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The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

Old Aug 9, 09, 7:38 am
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Flew into PHX for a meeting with a client. Was supposed to be a single day turnaround, but I left my watch on the time from home. We'd just gone off daylight savings, so PHX was now one hour difference, rather than two. I'd just turned in the rental car before I realized I was too late to make my return flight. I spent the night in the airport Sheraton in Tempe without a change of clothes for the next day.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:18 am
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Heading up to Whistler to ski 3 years ago, a buddy and I flew into SEA and drove up. My buddy - an experience traveller - had left his passport home, not realizing he needed more proof of citizenship than his Texas drivers license.

He got a stern talking-to from the Canadian border guard ("As an American, sir, you should know that the world has changed since 2001"), but was finally let thru.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:22 am
Join Date: Jun 2009
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I once, for some reason, only packed one pair of socks for a 5 day trip.

I ended up washing them in the sink with shampoo and drying them in the microwave and with the iron..every day.

Another time, in a 4 am blur, I tried to check in at the Airtran desk..for a Frontier flight.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:35 am
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Flying from BOS to Europe (don't recall my destination). During the cab ride from my hotel to the airport I kept my passport in my hand to make sure I didn't lose it. After getting into the terminal I realized that I'd left my passport in the cab! Apparently in the confusion of getting my bags and paying the driver I put it on the seat and forgot about it. In a panic I called the hotel that had arranged for the cab and somehow they got in touch with the driver who returned to the terminal with my passport. You bet he got a generous tip that day!

Of course the passport now always goes into an inside pocket.

Last edited by DrMaturin; Aug 9, 09 at 8:47 am
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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:40 am
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Getting ready for a 9 day vacation to Montana for some hiking and such, put my last load of laundry in the dryer the night before departure. Got up in the usual rush, packed the last minute toiletries, zipped up the bag, and off to the airport. Got stranded overnight in MSP for weather, and found in the airport hotel that...... I had no pants. Left them in the dryer. Was too late for a visit to Mall of America, so had to shop in Kalispell. At least I got 2 good breaks -- upgraded to F on the way, and there were clean clothes waiting when I got home, a little wrinkled though....
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Old Aug 9, 09, 8:52 am
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Cousin of mine flew BRU-JFK and was supposed to connect to Portland, ME but ended up in Portland, OR. As she speaks very little English, she said she had a very hard time trying to tell them she was in the wrong place.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 9:21 am
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Three years back I booked KUL-BKK-HKG-LAX-DFW-DTW with the KUL-BKK leg on Air Asia.

Spent all of my money on my dream trip to southeast asia and the last $20 on the train ride from my hotel to KUL. When I got the the airport, realized that I had left my passport back in my room.

Missed my flight, but I had luckily booked some breathing room in, so there was still one more KUL- BKK flight later that morning. Went to dip my credit card to buy a ticket back into the city for my passport, and was out of money. Debit card, out of money.

Happened to find a $20 stashed in my backpack, so used that to get back to my hotel where the room had already been cleaned -- but I still found my passport under the mattress.

Air Asia also lost my luggage into BKK, but that wasn't my fault
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Old Aug 9, 09, 11:10 am
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We are relatively new to more frequent travel, and new last year to Flyertalk, so this story is more like a small hiccup, but it did give me a laugh afterwards. We had gotten our one of our first First Class upgrades, LAX to HNL, and as we were dropped off at the curb at the LAX terminal, I said to DH - let's check our luggage with the Skycap so we don't have to stand in long lines etc.

Did so, paid the fee and the tip, then walked in the terminal to the First Class check in desk (for the first time), and found out that line is very short and of course that we can check our luggage at that counter, with assistance. Ah well, just one of the many "oh, now I know how to do it" times that we have learned from.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 1:09 pm
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I've done many dumb travel-related mistakes:

5. Told my Dad to pick me up at ORD. Realized just before flight that I was going to MDW and was able to call and save the day.

4. Arrived at airport on business trip arranged by colleague and tried to check in at kiosk for AMS-LHR. Couldn't check in. Got assistance from check-in agents. Of course, I was actually scheduled for a different LON airport.

3. Thought that the miles towards upgrade counter (while a GOLD/PLAT) on AA.com meant number of upgrade coupons available, i.e., if 3000 miles flown, thought I got 6 500-mile upgrades. Embarrassed myself with check-in agent when I tried to upgrade flight and didn't have any coupons. still am embarrassed about that one.

2. Flew home from college for family event early morning after my 21st birthday. Plane was a puddle-jumper (single rows on both side). Lost my "breakfast" and my return tix (had a paper tix) on that flight.

And number 1 because it happened when I was "seasoned" traveler and FT'er:

1. Traveled on a connecting flight this summer when I left all techie bits at home (cell phone and laptop)!!! Of course, WX happens and I'm stuck trying to re-arrange my travel without a cell in a overcrowded airport -- ended up being stuck overnight. I found the few remaining pay phones in the U.S. on this trip but being without one seriously impacted my ability to rebook flights more conveniently.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 1:25 pm
Join Date: Apr 2007
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I almost had a big disaster when my luggage didn't come out but there was a bag suspiciously like mine, so I went to the desk. They paged the name on the luggage and he had my bag, took it without checking the tag and just heard his name as he was about to exit the area. He almost ended up with woman's clothes and I almost ended up without clothes for our respective business trips.

Not very exciting, I tend to have good luck when flying.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 1:32 pm
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I will always remember NOT to put two bottles of red wine in my checked luggage
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Old Aug 9, 09, 2:05 pm
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Finishing a meeting in Minneapolis early with four or five co-workers, we headed to the Mall of America to kill some time (and since most of us had never been) before our flight home. Ended up goofing off more than we probably should have (I recall fried cheese curds and a walk through the aquarium), and finally realized it was going to be tight to make the flight. We rushed to the counter and checked in, were assured that we would make the flight, then ran to the gate only to find the door closed. Did we ever feel stupid.

Landing in New Orleans for a conference, I picked up my bag from the carousel and waited around for my co-workers to do the same. Unfortunately, one was lost, so we had to wait around for him to get it sorted out. It was a good thing, though, as I realized I had picked up the wrong bag. I honestly don't remember how I got my bag back, but I recall it worked out.

A friend of my wife's, who lived her whole life in eastern PA and eastern MA, flew somewhere through DTW. When she landed, she dutifully changed her watch to Central time, then went to go get something to eat while she waited for her flight. Except, of course, that Detroit is still in the Eastern time zone. She missed the connection.

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Old Aug 9, 09, 3:42 pm
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Flew into Houston for a week's work in late June, so I packed for the expected 98 degree + 100% humidity weather. From Houston I was supposed to fly to Holland for a meeting. At some point it occurred to me that I might not have the right clothing for Holland. Ever try to buy a jacket in Houston in June?
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Old Aug 9, 09, 5:28 pm
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Originally Posted by ESflyer View Post
Ever try to buy a jacket in Houston in June?
I arrived in south India on a business trip wearing a winter coat!

I once forgot to bring a winter coat and had to buy one at ATL airport.

Once my connecting flight cancelled and I picked up one of my checked bags. I didn't pick up the other one because I didn't need anything in it. Naturally, the bag was stolen and never found. I do have some excuse as I was an unaccompanied minor and the airline did not send a babysitter to assist me. They treated me like an adult passenger.
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Old Aug 9, 09, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by chrissxb View Post
I will always remember NOT to put two bottles of red wine in my checked luggage
What choice do you have, really? Just bring bubble wrap and tape next time. And don't pack it with any clothing that would break your heart to have ruined. We pack purchased alcohol in checked bags all the time- we pack it carefully and cross our fingers till it rolls off the baggage carousel.

The only alternative I can think of (other than not buying it) is shipping, which is horribly expensive and can't legally be done in some cases (e.g. Europe to the US).
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