It's a fact of travel: Sometimes bad things happen to good trips. Which of these mishaps have happened to you in your travels?
How to Take On Travel Trouble
Oh boy, I had to vote for a few of these I've had luggage lost several times.
I have missed two flights in my life. The first time was actually a missed connection; we got trapped on a plane in Charlotte because the jetway was broken (and they wouldn't let us go down the outdoor staircase due to slippery rain). By the time we got out, my second flight was long gone -- and the next one was delayed because of weather! The second time, I was on the island of Grand Turk and the person who was supposed to pick me up overslept. I watched my plane take off overhead while I stood on the sidewalk fuming with my bags (do you know how hard it is to get a taxi on Grand Turk early in the a.m.? It's not easy).
And...I haven't necessarily left paperwork home but I did leave for a business trip once without my laptop (oops).
I'd leave my head home if it weren't attached!
I've been fairly lucky! My luggage has only been "misplaced" once - on a trip to California, I had 30 minutes to catch a tranferring flight in Denver and the luggage missed the flight. It arrived the next morning, thankfully, but for 24 hours I was very scared about the losing of all of my luggage...
For 4 1/2 days our luggage was LOST , going from island to island on another cruise ship.
What an experience, we HOPE we never have to go through again.
I have to laugh at how lost luggage is blowing away the competition. (I voted for it too.) I think it says something about the airlines!
I also voted for illness abroad -- I was sick the entire first month I lived in Scotland. All those new germs, I guess. I did finally go to a doctor there, and he told me it was just a vicious cold. What was nice about health care there was that it was free, even though I wasn't a British citizen!
I once nearly missed a flight, but not quite. Otherwise I've been pretty lucky about most of the things on this list. *knocks on wood*
"I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list." -- Susan Sontag
I was flying LA/Washington/Buffalo. The Wash/Buf flight needed volunteers, and they were offering a free ticket. I took the bump.
The only problem was that I was 'turning' in Buffalo, to head back to LA via Washington.
I told the gate agent that if I could be booked back to LA (right now), that would certainly sweeten the offer. They confirmed me on a 4:00 flight, but said I could stand-by for the 9:00am flight.
I headed to the gate and was told there was no chance because of all the 'weather' problems IAD experienced the day before. You may remember there were tornados there in June.
The agent told me that there was a flight leaving in 60 minutes for Las Vegas, and that if I made that flight, it would connect with a flight to LA.
We arrived in LAS ontime. My connecting flight was to depart in 2 hours.
Well, that flight was inbound from Denver, where they too were having weather issues. The gate agent called around at LAS to USAir and American to try to get me a seat. Alas, all sold out.
Now, the flight kept getting even more delayed. New departure time was estimated to push back 4 hours late. Oye!
The agent suggested that I fly on United from Las Vegas to Fresno (on a small plane). Layover about 90 minutes, then fly Fresno to LA (on another small plane). Of course I grabbed this deal, not to mention 2 - 500 mile segments.
By the way, my 4 hour delayed Las Vegas/LA flight eventually cancelled!
I actually beat the system.
And... my original Wash/LA flight scheduled to depart at 4:00 departed at 7:00pm. This flight would have arrived around 10:00pm. My LAS/FAT/LAX flights arrived at 5:30. I saved about 4-5 hours.
It was like the Steve Martin/John Candy movie Train, Plains, and Automobiles. It was some adventure.
Last edited by dhammer53; 07-31-2008 at 06:05 PM.
Boy, the "experiences" people can tell, and to think we STILL Keep flying, putting up with all these problems.
I can understand if the problem is "weather" related, but "human" related, to make us late, well that is just part of life. They ask us to get to the airport in plenty of time, and then LOOK what happens, we get to sit, and sit, and sit. That IS better than having to stand for hours.
I was on a flight from Denver/Chicago/Moline, in Denver the flight was to leave at 6pm, which means boarding would start at 5:40, there was no plane at the gate, so the pulled one from another gate and brought it to our gate, started loading luggage etc on the plane, then at 6:15 started letting people board the plane, at 6:25 they stopped boarding the plane and had everyone deplane because of them needing to put an oxygen bottle on the plane due to a sick child, they started re-boarding the plane at 7:10pm, after everyone was on the plane, a thunderstorm rolled though DIA so they cleared the ramp and could not back the plane from the gate, after a 10 minute storm we finally left DIA at 7:45, my connecting flight to Moline was to leave ORD at 9pm, we finally landed in Chicago around 9:40pm. I knew that I was going to have to wait until the morning to leave because the 9pm flight was the last for the night, I went right to the gate agent and asked them what I needed to do for them to get me a room for the night, the agent told me that the delay was due to weather and was not their responsibility, the co-pilot was at the computer terminal next to her and said the delay was not due to weather and but to having to have the oxygen placed on board, she said "sorry, the computer shows it was weather" and would not get me a room, they did give me a number to call for a discounted rate of $85, not wanting to sleep in the airport (been there/done that) I paid for the hotel. I called the airline customer service and they said that they would issue me a $25 dollar voucher for my next flight, needless to say, I told them what they could do with the voucher because it woudn't even cover the hotel room, I then wrote the President of United about this, and they sent a $50 voucher in the mail, I sent it back to them and told them to save it because it woudl be the last time that I flew United, that was 7 years ago, and have not flown United since, and bad mouth them as much as I can to others.
Carry your luggage. Carry your luggage! CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE!
Saw an interesting item on cable the other day about the "lost luggage" store. This is a real store, and a big one, in Scottsboro, Alabama (history and civil rights buffs may remember the "Scottsboro Boys" case of the 1930s) Lost luggage does not go to Lost Luggage Heaven - it goes to this store in Scottsboro! It was pointed out that once an airline reimburses you for lost luggage, the lost luggage belongs to them once it turns up.
Trip mishaps? Try this one for size! We checked into our hotel in Moscow on August 2 and the day shift clerk tried to extort money from us by falsely claiming that our Russian visas had not been properly registered at our previous stop (Novosibirsk). She said we had to pay a 5,000 ruble fine, and of course it had to be payable directly to her, in cash. She suddenly "found" the appropriate registration stamps after repeated utterances of such words and phrases as "American Embassy" "police" "heart attack" and "hospital."
I am now burning up internet linees and sites worldwide to make sure that this extortionist thief loses her job and never works in another hotel. This was the Sevastopol Hotel in Moscow. Lacking any alternative, I suggest sleeping in a Metro station!
The section on "Lost passport" is lacking the most important piece of advice: make a copy of your passport and store it in a different place from where you keep it. That should save you time when you apply for a new one, and also provide proof to foreign authorities that you indeed entered the country legally...
This is true to make a copy and store it some place else while traveling. I also make a copy for my "home" file. This way, if they both should get lost in the shuffle, I still have a copy at home base.
I do this for both my passport, and drivers license.
Excellent advice from both of you. Remember that some countries no longer recognize U.S. passports that are within six months of expiration. Best to check with an embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit first, if your passport falls within the six months. Better yet, go to a designated post office and apply for a new one. Walgreens now takes passport photos for just a few dollars, and processes them on the spot.
The last two posters are absolutely correct. I also have a scheduling device with me on trips and have my passport number recorded in it--together with credit card numbers, t-cheque numbers (I carry those in case my ATM card does not work--as it recently did not in Estonia), and where to call if something goes wrong.
I had my passport stolen out of my wallet once in Marseilles, France, and my luggage, of course has gone missing (but I have to say only once or twice and always turned up the next day).
Does having someone REALLY stinky sitting next to you on a cross-country flight count as a travel mishap?
This has happened to me twice in the past year - once on a SEA>EWR where a guy sitting two seats away from me smelled soooo bad, of bad body odor, garlic and onions, that I had to fly almost the entire flight with my nose buried in my jacket just to avoid feeling queasy.
The second flight was just last month on a flight from ATL>PDX. I was in a middle seat, and just before they closed the doors a very sweaty and smelly lady came down the aisle and plunked down next to me. She was wearing a very thin t-shirt which did nothing to reduce the smell.
To have to sit so close to someone who smells that bad is just horrific. I don't know what her situation was but it appeared that she had not showered for several days.
Last summer we were traveling to Europe for a 14 day Mediterranean cruise. I followed the suggestion to copy our passports and leave a copy with a family member, as well as an extra copy in our travel bags.
The only problem was that when making the copies, I had left the last passport - my 10-year-old son's, in the copier!!! I didn't realize my mistake until we had already arrived at the airport and were checking in at the counter. By then, the car service that brought us to the airport was long gone. I had to find a taxi, race home (about 20 minutes away), grab the passport and my checkbook (didn't have enough money for the cab), race back to the airport and then we just made it on time to check in for our international flight. $100+ dollars later in cab fare, I had almost made a very costly mistake.
Had I not insisted that we arrive to the airport about 2.5 hours prior to the flight with my family of five, we would have missed our flight and lost the only extra day I had built into our itinerary to spend time in London with our kids who had never been there.
Call me paranoid but I've never been anxious or had anything bad happen from arriving to the airport too early.
I've already posted here how I feel about anti-obesity airline policies (and about those who enjoy spewing their hatred of fat people).
However, airlines should have no tolerance for those who are dirty and who stink. Public libraries generally have the right to exclude such persons, and do so.
I will add 2 caveats. (1) Some people with bad breath have it because of a disorder that they can't help. (2) Many years ago, I began to have serious body odor. I bathe very regulsrly and couldn't figure it out. We finally isolated the cause: we were using laundry detergent tablets called SALVO. When we stopped using them on our clothes, my B.O. vanished and never returned. So it's not ALWAYS the person's fault.
If this puts the smell in perspective - I was almost gagging throughout the entire flight and was chewing gum, redirecting the fan/airflow to blow away from her...yet the smell persisted. I have very bad year-round allergies and take antihistamines every day. I have very little sense of smell - yet this lady was making *me* gag. Just imagine how bad it must have been for someone with a normal sense of smell!!
She should have been referred to a supervisor (regular airline reps should not be empowered to make binding decisions in such matters, as they do with obesity cases on Southwest) - the supervisor, once ascertaining that this was a case involving poor hygiene rather than a medical condition - and it sounds as if that was pretty clear - should have told the woman she would have to correct the situation (carefully chosen words to that effect) before boarding and, once corrected, would then be accepted on a later flight at no additional charge.
"...being the (too) nice person that I am..." Yeah, I'm that way, too. Just got off a late LGA-FLL 2 1/4 hour flight abd a bunch of girls behind me were having fun playing some word game - they woke me up and kept me up the last 45 minutes of the flight. I didn't feel like being a mean old party pooper. But if that had persisted all night on a long redeye, I might have been!
Years ago, I was on an LAX-Tampa nonstop and woman's baby was crying most of the way. She couldn't help it. As we were all exiting, a man in the line made a nasty remark about it, and made sure she could hear it. I snapped at him, asking him how well he behaved when he was a baby.
The only time I ever really let loose at a fellow passenger was on anATL-FLL Spirit flight a few years ago. A woman in front of me tried to put her seat back, but my knee was in the way and there was nothing I could do. I made the mistake of not cautioning her. She waited several minutes, drew herself up, and then slammed the seat back as hard as she could, trying to push and maybe crush my knee out of the way. I screamed in pain. Then I cussed her out. And I mean cussed. No regrets. She pulled it back up and never said a word.
In my trip to Switzerland i fall sick seriously and then i have to break my journey and come back i felt very bad because it was my first trip with my finance .
I will never haul a computer to Mexico again. 3rd day into last trip I broke my laptop. There was an internet place right across from our hotel and I used them for 10 pesos an hour! That is under 1 dollar US! And state of the art computers, nice people running it, you can print docs, etc! The way to go!
So far, I have not experienced yet any of those listed travel mishaps. I am probably good in planning and preparing for any travel.
When my father was stationed in England with the air force, we traveled to Sweden to buy a new car from Volvo. While my parents filled out paperwork, my brother and I played in a children’s area in the showroom, which included a large ball pit. Unfortunately, my father had entrusted my eight-year-old brother with the key to our hotel room. I got to see my six-foot-four-inch father swimming in the ball pit, searching for the key, to no avail. It was a great memory for me, but not for my parents.
You just never know what will happen when traveling abroad, culture and laws can be so different that when people say "always pay attention to your surroundings" they really do mean it. I was struck down by a motorbike in Beijing while I was on the sidewalk. And apparently it's the pedestrian's fault for something like that over there. I was with a group and my guide had an unusually long conversation with the police so I never really did find out what they discussed, but looking back I can say it's fortunate that I wasn't held accountable for that. Now when abroad I'm always looking in all directions ESPECIALLY when crossing a street, can't be too careful!