When Travel Goes Wrong: The Stories From 2019

30 Dec 2019

When travel goes wrong

I’m not saying I’m cursed or anything but public transport and/or the weather have been known to fail me quite epically whilst trying to get somewhere. I’ve been stranded in Brussels, pulled out of mud by a tractor, ended up in completely the wrong part of the country thanks to a train derailment, driven up the motorway during the beast from the east and I’m always getting travel sick. I do try to see the funny side when writing up the stories for the blog and amusingly, they are some of my most popular blog posts. So here are the stories from 2019. Thanks for enjoying my pain guys.

Er, why are we in Miami?

Not entirely sure I’m over this one tbh because it happened ON OUR HONEYMOON. Ffs. Alright, yes, a major first world problem but still. No one wants to spend part of their honeymoon stuck in Miami airport. Which, just so we are clear, is like the very centre of the seven circles of hell. 

We’d just had a dreamy week in New York and were ready for our flight to San Francisco and the next part of our adventure so I practically skipped into JFK airport. And then we found out our flight was cancelled and I promptly stopped skipping. We were told we would have to turn back around and traipse to La Guardia airport, fly to Philadelphia and then be on standby for a flight to San Francisco. She may as well have told me I had to go sit in a bath full of spiders and I may have had a tantrum at the desk. My tears suddenly made her look a little harder and she presented us with the ‘best’ alternative which was to fly from JFK to Miami, wait in Miami airport for 4 hours and then do the 6 hour flight to San Francisco. No it did not make any geographical sense. Yes it turned our 6 hour flight into a 21 hour door-to-door journey. Yes it tested our very new marriage. Miami International airport had a huge, flowery ‘peace and love’ sign in it but we felt neither. It was like a huge shopping centre we couldn’t escape from. There was a hefty amount of British sarcasm about not being eaten by crocodiles. A burger so disgusting we agreed to never speak of it again. I had to beg the guy behind the desk to actually allow us to sit together and, despite the fact the flight is 6 hours long, domestic American Airlines flights apparently don’t have in-flight entertainment. 

To top it off, British Airways refused to take any responsibility for the fiasco despite the fact all our flights were booked through them and American Airlines were not obliged to give us any compensation because they operate outside the EU law. So we got nada apart from the lovely honeymoon memories of our day out to Miami airport. I do begrudgingly admit that the plane views were rather good. 

When travel goes wrong

When travel goes wrong

Boiled alive on a bus

I’m just going to dive right in on this one – the air conditioning failed on our minibus between Yosemite and San Francisco and the temperature outside was hot. Inside that bus, the temperatures were pushing the perfect boil-human-alive numbers. We’d been camping in Yosemite and hadn’t showered in two days, none of the windows would open and I was approximately 50% sweat, 50% angry gremlin. I am genuinely surprised someone on that bus didn’t snap and murder everyone in a delirious state. I can honestly say, I have never been that hot. Not in recent heatwaves, not in Singapore, not if I chose to sleep in a fucking oven. It was horrendous.  

The only respite in that six hour journey was a supermarket stop which, blessed relief, had air conditioning. I marched up to the drinks counter and asked the guy if I could just buy a cup of ice without the drink. He was distracted and clearly thought I was a bit mental (picture me in hiking gear, un-showered, sweat everywhere, a delirious look in my eye) so just told me to help myself for free. I took an American extra-large cup and filled it with ice chips and then spent the rest of the journey either eating them or dropping them down the back of my t-shirt which was an improvement but didn’t really curb the delirium. At one point, the hellishness of the heat finally cracking me, I started laughing hysterically like a possessed banshee whilst throwing ice cubes at my face. We haven’t spoken about it since. 

When travel goes wrong

When travel goes wrong

Stuck on a plane with drunk misogynists

Such a strange experience on our flight home from Nice, France. During the safety procedures, some moronic bloke behind us kept talking in an extra-loud and arrogant voice, telling the entire plane why he thought Brexit was a good idea. The air steward had to tell him to be quiet three times and the entire plane had firmly decided that the guy was a plonker. We’re literally on the runway, about to take off, I’m all ready to stick on my noise-cancelling headphones to drown out his stupid voice, and then suddenly the plane is swinging around and returning to the airport because ‘passengers are not complying with safety procedures’. Aka the guy had been talking throughout the entire thing. Never again will I have one eye on the in-flight entertainment during the safety demonstrations – no one wants to be the wanker delaying the flight. 

So we’re then sat in – basically – a parking space not knowing what the hell is going on. There’s talk of someone being thrown off the plane but I can’t work out whether it’s the idiot behind us or some thing else has happened. You’d think this might make the moron shut up in the hope that he isn’t about to get kicked off the flight but oh no. He starts loudly bitching about the air steward and – I found out later – called her a ‘fat cow’. I missed this because I was trying to phase him out. My sister on the other hand – who was sat three seats away and closest to him – didn’t miss it and, it’s fair, to say flipped out. One minute I was scrolling through holiday photos determinedly not listening to anything he said and the next I was nearly dropping my phone because my sister had spun around in her seat and started shouting at him, kindly (okay not really) pointing out that the way he was talking about and treating women was horrific. Because you can never leave a sister (literally) to fight em alone, I immediately shouted YOU TELL HIM GIRL much to the amusement of my mum and step-dad who were sat between us. The woman sat directly behind me then shouted GOOD FOR YOU GIRLS so it really was a merry old party. 

I’m not sure he got the point though because he was heard muttering that ‘clearly none of the women on the plane got laid recently’ so we will be making him re-sit his how-not-to-be-a-misogynist exam. 

It then transpired that the person they were throwing off the plane was actually some drunk dude at the front so christ knows what drama we’d missed up there. Unfortunately, this meant we had to spend the rest of the flight, and passport control the other end, listening to our moron chat up a woman via the means of sexist jokes. She genuinely seemed to find them hilarious and LEFT THE AIRPORT WITH HIM. I have no words. 

He also made sure the whole plane knew that he was a Trump supporter. Exactly 0 people were surprised. 

When travel goes wrong