My daughter just graduated high school two weeks ago and starts the Summer session of university next week. He favorite city is Madrid so I planned a very short trip (four days) to Barcelona and Madrid for my family. From the start things went poorly, mostly annoying, then significant (it was a slow steady build). The parking lot I typically use at the airport was closed / under construction. - Just a little annoying but nothing to be bent out of shape about. Then the other lot was full due to the lack of spaces from the other lot being closed. I now had to park about six hundred yards from the farthest point of the terminal. - Again, annoying and a bit of a pain, but nothing too significant. Then we find out my daughters name was mysteriously dropped from the electronic itinerary (I had printed back up). This took a while to re-mediate but still only an annoyance. Then we learned our flight is delayed by an hour. Hmmmmmmmm. Started to worry but not panic. I had only two hours for my trans-Atlantic connection. I was assured that all was still well. After a quick meal at the airport, we were notified that the flight was now delayed another two hours. - Missed connection for sure. They tried to get us on other flights to no avail. Due to other airline issues, they could not guarantee arrival in Barcelona for two days (half way through the trip). Trip cancelled! Tickets refunded. Ever have a trip go from bad to worse?
Ouch!! No, I've never had a trip go that south! Maybe it was some kind of a sign if you believe in those things. Congratulations to your daughter on finishing HS and getting a head start on her college degree.
Sean!!! We've missed you!! It's so good to see your smiling face but oh gosh, I wish it was for a happier post. Nope, never had a trip go THAT far south and hope I never do. Your poor graduate - I'm sure she was just crushed. :(
Oh Sean, that's almost as bad as our Alitalia trip to Italy that didn't happen a few years ago....well, at least you got your tickets refunded. But still , what a disappointment especially for your daughter. I can SO relate, the Italy trip was supposed to be MY daughter's graduation trip. We are going to try again to make a successful trip to Europe in about a week. I just looked at the flight # to see if they are generally on time. They are not, and there is only 1 each day, wish me luck....
Hey Sean, my brother from another mother.....good to see ya.....d:o) Probably not fair for me to respond here......but, *Does an AK47 butt in the face, and my tour members beaten as well, count...? *Does the King of Nepal yanking a commercial plane out of service stranding all in the Annapurnas count....? *Does a governor's death in Chennai, causing all transport to stop, and the entire city going ape$hit, and forcing us to spend Christmas in Sri Lanka count....? *Does getting lost in Tokyo for two days, missing the ship count.....? *Does catching Malaria count.....? *Does Chinese interrogation count? (That one was a lot scarier than item number one...) *Does.....oh never mind. Like I said, - probably not fair for me to respond to this one, - but I could go on.......d:o/ Congrads to your daughter Sean. Well done!
But in your case and business Erik, it kind of goes with the territory. I think you and Claus and the other individuals involved in the travel industry here on VT should compile some sort of book of your misadventures. I'm sure Sean could tell some hair raising tales from the world of business.
You are right Rich, - that's why I said it was probably not fair for me to speak up......d:o)
wow ,no experience like that yet... but its a shame transport has to be like that. If they can just build a bridge lol!!! Star Wars landing pad... hope you can do it better next time...there is always next time. good to read you back here again ..
Erik, I still would like to hear some of your tales! Maybe you could start a Misc Forum with a "Can You Top This" heading, but again you may be way ahead of the curve on that one. But it could be an interesting and lively discussion.
Hey Sean, nice to see you around, although your story is hair-raising. But when you read all the stories travelling does seem to be going from "not too bad" to bloody terrible. Congrats to your daughter also.
ARRRG... Sean, sorry 'bout that. Brings back memories of an anniversay "surprise" trip to Disney Animal Kingdom for my wife. Never flew ATA again after that fiasco. But we did manage to salvage a day and a half of the long weekend.
Rich, Erik is not ahead of the curve, he created it!!
Wow, that is a major bummer, and on a vacation, too! I had a woirk trip that was sort of like that about 7 years ago. It was in February, going from Philadelphia to Rio via Miami for a 3-day trip. I got in my car to drive to Philadelphia airport for the flight--big, big snowstorm, and it took me about double the normal time to get there. Boarding was delayed a bit but then we all got on; then we sat on the plane, in line for de-icing, for almost 3 hours. As I watched the time tick away, I knew my connection to Rio was blown, but I had no way to get off the plane. So I ended up flying to Miami, landing at midnight, and having to stay in the Miami Holiday Inn Express (oh, the horror). Since my trip was only for a few days anyway, I ended up bagging the whole Brazil journey, waking up about five hours later and getting on a plane back to PHL. "The noble Duke of York..." etc. etc. The worst part was ending up at that Holiday Inn Express when I should have been drinking cocktails at the Copacabana Palace.
Rotten stuff Sean. Now you can organise a real nice treat closer to home and compensate :-)) Congrats on the graduate, too!
Bad luck indeed. Not so bad when it's business, but personal time? Used to live in a remote part of Alaska (Dutch Harbor). Was heading to Hawaii for a business weekend of meetings. Couldn't get out of Dutch due weather but went and stood by at the airport for 3 days hoping. Finally gave up since it was too late to make any portion of the meeting to justify the expense. Went back to work and had a superintendent go sick. Out on a freighter at anchor and not enough union labor available. So down in the freezer hold throwing 40lb boxes of frozen fish. About 5 hours into the job my phone rings. It's my coworker calling from Hawaii. He had flown from Anchorage and was pausing to tell me about how nice the weather was and how tasty the first Pina Colada was and how good looking the women were around the pool. Took me a while to forgive him. Forgiven but not forgotten!
Hello again Sean, haven't seen you round for a while. Firstly, many congratulations to your daughter on her graduation. Secondly, no, I have never had a run go that pear-shaped. What a complete nightmare and your poor daughter must be so disappointed. If London is anywhere on her list and not too poor a substitute for Madrid and Barca, get her over some time and the drinks are on me!
LOL, Fergy - she's not old enough to drink yet! At least not under U.S. law. But I'll bet she'd love London anyway.
I know little about the US educational system. To be honest I know precious little about the educational system in my country, I never spent much time there! I know the drinking age in US is 21 if I remmeber rightly but in UK it is 18 (younger under certain circumstances). If the young lady is going to Uni she must be 18 or do people go to Uni earlier there? I honestly don't know.
It depends on when your birthday is. If it's in September and you started school when you were 4 (but almost 5) you start UNI at 17 (but almost 18). Yep, drinking age in the U.S. is 21 - although it was 18 back in the 70's.
Now that is interesting. Even allowing for the "what month you were born" thing, I would be surprised if more than a fraction of 1% in the UK go to Uni before 18. Anyway, before the frst Uni holiday I am sure the young lady will have turned 18 so my offer still stands. Sean, get your daughter to Europe asap!
A book on this topic is " I should have stayed Home", each chapter is written by a different person and is very funny. There is another similar book called, I think, Holidays from Hell. One story I liked in another book was about a family from London who were travelling to South America, one child wet her pants before they even left Heathrow, and the luggage was checked in, then the Mum saw a set of Encyclopaedia and bought them, so had to carry them with her. The plane landed in one South American country where they were to change planes, but unbeknownst to them they needed a Visa just to land there, were forced to fly somewhere totally different to obtain the visa, then had to land again and change planes in the first country. I think the whole trip took something like 50 hours - lugging a set of Encyclopaedia everywhere as well!
>I would be surprised if more than a fraction of 1% in the UK go to Uni before 18. It is a small fraction here as well - only the young people with what we call those 'late' birthdays and only those who actually did start school at age 4. Children here are assessed for their level of readiness before they starting kindergarten and those whose tests reveal that they're developmentally behind their peers are usually kept back for another year so they're not starting with the disadvantage of being 'young': the smallest, least emotionally, socially, developmentally equipped for the tasks at hand. We also have cutoff dates for the latest a child can turn five when starting school, and those vary by state from August 15 to January 1. So, between assessments and cutoff dates, it's only a small percentage that are 17 when they enter uni and most of those turn 18 within their first month or two. 'Gap year' is also unknown in the U.S.
thanks for that Fishy. So Sean, get your daughter to London and I'm buying!
Rich Thank you for the well wishes. And yes, my scenario is rather mild compared to Erik’s adventures.I do have some business tales like being chased in parking lot of the Saudi Embassy by an armed guard, but I won’t bore you all with them on this forum. Kate She was disappointed as we all were, but not crushed. She is a great kid and understood the circumstances and didn’t pout. She comported herself well and made me very proud (she makes me proud every day). Sophia I believe I recall hearing your tale in a previous post. I Hope your impending journey to Europe is uneventful and I hope the trip is enjoyable. Erik Hmmmmm. I think Rich is right, I have to yellow card you on this one. As your business was travel, I guess a little AK butt to the face is expected, as is a little Chinese interrogation. I guess arguing with the guy at baggage claim in pigeon engrish and explaining that those are in fact my bags, does not count. Gwened I wish transportation was so easy. Good luck in Brittany my friend. Paul Thanks for the kind words. It was a downhill slide from the beginning and it does appear to be the trend these days. Al I too had nightmare run ins with ATA out of Chicago. Julie Funny coincidence, my connection just happened to be in Philadelphia as well. Pam We took your advice and went closer to home, our home actually in Naples. We went from the 13th to the 19th, just returned night before last. Rick Always better to be tossing back a cold one rather than frozen fish. Great story! Ferg Not sure if you recall, but I had her with me in London last year, almost a year ago to the day. She loved it almost as much I love London. She will be 19 in September and I look forward to having her there with me again. I suspect she will study in London at some point as well. Margaret I will be sure to keep that book away from my wife. She has travel anxiety and it will just give her more to feed on. Hey, may I borrow it hahahahahah? IP I did not know you took your moniker from the Australian rail. Good luck on your impending trip.
Yellow card accepted mon ami......d:o)
An "almost-bad" trip story I've always liked: My friend is one of six children, and when they were little, their dad worked for an international corporation. He was assigned to South America and was moved frequently. One of their moves involved a series of short hops on small commuter planes, with only enough time between flights to gather the family for a bathroom break and a quick meal and then herd them back onto the plane. At one airport, as the plane was taxiing down the runway for takeoff, their mom looked out the window and saw a little girl running alongside, waving. "Oh, look," she said. "That little girl looks just like A [one of the siblings]!" It was A. They turned the plane around and went back to get her.
thanks , you too.
In a book of embarrasing incidents I bought in the Uk here are a couple : well known British actress was landing briefly in Bangkok and had been told about the marvellous bargains to be had in the aiport shops. She had a 3 week old baby with her, put Bub in a creche in the airport. Off she went ecitedly shopping then reboarded the aircraft. Couldn,t make out why everyone was staring at her and whispering. Plane taxied to the end of the runway then stopped and went back. 2 creche employees brought baby in to the actress and handed it to her amidst profusions of very embarrased thanks.