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?

This was two years ago on Virgin Atlantic from Chicago to Heathrow. I was up all night the day before because I had several work projects I had to finish, and because I wanted to make sure I’d be exhausted and tired enough to fall asleep on the flight.

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I was lucky to have the aisle seat for my trip from New York to England, but too bad it didn’t do me much justice when this complete douche bag, who appeared to be a bit older than me, sat next to me. Obviously at first he didn’t seem bad. He got to his middle seat like a normal human being (if I’m even able to qualify him as that as of now), and he was pretty attractive. Unfortunately, some attractive people are dumb as I’ve sadly come to learn.

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Only minutes before takeoff, the seat beside me was still vacant when at the very last moment a harried looking man, clutching a well-worn bag and sweating profusely, looked in my direction as the stewardess pointed him to the last remaining seat. He stuffed his bag in the overhead bin and slumped down beside me. “Nearly bloody missed it,” he snorted as he wiped sweat from his face and fidgeted with his seat belt. I could smell booze as he leaned towards me, pushing his knees into the seat in front causing the woman in the seat to turn round and glare at him. “Sorry Ma’am, just trying to fit in,” he said with a grin. I turned and looked out of the window trying to ignore him, thinking it was just my luck to have a drunk sit next to me, when I saw what looked like our suitcases on a stationary trolley as the plane taxied towards the runway.

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I’m on the train home at 2:30 am, writing this. I should have been asleep in bed at my parent’s house in Maine. I was booked to take a JetBlue 5:34 flight from JFK – Portland, Maine today. I had called JetBlue earlier about switching to an afternoon flight due to the threat of storms, but was told that the weather report looked fine and there were no delays.

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At approximately 3:40 p.m. on March 8, 2012, I arrived at the El Paso airport and dropped off my rental car. I had just returned from testifying at a New Mexico Child Support Hearing in Las Cruces, New Mexico, by subpoena because my Ex was in arrears on his child support. Upon doing so, I then checked in at Southwest Airlines and received my boarding pass from the agent.

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One time on my many trips to Japan, I was flying out of San Francisco and was just getting comfortably settled into my seat. I usually sat in the upper deck as this is where all HP employees preferred to sit, and I traveled with them a lot. This trip I was on my own, and of course the upper deck was booked solid with the HPs, so I was given a seat on the lower deck right across from the entry door. I had just settled in and we were starting to take off, when I noticed that the door had not shut. Never having sat in this seat before, my first thought was, “This is why HP always has seats way upstairs.”

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My fiancé and I decided to get married someplace far away, with the destination known by few, because his ex-wife was on a continuous two-year rampage of harassment, phone calls, texting, bad-mouthing to his children, kicking in the back of his company vehicle… and the list goes on. We did not want our wedding to be spoiled by some inappropriate behavior by someone who could not control herself.

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I was flying with my fiancé on AA from Los Angeles to Helsinki, Finland. We had a 50 minute stop over at Toronto airport on June 22, 2014 on our way to Helsinki on a Finnair flight.

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Operation Reindeer Gets Bogged Down by Fog

July 6, 2014 Weather Stories

It was Christmas time in the 80′s. It was a crucial time for Boeing, as there was a time crunch for the Air Force One proposal. They felt that the engineers who were working on the proposal team couldn’t be spared to go home for Christmas vacation. Finally, a solution – why not keep the […]

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Failure to Take Meds Disrupts Flight

July 4, 2014 Illness/Medical Stories

Flight from Amsterdam – Seattle. Window seat middle of plane. Ninety minutes into a seemingly long and uneventful flight the lady in the row in front of me starts flopping around like a fish out of water.

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Mom Has a Lot of Nerve

June 30, 2014 Baby & Kid Stories

My husband and I were flying with our kids who were then four and eighteen months old. A woman who was sitting with her large two year old allowed the child to run up and down the aisle for most of the flight unattended as she watched a movie. When the FA told her to […]

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Seatmate Intrudes Into Personal Space

June 29, 2014 Seat Stories

I was recently on a flight from Hong Kong – Dubai – Sao Paulo on Emirates Airline. Oh how wrong I was when I thought that my last flight to Sao Paulo was going to be peaceful.

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