High School Band’s Travel Troubles

April 21, 2014

in Delay/Cancellation Stories

It is Spring Break 2013, and I am flying from YVR (Vancouver, Canada) to LAX (Los Angeles, California) with my high school band to go to a major music festival. The first problem is that all 100 students arrived at 5:30 am and had lined up waiting to be checked in. I arrived at 6:00 when the clerks started checking us in. Naturally I got stuck at the back of the line. This very long process took over an hour as there were only two people at the desks.

Hours later, after we went through security and customs (which thankfully didn’t take too long), we arrived at our gate. That was when we received word that our flight, originally scheduled at 8:00, had been pushed back to 10:00. So we now have a hundred reckless teenagers in the departure lounge waiting for the flight. A few of the choir students pulled out their guitars and started singing.

Finally, after much waiting, we boarded the plane. I managed to get on first and snag my beloved window seat (I had only flown twice before). Then the mob of kids arrived. Originally, our band teacher said that we had to sit in our assigned seats for takeoff. But some kids started to switch seats, and then a call came out that we could sit wherever we wanted.

After a very long half-hour, the kids still had not settled. I was sitting all this time in my seat, reading a book. Then, another call came over the speaker that everyone was to sit in their assigned seats. It took another 15 minutes for that to happen. Finally, 50 minutes after we were supposed to take off, we lifted into the air.

The flight itself was uneventful, but when we got to LAX the ground crew took forever to unload all the trumpets and saxophones that we brought for the festival. Then, there was confusion whether our luggage was coming on Carousel 1, 2 or 3.

To make matters even worse, the two Greyhound buses that were supposed to pick us up were not at the curb. They were back at the station because of our initial delay. Finally, after 9 hours, we got to the hotel in Anaheim only to discover that our rooms weren’t ready! We had to wait another hour for them to “get them ready.”

Luckily, all these downsides were quelled as we brought home two golds, a silver and a bronze, plus the coveted “Spirit of Anaheim” award!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron Pincus April 22, 2014 at 6:36 am

Congrats on your medals and awards. Once you fly a few more times, you will realize this trip was not hell.


LaurenB April 22, 2014 at 7:53 pm

I suspect that the real flight from hell was for the poor passengers on the plane who had to put up with the shenanigans of a bunch of teenagers!


RedHead0186 April 25, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Yeah, this sounds like it all went pretty smoothly, aside from the horde of teenagers and the confusion that comes with traveling with a large group and not quite knowing what's going on.


Jessie April 26, 2014 at 2:30 am

I'm disappointed in the quality of "horror stories" that are now being posted on this flight. A two hour delay is not horrific. Neither is having to wait in a long line to check in when you show up last of a large group of people. Nor waiting a long time for bags when you're all traveling with a bunch of tubas. Sounds like everything went just swimmingly.

If this counts as a horror story, I think we've reached a new era in airline travel.


boydboy April 26, 2014 at 7:33 am

Like you said this is only your second time flying. I fly around 2 to 4 times per month and your story sounds like nothing. To tell you the truth as bad as you thought those minor issues were it was probably nothing compared to the issue other passengers had with your group. It always sucks to have a huge group of people flying together on your flight, especially when they are young because at that age people are loud and they think everyone finds them charming.


Ralphie April 26, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Not a flight from hell, but for a second time flier it probably seemed to be. That being said, it still wasn't a good flight. Based on the comments to this story, it seems that long lines and delays are the expected norm. I bet way back during the golden age of flying this traveler's experience would have been considered to be hellish. Interesting how perspectives change.


The Bradley June 29, 2014 at 11:39 am

I'm with boydboy…I'll bet there are more people from that flight who thought it was a flight from hell b/c of the 100 obnoxious band geeks who think that everyone wants to hear them sing and play off-key, or jostle everybody on the plane switching seats to be with their bff. Sit down and shut up.


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