#1 9-4-2017 10:49 PM

bhush2006
Bhushan
Pune, India
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Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

Hello Friends

Just thought of posting this topic. As many of us carefully plan for travel itineraries / flights / transport, there are few circumstances beyond our control which lead to our planning gone wrong. Would like to hear about such incidences and lessons learned from that :-)

To start with, I will narrate one incidence.
Few years back, when I was in Bali for TB meetup, I had decided to go to KOMODO island after the meetup. So I booked a flight from Bali to Komodo International Airport well in advance (almost 4 months advance). I booked it on Merpati Airline. Ticket price was around 100 USD Return. As my travel date neared, one day I just tried to look at their website to check if the flight is still as per schedule. Their website was not accessible. So I Googled and to my horror I found that the airline had gone BANKRUPT and ceased its operations.. No refund could be received from them because people had mentioned that we need to go to their office in Jakarta to get refund. I had no other alternative than to book a NEW flight which I did on Garuda Indonesia for about 200 USD.. So this whole affair costed me a whooping sum..Later I was fortunate enough that the trip went well and enjoyed a lot at Komodo with other TB friends.

Lesson Learnt : Always Book with some reputed airline.

Lets hear your experiences.

Bhushan

 

#2 9-4-2017 11:39 PM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

Some circumstances can happen on the spot of destination even on reputable company, things that already booked in advance.

We have this experience: during our trip to Western Canada we book a car online 6 months in advance on a reputable company Avis via Expedia everything is paid. Online it didn't mentioned about which license we need to carry, so we thought we only need our international one, as we already been rented cars in the US and Canada before, they never asked our home license

When we get to Avis office in Vancouver airport they asked our home license, we didn't have it with us, we only had our international licensed, they refused to give the car. I'm devatating to a guy in a counter, he said is a procedure of Avis, he even called his boss, but no luck. I'm almost crying infront of those people  and begging, but they can't helped us.

Next to Avis counter is Budget car rental, we could rent a car with them without home license needed. International is good, of course rent a car on spot is more expensive than booking in advance.

After our trip I complain to Expedia where we book the car for a refund, but no answer. Emailing and and calling no luck, we lost our 800€

This experience I would never forget. Nowadays, if we rent a car we always carry two license. A lessons learn, we experience once, don't want to happen again

Last edited by shavy (9-4-2017 11:55 PM)

 

#3 9-4-2017 11:52 PM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

bhush2006 wrote:

Lesson Learnt : Always Book with some reputed airline.

Even Swissair, at the time very reputated, went bankrupt, had to buy a new ticket from Bangkok to Europe...
Some Hotel/Hostel in Melbourne refused to accept my booking (they had overbooked) and refused to return my advanced payment, also didn't answer to Hostelbookers (they returned my payment then), the place has now a different name (owner?), so i presume they made similar shit more often.

 

#4 9-5-2017 12:13 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

Shavy, for work i had to use at least 20 times a Avis car, always booked with the customers Avis card (but had to payed in cash because of curreny regulations in his country), when renting i asked for an estimate for returning it at a certain airport and time/date, when returning the car (always at the given time and place) there was usually not enough time for the customer to return the car by himselfe, so i did it and payed it, there where almost always some surcharges added, it did take me up to 2 hours to sort it out, i wonder if it is only Avis doing that, and how often they get away with it.

Last edited by ulis (9-5-2017 12:14 AM)

 

#5 9-5-2017 1:33 AM

nolan
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

The stories with Avis are quite sad. They were once the No. 2 car rental company (after Hertz) and their motto was for a very long time, "We Try Harder". Five years ago they changed their motto to "It's Your Space" ... what that really means befuddles me but I'm not surprised they're no longer No. 2.

 

#6 9-5-2017 3:00 AM

stefmuts
Stefanie
Neerpelt, Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

shavy wrote:

Some circumstances can happen on the spot of destination even on reputable company, things that already booked in advance.

We have this experience: during our trip to Western Canada we book a car online 6 months in advance on a reputable company Avis via Expedia everything is paid. Online it didn't mentioned about which license we need to carry, so we thought we only need our international one, as we already been rented cars in the US and Canada before, they never asked our home license

When we get to Avis office in Vancouver airport they asked our home license, we didn't have it with us, we only had our international licensed, they refused to give the car. I'm devatating to a guy in a counter, he said is a procedure of Avis, he even called his boss, but no luck. I'm almost crying infront of those people  and begging, but they can't helped us.

Next to Avis counter is Budget car rental, we could rent a car with them without home license needed. International is good, of course rent a car on spot is more expensive than booking in advance.

After our trip I complain to Expedia where we book the car for a refund, but no answer. Emailing and and calling no luck, we lost our 800€

This experience I would never forget. Nowadays, if we rent a car we always carry two license. A lessons learn, we experience once, don't want to happen again

I was looking in to the international drivers license thing and all websites say: not valid without your regular driving license so I guess you're not the first with this issue

 

#7 9-5-2017 5:14 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

The international drivers license is only a translation of your driving licence, but valid together with your driving licence accepted in most countries including Canada (but not in China, Brasil and some African states) as long as you don't live in them, otherwise you would have to make everytime you cross a border a new driving licence. Rental companies can have all sorts of strange rules, but i think booking sites like Expedia should mention them.

 

#8 9-5-2017 5:39 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

We rent cars from Avis before if I remember, five times already: Europe, South America and USA. Rent a cars in Europe we only present our Belgium drivers license.

Outside Europe we use our international drivers license like Australia, USA and South America.

Our last trip to West USA in 2012 we use Avis company, pick-up the car in Atlanta and drop off in Seattle. First thing they asked is credit card and international drivers license, we're both drivers.

So we thought it will not necessarily to carry our home drivers license during our trip to Western Canada in 2015

Anyway, we learn this mistake and try to avoid for happening again smile

Last edited by shavy (9-5-2017 6:00 AM)

 

#9 9-5-2017 5:52 AM

shavy
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Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

ulis wrote:

The international drivers license is only a translation of your driving licence, but valid together with your driving licence accepted in most countries including Canada (but not in China, Brasil and some African states) as long as you don't live in them, otherwise you would have to make everytime you cross a border a new driving licence. Rental companies can have all sorts of strange rules, but i think booking sites like Expedia should mention them.

Belgium released new drivers license and is translated in English. Is not free anymore we pay 25€ and only valid for 10 year. I already had the new one and is handy look like a bank card....I hope is acceptable worlwide wink. Before our license is free and no validity, but only readable in Flemish.

Our international lisence is only valid for 5 years and cost 17€. Not easy to carry, is bigger than passport.

Last edited by shavy (9-5-2017 6:20 AM)

 

#10 9-5-2017 6:02 AM

ulis
Uli
Vienna, Austria
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

You will still need a international drivers license in Bali (not having, it is a good extra income for the police), and in China you probably still have to make a Chinesel drivers license.

 

#11 9-5-2017 6:07 AM

shavy
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Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

stefmuts wrote:

I was looking in to the international drivers license thing and all websites say: not valid without your regular driving license so I guess you're not the first with this issue

Well Stefanie, if you never seen the Belgium international license is not very handy. It made from carton and the size is bigger than international passport.  You need your national license if you asked an international license at the city hall. Takes only 3-5 working days

 

#12 9-5-2017 6:09 AM

shavy
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Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

ulis wrote:

You will still need a international drivers license in Bali (not having, it is a good extra income for the police), and in China you probably still have to make a Chinesel drivers license.

At the moment I have no plans of travelling there, if I am, I'll check carefully the drivers license smile if rented a car

Last edited by shavy (9-5-2017 8:00 AM)

 

#13 9-5-2017 7:02 AM

maykal
Michael
Saint Andrews, Scotland
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

I used to be very reluctant to book hotels in advance, which came from my experience in Sofia. Landing at midnight, I thought it was a good idea to book a hostel so I didn't have to go round searching for somewhere to stay in the middle of the night in an unfamiliar city. Hostel was booked and emails had been exchanged about my late arrival so they were aware I was coming and would be waiting. The taxi driver dropped me off by a gate which clearly said the name of the hostel. Everything was in darkness and the gate firmly locked. I rang the bell, banged on the gate, shouted...nothing. It wasn't the nicest part of Sofia, and at 1am, it was deathly quiet with just a pack of stray dogs barking in the distance. It's not much fun wandering the streets in the dark, no real idea where you are or where you're going, and to make it even better, it was just beginning to snow. Eventually I found a receptionist smoking outside a hotel in a nearby street who must have taken pity on me, and I was given a dingy basement room with mirrors on the ceiling that she said was normally reserved for her son "for entertainment, you understand?". I did. Anyway, I had an email battle with the hostel I'd booked and the website, they claimed they were open 24 hours a day and charged me as a "no show". It was several years before I booked any accommodation in advance again...and a decade before I ever thought of going back to Sofia.

Three times I've been stranded at Edinburgh Airport late at night. I live about an hour's drive away, but I don't drive and rely on public transport, which stops at around 10pm. So I'm always careful when booking flights home and try to find one that lands before 7pm...I know that's 3 hours before the last bus, but if a flight is delayed more than three hours then the airline has to pay compensation, which either pays for the expensive taxi home or a night in an Edinburgh hotel (never cheap at the best of times, and not easy to find at the last minute in August when the festival is on). Before I knew about this 3 hour rule, I was booked on a flight landing after 8, but with a 2 hour delay I missed my bus and had to pay for a hotel myself. Strangely, the three flights when I've been stranded have all been from London Gatwick.

Another tale of airline woe was last year going to Albania. I knew it was risky to book two flights on the same day with different airlines, but Scotland to Albania is not the easiest route to find and I thought a 5 hour transfer in Milan airport would be more than enough time to make the second flight. Well, the first flight was severely delayed, and as my connecting flight was with another airline, Easyjet could only offer a shrug and a £5 voucher for refreshments. I ended up stuck in a hideous airport hotel in Milan and had to book a new onward flight for the next day.

 

#14 9-5-2017 7:24 AM

grandmar
RosalieAnn
Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

Travel plans gone wrong

Two instances where my travel agent screwed up.  I flew from Sydney to Perth to get on a cruise ship at the port for Perth which was some miles from the city.  One of my VT friends met me at the airport and drove us to the port.  But the hotel at which my travel agent (who I had used many times before with no problems) had made the reservations was one which had two locations - one in Perth and one in the port.  He made reservations in Perth.  So I had to pay twice because I was not going back to Perth.

Second instance - I made reservations with a travel agent I had used very successfully 20 years previously for a trip to Costa Rica in August.  He screwed up.  He failed to tell the hotel at Tortugero that I would need level access for my mobility scooter.  The guide that was provided for this trip was not helpful to me.  And when it came time to pick up a car, there was none available because there was a mistake in the date - the reservation had been made for May when it should have been for August.  Because August is the low season, I was able to get on my phone and rent a car from another company.

With airline reservations I have had several glitches.  My daughter is a pilot for AA and she can get us SpaceA passes, or get a discount on reservations.  I was flying from Miami to Madrid to Barcelona and then from Venice to Madrid to Miami and I made the reservations on AA for the Miami to Madrid sections.  But for some reason, I could not do the reservations from Madrid to Barcelona and from Venice to Madrid on the same ticket.  I ended up having to fly from Venice to Madrid in First Class because there was no space available otherwise.

Another time I tried to fly first class (because it was overnight and my husband does not sleep well sitting up) from BWI to Heathrow on a flight that was a codeshare between BA and AA.  I was going to make the reservations on AA and use the discount, but I discovered to my horror that the AA price for the trip was $20,000 while the price if I made the reservation with BA was only about $8,000 (for two- round trip).  So I wanted to cancel the AA reservation as I did not have enough money in my account to pay for it.  I had to go up three levels of supervision before I got them to cancel the reservation.

It was on that trip that I decided to take my scooter without a suitcase - just to fold it up and ask the airline people to put it in the coat closet.  This worked fine on the trip over (BWI to Heathrow to Amsterdam).  But on the way back, the people at the plane in Amsterdam said that there was no room in the closet and asked me to gate check the scooter.  When we changed planes in Heathrow, they did not give me my scooter back.  I found out later that they sent it to baggage claim in Heathrow.  So when we arrived at BWI late at night, there was no scooter.  They said they would send it on the next flight and drive it to my house.  And they did.  BUT it arrived in two pieces - the control head had been broken off.

They wanted me to get two estimates of how much it would cost to fix, but there's no one down here that does that kind of work, so my husband just fixed it.

Last edited by grandmar (9-5-2017 7:28 AM)

 

#15 9-5-2017 7:35 AM

gingerbatik
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

I have many mishap in my travel, and I though it was part of the trip, and apparantly I still haven't learn the lesson yet.
I changed the flight ticket several times and paid penalty  for that.
Missed my flight because I cannot differentiate between the am flight and pm flight Eg. fly on 5 sep at 12.00am, I turn up at the airport at 12.00pm and the flight was gone.
Missed the flights and prepaid hotels beause I was sick.
Flight cancelled due of volcano eruption without refund.
Book and paid flights on the website on the wrong date (didn't pay attention) and then have to buy another flight tickets.
Purchased several flight tickets which i did not fly due to some circumstances (in Europe, Asia and South Pacific), no refund.
Missed the bus in Slovenia and costing €180 taxi rides.
Bribe the police while driving because I do not have my international license.
etc,etc...

Probably I should write a book about this... so many stories......

 

#16 9-5-2017 10:14 AM

milestx
Miles
Austin, Texas
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

My travel mishaps have usually involved non-refundable hotel reservations. I would have saved money if my travel plans hadn't changed, but when they did the first night's room rent at the hotel was gone gone gone.

 

#17 9-5-2017 9:10 PM

bhush2006
Bhushan
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

So many hints and points to pick from all these narrations. Thank you friends :-)

 

#18 9-5-2017 10:24 PM

stefmuts
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

shavy wrote:

stefmuts wrote:

I was looking in to the international drivers license thing and all websites say: not valid without your regular driving license so I guess you're not the first with this issue

Well Stefanie, if you never seen the Belgium international license is not very handy. It made from carton and the size is bigger than international passport.  You need your national license if you asked an international license at the city hall. Takes only 3-5 working days

I didn't know the new Belgian drivers license and is translated in English, maybe I should just hand in my paper version, I hear for Australia I don't need an international license, just the regular with an official translation, the new one would do I guess

Last edited by stefmuts (9-5-2017 10:25 PM)

 

#19 9-5-2017 10:34 PM

stefmuts
Stefanie
Neerpelt, Belgium
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

As for travel planning gone wrong; looks like my planned trip for this year is going to be on the list ... I planned a guided tour for right about now, but they cancelled due to too little people wanting to go there. Strangely I rescedueled for end of this month with the same company and this trip is fully booked (?) To be able to plan the trip on another date I had to change my vacation planning but since I'm working at 3 different companies at the moment I had to get approval from all 3, real hassle
Next time I will book the garantied trip!

 

#20 9-6-2017 2:55 AM

sarahelaine
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

My husband is one of these people who won't believe you really have to arrive two hours before a flight- left to himself he'd turn up 45 minutes before the gate closes and he has incredibly good luck so it works. Except just once, when we were working in Uganda. I flew back to the uk a week before him for my sister's wedding - there were security alerts, the airport was being double careful and taxis were being searched on the way in. I phoned him to warn him- seriously, it takes an hour to even get into the car park, do NOT miss my sister's wedding, I mean it.

Husband semi-listened and allowed two hours before the gate and a bit of extra travel time closed to get in. There was an hour and a half line to even get the taxis through the checks, pat downs for everyone and he arrived at the airport an hour before the flight. They wouldn't even let him check in.

He had to miss that flight and get an extremely expensive last minute flight out the next morning. Luckily he managed to persuade the insurance it was not his fault (!!) and he could not have foreseen the additional security (!!!!!). He made it to my sister's wedding after all, saving him a fairly major row, and he's been a bit less stressful to travel with ever since.

Last edited by sarahelaine (9-6-2017 5:09 AM)

 

#21 9-6-2017 7:26 AM

grandmar
RosalieAnn
Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

My husband is the opposite - he wants to be there super early and sometimes the little airports are not even open that early.  Once in St. Croix, the car rental place said they opened at 7, so he left me with the luggage at the airport before 7 - the baggage people were not at work yet so I was sitting in a wheelchair on the sidewalk with the luggage.  And when he got to the car rental place they were not open yet.

I've thought of another snafu in plans.  We went to Belize and the trip was arranged by a travel agent in Nevada.  He got sick before the final planning and his roommate or someone finished up with the plans and sent us vouchers for what we had paid for - hotels, plane tickets etc.  As part of the trip we were going into Guatemala to visit Tikal for two days.  We had vouchers for the hotel worth $90 a night.  We went in on a guided tour, and the tour was going back to Belize so they let us off at the hotel.  But the hotel did not have our reservations or any room for us.  It turns out that there is no phone service and all the hotel reservations were made by radio phone from Flores.  (this was in 1998) I had the voucher and the hotel guy wanted it but I wouldn't give it to him unless we got a room.  So he arranged for us to stay at a more expensive hotel for one night and then we stayed with him the second night.

Then when it came time to fly back to Belize to go home, the airline that we were booked on did not have a record of our ticket and that flight was overbooked so that the luggage for the people that flew on it had to go on a different plant.  The flight was quite early in the morning and there was no one at their area of the airport and most people there did not speak English.  I wandered around the airport and finally found a lady in an office who spoke English and plead my case with her.  She was a very energetic person and she got us on a flight with another airline and we didn't pay any extra for it.

Last edited by grandmar (9-6-2017 7:37 AM)

 

#22 9-6-2017 7:31 AM

sarahelaine
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

grandmar wrote:

My husband is the opposite - he wants to be there super early and sometimes the little airports are not even open that early.  Once in St. Croix, the car rental place said they opened at 7, so he left me with the luggage at the airport before 7 - the baggage people were not at work yet so I was sitting in a wheelchair on the sidewalk with the luggage.  And when he got to the car rental place they were not open yet.

There's probably a helpful middle ground!  I've had to sprint through airports at least four times because the silly man has refused to leave a beach/refused to allow enough time/flat lied to me about when the gate closed because he knew I would want to leave in sensible time, and that's clearly not an option for you (or me, now I have a toddler with me on most trips).  And one of my exes and I missed a flight because he refused to leave on time too, come to think of it.  But sitting by the roadside with a pile of suitcases because you set off  hours earlier than is needed is no fun either.  I have never managed to explain the concept of "middle ground" to my husband, though, and I suspect it will be an argument we are still having when we are both 90!

 

#23 9-6-2017 7:47 AM

grandmar
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Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

sarahelaine wrote:

There's probably a helpful middle ground!  I've had to sprint through airports at least four times because the silly man has refused to leave a beach/refused to allow enough time/flat lied to me about when the gate closed because he knew I would want to leave in sensible time, and that's clearly not an option for you (or me, now I have a toddler with me on most trips).  And one of my exes and I missed a flight because he refused to leave on time too, come to think of it.  But sitting by the roadside with a pile of suitcases because you set off  hours earlier than is needed is no fun either.  I have never managed to explain the concept of "middle ground" to my husband, though, and I suspect it will be an argument we are still having when we are both 90!

I was not upset at all about waiting for the airport to open and people to be there.  It was a nice sunny day - not too hot yet.  It would drive me crazy to be late, but it does not bother me to be early.  On this particular trip, we arrive there at night and rented a car but it took us about an hour and a half to find our hotel because it was dark and the roads were not marked.  So we made the run to the airport the day before in order to find out how long it took and at that time we asked when the airport and car rental place opened.  But knowing how Caribbean time works, I didn't really believe them when they said the times, so I was not surprised. 

We did have to sprint through an airport once, but that was flying out of DCA - we started out plenty early but the drawbridge over the Potomac went up and then got stuck and wouldn't go back down. We were the third car in line.  By the time they got it fixed 2 hours later (and this was before 9-11) we had to run through the airport dragging our luggage and the plane started to taxi before everyone was seated.

 

#24 9-6-2017 8:05 AM

Dymphna
Lee Ann
Montana, United States
Award: Vox Populi I
Tourist
Posts: 127

Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

When I was 15, long before cellphones, I went on a wider opportunity with the Girl Scouts into the bush of Quebec. I lived at that time in a very small town in Montana with a very small airport. So we went to Regina, (about 150 miles away) to fly in and out of. Well my parents went on vacation while I was gone and were supposed to pick me up on Saturday, not Sunday. Very long story short, I spent the night under a hedge in the yard of the family we were supposed to stay with and then called the police and was put in a foster home where my folks came and got me.

 

#25 9-6-2017 12:17 PM

maykal
Michael
Saint Andrews, Scotland
Award: Photographer IAward: Critic IIAward: Bedbug I
Sightseer
Posts: 57

Re: Experiences of Travel planning gone wrong.

grandmar wrote:

My husband is the opposite - he wants to be there super early and sometimes the little airports are not even open that early.  Once in St. Croix, the car rental place said they opened at 7, so he left me with the luggage at the airport before 7 - the baggage people were not at work yet so I was sitting in a wheelchair on the sidewalk with the luggage.  And when he got to the car rental place they were not open yet.

That sounds like my older brother. If it says get to the airport two hours ahead, he'd be there three hours ahead, just in case. That's fine in large airports with crowds at security and things to do while you wait in departures, but he does it at small airports too. Vagar Airport in the Faroe Islands for example. It had only one flight the day we were leaving, and that was our flight. We could have spent a couple of hours sightseeing in the morning, but he came up with all sorts of excuses for getting there early...roads might be busy (in the Faroes? haha), might take time to hand back the hire car, could be queues at security, weather might make the journey to the airport longer...when the real reason is that he gets panicky whenever he has to travel somewhere. So off we went with hours to spare, and funnily enough the airport wasn't quite ready for us...check-in not yet open, the lady from the car hire desk hadn't yet arrived. There's not a lot to do at Vagar airport when you've time to kill.

He does it with buses and trains too. I can't remember where we were, but we'd just bought bus tickets and had about 45 minutes before the bus came. I could see he wanted to wait on the platform, but made him go for coffee instead. He was jittery, looking at his watch every couple of minutes and saying "do you think we should head to the platform?". We got there just as the bus came in, so in my book, that's perfect timing, but in his, it would be classed as a near miss. He found transport in Georgia a bit hard to deal with, as local buses don't run according to timetables, they leave whenever they have enough passengers. not being able to plan ahead must have been a nightmare for him!

Of course I'm accused of being too laid back. I don't think I am, as I've never missed a flight because I'm late, it's always been because of other factors. For me it's more the waiting around in airports that drives me mad...if I can cut down on some of that, then I will.

 

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