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The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

Old Aug 10, 09, 6:46 am
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: MCI
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Originally Posted by tfar View Post
I didn't know it wasn't allowed to mail alcohol from Europe to the US. I thought that was possible. Some years ago in St. Emilion I saw many crates at the dealer marked for shipment to private addresses in the US. Did those regulations change? Or are there shipping methods that are legal?

Sorry about the tangent (and I know we have a long thread somewhere on getting alcohol back home). We've been told by our favorite scotch whisky store in Edinburgh that they can't ship to the US due to US laws. The owner did point out that it seems silly because it's perfectly legal for us to bring 2 bottles back in carry-on so why not if we mail them to ourselves? The local shipping store has "alcohol" at the top of the list of things they cannot ship. So, in theory, (cough, cough) one could ship them only by saying (cough, cough) that the contents were something else. There are similar laws within the US because of states trying to protect their distillers/liquor dealers.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 6:51 am
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Programs: EVA (Gold), BMI, BA, PC Plat/Royal Amb
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I had got into the habit of photocopying my credit\bank cards in the airline lounge and on one occasion the inevitable happened. I had left them in the photocopy machine. I arrived in BKK with no bank\credit cards and no money. Hastily rang the airline who said they'd put them on the next flight. Regrettably someone in the lounge had already rang the banks and canceled all of them (though they did do the correct thing).

Fortunately, I had an Amex card and they were the only bank that would get a replacement card to me. It duly arrived in 24 hours and I made several trips to the bank machine but the card was continuously refused. More frantic phone calls back to UK from my mobile followed. It became apparent that I had to ring a local number to activate the card, but the instructions that came with the card were all in Thai. After 4 days, I finally got some cash wired to me. The final kicker was the 200 bill on my mobile phone.

On another occasion and before the liquid ban, I was returning to the UK from BKK and flying directly to Norway on a business trip the following day. As alcohol is incredibly expensive there, I thought I snaffle some cans of Singha from the lounge and put them in my carry on. The next day, just after I had checked in for Norway, I felt the backs of my trousers getting wet. One of the cans had been punctured! Fortunately I was able to use the showers in the lounge to wash the beer out of my luggage and trousers and dry them using the hand dryer before boarding, though I'm not convinced I got rid of the beer aroma completely.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:19 am
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wenatchee, WA
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How about the woman several years ago who was trying to drive to Vancouver, WA and instead followed the signs to Vancouver, BC and got busted with a fake grenade in her car?


Canadian Border Patrol officials Monday found a grenade in the glove compartment of a car that was trying to enter Canada from the United States, Canadian authorities told CNN.

"She was trying to drive to Vancouver, Washington, but followed the signs for Vancouver, British Columbia,"
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:20 am
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Posts: 13,074
I have over the past ten years:

Gone to the airport on the wrong travel day;

Gone to the airport for a 430PM flight that I thought was at 7PM (those two mistakes I paid dearly for);

and, gone to LGA when my flight was from JFK (in my defense the return was into LGA).

And before its all over I will probably do another couple of bloopers.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:27 am
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Almost used my superior size to forcible muscle my way on to a flight to Surakarta Indonesia when in fact I was supposed to be boarding a flight for Batam Indonesia. In the earlier days of Indonesia Air Asia the open seating boarding call was not for the faint hearted. If you didn't want a middle seat you were best to position yourself as close as possible to the gate and when the first two words of the announcement were made in Bahasa Indonesia and the crowd surges you better move and start shoving like everyone else or you will be left dazed and have to settle with a middle seat. Waiting for an English announcement that may or may not come and may or may not be intelligible is not an option. I aggressive forced my way past the guy taking boarding passes at the gate as was apparently standard procedure because everyone else was doing it too, out on to a bus and out to the plane where a FA checked my boarding pass stub and told me I was on the wrong plane so they kicked me off and bussed me back the terminal.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:32 am
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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I left my husband's prized and expensive camera in the cab on the way to the airport to fly out for our honeymoon. We are still married.
I also threw out my train tickets for a trip from Madrid to Seville with my daughter. She had hers and I had my charge slip so they let me on--very gracious of them.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:34 am
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Couldn't find a room elsewhere so I once stayed in a $6 Athens hotel with my wife, a female friend of ours, and my 18-month old son.

The women refused to go in the bathrooms ("I'll just hold it.") and there was a piledriver outside the window that was going all night.

Much of the clientele appeared to be couples on very short-term relationships.

This was in 1998 and I still hear about it.
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Last edited by toomanybooks; Aug 10, 09 at 8:11 am
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Old Aug 10, 09, 7:50 am
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Unhappy missed flight

On the way to London Stanstead my partner drove past the exit for the airport - we had to drive for miles to the next turn off.

Despite this incident we got there with plenty of time to spare...... so we thought. We shopped in duty free and made our way to the gate.

Got to the gate - went to the ladies next to the gate and on coming out saw the gate door swinging, the staff said the flight was finished boarding and they wouldn't let us on. We could literally see the person at the back, walking down the slope to the plane.

Had to go back out, book another ticket for 12 hours later and wait.....we were only going for the weekend.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 8:45 am
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: EWR
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I have almost lost my keys - twice.

The first time, I had taken a car service to the airport directly from the office. Before going through security, and an inventory of the items that needed to go in the bin revealed that my keys were not on my person. Ultimately, a phone call confirmed that they had fallen out of my pants pocket, and onto the back seat of the car. I would not need then until I returned a week later. Luckily, the driver was able to drop them back off at my office, where I was able to retrieve them.

More recently, I haven begun commuting via train every day to NYC. As a matter of course, I keep my keys in my bag. One evening, just before my stop on the ride home, I took them out of my bag and laid them on the seat, anticipating that I will pick up the keys, and then use them to open my door in a few minutes. I get to my door, and I do not have my keys, they are still on the seat. Once again, luck was on my side. Another passenger found them, was able to contact me through a key tag, and so I retrieved the keys a short time later.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 11:35 am
Join Date: Mar 2001
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Just recently I booked a nonrefundable air+hotel package for my wife to go to a conference; all I knew was it was the 'Doubletree near the airport'. So I booked the one near the airport.. well turned out it was the wrong one. Usually I'm pretty good about that sort of thing!
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Old Aug 10, 09, 1:08 pm
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 57
Originally Posted by underpressure View Post
I once missed a flight beccause I was sitting in the airport bar.
You are not alone. Not only have I done this myself, I know several people who have done it as well.

I once boarded an aircraft late because my connecting flight was delayed, then proceded to insist with the gentleman in my normal seat that he was in the wrong seat. I showed him my ticket to prove it, whereupon he promptly pointed out that was my boarding pass for my prior flight, and that I should proceed to the back where my assigned seat was for this one.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 1:57 pm
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Naperville, IL
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Showed up for what I thought was an 11 am flight, but was really an 11 pm flight. Managed to get out at 5 pm.

In the paper ticket days, lost my return boarding pass...then found it in one last search of my bag at the ticket counter before having to buy a walk-up ticket. I swear I'd checked that pocket a dozen times before.

Flew on business with my boss ORD-CVG. Checked an equipment case. After we were done in Cincy, my boss was continuing on elsewhere and I was going back to ORD. The equipment case went with my boss. That didn't keep me from thinking it was coming with me to ORD....or waiting at baggage claim....or trying to file a lost luggage report before the agent let me know I hadn't checked anything, but my boss had.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 3:23 pm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota,USA
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I was supposed to go to a meeting in Japan. Although my expenses would be reimbursed when I got there, I needed to pay my way over upfront, so I used miles MSP-SFO and got a cheap NH deal to NRT.

Having had a scary experience the year before where my connecting flight almost made me late for my LAX-NRT flight, I decided to go to SFO a day early and camp out in a nearby motel so that I would be SURE to be on time for my NH flight.

So there I was near the head of the line as soon as check-in opened. When I was at the head of the line, I pulled out my passport and flight confirmation, and as I started paging through my passport, I realized with horror that it was not my current passport, but the previous, expired one, which I had grabbed out of my desk drawer without looking. It was at that point that the customer service rep called me forward.

I was a stammering wreck, but decided to switch to Japanese to explain the situation (something that tends to make the always kindly NH personnel even kinder). After making sympathetic noises, the check-in clerk called her supervisor and they discussed the situation. They told me that there was space on the next day's flight and that I could be tentatively booked on it if I could get my passport by that time.

That would mean jumping directly onto the first Shinkansen out after my arrival in Tokyo, not fun, but doable.

OK, first order of business, call the airport motel and tell them to keep my room open. Second order of business, call Tokyo hotel and cancel my first night's reservation. Third order of business, try to find someone who could get into my apartment and FedEx the passport to my motel for early morning delivery. That meant tracking down one of my brothers, both of whom have jobs that keep them away from phones most of the day.

Four hours later, I finally contacted one of my brothers and gave him the phone number of my landlord, the most likely locations for the current passport, and the address of the motel.

Then came the big catch. My landlord was nowhere to be found. His phone message said that he was out of town and wouldn't return till the next day.
That meant no passport until it was too late to make the meeting.

I spent the rest of the day contacting the people I was supposed to meet with, canceling all my Japan reservations, telling NH that I couldn't make tomorrow's flight either (they said I could rebook the ticket within a year since THEY had denied me boarding), and changing my award ticket (with an Indian call center rep who first forgot to take the International Dateline into account). I flew back to MSP the next morning.

When I arrived at MSP, I decided to take the shuttle to my home. Unfortunately, the street I live on sounds like the name of a famous hotel chain, so the dispatcher put me on a shuttle that went to downtown Minneapolis, which I didn't realize until the driver turned onto the freeway into downtown. So I sat there while other people were dropped off at five different downtown hotels until I could guide the driver (who didn't know major Minneapolis landmarks and natural features) to my neighborhood AND to the nearest Subway sandwich shop so he could grab some dinner.

PS. My brothers now have keys to my apartment.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 3:48 pm
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Red Sox Nation
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Lost BOTH passport on a day trip to Paris from London on a Sat during a business trip and stuck there till Monday afternoon to get a temp passport from the embassy.
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Old Aug 10, 09, 4:00 pm
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