In 1990, I flew from JFK to Málaga, Spain. I picked Iberia over TWA because the Iberia flight did not require a change of planes in Madrid, just a stop. Since I do not speak Spanish, I was worried about encountering problems at Madrid airport. However, when I arrived at JFK, I learned that Iberia had cancelled my flight and merged it with another one that was just JFK to Madrid, and I would have to change planes after all. So they crammed everyone onto the flight.
First, the male flight attendant refused to let me board with my carry-on. OK, it might have jutted out from the seat an inch or two, but I’d been using it for years without problem. No argument was permitted. So I was forced to check it. I fortunately kept the aisle seat. In the middle seat was a woman and infant. She had bought a separate ticket for the baby, but the FA said no, carry him on your lap. She said to me, “I feel sorry for YOU!” Fortunately, the kid was quiet for the whole flight, which was a red-eye.
At Madrid airport, I successfully retrieved my carry-on and just followed the crowd for a hike that led to the domestic airport, where somehow I found the flight to Málaga. Upon arrival in Málaga, I discovered that the domestic terminal where I arrived (since the plane was a separate flight from Madrid) was nowhere near the international terminal. However, I had previously arranged for a taxi to pick me up at the international terminal, since my original flight would have originated in the U.S. So I had to hire a cab, which cost me about $50. Fortunately I had cash in pesetas.
Oh yes, the FAs on Iberia were less than attentive. But it was the only flight I’ve ever been on (outside of Hawaii) that served pineapple juice!