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TPG reader Kelly messaged me with this interesting question:
“What’s the worst flight you’ve ever flown and why?”
I’ll assume that by “worst”, Kelly means the most treacherous, and I’ll leave my experience with Ryanair out of it. I’ve flown a lot of miles in my lifetime, although I don’t actually know how many. Let’s just say there have been many takeoffs, and luckily, just as many landings!
My worst flight to date took place about six years ago. I was flying on Air Cananda from Toronto to LaGuardia, and we got out just before a blizzard hit in late January. I left around 7 pm in a snow storm with complete cloud cover.
After we took off, we immediately hit intense winds and everyone started screaming. For the next 45 minutes, the plane was just bouncing up and down. People were crying and panicking, and I wasn’t feeling too hot either.
I happened to be sitting next to an off-duty pilot, who also seemed extremely upset with what was going on. He began explaining to me that the pilot in the cockpit had no idea what he was doing — it was like he was driving a car at full speed and slamming his breaks on during a blizzard. We had two aborted landings, and it was probably the only time in my life I actually thought I was going to die.
Visibility was horrible, and finally on the third attempt we landed safely and there was just total silence. Everyone got off the plane and everything turned out fine, but all the passengers (myself included) were very shaken.
While it was a traumatizing experience, I still got back on a plane the next week and I still think flying is very safe. I haven’t had any other crazy experiences, and whenever there’s a bit of turbulence now I’m aware of how much worse it could be. That helps put things in perspective.
Feel free to share your worst flight stories in the comments section below!
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