Terrible Turbulence

June 16, 2015

in Weather Stories

(Disclaimer: this is not to blame the airline for bad weather, but to explain my story. I understand that the airlines have no control over weather.)

Recently, I was flying home from vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. We were supposed to fly from Charleston to Chicago then Chicago home to Phoenix. However, this is not what happened.

The flight from Charleston to Chicago went perfectly okay. It was delayed a little bit, but oh well, what can you expect? When we arrived, we noticed our second flight home had been cancelled along with many others due to thunderstorms in the Midwest. As soon as we got off that plane, my dad literally ran to try to get us on another flight. Chances weren’t looking good for tonight.

We (my dad, my mom, and I) were all put on standby for a flight with a connection in Vegas, but many people were already on standby for that flight. So my mom and I were booked for a flight that departed at 5:25 the next morning and my dad for one later in the day (there was no room on the first). So we’re waiting on standby, my dad in 5th (my dad is A-list preferred because he travels so much for work), my mom and I in 7th and 8th. Chances of getting on this plane are not likely.

All of a sudden we hear my dad’s name called. He got a ticket for the plane and told the person at the counter that he wasn’t getting on the plane without his wife and daughter. Luckily, the nice man printed us each out a ticket before the other people on standby! We made it. Now, keep in mind we just got on standby and are the last people to board the plane. My mom and I were lucky to find two seats together in the very last row, and my dad squeezed in the middle seat between two people two rows up from us.

This 3 hour 50 minute flight is what makes it from hell. We were flying in heavy rain. The turbulence was terrible. At least half of the flight was completed in turbulence. There was one point where I saw lightning and got pretty freaked.

With about an hour and a half of the flight remaining, a pretty woman who was probably in her 30’s was pacing up and down the aisle with her barf bag saying that she needed to lie down and she was dizzy. My first reaction was that she needed water because she was dehydrated. The flight attendants did nothing; they did not even seem to care. All they did was give her some ginger ale. Everyone thought she was gonna pass out and we’d have to make an emergency landing. Luckily, I occasionally get plane sick and had some saltines on hand which helped the woman a whole lot more than the careless FA. Keep in mind this flight was still extremely turbulent.

Finally, we landed in Vegas after a terrible flight. (I’m not blaming anyone for bad weather conditions, I was just annoyed at the flight itself.) Now, we had our remaining hour flight home from Vegas which only had 30 people because it was 11:30 at night. It was a pleasant flight and I slept the whole way.

You’d think the story would be over, but no. Our luggage never made it onto the standby flight so basically it’s still stuck in Chicago. The lady at baggage claim services reassured us that it would be on the first flight out from Chicago to Phoenix (the 5:25 that my mom and I would’ve been on, if not for the standby). That flight got cancelled. We are still awaiting our bags.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

reader June 17, 2015 at 8:35 am

If the other passenger was dizzy and had to lay down she should have stayed in her seat rather than pace the aisles — as a vertigo sufferer I can tell you that's the best thing. If the passenger was well enough to walk/pace, she wasn't *that* ill. The FAs probably *were* concerned but also realized there was nothing more they could do.


Beth June 17, 2015 at 8:38 am

At least you were home so you had clothes at home! I get motion sick, too – I feel for the woman…


Rj7 June 17, 2015 at 6:22 pm

I agree that turbulent flights suck but I need to stick up for the flight attendants. Theydid do something. They provided her with ginger ale. Ginger ale settles queasy stomachs and its caffeine free so it will not add to dehydration. That's why moms have been giving it to sick kids for generations. If the flight was as turbulent as you say presumably the captain had the seatbelt sign on and directed the crew to stay seated. There was nothing more the fas good do in this scenario. I would not just assume they didn't care. The only thing the airline did wrong here was let you and your mom skip the people who were rightfully ahead of you. Sounds like your Dad was entitled to priority but not you.


RedHead0186 June 18, 2015 at 11:29 am

Agreed. The FAs did all they could; they're not medically trained so really all they could do was give water or ginger ale (and you're right, ginger ale does help upset stomachs).

I too have issue with the airline 'bumping' others on the standby list so the family could sit together. Yes, it's nice they could all fly home together, but there's rankings on the list for a reason. Doesn't seem quite right, and if I were one of the people who got bumped I'd be pretty upset about that.


CMR June 26, 2015 at 11:53 pm

While it sounds like an uncomfortable flight, good to hear you were able to get home at least the same day and not have to take the next flight out.

I will say it doesn't seem like the Flight Attendants didn't care if they gave the woman ginger ale…That was a smart move since ginger ale is known to help settle the stomach. But as other people mentioned, they probably were directed to sit for most of the flight with the bad weather.

And it's not shocking that your baggage didn't make the flight. Whenever you fly standby, it's a toss up if your bags will make the actual flight. At least you were on your way home and not the other way around.


Eddie Key July 2, 2015 at 2:42 pm

Sounds to me that the people who reply the most on stories like work for the airline.


Sarah July 13, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Eddie, I agree. I get so tired of people posting PRO airline when the airlines obviously have a serious problem. The service is horrible, FA's attitudes are bad, and the product is disintegrating quickly. Bags don't make a flight? No problem? I'm sorry but that is unacceptable.


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