Travel nightmares

Buffy

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Jan 20, 2008
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#1
I'm in a hotel room in a strange city on a Saturday night, and I just thought about how so many travel misadventures I seem to have. I was curious as to your own experiences; surely we can get a few laughs out of them!

I'll start with a couple:
When I was 12 I flew back from South Africa by myself. When I arrived at LaGuardia, I was informed that the flight booked and ticketed never existed. Given my young age (and I'm sure liability) a helicopter was flown to pick me up and fly me to JFK, where I spent the afternoon sleeping on a TWA person's couch (when they were still in existence) waiting for the next flight.

There was one vacation which we had to be checked in to American Airlines 2 hours in advance. We arrived more than 2 hours in advance, but the workers behind the counter were busy chatting; one off-duty worker even brought her newborn in to be admired - and all while we waited. By the time we got to the front of the counter, we were closer to an hour before boarding. We not only were not allowed to board, but had to lose our connecting flight overseas and lose 2 days of holiday.

This week's trip has been a fiasco. Travel has become even more so since 9/11. Raise your hand if you've had similar experiences!
 

patrickj

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Sep 2, 2007
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#2
Hi Buffy - good to see you in here. Sorry to hear of your travel travails. I'll share a good story (have plenty of bad as well, but what the heck): I flew back from Glasgow to London once (short 50 minute flight) on Guy Fawkes Night (a holiday in the UK on November 5th) which (get this) celebrates a guy who tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. It's a huge deal in England and there are bonfires and fireworks all over the place.

My flight was somewhere around the 8:30-9:30 portion of the evening - basically perfect fireworks viewing time - and we saw tons of shows on the way down to London, with a spectacular view from above. The pilot was super cool, and since we were running ahead of schedule, he took a slightly different route into the airport that let us catch a couple major shows in Central London.

Best flight ever ...
 

psylichon

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Oct 31, 2007
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Philly
#3
Aaaaw, poor Buffy! Good thing you have your iPhone and us to keep you company. I bet you wish you had 2.x and Rooms now so you could chat... there's always mibbit.com... ;)

As far as travel stories, we had some interesting trips down to South Carolina growing up. We would vacation down there with family, and we would always drive (about a 10-hr+ trip). There is one spot on the trip that you must be in one specific lane or else you are taken an hour out of your way on a giant loop. Well, my mother had a penchant for missing that lane, so some years we would "do the loop"... twice one year. Fun stuff.

Then there's the year the car's radiator blew out, forcing us down a loooong dirt road following some extremely sketchy-lookin' dudes to get it repaired. Turned out they were straight-up gentlemen and got us going quickly and cheaply. It was a bit nerve-wracking for a moment there, though.

Hang tough, cutie. :-*
 

coasts

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#4
In 1999, while working for a freight forwarder in Miami, I attended a lunch party thrown by British Airways. During the course of the event, I placed my businesss card in a fishbowl, giving me the chance to win two first-class roundtrip tickets to anywhere in Europe. Obviously I won or this story would end here.

Fast forward a few months to October '99. My father and I are now wrapping up our travels throughout England, Belgium, and Ireland.

We fly BA from Dublin to Heathrow, where we learn that our return flight to Miami was oversold. Seeing as we didn't pay for our tickets (we won them), we were the first to get bumped. Needing to get back home, the airline offered to reroute us through Gatwick. So, we're on an airport bus between LHR and LGW, and stuck in traffic. By the time we get to Gatwick, it's too late to catch our flight to Miami. The only remaining option is to fly into Tampa, rent a car, and drive five hours home. By the time we got in, I could just make it through the shower before I had to be back in the car and on my way to work.

and of course, my luggage was lost on he way.
 
Nov 14, 2008
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#5
I never really do have travel nightmares, however, when I travel to some where for the first time and stay in a hotel, it takes me about three or four days to even start thinking of taking a dump, yeah it's weird I know Lol, but I just don't feel comfortable. I also get trouble trying to sleep, even though I always stay in like 5 star hotels and stuff, but you know, I am too used to my bed.
 

The Apple

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#7
I never really do have travel nightmares, however, when I travel to some where for the first time and stay in a hotel, it takes me about three or four days to even start thinking of taking a dump, yeah it's weird I know Lol, but I just don't feel comfortable. I also get trouble trying to sleep, even though I always stay in like 5 star hotels and stuff, but you know, I am too used to my bed.
Is this Michael Scott?!
 

The Apple

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#8
Worst Flight- I was coming back to Indy from Florida. We were boarded on the plane, and they could not get the engines started, which meant that the A/C didn't work so we were stuck on this HOT plane for over an hour. They had us go back into the waiting area so they could repair the plane that both engines failed to start on. While waiting for about 4.5 hours we got to witness boxes of parts being taken out to the plane so they could repair it while it sat at the terminal. After that 4.5 hours they re-boarded us onto the same plane and tried to get the engines to fire. It took over an hour to get the engines fired. They got the left engine fired and then they fire the right engine off the left which did not want to fire. So I got to think about that for my flight back to indy which was delayed over 7 hours.

Best Flight- Twin engine piper seneca flown around Indianapolis during the fourth of July fireworks celebration.
 

lady_bugz22

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#9
My worst flight was this past April traveling to my grandfather's funeral in Idaho. We were running late due to traffic & when we went to check in our bags they told us it was too late we would have to take our bags w/us on the plane. Then security held us up because of course we had our shampoos, lotions, etc in our bags. We explained to them that it was too late to check in our bags & my mom broke down telling them that we needed to get on the flight to be able to go to her father's funeral & to just throw out whatever we couldn't take on the plane. The lady who went through my bag was nice about it & threw away what I couldn't take but did it briskly. The man who was going through my mom's bag took his sweet time lecturing us. I guess the lady who helped me felt sorry for us & she notified for the plane to wait for my mom & I. When we got to the ticket counter nobody was there except for the two ladies who check the boarding passes. I asked her if we were too late & she said yes. I guess she saw the disappointed look I had on my face & she said she was just kidding that the plane was waiting for us. It was so embarrassing being the last ones on the plane, but at that point I didn't care.

When we got to WA to get our connecting flight, we had to lug our heavy bags around. We had to go all the way from terminal A to E then to later find out they changed terminals again. So we had to go back from where we started @ terminal A.

I'm getting tired again just writing about it.
 

patrickj

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#10
Worst Flight- I was coming back to Indy from Florida. We were boarded on the plane, and they could not get the engines started, which meant that the A/C didn't work so we were stuck on this HOT plane for over an hour. They had us go back into the waiting area so they could repair the plane that both engines failed to start on. While waiting for about 4.5 hours we got to witness boxes of parts being taken out to the plane so they could repair it while it sat at the terminal. After that 4.5 hours they re-boarded us onto the same plane and tried to get the engines to fire. It took over an hour to get the engines fired. They got the left engine fired and then they fire the right engine off the left which did not want to fire. So I got to think about that for my flight back to indy which was delayed over 7 hours.

Best Flight- Twin engine piper seneca flown around Indianapolis during the fourth of July fireworks celebration.
Wow, that worst one is terrible - that'd be a white knuckle ride after all that for sure!
 

Buffy

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#11
My flight was somewhere around the 8:30-9:30 portion of the evening - basically perfect fireworks viewing time - and we saw tons of shows on the way down to London, with a spectacular view from above. The pilot was super cool, and since we were running ahead of schedule, he took a slightly different route into the airport that let us catch a couple major shows in Central London.

Best flight ever ...
That would have been spectacular! Great story.


Another bad experience; on our way back from being overseas we had to change planes in Zurich. Our connecting flight was cancelled, and the next one didn't depart for 12 hours. They have a place in the airport which is a mini-hostel, with rooms containing 2 cots each for travelors to take naps, and bathrooms to shower and freshen up. We were already incredibly jet-lagged and still had a long way to go, so we chose to sleep.

After getting undressed and falling onto the cots, the door opens with an attendant ushering people into our room! My then-hubby yelled for them to get out, and they apologized profusely and backed out. An hour later, it happened again! This happened several times throughout our sleep, and the ex-hubs was pissed, so he caused a scene when we left. Needless to say, we got no sleep.

If you fly straight through, the flight is 21-24 hours. With a 12 hour layover, it's even more unbearable. To make matters worse, there was an issue when we landed in Chicago, and we sat on the runway for over an hour. Jet-lagged, sore, with a connecting flight to catch. By the time we made it home the return trip took 3+ days...with no sleep. It was hell!
 

Youngbinks

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Jun 4, 2007
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#13
I have had quite a bit of travel horrors so I'll do one at a time that way it won't seem like a thesis.

The first major travel issue occurred when I was flying back to the State after spending a while in Europe. The flight back (departed from De Gaulle, ugh) was fine enough but as we neared Newark the captain said that there was a delay on the runway due to smog and we would just have to circle around for a bit. After nearly 2 hours of circling Newark the captain came on again and said that there was still a delay and we couldn't land immediately and we were critically low on fuel so we made an emergency landing at Stewart AFB in New York. We sat on the runway for nearly 2 hours as they refueled the plane and went over all of the safety information again (just in case we forgot). After 2 hours of waiting, we take off from Stewart and flew for literally 12 minutes and landed at Newark. We still had to catch the connecting flight to Tampa so we hurried through customs and grabbed our bags but once we got to the gate they said we were too late. My friend I was with started bawling her eyes out and I couldn't do anything but laugh hysterically. We got a sweet room for the night and they flew us out the next morning so I got to go into the city (NYC of course) and walked around a bit.

The travel horrors only increase from there though.
 
Nov 14, 2008
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#14
Wow, that's a sad but in the same time nice incident. New York is beautiful. You're lucky, but ugh, you had to take care of the hotel expenses eh? Which wasn't preplanned for :p.