Travelling isn’t easy. Even if you are a frequent traveller like myself, it is almost inevitable that at some point you will experience some sort of hiccup along the way. It may be a delayed, a cancelled flight or something else totally ridiculous entirely.
Below is a list of my top “fails” when travelling by air.
10. First Time “Priority” Status, Last One to Board Plane
The first time I was granted priority status, I was so excited. I would get on the plane first and relax knowing I wouldn’t have to struggle to find overhead space for my carry-on baggage, however that isn’t what happened at all. I was flying to Toronto from Orlando and what I clearly didn’t consider the fact was that EVERYONE BUT ME was travelling with small children and at that time the airline’s policy was that individuals with disabilities and families with small children under the age of 6 board first. So, being the only solo traveller, I ended up being last to board the plane.
9. Dropping Documents While Approaching Customs
As I was approaching the customs kiosk, I was fumbling with my documents trying to put my boarding pass and declaration sheet into the photo page of my passport when I dropped it all. “Apparently” this makes you look suspicious and will pretty much guarantee you will end up in secondary screening. I obviously never did anything wrong besides accidentally drop my documents but from then on, whenever I have completed my customs declaration on the plane, I make sure to have everything organized together in my purse so that I don’t have to fumble with my documents last minute.
8. Driving the Wrong Way to Return my Rental Car
It was 4:30 or 5am and I was trying to return my rental car to the airport. I missed the entrance to the rental car return area and drove into the next driveway which was barricaded and there was no exit other than to turn around and drive the wrong way. So, I did just that. In order to get back to the main ring road I had to drive the wrong way and hope no other idiot like myself was making that very same mistake and would drive into me. Fortunately, there was not another car in sight the entire time. Pfewf!
7. “Buzzing” Carry-on Baggage
Upon removing my liquids and gels from my carry-on baggage and placing it on the conveyor belt for X-Ray scanning at airport security, the TSA agents all gathered around the X-ray machine. I passed through the metal detector and they all gathered around my bag and asked me if it was mine. When I saw it, I immediately knew what was drawing all of the attention- my bag was vibrating! And no, it’s not what you think! I had packed an electric toothbrush and it had accidentally been turned on as I put my bag on the conveyor belt. Once they opened my bag, they all got a good laugh. I think some of them were disappointed that it wasn’t something else. Ever since then, I just pack a regular manual toothbrush!
6. Suitcase Goes on Wrong Plane
While I was sitting at my gate, I was watching the baggage being loaded onto the plane at the neighboring gate and I noticed, that one of those bags was MY bag! I had a very unique bag so it was surely not to be confused with another and this plane was most definitely not my plane. I ran up to the gate agent for that flight and alerted her immediately. She initially assured me that it was fine but apparently second guessing herself, she made a call down to the baggage handlers and discovered that the wrong bags were in fact being loaded onto that plane! Fortunately, the ground crew was able to remove them in time and everyone on my flight all got their bags.
5. Broken Suitcase
Naturally, just as I approach the baggage drop kiosk, the handle on my suitcase refuses to go down. Talk about last minute stress! Since it is not possible to check a bag if the handle is locked in the open position, I had to get out of line and since I didn’t have the time to buy a new suitcase and figure out if all of my things would fit, I opted to take everything out of my suitcase, tear it apart and was able to locate the part that was jammed. Using a toothpick, I was able to temporarily fix the jam and lock the handle in the closed position so that the bag could be checked. Throughout my trip, I didn’t mess with the handle but rather waited until I got home to purchase a new suitcase. Dragging a 55lb suitcase with no handle in addition to a large briefcase and purse is no simple task!
4. Time for a “Quick” Cigarette Between Connections?
When I was in DEN and had a 2-hour stop-over and I figured that this was more than sufficient time to go outside to have a cigarette, come back in through security and get to my gate but I was wrong! What I didn’t realize was that the ONLY way in and out of that airport is through a single entrance and that there are no exits in the individual terminals or concourses. It didn’t take me very long to exit the building, maybe 20 minutes or so but when I got back I realized there was ONLY ONE SECURITY CHECKPOINT for the entire airport and it was PACKED! I had my NEXUS pass but at that time the US airports only acknowledged that for international travel and I was travelling domestically. Luckily, one of the agents let me into that line and I just made the last call to board my flight.
3.Leaving Valuables on the Plane
I hate to admit that I have done this not once but twice and both times I forgot my items in the seat pocket in in front of me. The first time was my driver’s license. I had it tucked into my boarding pass and as I was getting seated, I placed it in the seat pocket in front of me and simply forgot about it. It wasn’t until a month later when I got carded that I realized I had misplaced it. The second time I forgot my iPad on the plane. I was travelling for almost 24 hours and same thing, placed it in the seat pocket in front of me, fell asleep and forgot about it when deplaning.
2. Broken Shoe
Rushing to make my connection, my sandal decided that it was the best time to fall apart and I mean fall apart in pieces (worse than in this photo-all the straps broke at the same time) . That day luck was on my side as I happened to have an extra pair of sandals in my carry-on so at least I didn’t have to run through the airport barefoot!
1. Asleep at the Gate
I have never done this but a friend of mine did and I think this deserves the #1 spot. He fell asleep at the gate while listening to his headphones and well, needless to say, he missed his flight. Ooops! The same thing happened other day when I was flying home when I couldn’t help but notice that the passenger behind me was asleep at the gate snoring like a madman and would not budge. Take this as a warning folks, save the nap for when you’re ON the plane and if you can’t do that, be sure to set an alarm on your phone to wake you up at the boarding time indicated on your boarding pass.
To date, these are my top airline travel blunders and I’m sure there will be many, many more to come. I would love to hear your stories, so please comment and share!
Happy travels my friends.