Travel Horror Stories: The Series
I believe that that all bloggers eventually write about their travel
experiences, such as here, here, here, here, here, and here. Some people write about the wonderful places they have gone, the interesting people they have met, and the fantastic meals they have had. Others write about the horrors that have been inflicted on them by airlines, surly customs officials, poorly managed hotels, unpredictable weather, and germs that new to their gastric systems. My stories are of the second variety. I rarely travel for pleasure, but work has kept me accumulating at least enough frequent flyer miles to make the lowest tier of premium traveler status year after year.
I write this sitting in the C terminal of Reagan National Airport. My flight to Chicago is delayed due to thunderstorms between here and Chicago. The weather here has been fine since I arrived, but we were told that bad thunderstorms are about to descend on us. If they pass through quickly enough and the plane from Chicago can land, unload, be serviced, loaded, and be ready to take before 10:00 PM we will be able to go to Chicago today. It turns out that travel to Chicago is much worse in the summer than in the winter. Thunderstorms are much more disruptive to air traffic than snow is, but it is surprising that they are this bad in April. I usually think of the spring as the relatively simple time to travel.
10:00 PM and we left boarded about 11:30 PM. Apparently not everything wasLet me start with an annoying but not traumatic story. The details are a little sketchy since this trip is not burned into my memory like the real horrors. I was flying from Chicago to Pittsburgh after a visit to Fermilab. Normally I flew USAir between those two cities, but I had decided to try something different, and I made a reservation on American Eagle to fly on one of the new commuter jets that had just gone into service. It was the last flight out, which I try not take when returning home. Any problems with the plane or the weather and you are stuck out of town. There was a problem with the plane this time and we sat and waited. It was scheduled to leave about fixed and we sat on the plane for about an hour with air-conditioning before we took off. We were about 30 minutes from Chicago when the pilot announced that he had an equipment problem and was turning back to Chicago. When we landed all of the regular gate agents had gone home and there was only one person left to rebook everyone on other flights. I got out of there about 3:00 AM, found a hotel for a few hours sleep before heading back to the airport for my eventual return to Pittsburgh. Next time my first and last trip to Brazil.