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WORST thing that happened while on a trip?

WORST thing that happened while on a trip?

Old Aug 14, 99, 9:58 pm
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My worst trip (by a long shot):

Warning: not for the faint of heart

Decided to extend a business trip to DC over the weekend to visit my friend's from college who live in the area. Pixie was living in Chicago at the time and flew in for the weekend also. Stayed at the Hyatt Crystal City (where I stay for business, just got a lower weekend rate).

Saturday night we go out to Annapolis for dinner with a bunch of the college buddies and Pixie. After dinner and some other festivities, one of our hosts decide we should go ice skating.

We go ice skating ... I fall down and I can't get up. It doesn't hurt, but it's bad ... I think I sprain my ankle. One of the rink attendants comes over and he's bending over me (an off duty EMT) and tells me "I'm going to lift you up and carry you off the rink" (he's on skates too). Now, I'm a big guy (on the wrong side of 200 pounds), there's no way this guy's lifting me up when he's on skates and I flatly say "no you aren't." Finally I get up on one foot between two of the rink attendants and get off. By the way, it still doesn't hurt, but it's numb and I'm feeling sick, I think I just sprained my ankle badly. My friends start saying I should go to the hospital, but I insist it will be okay ... eventually they win me over.

We drive around looking for a hospital (had to stop to ask for directions) and I go into the hospital. They take x-rays and the nice nurse is looking at my ankle and comments "When it swells up on the outside of your ankle it's usually not broken" and I say "Good" ... then she adds "but your ankle is swollen on the inside".

Uh oh ... she says it doesn't look good and the doctor will be in to see me shortly ...

Doctor comes in ... two broken bones ... I need to have surgery to fix it and I have two options:

1) Have surgery tomorrow and I'll be in the hospital for a few days after that

2) He can keep me for a few days then send me home to Louisiana to have surgery.

Well, let's see, I get the hospital stay either way, and the idea of picking surgery in Louisiana over Maryland wasn't that attractive either.

So, I have the surgery (after checking with a friend that I could stay with him for a couple of weeks after surgery in the DC area) on Sunday. Now remember, I had the hotel room in Crystal City still ...

My surgery is at 8:00 AM so I told Pixie to call the Hyatt and have them give us a late check out so she could go after I was safely out of surgery. I later found out they would not give her late check out, and needless to say I called them a few days later and laid into them for that.

Anyway, I had to call my boss Monday and tell him all of this ... "Hi, I'm still in DC ... I had surgery yesterday ... I won't be in to work ... for a while ..." (two plus weeks it turned out I would miss work for).

So ... spend a couple weeks in DC recovering staying with my friend and Thanksgiving rolls around ... I had already planned to visit my parents in Western NC for this, and Pixie came too. BTW, traveling in general was not much fun ... had to wheelchair it around the airport, especially in the beginning, because my endurance on crutches was not all that great.

Anyway, that goes fine until the night before we left (except that my Mother got really sick ... uh oh). We were staying at the Hyatt Charlotte, but we had different flight (Pixie an early morning flight, me a late morning flight). Anyway, I'm watching a movie the night before around midnight and I start to feel not so hot. Suddenly I get the worst case of diahreia and I start vomiting, basically simultaneously. This wouldn't be so bad except I'm on crutches with a cast up to my knee! Well, that was a BAD night ... it turned out my mother had given me her little stomach bug (it would eventually strike half our family, including Pixie the next night).

Well ... I managed to get settled down by the time my flight rolled around. I was in coach *ick* ... CLT-ATL went fine ... I was adventurous and had one bag of peanuts to eat and some Ginger Ale.

ATL-MSY I'm on a 767 in about the third row. Now once I was on a plane it was kind of nice because I could move around without crutches by hopping on one foot and leaning on the seats ...

Anyway, halfway through the flight my stomach gets bad again ... I get up and hop back to the lavatory and open the door ... but I can't kneel ... I have this stupid cast and I can't balance ... I vomit into the bathroom ...

This was the most embarassing moment of my life ... I don't know what to do ... I close the door and I'm just standing there. A nice passenger across the way asks if I need help and I just say I need an FA ... finally one comes up and I apologize profusely and explain that they need to close that lavatory until it can be cleaned ...

Well ... the rest of the trip went fine ...
Beckles is offline  
Old Aug 15, 99, 12:47 am
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: San Francisco UA1K; AA Gold
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My worst trip was probably a ski trip this past winter:

Drove up to Tahoe and took four runs, but felt sick, so gave up (and still threw up on the way down the hill). Car got stuck on an icy slope that evening on the way back to my hotel. And when I called home, my tenant's heater was on the fritz (and we were having a cold snap in San Francisco).

Then two days later on the way home, I got a speeding ticket (78 mph) five minutes before dinner...and a tire blew five minutes after dinner.

But at least the second and third days of skiing had been great!


Omni to Catman I think the 3-letter code for Key West is actually EYW - I remember reading somewhere that ALL the codes beginning with K and with N are reserved (for the Navy, perhaps?), which explains why Newark is EWR.
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Old Aug 15, 99, 10:29 am
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Thank you for the correct Johna. I did not know that about Newark being EWR (I just felt they were trying to be different.)

Beckles, what a nightmare! You deserve a Guiness or two on me for putting one of the best horror stories on this forum!
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Old Aug 15, 99, 11:15 am
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Location: Washington, DC
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I have had some bad luck with rental cars.

Head-on collision with a delivery truck in County Carlow, Ireland. I would be dead if not for my seatbelt.

Massive tire blowout in the middle-of-nowhere (between Tucson and Phoenix). Changing a tire in the dark when it is 90 degrees on an unfamiliar car is no fun.

Rental car window smashed in Tampa so a thief could steal my cheap sunglasses and approximately $1.20 in change on the dashboard. At least he left the bags of new clothes in the trunk! And I no longer leave change on the dashboard.

Oh! I almost forgot about this one...rented a Chrysler Sebring convertible at Kahului, Maui. Totally relaxed, enjoying the company of my wife when she starts screaming. A few moments after I turned on the air vents. thousands of ants started pouring out of the vents! I mean THOUSANDS!!! We jumped out of the car and called Alamo from a convenience store. Customers and employees at the store even came over to check it out. I have to admit, Alamo was very professional about the ordeal and even gave me a free day on the replacement rental.

Addicted to airline miles? Check out: The Airline Mileage Workshop

[This message has been edited by MileageAddict (edited 08-15-1999).]
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Old Aug 15, 99, 9:26 pm
Original Member
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Chicago
Posts: 14
Food poisening in NY Chinatown from some bad pork ribs 4 yrs ago.


Italy, this past January, pulled my back ut in Italy and got to experience socialized medicine where few people spoke English. Very unerving experience.

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Old Aug 18, 99, 12:01 am
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Hollis, NH, USA
Posts: 65
June '99 it's necessary for me to move my little boy from our home in NH to a long-term medical specialty center just out of Denver. We leave MHT (Manchester, NH) on NW bound for DEN through Detroit. Bad weather between DTW and DEN leaves us circling near Buffalo for so long we don't have enough fuel to get back to DTW so the pilot lands in Buffalo. NW doesn't have any gates or ground services in Buffalo so we are banished to a bare stretch of tarmac in the hinterlands for three hours while the pilot tries to buy a load of fuel, generate transaction paperwork, and keep an increasingly unruly trapped crowd under control. Finally, fuel trucks approach, weather clears, and we make it to DEN.

My son and I get to our hotel at 4:00 AM where the clerk has already posted us as a confirmed no-show, and now doesn't know how to give us our room. I politely suggest she give us the key and ask her boss in the morning. Big mistake, I should have talked to the boss myself because the following credit card statement shows the girl left my credit card on every night in the room for the month! She didn't know how to take it off. Hours of phone calls to Marriott Guest Services and credit card company, and letters to same, still waiting for credits to be posted to my account.

But, it gets better. Wrenching scene leaving my 12-year-old two thousand miles from home, followed by return journey DEN-DTW-MHT, again unsuccessfully. Weather again intervenes, miss the last connection back to MHT thus stranded alone in DTW in despair. I am very, very nice to the NW agent who gives me dinner and b'fast vouchers and a dirt cheap hotel rate (Clarion) for the night (no freebies on weather...) but all the restaurants are closed near midnight, and I end up with a limp salad and warm soda delivered by local joint, consumption of which was only possible after pushing aside the foodstuffs left by previous room occupants. I'm thinking of my little one his first night in the strange new place, frightened of this hotel, and praying for a seat on an AM flight to MHT.

For my monthly trips to DEN I now go to BOS and take the UA non-stop. World of difference. After Catman's raves I joined the RCC and that has helped a lot! BOS RCC is small and tired, but apparently moving to better quarters in Sept. DEN RCC is very good.

It'll be a long time before I try Northworst again.
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Old Aug 18, 99, 1:02 am
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Silicon Valley, CA USA
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Posts: 2,855
Where to begin??

After a lovely night seeing Miss Saigon in NYC, drove to Long Island, registered at Marriott, went to room. Husband followed shortly thereafter and announced that we would be "traveling light." A thief had stolen our bags from the car while in NYC, a block from the police station. Fortunately, we were dressed up for the play so my husband could make his sales call the next day. He sent me to the nearest store to get essentials - Kmart!

Only other theft in Napa, CA, where we would least expect it. Stole our jackets in car right next to stadium while our daughter performed in a HS marching band. Bummer: on my jacket lapel was my souvenir pin from our Antarctia trip. See a guy with a penguin pin in Napa, call the cops!

Hurricane Iwa in 1982 in Kauai - Red Cross shelter with no beds. Sat up all night. Tried to sleep in rental car but heat and mosquitoes made it impossible. Had 5 mo old daughter with us. She had car bed!

All in all, nothing so terrible that it did not make entertaining cocktail party talk. Entertaining to us, at least!!
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Old Aug 18, 99, 1:12 am
Join Date: Feb 1999
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AH! Forgot the night I thought we would surely die. Night flight out of Caracas to Merida, Ven. NEVER do a night flight to Merida! Socked in. Huge storm. Landed some God forsaken place and airline provided cabs to Merida - in the dark and the rain. Supposedly a one hour trip but was 4 hrs. Winding through the Andes, idiot driving, passing on winding roads in pouring rain. I clutched my husband and prayed. I thought that was my last night on earth. Passed a huge accident with a truck. We were not in it. Thank you, God.

And then there was the time the Avis car died half way from Casablanca to Marrakesh at 100 degrees in the middle of no where...
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Old Aug 18, 99, 8:57 am
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Albuquerque,NM US
Posts: 156
North American experience...
New Years eve many years ago. We drive across the Mexican border at 2AM. Get waved through the 15 km guard post not knowing we needed to get papers for the car and for ourselves. Fast forward a few days. The Subaru needs a new CV joint. Find a backyard mechanic who will do the work but we need to send to the US for parts. Wait several days getting assurances the parts are coming. Finally are told they cant send parts to Mexico. Realizing we are illegal aliens in Mexico we somehow talk our way onto a plane back home (without la mordida). Now I have to smuggle Subaru parts into Mexico. I am told it is illegal to leave the car there, illegal to drive it home, and illegal to sell it. Almost decide to leave the car there but get the parts and save the car. No more driving trips to Mexico.

African adventure....
At the end of a 3 week trip around South Africa we use an Avis coupon for a free rental day for the day in J-burg prior to flying home. We rent a Mercedes. The computer is down so the contract is blank. I am told I will be responsible for insurance costs. 300 km later after a day at Sun City we are going toward the airport. We find we are on a road parallel to where we want to be but very close on the map. Going across to the other road we get lost. (Signs are taken to construct shanty towns.) Eventually it gets really dark and we realize we are in the middle of a shanty town near Johannesburg and have no idea where we are. We somehow retrace our steps without being attacked and find our way to the airport. At the airport they place a $300 charge for mileage on the car. We got home safely and it took a couple months to straighten out that charge.

Walking in Barcelona in the Barrio Attico (before it was cleaned up for the Olympics) My partner thinks we are being followed. We turn the corner. He follows. Turn again. He follows. All the way around the block he follows. We turn a corner and quickly duck into a dark doorway. He stops and looks around for a minute then departs.

Europe II....
Rome. Near the Spanish steps. I am carrying my camera. I had read about a gypsy ploy where they come with a large piece of cardboard, cover your eyes with it while the others steal from behind. I see it happening in slow motion but have the presence of mind to scream NO NO NO as I felt hands behind me. They got nothing and left quite disappointed.

Rome II
First visit to Europe. My parents are living in Rome. I rent a car to ski Innsbruck then drive back to Rome to visit them. Streets are confusing. I drive for hours knowing I am near where I need to be but can't get any closer. I don't know the phones only take gittoni available at any tobacco shop. As a non smoker it never would occur to me to park the car and go to a tobacco shop. Finally find a phone that takes coins. Call my frantic parents who want to know where I am. I reply "I don't know but I'm not moving from this spot. They ask me to look for a sign and the first one I see in Italian says "hours of operation" We finally figure where I am and they get a cab the 2 km to lead me home.
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Old Aug 18, 99, 11:08 am
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Location: Escondido CA USA
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Leaving on a flight ("fishing with the guys") out of Anchorage headed to Lliamna on an older +-80 passenger plane, we had smoke start pouring into the cabin just prior to lift off. Some fancy driving by the pilot got us stopped and over to the side where we proceeded to open the doors and slide down the chute. I was very scared in the couple of minutes it took to stop and wait my turn to get out. Once out of the plane, I calmed down just in time to see a slight bit of humor occur. Everyone was off the plane except the crew. Down the chute came a pair of high heels, followed shortly by the FA. High heels can "dig" into the chute and stop your decent or make you tumble we were told later.

No compensation, no free meal, no additional miles, credit, just a extra 1 1/2 wait for another plane. Fortunately, we were staying the night in Lliamna before taking a float plane to our point of debarkation on a raft for some fishing so we had plently of time.

Then there was the bear...well that is a different story.
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Old Aug 18, 99, 11:33 am
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soon a year ago - Gisela and I were (as this year again) at the US Open in New York. And I did meet Catman for the first time. The night before flying home (on LH flying JFK-FRA-ZRH) the SR accident flying direct JFK-ZRH happened (we didn't get the news till next morning, and so we didn't contact our children at home, and being till early morning in Manhattan, at the blue note, nobody answered when our children phoned our NY-hosts).

Many friends, colleagues, and the Flyertalk-community believed that Gisela and I were on board of SR and phoned/faxed/emailed our children at home (they had over 50 tf calls starting just after midnight till next morning local swiss time). The children had our detailed travel-plans - but were not 100% sure if we changed them.

Many Flyertalkers were worried too and asked about our whereabouts. I am glad I gave Catman my travel-schedule, so he was able to comfort. Even our "Administrators" in COS got involved and inquired.

I, Gisela (and my children) will never forget those reports, testimonies of friendship and care - this is one of the reasons I am so attached to the members/contributors of this board.

I think the first contact I had after arriving home and getting the whole picture was with pgupta011 - and he informed everybody else on this board then very fast.

Do you remember?

[This message has been edited by Rudi (edited 08-18-1999).]
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Old Aug 18, 99, 12:27 pm
Original Member, Ambassador: External Miles and Points Resources
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Remeber, Rudi? How cold we ever forget! As I recall, lots of people were not only worried, but also upset that we would even worry about the possibility that you had changed travel plans.

But I also think it was (at least for me) the real beginning of thinking of this community outside the realm of "cyber" and into the realm of real people...

For those of you who are newer, see

kokonutz is offline  
Old Aug 18, 99, 10:06 pm
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 3,709
These are minor by comparison, but.

HoJo's in Wayne, NJ. After closing the door, I noticed the track for the chain lock has been re-drilled into the door frame in 4 different places.

I then go to the desk and notice a styrofoam cup of a white powder that I PRAYED as non-dairy creamer. Called front desk and got the hell out of there.

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own."
Jon Toner is offline  
Old Aug 19, 99, 12:04 am
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: SEA
Posts: 3,178
Jon, you're lucky people here like you...anyone who openly admits to staying at a HoJo's is usually persecuted.
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Old Aug 19, 99, 8:49 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 46,816
Sadly, I had a friend/colleague with whom I shared an office for four years who perished, along with his wife, on that tradgic SwissAir fight. Never again hopefully.
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