Sunday, May 17, 2009

Question Of The Week

When Carter was 2, we took our first family vacation. 11 days in California....visiting family....Disneyland, Sea World, The San Diego Zoo, California Adventure, and Legoland....beach, sun and fun! We planned for months. I shopped for months. We were ready.

While waiting to board our flight, we were paged to the desk and told to please follow the attendant....something had happened to our luggage. The airline had spilled jet fuel on 3 out of the 4 bags we had checked, destroying every item we packed. Favorite clothes, worn in and perfectly fitting Birkenstocks, newly bought items for the trip. Gone. For good. We were speechless!

For the following 7 hours, we proceeded to sort and inventory our possessions....sitting in the DFW loading area below the main level.....inhaling gas fumes....trying to reason this whole situation out......all the while keeping a 2 year old busy in an airport with no help and experience in travel with a child, much less a situation like this! After a full day of chaos, the next morning negotiating with Delta reps for an immediate reimbursement (instead of their usual protocol....fill out this form and receive a check in 4-6 weeks), and a day shopping to replace what we had lost, we proceeded with our trip and it was fantastic. But, it certainly started off like a nightmare!

After this incident, Blake and I went through a string of bad luck....delayed luggage on a ski trip to shuttle waiting for us in Mexico as scheduled....etc. We thought we were cursed for a while!

***What is your worst travel experience? Or best? Or most eventful?


Dee Stephens said...

I have too many to tell! Seriously....the last one was Brad and I sitting in the Phoenix airport for 9 hours.
But thinking back.. the worst was Labor Day weekend a couple of years ago.
I flew to BR going through ATL first and when we got there we discovered they put all the wrong luggage on the wrong flight.
I had no clothes, makeup, shoes, etc..except what I had on. They didn't get my bags to me until the day before I left. I had to go out and buy everything new. Needless to say I try and carry on all my bags these days.
Happy Travels!

Kelly Beatty said...

Brian and I flew into Milan, Italy but our luggage didn't make the connecting flight. Unfortunately, we weren't even staying in Milan. We were staying in Venice. So, our luggage had to "planes, trains, and gondola" it to Venice. Meanwhile, we were stuck in our travel clothes. It's not like we could afford brand new Gucci and Prada outfits (which were our only option in Venice). We were thrilled to get our luggage on our last full day in Venice. Thanks American Airlines.

Allyson and Dave said...

Story 1...In Sept of 2004 Dave was supposed to be going to Sweden for work. We were hit by Hurricane Francis that weekend. He was schdeduled to leave on Saturday but since we knew Francis was coming they moved his flight to Friday. Francis came early and they shut the airport down. He did not make it out until Monday. He got to Atlanta but Francis followed him and they closed the Atlanta airport. So on Tuesday he finally left the states. He made it to Paris. And missed a connecting flight. So he was stuck there the airport with no luggage. I think it was Thursday by the time he made to Stockholm. He only got to work one day when he was supposed to work like 4 or 5. By some miracle his luggage acutally made it all the way.

Story 2...We were in Durban, South Africa. Daves loves sharks so he had convinced me to go the Sharks Board where they do all of this shark research and make you watch them disect a shark only to find another shark in it's belly. Eewww!! Anyways this place was a 30 minute drive from our hotel. So we take a cab...because we can't drive on the left. We get to the place and after a couple of hours are ready to leave. Only there are no cabs to take us back. Okay no big deal there was a mall a 1/2 mile away. So we walk over there. BTW...Durban is known for crime and is just about the scariest place I have ever been. We shop for a bit and decided to go to the main entrance of the mall to catch a cab. Only there are no cabs. We have someone call one for us...because our cell phones do not work in Africa. We waited 2 hours and still no cab. It was dark now. We were told to only take a cab with a taxi light up sign on top...all the others were fakes and might rob us. Nice thought, huh. So after like 3 hours we finally spot one with a sign. We get in and they guy takes the taxi sign off and hands it to someone else. OMG...what do we do now??? I don't even have a working cell phone!! The guy drove us to the hotel...all the while I am terrified that I will never make it back to America and see my family again. But we made it to the hotel and the guy tries to charge us double what we paid on the ride out. I told Dave to just pay him. But no....Dave actually argued with the guy!! He even called over the hotel concierge to tell him he was over charging us. Dave wound up throwing the money (the amount we paid on the ride out) into the back seat of the cab and slamming the door and walking away. I hardly slept at all that night. I was convinced the guy was going to come after us...he knew where we were staying!!

The Lenzers said...

i can't really say i have had a "bad" trip, certainly not as bad as yours, so i guess that is good. i have had lost luggage a time or two, but i think it was when i got home-so not that big of a deal. hopefully you can laugh about it now.

Malinda said...

I certainly have not had any jet fuel incidents, or horrible travel stories so far (knock on wood), but I did have a horrible vomiting migraine on a flight back from Hawaii once and I thought that flight would never end.

Come to think of it, the first time we went to Hawaii I found out I was allergic to the sun on day 4 of a 10 day trip and was covered head to toe in hives. That was not so fun.

I remember all the preparation you made for the trip to California before all your things got ruined. For some reason I remember you had a cute little wet suit for Carter that was ruined and all your clothes you had packed for your portraits on the beach as well. Funny the things we remember.

starnes family said...

Love everyone's long stories!

Malinda - yep, we had a darling wet suit and had purchased all new clothes for the photos. Luckily, we were able to replace everything. You have a good memory!

Allyson - you are so well traveled!

Dee - can't believe you don't have more as much as you are on the go.

Jann - yes, we laugh now but not so much on the Cali trip.

Kelly - why no Gucci?!!! :)

Coco said...

I just hate to fly. It's a control issue. So, I usually have to be pretty drunk to fly comfortably. This has been a problem in past trips because I have been sitting in the airport bar rather than boarding my flight.

Therefore, I have missed several flights.

donatelli98 said...

None as bad as yours Casey ... I had to go to Yakima, WA for work one time and had a layover in Seattle. Only thing to eat was Taco Bell and then boarded a plane where every seat was an aisle and a window seat (that small) and proceeded to fly to Yakima with 40 mile per hour winds .. thank goodness they had air sickness bags, it was not pretty. When I was pregnant with Lacey I remember sitting on a plane on the runway at DIA and the wind blowing so hard it was rocking back and forth - and this was a 737. Luckily I had some gingerale and a pack of saltines with me. US Air lost Lacey's carseat for 2 days in Jan when we went to FL ... For all the flying I used to do with work only lost my bags one time - going to Rochester, NY - had to buy new clothes and Delta would not reimburse us since they provided us our bags within 48 hours - who cares that it was like 44.5 and we had to go to the client!

donatelli98 said...

Ok - I enabled my blog - but there is nothing on there. I had intentions of working on it over the weekend but didn't get to it. Will try to this week. Can you tell me how I can get pics along the side of me and the kids - like you have everyone listed in the fam?

Amy said...

Wow - there are some bad stories out there.

Luckily we've never had any baggage lost, but I did get in a fight with a woman sitting next to us on our flight home from Florida Christmas.

Lila was on my lap, screaming during the descent - nothing would console her and the woman next to me (who had been sneezing and coughing throughout the trip) grabbed Lila's sippy cup from between my legs and said "Here, maybe this will help her." I screamed at her for putting her germs on my daughter's cup and said nothing is going to make her feel better but landing, leave us alone. My husband was mortified and apologized to her once we were on the ground. I'm a little better about flying with the kid, but it can make for an uptight flight!

merrilee said...

Going to Hawaii(a 6 hour flight) I had Ellery on my lap and was 5 months pregnant with Dane. I was flying solo, as Darin was already in Hawaii. The teenager in front of me had her seat reclined all the way, during the whole duration of the flight. I let Ellery kick and push away, but this did not deter the person in front of me. I will NEVER fly on such a long flight again with a "lap child." SOOOO not worth the few dollars we saved.

If the shoe FITZ said...

I can't believe Carter was two! I've known you a long time. I remember you coming back to work telling me the story! Crazy!

Moni said...

I remember coming back to Dallas from visiting you in Louisiana with Chris Cason during college....American Eagle stinks....I was flying standby because I had missed my previous flight due to a little too much fun. They called three of us up to the gate and let me take the last seat because I weighed the least, but my bags had to wait until the next flight (again, a weight issue). I had to sit at the very back of the plane facing the aisle, totally hung was a nightmare. I didn't get my luggage for four days because they accidentally sent it to Little Rock.

I also spent a return flight from Hawaii having a little brat throw checkers at me while his mother chased his brother up and down the aisles. I think I might have "accidentally" put my foot in the aisle and tripped the kid. If there is a child within four rows of me now, I will request a seat change!!!