My Unhappy Story Of Flying Trapped Inside A MRI With Wings

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Seating chart for MRI with wings.

While on vacation last weekend, I spent one leg of my travels on a flight from hell, trapped inside a MRI with wings.  This would be a plane that is known to aviators as a Bombardier CRJ 200.

This airplane, while not the smallest one I’ve ever flown on, was the worst flying MRI I’ve experienced because– and I hope that I’m not going to get too technical here— THERE WAS NO AIR CONDITIONING AS WE WAITED AT THE GATE AND THEN ON THE TARMAC FOR TAKEOFF… ON A HOT SUMMER DAY… AT MIDDAY.

I’d love to tell you what airline I was on, but I’m not sure.  It was some pokey little airline, doing business under some obscure name, for some larger, formerly independent, airline recently acquired by some huge US airline.

In other words, the usual inane flying experience that I’ve come to know, pay exorbitant amounts of money for and loathe.

# # #

As fate would have it two things occurred simultaneously while I was on this flight from hell trapped inside a MRI with wings.

First of all, I had a hot flash.

To be clear, that would be my body spontaneously increasing its core temperature while I was sitting in the middle of the airplane, Seat 7C, where the ambient room temperature was close to 100ºF.

Trapped, I was.

And so far beyond toasty that I could barely keep conscious.  I could see my vision begin to tunnel– and I knew that I would faint, unless I thought of something fast.

So I shut my eyes, let my head droop and begin to remember how cold and bleak it was on our screened-in porch in February, when I’d step out there for a bit of fresh air, mid-afternoon, with my mug of hot tea.

Oddly enough this mental distraction kept me from passing out and it gave me an opportunity to decide that, if I lived to tell the story, I’d call out the airline on this unconscionable, unhealthy, inhumane, ridiculous, shameful, cheap-ass behavior.

Didn’t their mothers teach these airline PTB to not treat other human beings as chattel?  Hmmm?

# # #

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Actual MRI, similar to Bombardier CJR 200.

This would be the end of the story if it weren’t for the man next to me on the flying MRI with wings from hell who was an employee of one of the airlines that was part of the afore-mentioned cluster.

And he was taking notes.  Lots of them.

For real.

And he was telling me EVERYTHING that this flight crew was doing that was wrong, that was illegal according to FAA standards, and that was just plain stupid.

So despite being the most physically and emotionally uncomfortable I’ve been on an airplane in decades, I had the pleasure of knowing that this flight crew, a bunch of yahoos who really should be ashamed of themselves, were going to get in trouble.

AS IN FAILING TO PASS INSPECTION.  JOBS ON THE LINE.  HELLO REVIEW BOARD [I CAN ONLY HOPE].

It is because of this note-taking man that I can look back on this flight as a learning experience for the crew as well as for me.  To wit, I will never, ever in a hundred years set foot inside a Bombardier CRJ 200 again.

And if you know what’s good for you, you won’t either.

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Creative. Humorous. Adaptable. Happy enough. Looking for the crumb of truth in the cookie of life.

37 thoughts on “My Unhappy Story Of Flying Trapped Inside A MRI With Wings”

    1. evilsquirrel13, if only I’d had the option of rolling down a window, this rant would not exist! But that plane was so uncomfortable and cramped that… NEVER AGAIN.

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  1. Oh my! That sounds absolutely horrible! I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. Let’s hope that when you fly again, it will be a much better experience. I bet the other passengers were angry, too!

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    1. Beth, everyone was sooooo hot that all the anger had been baked out of them. It took me about an hour in an air-conditioned car + 2 liters of water to get back to feeling alert. Miserable experience.

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  2. You had a flight crew? My favorite was the one that had an open cockpit and the pilot just turned around and yelled the stuff the usual flight crew would tell you. But, to give them credit, it wasn’t 100° or more in there. And I had a seat for my giant frog.

    I’m glad you survived. I would have thought that once you got to altitude it would have gotten chilly in there despite the lack of air conditioning. And a hot flash under those conditions? I hope you got a big cold drink.

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    1. Zazzy, the cabin never cooled down completely. The cold air flooded in at our feet instead of falling down from above, meaning that it pushed the hot air up. I never got a thing to drink because we hit turbulence– and that was the end of beverage service.

      Years ago I was on a flight down in FL that was like the one you described. Very small plane. Very personal. But no giant frog!

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        1. Oh, by the way, Mom once came back traumatized from a trip that included a little puddle jumper where they had folding chairs bolted to the floor instead of real seats.

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    1. Carrie, you do have a way with words! A very apt description of my flight from hell. I cannot fathom how any airline can morally justify transporting people in such a way. It was wrong. And memorable.

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  3. There must be more comfortable ways to get a post! My worst was a flight from Greece. Seven hours on the tarmac without water, potties. They kept us until the flight crew expired (they can only work so long). It was a long time ago but people wonder why I hate to fly. Lasting effect!

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    1. Kate, that is horrible! To even read about it makes my blood boil. Like you, I’m not much for flying, but occasionally I give airlines the chance to impress me. They rarely do, however.

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    1. nrhatch, it was a lousy experience that did not need to happen. That’s part of the reason that I’m recording it here. Also, it makes for a decent story, especially the part about being by an airline spy!

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  4. That sounds beyond horrible. I hope they get in mega trouble for all their screw ups. Treating people like that is horrific. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that. I melt down in heat. Fast. Like a screaming 3 year old.

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    1. Kourtney, everyone who I know melts down almost instantly in excessive heat. Even the guy who was watching them was complaining about the temps inside the plane. This was one of my most awful flying experiences to date. I don’t complain much, but this was beyond the pale [as they used to say]!

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  5. That’s hilarious! I share your pain– that’s the type of plane our teensy airport has, so I spend a lot of time in this particularly uncomfortable means of conveyance. They are also pretty cold in the winter because the heating system isn’t much better– but at least the hot flashes would work in your favor in that situation!

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    1. Maria, I hadn’t thought about what winter would do to the flying MRI with wings. You’re right about the hot flashes– then they’d come in handy. I will never accept the idea that this plane has any value whatsoever. Whoever designed it is going to have a lot of explaining to St. Peter at the Pearly Gates!

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  6. Having been one of the sardines in a bit larger but still totally crammed (including screaming infant who must have had some foreshadowing about the flight, but no one would listen) MRI with wings last week, I can identify….at least we had some AC once we got in the air…but that sudden emergency wave off-there’s-a-plane-in-the-wrong-place-on-therun-way-right-in-front-of-you-PULL-UP-PULL-Up-now was enough to make me decide if I get shoved back in one of those like getting a mad cat into a cat carrier, I’ll must insist on going first class – I want a glass of champagne in my hand if that’s the final scene.
    Jeeze. Air travel isn’t what it used to be. Once it was classy

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  7. philmouse, that’s a scary experience. Champers could only help. I agree, when I was a child air travel was classy, stylish. And something to look forward to. Now it’s nothing but a sad game played with passengers as the pawns. It stinks.

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  8. I’ve flown in several Bombardiers and not had that experience, so I think there IS a way to turn on A/C that they just didn’t do. Human error, more than plane. I like the smaller planes because there are fewer people and they don’t take as much EFFORT to get off the ground. That said, I’m flying to Thailand at the end of July and those planes are going to be huge. 😦

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    1. Margaret, AH-HA! So it is possible to keep passengers comfortable… if the captain/airline procedures permit it. That makes my experience even more horrifying. It was intentional. What a bunch of schmucks for making us all suffer. Never again will I put myself in such a situation. Never again.

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      1. What probably happened was the captain decided to or, more probable, was told by ops to save fuel by not turning the air conditioning on while the aircraft sat on the ground. I’ve worked for smaller airlines and the crap they pull to save money can be frightening. I worked for a small puddle jumper that once lined up folding chair in the aisle so they could put more people on board. Who is stupider? The airline or the people who stayed on the plane and/or sat in those chairs?

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        1. la p, that’s amazing. I cannot imagine sitting there nor can I imagine that the FAA would approve of such blatantly dangerous flying conditions. My respect for airlines continues to erode every day with the more I hear about things like this.

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          1. Nope, the FAA did not condone this and the airline got a huge fine. This happened before I worked for this company and I was not really surprised by the story when I first heard it.

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  9. Thank goodness you didn’t faint from dehydration on top of it all! And, really, at the very least they could have given you a free MRI with the experience!

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    1. Letizia, you’re right. I was so thirsty, but managed to keep it together until we got off the plane and I immediately found a machine with water in it. Love the idea of a free MRI with the flight. Now that would have made it worth it!

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  10. I haven’t enjoyed flying in decades, and your post is proof of the reason why. Very descriptive post, though, and I do hope the airline listens to the comments of the spy. Blech.

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    1. J, flying now is, for the most part, a lesson in how to desensitize yourself from common sense. The large planes I’ve been on were fine, but all these smaller ones + the lack of direct flights means that you, as a passenger, are screwed. Most of the time I ignore, or whine to Z-D about, flying woes, but this experience was over the top. Never again, I tell ‘ya.

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  11. Hi Ally: We’re new to your blog by way of fellow blogging bud, Brick House Chick. Loved the post, still laughing. MRI w/wings; outstanding!! So, I’m to assume you have the mental powers of Professor X. Because there would’ve been no way in hell I could’ve pulled myself out of the panic attack that would’ve ensued. Looking forward to becoming regulars on your blog dear. Loved this post and sharing it now. 😉

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    1. Inion N. Mathair, welcome to The Spectacled Bean! Thanks for stopping by.

      This flight was one of my most memorable– and therefore worthy of being a blog post. I cannot fathom why any human being would subject another human being to such an experience, but these people did. I was so close to a panic attack that I thought for sure I’d go over the edge, but somehow managed to keep calm… well, calm enough, at least. Oy vey! Never again.

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