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Dishonorable Mentions: Airlines

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With friendly skies like these, who needs restricted airspace?

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The wild blue yonder. An apt phrase, if you consider "wild and blue" to be synonymous with "crazy and depressing." Air travel has been pretty unbearable for the last few years, but recent budget cuts and hidden fees have made the process downright excruciating. In any competition, however, a select few will rise to the top.

The following are airlines who've made that extra-special effort to provide the worst flights imaginable.

Worst Flight to Be Dehydrated on Without Spare Change
US Airways
(LCC)
Water. It's the source of life. It flows free and clear. (Third World not included.) That is, until US Airways decided it would be charging fees for all beverages served on flights, starting August 1st. That includes soda, coffee, tea and yes, even water. Frequent flyers have come to accept the lack of free meals on the majority of flights -- despite that weird peanut craving caused by high altitudes -- but come on! Either allow us to bring liquids through security checkpoints, or just hand over the damn water. You can't have both.

Worst Airline for Raucous Wrestling Fans
American Airlines
(AMR)
A few years ago, you couldn't blame airline passengers for being disgruntled. Nowadays, it's best to keep them away from sharp objects. After waiting at the gate for more than an hour for the crew to arrive from a late connecting flight, passengers began heckling and booing crew members as they passed by. "Not on my plane," said the airline; the flight was canceled, forcing all 200 passengers to find lodging in town. Granted, the plane wasn't piloted by Jake "The Snake" Roberts - but the staff should've ignored a crowd trying to blow off some steam.

Worst Scheme to Avoid Every Crushingly Dull Waking Moment
JetBlue
(JBLU)
As modern science has wantonly deprived humanity of the power of instantaneous teleportation, today's traveler must rely on sleep (or other forms of unconsciousness) to pass the time. And since hibernation tanks have yet to become prevalent -- what's the hold up, science?! -- JetBlue passengers must now fork over $7 to receive a pillow and blanket in order to enjoy some modicum of comfort. But these "sleep kits" are much better than your balled-up sweater; they're made of a fabric that blocks all micro-toxins larger than one micron in size. Hmm. Touché, science.

Worst Airline for the Paranoid Schizophrenic
Delta
(DAL)
While sensory deprivation is big business for health spas, therapy sessions and the self-centered, the experience is debilitating if the only sensory stimuli remaining are cramped seats, shrill flight attendants and an excess of carbon dioxide. And there's absolutely no recovery for the 184 Delta passengers who were stuck on a grounded airplane for 7 hours before the flight was eventually canceled. That's 7 hours. Seated. Not allowed to get off the plane. No food, just warm water. I've known suspected terrorists* with better living conditions. Coupons for future rebates didn't exactly fly with the customers, because they were most likely only good for future Delta flights.

Worst Airline for 2008
Pan Am

Seriously, what's the deal with these guys? As far as I can tell, all flights are grounded with nothing coming in or out. You telling me you can fly the Beatles to JFK, but I can't get a flight out to San Diego? That "Pan Am Smile" ain't gonna work on me!

* Note: I don't know any suspected terrorists.
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