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Butch

Best and worst flight experiences

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I'll start.

 

Best:

Flying on the Sultan of Omans Boeing 747SP numerous times in total luxury. All you could want, and a novel concept within the field of Airline service..."bring your own booze and we'll provide the ice and mixers, as long as you share". One of the best moments was making a landing at Masirah Island for a drop off, the RFO pilot doing a bit of "showing off" and coming in fast followed by taking off within the shortest possible distance at full throttle.

 

worst:

Turning down an offer of business class 2 way upgrade on SAA plus a night in a hotel with a meal voucher for 2 to fly the following day, but turning it down and going in our economy seat which was, at best, fucking abysmal. A crappy old 747 with seats packed in as close as they could be, the reurn journey was even worse as I had a fat bloke in the seat in front which pushed it back to me even further when he rested his 22 stone frame in it!.

 

Mrs Butch frequently gives me a hard time about making arguably the worst decision since Hitler said "Invading Russia is a great idea", so much so I had to send her out to the Philippines business class once just to shut her up.

Edited by Butch

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Narita to BKK. Two babys in economy crying their lungs out the entire 7 hour flight. The extended long screaming actually made me physically sick.

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I flew trans Pacific out of Hong Kong in first class when Cathay still had it and was the only passenger . 5 empty pods, so they made one up as a bedroom for me and told me that all 7 appetizers and all 7 main courses were catered so I could eat quite a lot if I wanted to not that I did.

 

They told me to go ahead and leave my toiletries case in the lavatory as there were two and only me.

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Paying for BA Biz Class to and from Bangkok recently.

They really let me down on the shuttles to and from Manchester which were an awful experience which made me feel I had cloven hoofs.

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Boeing once built a special version of the 747-400 for JAL and ANA. It was designated the 747-400D, D as in domestic.

The entire plane, both decks, was fitted with 568 of the smallest seats I've ever seen. These aircraft, according to Boeing, were never to be used outside of the islands of Japan.

Ha! Back in late 2002 I spent over seven hours on one of those cattle cars flying from Singapore to Narita.

Worst flight of my life.

Edited by Samsonite

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Boeing once built a special version of the 747-400 for JAL and ANA. It was designated the 747-400D, D as in domestic.

The entire plane, both decks, was fitted with 568 of the smallest seats I've ever seen. These aircraft, according to Boeing, were never to be used outside of the islands of Japan.

Ha! Back in late 2002 I spent over seven hours on one of those cattle cars flying from Singapore to Narita.

Worst flight of my life.

 

Bloody hell 660PAX in a single class config :eyecrazy :eyecrazy :eyecrazy

 

In some ways you're lucky because it's a relatively rare version to have travelled on, but brings a new meaning to the phrase "cattle class".

 

Pics courtesy of "Planehunter" on flyertalk, all credit to him.

 

JL3251.cabin2.jpg

 

JL3251.upperdeck2.jpg

 

Looks pretty cramped.

Edited by Butch

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Is that a 747-400 Butch, doesn't look like it unless it is upper deck?

There are 4 seats across middle row on many carriers using 747-400 regulars.

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Second pic is the upper deck apparently, 66 seats, first pic is the rear of the lower according to the post I lifted them from ..

Edited by Butch

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I was on a flight once where there was a problem with the plane. It was stopped at 2AM enroute to my final destination. Anyway, it didn't take off on time and, after about a one hour delay, they announced that the plane had a problem and "couldn't be fixed." Everyone had to deplane. Then, after an hour in the transit lounge, they said the plane was working OK and everyone should get back on. Everyone got back on and then there was another delay and everyone had to get back off. Then, the plan was supposedly "fixed" again and everyone got back on. Then, another problem. Finally, some mechanic that looked like Gomer Pyle should up with a screwdriver and a roll of duct tape and fixed something under the wing. Then the plane took off. I spent the rest of the flight wondering when we would crash.

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Worst

 

Bangladesh Airways (Biman).

 

I flew with these on my first ever trip to Thailand. That would have been about 1983 . I was a "back-packer" then...........I still thought they were crap though! Fast forward another 12 years to 1995.....I again flew with Bangladesh Airways,thinking that they couldnt have been as bad as I remembered? Wrong! They were worse! Still crappy planes (I "think" it was a DC 10 or something!) the passengers?..... most stunk!, lots of kids and babies throwing up everywhere, the food was in-edible...just plain crap!

 

The best?

 

Another time, maybe the late 80s , I booked economy with Phillipine Airways, on check-in at Gatwick, I was "bumped" up to Business......Very enjoyable flight, lots of champagne, great food, beautiful Stewardesses....all for a few hundred quid!

Edited by marleyboy

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The best was when I managed to blag business class on a Qatar Airways flight to Bangkok. As for the worst, take your pick of these:

 

I had a two day alcohol and yabah bender in Bangkok with a regular bar girl of mine from Pattaya. This culminated in drinking a bottle of whisky with her brother law in the street only hours before I was due to fly home. I've never felt so rough on a plane. Booming headache, sweating and nauseous for the whole 12 hours home. It was horrendous.

 

I was flying to Glasgow to work once and the place encountered the worst turbulence I've ever experienced. The plane very suddenly dropped several hundred feet and if I hadn't have had my seat belt on I think my head would have hit the ceiling. Overhead lockers came open and stuff fell out, people started screaming. It was pretty terrifying.

 

I flew with China East Airlines once to save a bit of money as it had a connecting flight in Shanghai which was delayed. I sat in Shanghai airport for about 9 hours before we flew to London. Shanghai is further east than Bangkok so you end up going back on yourself a little to get home. The total duration of the journey from door to door was 32 hours. I never thought I'd have the misfortune to beat that time and I promised myself I would never fly indirect again until.......

 

When I was living in Pattaya I had to fly back to England for ten days so I flew with Emirates to keep the cost down. The connecting flight was from Dubai. They're a pretty good airline but unfortunately for me somebody was taken ill during the flight and the pilot made the decision to land in Cyprus so he could have urgent medical attention. We sat on the runway for several hours before we were given clearance to take off. Total journey time from door to door was 36 hours which beat the previous record. I will definitely NEVER fly indirect again.

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Jesus Sam, that's some pretty shit luck on the last flight, but the other two I guess there's a lesson there somewhere!.

 

I once boarded an EVA 747 back to LHR, the bloke in front of me in the queue was still obviously well wankered from the night before. He managed to vomit on the airbridge and was refused entry to the aircraft, as luck would have it he would have been sat in the row adjacent to me...

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After training in the military I was (as were all of the trainees) granted a weeks leave and orders to report to my permanent duty station. There was a mad scramble by us all to get our shit together and make it to the airport where we were all on standby. I got a flight to El Paso to change planes for a flight to LAX to get another flight to SFO if I could get one.

 

On boarding the flight in El Paso, a stewardess sat me down in business class. Free booze, a good meal and pockets full of those tiny alcohol bottles when I deplaned. Her bf was a marine and she took care of service men when she could.

 

The south and midwest were friendly to service men and women, in uniform, during the Vietnam War.

 

A nice remembrance.

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Over the years I have been left behind, held over in transit, late, early and all points in between. I will however say that I put in a written complaint for the last four crap flights where I thought that the airline could have done better. I got some restitution on three of these. Only Qantas failed to respond.

 

I have had some great flights due to upgrades but if heading home I usually would have my car parked up cutting back on the free champers! So sad when that happens.

 

Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk

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WORST

In 1985, I was working with a PR company in London and, at a meeting of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce, got the company a tourism feasibility contract with Khartoum Safari Tours. The idea was that KST would pick-up tourists in Aswan, Egypt, and take them along the Nile to Khartoum in Sudan, where the Blue Nile meets the White Nile in Omdurman.

 

The boss and I flew out to Aswan, then after a ferry from there to Wadi Halfa, we had a bumpy week driving through the desert to Khartoum (there was ZERO asphalt except in a town called Dongola), sleeping where we found shelter, or not, with two Nubian guides and a Nuban driver, getting intel for the report (pyramids, steam trains, towns and villages etc).

 

After a night in the now-dry Khartoum Hilton (Nimeiri had just been deposed... but I digress), we took a Sudan Airways flight to Cairo. My boss was an extremely well-travelled man of a certain age. He woke me up as white as a sheet. We had landed in Cairo but he said it was the absolute worst flight turbulence-wise that he had ever had, and that he thought we were goners several times. I was so knackered I had slept right through it!

 

BEST

In 1997-8, I was working for the Saudi company that had the franchise for Disney Corners (mini-Stores). The father of the two guys that ran Disney Middle East and Disney Corners was the former personal secretary of 2 Oil ministers - Zaki Yamani and Hisham Nazer - and must have had a couple of cents on the barrel, as he had a house that was a full-size replica of the White House and a Gulfstream jet - with a permanent crew living at the Sheraton in Jeddah.

 

Every now and again I would get taken on internal or international flights (as the tame token westerner) by the Disney Corner boss in the Gulfstream. I always got to sit in the jumpseat for landing (Dubai, Bologna, Heathrow), and they always had lobster to eat onboard from the Sheraton (lobster for breakfast - I'll have some of that!). VIP terminals for departures and arrivals - Heathrow was a Portakabin at the time, bit of let-down.

 

A highlight of the international flights was on take-off at whatever time of day it was, with the leggy blonde uniformed stewardess mountaineering up the central aisle, seat back by seat back, from the back of the plane, with us still at a more-than-jaunty angle skywards. The bosses always sat at the front so she got to me first...

 

"I've unsealed the bar - gin and tonic Andrew?"

 

Priceless, and not a Mastercard in sight.

 

Andy Cap

Edited by capdagde

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Worst, dumped a bike doing about 80, flight was only about 30', but the landing was a bitch.

 

Air though; Biman. All the quality and cleanliness of your average corner shop. Never. Ever. Again. Not even if it was free.

Best, got bumped to business for both legs on Etihad once, nice. Single leg though, bump to business on Qatar, that was quality.

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Swiss Air out of Chicago to Zurich. Decided to fly a one-way ticket to Bangkok this time over the Atlantic instead of Pacific. Great price on short notice so booked it about two weeks before flight time seat to be assigned upon check-in. Got to O'Hare airport Swiss Air check-in counter and was shuttled off to the far right counter where I was I asked why I was moved from the counter line I had waited in; ' Oh, it is because of your ticket'. "Do you have a visa for the one way flight?' Yes, showed passport. Got assigned 27K; a window seat. Thought I was lucky again after such a good price.

When I boarded found out my seat did not stay upright, always fell backwards, upright locking mechanism was broken. I am convinced the clerk at check-in knew it was a defective seat. Desk clerk was upset with me going to Bangkok or didn't like my jib; who knows but I'm positive she knew it was a broken seat. That plane had flown in from somewhere, sat on the tarmac for at least two hours, nobody had flown in that seat, it was broken and she knew it. A broken seat has to be reported by flight attendants so to get it fixed. Never Swiss Air again.

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Worst was a beat up old Eva combi 747. The seat backs were low rise, the movie was on a central screen but my sound plug wasn't working. They didn't want me to turn on the reading light because of the movie and I did not have an e-reader or ipod at that point. I was prepared to stand, or collapse trying, for 7 hours till we got to Taipei. Military transports had been more comfortable. I did not ask for it but the flight attendant found a saint in an exit row who agreed to change seats with me. If I had not determined online that it would a different aircraft going back, I would have bought an entirely new ticket with somebody for the return trip.

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Worst was a beat up old Eva combi 747. The seat backs were low rise, the movie was on a central screen but my sound plug wasn't working. They didn't want me to turn on the reading light because of the movie and I did not have an e-reader or ipod at that point. I was prepared to stand, or collapse trying, for 7 hours till we got to Taipei. Military transports had been more comfortable. I did not ask for it but the flight attendant found a saint in an exit row who agreed to change seats with me. If I had not determined online that it would a different aircraft going back, I would have bought an entirely new ticket with somebody for the return trip.

 

Have to say lol that the times I flew in the Evergreen Deluxe section (elite now) in the nose cone of Evas Combis were the best flights ever out of Heathrow

The leg room was fantastic because of the curvature and they had 2 seat sections in the middle where you could have parked a car in front of you

Edited by Rawhide2

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Have to say lol that the times I flew in the Evergreen Deluxe section (elite now) in the nose cone of Evas Combis were the best flights ever out of Heathrow

The leg room was fantastic because of the curvature and they had 2 seat sections in the middle where you could have parked a car in front of you

One of my candidates for best flight would have been on the upper deck of an Eva 747 and that was on an economy ticket.

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Best, when I booked myself into First on the Emirates A380....

Worst, probably my recent shuttle from London to Manchester on BA, although the KLM hop from Schiphol can be pretty crappy too.

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One of my candidates for best flight would have been on the upper deck of an Eva 747 and that was on an economy ticket.

 

 

An upgrade to business class?

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An upgrade to business class?

 

 

Nope,when Eva moved BC to the first level they moved economy up. Traveled many times from SFO/SEA upstairs in a 747. Like being in your own small plane.

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