Bad travel experiences

@nanajanet (4436)
United States
January 31, 2009 11:28am CST
Please share your bad travel experiences. My worst one was not all that horrible but it sort of ruined the event for me. Here is mine, share yours. Mine was not for fun. I had a student performing in a huge, national dance competition in Florida. I had just put money into my account so I could use my debit/credit card. I also had 300 in USD cash. I could not get a direct flight to Orlando so had to get a connecting flight and land in an airport an hour away. Then I was to rent a car, drive to Orlando and go to my hotel. I get there and the rental service where I reserved my car was closed. I was not happy but I went to another one that was and they would not take my card. They only took regular credit cards. Now I was stuck an hour away and the shuttles had finished their last run. Now I have to take a cab to a local motel and then find a way to Orlando the next day. I get a cab to the airport and a shuttle to Orlando. Well, apparently, because it was two days after Christmas, the money that I had deposited in my account had not cleared because the federal reserve was closed the day after Christmas (friday). So all I had was my cash and no credit. I could get a car rental to my hotel. I was stuck at the convention center. One of the other dancer's mothers (I had never met her), offered to let me stay in their room. I did give her money towards it after I was finished for the weekend, even though she did not want it (I hid it in her purse when she was not looking). When the weekend was done, I had no way to get back to the airport an hour away because I still could not rent a car. I could not catch the shuttle because the event was over too late. So, the parent of my student said she would rent the car for me with her card and I could pay her back when we were back home. They would not let her do it unless she was also driving, so I was stuck. In the middle of the night, she and her family drove out of their way to bring me to the airport and then they had to go back. They got back at 4 am to their hotel and I felt really bad. I had not slept in a while so I figured I could get a small amount of sleep on the first leg of my trip. No, it was not to be. Crying babies on the plane forbid that. I could not wait to get home and have learned a HUGE lesson!!!
4 people like this
13 responses
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
1 Feb 09
I once embarked on an 11-day conducted trip to US. The trip was generally fine at first, but we encountered problems at our final stop of our tour, which was San Francisco. We were supposed to stop there for 2 nights, but after a long overland journey from Yosemite National Park, we arrived at San Francisco in the evening. Only then, we were told to our utter shock and disappointment that the next morning after breakfast, we were to board our plane to fly home. Apparently, the agency had boo-booed booking our flights back according to the original plan, causing us to have our trip cut short by one day. The worst thing was that they knew about this all along, but didn't tell the passengers until we were already in US, and reaching our last stop on our trip. We were so angry with the agency because we flew thousands of miles to the States only to be able to sightsee San Francisco for one night. A week after we came back from our trip, about a dozen of us marched into the agency's office angrily demanding for compensation for the shortened trip and inconvenience caused to us. Luckily, the agency agreed to compensate us, but then, the damaged had already been done. Since then, I've not traveled with this agency again!!
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
OMG!! I hope that you reported them to the Better Business Bureau! I cannot believe that they did that. We always take travel insurance when we go on such trips. It has saved us in the past. It covers things in case of accidents, illness, cancellations, delays, etc. What country were you flying from?
1 person likes this
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
1 Feb 09
The travel agency was from Singapore. That trip was actually a long time ago, but I still can remember the case because it was one of a very few trips I've had some bad experiences with travel agencies. We would have reported them to a consumer association if they didn't do anything to compensate us. Luckily for them, they did because they probably know their reputation was at stake. But I didn't take any travel insurance for that trip unfortunately, so had so chance to file any claim for that one.
2 people like this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Feb 09
My worst was my first trip on a plane. I had a 4 hour layover which was not as bad as the ride. I have always had a little trouble with my sinuses and I'm hear to tell you at one point of the flight,I thought my head was going to explode! At the time I didn't know the gum trick and I also got motion sickness on the 747 after I changed planes.lol..I never get motion sickness on anything! I was a mess by the time I arrived and looked like I had been run over by a mack truck. My grandmother bought me some dramamine and sinus pills for my trip back...oh and not to mention the gum. My trip home was alot more enjoyable and my other trips after that.lol..
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
Oh, don't we always learn the hard way! LOL I am happy that your trip back was a huge improvement. I remember, landing in Heathrow Airport for the first time and the descent was fast. Everyone on the plane was complaining of the immense pain in their ears. It was unbearable. I wonder if they always land like that since I have not landed in that airport, since. Now I carry these special ear plugs made just for flying. They regulate the pressure in your ears to prevent that.
1 person likes this
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
1 Feb 09
LOL..yes indeed..the hard way.It was when I was landing I was having the pain..I didn't know it was normal and I kept looking around and no one else seemed to be reacting to it. I swear I almost jumped up and yelled for help.LOL.wouldn't that have been something..I need some of those earplugs you have. Maybe I'll try to find me some.
1 person likes this
@vonvonex (284)
• Philippines
31 Jan 09
I will share to you an embarrasing travel experience of mine.... This happened when I was still in I think grade school when I was traveling with my family... Here it goes... When it comes to traveling, I always get an upset stomach... When on our way to another island located in the Philippines(My country) my stomach started acting very weird and what I'm saying is I am going to poo... LOL On my way to the C.R. of the bardge, I couldt hold on any longer and by the time I reached the door of the C.R. guess what?! I blew it!!! My poo was driping from my shorts to the floor... Imagine the humiliation.... But! I got lucky cause no one was there except my nanny. Hehehehe... From that day on, before I travel, I would take a medicine that will control my "unstable" stomach. hehehe... Hope you enjoyed my story....
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
31 Jan 09
Oh, that could be quite embarrassing!! You are lucky that no one was there. That happened to my husband once. He called me from work to bring him clean pants. He "farted" and did not realize that pooped (liquid) instead. He called me from the bathroom and stayed there until I got there. Now he leaves an extra set of clothes in the trunk of his car.
1 person likes this
@vonvonex (284)
• Philippines
31 Jan 09
hahaha... ur husband is very lucky to have you... If I were on his position, I would throw my underware and wash my a** and go hope right away. Hehehehe... I wold use my incident as me excuse to my boss...
1 person likes this
@bhanusb (5709)
• India
1 Feb 09
Your experiences are bad and sad also.Last year I traveled to Malysia with my wife.We went to Penag Island there.We are in a cottage for two days.After then we decided to go to the island of Lankawie.Before leaving the cottage I requested the cottage owner to arrange a car to go to the ferry station.He kept my request.But before boarding the car the man demaded the rent for the car.I thought I would pay the rent money after reaching the ferry station.But he was admant to take the rent in advance.So I had to do that.In Lankawie island also we stayed in a cottage.We gave the owner two day's advance payment.But we stayed there one day more.Third day early in the morning the owner knocked the door.When I came out the owner demanded one day's extra mayment in a rough manner.The two islands are very beautiful.But the cottage owner's behavior was disgraceful.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
I do not understand anyone who deals with people, and relies on their income, who treats people so poorly. I would not only use their facilities again, I would tell EVERYONE I know and tell them to tell everyone they know about it. I would make sure that you will tell everyone about it, too, and the internet is a HUGE place!
1 person likes this
@maximax8 (28558)
• United Kingdom
1 Feb 09
I was traveling in South East Asia as part of my around the world trip and I was 21 years old. I had a salad to eat at the port in Sumatra and then on the ferry I was really sick. Officials came round and I tried not to look sick. Arriving in Malaysia I kept being sick. I had a high fever and all beds in the youth hostel had bed bugs except mine. It was great to get better a week later but I didn't feel so strong after being so very ill. A couple of weeks later it was dark and I was going out for something to eat. The town wasn't awfully well lit and although I thought I was stepping out in the road I fell down an open drain. I badly injured my leg and came home from that trip on crutches.
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
Oh my goodness. That is terrible. I hope that the rest of your trip was less eventful!! That is why I will not travel to foreign country without someone who knows about it or has experience there, unless it is an English speaking country.
1 person likes this
@forslahiri (1042)
• India
1 Feb 09
Hi, the worst ever when we had to spend the entire night with 2 year baby on railway platform,almost without any food.No hotel room,no arrangement was done by the trvelling agency and their manager was not to be seen.Only next morning,good Station Master could arrange a room for us in agood hotel andmy son's food was arranged ! =Lahiri,Kolkata,India.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
How come you could not leave the platform?
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
1 Feb 09
Your own experience doesn't sound like much fun at all nanajanet! I travel a lot for my work but thankfully most of my experiences have been positive. I do have a couple of nightmare scenarios up my sleeve though! I was once in Inia on business for 2 weeks prior to moving there for a year and was staying in a 5 Start Hotel in Mumbai. I was working for someone that was a total idiot at the time and there were issues with my salary and the forwarding of my expenses. I basically spent 14 days in Mumbai with around 100 dollars to my name! The funds I needed ended up getting transferred to me the day before I was due to leave. If it hadn't of been for a business partner there that assisted me during my visit, I would have been in a world of crap! I am grateful I didn't have my Wife with me this time around. A second incident was concerning a trip to Washington DC from Cairo. The flight left Cairo around 3 hours late and by the time I did eventually get to JFK Airport in New York for the connecting flight, I was an hour past the leave date! But bad weather had kicked in and ALL flights were delayed. I thought this was a Godsend initially, but all flights ended up cancelled and the next available flight to Dulles was the following morning. My colleague and I spent around 15 hours in JFK Airport (after a 13 hour flight to get there!) and because it was late at night and early morning, nothing was open! No food, nothing to drink and we could do nothing but sit on the carpet as the place was packed full of people waiting for flights themselves! Oh and we ALMOST ended up on a flight that evening, but the plane kept taxiing out to the runway and then back to the terminal due to the bad weather. We spent an hour and a half on this place and then they announced the cancellation because airline staff were not allowed to work longer than they had already! This is when the long overnight wait in the terminal started..... Once we did finally get to Dulles Airport, they of course had misplaced both of our suitcases and it took 3 more days before we finally got them back as well. It was certainly memorable!
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
I think that is why I always travel with food of sorts. I carry snacks and protein bars as I have been stuck with nothing to eat. When we traveled with our kids, and now with our granddaughter, we always make sure that we do not have to rely on finding food. Water is always found, even if it is the gross stuff from the faucet (as you can no longer bring water past check out, which it so stupid!!).
2 people like this
@nympha687 (940)
• United States
1 Feb 09
I had mine when I traveled to a city in Guangdong,China. I was told that we had to take a bus from the station and the trip will take 7 hours. With my little Chinese, I was able to get a ticket and find my way to the bus(in Chinese characters). The trip didn't take 7 hours but 10 hours. What's worse is that the person who was supposed to pick us up was late. We had to stay in the bus station for an hour not knowing where to go. We had a great time going around the city though. The bad experience didn't end there. I had to get a bus ticket for Sunday afternoon so I could go back to my home city and teach the following day. However, another wrong information was given. The tickets ought to be reserved ahead of time. We didn't so we missed the afternoon bus. We had to take the Monday, 4am bus. I was not able to arrive on time for my class so I had to inform my boss about the situation. Luckily, she was kind to understand. From then on, I always asked someone who speaks the language to inquire about my trips and ticket reservations.
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
Yes, if I were going to China, I would make sure I brought someone who understood the language, lol. We did okay in Italy as I knew some Italian, and had my book. Certain phrases I not only memorized but wrote down, in case they did not understand me, I could show them the written sentence. Booking, in advance, with English speaking people, helps a lot.
1 person likes this
@snowy22315 (52717)
• United States
31 Jan 09
I had afew. One was when I lost my travelers checks and had to spend a day replaceing them. One my husbands wallet was stolen on a bus cash was removed and he had to cancel his credit cards. Another time we were not able to get on our plane for Las Vegas and had to catch a later flight although the airline did pay for us to have lunch. That was a nice benefit.
2 people like this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
31 Jan 09
I refuse to carry a lot of cash and always used traveler's checks and credit and debit cards because you CAN replace them, unlike cash. My husband, Mr. Stubbornhead, always carried a lot of cash, in his front, left pocket. I told him to carry a little and put the rest in the safe at the hotel. But NO!! He did not listen. Well, that was a good deal of our money we had for the trip. Somewhere along the way, he lost it all! I wanted to kill him. NOW he listens but it really put a crunch on our trip as we had to cut back on stuff and use credit cards, and run up a bill that we could not pay off right away. When we were in Italy this past summer, we were traveling back from Sicily, had to catch a connecting flight in Rome to Naples and then had a driver picking us up to bring us to our apartment in Sorrento, an hour away. Our first flight was delayed, we missed our connecting flight and spent 8 hours in the Rome airport, which included my 13-month old granddaughter. Then, when we get to Naples airport, they lost my cousin's luggage. Thank God he kept his important stuff in his carry on. So, we were delayed while putting in a claim for his luggage, then we had to pay a hefty late fee to the driver and then to the apartment people (they charged a fee past a certain time). They did not recover my cousin's luggage for 3 days so he had to buy some clothes and when he got it back, some things were missing. Thank goodness we took out travel insurance. Also, when we booked our train tickets to Venice, we asked for Wednesday ticket. Why none of us checked, is beyond me, but we get there and find out, after getting on the train but before it takes off, that we are there on the wrong day. They gave us Thursday tickets!!! UGH. It was not major, we just stayed in Florence and toured the city but got up so darned early, with the baby, to make the train, where we could have slept in.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Feb 09
I work oversea most of my life. one time i was in china and i when to the bank.to do any thing in china you need your passport so i had if with me. after i had done my banking i whet back to the hotel and put the passport into the seat of the motorbike that i rode. the next moring i got up for work and found my bike had been stolen.i whet down to the police department to report the bike.the first thing they asked me for was my passport. i said it's in the bike seat, they said you are a undocumented alien. you have to have a visa in china. no sooner then they told me this one of my fiend walked in to the police department looking for me.he had came back to the hotel looking for me. i am not the type to show up late and they had told him where i was so,he came to the police department to find me.he got on his cell phone and called his girl fiend a chinese bank officer who spoke English.the officers spoke little English and my chinese was not helping.the officers had called their own interpreter a local travel agent. the travel agent lets call her Mary (who i had known for the two years)walked in first.Mary looked at me and looked at Joe(Joe the fiend that came looking for me and by the way that is his real name. he won't mine he tell every one this story too.)Mary started talking to the police and not more then three seconds sue(Joe girl fiends) walked in and joined the discussion.Mary brook away from the conversation to came over and tell me that ever thing will be OK she would have Joe out of this trouble soon.i told her it was not joe but me in trouble and she looked at me shocked and then her face turned red.she turned and returned to the conversation. the only think i under stood from their conversation was the word "uncle britt"(my real name)i was really thinking i was in for it till i found out that Mary father was the chief of police and sue uncle was a high official.
1 person likes this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
7 Feb 09
Oh my!! When I travel, my passport never leaves my body because I fear that whatever I have it in might be stolen. I have a pouch that goes around my neck that holds my passport, credit cards and money and stays under my clothes. I would have been pooping bricks over that! Thank goodness that you new someone with relatives in high places.
• United States
8 Feb 09
the funny thing about the whole thing was both of the lady's assumed it was Joe that was in trouble and see these two ladies telling off the police.sue is the heaver of the two and she is maybe 90 pounds.they both act as translators for the police and all the police know and like them very mush.
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
2 Feb 09
Hi nanajanet, I am so sorry to hear of this bad travelling experience. (((To be honest I thought that being my mum you would be more scrupulously careful when making travelling arrangements. :) *wink ))) Unfortunately these things can happen to anybody but it is best to have a plan B. The only bad travelling experience was when I travelled for my honeymoon in Tunisia. During our last two days we ran out of money. My wife has forgot her visa at home and therefore we could not make use of it. It was humiliaiting to ask a maltese tourist who happened to reside in the same hotel for a couple of dollars because we did not had money to buy even a bottle of water. From that incident onwards I always take care of the planning myself. I even calculate to the nearest cent how much we are going to spend and on which items.
1 person likes this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
2 Feb 09
Ah, don't we all learn from bad experiences. Read my responses to others and see more that I have had, all that I have learned from. When we traveled to Italy this summer, we really did make sure all of our ducks were in a row but, honestly, there are just things, like flight delays, that you cannot prepare for, other than making sure you have plans in case it happens. I cannot even imagine running out of money, or a way to get some, in a foreign country. That must have been very nerve-wracking!! Right now I am busy planning our summer trip. We are going to drive out to Memphis, Tennessee and work our way back, stopping off at different locations. We are going to be staying at campgrounds rather than hotels. It is cheaper but we are not using a tent. We use one particular campground franchise, KOA, and they are very reputable and they have camping cabins. It is fun. I am checking out all of the places we wish to visit and the costs, so I can have a basic budget and then we will know to set aside that amount, and more for unplanned extras.
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
3 Feb 09
Hmm I thought you might be coming over to Malta. Enjoy your summer trip :)
@breepeace (3027)
• Canada
8 Feb 09
This summer when I was in Europe, I was trying to find the cheapest way to travel from Paris, France to Madrid, Spain, and someone suggested that I catch a train to the France/Spain border to either Hendaye or Irun, catch a cab to San Sebastian, Spain and then onto Madrid the following morning via train. So I got into Irun at about 8 at night, and as I was getting off the train, this old man came up to me and asked me in Spanish if I was going to Portugal. I wasn't, so I said no, and proceeded to walk to the ticket counter to see about catching a train to San Sebastian, instead of a cab. He followed me to the line, and when I put my daypack down in front of me, he grabbed it and started walking away, insisting that I stay in Irun at his family's house. I followed him, insisting in my very broken Spanish that I did not want to stay in Irun, and that I was going to San Sebastian and then Madrid. He turned to me and insisted that I would not make it to San Sebastian or Madrid that evening and that I should follow him to find a place to sleep. I finally got him to stop underneath the train station when I found the Spanish word for 'Stop' in my guidebook, and he smacked it out of my hands. Very scared, I insisted I needed to get a ticket to go to Madrid the next morning, so he followed me back into the train station to allow me to purchase a ticket (and find some help). I went to the ticket counter, explained my situation and finally told the ticket seller I would even go to Lisbon if there was a train leaving that night. There was. In 20 minutes. So for 70 Euros, I bought my freedom, and went to Portugal. Sadly I didn't make it to San Sebastian but I did get my daypack back.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
8 Feb 09
Wow, that is scary. Who knows what would have happened. I will not travel to a country that I do not know the language and will not go to places I am not sure of. I will spend the extra to make sure that I am safe or not go at all. I would have freaked out!
1 person likes this
@breepeace (3027)
• Canada
8 Feb 09
It was the only really bad experience I had in 2 months. I love traveling to countries where I can't speak the language. Immersion is a great way to learn!
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
1 Feb 09
nanajanet, I just have much to share since I have been traveling quite a fair bit in my job. I think the most stressful one would be when I first started traveling and was being bumped off at check in. It was an overbooked flight and although I had checked in on time, I was just not early enough. I was literally livid as I had meeting schedule at the arrival destination and I was told that I had to stay a night as there was no other flight available. How could this have happened? It is just unbelievable. Well, later I found out that this overbooking thing is a predominant practice by the airlines. I was literally at a lost, so a follow up with my office and the travel agency involved just still could not go anywhere. The meeting had to be rescheduled and lost as a result of this incident. It was really harrowing time for me as well, as I thought it would be the end of my career. As this was an important meeting which I missed due to the airline's doing, my company sent them a lawsuit which was later I learnt was settled out of court. But I can tell you the experience was a harrowing one. After this, I never failed to get into this situation with the online pre-check in service from the airlines.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
1 Feb 09
I think, that if they overbook, and it costs a loss of income, clients, etc., that they should have to pay recompense. There is no reason to overbook. If the flight is prepaid, they have sold the seats, for Pete's sake!! I can see that if you do not check in by 1/2 hour before you flight, that your seat can be sold, but I cannot believe that they can get away with such garbage.
1 person likes this
• Singapore
2 Feb 09
nanajanet, Oh, believe me, it is still a predominant even today. Just pre-check in if you can either online or by phone if it is available for you. You may never know how this could save you a load of trouble. Also, now the deadline now is extended to 1 hour before take off, due to security protocols - just be wary here. Take care.