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My last airplane flight ...

Displaying poll results.
Left on time, landed early or on time.
  11361 votes / 45%
Left late, landed early or on time.
  2772 votes / 11%
Left on time, landed late.
  624 votes / 2%
Left late, landed late.
  4146 votes / 16%
Something more complicated ...
  1966 votes / 7%
I'll let you know after we land.
  527 votes / 2%
I don't fly.
  3536 votes / 14%
24932 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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My last airplane flight ...

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  • These days, I think the airlines hedge their bets way too much. I have had short haul flights arrive 15 minutes early. How can that be?

    • by Frequency Domain (601421) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @02:34PM (#36412472)
      For short haul flights the variations due to ground traffic are a larger proportion of the total time, and in many cases the aircraft can't get clearance to depart until they have a cleared slot to land at the other end. Where I live either of these can totally dominate the 20 minutes of actual flight time that a shuttle takes to get to the nearest hub. The airlines respond by using the upper end of the range of times as their estimate - customers are much more pissed off by arrivals later than they were told than by arrivals earlier than they were told.
      • by jbengt (874751)

        For short haul flights the variations due to ground traffic are a larger proportion of the total time

        My last flight was a short haul, from Chicago O'Hare to St Louis Lambert Field. Still, the ground traffic was fine in Chicago (leaving early enough to beat rush hour, and only having mild traffic jams on the way back) And the ground traffic in St Louis, well, I didn't really care, since my job was for design for construction of airline facilities remodelling at the airport itself. I didn't have to travel

        • by timster (32400)

          By "ground traffic" he's talking about airplane ground traffic... you know, access to the runways and the pathways between the runways and the gates and such.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      These days, I think the airlines hedge their bets way too much. I have had short haul flights arrive 15 minutes early. How can that be?

      Airlines love metrics that say, "we're early or on time 98% of the time" so they sometimes low ball their time estimates.

      Also airlines take into account expected weather conditions. So if you fly on a day that has historically had bad weather, they will add extra time on for that.

      Also they plan for the longest flight you could have, so if you hit a tail wind for most of your flight, you will have a shorter flight. I've had plenty of flights like this, I've also had a few where we were flying into a he

      • by tompaulco (629533)
        They also count as "on time" anything that arrives within 15 minutes of the actual time posted.
  • Military flights (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loimprevisto (910035) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @02:30PM (#36412450)

    Show up at the PAX terminal a few hours before the flight, usually leave on time or a little early, the only security check is a reminder that your weapons can't be loaded (depending on the flight operator). Of course the convienence is offset by your choices of destinations... but Afghanistan sure is lovely this time of year!

    • by DG (989)

      My first flight into KAF was like the dropship ride in Aliens. Red lights, combat entry, and fully kitted up.

      No E-Ticket required!


    • Will PAX actually take you into Afghanistan? When I wen to Iraq we flew PAX to a nice safe airport in Kuwait, and the Air Force flew us into country. Complete with hot zone landing procedures that were really the most fun I had the whole trip.

  • It's been a few years since I flew, so I can't remember. It was probably on time, or at least not drastically late. Now I think about it I believe we had to stay at the airport when we landed home due to some misplaced luggage, but we were off the plane at that point.
    • by kent_eh (543303)
      That's my experience too.
      My last flight is such a distant memory, I can't remember the details.
      I can't foresee flying in the future, unless I decide to leave the continent for vacation. And even then, I might decide to go by ship, just for the experience.
    • Yeah, I can't remember exactly when last I flew on a jumbo* - early 80's. Late 80's, I flew several times on a 1941 Ercoupe (hand-cranked landing gear, it's the only way to fly!).

      *Cue George Carlin: "Fuck you, you get on the plane I'm getting in the plane - there seems to be less wind in here!".

  • We don't fly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @04:18PM (#36413042) Homepage
    Since my wife and I retired we don't fly. I don't like taking off my shoes. In the past five years we have enjoyed driving from our home base in Oklahoma to Baltimore, San Fransisco, Texas, Iowa, and are planning a trip to DC and NYC in the fall. We'd much rather set our own departure time and not hassle with luggage. We like to plan our trips to enjoy the scenery and stop to see local sites when we feel like it. I guess we are just old farts and proud of it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timothy (36799) * Works for Slashdot

      If you need a place to stay in the fall, Harrisburg PA is not bad as an intermediate between those places, and -- depending on the dates! -- I might be able to offer you a nice bed, home-cooked dinner, etc. there.


    • Well from what I see on your website you probably traveled to many parts of the world already, You are retired now so good choice to rediscover what you have been missing on your own backyard a.k.a. the good ol' USA and spending money into the local economy, instead of like some other people who fly around and buying luxury foreign goods.

    • by quenda (644621)

      driving from our home base in Oklahoma to Baltimore, San Fransisco, Texas, Iowa, and are planning a trip to DC and NYC in the fall.

      So not only are you restricting yourself to the same continent, but you don't even go to Canada or Mexico? How dull!
      I like to visit the US, but at least it's foreign and exotic to me. All those bizarre foods! Are "corn dogs" really something you eat, or was my leg being pulled?

      • by AdamHaun (43173)

        Yes, they're real. Corn dogs are common carnival food. I'm not a fan of cornbread myself, but other people do like them.

      • by stewbee (1019450)
        I would certainly call that "low brow" american food as well as hot dog and hamburgers. They are something that you would get in a hurry, or in the case of a corn dog, from the carnival as the other poster noted. I would best describe American cuisine as pretty diverse. In the south, they are generally known for barbequed and smoked meats. Beef brisket, ribs, pulled pork to name a few. Even within the barbeque genre, depending on where you go you will get different approaches to the sauce. Some places will
        • "low brow" american food as well as hot dog and hamburgers.

          I wouldn't lump burgers in with the corn and hot dogs. Home-made hamburgers can be pretty epic, especially if you're willing to be creative. The ability to mix things like spices, fruits and veggies in with the meat gives you the ability to have the flavor right through the meat, which can be incredibly difficult with things like ribs or roasts.

          I would also suggest that being in the midwest (at least where I live) can be a bonus - you get flavors from everywhere. Our provincial government has been super ag

        • by quenda (644621)

          Take it easy, I thought I was plainly teasing. We had lots of good food in the US. Too much actually - the serving sizes are incredible.
          And the diversity certainly helps when it comes to eating. OTOH, the dominance of franchise chains works against that.

          • by stewbee (1019450)
            I wasn't taking offense, but I just was hoping to enlighten maybe some people who might generalize US cuisine as burgers, hot dogs, and french fries. I definitely find there is more to offer here than just those. Sorry if you were being rhetorical. I completely missed it. (I will even give myself a WHOOSH ) From my own experience in the UK, I had the best Indian food that I have ever had when I was there. I mean, it's not surprising considering India was an English colony as well. While I have not been to
            • by cayenne8 (626475)
              I hear ya....for good American food that has 'brewed' for hundreds of years, come visit us down here in New Orleans.

              One nice thing bout living here is...I rarely even SEE chain restaurants in the city proper. Mostly local owned places, and most people think, why go to a chain when all the best food is locals places?

              I've been here so long that to see how so much of the rest of the country lives, shocks me.

              Last time I went through Houston, I was amazed to see wave after wave of strip malls...each with the

              • by stewbee (1019450)
                While I haven't been to New Orleans, that is certainly one place that I would love to visit for its food. I've had Cajun in some places, but I am sure that it pales compared to the real deal. It doesn't help that the seafood is no where near as fresh here than in the Big Easy. My wife has been there though, and she said that it was quite delicious. I certainly drool when I see Guy Fieri there in New Orleans when doing a spot on "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives".
                • by cayenne8 (626475)

                  I certainly drool when I see Guy Fieri there in New Orleans when doing a spot on "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives".

                  Yep...I was on one episode of this show when he was doing NOLA. Funny...I've had friends across the US calling me up saying they saw me on TV.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Since my wife and I retired we don't fly. I don't like taking off my shoes.

      Try flying outside the US. That problem does not exist. I've flown though airports with roving guards brandishing assault rifles or SMG's, the immi and customs people gave me no trouble. The only place where I've ever had to take off my shoes is in the Philippines and they seem to do it just because they've been told to.

      • The shoes thing only seems to be for flights originating or terminating in US territory. I certainly didn't have to do it for my Toronto to Rome trip, or the return trip.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      For some reason the last time I flew from London to Tokyo I didn't have to take my shoes off. I don't know if they have simply abandoned it or if they only do it when flights to certain destinations are boarding. They never both with customs when the flight is from Japan at any rate, which is odd because you can buy various weapons in Japan that are not legal in the UK, but I'm not complaining.

      They only started checking shoes after they realised that their metal detectors can't see things 2cm off the ground

      • They only started checking shoes after they realised that their metal detectors can't see things 2cm off the ground, i.e. hidden in the soles of shoes.

        The obvious solution to that would be to extend the detector below shoe level, e.g. by putting a platform in the detector for the scannee to stand on. Would be much faster and less personnel-intensive (cheaper) than a shoes-off inspection.

        But I thought the shoe business was due to a shoe bomb; not necessarily something that can be detected by a metal detector.

        • You seem to have an engineer's approach to the issue. However this is security theater, and good engineering does not often make for good theatrics.

  • I think the last time I flew was ~10 years ago. I picked "I don't fly" because from what I understand, air travel doesn't resemble my experience anymore.

    • For all the bitching people do it really hasn't changed all that much. You take your shoes off now, the detectors are a bit more sensitive to metal, and at some airports you might have the body scanner which takes like 5 secs but I guess there might be some guy somewhere in a room that can see the general outline of your twig and berries. Honestly not sure how anyone got through high school PE or used a gym if they're that freaked out about it but I guess that would also explain our obesity epidemic. Eve

  • private pilot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by chappel (1069900) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @04:20PM (#36413054) Homepage

    My last flight took off when I pulled back on the stick (which was a good hour later than I'd originally intended, but it's different when it's your own fault), and landed early due to a tailwind. If I weren't able to fly myself, I'd do a LOT more driving - I don't think I could stand all the security BS anymore - although the average coach seat is probably roomier than my little plane.

    • by slacktide (796664) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:29PM (#36414640)
      Hear hear. I took a friend flying and he was literally shocked that there was no security screening. I told him he was free to feel up his own junk if he felt it was absolutely necessary, buy I wasn't doing it for him. My airline is strictly self-fondling.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        I think TSA staff see "randomly selecting" hot men/women for the Full Nude Scanners as a perk of the job, with bonus points if they can find a reason to check their packages.

    • by Vegeta99 (219501)

      As someone with almost $200,000 in student loan debt, thus no funds for the lessons, one word:


  • I frequently (2 or 3 times a year) from the US to Europe. I found few problems with domestic flights (US->US or Europe->Europe) but a lot of problem in transatlantic flights. My "last flight" happened to be on time.

    I usually suffer significant delay (more than a couple hours) on the way or on the way back.

  • ...8 hours late and at the wrong airport (La Guardia instead of Newark).

  • My last airplane flight left on time and landed on time. I was the one flying it.
  • Complicated (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @06:49PM (#36413952)

    My last airplane flight left on time, and although it did land on time, I wasn't with it when it landed. While skydiving that day, I took three other similar flights.

    Just like flying coach, you get packed like sardines and remain really uncomfortable for the duration of the flight...however, you get to bail out!

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      Cliche, perhaps, but I still don't get why someone voluntarily jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Well, other than D. B. Cooper.

      • Cliche, perhaps, but I still don't get why someone voluntarily jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Well, other than D. B. Cooper.

        It's safer than most people think and a lot of fun. The other reply you got about any old idiot being able to fall out of a plane isn't really that far off. There are people with tremendous skill to be sure, who worked hard to get there, but I myself only have 34 jumps and am not particularly athletic. To do the basic flying I do doesn't take much.

        Most skydiving deaths happen to really experienced people with thousands of jumps. They're flying high performance canopies, swooping to land, and doing other

      • Cliche, perhaps, but I still don't get why someone voluntarily jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

        Cliche reply: As soon as they make a "Perfectly good airplane" I will stop jumping out of them.

  • In both directions, Southwest really was quite nice.. I even got the refundable extra seat (for wideasses) and got both of them refunded, which was cool..

    • by pclminion (145572)

      In both directions, Southwest really was quite nice..

      How can southwest be in two directions? Were you flying in the Bermuda Triangle?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Last time I flew was a trip from New York to a Cuba last December. The trip back was easy, but getting there was a nightmare.

    I'm not a US citizen, so the travel ban doesn't apply to me, but to avoid any pain-in-the-ass or problems with my US visa, decided to be a bit discreet about the trip. The travel plan was JFK -> Port-au-Prince -> Santiago de Cuba.

    The flight from JFK was the morning of Dec 26. A huge storm was coming in the evening, but I should have been able to get out okay. Unfortunately, th

  • Flagstaff to Las Vegas. 42 minute flight, gained an hour switching time zones. So I landed 18 minutes before I took off. Great way to keep hitting Happy Hour.

  • My last flight couldn't have been better - it left as soon as possible after I arrived, and landed precisely when I wanted. That kinda comes with being the pilot, though. (ok, in-training, but still stands :)
  • Flying from JST to IAD last March. Rain stopped just as we left the house. Got through security as the plane came in from AOO. The ground crew person asked if we could hurry up and board as the fog was rolling in. The captain started the right engine and the fog kept getting thicker. He started to fire up the left engine as I watched the radar and other stuff on the tarmac disappear in a gray soup. A few seconds later the engines were shut down and we disembarked. The captain said we'd wait for a few minute

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      (and I got bulkhead isle seats for no extra charge, since that's all that was available on my connection to DIA).

      You know, other airlines don't charge extra for bulkhead, isle, or exit row seats. I work for Delta, and I get asked if there's a charge for these seats all the time.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      and I got bulkhead isle seats for no extra charge, since that's all that was available on my connection to DIA).

      I work for Delta, and I get asked all the time if we charge extra for isle, bulkhead, or exit row seats. I'm surprised that some airlines actually do charge people extra for these seats. I know we certainly don't.

  • I travel quite a bit (for work, mostly, though I am a dual US-Australian citizen so do travel between the two countries as well for non-work purposes a couple of times a year). My observations are:

    - Most flights generally run on time. Particularly international ones, as I have the feeling that, since they run less often and the consequences for people missing connections on those is greater, airlines try to prioritise them (gate slots etc.) when things are tight. But as a proportion of total flights, those

    • - It takes at least 3x longer to check in and pass security at a major US airport than at a major airport in Australia or Asia (dunno about Europe - haven't been there since pre-9/11). Australia doesn't have the liquids restrictions, it doesn't ask you to take your shoes off, and it doesn't do the patdowns/nudie scans. That makes travelling within (or from) Australia MUCH less stressful than within the US, and also a lot quicker.

      s/Australia or Asia/Europe, Australia, or Asia/

      I can't recall when it's taken me longer than 5-10 minutes to get through the security checkpoint at any European airport.

      The only place that comes close to Unistat's level of security theatre hassle is China (Beijing in particular), and it's still not nearly as bad.

      - [This one has nothing to do with arriving on time]: Australia and the US both suck when it comes to free WiFi in airports. Some airports have it but it's by no means ubiquitous. In particular I single out SYD, ORD, and LAX, which I pass through more than any other three airports, as having no free WiFi. In Asia OTOH they ALL have it.

      Hm, I got free WiFi at Kingsford-Smith (Sydney) last time I was there (December). Also had it at the little regional airport in Coffs Harbour.

      • by Cimexus (1355033)

        Hmm interesting. I can't recall ever seeing free WiFi at SYD (though there are a few free wired kiosks around to use). It might depend on which terminal you're in. Or perhaps it was free WiFi offered by a particular business (e.g. cafe?) inside the airport rather than an airport-wide thing.

        Or perhaps there actually is free WiFi now and I just haven't noticed because I stopped checking years ago ;)

      • by cshark (673578)

        Last couple of flights I've done have been okay, San Francisco to Minneapolis, and then Kansas City to Grand Rapids.
        Had a little snag on the Grand Rapids flight though. I had to explain what my e-cigarette was, and how it worked. Other than that, smooth sailing.

        I still hate flying though, but more for the experience of being in the airport than anything else.
        I've always hated the intense sensory experiences that airports create. It's like a wall of noise, you can talk all you like, but it just gets absorbed

    • Australia and the US both suck when it comes to free WiFi in airports. Some airports have it but it's by no means ubiquitous.

      In the Beijing airport, yes the WiFi is free.

      However I found it was hardly usable anywhere, most "free" WiFi in fact I find is worth exactly what you pay for, and usually laden with ids and/or framed content.

      Also in Beijing you have to register your passport to get an access code (they have kiosks around the airport for this). That almost certainly means they know EXACTLY where all o

  • I do not fly frequently and last time I tried to fly home from my business trip my flight was canceled by some odd Vulcano so I spent two days traveling trough the continent with trains, it was fun though.
    • Yeah, I was supposed to fly home from business in Bordeaux that day. Train to Paris instead, got the earliest Eurotunnel ticket I could 3 days later. Still, 3 days in sunny Paris on expenses...
  • Got caught once flying out of Melbourne. We get a couple of fogged in days per year and when that happens the airport has to shut down. For years it hasn't been worth upgrading instrumentation to get around this. But recently Melbourne airport bought a brand new ILS which got demolished by a low flying Emirates departure which had entered the wrong payload mass (10^5 kilos too low).

    Then a couple of years ago I got stuck in Incheon during the northern winter. It took three hours to deice and get the plane of

  • After 6 landings and 1 missed approach my last flight taxied to the ramp. It was on time in that it arrived at the time I intended it to, it also departed on time for the same reason. The best thing was my trip through the security checkpoint since they don't exist for General Aviation.
  • Yesterday I met with my instructor, we hopped in the plane and off we went to do some moderately crazy shit (slow flight, steep turns) out over the local practice area. We didn't have a high enough ceiling to do the really crazy shit (spiral dives, spins). My turns were tight enough that we hit our own wake turbulence. Cool!

    When we were done he told me to take us home via a particular landmark. I flew there, called for clearance, flew the approach, landed. Great fun.


  • by 0137 (45586) <> on Sunday June 12, 2011 @01:29PM (#36418534) Homepage

    you insensitive clod!

    • by Triv (181010)
      I think you underestimate the number of harmless people on that list. I didn't fly for years because of the extra hassle of having to prove that, no, I'm not a psychopathic rapist from West Virginia with a similar name.
  • I'm used to flying into SFO (san fran international). There is nearly never a reason to not land, there.

    Now I live in San Luis Obispo, and there is only ILM in one direction on one strip, and the wind was blowing the wrong direction. So we were diverted down to Santa Barbara and had to take a bus up to SLO (about 2 hours, after they found a bus that would go at nearly midnight on a Sunday).

  • Check out what US Airways did to me a couple summers ago: []

    Worst airline ever. I will never fly them again. Their token vouchers expired unused as well.

  • I was flying back from Richmond, VA to my hometown in Illinois. The plane left late, and arrived late enough at O'Hare that I missed my flight back home. So the best the airline company could do for me was to send me to a different airport in Illinois about an hour from where I lived so I had to call someone to drive out there and pick me up. It kind of sucked.

    Fortunately, there weren't any problems on getting to Richmond.

  • I wish my last flight was my last flight, but I have to fly to Germany next week. :-(

    I flew with KLM last time to Holland. The plane had propellers, and I thought this was a modern airline!

    On the way back I smelt something burning. I turned to my colleague and said "Can you smell that?", and before he could answer the lady in front of me turned around with a look of horror on her face.

    "I thought it was me!", she said, not meaning the smell was from her&#226;&#8364;&#166;

    My colleague said he coul
    • by Inda (580031)
      That'll teach me for pretending to write an email, then C&Ping it here.
  • I think this Louis CK clip from youtube is appropriate: []
  • Soemthing more complicated for me was a competition glider flight of 306KM @ 126kmh. Would have liked to arrive earlier but definately left on time!

  • Got back from a work trip to Sweden last week. ROC-IAD and IAD-CPH were fine going over. Coming back, CPH-ORD was cool. Then it got weird. My ORD-ROC flight wasn't even on the board (because it was still 4 hours before departure), but an earlier one that was delayed still hadn't left yet. I got on standby for that one, and got in an hour before my originally scheduled arrival at 0015. Good thing I did - my flight got bumped to 0220 arrival, and then got cancelled outright. Still wondering where my ch
  • I had to vote "something more complicated", but I should have known better than to fly Oceanic Airlines []. Their safety record is horrible.

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"


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