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Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

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Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Old 10th Jan 2006, 10:15
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Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Inspired by the thread dealing with the worst airport, I thought I would start a similar thread for airlines and take nominations for the worst airline you have flown with as a passenger.
To start the ball rolling I would like to nominate BWIA who delayed my flight Manchester to Barbados for 36 hours, eventually chartering an all-white Portugese registered 767 to operate the flight. Upon arrival at barbados there were no BWIA representatives present to help sort out the baggage delays and it took over 2 hours for the bags to arrive.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 10:53
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

I would like to nominate Air Bulgaria for the food and the seating - I am 5 foot 7 and was travelling with a friend to Sofia, my friend is only 5 foot 3 - HIS knees were pushed up against the seat in front, when we got off the plane we both had bruises on our knees.

The food was attrocious. However, the hosties on the way there AND the way back were absolutely stunning, No older than 25, perfectly dressed, polite and simply gorgeous - well worth the bumped knees and awful food.

Alex
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 10:57
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Hewa Bora Airlines (Congo). Kinshasa to Lubumbashi. Seriously tired 727 which used 4000m of the 4700m runway, rotated at about 1 degree a second, climbed to 8ft, levelled off in ground effect and eventually climbed away at about 500fpm...

Horrid food, followed by matey next to me chuffing away on his Congolese cigarettes for the next 2 hours (still allow smoking on this airline).

Visual approach, using the throttles fully open/ fully shut/ fully open technique, followed by 2 very firm bounces. On the second, the spoilers were deployed to make sure we stayed down after arrival 3.

I will never complain about BA again.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 10:58
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Air Afrique. Some of the smaller national carriers in West Africa were probably worse, but Air Afrique pretended to be a big international airline. Tickets sold for non-existant flights, flights cancelled at the drop of a hat, aggressive staff....
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 11:41
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

HMG Airlines C130 back from Deccimomanu, sitting on top of some freight, no food, no drink, no hosties and the business facilities were atrocious.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 11:52
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Eurocypria airways for a knackered 320 with a broken oleo at LGW, causing a three hour delay during which the skipper wouldn't let us off, but hit upon the ruse of knocking up the heating to make everyone dozy. Eventually arrived Larnaca four hours late as a greasy stain. Also, horrid interiors, horrid hosties & no food on a six hour flight. Still, it's marginally better than the 18 hour delay at Athens the year before with Brit.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 11:55
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

I’ve had nothing to match (the then to-be) Mrs SSK’s experience on a China Airlines Europe-Taipei flight. Engine fire in Dhahran, take-off aborted, pax evacuated to the terminal where the airline totally deserted them, telling them they would be accommodated on the next flight through in about 3 days. The Saudi authorities wouldn’t lift a finger to help them, they had no food, refreshments, couldn’t get hold of local currency to buy any.

Eventually after about 12 hours somebody scrounged the cash to put through a call to the GB Consulate, who turned up post-haste. Acting on behalf of the Europeans on the flight they got Gulf Air to fly them to Bahrain and on to Taipei (and in the Mrs’ case, onward to HKG). The Asian pax were left to fend for themselves.

Despite letters of complaint, Mrs S never got a peep out of CI, who as far as she is aware never even publicly acknowledged that there had been an incident.
 
Old 10th Jan 2006, 11:56
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

EZY
Odd you had that experience with Bulgaria Air - I'm 5'8" and I have flown with them several times in the past 1.5 years. Have never experienced my knees anywhere near touching the seat ahead and the food has always been ok (pretty standard Euro short-haul 'sandwich kits' usually).

A/c are a little ageing (ex-Lufthansa 733s mostly, by the looks of things) - but I've flown in worse and the crews are usually fine. My observations over the time that I've been using them is that they seem to be improving if anything.

AFAIK, the present incarnation came out of a failed privatisation bid where they were basically asset-stripped and run into the ground by foreign businessmen. I think that as one of Europe's less well-off countries they should be encouraged rather than berated for trying to make a go of it. It's always easy to mock.

My worst airline experience? Try pretty much any of the British Charter carriers packing 'em in on long haul. BG Air legroom is like business class in comparison

Jx

Last edited by WeatherJinx; 10th Jan 2006 at 12:25.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 11:57
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Designate OC23 Sqn, en route Ascension to Stanley (13 hrs approx, each way in Fat Albert) - wx at Stanley out of limits on arrival, so turned back to Ascension. This cycle was repeated twice more (approx 65 hours total). He eventually arrived having flown more hours than the average stude going through the Herc OCU. Was awarded (unofficially) Albert LCR status by the Capt, much to his dicomfort and our amusement on the Stanley F4 Det at the time.....
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 12:02
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

I've been very fortunate.
MY worst was the Odense - Copenhagen Maersk route (a regular start and finish to my varied destinations). Nothing was THAT bad, it was just run like a local bus service. Passengers were frequently well-intoxicated (on the CPH - ODE direction) usually off-shore workers returning from alcohol-free trips until they hit CPH. It was never aggressive, just hilarious as they vocalised for all to hear what they were going to do when they reached the little woman (and then have brun kartoffler - roast potatoes). The worst was the lessez-faire attitude to landing, where the crews seemed to compete for the loudest cheer and applause after a carrier landing. I came to enjoy that too after time.
My scariest landing was Alitalia into Reggio da Calabria in 1979 (ish) where the approach was over high-tension cables then a drop and slew to line-up with the runway (off-set from the final approach) and stopping JUST before the chain-link fence.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 12:04
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Phuket Air - returning from my holiday inbound to Gatwick from Bangkok last year, fuel started spewing from the wing in the UAE on take off, all passengers, start screaming for the plane to stop, pilot aborts take off, mass walk out by passengers.
When we eventually landed at Gatwick the plane is impounded, and it's still there by the tower. Apparently, so I have been told, it was fully catered when the CAA withdrew its C of A. The smell must have been lovely over the summer!!
I beleive this airline has been banned in all European airspace!! Mind you what do you expect for return flight of £135!!!
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 12:10
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

For me was a United flight from San Franciso to LAX. When I boarded, my seat had a McDonalds wrapper and some of the burger contents on it and the floor was generally littered. Complained to stewardess and was told that it was a short flight with a quick turnaround so the plane hadn't been cleaned properly. I have never flown United since
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 13:30
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Worst airline by far, and I have travelled in military AN24s and other strange flying vehicles! My vote goes to Kuwaiti airlines where the cabin crew had absolutely no control over the SLF who did precisely what they wanted, including using their mobiles and walking around in CAT conditions. As soon as the aircraft landed, they were up even before leaving the runway. I seriously thought of reporting the flight to the CAA as they were not only a danger to themselves, but to other adjacent traffic. NEVER AGAIN.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 14:59
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Air Malta back in the 80's when I was a boy.

Luggage bins were held up with brown parcel tape,nose wheel blowout on landing-it was a total sh1tbox,think it was a 737 or similar

I have seen better maintained military aircraft and thats saying something
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 15:02
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Garuda ex equo China Eastern
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 15:20
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

That would be a Saudia 707 flight from Casa to Tunis, with a stop in Algeria. The bogs were unuseable when I got on, and overflowing before Algeria.

Another memorable one was an Air France 707, early morning paris-LHR. The FA showed up with 3 orange juices then disappeared into the flight deck. The landing was eventually accomplished by engaging reverse while still at about 10 ft. agl and 1/2 way down the runway, full throttle reverse and hard braking got us stopped at the very end where we had to turn around to backtrack to the taxiway. Maybe the FA was flying the thing too!!!!
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 15:23
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

As much as I fly as SLF, I have never had a good experience with ATA. Thank goodness they're dying out.

The departed Sunworld in the 80's was no winner, either. Flying RNO-PDX-SEA in '86, I experienced two of the worst non-accident landings in history (in my personal opinion).

Nowadays, I avoid NWA on domestic routes at all costs. After one experience flying with a friend who was "Differently Abled" (he'd lost a leg in an auto accident) and NWA refusing to get him a ride from one end of MSP to the other (from arrival gate to connecting gate), I have refused to fly them domestically (NWA flygirl even said that MSP is a different animal; where is she, anyway?). International is pretty nice, though (NRT-DTW was a good flight).
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 19:37
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

The worst airline that I have flown with is Ryanair, followed closely by EasyJet and Monarch.

Although this was sometime ago, I was really disappointed by their poor customer service. This was not just towards me, but also to other passengers.

FE
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 19:42
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Air France.

Me and heavily pregnant wife flying to Jordan for new jop. Late leaving LHR so we got to Paris to find connecting flight had gone. Fekkers tried to blame us for being late. Eventually got as hotel (we were business class) but economy were there for hours after us. next day they flew us to Rome and told us that we had been booked to Amman on El Italia. Got to Italia desk. never heard of us. They said this was standard for Air France. Our luggage was going around on the carousel. Italia were fantastic and sorted us out with a same day conection. A friends parents were dmped in damascus some weeks later for 5 days.

Other crappy airline was RAF C130, 1983. Ascension to Port Stanley = 13.5 hours in canvas seat eating sh*te from a butty box with smell of hot food wafting from lorry drivers cockpit. All this after a night at ascension in a tent.
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Old 10th Jan 2006, 22:59
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Re: Worst airline you have ever flown (as a PAX)

Air France LHR-CDG-BOM. First leg, late out of LHR, got parked remote at CDG and the almost physcially pushed through CDG to get our connecting flight, which we then sat on for 1hr before departing. Food was poor, Crew were loathed to speak English, Staff at LHR seperated our family across the plane. Return was delayed 3hrs due to their incompetence.

Never again.

Jordan
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