Worst non-Amtrak transportation experience

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

RovinMoses

Train Attendant
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
25
Exactly. As long as you have your seat belt on turbulence is just an interesting bit of trivia. I leave my belt on all the time, maybe a bit loosely. I was lucky enough to have all three seats on a flight from Narita to Bangkok and slept "full length" with my legs drawn up, but I had the seat belt secured around me just in case.
Railiner's comment about someone tossing cookies reminds me of several trips from Chumphon to Ko Tao on the Lomprayah 32m Incat Crowther fast ferries. Their length is just a bit less than half the distance from wave top to wave top so they pitch and roll like no ones business. Sure enough if you take a seat inside, as soon as you get a few miles off shore one person will toss chow and it starts a cascade of malodorous events that pop up all around you. And no matter how fine you felt before the outbreak, you will feel a bit queasy with all the smells floating about.
Ride on top! Wear plenty of sunscreen and a hat but don't stay in the cabin.
Yep, same experience in Hovercraft from Calais to Dover! Unfortunately, there is no access to the the top deck, so all the passengers were inside and had easy access to the motion sickness bags. It was an interesting and wild ride!
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,790
Was that before or after the rule that your baggage had to be on the same flight, realizing that they break this rule whenever it suits the airline?
This was in 1986. Unsure when that "rule" came into effect.
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
835
Yep, same experience in Hovercraft from Calais to Dover! Unfortunately, there is no access to the the top deck, so all the passengers were inside and had easy access to the motion sickness bags. It was an interesting and wild ride!
I think I may have been on that same trip! :) Gale force winds...and everyone paying rapt attention to the safety video which plays before boarding and is usually completely ignored. And barf bags much appreciated by the poorer sailors...
 

jpakala

Train Attendant
Joined
Jul 13, 2014
Messages
41
#1 was friend's luggage on Phila to NYC flight that ended up in Morocco so she had to buy new clothers for the wedding #2 was a bus trip NC to IA via MN and at one change of bus locations some mishap occurred whereby we ran quite late, the driver then had to 'clock out' and passengers were stuck outside a locked bus station in the night. Walking to a hotel a few blocks down and entering the lobby didn't help except to be in a warm place. But then the night clerk said filling that small space could not continue, so the indignity of a shelter for the homeless was the next location. A long night including a lot of standing around was followed by humping back to the bus station when it opened. Needless to say, the total time from NC to IA was much longer than anticipated.
 

Lenquixote66

Service Attendant
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Messages
127
Location
New York
My worst travel experience was when I was on a flight from Vancouver,BC to JFK.A guy sitting in front of me on the plane had his seat pushed back so far that he nearly crushed my knees.
I tapped him on his back and told him that I had a chronic knee problem and asked if he could move his seat up a bit.He responded by using all his strength to move the seat back even further.
I told that to a passing Flight Attendant .She tried to get him to move his seat up but he ignored her.She said that there are no other seats available.A few minutes later the guy got up to go to the bathroom and his wife slid into his seat and used all her strength to push the seat back. At that point I told the Flight Attendant that I was going to stand for the rest of the flight.
When we left the plane my wife urged me not to confront the people.She assumed we would never see them again.
 

TWA904

Train Attendant
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
65
As long as you have your seat belt on turbulence is just an interesting bit of trivia.
My worst experience was on a Delta fight from Atlanta to Seattle back in 1984. The aircraft was a B767. There was bad weather an turbulence even at cruising altitude. The plane was bouncing around. The pilot had trouble maintaining anything close to level flight and smooth flight. Twice we hit air pockets and dropped altitude. Women all over the plane were screaming loudly. We were west of the Mississippi River before it smoothed out to a pleasant flight. Planes can usually shake, rattle and roll all the like and it doesn't bother me, but that day, even I was a little worried.
 

snaebyllej

AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 25, 2020
Messages
9
1978, overnight train from Prague to Berlin. 2nd class coach, very crowded. I spent the night sitting on the floor in the aisle, 10 feet from an overflowing toilet. The guy next to me had a big bird on his arm; a falcon? He fed it a scrap of bloody meat from time to time. Beautiful scenery out the window once it started to get light, though.
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,790
A Continental Airlines flight from Rome to Newark in Coach was my most uncomfortable flight. At that time, I always try to select a window seat. Got one with one other seat that was next to the aisle. Both seats in front of me were occupied and a seat mate. Almost as soon as the man in front of me could do so, he put his seat as far back as he could and left it there until it had to be returned to an upright position for landing. A nearly inedible lunch was served with my tray table in an uncomfortable position. (A snack was served before we landed at EWR; the snack was considerably better than the lunch.) My seatmate went to sleep and with the seat in front of me so much "in my lap", trying to get out of my seat in order to go to the restroom without awaking my seat mate was impossible. (I was able to "hold it" until the woman awoke and she needed to visit the loo.) What did I learn from that experience? I want an aisle seat and have never since purposely booked a window seat when I have flown in Coach.
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
446
Location
Cleveland
Megabus from New York to Pittsburgh. I was sitting near the back of the bus on a route I took often. Some dumb 20yo kid in the row behind me, who I hadn't even talked to, dumped a full drink on me as a joke.

I was covered in fruit juice in the middle of nowhere, and all I knew was that one of three guys did it. Of course every passenger acted like they didn't see it. I was bigger than any of the three guys but not bigger than all three combined. The person who did it deserved a beating, but it would have been me getting it if it was 3 on 1. I also thought that if I complained to the driver, the dudes would just lie and we might all be kicked out along some highway. I thought the smartest thing was to just move downstairs and try to forget about it.

Never have taken any service but Amtrak since then. Amtrak is much safer than any other alternative.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Cal

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
835
There are two kinds of 'worst flights'--ones where you think, we could have died, and ones where the conditions were so horrible that you find yourself thinking, how bad would oblivion be? As to the first one, I had a flight into Seattle in the 1980's where on landing we suffered violent windshear--the pilot managed to maintain some semblance of control, but did scrape a wing tip on the touch and go. (This made my daughter detemined never to fly again, which indirectly led to my deciding that we'd take Amtrak cross-country to get her to college). In the 'horrible condtions' department, on a flight from Los Angeles to Beijing sometime around 1995, my seatmate was an elderly Chinese guy who had a large plastic bag on his lap, into which he spit phlegm on a regular basis. By the time we got to Beijing, the bag contained a couple of cups-worth. I skipped all the meals on that flight...
 

bms

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
Messages
446
Location
Cleveland
There are two kinds of 'worst flights'--ones where yoTobu think, we could have died, and ones where the conditions were so horrible that you find yourself thinking, how bad would oblivion be? As to the first one, I had a flight into Seattle in the 1980's where on landing we suffered violent windshear--the pilot managed to maintain some semblance of control, but did scrape a wing tip on the touch and go. (This made my daughter detemined never to fly again, which indirectly led to my deciding that we'd take Amtrak cross-country to get her to college). In the 'horrible condtions' department, on a flight from Los Angeles to Beijing sometime around 1995, my seatmate was an elderly Chinese guy who had a large plastic bag on his lap, into which he spit phlegm on a regular basis. By the time we got to Beijing, the bag contained a couple of cups-worth. I skipped all the meals on that flight...
Oh that's so gross! Tobacco chewers are just as bad, I would almost rather they just smoked. I've only sat next to a tobacco chewer on a plane though, never on Amtrak.
 

Exvalley

OBS Chief
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
618
Overall I have been pretty lucky.

My two worst experiences would be:

1) Arriving in Tangier, Morocco by ferry. The guide book said that there would be unlicensed tour guides greeting you as you disembark and that they would leave you alone with a polite, "No thank you." The guide was full of crap. The "guides" had one chance to make money that day and they simply wouldn't take no for an answer. We kept trying to walk away, but when they realized that we weren't going to pay them, we were threatened and spit on. We literally jumped into a taxi that was stopped in traffic and were taken to a restaurant a ways away. We thought that we were finally safe until we realized that one of the "guides" had followed us. He came right into the restaurant and said that the second we set foot outside of the restaurant he was going to slit our throats. We had the restaurant owner call a cab and escort us into it. The cab drove us right back to the ferry terminal and we were lucky enough to get on a ferry that was about to depart. I have heard wonderful things about Morocco, and would like to return someday, but it won't be by ferry to Tangier. I have had other friends who had similar experiences there after arriving by ferry. In hindsight, we probably should have just paid for a guide, but our guidebook had us truly believe that it wasn't an issue.

2) A ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui in Thailand. It started off fine, until bus after bus of people pulled up and loaded more people onto the ferry. To say that the ferry was overloaded would have been an understatement. I was very glad when we set foot on land again.

My weirdest experience was being in Yellowstone with no communication during 9/11. We didn't even know what happened until a couple of days after. We turned on our car radio and tried to piece together what people were talking about. And we still had to figure out how to get home. It's too long a story for this thread.
 
Last edited:

Devil's Advocate

Conductor
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
12,353
Location
Texas
It was 'fun', until the kid in the next row 'tossed his cookies'. And then the unpleasant aroma caused a couple of other passenger's to do likewise...
Pity that nobody provided/explained an air sickness bag ahead of time.

Much worse experience, also involving a cancelled flight, in Toronto 3 years ago. Not flying Air Canada again.
You're just gonna leave us hanging like that? 👀

My worst travel experience was when I was on a flight from Vancouver,BC to JFK.A guy sitting in front of me on the plane had his seat pushed back so far that he nearly crushed my knees.
I'm normally pretty relaxed on vacation but someone crushing my knees so they can force an extra inch of useless coach recline is a great way to provoke my less peaceful side. I'm not sure why people who refuse to compromise on recline assume there will be zero blowback for their actions but my knees are every bit as important as their back.

What did I learn from that experience? I want an aisle seat and have never since purposely booked a window seat when I have flown in Coach.
I think something about moving from window to aisle preference is when you become an "official" frequent flier. :cool:
 

Dakota 400

Conductor
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
2,790
I have heard wonderful things about Morocco, and would like to return someday, b
Morocco is an interesting country. Never have been to Tangier (and now don't think I want to do so after reading about your experience). Casablanca and Rabat are the two cities that I have visited and have very good memories about both.
 

VAtrainfan

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
146
Location
Portsmouth, VA
Aside from the usual "spent the night on the floor at O'Hare" story...

Mine's not a disaster as such, but every time I take the DC Metro or MARC, there's always some random track problem on the route I need to take, and the bustitution takes 2 hours to go the 3 miles between the stations on either side of the track closure.
 
Top