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Old 01-29-2008, 07:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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travel nightmares

I travel often for business, trains, planes, cabs and everytime there is always something that goes wrong. Lots of delays, cancellations, a fire on board the aircraft (really), an angry cabby for no reason, etc.

I'm not sure when it all started, but it's been happening for some time. I ALWAYS have a problem. The closest I've come to death was the fire on board the airplane while over Lake Ontario at 15,000 ft and the engine exploding on landing. In the end they've all been simply inconveniences to my life, thank God.

Recently, after a travelling dry spell of about 1.5 yrs, I hopped on a plane to Baltimore. Normal flight, no delays, it was great. I thought my run was over. Then I got to the train station to go into DC for a 10 AM meeting. It was about 9AM all trains were running 30 minutes late...I thought let the games begin, but luck would have it that there were two cabs out front. My colleague and I hopped the cab and made our way to DC. The cabbie stopped at Union Station and said "Get out, this is as far as I go". We were stunned. We only needed to go a couple more blocks down Penn. Ave to our destination, but he was done...WTF.

Something always seems to happen to me when I travel, how about you guys? What are some of your travel nightmares? Mine happen constantly, anyone else experience that?
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i guess the worst travel incident was almost missing a connecting flight at JFK. we were an hour late getting out of Providence and the crew assured us we had plenty of time to make the connection. we landed at gate 28 IIRC and the connecting flight was at gate 5 which was about 1/2 mile away. we were half way there when they announced absolute final boarding. i grabed the carry-ons, which weighed about 40 lbs, and made a mad dash the final 10 gates. got there as they were about to close the doors. the tickect person tried to get me to board but i refused to budge till my GF got there. sounded something like this: "must...*gasp ..*wheeze....wait....*gasp..*gasp..*wheeze... girlfriend....*gasp..*cough...*wheeze...right behind.....*wheeze..*cough.. *gasp....me...."
i ended up holding up the plane for another 5 minutes or so but we both made it. i think we were somewhere over Ohio by the time i caught my breath.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a very expensive suit arrive in Texas four hours before me.

I guess they figure keeping my bags with me wasn't a priority.

Thanks a lot, American Airlines. I had to get it pressed again.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is a true story. On hell flight from Phoenix I was seated next to a man who had terrible body odor. Turned out he was flying home after some sort of surgery and his wound was leaking. After we were in air I went to the back of the plane and asked the steward if there were another seat I could have. There wasn't as the plane was full. Then another passenger came up to complain that the man beside him was masturbating under a blanket. Of course I immediately suggested we switch seats. I mean really, sex or wound leakage?! Apparently the steward alerted the airport police because when I disembarked they pulled both the masturbator and myself aside separately. They detained me for about 2 seconds to ask me if I saw anything untoward. I hadn't, but they still gave me a free airline ticket. And, apparently no one ever contacted the airport medics because the leaker just walked off unaccompanied. This certainly wasn't life or death (not for me, anyway), but it was memorable.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hostel tried to scam me out of a night. I booked that I needed a room for Wednesday night, but that I would be arriving at around 0100 (1:00AM, Thursday morning) and these [insert favorite word here] try to convince me that I DIDN'T NEED A ROOM THAT NIGHT.

I got the room for free.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have had my luggage go missing many times (three of which were the last three times I traveled). The good news is I had flight insurance and was able to buy some new clothes until the luggage showed up about 24 hours later.

One time my flight from Vancouver to Hong Kong was late arriving in Hong Kong because there was an unusually strong head wind. I missed my connection and had to hang out in Hong Kong for the day.

After 12 solid years of regular overseas travel I haven't had that many events...
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Augi
I got the room for free.
HAHAHA!

"Would you prefer I sleep on your front desk instead?!"
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:23 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I've flown internationally and/or domestically at least a couple of times every year since I was an infant... but I never seem to learn how to do it right. (I'm finally starting to leave a few hours in between connections, instead of assuming that 45 minutes is enough... not when the plane is 40 minutes late!!)

A few recent nightmares/lessons:

Philadelphia airport parking = missed flight to Seattle.

Charles de Gaulle EasyJet connection = missed train in Milan.

Trains in Italy = late/cancelled.

Public transportation in Paris = on strike/cancelled.

"Budget" airlines anywhere = NO BAGGAGE SERVICE, must claim & check in again, then go through security again.

Any airline coming in and out of Beirut = wailing infant in every row, no joke.

Do not get in line at any airport Burger King when you have 15 minutes of boarding left. It will take them 13 minutes to get to you (in a line of 3 people, go figure), leaving you 2 minutes to run from the food court to the end of the terminal and then stink up the whole plane with your fast food and sweat from running.

Traveling with a spouse with a Middle Eastern passport, or flying in/out of Beirut with any passport? Plan on 3 hours of buffer time... per person.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Flying from Chicago Midway to Las Vegas on a 9 am flight. Since it was for fun, we had a couple of bloody marys before we boarded the plane. Once aloft, I feel asleep. My buddy nudged me as an older gentlemen in the row in front of us was in some sort of distress. At first I thought he had died. But then it became apparent that was ill. Very ill. He had vomited in his seat and all over himself. The flight attendants did all the could to reduce the smell, but it really didn't help. By the time we landed I had a splitting headache and can still recall the smell if I really want to torture myself.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yesterday I was in Traverse City, MI for the day. The appointments went well, but when I got to the airport, my flight back had been cancelled due to high winds in Chicago. They rebooked me on Northwest with no hassle (and actually apologized) going through Detroit.

There was a blizzard in Chicago last night.

I got to Detroit just fine but found out that my 9 pm flight from Detroit to Chicago had been cancelled due to mechanical problems. They rebooked me on the 10:30, we boarded and taxied out. Then we sat in the de-icing area (it wasn't snowing) for about 10 minutes before the captain came on and apologized (again, I know!) for having to take us back to the gate. Chicago had a ground stop. We got off the plane for an hour and a half, reboarded and got to Chicago about 1 am.

Then I got to thread my way through the O'Hare construction to my car, which was conveniently parked outside in the very last row of the onsite parking. And it didn't start. And it was 0 degrees F with a 40 mph wind. Thankfully the courtesy crew had seen me walking, kept an eye on me and came right over to help.

I got home at 2:45. Drew got up at 3:30. And again at 5:25. And Max came in at 6:20. So if I'm grumpy today, you know why.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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God, I hate long-term airport parking.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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There is always going to be some issue while traveling. I think you're just looking for trouble
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