Turbulence Terrifies Travelers

August 17, 2010

in Weather Stories

In January 2004 I was on an Emirates Airlines flight from Dubai/United Arab Emirates to Dusseldorf/Germany. The flight left DXB in the early morning, and just before take-off the pilot announced that there was turbulence over Iran. Yummy!

Well, for the first hour or so nothing happened. We were served breakfast and I had a nice chat with a Palestinian guy next to me who had been to some event in Dubai with his workmates from Germany. Shortly after breakfast, however, the rough weather started. What were small shakes in the beginning turned into heavy swings and the plane dropped several times with people screaming and clinging to their armrests. I am not a brave flier, but thanks to a friend who is a FA with Emirates and a book I had bought which explains basically every single plane movement, I was quite calm. Add to that a travel sickness pill and I was even able to keep the guy sitting beside me relaxed, though he did grab the front seat a few times with force.

The pilots ascended as high as they could to avoid the worst but it was no use. The turbulence got so bad that the FAs were ordered to stop all service and sit down as well.

An Indian couple right in front of me had a particularly bad time; the lady had to throw up again and again and her husband kept on handing the bags to a FA. At some point I offered them one of my travel pills which they gratefully accepted and luckily she was able to keep her stuff down long enough for the pill to start working. She looked mighty relieved and so did her hubby!

We were strapped to our seats all across Iran, Turkey and the Black Sea. Only when we reached Romania did the turbulence go away – just with a snap it was gone. Service started up again right away and when we reached Germany the descent began in the region of Nuremberg as we were so high.

I was really glad when the flight was over, and to top it all off I was confronted with a very unfriendly customs guy. I am usually polite, but after more than 4 hours of shaky weather I was in no mood to argue politely so I more or less told him where to stick it and even got an apology. 😉

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Samuel L Jackson August 18, 2010 at 12:32 am

The only thing that could have made that flight worse is snakes on that damn plane.


John Travolta August 18, 2010 at 4:46 am

Man, you stupid.


Kim Kardashian August 18, 2010 at 5:28 am

Like whatever…try loosing your makeup!


Paris Hilton August 18, 2010 at 8:32 am

It hurts that, you know, the media's made me into sort of this like punching bag or cartoon character–they think that I don't have any feelings, and, you know, it hurts like anyone else.


Confucius August 18, 2010 at 8:47 am

Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star.


rerere August 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

What are with all the morons on this post?


DSD August 19, 2010 at 11:15 am

The problem is that the Admin doesn't do much about them. On most other sites I frequent the admins would have long ago blocked the IP address of the trolls.

Its a big reason why I hardly ever comment any more.


rerere2 August 19, 2010 at 3:12 am

Rerere, you're always posting on this site like you're better than everyone else. It's time you were knocked down a peg. Hugh, that goes for you too.


rerere August 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

How childish, copying my name. As for Hugh, in my opinion, is the best poster on this site. He doesn't bash the story or people, he is constructive about it, which everyone should do.


DSD August 19, 2010 at 11:22 am

I was on a similar flight when I was little and if the lady across the isle had been able to let go of the arm rest long enough, I might have been ejected from the plane, at altitude. I thought it was just the greatest ride ever invented and every time the plane dropped I let out a loud "WHEEEEEE". I was 3 or 4 at the time, and I wasn't being disturbing so my Mom didn't need to intervene (my parents are old school "children are to be seen not heard") but that poor lady probably saw things differently.


dragfyre September 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

What's the name of the book you had that explains plane movements? I had a similar experience flying Air Canada from Hong Kong to Toronto: about 3 hours of FA service on a 15-hour flight, all due to turbulence—violent shaking, drops, what have you. Thankfully the pilots on that flight did their best to explain exactly what was happening, why it was happening, and what they were doing to alleviate it. Knowing the ins and outs of those kinds of plane movements would have helped even more.


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