Flights From Hell flies you into the crazy skies with stories about the adventures and anxieties of airplane travel.

Commercial airline travel takes us far, far out of our comfort zone. We're herded into cylinders that zip hundreds of miles per hour at 30,000 feet, subjected to security screenings, confronted with delays and lost luggage, rushed to catch connecting flights, constrained to small seats, scrunched up with strangers, and surrounded by pathogens. Is it any wonder we end up becoming a bundle of raw nerves by journey's end?

My company flies me and the top 20 sales guys in the company out to LA for meetings. This is the first time they have done this in many years. I live 25 minutes from the airport. My route is impervious to rush hour, and I have never seen it take over 45 minutes to get to the airport. I also have traveled a ton and never miss flights.

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After working a string of 17-hour days on the West Coast, I was more than ready to leave SFO and head back east. Unfortunately for me, doing so meant traveling mid-day on a Friday in the summer – which, if you don’t know – means kids galore. Flying during the afternoon in the summer is like boarding a school bus that’ll be darting through the sky… and boy, was I not prepared for this.

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A year ago, I was traveling from my home in Memphis to my parent’s home just outside of Bangor, Maine. I’d made the journey many times before. Normally, I fly American through Philadelphia or Delta through Detroit. However, going from non-hub to non-hub is always very pricy. This time, I was traveling to Bangor in mid August, and had no option than to come home Labor Day weekend. I checked Delta, but the prices were outrageous because I was returning Labor Day weekend, so I booked the one way trip from Memphis to Bangor for $330, the average price for a one way ticket.

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Ever since I started flying, I always seemed to deal with delays and cancellations. There could be a drought in my home city of Baltimore for two weeks leading up to my departure, but the day of it, there would be a massive thunderstorm that delays all flights. It’s like I was cursed. But never have I experienced something like I did a few months back.

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My wife and I just returned from 2 weeks in Japan. We took a cruise around the country out of Yokohama, and then stayed another 5 days in Yokohama visiting additional places in Japan. The vacation was wonderful, but getting there and back had its hellish moments.

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My husband and I were on a flight from Atlanta to D.C. to visit his mother for Thanksgiving. Of course the flight was totally packed. My husband and I always get the aisle and the window seats. He sits at the aisle and I sit by the window. Don’t get me wrong; we like each other. We just don’t necessarily want to sit together. That’s one of the reasons we still like each other.

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I was flying from Amsterdam to Toronto after an 8 hour stopover in Amsterdam, so I was very tired. Everything was going OK until one mom decided to give her kid a tablet which had some songs on it. For the next four hours this kid was playing “I’m a Gummy Bear” on full blast while some people were trying to sleep peacefully. This song is the most annoying song on the planet (look it up on YouTube).

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Delay-ja Vu

July 19, 2016

in Odds & Ends Stories

I don’t normally fly American Airlines – but I needed to get from Washington, DC, to Jackson, Wyoming, and they offered the best route for a reasonable price. I should have paid more for Delta. Worst part is, I kind of knew I should have paid more for Delta.

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Passengers Try to Finagle Seat for Friend

July 15, 2016 Seat Stories

I was flying Southwest, where there are no reserved seats. There was a group of three adult women who were all friends. Note that they were not disabled or with special needs, just friends flying to the same destination together. In addition, this was a full flight (143 seats, 143 passengers).

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Phony Excuses for Overbooking Practices

July 4, 2016 Airport Stories

A few years ago I had such a ridiculously bad and unforgivable experience with Hong Kong Airlines that sometimes I find it hard to believe that it actually happened.

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No Meal for Child with Allergies

July 2, 2016 Baby & Kid Stories

Saudi Airlines 8 PM Flight SV 1475 – 25/6/2016 from Prince Mohammad Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (Medina) – KSA, to Cairo International Airport – Egypt. From the first minute of boarding we could see it wouldn’t be a nice flight; it turned out to be a flight from hell.

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“Sorry, but No” to Seat Switch Request

June 21, 2016 Seat Stories

So I was flying Southwest Airlines to Boston from Phoenix.  I couldn’t sleep the night before, so I looked forward to a pillow and being curled up against a window. I got my “A” boarding pass (lucky) and sat in my window seat.

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