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The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

Old Oct 7, 12, 1:19 pm
  #691  
 
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Originally Posted by Flubber2012 View Post
Getting in arguments on FT.
^^^
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Old Oct 8, 12, 7:21 am
  #692  
 
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Newest dumbest travel-related mistake: Took a trip up to the seaside recently where MrsBarn and NewBarn would stay on another week and I'd come back to work. We went up by overnight train in a sleeper - which was a fantastic idea - but I'd be flying back. For some reason, my mind never made the connection that I'd need a passport for the flight back since most of my focus was on a) making sure that we had stuff for the trip and b) I hadn't taken the overnight train before and was wondering what it'd be like on this service. On the plus side, the train was really nice (PKP TLK Intercity).

Of course, I remembered that I might need a passport about two minutes before the train left the station. Cue panic. Panic leads to looking up the ID rules on the airline website (not entirely clear on domestic flights and passengers with only a residence card and not proper ID). Checking the rules leads to calling the airline, who says "no go but call the airport". Calling the airport leads to nobody picking up. So in the end, we call up the person who has the keys to our house and they courier said passport to the post office in the city where we're going at not quite half the cost of the (cheap) ticket. Disaster averted, but everyone's now thoroughly not relaxed at he beginning of what was otherwise a very relaxing trip.

When I get to the airport, I'm informed by the agent that a residence card is fine. There's no need to show a passport for domestic.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 12:51 pm
  #693  
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I've been on a bit of a losing streak recently!

- Last week I was in Phoenix and stopped at a hole in the wall Mexican joint for dinner. I plugged my phone into a wall socket to charge while I was eating, then I got in my car and started to drive away. I was halfway across the adjacent intersection when I realized I'd forgotten my phone and charger. I had to pull into a gas station and then literally run back. Thankfully, it was still there.

- Yesterday I took a day trip to New York for a FT Lunch. I remember walking into the terminal at RDU holding my briefcase in one hand and car keys and parking ticket in the other. I know I put my keys in my bag but I don't know what I did with the ticket. Instead of paying $12 for a day's worth of long term parking, they charged me $24 for a day's worth of hourly
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Old Dec 12, 12, 4:26 pm
  #694  
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Quite fond of this 'un:

While teaching in Jakarta, I wanted to go to Timor-Leste. I wasn't too familiar with immigration policies what with having a residence permit, assuming only that I had to pay KITAS (limited-stay permit-esque http://jasa-kitas.com/working-permit-visa-kitas.php) upon departure.

At that point in time, the only place in Indonesia where I could fly non-stop to Dili was Denpasar (Bali). I flew out the night before, no issues. The next day, I check-in at the Merpati (MZ) counters, then proceed to pay KITAS (which at the time was US$150, I think? or $100) I go up to the immigration counter, and get admonished for not having a re-entry permit. Terima kasih, loe! I don't even like Bali, so I (luckily) got a refund for KITAS and flew back with the always-shady Adam Air to Jakarta that afternoon.

A quick visit to the Merpati office in Jakarta somehow ameliorated the issue of having an unused ticket, and I exacted my revenge (upon myself?) by finally making it to Timor Timur a month later. Leading me to add: Vasco da Gama, a decent Portuguese restaurant if you're in Dili.
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Old Dec 12, 12, 4:51 pm
  #695  
 
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Many years ago when I still had my Chinese passport I went to China via Japan and then Hong Kong with the intention of taking the ferry from Hong Kong to ML China. Anyway I did not realize my passport had expired. Not sure how I got on the plane in the first place but apparently no one noticed.

So, I land in Hong Kong and was denied entry due to the expired passport. Options given to me were 1) buy another ticket direct to China or 2) be deported back to Japan. Both options seemed rather ridiculous considering that I am a Chinese citizen returning to Chinese territory (this was in mid 2000s)....

Anyway in the end after like 6 hours at the airport security JAL agreed to vouch for me and I was given a temporary shore pass to get my passport renewed in Hong Kong so I can leave Hong Kong.
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Old Dec 13, 12, 8:19 am
  #696  
 
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Slightly OT

I was managing a project based in Chicago. I was flying out LHR-ORD, when my boss gets on and sits across the aisle. Somewhat surprised to see him I ask politely what he's doing in Chicago. "going to the Steering Committee on Tuesday" he says with the a strained 'you simpleton' tone.

How difficult was the conversation about the meeting actually being the following week........
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Old Dec 13, 12, 9:30 am
  #697  
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Originally Posted by Maigret View Post
Slightly OT

I was managing a project based in Chicago. I was flying out LHR-ORD, when my boss gets on and sits across the aisle. Somewhat surprised to see him I ask politely what he's doing in Chicago. "going to the Steering Committee on Tuesday" he says with the a strained 'you simpleton' tone.

How difficult was the conversation about the meeting actually being the following week........


I don't think "the dumbest travel-related mistake your boss has ever made" is all that off-topic here.
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Old Dec 24, 12, 11:19 pm
  #698  
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Greetings from Utah, and not Air France flight 11 JFK-CDG. Why? I go to school out here in SLC, and I went home to NYC for the holidays (as usual). We were supposed to leave for Paris around 2.5 hours ago, but last night we realize my passport isn't at home. I had no idea I even had it out here (I don't travel abroad much, mostly domestic), but I had to call Delta and we figured out it was cheapest to push my JFK-CDG flight back to the 25th and do a round-trip to Utah to get it. $1300 (that's just the fare difference, the wonderful SLC-based phone agent waived the change fee) (and my parents generously offered to cover this), 50,000 miles and $10 later, I'm now in my dorm (and the only one in this building) in SLC, passport in hand. Two redeyes in a row!

The only positive to all of this is that my TATLs are now on higher fare classes so I get bonus miles. Other than that, I want to jump off a bridge.

Happy holidays

-J.
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Old Dec 25, 12, 10:05 am
  #699  
 
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I did the same thing though my cost was a rush hour $100 taxi ride from ORD to my apartment back to ORD back in the day when you could show up only a few minutes before your flight.
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Old Dec 25, 12, 10:13 am
  #700  
 
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Our friend forgot her paasport, we flying YYZ-ATL-PHX. Went without her...
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Old Dec 25, 12, 11:07 am
  #701  
 
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Left a cruise ship for an overnight trip to Cairo, then back to the ship. Took one pair of dress shoes. Both shows were for the left foot. One was black. The other was maroon. Good thing I only needed them for the night time stuff.
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Old Dec 26, 12, 2:41 am
  #702  
 
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In my student years I have volunteered 6 months in Peru. The cheapest way to get there was booking a weird ticket: Train to MUC from VIE, then MUC - MXP - GRU - two stops in Bolivia (I think Santa Cruz and Cochabamba) - LPB and then by bus to Cusco. By the way, not speaking a word of Spanish on the onward journey, but everything was just fine apart from forgetting my passport in the toilets at MXP at the boarding area. Someone kindly gave it back to me when I was already queuing for boarding...
So the real story begins on the way back, three days before Christmas Eve (making me arrive on 23rd in Vienna). A farewell party has been thrown for me, which obviously ended badly. At the end of the pub crawling with one last fellow party goer we wanted to go to a last venue, but on the way there we were robbed of everything we had. There was my credit card, the bus ticket to La Paz and my remaining cash (thankfully not my passport).
No cash for a taxi to go back to the place I stayed at (even worse: I lived at the social institute - a home for abused children - I was working at. what a walk of shame).
So next morning a friend of mine, who volunteered in the same city, did lend me some money so that I can get to La Paz. The last hours before arriving at the airport I have spent nearly all my money, a part from 30,01 USD (fictive amount, as I don’t remember the exact one). What I did not know, there was an airport tax to be paid there! I got quite nervous counting all my cash and feared I would have to beg for some to be able to get away from here. At that time I did not have a cell phone and no credit card any more… Airport tax turned out to be 30 USD… Checking in with 15kg too much was no problem, so I was happily on the way home for Christmas.
But… arriving in GRU we got informed (by a screen as there was nobody from Alitalia around for hours) that the flight to MXP has been cancelled (foggy in Milan…). At that time my travel experience was also very limited. Only possibility was to wait for the flight next day, which made me arrive in VIE just before Christmas Eve. I got a voucher for the hotel and for food, a drink and a phone call. So I did not even have a dollar to buy more water. Thankfully the fellow stranded passengers invited me for some (non-alcoholic) drinks . Then I’ve called at home to say that I’ll be a day late and that I don’t have money to buy another train ticket from Munich to Vienna. So dad would come to pick me up there by car.
So far so good, arriving at MXP I see that my flight to MUC is cancelled! Reason fog in MXP, but all other airlines are leaving… I was so desperate that I asked to go to the Alitalia office. After discussion and telling them my whole story, they were finally able to get me a ticket to Vienna and they allowed me to use their phone to call home. Only problem: my dad was in MUC already… He was happy to drive back without me.
Maybe it was slightly off-topic, but part of the mistake was definitely to get to drunk the day before departure and to save a few bucks for the flight, making a risky / long routing.
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Old Dec 28, 12, 11:59 am
  #703  
 
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Fault entirely on tour manager who booked the wrong date for the return flight. On that day, we said goodbye to their favourite tour bus driver before the (large) group approached the check-in counter where everyone looked slightly confused and concerned. A staff came forward and approached the tour manager; turned out our booked flight was for the night before!

SQ was an absolute gem, and I don't know if it's simply because we are all Singaporeans and part of a government school tour group or if it's because the ground crew are just so awesome (totally the latter actually). They managed to put as many kids as possible on the (scheduled) flight, while the older ones/boys and us teachers had to wait a few hours for the next flight.

There was absolutely nothing to do in Perth airport and the teenaged kids were pushing one another on the luggage trolleys whenever our attention were averted, and I think we (+ me) played a lot of silly games to pass the time (8 hours or so in the airport...). Thank god for free internet! And they all passed out on the flight.

Tour agency paid for everything + dinner, and really they are just lucky we are a bunch of chill teachers with chill kids and their chill parents (kids called their parents quite excitedly when they knew of the delay). It was a school trip so kids' parents were already notified of the arrival date/time and things could have turned out horribly.

--

And this was my fault: the first time we went to a country with actual winter climate, we did not bring enough warm clothes. I was wearing ballerina flats and a thin coat, and it snowed on our second day in London. Fortunately we had gone to Oxford Street and bought boots on our first day. Was cold and miserable the rest of the trip though, but it was a very important lesson learnt because I was back the following year and I was warm and happy.

--

Reading everyone's account makes me glad that I live 15 minutes from the airport... and that there really is only one international airport in this country.

Last edited by Ryvyan; Dec 28, 12 at 12:07 pm
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Old Dec 28, 12, 1:45 pm
  #704  
 
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Kind of just recalled a major travel hiccup that had a happy ending. Happier than usual too.

I was staying at Ambleside at Lake District. For some reason I woke up late and did not pack the night before so I was scrambling to catch the bus to Windermere train station. As I was running towards the bus stop, I realised I had forgotten to pick up some food stuff I had left in the kitchen.

For some reason I thought that not having cheap food stuff (instant rice and cereal) was more important than catching the hourly bus??? Maybe I was really too late anyway. It was also raining/icing that morning so that was fun. Anyway I went back knowing I had missed the bus and the subsequent train to Liverpool.

I was on a budget but I would rather not miss the train so the guy at reception desk called for a cab. Waited at the door for a bit but no cab showed up. Guy called the cab company again and it turned out that a wall had broke on the (only!) road between Ambleside and Windermere station because of the high volume of water during the night, so the road was flooded.

Now-very-very-awesome guy at reception called the rail station and they said I could take the next train (this was a misunderstanding of sorts...), and then the bus company on the next bus (when flood subsides) and the police (to check when the flood would subside).

Anyway a few hours delay and chatting to a lot of English strangers at the bus stop about the weather, and finally the bus came and I reached Windermere train station... only to discover that the entire rail system had failed because of the strong winds. Every train was running at a very slow speed and journeys were delayed left and right. The call to the rail station earlier actually should have revealed this (transfers everywhere!) but because of my mishap there was a misunderstanding.

So instead of my original journey, I took trains to different spots with the help of the station masters. It was very awesome because I ended up in Newcastle (a place I never thought I would end up in) and chatted with many more people. Someone even offered to put me up when I was in London! (in a non-creepy way)

I was more than a few hours late arriving in Liverpool but you have no idea how much fun the delay brought me. I was not even stressed out, which was the best, because I am usually quite a control freak.
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Old Dec 28, 12, 3:07 pm
  #705  
 
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20 years ago, while I was in college, I went on a trip to TX, back in the paper ticket days. I was lucky to be using an Amex special ticket on Continental with a cheap fare (I forget, $99 r/t?).

At any rate, got to the airport and couldn't find my ticket. I think I had left it on the dresser and tossed it out with the USA Today. Panic sets in.

The counter agent was very kind and said that I had to buy another ticket (but they would honor the original fare instead of making me pay the walk-up fare) and that I could file a claim for the lost ticket. If after 60 days it was not used, I would get a refund.

I can assure you that I was an early adopter of e-tickets after this little incident!
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