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Most foolish error/omission you've made while travelling? What did it cost you?

Most foolish error/omission you've made while travelling? What did it cost you?


Old Mar 26, 08, 8:05 am
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Most foolish error/omission you've made while travelling? What did it cost you?

A couple of days ago, I made a massive blunder (described later in this post) which, while it only cost a couple of hours of my time, made me look like a complete fool.
I don't think we have ever had such a thread, and I'm sure there will be a lot of entertaining stuff from FTers ready to admit they've learned from their mistakes.

This is not a thread about miscalculated risks. There is no point in everyone saying something like "I thought the 13:05 train would get me in time for my 14:20 flight, but obviously I was wrong and I had to wait 3 days for the next flight home". And obviously I don't want to hear about the airline employee who sent your bag to Niamey when you were only going to MAD. This is about our own mistakes.

Just share your plain silly mistakes.

Kicking off:

I arrived at MAN 23:00 on Easter Sunday. No trains so I had to rent a car for the 50ish miles home (as some of you will know, taxis in the UK are quite expensive, and they usually double their fares during the big holidays).
Went home and returned it Monday afternoon.
Only problem being, I had forgotten my (massive) suitcase in the boot! Had been too tired to take it home on the Sunday, and then forgot about it when getting into the car to drive it back and even when looking around the car for the return.
Retrieved it yesterday, after introducing myself to the Avis girls as "the idiot with the suitcase". It had a note on it by the employees reading: "LEFT IN BOOT. VERY STRANGE. HOW CAN YOU LOSE A CASE LIKE THIS?"
Luckily, they had kept it and not gotten rid of it or destroyed it as "unattended baggage", so the only cost was a tenner in gas and the time in going back to the airport.

Let's hear yours then!
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Old Mar 26, 08, 8:14 am
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Never had any particularly bad ones, but more than one.

On one occasion, I was flying LHR-AMS every week (along with a colleague) and, thanks to a promotion mentioned here on Flyertalk, I managed to book 3 months' worth (excluding when I was on leave) for £49 return all-in (and full mileage). Not bad!

Except, of course, that I had to rearrange my time off, and forgot to rearrange the flights. Cue turning up at LHR, spending ages with them trying to find the PNR... Only to completely fail. Ended up having to saunter over to the ticket counter and pay full Y for the trip, which was far from ideal.

Not a cost to me personally, of course.

A colleague of mine (yes, really) managed to lose out on claiming back £50 worth of taxi fare home from LHR on one of these trips. He was rather the worse for wear on arrival, and, when he got to his destination, kept fiddling about with money, couldn't get his bags out, called the driver back to ask for a receipt, asked him to put a tip on the receipt but forgot to give him the tip, etc, etc.

He didn't look at the receipt until he was in the office doing an expenses claim, at which point he noticed (along with the rest of us) that the taxi driver, instead of writing out the amount paid, had writted a single word over the entire receipt, intimating that my colleague, er, was well practised in the art of self-love.
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Old Mar 26, 08, 9:34 am
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Showed up at 11 am, in plenty of time for a 12:30 flight - or so I thought. It had left 10 1/2 hours earlier (12:30 am, not pm, same day).

(Happy ending: AA put me on the noon flight to the same place, no charge.)
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Old Mar 26, 08, 9:44 am
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Arrived in LA for a week long business/play trip w/o any clean undies
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Old Mar 26, 08, 9:49 am
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My company REQUIRES that I use the corporate travel site to book business trips, and forbids the use of the site to book travel for accompanying persons. Usually I can get this right despite the fact that I have to start up 2 browser windows, set up a reservation for myself in the corporate one, set up an identical itinerary for my husband in the airline site, get adjoining seats, hit "Purchase" and then call the airline to link our PNRs. (We have different last names so they'd have no way of linking us otherwise.)

Once, as we were about to leave Seattle, I tried to do OLCI the night before. Husband's went through fine. Mine was outside the 24-hour window. I'd accidentally booked myself leaving a day later. Oops. I was able to get on the flight with my husband and the company picked up the change fee. I was almost glad I'd messed up my own booking- there would have been no way I could recover the change fee if I'd done my husband's wrong instead.
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Old Mar 26, 08, 9:49 am
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Did something similar. Showed up for a 12:30am flight a day late. Luckily there was room and was allowed on as standby with no penalty. I learned to look at departure dates and times *really* closely.
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Old Mar 26, 08, 10:07 am
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Once, I marked the wrong day on my calender for a trip, thinking I was leaving on a Friday, when the tickets given to me were for Thursday. I then got to purchase a new outbound ticket for US$200~ Luckily I caught it while trying to online check-in and was able to get the new ticket. Felt like a tool.

Edit: The one and only time I bought "duty free" booze on the airplane, I left the bag under the seat in front of me (Iwas in DL BizElite). I realised it after passing passport control at VCE so I couldn't go back, and and by the time they could call the plane to check on it, it was gone (which I knew it would be here in Italia).

Not travel related but my biggest Tools T. McTool moment was trying to return a garment at a department store. I had purchased something at Foley's but before leaving to return it I put the garment and receipt from Foley's in a Dillard's bag. So I go to a mall and preceed to a Dillard's to try and return my item and argued with them for a good 5 minutes before realising the mistake. I then slinked away sheepishly.


Last edited by FlyingHoustonian; Mar 26, 08 at 3:25 pm
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Old Mar 26, 08, 11:11 am
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not a very costly one but embarrassing none the less

back in the mid 90's when I first remember e-ticketing I was still ordering paper tickets from our travel office which was on site at the time (pre AX)

I was flying LAX-SJC on UA 3X a week. Well I would just take my weeks worth of tickets with me to SJC. In the office up there on one of my trips I must have taken my tickets out of my bag, put them on my desk and left them there b/c when I got back to SJC I realized that my tickets were still on my desk.

The office was less than 10 miles from SJC but even back then traffic was bad at rush hour which is when I was at the airport. Back then, I could get to the airport 45 minutes before a flight so I didn't leave myself much time, plus I turned in the car already

So I just bought a RT ticket (as I had left my next trips tickets as well on my desk) at the counter.

After that, I changed my profile to say e-tickets whenever possible LOL

oh yeah and I tried returning my alamo car at Avis a couple weeks ago
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Old Mar 26, 08, 11:22 am
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Not me, but partially my fault for not noticing the error. This happened about 4 years ago. I accompanied my friend to the airport for his 0030 (or a similar time - can't really remember) departure. We showed up to check in at about 2300 - a day late. We couldn't find the flight on the departure boards, so popped over to the ticket desk to ask what's going on. The very kind QF agent advised that the flight had already departed almost 24 hours ago. This was a non-daily flight so we had to go home and come back the next day. The TA helped swapped the flight over to the next departure with no dramas as there was plenty of availability. So he had to pay for an additional taxi journey to the airport (about A$40), and A$50 to the TA for rebooking fee.

Another time I had an experience similar to post #7. I'd booked a flight home which would arrive on a Saturday, but had inexplicably marked Friday on my spreadsheet on which I used to plan my trips. Then I saw a great Starwood promo going on in Sydney, so decided to throw in a quick trip to Sydney alongside my other trip. I made prepaid non refundable hotel reservations and flights across to SYD around the Friday date. I caught the error in time and changed the first set of tickets over to reflect a Friday arrival in MEL - A$100 for the change.

Last edited by Keith009; Mar 26, 08 at 11:37 am
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Old Mar 26, 08, 11:26 am
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I just made a bonehead move the other day. I was booking a trip for my SO and I to fly into FLL. I have a business trip that I am staying on for, but he is flying with me for the weekend and will return on Monday morning. Plus I had some credits sitting on WN so I figured I would book us both on there, but had to book them separately because of the different travel dates and because my company is paying my ticket.

Anyway, I open two browsers and proceed to determine what flight to book us on. We talk back and forth to determine if we should leave work early or take a later flight and we finally agree on and I complete my SO's reservation for the earlier departure. I get called away from my desk for a minute and go back and finish my booking. Well, dummy me - I forgot we picked the earlier flight and I booked myself on the later one. Fortunately (one of the only good things I can say about WN) is that the earlier flight was cheaper and you can change the flight easily. I ended up with another credit in my account and got myself on the right flight!

Ok, second dumb move - I was going on a cruise with kids, SO and his mom. 5 people, 10 suitcases, 4 carry-ons. (Yes we over pack) Land in Puerto Rico, and while scrambling to get the bags, kids have to go to the bathroom. SO takes them while I collect the bags. Get to the ship and start unpacking only to realize I have no shoes. I scratch my head then realize there was one suitcase with all shoes. I go to call JetBlue and see that I have already have a message from them. I apparently lost count of the bags and I left my one suitcase on the belt when we arrived. Fortunately we sailed late that night, so I grabbed a cab, went back to the airport to retrieve the bag and returned to the ship in about an hours time.
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Old Mar 26, 08, 1:02 pm
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A not-so-organized friend lost his temporary visa card for Costa Rica and had to stay 2 extra days to get it replaced. He didn't think it was a big deal at the time he discovered it missing. (This was before you had to have a passport to go there). The same person was a bit careless about trying to do hidden-city ticketing (flying segments 1,2 and 4 on a 4-segment) and got called on it at the airport trying to fly segment 4. I had warned him that the only flight you could skip was the last one.

In the era before digital photography I had left multiple rolls of film with pictures on them, once on a ship and once on a taxi. Ya hate to lose things like that. With digital the potential problem is, in a sense, greater because the card holds so many (OTOH, I tend to keep track of the camera better).
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Old Mar 26, 08, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
Showed up at 11 am, in plenty of time for a 12:30 flight - or so I thought. It had left 10 1/2 hours earlier (12:30 am, not pm, same day).
I never know which is which of 12:30am and 12:30 pm. I always use 24-hour notation (i.e. 00:30 and 12:30).

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Old Mar 26, 08, 1:23 pm
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wrong plane, wrong gate, right dest

Once arrived at gate in SAN to catch flight to PHX, only to find out after boarding that the equipment lacked a row for my seating assignment! After consulting with FA finally figured out my flight was departing from the next gate, also for PHX, but a few minutes earlier(later?). With much egg dripping from face I gathered stuff and started back up the aisle. Fortunately a GA met me at the jetbridge with new seat assignment for that particular flight etc.

Then there was the time on a NRT-SIN red-eye when I took a big bite of what looked like green mashed potatoes, much to amusement of traveling companions who later taught me about wasabi.
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Old Mar 26, 08, 2:02 pm
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Traveling EWR-YYJ....tried every possible website, but couldn't get a fare in Y below $900, despite starting weeks in advance. Wound up booking EWR-SEA on Continental, then SEA-YYJ on Alaska...2 separate PNRs. Booked hotel, all was well...

except that I booked EWR-SEA on Friday and everything else on Thursday...and found out Thursday morning. Everything was nonrefundable and I was meeting someone else, so a new one-way ticket (from LGA) and a conversion of my round-trip to an expensive one-way was, alas, in order.

I rarely fly Continental, so I still have the voucher for the remainder of my round-trip flight...
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Old Mar 26, 08, 2:30 pm
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Ah, a thread I can very much relate to!

Numerous occassions where i've forgotten my passport but have caught myself before it got too late

Once at EWR I forgot my winter jacket at the security checkpoint, remembered after an hour in the sterile area; fortunately they had saved it (the one time I was glad my flight was delayed)

Another not-so-positive outcome... forgot my winter jacket (yes) and scarf at the security checkpoint in a last-minute dash for a flight. Price to pay.... gf's drilling stare (both were her gifts to me ) and my winter gloves in the jacket pockets :-/
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