Vote for the Worst Travel Story by Jessica Hodges
Time to vote for the two winners for our giveaway to win Two Kensington Roller Laptop Cases by sharing your worst travel story. I read these stories as they came in and my jaw dropped for every one. I could just picture them happening in my head so well.
Please vote for the two stories that you think should win! I added a tiny summary next to each name but they don’t capture the entire story at all. If you have the time, scroll down and read through all the stories. (and remember – one vote for every IP address. The poll will close Sunday night.)
Vote for the Worst Travel Story (you can choose 2)
- Wendy - Car troubles + forgotten luggage (39%, 11 Votes)
- Mike S - JFK cancellation + rental car + luggage going to Ireland instead of Maine (25%, 7 Votes)
- Rhonda - Smoking section + Hotel room that was a conference room + sick (11%, 3 Votes)
- James - Hurricane Delay + Impromptu Safari + Dengue Fever (11%, 3 Votes)
- Mark - Broken Luggage + Drink spilled + No suit for business meeting (11%, 3 Votes)
- Rachel - No cellphone to meet her boyfriend at the airport (7%, 2 Votes)
- Phoenix - Had to sleep in a hotel parking lot (4%, 1 Votes)
- Mystery-Cupcake - Missing the first day of your cruise and having to meet it somewhere else! (4%, 1 Votes)
- Kathy - Airport delays during snowstorms (4%, 1 Votes)
- Michele - Squished in a van on a road trip with a bossy sister in law. (4%, 1 Votes)
- Willow - Military brat in a van with tons of animals and a toddler (0%, 0 Votes)
- Lisa S - Delays from England + confiscating her mom's gift (0%, 0 Votes)
- Liz M - Checking bags is the worst (0%, 0 Votes)
- Nancy - Delays + a foreign taxi driver + luggage didn't come for 3 days (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 28
Kathy-Flying from Phoenix to Upstate NY in January. Big mistake. Left Phoenix, and flew into Cleveland, OH. Had a 2 hour delay because of snow (they had to clear the runways and wait for planes to come in). Then from there, it was off to Newark, NJ where I had a 5 hour delay for the same reasons. Finally it was off to ROC, where we had to sit on the Tarmac while they cleared out a gate for us to pull into. That was about 45 minutes.
And this is why I refuse to fly in the wintertime.
Michele – one christmas my mother in law (mil) decided to take all her kids & grand kids on a trip to the mountains. we all travelled in their passenger van, but were one seat short of having enough for everyone. my husband, being a gentleman, offered to sit in the one spot in the floor that was large enough for anyone to sit without being in the way. unfortunately, this meant he had to ride backwards and was starting to feel carsick. he’s not complaining, but everyone can tell he’s not doing well. my sister in law (sil) however decided she wanted to read and turned the light on over his head. :l everyone was trying their best to get her to turn it off, but she complained loudly about how unfair it was that everyone else got to do what they wanted to do while riding (playing video games, listening to headphones) and she couldn’t because nobody wanted her to be there in the first place. at the next stop, I traded spots with him so he could get a break, but not before she tracked snow all over the empty spot making it wet. this pretty much carried on through the whole trip with her complaining every time someone picked an activity she wasn’t interested in. to top it all off, when we arrived home another family member inquired about the trip. I was still fuming, but summed it all up with ” it was nice except for sil making hubby carsick.” they asked what I meant, so I explained. they then told me that when we had gotten home, sil had told this huge story to everyone who hadn’t attended about how horribly everyone had treated her the whole time and that we wouldn’t even let her read because it bothered us. :l will never travel with that girl again.
Liz M – I just want to win this so I don’t have to check my bags everytime. Just last week I had to travel for work. The ONLY reason i had to check my bag was because I had to bring another bag with a bunch of work “stuff” in it. So that caused overflow and therefore I had to check which wasn’t so bad on the way there, but the way home…
I had my itinerary timed just right. I was leaving Chicago to arrive in Newark with enough time to get my CHECKED bag, get out to long term parking to get my car, drive home, get the baby and finally get to football practice for my older son for the first time in the week.
But of course in Chicago they board us and THEN tell us that we will be spending at least the next hour on the tarmac. So not only do I have to call my husband and all the babysitters so that i can re-organize the night for drop offs, pick ups, etc. but I am really just devastated that I’m not going to make practice tonight. It may not seem like much to some, but I have to go out on the road again next week…
I just want a bag just like the Kensington Roller Laptop Case so that I can keep all my luggage with me and at least that shaves off a good 1/2 hour to each trip.
James: On my way back from bali, the NY hurricane situation really left me high and dry. I was delayed in Singapore for 5 whole days (of which i needed to pay for myself!). My friends had all left the day prior and i was now in singapore totally alone. I decided to go on a safari and during this safari, i was eaten alive by mosquitos. long story short i got Dengue Fever, was throwing up on the plane for 20 hours and basically almost died.
Worst Trip Ever.
Willow – As for worst travel story? Enjoy this tale at my expense. Try being a military brat and being moved across country. In a van. With a potty training toddler and five animals. While sick. Three days we spent in that van. Three nauseous miserable days. At one of our many rest stops, while walking the biggest dog, he chose to pee on my leg. And once we got to Kansas, we had to unload the moving truck – in the snow. Yeah. Safely my least favorite travel story. Enjoy
Mark – Well this is an easy one, I was on a business trip to Denver Colorado and had just left my home in Utah. I got to the airport and when I took my roller suitcase out of the trunk one of the wheels came off so I had to lug my heavy suitcase through the parking lot, and onto the shuttle bus. When I got to the ticket check in I went to lift the suitcase onto the scale and as any good tv sitcom would show, I knocked the second wheel off of the suitcase. I got my ticket and they told me to take my suitcase to the check luggage area so it could be scanned, so I proceeded to drop it off. I headed to my gate and as luck would have it the plane was early so I had to rush to get on the plane and grab a seat. As the flight proceeded they flight staff were passing out drinks to the passengers and as the person sitting next to me reached for their drink they dropped it straight in my lap…The Airline offered to pay for my dry cleaning after that but it was quite embarassing when we landed to look like I had wet myself. I just told people it was a long flight and the on-board lavatories were out of order. I made my way to baggage claim and all of the luggage came off the plane but my suitcase with all my business attire. I was told by the Airport that they would track my luggage and have it sent to my hotel. It was bad enough making my way to the taxi with people stareing at me but once I got to my hotel I recveived a call from the airlines saying they had tracked my luggage to New York and they would have it to me by the following evening. How in the world was I going to find a business suit at 7 oclock in the evening. Well good thing Wal Mart is open 24 hours in most places, I was able ot pick up an inexpensive suit and make it to the business meeting on time but it was the most horrorific business trip in my life. I could really use a good roll away carryon to keep a change of clothes in for the future.
Mike S – This trip was littered with nightmares. From flight cancellation, no help from rental car agencies, lost baggage, and mis-routed baggage.
Traveled to Toronto for business. On return trip, I made it into JFK, but shortly after that, flights in JFK were canceled. I needed to get home that evening, so I decided to rent a car for the 5 hour drive. I first tried to get my luggage, and the desk person brought it up on the screen and then subsequently told me that it would be delivered to the destination and would not be able to pull the bag. I was okay with that.
I went to the car rental desks and all cars were OUT (especially one-way rentals). I went online and found that there were supposed to be cars available, so I booked a reservation. I then walked back to the desk with the reservation and magically, the car was available (oh, thaaat car…).
It was a 5 hour drive in the middle of the night, but I made it okay. I returned the car to the destination airport and expected to find my bag in the luggage office. Nope, maybe on a later flight. Nope, “we’re not sure where the bag is. We’ll put a request in the system to locate it”. After 3 days of back and forth, the airline then came forward with the question “did you ask for your bag to be re-routed to Shannon, Ireland?” to which I just about had a heart attack. The luggage went to Shannon, Ireland and had a much better vacation than I. Because it went unattended and because it was re-routed by someone, it may take a while for someone to realize it actually should have gone to Portland, Maine – comeon people – check the lost luggage screens…… I can only imagine that in JFK with my record still open, with vacationers in line behind me, the luggage inadvertently was re-routed to Shannon.
It took two more days before I had my luggage back. And that was that my most annoying flight. If only I had a rolling carryon…. :)
Nancy – We agreed to be bumped in Miami on our way to the Dominican Republic only if the airline would guarantee that our bags would be waiting for us at our timeshare. On our new flight we waited on the tarmac for three hours while the plane was repaired twice. Some passengers got rowdy waiting. When we got to the airport we could not find our taxi driver that airline said would be waiting for us. We had to ask the pilot to help us. We finally located a driver who spoke very little English & did not know where our timeshare was. Our 45 minute taxi ride turned into 2 hrs. When we finally arrived at the timeshare our luggage was not there and did not arrive for three days even though it was at the airport
Mystery_Cupcake – This happened in May 2011. My bf and I scheduled a 10-day European Cruise that would take us to Italy, Greece and Turkey. I have never been on a cruise before.
Our plan: Fly JFK to Rome from where we would we would take the train for a little over an hour to the ship that was located in a small city. We had (6) hours of spare time to make this train ride to the port.
The events: The plane has issues with air conditioning causing us to sit for hours on the plane w.out air conditioning. We are now left with only about (4) hours of spare time. After landing, claiming luggage, finding the train station, carrying heavy luggage up & down the stairs, waiting for the train, riding the train without any italian, transferring trains, carrying heavy luggage up & down the stairs, riding the rest of the ride to this small city, we are now left with (1) hour to get to the port to meet the deadline written on our tickets. We come out of the train onto a tiny train station. We go outside to catch a cab (everyone and their mother told us that taxis are abundant in Europe) and there is neither a car nor a soul around. We decide to wait 5-10 minutes next to a HUGE Taxi sign without any luck. We can actually see our GIANT ship in the distance. Out of nowhere my bf’s mom calls and tells us she called the ship and if we are not there in (30) minutes they will leave without us. My bf panics and we start running. I tell him the ship is actually very far and its only an illusion that we can run it. I say I will try my best to run with heavy luggage on this uneven pebble ground. We run and run and huff and puff for 25 minutes…the port is so confusing with twists and turns and tons of boats & ships. I ask Italians where the “ship name” is and they all point forward. Finally, we get to bus that can drive us to the ship. The bus takes us there. We get out and run to the ship- there is still (5) minutes on the clock. The ship is still there! But the gates are now closed. We beg the guard but he doesn’t speak a word of English. We can see people standing on their balconies just watching this whole scene. A women comes out to meet us and lets us know that we were wrong to believe that the time on the ticket is the time you can get to the ship by. (thanks a lot for that info) She rejects us and it hurts to know the ship is just 5 steps away.
We are sweaty, exhausted and ask her what to do next. She says to meet the ship on the next stop, tomorrow morning, in a different Italian city. We ask her what train to take to get there and she signals that you can only fly there. We get back to the train station, carry our bags up & down the stairs, ride the train, transfer, carry our bags up & down the stairs and end up where we started, at the airport in Rome. Its already night-8pm. We go to buy tickets to fly to the city where the ship will dock tomorrow and it turns out planes don’t go there. Our only option is to fly to the closest city located to the actual city we need to get to & then take a ferry. We get on the plane…fly and land in the smallest airport i have ever been to…and where no one speaks one word of English…we find a cab who we tell the name of the city…she drives about 100mph…misses an exit…reverses on the highway…drops us off at the ferry… we take the 30 min ferry…we get off the ferry (Its now 12am) and once again -no cabs, no cars, no people. This city is dark and quiet. We find a café and one guy understands English and calls us a cab. Cab happens to speak English…he tells us we are super lucky because in this city almost no one speaks English and the cab drivers def. don’t. We haven’t eaten since morning and we ask him to take us anywhere to grab food. We grab a snack but still have no where to sleep. He takes us to a hotel. In the morning we find our ship. Now that’s the most complicated and exhausting beginning to a vacation, ever. We have learned so many mistakes in one loooong day.
Phoenix – My worst travel story ever has to be a trip to Charleston, SC a couple of years ago. My friend and I often travel throughout the Southeast to participate in various markets and festivals. On this trip, we were scheduled to meet another vendor who had booked us rooms at an incredibly cheap rate. However, we experienced car trouble on the way to SC, which delayed us by about two hours. We arrived late at the market location, and had to scramble to find parking and set up our wares. Other vendors seemed hostile and irritated by our late arrival. The vendor with the lodging information promised to lead us to our rooms after the show, but disappeared.We were forced to drive around Charleston and the surrounding areas trying to find a room during one of their biggest festivals, to no avail. We finally settled on the parking lot of a well-lit motel about 20 miles outside of the city, and slept in the car. In the morning, the hotel clerk allowed us to check into the first available room early just so we could shower and sleep. It was awful!
Lisa S – My worst and most exhausing day of travel was when I was returning from England in 1989 (I should have been tipped off that something would go wrong, when the plane taking us over was delayed for several hours). I spent 17 hours in the Gatwick Airport! By the time I called my family to tell them that I would not be on the original flight, they had already made plans to meet my sister for dinner in Kansas City. So they had to go back down to the airport the next day. After quite a few hours, we found out that the plane we were supposed to be flying back to the states on had engine trouble and had to turn back at Newfoundland. We eventually got a complimentary meal. By the time we finally boarded the plane at Gatwick, I was so tired, I couldn’t even handle giving the correct boarding pass to the attendant. In addition to that, I had a gift for my mother confiscated and tagged as “dangerous luggage”. It was a garden spade with a wooden handle, but because the “blade” was longer than three inches, I could not keep it in my possession during the flight. Like I said, I was so tired, I thought I would never see the garden spade again. Imagine my delight after landing in New York, when an airline attendant came around returning the “dangerous Items” to their owners. She held it up and I overjoyfully shouted, “It’s mine! It’s mine!” After being reunited, I held it up for everyone to see. And I did give that garden spade (purchased at a gas station in the English countryside) to my mother for her birthday. I eventually made home to Missouri. I guess that was my worst travel experience…except for the time one the plane from Russia with a sinus infection.
Rachel – It was about 22 years ago. I was a young, single girl and got a call from an old boyfriend. He was going to be in Dallas for training and invited me to go see him. This was before cell phones! I was so excited that apparently, I didn’t get the details right. LOL I arrived at the airport and waited and waited. Hours passed. It was late at night and almost no one at the airport. I wanted to cry! The ticket counters were already closing. He had told me he was staying at a marriott. I started calling all the marriotts in the directory. Finally one of them said they had someone staying there by that name, but no one was answering the phone in the room. I had very little money but took a cab to that hotel. When I got there, the lady at registration called the room (they wouldn’t give me the room number) and said the guy would be right down. I was relieved but shocked when the guy was NOT my old boyfriend. He was dumbfounded (reasonably so)! I cried in panic. Didn’t have enough money for that particular hotel so I walked across the street to a less expensive one and cried myself to sleep. The next morning I changed my flight to go home and barely had enough money to take a cab back to the airport. I was about to board the plane when I heard my name over the intercom system. The ticket counter told me I had a call. It was him! He was waiting for me at the gate! I had travelled one day too early. LOL We had a great weekend together and I can laugh about this now. :)
Rhonda – Less than 2 years married, my absolute worst travel experience was when we moved to a new city for my spouse’s new job by flying from Illinois to Arizona – before they banned smoking on airplanes. Even though we were checked in over 3 hours early and had asked for a non-smoking section, we were placed in the first row of smoking. Asking to be moved and denied, we asked what else could be done and the flight attendant said she could ‘ask the row not to smoke but that would inconvenience 7 other people (non of which were smoking on our row anyway)!’ Feeling ill, I spent my head down most of the flight.
By the time we got to our hotel room at 2:30 in the morning, I was looking forward to sleeping only to find out the room we walked into had no bed and was set up as a conference room. They scrambled to find us accomodations. Once settled, by 7a I awoke to nausea and proceeded to be sick in the bathroom off and on for the next 12 hours only to follow that up with ‘montezuma’s revenge’. Now I had to wonder if I was dealing with food poisoning from a salad I had purchased & eaten at the airport as we waited for the flight. Not owning much with only the clothes in our suitcases, I ended up having to wash my clothes by hand in the bathroom sink and hanging them out on the balcony only to have my pair of pants stolen. What a welcome to Phoenix!
We lived in the hotel for the next 2 weeks before finding an apartment. Over the years we eventually made new friends, bought our first home and had two sons and lived there over 17 years before another job took us back east. Yes it was on a plane too but nothing like that awful memorable experience…but guess what – now both our sons moved back and live there and love it! Oh well… we just keep on flying anyway… : )
Wendy – I was going to northern Michigan in the winter for a winter retreat with my young daughter and son. Since we live in Michigan, we drove. I like to think I’m a cautious person, so I took my van in to have it inspected before going.
The mechanic told me the heating/cooling system in the back of the mini-van would be needing service in the future. He showed my where a leak was in the line, but told me to have no worries for the trip!
I packed several emergency essentials, and away we went on the five hour drive. About an hour into it, I heard “hisssssssssssssssss”. I let a few expletives rip. I was certain the lines to the back heating system had just burst and now I was in trouble. Two young kids (single mom) on our way to a kids’ cancer retreat and without heat – not good. I turned the van around.
I went to Flint International Airport, which we’d passed about twenty miles back. I rented a car so we could continue. I got the children settled in the rental car, and went to transfer the luggage. Ohmygosh! The luggage?! It was not there! I wracked my brain, and headed toward home. There it was. Right inside the front door, where I’d left it :)
About two hours behind schedule, we headed out once again. When we got up north, I’d called a friend of mine to have him meet us at the airport when we returned. I knew I wouldn’t be able to drive it home; there’d be a puddle of anti-freeze under the van from when the pipe busted and the car would overheat.
Only when we returned, there was no puddle. I was very confused. I opened the side door of the van and then I saw it. In my efforts to be safe and prepared, I’d brought along a can of fix of flat. Sounds like a good idea, right? It was. It just was not a good idea to let it roll right in front a heat vent that *is working just fine! That’s what I heard go “hisssssssss”.
There had been no car trouble. There had been no need to rent a car and backtrack two plus hours. *However if we hadn’t, I would not have realized our luggage was missing until we were all the way up north. So in that sense it was a good thing if I can even say that :) Now, I laugh about it. Then? Not so much!