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Beware of the Cheap Flight: 7 Holiday Travel Horror Stories

Most of us try to save money on holiday travel. However, we found seven of the craziest (and funniest!) horror stories about people who bought cheap flights and regretted it. Missed flights, overflowing toilets, and screaming children are just the beginning. These make “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” look like a pleasant journey!

Clean Up on Aisle Three
Sometimes, it’s not easy to keep healthy while travelling. People might fall ill, like one woman did on her flight from Toronto to New York. Air sickness bags were nowhere near big enough for her. She needed a full-sized garbage bag. Needless to say, not many travelers were eating their in-flight snacks during that trip! After the flight landed, while claiming her baggage, the woman heard a voice over the P.A. system call out “Clean up at gate three.”

Frazzled in Frankfurt
A foreign country, a large airport, and misunderstanding of a foreign language all added up to a worst-case scenario for a group of traveling teenage girls. Already delayed due to a connecting flight and stuck at the other end of the airport, the group managed to find their way just in time to board the plane. Amazed to find some seats already occupied and others non-existent, the small group of young girls quickly realized they were on the wrong aircraft. Turns out the rest of the group had just boarded the right plane at the next gate. After some tense negotiation, they were eventually allowed to reunite with the rest of their group.

Sleepover in Seattle
Taking the good old “red-eye flight” can be a money saver. Sure, there are a lot of stops along the way, but the price can’t be beat unless you’re afraid of flying. One enterprising traveler decided to take a Valium in order to help him relax on his flight to Seattle. It did the job and then some, helping him sleep right through all the take-offs and landings until arriving at the end of the line in Canada. All that time snoozing? He thought he was dreaming about flying on a plane.

Twins Spell Double Trouble
Sometimes it’s better to shut up and put up with an annoyance than to speak your mind. A jam packed inter-continental budget flight saw a couple politely asking a single mother if she could control her two rambunctious 3-year-old twins. Already stressed, the mother started yelling obscenities at the couple. That was enough to set the kids off and they started wailing like there was no tomorrow. A flight attendant came over to try and diffuse the situation. Seeing a distraught mother alone with two crying children, the attendant erroneously believed the couple to be at fault. They spent the rest of the eight-hour flight with less than stellar service in the company of two screaming little terrors.


Two screaming kids, and nowhere to land.

A Pilot Brings No Peace
Not all air travelers enjoy flying. One discount airline pilot recounts the story of sitting next to a sobbing passenger while off-duty. The woman apparently always cried prior to takeoff, due to her intense fear of flying. She became hysterical upon learning that the person sitting next to her was a pilot. Her concern was that if he became nervous, then she’d really have something to worry about.

Some Airlines Even Lose Passengers
Flying on the cheap is not always the best way to save money on your holiday. Misplaced luggage is often a common complaint, but this story takes the cake. One time a gentleman boarded a plane in Seattle that he believed was bound for Alaska. To his surprise, he had been cleared through the gate to a flight headed to San Francisco. It turns out that his ticket to Alaska had both the same flight number and flight time as the one bound to San Francisco.

Lost In London
This incident could very well have taken place in the Tom Hanks movie Terminal. Like many budget travelers booked on cheap flights, a thirty-something American was enjoying a stopover at London’s Heathrow Airport. He was at one end of the airport and his connecting flight was at the other. He had miscalculated the amount of time he needed to reach the gate. He managed to barely make it to the boarding area on time, only to discover another problem. He had locked all his boarding documents in his carry-on luggage, along with the key. Fortunately, he didn’t miss his flight. Security helped him open his case, with not a minute to spare.