Overloaded & Underserved

October 13, 2008

in Airplane Stories

This isn’t my experience, but it was shared with me the other day by a couple I know.

They are both disabled and cannot drive, and they were going to a banquet in a city four hours’ drive to the south of ours. They took another friend with them to assist them. They flew American, because that is the only carrier to fly out of our local airport.

Their flights there apparently went smoothly, but their flight back to our town was delayed and they were bumped to a flight that was full of airmen going back to the Air Force base in our town. The plane model our airport has is one of the smaller ones that American Eagle uses, and they overloaded the plane with the airmen and their equipment so much that the other passengers had to have their luggage put on another flight. I want to mention here that one time, they landed a 747 with the space shuttle at our airport, so the runway is big enough for a larger plane. I have seen American “upgrade” planes for overbooked flights before and it would have made sense for them to do it in this instance too.

When it came time for takeoff, the pilot had trouble. Apparently the plane was overloaded. My friends started praying and the plane managed to get off the ground.

It was only an hour-long flight (if that), and when they landed there wasn’t the little bounce. They landed with a solid “thunk.” Then they had to land at the Air Force Base and the plane ended up taxiing for 15 minutes. When they were finally able to deplane, it turned out that American lost some of the airmen’s luggage as well. They told my friends and the unfortunate airmen to return that night to get their luggage as it arrived on another flight.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie October 25, 2008 at 4:33 am

Yes, it sure would be nice if an airline could pull an aircraft out of their ass any time one was needed. Yes, airlines have been able to "upgrade" planes, but they have to have one to "upgrade" to!

If the plane was "overloaded" the pilot would not have been allow to take off. They might have had to work on the weight and balance and if the plane was at weight capiticy it does take longer to reach take off speed.

I wish everyone would work for an airline for a year, then they would know what really goes on before they shoot their mouths off. That goes for restaurant and retail, too.


Shakinthefat October 29, 2008 at 4:44 am

Oh no not another bounce on landing!!!!

Why do the pilots treat the passengers so mean?

I will never fly________ again!


ruru October 29, 2008 at 12:29 pm

while this is hardly considered the flight from hell, why are the people commenting so angry? wow get a chill pill no one is asking you to read the stories or defend the airline don't you have anything else better to do?


Anonymous October 30, 2008 at 12:53 pm

I agree with Julie 100% on all aspects.


Julie October 31, 2008 at 3:05 pm


I'm not angry at all, people just need to realize that there is a reason things happen and don't happen. And, no, I don't have anything better to do. My job is to wait for the phone to ring so I can sell a tkt on an airplane, in the mean time, I surf the web and read the stories. Life's hard…..


Anonymous November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm

good landings are not supposed to include bouncing… and would they have preferred the luggage be left on the flight and the flight not be able to leave the ground due to weight?


nn November 18, 2008 at 3:14 pm

It seems like almost every time there are a lot of comments on one story, most of them are really mean. The comment section on this site kind of reminds me of YouTube. lol.


Scott April 2, 2009 at 6:07 pm

I suppose you would have been happier if the Pile-its had crashed and killed all on board?

Good-grief, so it bounced… U try setting thousands of pounds of metal onto concrete at a high rate of speed

with the wind blowing you around without a bounce now and then.

if it was an Eagle flt- luggage was prob left behind on purpose to accomidate the people. The delayed luggage would have been DELIVERED to the pax homes/hotels the next day.

Next time- why don't you take the bus.

Would only take 6-8hrs but their luggage would be there. Oh wait- the

bus line probably charges more for the same trip.


Rob April 3, 2009 at 8:33 am

They are both disabled and cannot drive…..

I think I started reading one story of woe and switched to another somewhere *checks for notification of plot changes*

Most of the vitriol from commentors, including myself, arises from the fact that the submitters can't put 500 words together into anything resembling a coherent account.

It's those random, useless bits that we really get excited about. One second I'm reading about a couple dependent on advanced transport, and the next, I'm blaming the Air Force for some problem, then the crappy plane itself…..

Landing with a solid 'thunk' means you lived to tell the tale. I've never cared much about the sound myself. Every crash beats the ambulances to the airport by about 20 minutes.


Cerebral_Origami May 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

My favorite bouncing landing was when the plane bounced first on the right wheel then on the left then sort of pogoed without the wheels leaving the ground after the first two bounces.

The tail sort of wagged back and forth a little as well.

Turns out that there was some heavy ground-level side gusts (not a steady cross wind).

The other landing I remember was when I went to Bermuda. I thought at first we were going to wash the ties going in and then the pilot stood on the brakes (VERY short runway).

I love flying even though I've only a half dozen flights under my belt.


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