Travelling

jules_wp_imageSo, I have been travelling again for bit and have a few random thoughts on the topic.

I am sure that it is not just me, and that it is not actually some great conspiracy, or personal vendetta, but sometimes it seems it. What can really go wrong with transatlantic travel in these days of advanced technology has always been my thought. Surely nothing. Oh how wrong I was. Admittedly none of these events are the end of the world, but they are fucking irritating when one is impatient to get to one’s destination and the woman they love. On journeys in the opposite direction they are admittedly almost inconsequential. Nothing to look forward to in that direction.

Well, now I am assured of one thing, that anything that can go wrong whilst travelling, will likely happen to me in some capacity. What sort of things do I mean? What sort of things piss me off when travelling? Some examples of things that have happened to me, on nearly every trip, are delayed flights, cancelled flights, lost luggage, airport transit failures, weather induced delays and failures, and a whole host of other situations.

Why when the weather is beautiful and perfectly acceptable for weeks, does it change to snow and ice the moment you leave for the airport, slowing down your journey to the airport and ensuring that you arrive only in the nick of time and have to race around through security and run for the aeroplane, only to find that it has been delayed because the plane hasn’t turned up, or my favourite, the plane is here but the pilot has failed to arrive.

Then there is the situation when you spend ages on the plane whilst they de-ice and carry out checks, taxiing to the runway, coming back, going to the runway again, then get thundering down the runway before slamming on the brakes, opening parachutes to slow us down before we shoot off the end of the runway, returning to the terminal and cancelling the flight. Then the joys of spending four hours in a queue – a favourite pastime of mine of course – waiting to be re-routed, arguing with the airline that you do not want half a dozen connections and to be travelling for three days, before they finally put you up in a hotel, providing vouchers insufficient to feed a mouse, and an unappealingly early start to the day, following a late night since they have spent so long re-routing you. Sorry for the long sentences – you can breathe when you like.

As annoying as these things are, my true ire is reserved for that pleasure of pleasures, the lost luggage. Every time I have travelled, I have ended up in one place, with my luggage in a completely different place, usually where my last connection was. Why is it always me though? I look, and everyone else’s luggage is there. Why the fuck me? The most recent time my luggage was delayed by three days with no expectation of my seeing it again. That is of course, until I had been and re-clothed myself at Walmart, when I then instantly got a message saying that my luggage would be with me the next day. It is always on the outward trip too, when your need for your luggage is at its greatest. Who wants to meet their loved one after travelling for many hours unable to change into clean clothes and have a wash and brush up?

So, enough of my inane rambling. I could go on for hours bitching and whining like a little girl, and although it would be fun for me, would bore the fucking shit out of you guys. So out of respect for your sensibilities, and indeed for your time, which I humbly apologise for wasting with my ravings, I will end this post here.

I lied. I didn’t end it there. I have a request for comments. Any interesting trials and tribulations about travelling, especially transatlantic travel would be great to hear. Please comment and we can have ourselves a bitch fest. Although I may take a while to answer comments.

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23 thoughts on “Travelling

  1. Welcome to the colonies. Yeah I was on a flight over Chicago when the right engine actually blew up and sent pieces of metal into the airplane. I happened to be on the side that blew so I got a good view of the fire on the wing and the pieces flying off. We were banking to the right when it happened so I also got a good view of the oil tanks on the ground by O’Hare rushing up to meet us. Lucky for everyone the pilot was very good so we kind of straightened out and for the first time I could remember, we actually did not have to enter a holding pattern. Flames licking at the fuel tanks sort of made that possibility not very practicable. we landed in a sea of foam and then deplaned in an undignified manner. I only had carry on, so I didn’t lose my luggage. Kept the contents of my bowels as well which was a greater miracle. Thanks for asking

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  2. This is why I’ve been told to bring an extra pair of underwear, socks, and a toothbrush onto the plane. I feel for you on the lost luggage since I’ve heard this seems to be a running gag at your expense. I don’t understand how it happens since everything has tags, especially to the same people. I have one friend who has yet to take a trip over an ocean without the luggage disappearing for a few days. So personal stories:

    1) Went to Israel after high school graduation, but my luggage ended up in Athens, Greece. I was pissed because I spent a few days in the desert with one set of clothing. Also, I wanted to go to Athens and now my luggage has seen more of the world than I have.

    2) Last minute mention that there would not be a meal on the plane, which resulted in everyone charging the nearest shop to grab real food. I had to watch the luggage, so I didn’t get in there and had to settle for a candy store nearby. My breakfast was sour cherries, gummy bears, and M&M’s.

    3) Flight home from honeymoon was an epic disaster of epic proportions. Nobody knew what was going on and it wasn’t weather issues on other side of the trip. They gave us vouchers to get food at the food court, but my mother-in-law called before we could eat. My wife answered, against my opinion, and couldn’t get off the phone. She got 2 bites of food before it was announced that everyone on our flight has to return to the gate. We tossed the food, hurried, and found it was to tell us that the plane would be delayed some more. I was trying not to yell at the person there and was demanding answers. The explanation was that there were issues with the plane engines and it would have to get checked WHEN IT ARRIVED! This thing was still in the air! In the end, they had to get another plane, those of us that stuck it out to the end got a free Sandra Bullock movie (Miss Congeniality 2, so I think this was lemon juice in the wound), and a free meal that was about as impressive as a barely cooked Hot Pocket.

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  3. Lost luggage blows! I’ve learned to carry just enough in a carry on that I don’t look like a bum the next day.

    As long as you were in Chicago, I could have come up and entertained you. Well, except we were in the middle of all that crappy weather.

    But look at the bright side, Ionia has seen you at your worst and without clean underwear 😉 and she still loves you more than anything. Better leave those charming WalMart clothes with her for next trip.

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    • Some entertainment at Chicago would certainly have been welcome, Pam.

      I suppose that seeing me at my worst is a good thing. At least she will never be surprised by my poor cleanliness and attire in the future.

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      • You both are looking at the important things…not the trivial. Glad you made it back safely. But it will be even better when you don’t have to make those transatlantic trips.

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  4. I once volunteered to stay an extra day on my vacation because they overbooked my flight. In return I got a free ticket to go anywhere I wanted. Does that count?
    I didn’t think so.
    Sorry, Julian.

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  5. The only bad story I have is racing from one end of Atlanta airport to the other to try to catch a connection – because our flight out of Orlando was delayed, thanks to ice on the wings. We made it by seconds and had to haggle with other passengers so I could sit next to my then-10-year-old. But, at least we made it home!

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  6. Never had intercontinental issues…got lucky. Went to Washington DC once to meet with my daughter on her 21st birthday. I had a Hospice conference to attend the next day. All my luggage went to Ronald Reagan and I went to Baltimore. Airport found it after several phone calls and assured me that they could deliver it to the Capitol Hilton (my daughter worked for Hilton, else we could not afforded such) the next day, but not until after 4pm and my conference was at 8am…for the inconvenience, my daughter scored two free tickets to anywhere in the U.S. (She used them also, going to and from Michigan when she was in school there.)

    Problem was, I had no decent clothes for this conference. I ran downstairs and discovered there was an Anne Taylor store in the building, so I went in and paid a small fortune for a suit. Wore it to the conference the next day (with the tags left on) and took it back for a full refund the next day.

    I know it was yucky for you, but when someone loves you like she loves you…it matters more to you than to them. A carry on is the best solution. I bet it did not stop her from giving you a luscious greeting.

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    • The greeting was incredible, as usual. I never have any doubts of that. Glad you could manage to sort the clothing problem without any significant expense. I bought a new set of clothes at about the same time they were leaving a message saying my luggage had been found and would arrive soon – typical.

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  7. It is good to rant!

    I don’t have any personal stories about problems with planes. I’ve only flown on three holidays (so six flights in all) and they were all direct so less chance of sending my suitcase in the opposite direction. Still possible, but thankfully they didn’t.

    I hope you have better luck in future and you always have your blog to let off steam 🙂

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  8. Oh, dear, I dread every flight I have to take now. Our last trip out of CA resulted in the first plane being delayed by 3 hours (and they would not let us off the plane) so we missed our connection. Then the connection we did get was delayed by almost 3 hours in part because they burned so much fuel waiting to take off that the plane got sent back to be refueled (again, we were stuck on the plane the whole time). These two delays conspired to dump us in Atlanta, instead of Tallahassee (aka home), where we had to run to catch yet another flight. The gods finally took pity on us: the Delta agent (a different airline from the one we started with) took one look at our frantic and exhausted faces and made sure not only that we made the flight but that we each got a row of seats all to ourselves. Of course, the flight from Atlanta to TLH is about 45 minutes, but it was a blissful 45 minutes. And of course our luggage was not waiting for us, but at least it was delivered the next day. I hate flying. It used to be fun. Now it sucks.
    I would think by now that you have a whole wardrobe of clothing at Ionia’s so you wouldn’t really need luggage 🙂 And showing up grimy and bedraggled is a good reason to take a long shower … preferably not alone 😉

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    • Sounds like you have had some pretty poor experiences too. Strangely my latest journey went very smoothly. I guess the journeys back to the UK that do not matter much to me will always be smoother than the journeys to the US that mean the world.

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