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The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

The dumbest travel-related mistake you ever made?

Old Jul 13, 15, 11:52 am
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 132
Originally Posted by rumbataz View Post
Took hundreds of Euros to a European country that hadn't moved to the Euro.

jajaja... good one
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Old Jul 17, 15, 12:20 pm
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Raleigh-Durham
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2 incidents.

Mine - Incredibly long trip from India to RDU. AI flight got cancelled in Delhi for fog, had to stay at a crappy hotel; then wrestle with AI to ensure they rebooked us on the flight from JFK to RDU, got to JFK at 9pm, and go to get boarding pass for last flight to RDU and realize AI had not confirmed my son's ticket...the AA agent took pity on us and managed to get us on the flight (never flying AI again but that's for a different thread). Anyway get into RDU at past 11pm, tired/jet lagged - point out my suitcases to hubby who pulls them off the belt and we go home. I collapse in bed, exhausted. Next day, go to unpack suitcases, and cant figure out for 5 mins why the key is not fitting the lock. That's when I realize - I had pointed out the wrong suitcase to be grabbed. Ughs. Back to the airport, and hand in the suitcase, and collect ours which was being held at unclaimed baggage. Hopefully the poor folks who suitcase I grabbed got it back...

Next one - not my, but the sibling - works in the UK; has 2 passports because he has to travel a lot, and there is one country he travels to that won't give him a visa if it shows he has visited a rival country. So one passport has his Indian visa that he needs to take with him when he goes to India. We meet up in London, go to his flat, spend some time relaxing, then take a cab to the airport. I check in - everything goes fine. Then he checks in, and the agent is thumbing through his passport looking for the indian visa. Yup - you got it right. In his infinite wisdom, he had grabbed the wrong passport. NO time to go back, get the passport AND board the flight. So I go ahead, he goes back home gets his passport, comes back, gets put on standby for the next flight to Dubai, and luckily because of his status, manages to get on it. I have not let him forget that.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 5:28 pm
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: EWR
Programs: Marriott Platinum, HHonors Diamond, United Plat
Posts: 128
Originally Posted by Delta Hog View Post
Actually, no, the confusion isn't between 1:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.....the confusion is between 1:00 a.m. on 12/23 and 1:00 a.m. on 12/24. If we switch both of those to 0100, how would that help?
Right, people refer to the 1:00am 12/24 flight as a flight on 24th night. Naturally so people go to the airport at say 10pm on 12/24.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 9:58 pm
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: YEG
Programs: Aeroplan, Westjet Rewards
Posts: 264
Well I just had an incident of packing while distracted. During a busy work week I started through things on top of my suitcase for my upcoming trip. I had supposedly packed my travel adapter but only half of it. My adapter set has various plates that slide in place over a base plug. Stupidly I forgot the base because the Schuko plate for Europe is bulky on its own to allow sitting into the round inaet of the wall outlets.

Off I went to Stockmann in Helsinki and bought the cheaper of 2 available adapters plus a portable phone charger which I also forgot. (My phone eats through its charge and I used it a lot since free WiFi is everywhere in Helsinki).

Getting back to my hotel room. I realized the cheap adapter was almost useless since it had no place for the ground pin on my power cord. The space to insert plugs is also deeply inset rendering it useless for all but one of the devices which I normally would have plugged into the powerbar.

I made due overnight with the bathroom shaver wall outlet which had a 110v outlet that stayed powered up even when the bathroom master switch was off.

Off to Stockmann again the next day to purchase the expensive adapter I should have bought in the first place (but at twice the price).
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Old Jul 22, 15, 12:45 am
Join Date: Apr 2015
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Posts: 584
Didn't happen to me but when I used to work the gate, I kept calling last call for a passenger for a flight they were going to miss, I had a gentleman sitting about 10 ft in front of me, looking right at me. I even asked them if they were going to that destination and they said no. Sure enough we closed up and left, and when I came back the passenger was sitting there with a bright red face realizing he was in fact supposed to be on that flight to that place.

Worst part was he held decent status with the airline, he was not an first timer in the flying department by any means.
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Old Jul 22, 15, 1:35 pm
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: EWR
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Posts: 128
I was flying on Airtran about 15 years ago and connecting in ATL. I used to smoke then so I calmly took the inter-terminal train to get to Terminal D, IIRC, smoked my cigarette and made my way to the departure gate. I could have sworn I had plenty of time but needless to say my plane had departed already. Thankfully there were seats available on the next flight and I got on without trouble.

More recently, on a trip from EWR to BNA, I and a colleague were stuck in a ridiculously long security line in Terminal A. My colleague thought we were cutting it too close so we started begging pax in front of us to let us through. I thought we had plenty of time - about 25 mins to departure - but I went along. We went through security and he headed straight to the gate but I stopped to go to the restroom. When I reached the gate, maybe 2 minutes behind him, the gate was shut already. No amount of pleading with the gate agent helped. I had to then sheepishly call my colleague and have him move our client meeting to later in the afternoon.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 1:49 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2
Long story from long-time lurker. Family trip to Italy/Germany, 2010. Needed to get from Florence to FCO for early flight home to MIA. Flight is first fun leg of cheapo FF miles FCO-FRA, FRA-PHL, PHL-MIA, with very little time between flights. Needless to say, don't want to miss that first flight. Wife wants to spend that final night back in Rome, where we started in Italy, and have relatively easy morning getting to FCO. She's gotta be tired of always being right.

Oh, no, says I, let's rent a car (couldn't get an early enough train from Florence). The rental car agency (just outside Venice, our stop before Florence) gives me the keys to an almost brand new large Mercedes, shining like a beacon in a huge lot filled with teeny tiny European vehicles. Guess not too many folks renting automatics.

Find a lot in Florence where, despite the negotiating assistance of my inebriated B&B host (another story), I end up paying almost twice the parking rate of a normal car. Can't argue much because the Benz is twice the size of everything else in there.

Last day in Florence I say I need to take car at 0500. Attendant says, we don't open until 0600. Umm. Is there a lot that opens earlier? Is there a 24 hr lot nearby? No, No, don't know what to tell you. Wife just shakes her head.

There is NOWHERE to park near my B&B that doesn't have ominous looking No Parking signs. I venture to the main drag down the block. There are lots of cars on both sides of the street and it's close to 11:30 pm. Of course, there are still No Parking overnight signs. I see two police officers walking and ask them (or try to ask them) what happens if I leave my car here. They give me a card and say you can pick up your car from the tow lot at this number, as in, "Stupido turista!"

Needless to say, I go to sleep in my new Mercedes Benz, parked on the main drag, surrounded by cars on both sides of the street. I awaken at 0500 look out the window and see that, literally, I am the only car on either side of the street. They must have taken pity on the big drunken looking moron sleeping in his new car. They didn't even give me a ticket. I still have a picture of me, standing in front of my "hotel room", on my fridge.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 2:49 pm
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great first post! welcome to FT, beachbumfl!
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Old Jul 27, 15, 3:56 pm
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A colleague in Houston was asked to visit a customer in Europe. So he asked where he needed to go and booked his travel and off he went.

During a grumpy phone call back to his office, it transpired that he had travelled to Essen in Germany, but should have been in Assen in the Netherlands.

It pays to listen carefully sometimes.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 6:04 pm
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That's a really great story beachbum.

So who put the photo on the fridge, you or your wife?
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Old Jul 27, 15, 6:29 pm
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: YEG
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I'm coping to the fact that I've never paid for a ticket from Schiphol to Amsterdam Central....untill this last trip. I usually stay at an airport hotel in Schiphol when visiting Amsterdam. I am use to ticket takers on the trains (like in Belgium) and have always just waited for them to come through the carriage to buy a ticket. I'm thinking how am I never getting a ticket on the train between schiphol and Amsterdam Central!!?!?! Well. Turns out there are these card readers like ALL OVER in the main floor of the train area in Schiphol and you buy a ticket and scan the ticket then go to the platform, then scan again on you way out. It wasn't until this last time I was there that I figured that out. I hopped on a belgian train at schipol going to Central station and the ticket taker came and charged me the whole fare from Brussels for not having a ticket. So what should have been about a 4€ journey cost me 37€.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 6:50 pm
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 970
Oakland or Auckland? It's a Long Way Home After Europe Vacation
April 03, 1985|BOB BAKER | Times Staff Writer

Oakland. Auckland.

Say the words slowly. Carefully. Hear the difference? Good. You learned the easy way.

Michael Lewis found out the hard way.

The 21-year-old Sacramento community college student returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday from a traveler's nightmare--the in-flight realization that he was on the wrong plane--bound for Auckland, New Zealand, about 6,600 miles farther than where he thought he was going--Oakland, Calif.

Blame it on the language; vowels in particular.

On three occasions, according to a spokesman for Air New Zealand, Lewis misunderstood airline staff members who asked him if he was going to Auckland.***** [Remainder of post edited by Moderator - see note below]"

Last edited by Ocn Vw 1K; Aug 2, 15 at 10:28 am Reason: To comply with FT policy on quoting copyrighted material.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 8:15 pm
Join Date: Apr 2011
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in 2011 I showed up in SFO for my SFO-PDX flight home.

I had actually booked it to leave out of Oakland.

No way I would make it back to Oakland for the flight. AS put me on an SFO-PDX flight for 3 hours later that eventually went mechanical and left 4 hours late.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 9:35 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
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great first post! welcome to FT, beachbumfl!
Thanks, jrl767!

That's a really great story beachbum.

So who put the photo on the fridge, you or your wife?
Thanks, Insulator-King! lol, sad to say, it was me.


I think that's actually Pisa in the photo -- we took a fun side trip there while we were in Florence.
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Old Jul 27, 15, 10:00 pm
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Jackson, WY
Posts: 531
So I just moved from Pennsylvania to Wyoming. We have two VW Jettas, I decided we needed an SUV. My friend in PA is a car dealer, so I decided it would be more convenient if I went and bought the SUV here and trailered it to Wyoming. No big deal right? Save time and get a good deal from my friend.

First I go rent the trailer for the SUV. It's $360! For a $1,500 trailer. PA to WY is 2,100 miles. A U-haul + car trailer gets 5.9 MPG. So I probably used an extra 100-150 gallons, another $400 wasted.

Worst of all though was whenever we went up a rise - by the time we got to the top we were lucky to being 55 - and that was if we floored it the entire way. So hauling the car had to add 4-6 hours to the trip. Definitely one of the worst travel decisions I have made.
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