I've been flying as a pilot since 85, as the name implies. And a lot of flying as a passenger.
The only compressor stall I ever witnessed in person was in 1996 on a flight from ORD to PDX. United if I recall. And I cannot exactly tell you the Aircraft, but I believe it was a 727.
We took the active, Pilot spooled up the engines, we started to roll. Approximately 10 seconds into the takeoff we experienced what I would classify as a violent compressor stall. It shook the entire aircraft. Most of the passengers were terrified. To a novice, you would have thought one of the engines exploded. It was actually much more violent than I would have expected. The Pilot immediately aborted takeoff.
Nothing was said. we turned around, taxied back to the ramp, then back to the Runway. Without the Pilot nor the crew saying anything. The Passenger Cabin was ripe with fear, unfortunately. The pilots spooled up, with brakes on for about 30 seconds. No compressor stall, so he applied full power, and began his takeoff roll. Again, about 8 to 10 seconds into the takeoff, another violent compressor stall. Takeoff again aborted.
The Cabin was now verging in hysteria. I started talking very loudly so many could hear that we were experiencing Compressor Stalls (Engine BackFires to the Layman), and that it was unusual for the Pilot to not say anything, but there was nothing to worry about. They were not all that uncommon on this type of aircraft. I don't think it helped much, but I had to try.
We then taxied to a hanger. Without deplaning. They simply opened up the aircraft both front and back (it was June in Chicago) and we sat there for over an hour while the mechanics worked on the engine in question. The Pilot finally came on the cabin ntercom and explained there was obviously an issue with one Engine, the mechanics were looking into it, and we'd be on our way shortly.
After about 90 minutes, they buttoned up the aircraft, we took the active, and departed for PDX. No issue. But most on board were in terror for the entire flight. It was white-knuckle all the way to PDX for most. And it was the first time I ever heard applause when we arrived at the destination airport on any Domestic flight.
There is more to this bizarre story, but I will save you the side-bars. Suffice it to say, it was a very odd circumstance. I'm sure that today, passengers would not sit still in silence during such violent "Booms" during takeoff.
Since then, nothing. Not one compressor stall in thousands and thousands of hours of flying. I guess by getting two of them in a row, I filled my quota.