Unwelcome Travel Experiences

Subtitle: My Flight From Hell

I don’t travel long distances during the chaotic summer months. I’ve had such horrible experiences flying off-season that I don’t even chance boarding a flight during the months of June, July or August.

To prove my point, let’s review my last flight to Hawaii. It was by no means a vacation. Rather, three months ago I was forced to fly 10,000 miles roundtrip to attend my beloved grandmother’s funeral. I decided to take my 6-year-old daughter along since she and my grandma shared such a sweet relationship.

Unfortunately, American Airlines cancelled our direct flight to Hawaii due to various mechanical issues with more than one of their airplanes. My overtired child and I spent more than 14 hours straight at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, received despicable treatment by American employees, got re-routed on an overbooked flight to San Francisco (which was also delayed because we had to wait for volunteers to get off the plane) that landed at 1 a.m. on the day of my grandmother’s wake, changed planes again, and then got stuck in Honolulu until our connecting inter-island airline could find seats for us to fly to Hilo.

Long story short, it took us more than 43 hours to get from our hometown in Wisconsin to Hilo. We missed my grandmother’s wake, never got the chance to kiss her good-bye before her casket was closed for good, and got the shaft from American when it came to compensation. I think American’s exact words were: “While on-time performance is a top priority at American, there are simply too many uncontrollable factors associated with air travel and some delays are inevitable.”

Two, three, maybe even five hours, that’s a “delay” in my book, but 43 hours for a bereavement flight that was flown solely to attend a funeral—-that’s more than just a “delay” in my world.

Still, I suppose it could have been worse. Things can always be worse, right?

I thought about my trip from hell when I read a recent notice issued from the Health Department in Largo, Maryland. Apparently, a rabid fox bit a visitor at Six Flags America in Largo a few days ago. So some innocent individual, who was minding his or her own business during a summer trip to a popular amusement park, is now waiting to see if he or she will survive the attack.

According to health officials, the fox was captured and it tested positive for rabies. Officials say once symptoms of rabies develop, the disease is always fatal in humans.

Talk about an unwelcome travel experience.

What’s your worst travel tale?

Related Articles:

The Ultimate Travel Nightmare

Holiday Travel Nightmares

The Nightmare of Redeeming Frequent Flyer Miles

Preparing For Travel Delays

Preparing For Travel Delays–Part 2

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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