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The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

Old Jan 14, 11, 12:36 pm
  #571  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,427
Funny, I was just thinking of this thread today. Got to my beautiful hotel in the Middle East the other day after a long flight and took a cold shower before going to bed, making a mental note to complain in the morning. Yep, the next morning I turned the controls opposite to the hot and cold indications and bingo I had hot water.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 2:39 pm
  #572  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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My favorite is the story about the guy who purchased a ticket and flew to Manchester, NH instead of Manchester, England and got arrested for throwing a hissy fit at the gate.

I booked a flight once for April not March.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 2:49 pm
  #573  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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About 6 years ago I was flying US. They had a huge computer issue and if I remember correctly all their international flights were grounded. I was flying BNA-BOS, but my the plane was coming in from Mexico. Before heading to the airport I checked and my flight was on time, but when I got to the airport they had me on an absurd delay. I don’t remember exactly, but it was something in the neighborhood of 12h and that was clearly a guess because their computers were still down. I asked the ticketing agent to reroute me through somewhere else and she refused. I had to call Customer Affairs and have them talk to her. She ended up rebooking me on AA instead of just flying me into CLT on US. I have no idea why. What I do know is that my AA ticket came with a big “SS” in bold on it, which apparently means secondary search. TSA pulled me aside and looked through all my luggage and had me take my shoes off so they could tell if I had jammed anything into the bottom of my feet. From that day on for about 3 years almost every time I flew I got secondary searched. Moral of the story, don't be mean to the girl at the counter even if she is incompetent.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 3:04 pm
  #574  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by marcdd2 View Post
Moral of the story, don't be mean to the girl at the counter even if she is incompetent.
I had a friend who was a CSA for a regional US airline linked to UA. He told me his favorite thing to do to an irritating pax was to say, "There's one thing between you and where you want to go, and that's me."

He claimed that it always worked.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 5:21 pm
  #575  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by zpaul View Post
I had a friend who was a CSA for a regional US airline linked to UA. He told me his favorite thing to do to an irritating pax was to say, "There's one thing between you and where you want to go, and that's me."
The thing was I was actually very nice to her at first and she had no intention of helping me. Thats when I called CA to see if they would help. I didn't expect them to call her and ask why the hell she wasn't helping me. When that happened she started getting pissy with me I unfourunatly reacted in kind.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 6:11 pm
  #576  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: LAX
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I'm not sure if this qualifies (actually - I think it does) but recently was scheduled for an afternoon flight to Las Vegas. Got up early, ran all of my errands at a leisurely pace, went home, picked up bags, and headed to the airport.

Strolled through the doors only to be denied boarding for arriving too late to pass through security.

I still made it but only just barely, through some hail-mary phone calls to customer support, and a rep in the overseas call center who assigned me a seat with no penalty even though they were not supposed to.

...and to top it all off, returning on the same trip, walked into Mccarran, attempted to print boarding pass and got shuttled to the counter. Waited 15 minutes for someone to become available and was then told once again that I couldn't make my flight because the terminal required a train ride and I wouldn't make it.

After that I became much more circumspect about being aware of those policies - and my quest for status became something of an obsession.

And - while riding a train through France in 2003, without realizing it, we had boarded one of those trains that splits in two at a particular stop. So we made a stop and then sat there for approximately 15 minutes before realizing that the train had stopped, deposited the half that was supposed to stay there, and gone on.

We made it to our destination - 5 hours late and on a much slower regional train.

Last edited by toast24; Jan 14, 11 at 6:16 pm
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Old Jan 14, 11, 6:22 pm
  #577  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Originally Posted by marcdd2 View Post
My favorite is the story about the guy who purchased a ticket and flew to Manchester, NH instead of Manchester, England and got arrested for throwing a hissy fit at the gate.

I booked a flight once for April not March.
Plenty of screwed up bookings but on a similar note I stood in Manchester, England while my (amazed at the great rate I got) rental car was in Manchester, NH.
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Old Jan 14, 11, 9:53 pm
  #578  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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When I was in Australia, I booked hostel beds for myself and 2 friends for the night before we were going to set out on a 3 day hike in the Blue Mountains. I didn't really check the dates and didn't realize I booked it a week early while checking email at a hostel in Melbourne after the initial date when they asked me to rate my stay . I quickly rebooked beds for the proper night, but was out the AUD$72 for the first night and had to book. One of those life lessons.
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Old Jan 16, 11, 11:37 am
  #579  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 111
I've got a few to add...

*Did not realize the distances between the London airports when I booked a few days in Ireland while in the UK - first time overseas at that point. It costed me 100 quid in taxi fare to go to the correct airport.

*Do not wear a leather jacket to go through security that has lots of buckles and zippers. Same for several pieces of clunky jewelry. Next trip, the coat stayed at home, the jewelry in the carry on bag.

*ATM cards do not work in foreign countries especially when they are tied to savings accounts. My credit union was good to me to change how the card worked even though it was a 3 euro call from Ireland and they said wait 10 minutes after they fixed things up, I waited as asked, and I was able to have money after that.

*My feet killed me for wearing a 3 inch wedge heel shoe just to look good in the airport one time. Comfort is more important now as a leisure traveler to me now.

*Don't buy cheap trainers just because of the brand name. I got a deal on clearance, and had no idea they came apart in the back & that part of the shoe rubbed against my heels & caused some nasty looking scrapes not long after purchase. I ended up biting the bullet and getting a new pair of Nikes for the equal of $70 USD that have not fallen apart in the 3 years I've owned them and worn them A LOT. The old offending pair - was binned & left behind in the trash in Belfast.

*Remember to take the unopened bottle of Diet Coke out of the carry on bag. I did that, and had to spend another few Euros after security to get a new bottle. Security at DUB was nice about it and put it to the side with other stuff that over the liquid restriction.

*Went to the wrong gate & area in LGA for a flight back to DTW, and just made the correct flight back within the nick of the time.

*Overslept and nearly missed my airport bus to Luton Airport to fly to Denmark to see a friend of mine. Lucky, I was on time within minutes to my bus station thanks to a 5 quid taxi fare. I had no time to change clothes, and got to Denmark wearing a sweatshirt, tee shirt, baggy dark color pajama bottoms and tennis shoes. Good thing my friend had no issues, and allowed me to change once at her flat to more presentable clothes & also groom myself better as I arrived looking like I had just crawled out of bed.
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Old Jan 16, 11, 5:06 pm
  #580  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 25
one time i was sitting in my car outside my friends place 1 hour after her plane already took off...

- i thought the flight was 8 am, turned out she had to call a cab to get to the airport at 7 am.. well, i did wake up pretty early 'coz i set my cellphone alarm at 7:30 and then turned it off..
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Old Jan 16, 11, 5:38 pm
  #581  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by marcdd2 View Post
My favorite is the story about the guy who purchased a ticket and flew to Manchester, NH instead of Manchester, England and got arrested for throwing a hissy fit at the gate.

I booked a flight once for April not March.
I know someone who was flying from FLL to MHT (via PHL) and their flight from PHL to MHT was cancelled. When they went to rebook, the agent put them on a flight from PHL to MAN. Luckily, they caught it before they ended up across the Atlantic.
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Old Jan 17, 11, 12:30 am
  #582  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Downers Grove, IL
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Originally Posted by anat0l View Post
One of the dumb mistakes I made on my last big trip:

Not writing down all my addresses of places where I'm staying. A bit of hell when you need it for secure data purposes, or filling out immigration cards. Definitely doesn't look good when you tell someone of authority that you don't remember the address but you can get it off the internet.

Yeah, I could have just pulled out any random address (e.g. a random hotel) if I couldn't remember. Then just put that down and I'd probably get away with it. Not realising that I could have done this is also a dumb mistake.
haha don't worry if it makes you feel better my friend and I did that in Berlin during one of our weekend trips during our Study Abroad trip. We tried calling my house to see if someone was home to check it no one was (Mom it turns out was walking the dog) so we had to go buy some wifi turns it was right across the street
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Old Jan 17, 11, 1:25 am
  #583  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Originally Posted by MissRoseDarrensAngel View Post
*ATM cards do not work in foreign countries especially when they are tied to savings accounts.
Oh man, this one bit me big time when I moved to Europe. Had just stepped off the plane, tried my savings account card in an ATM, no go. Nobody accepted credit cards for the immediate purchases I needed to make (local train tickets, groceries, cell phone) either, and I didn't have my credit card's cash advance PIN because I never figured I'd want to borrow money at 30% interest. I ended up exchanging the US$60 in my pocket to euros at one of those rip-off airport counters to buy a train ticket, then hunted for an open wireless signal to call my parents and ask them to Western Union me some money (with a fee of about 10%) to tide me over until everything got sorted out.
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Old Jan 17, 11, 2:06 am
  #584  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by xSTRIKEx6864 View Post
I know someone who was flying from FLL to MHT (via PHL) and their flight from PHL to MHT was cancelled. When they went to rebook, the agent put them on a flight from PHL to MAN. Luckily, they caught it before they ended up across the Atlantic.
That would be a free MR (admittedly with no return ticket), who wouldn't jump at that chance?
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Old Jan 17, 11, 9:59 am
  #585  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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About 6 years ago, I flew to Chicago for the weekend to hang out with some good friends I rarely see as we live all over the country. Come sunday morning, we all shared a van to the airport together as our flights were within several hours of one another. Upon check in, we were offered a paid first class upgrades at the kiosk. My buddy went for it for his flight, I declined. After a few departures, I was left alone with one friend. Im not certain what time it was but the bars had just opened. In the same clothes from the previous night and nursing a horrible hangover as we had only slept an hour or so, we began to drink heavily with about 90 minutes to go before my flight. Suddenly I looked at my watch and noticed my departure time had just passed. I jumped up and ran as fast as possible to the gate falling all over myself. When I arrived, they addressed me by name and claimed they had been paging me for some time.
I was speaking so fast and drunk they couldnt understand me but they let me onto the walkway and said hurry up. I hustled down the peaceful empty walkway only to step onto a packed aircraft. Every other pax seemed to be staring at me with anger as if I had been holding them up. I was drunk, sweaty and felt absolutely gross. At that moment, I looked down at my ticket and saw I had a middle seat in the middle of the plane. I look out and saw my seat, a middle between two rather large men. ::Panic set in:: I did a quick about face and bump into the flight attendant. I quickly say "Who do I pay the money too for the upgrade" She could not understand my jibrish as she made me repeat it several times. She then said that I could not upgrade after boarding. I gave her a look that begged for mercy and she said "just sit right by that window, we have to get moving." 10 seconds later I was passed out cold in first class on my way home to New York. That woman was my angel!
Lesson one: Always secure an upgrade (especially if you have a middle!)
Lesson two: Never get too wasted at the airport bar
I still cannot believe I almost missed that flight even tho I arrived almost 5 hours early!
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