I once boarded a plane four times in Lesotho until the airline finally decided to cancel the flight and book all of us in a hotel in Maseru. From morning up to almost 9pm, we were at the airport holding fort. The experience was surreal as we struggled through the cold winter hoping against hope that the plane will be fixed and we can fly that day to connect with our next flights. I am sure there are more unforgettable flight encounters out there waiting to be told. What's yours?
A flight I was on from London to Manchester got struck by lightning - the wing took a direct hit and there was a horrible loud crack and a flash. Apparently the lightning bolt went through one emergency exit, across the plane and out of the emergency exit on the other side. One of the cabin crew explained that often when a plane is struck by lightning a blue 'ball' can be seen going down the middle of the plane, which is the current. Weirdly enough, the day before I got on this flight I'd watched something on TV about planes being struck by lightning, and apparently it happens on average once a day somewhere in the world.
that was horrible! it's good there was no damage to the plane - that's amazing. but then real scary. there's really no telling what can happen when you are out in the sky - one sunny day and next you're crossing a storm.
Craziest probably was the one on the island of Dominica.
While gaining speed, the airplane (just before actually taking off, so at full ground speed) all of a sudden hit the breaks! Some light was flashing, which wasn't supposed to!
At the end of the runway, was a road and then the beach/ocean, but we managed to come to a complete stop before that thank god!
Back to the gate and some checks and after half an hour took off again....I was glad to land safely on St Lucia....
Ahhh.. the trip from hell... About 8 years ago, I needed to fly from Des Moines, Iowa to Indianapolis, Indiana. I was part of an IT group training field reps in each city. At the end of the session in Des Moines, our group (12 of us) headed to the airport. All afternoon there were threats of tornados in the area. When we got to the airport and the United counter, all flights out had been cancelled. But seeing that we HAD to get to Indianapolis, we surveyed what was still flying. We found a flight on TWA that would get us to Indianapolis through Saint Louis. We all bought ticket and upgraded to first class for just $25 more. (Now that was a deal).
Off we went to the waiting area, hoping to get out. As we sat there, most every other airline was taking their flights off the board. But not TWA... we boarded on time. We all settled down in first class when the pilot came on and said that we were going to be on a ground hold for at least 1 1/4 hours. Undaunted, the flight attendants broke out the first class booze. And we sat at the gate for one and a quarter hours sipping our drinks.
The pilot then announced that we were going to push back. We thought, an hour delay.. not too bad. We got to the end of the "active" runway and the pilot came back on saying that the tower was asking him to turn on his radar to see if he saw anything. After a couple of minutes we were told that we were again in an hour ground hold. The ever diligent attendants once again started pouring.
Ok we now have 2-2 1/2 hours in on this flight and were now ready to take off. A little geography lesson here... St. Louis is 250 miles SE from Des Moines (as a plane should fly.)
We took off and I started to doze off. I woke up and looked out the window and was surprised to be looking at the Sears Tower in downtown Chicago. It seems that to get around some of the weather the pilot was directed north around Minneapolis over to the western shore of Lake Michigan. We flew down the lake and into St. Louis.. landing at 1AM and there were no connecting flights. This 250 mile trip was actualy around 1100 air miles.
We rented cars in St Louis and drove 4 hours to Indianapolis and made the morning training session.
But wait it doesn't end there. At the end of the week training session in Indianapolis, I we went to the airport. We had broke early and had a 4 hour wait for our plane. I checked in and just started to relax, when one of the group noticed that there was an earlier flight on Southwest that would get us back to Kansas City. 11 of us changed flights, I was the lone hold out that said I would wait it out. Well they all boarded and were ready to push back, when I started noticing that they were deplaning passengers. Again weather in St Louis had put a ground hold on. No flight were being released to land there. After waiting for 3 hours Southwest, canceled the earlier flight, and decided to make the flight I was booked on a direct to KC, not landing at St. Louis. I went through the boarding line, smiling at my co-workers who were bumped from their earlier flight.
Got home on time from that one. Some of my co-workers rented cars and drove back, and others slept in the airport for the next flight out in the morning. That is my trip from hell...