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The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

Old Sep 30, 14, 9:05 pm
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A few years ago when I had some sort of status on United I VDB to another flight from ORD-SFO. For some reason I just went to the crowded gate where the next SFO flight was. I hadn't realized I had been rebooked on a flight via Denver. Eventually I came to my senses and ran to the actual flight I had been rebooked in. I didn't look at the upgrade list and just went right up and got my boarding pass scanned. I beeped but, they let me precede to the plane. Once I was in my E- seat I was paged over the intercom. A flight attendant checked my boarding pass and that was it. Once in Denver we had to leave the plane. I asked the gate agent about getting an E+ seat. She looked at my boarding pass and said I was in the wrong seat and I been upgraded to business class from Chicago. My seat was still available and I got to at least enjoy my very first flat bed seat from Denver....Oh, and there was the time I showed up at a Sheraton in Vancouver only to realize I had booked the Westin.
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Old Oct 1, 14, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by miko2a View Post
Oh, and there was the time I showed up at a Sheraton in Vancouver only to realize I had booked the Westin.
Several years ago, my brother and I flew up to Chicago for a White Sox game. I Pricelined us a hotel by ORD and we ended up with a Ramada. We waited for a shuttle bus and got on the first one that said Ramada. Turned out there were two and I didn't realize it until we got to the hotel. Cost us like a half hour to go back to the airport and get on the right one
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Old Oct 1, 14, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
Several years ago, my brother and I flew up to Chicago for a White Sox game. I Pricelined us a hotel by ORD and we ended up with a Ramada. We waited for a shuttle bus and got on the first one that said Ramada. Turned out there were two and I didn't realize it until we got to the hotel. Cost us like a half hour to go back to the airport and get on the right one
My parents did something similar once when I was going to school in ROC. They had good enough experiences at the La Quinta, so they went to whatever website and booked the La Quinta. They thought it was strange that they saw two different prices for what appeared to be the same room.

Needless to say, they booked the one in Greece, not Henrietta (both are suburbs, but Greece is pretty far). They learned this at the front desk of the Henrietta location.

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Old Oct 1, 14, 8:26 pm
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Wrong hotel: Did that in April when I booked the wrong Hilton Garden Inn in Toronto. Fortunately while waiting for my outbound flight I decided to google around the maps a bit to check on food options for lunch when I arrived, opened my email reservation confirmation, clicked on the "local info" link, and the map looked all different! Fortunately it was not all that far out of the way but sure glad I didn't find out at the hotel desk.

Oh, with family in tow checking into the Andaz near Liverpool St. Station in London a few years ago, they kept having trouble finding my award-based reservation... sat down to wait (very nice service there) and it turned out I had made it for the following week! They very graciously managed to move me over and it was a really wonderful stay.

But the worst was just a few weeks ago. I was going to Seattle for a conference. It is always the first full week of September. I booked the hotel from the conference web site, but somehow I didn't notice that it was a week later this year. So my plane tix (on two carriers, unfortunately) were for the wrong week. Fortunately I asked a colleague the day before our flight what time she was getting in, and when she said "next Saturday" I realized my mistake. I came so close to getting all the way out to Seattle without a reservation and no reason to be there (not that I dislike visiting Seattle!)
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Old Oct 2, 14, 12:15 am
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I flew with my brother once to Vancouver where we were getting picked up by our SIL. Brother said he gave flight details to SIL but we waited over 30 minutes before phoning her. It turns out he misinterpreted the 24hr time 1740hrs and told SIL we were landing at 7:40pm rather than 5:40pm. Luckily she was in the area so we didn't have to wait 2 hrs. We didn't let him live it down since he's the kind of guy who always insists he is right!

Another story (not mine): A colleague had to fly out of town for a big certification exam that was not only expensive but one in which she would not have the opportunity for a rewrite because the qualification system was undergoing a major changeover. She was so worked up she had her bag packed and drove to the airport only to learn at check in that she was a whole day early. At least she didn't err in the opposite direction.
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Old Oct 10, 14, 5:31 am
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I booked a return ticket with the on the wrong date. 21 September instead of 21 August. I only found out when I they were checking my ticket before boarding the plane.
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Old Oct 11, 14, 1:36 pm
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I've made several dumb mistakes over the years.

The most prominent one was back in the days before UA982 continued onwards to BAH. I had booked my father (made it worse as I was not the one who felt the brunt of the mistake) to KWI on J9 where he'd have to check in/out again to board the UA service to IAD. I didn't realise the J9 website was written in a 12 hour format and proceeded to book him a flight at the wrong time of day, meaning it had departed the early morning before by the time he arrived in KWI from a 12 hour flight, so he was not impressed.

A similar thing happened again when heading for a weekend trip to DXB from BAH, had booked a ticket on FZ. At the time I was arranging our summer holiday in July so behold, I booked a ticket departing in July... this was May. We turned up at the airport like complete idiots two months in advanced. Wound up voiding that ticket and having to buy a full fare Y ticket from GF at the counter, at many times the cost had we booked just the day before.

My last extremely stupid mistake was when undertaking an S7 flight DME-VOG. We checked out of our hotel in Moscow, arrived at the airport a day early to realise our flight was on the next day. The worst part was that all luxury hotels in Moscow were fully booked so we wound up staying in DME's airport hotel, which had no air conditioning and this was the summer of 2010, with one of the hottest Russian summers on record. Wound up having to put wet towels on the bed to be able to sleep at night (windows did not open). Having just been on a Seabourn cruise a few days before, this was quite the downgrade.

Luckily, I was 13, 17 and 16 when these events happened, respectively, so I have had a lot of time to learn!

EDIT: I can't believe I have forgotten the worst stupid travel mistake I have ever done! Flew a repositioning flight BAH-DXB to be able to join the CA flight to PEK and onwards to another country in Asia (it is usually much cheaper to 'reposition' to DXB on miles and continue onwards from there, far greater variety in airline choices). As my travels included a meeting with a head of state, my father and I wanted to select a gift to said head of state. We went to a well known store in Dubai and purchased a rather expensive Arabian dagger, not a display one but a real one that you could easily kill someone with. After closing the purchase and getting it put into a proper display box, we realised we were running late for our CA flight to PEK. Like complete idiots, we drove to the airport, ran through it, checked our bags and went to security, dagger in hand!!!!!! Can you imagine the response we got from the security people? We tried to reason with them but they (rightfully) stood their ground and told us it must be confiscated. We wound up having to pull a few strings speaking to a few friends of ours after which they retrieved our bags and allowed us to check it in. We didn't have much trouble in PEK as we were part of an official delegation, though I imagine an ordinary passenger turning up with that in their baggage would have had some explaining to do. Frankly, with the amount of flying my father and I do, this goes right to the top of the list of 'stupid'.

Last edited by malioil; Oct 11, 14 at 1:50 pm
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Old Oct 11, 14, 2:36 pm
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Went to LHR T1 for a short-haul, queued for 30 mins for bag drop, only to be told by a very polite BA guy that I was going from T4. Should have known to check.... Had to absolutely leg it to check in to make it, that's where travelling a lot helped...

And more recently, turned up at the wrong HI in London and couldn't remember what one I had booked (there were 3 in the area), didn't have a print out and couldn't access my emails. Fortunately the concierge let me use his computer to check my webmail - in fact staff at that hotel were great and so friendly about it. And then had a lovely taxi driver who gave me a discount too because it was a short distance, but late at night, and I made him laugh a lot about my stupidity.... So not all bad, because I saw the good side of some people as a result!

But you are left feeling stupid, such silly basic errors
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Old Mar 12, 15, 10:03 pm
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Time for a bump for a moment.

Earlier this week I flew to Hong Kong. It was a 26 hour travel day in coach during which I slept around 5 hours on various flights (RDU-MSP-SEA-HKG in Y...yuck). I arrive and meet up with a friend who suggested we go out for a beer and a bite, a great idea I might add! We hop in a cab and the meter reads 22.0. We get to our destination and it hasn't budged and for some reason I saw 22.0 (USD around $8) as 220. I tell my friend who's paying for the cab "just give him 250 (USD around $32). He does so and neither of us notice the surprised reaction of the cab driver.

A few minutes later we're sitting at the bar and my friend goes "hey wait a minute, WHAT DID WE PAY FOR THE CAB?". I felt terribly and bought the drinks and we made sure to be more careful the rest of the week. As dumb as it was, it made for a hilarious story and we joked about it all week.
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Old Mar 12, 15, 11:59 pm
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My family made the mistake of thinking the desk/guy directing you to a set of desks right outside of customs in Cancun airport was our transportation. Didn't realize until halfway through them talking it was a timeshare scam. Told them "No thanks", left, and proceeded to get sworn at in Spanish. Next time, we learned to go straight to the exit.
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Old Mar 13, 15, 12:08 am
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Worst mistake I made travelling cost me a couple of days. I was flying from Bangkok to Paris. Had a few extra days and wanted to go to India simply because I had never been. My habit when I go to a new place is to just spend a couple of days. If I like it, I can come back. If it wasn't fun then it only cost me 2 days.

So I go to SQ ticket agent (I was Solitaire at the time). They have a Singapore to Calcutta plane 3 times a week and a Mumbai to Paris twice a week (that was the schedule then, don't know now). It happened that I could get a flight that would take me to Calcutta and fly me out of Mumbai 2 days later. So I also bought an Air India flight for Calculatta to Mumbai and the SQ flights.

And here comes the mistake. I asked SQ if I needed a visa. They checked and as an American I didn't need a visa. That was true. But I failed to ask "why?".

SQ changed its flight schedule. Changed the days they fly into Calcutta. The new schedule would only leave me in India for just under 1 day. Wasn't worth it so I changed the flight so I would be in India for 3 days.

Got to Calcutta and went to Immigration. "Where is your visa?" "I was told I didn't need one". Wrong!

Turns out that an American can get a 2 day transit visa on arrival. Which is why I didn't need the visa for the original itinerary. But the new itinerary was 3 days, and I needed a visa.

When we sorted out what happened I apologized and asked how I could get a visa at the airport. Can't. I told him I would change my SQ flight so I would leave India in less than 2 days. The Immigration official said that I tried to enter his country illegally and he wasn't having any of it. They were deporting me.

They tried to send me to Dhaka. I said OK. But then they asked me for my credit card to pay for the flight. That wasn't going to happen. So I ended up sleeping in the transit area for 2 days until SQ could fly me back to Singapore.
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Old Mar 13, 15, 1:12 pm
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I've had some "duh" moments traveling, but the worst was when I BOARDED the wrong flight. I had been flying the same TPA-FLL WN flight for WEEKS and it was always out of the same gate. In my sleepy, early morning stupor I made my way to the gate and proceeded to board my flight without checking the monitors... I guess the GA should have caught it which is an entirely different issue, but one of the pax behind me while boarding mentioned Chicago and clarified that this flight was not actually going to SoFla. I hightailed it back out and was able to get on my intended flight, but ended up boarding near the end of the C group.

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Old Mar 13, 15, 2:22 pm
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I've got a few...

1. Got drunk and passed out in an overly comfortable bed, missed my alarm/forgot to set it, whatever, missed my 7am departure.

2. Was sick, set like 6 alarms to make sure I'd wake up to make my 22:00 departure, sickness took hold of me I guess cuz I woke up at 3am to puke and realized what time it was. Probably better off not flying, but it cost me a lil chunk of change to fix that.

3. Sleeping at the gate standby for a 6am flight after being out all night, gate agent had to wake me up and said "I assumed you were ______ since you're the only one at the gate". ...I'm starting to see a trend here lol.

4. Twice I've taken the wrong hotel shuttle because there was 2 of the same brand.

My best story though didn't even happen to me, but I was the one who caught it.

Drinking at a friends house a day before their departure to SE Asia (I wasn't going) Tuesday night, we're having a good time, as an airline employee/nerd I asked who they were flying...no one knew...asked them what their route was, they also didn't know. So I said "well ... time are you leaving at least, then I can guess since I work there". I was handed one of their tickets, BR flight from YVR-TPE...departure time 02:15.

"Guys, this flight leaves at 2:15"
"yea, so we're prolly gonna leave the house around 10:15 tomorrow morning and pick up everyone"
"No...2:15 AM you geniuses."
"What? No, no flights leave then that's crazy"
"Guys, I work at YVR, airlines write their times in 24 hour clocks, I promise you, this flight leaves 'TONIGHT' at 2:15 am"

*Mad scramble ensues* already like 22:00 the night before and they hadn't packed. Luckily they weren't hammered and they all managed to get packed and to the airport on time.
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Old Mar 14, 15, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by airplanegod View Post
My family made the mistake of thinking the desk/guy directing you to a set of desks right outside of customs in Cancun airport was our transportation.
Next time, we learned to go straight to the exit.
Well, the first time I went to Mex, I had gotten several advisories NOT to stop inside, to go straight outside.
So we got our bags and headed to the door, a lady in dark clothes waved us over. "No thanks", and kept walking.
She says "Senor [followed by something in Spanish]."
Me: "No thanks"

She steps in front of me and points to a sign. Then I realize her clothes have a couple small patches, and, OOPS! She Customs!

Sorry, sorry, sorry. No problems. I knew enough Spanish to apologize profusely, and she understood enough English to get that I thought she was one of the scammers.

I was a neophyte traveler then.....
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Old Mar 15, 15, 9:15 am
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I once allowed our corporate travel booking engine to pick a cheaper flight for me to Houston. Unfortunately, it switched airports on me and I landed at Bush while the rest of the team landed at Hobby. I missed the first afternoon of meetings.
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