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?

On February 16th, 2017, my family and I traveled on United Airlines from Boston to Maui with a stop in San Francisco. We took UA207 to San Francisco early that morning. We arrived at the airport late as we were stuck in rush hour traffic from all the commuters going up to Boston as we live on the Cape. We did not expect everybody to be leaving so early, but snow came in the previous day so there were many people going in early.

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Another way the airline industry has found a way to screw the consumer: 

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It was a cold winter Friday morning in 1995 when I left home for a very important trip. As a senior scientist I was in charge of running a $30,000 experiment I’d been planning for months. It was a textured hand towel on one of our fabric machines over the next three days. The machine was in a Kimberly-Clark factory that mostly made consumer products for women. Since it was factory work, I wore jeans and steel toe shoes and an old WWII leather flight jacket. Joining me on the trip was Susan, a materials scientist.

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I’m writing this in the hopes that people don’t get burned by British Airways like we got burned by them. I believe my experience with BA customer service reveals an airline which does not hold itself accountable when it screws up. If you have an option, do not fly British. Because of bad information given out by British Airways, my fiancé and I almost lost a trip to South Africa. In the end, we only ended up losing $1000, and we received zero compensation. Here’s what happened:

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My 9-year-old daughter made some poor woman’s first flight a Flight from Hell.

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The following correspondence was forwarded to Flights From Hell and is posted below verbatim except as noted.

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About 9 years ago I flew with my mom, step dad and brother from London Heathrow to Hamburg, Germany to visit family for my grandma’s 70th birthday. Obviously a pretty big deal, and back then planes didn’t bother me in the least. I was even thinking of going into the airline industry either to work on planes or be an air crash investigator, though at 13 who really knows what they’ll be doing in the future.

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On a recent flight from Spain to Sweden via Finland flying Finnair, I got a taste of an all too common experience of extremely bad service and a meltdown in service. Airline delays and cancellations of flights happen. It should be a front and center part of the business to deal smoothly with this, but this airline opts to wash their hands of the problem.

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Excuse Concocted to Cover-Up Overbooking

November 4, 2016 Airport Stories

I have been an international business traveler for over two decades now. My story starts on my way back from a long stretch in Kuwait.

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Airline’s Failure to Inform Creates Animosity

October 28, 2016 Odds & Ends Stories

If anyone flies within mainland China, you’ll know very well they never tell you true information about what is going on with flight disruptions, delays, and the like. The unwritten rule seems to be the less that is said, the better. Nobody from the airlines wants to lose face, so they come up with this […]

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Seat Hog Receives Payback

October 22, 2016 Seat Stories

Earlier this year I was flying from LAX to Amsterdam non stop. I had a window seat which is what I prefer. I knew the flight was not full so there would be open seats available. I have priority boarding so I was able to board first and get settled in. 

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Drunk’s Tumble is a Blessing for Tardy Traveler

September 19, 2016 Passenger Stories

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 […]

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