This is my “worst-ever, round trip flight from Pittsburgh, PA to Seattle, WA” story. The departing flight to Seattle was a non-stop flight, which I prefer. As I was already seated on the plane, awaiting everyone else to board, a man in the seat next to me kept jumping up and sorting through his enormous carry-on bag that he had stuffed into the overhead bin above me. I proceeded to ignore him, hoping that he would eventually find what he was looking for; and eventually, he must have, as he settled down. Midflight, during food service, with my apple juice sitting on my tray table, this man again jumps up and proceeds to rummage through the overhead bin above me again. This time he knocks his umbrella out of the overhead bin and it falls onto my tray table, knocking my apple juice onto my lap. (Note that I was wearing white pants, so this lovely yellow liquid was now spilled in my crotch area). After yelling at the annoying gentleman and being calmed by the stewardess, I was eventually able to sleep through the rest of the flight, with no disturbances.
When I landed in Seattle, I went to pick up my rental car (still wearing the beautiful white pants with the yellow-stained crotch) only to find that I had been charged double insurance for it. After finally get that ordeal straightened out, I head to my hotel, where I find that “no, they do NOT have a room” booked under my name (which my Administrative Point of Contact at work had assured me she had done, as well as the travel itinerary in my hand confirmed) but apparently, neither meant a thing. After finally getting a room at my hotel, things went better and through the week the rest of my conference went well.
Fast forward to my departing flight from Seattle… I end up in a middle seat with a fellow (whose appearance is questionable) to my left and a heavy-set woman to my right. Heavy-set woman wasn’t too bad, just took up a little more of my personal space than I had liked, and snored loudly, but overall, not too bad. Fellow with the questionable appearance, however… was a total NIGHTMARE. Believe it or not, aside from his awful smell and the fact that he probably hadn’t bathed in quite some time, he was actually pulling hair out of his beard and… wait for it… EATING IT!! I had never seen anything like this in my life and it made me sick to the stomach. This man actually did this for the entire flight back to Pennsylvania – it was the only time in my life I was praying for a layover… but I knew I was on a nonstop flight! I sat next to this fellow and watched as he would pull out clumps of hair from his face, examine it, and then pop it into his mouth, as if it were M&Ms!
Finally, when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, as we were finally nearing Pittsburgh International Airport, we had to circle around, as there was bad weather in the area. We were force to stay in the air an additional hour and a half until we were cleared to land. Absolutely, positively, with no doubt in my mind, THE WORST ROUND-TRIP FLIGHT I HAVE EVER TAKEN!!
Beth Richardson – Johnstown, PA