week domestic flight. I spent the rest of the day fuming.
 
2014-08-08 12:10:54 PM  

Gecko Gingrich: DEN

We made the flight, just barely. Next time though, we're flying into EGE.


Good luck with that.

Have you ever flown into EGE? I worked in DEN for 10 years, and all day long in the winter flights to Eagle-Vail, Aspen, & Grand Junction are cancelled or diverted to DEN. I can't tell you how many people approached my rental car counter and told me "I was supposed to fly to (Eagle/Junction/Aspen) but we got diverted here. Can I rent a car one-way?" Pro tip: One way rentals, especially without a reservation, are expensive.
Also, if you can afford to fly to EGE, why didn't you?
Basically, you're landing in DEN either way.
 
2014-08-08 12:11:16 PM  

rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.


I'm so sorry to hear that.
 
2014-08-08 12:12:59 PM  
Being in the Toronto Pearson, learning that I was bumped off my connector flight home because Air Canada overbooked my flight, one that I been booked for months in advance.

It was supposed to be the last leg of a flight that started halfway around the world, and they wouldn't even pay any lip service for the inconvenience
 
2014-08-08 12:14:54 PM  

rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.


That's harsh, sorry to hear that
 
2014-08-08 12:22:40 PM  
After a sideways landing on any icy runway at Anchorage Alaska, our 2 hour refueling stop was extended to 18 hours because of a bad fuel pump. The airport was essentially closed at the time so no food was available. The vending machines (such as they were) were emptied in the first hour we were there. Did I mention that this was a military charter flight and we were forbidden from leaving the premises to eat? At about the 12 hour mark boxed lunches were disbursed. The best part was that there was still a 9 or 10 hour flight to get to Okinawa. Good times!
 
2014-08-08 12:31:17 PM  

tnpir: rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.

I'm so sorry to hear that.


the_sidewinder:

That's harsh, sorry to hear that

Thanks. Sorry to bring everyone down. Here's something to cheer you up:

i.kinja-img.com
 
2014-08-08 12:33:51 PM  

rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.



Oh man....I am so sorry.
 
2014-08-08 12:34:26 PM  

rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.


Aw, hell, and I thought enry was going to be the thread winner for worst airport nightmare. My condolences. I can't imagine learning about the death of a loved one like that.
 
2014-08-08 12:39:46 PM  

rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.


When I was 12 or so (1986 or so I am guessing), I was on my way to Disney from Hartford.  First time on an airplane.  Of course, we were laying over in Detroit.  Years later, my dad told me that he had continually pointed to stuff out the windows on one side of the plane to get us to look that way because there was the wreckage of a crashed plane on the other side of the plane and he didn't want to scare the shiat out of us on our first flight.  I wonder if it was the same plane.  I am so sorry for your loss.
 
2014-08-08 12:56:18 PM  

Three Crooked Squirrels: rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.

When I was 12 or so (1986 or so I am guessing), I was on my way to Disney from Hartford.  First time on an airplane.  Of course, we were laying over in Detroit.  Years later, my dad told me that he had continually pointed to stuff out the windows on one side of the plane to get us to look that way because there was the wreckage of a crashed plane on the other side of the plane and he didn't want to scare the shiat out of us on our first flight.  I wonder if it was the same plane.  I am so sorry for your loss.


Thanks to all for the condolences, it's very much appreciated. It was August 16, 1987, so it's been a while, we're all good now. I remember flying in to Detroit to ID the personal effects (not the bodies, thank God, that wasn't required in most cases) and make arrangements for transport, and we went right over the wreckage you described and the hangar that the plane struck as it went down. Pretty chilling.

The worst part was identifying the personal effects - to this day, I'm not sure why they made us do that if they had ID'd the bodies. Confirmation, maybe? They had all the stuff laid out in grids on long tables in a hangar. I found my father's wallet, wedding ring, and strangely enough some change he had in his pocket (as if I could tell it was his). The really sad part was that everything was burned to some degree.

Remember those belts that girls used to wear in the 80's that we all metal, looked like a bunch of cowboy belt buckles chained together? I don't know what they were called. Anyway, I saw one of those all scorched and covered with blood, and for years seeing those belts would freak me out a bit. They also had baby shoes and kids clothes, all burnt. I lost a parent, but there were whole families wiped out on that flight. Very sad. And, weirdly enough, one little girl survived. She lost both parents and her brother, IIRC. She lives in Texas and never talked about it until last year.

Again - much appreciation for the condolences. We've all been through something, right? You just gotta keep going, one step in front of the other, and eventually we heal.
 
2014-08-08 01:03:33 PM  

thisdaydreamer: rikdanger: 25+ years ago: Went to the airport to pick up my dad coming in to Phoenix from Detroit.. The arrivals board has this line "Flight 255  Detroit: SEE AGENT". Went to the ticketing agent - she told me the plane had crashed on takeoff and there were no survivors (turns out one little girl did live). RIP, Dad.

Aw, hell, and I thought enry was going to be the thread winner for worst airport nightmare. My condolences. I can't imagine learning about the death of a loved one like that.


Thanks - I remember when it happened that there was a small part of my brain that felt sorry for the ticket agent. She probably had to tell dozens of people the same thing, and I'm sure that's not something they train you for.
 
2014-08-08 01:05:03 PM  

Bob Falfa: Gecko Gingrich: DEN

We made the flight, just barely. Next time though, we're flying into EGE.

Good luck with that.

Have you ever flown into EGE? I worked in DEN for 10 years, and all day long in the winter flights to Eagle-Vail, Aspen, & Grand Junction are cancelled or diverted to DEN. I can't tell you how many people approached my rental car counter and told me "I was supposed to fly to (Eagle/Junction/Aspen) but we got diverted here. Can I rent a car one-way?" Pro tip: One way rentals, especially without a reservation, are expensive.
Also, if you can afford to fly to EGE, why didn't you?
Basically, you're landing in DEN either way.


Combination of inexperience and contractural obligations (the airline I had to fly on didn't fly into EGE). I'll take a chance - no matter how slight - to dodge DEN every time.
 
2014-08-08 01:05:10 PM  
Back in '03 I missed my flight out of Madrid (stupid train strikes farked me).  When I got to the airport, the guy at the British Airways desk told me the next flight out of Madrid was in 2 weeks.  2 WEEKS.  So I did what any exhausted 22 year old with no money would do... and called home.  My mom lit up their phone lines and got me on a flight 2 or 3 days later.  So I basically pulled a Tom Hanks from "Terminal" for a couple of days, sleeping in well-lit areas (for 15-30 minutes at a time), guarding my bags like a dog with a T-bone, washing up in the bathroom.

I finally got on a flight to London (and then back to the US) and of course the flight arrived after the connection had left.  They basically said "sorry, flight leaves early tomorrow, go get yourself a hotel room and leave us alone."  I still had no money (I was eating once a day at that point to save), so I wandered up to the main terminal and found BA's main desk, told them my sob story and got comped a room.  At a 5 star hotel.  I stayed in the cheapest room they had, on the first floor, AND HOLY CRAP (remember, this was 2003) - it had a 50-inch plasma tv, one wall was a fish tank, and most importantly AC and a shower.  I hadn't showered in almost a week at this point (which wasn't too bad b/c I hadn't done laundry in a month and my clothes were RIPE).  But I got on the plane the next day, no problems, and got to flirt w/a hot British chick in the seat next to me for the whole flight so that was cool.

But British Airways employees at Madrid's airport blow goats.

Just read the 2 entries above me... wow.  Just wow.  Condolences.
 
2014-08-08 01:07:21 PM  
I got picked on at LAX for my on-flight reading by some Democrat security screeners. Pretty much avoided it since.


img.fark.net
 
2014-08-08 01:15:51 PM  
I can't say too much after Rik's astounding story. Damn, that is awful. Glad to know that time has healed the wounds, man.

I've been all over the world, and have seen some of the worst airports imaginable. But my #1 worst experience was in Istanbul. First they herded everyone into a hellishly long security line... bag searches, pat-downs, the works. Then off to the gate area, where yet another full-on security rape line occurred. At this point, virtually everyone was "late" for their flights (according to the Departures info on the monitors) and getting very tense.

Then they herded all passengers for all departing flights into a closed, muggy room with no windows, and a nearly incomprehensible series of snake-line queue ropes. People were face-to-armpit everywhere. Mass fistfights were a real and present threat... until the guy with the AK-47 showed up. We eventually made it out, relatively on time.

Oh, and one of my checked suitcases didn't make it home until 4 weeks later. Denuded of all valuables, of course.
 
2014-08-08 01:19:45 PM  
I should add that, despite the airport situation, Istanbul was an amazing and enjoyable city. I plan to return, someday.
 
2014-08-08 01:22:25 PM  

The_Sponge: Zagreb, Croatia


Great town. Farking rinky-dink amateur-hour airport, no question.
 
2014-08-08 01:23:42 PM  

Snowrise: I got picked on at LAX for my on-flight reading by some Democrat security screeners. Pretty much avoided it since.


[img.fark.net image 326x500]



Hahahahaha!
 
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