Tag: Travel HellView All Tags
Hurricane Sandy / Frankenstorm 2012 / Hurricanes / Travel Tips / Delays / Weather / Sandy / Hurricane Travel / Travel Hell / → All Tags
Now that Hurricane Sandy is upon the East Coast and canceling flights in droves, we're dedicating today to using all our travel know-how (and some on-the-fly advice, as half the Jaunted team is stuck at airports as well) to help you ride out the storm despite delayed travel. Stay tuned and stay safe!
Okay. You're stuck. You're frustrated, maybe even angry, and you're going to tweet/facebook/(name any other social media network here) it out. Better get your spelling straight. The whiling-away-the-time question of the day: Is it "canceled" or "cancelled?"
The correct answer is that American English favors one L while most everyone else in the world who speaks English (Canadians, Brits, Australians, etc) uses two L's. So if you're in EWR it's "canceled" and "canceling" but if you're in London's Heathrow airport, which is transitioning from being an awful place to an awful place that kills people, it's "cancelled" and "cancelling." Interestingly the spelling convention extends to "cancelable" vs. "cancellable," but not to "cancellation"which is the same everywhere for reasons that have yet to be explained to us.
If you want to know more, you can always waste a few minutes viewing an ngram charting American adoption/divergence of the alternate spelling here. And don't pretend you don't have the time to click through. You've got the time.
Except for a baggage fee or the occasional in-flight snack craving it’s usually fine to leave your wallet in your pocket when boarding your flight. However, this wasn’t the case for some passengers aboard a recent Air France flight due to a little bit of an unscheduled layover.
The flight was originally set to do its thing between Paris and Beirut, but there was some stuff going down on the ground near the airport in Lebanon. Turning around wasn’t really an option as the plane was running low on fuel, so the pilot decided to make an emergency landing at the airport in Damascus, Syria.
Now we probably don’t need to tell you that there’s been a little bit of unrest—to say the least—taking place in Syria, so this probably wasn’t the typical stopover to fill up on gas.
As you already know, international first class—especially on foreign carriers—is usually pretty swanky as your flight is filled with fine wines, wonderful meals, and often a lie-flat bed. In order to fully enjoy your in-flight slumber there’s often special first class pajamas, but when those comfy clothes aren’t in your size that’s when the problems begin.
That’s exactly what the problem was for a pair of passengers on a recent Qantas flight between Los Angeles and Melbourne. There were no pajamas in their preferred size, so the pair did the only reasonable thing—delayed the flight in some sort of pajama protest.
As we have repeatedly confirmed and often mention, and with the exception of the "overweight passengers in seats" screaming match, there is absolutely nothing that gets travelers riled up like the "kids on airplanes" debate.
Of the many reasons we have an entire travel with children category, there's the plain fact that everyone has an opinionand almost always a strong oneabout the controversy. Either you have to do it and you don't understand why people won't make allowances for you and your children, or you loathe traveler parents and can't stand the little crotch flowers they drag along with them. There are enough people in the latter group that Malaysia Airlines has evaluated the market and started banning children from huge sections of their airplanes.
It's not just that London's Heathrow airport sucks, although of course it very much sucks. The runways are inadequate, the facilities are derelict, and the passport control queues in the world's self-declared "most cosmopolitan capital evuh" rival Soviet Union bread lines. BAA has been unable or unwilling to fix LHR's most visible problems and British tabloids, in their inimitable style, have taken to endlessly shredding airport officials. "Heathrow Hell" gets over 9,000 Google hits.
But the point about Heathrow is that when things go wrong they go spectacularly wrong, to the point where you almost have to marvel at the combination of aggressive incompetence, bureaucratic malaise, and sheer bad luck. We still remember how in 2010 Bulgaria had to send rescue planes to Heathrow to pick up their snowed-in citizens, as if London was some kind of Third World war zone.
We still don’t understand why people feel the need to disobey the flight attendants when onboard an airplane. We’ve seen it time and time again, and we’re pretty sure there’s never a case where a passenger is rewarded for his or her bad behavior. The latest instance of not following directions comes to us from Miami where a Canadian passenger just couldn’t stay in his seat.
It sounds like this 24-year-old gentleman though it was a great idea to rush to the front of the plane upon touching down in Florida after arriving from Jamaica. Apparently he was pretty darn disorientated, and he refused to sit back down after being asked to do so by the flight attendants. He was “subdued,” but we’re not exactly sure what that entailed. Although we have to imagine it wasn’t too pleasant.
As for punishment, the passenger faces federal changes, including messing with a flight crew. However, we just think he needs to go back to Kindergarten to learn about the importance of being nice and following directions.
[Photo: Lars Plougmann]
[Photo: Lars Plougmann]
Airline Bankruptcies / Airline News / Airlines / Travel News / Travel Hell / REDjet / Direct Air / → All Tags
It seems like just yesterday that we were wondering about Direct Air and their interesting route choices, and we were pretty excited to hear that REDjet was ready to head over to a couple new spots. Well apparently the party is over, as both of these airlines aren’t in the best overall standing—both financially and operationally. Direct Air sent out a memo on Friday detailing their plans for chapter 11 bankruptcy, and then late that same day REDjet announced that their planes would remain on the ground and refunds would be forthcoming.
First let’s talk about Direct Air, as they probably screwed up a few more vacations, like especially for those who were dreaming of a warm spring break destination from a smaller airport right by their home. It’s time to find alternate accommodations, because Direct Air has totally put a stop to their scheduled charter operation. That means no flights from Springfield, Illinois to spots like Myrtle Beach and Orlando. Since this carrier wasn’t really one of the big boys there’s little to no chance—with the emphasis on no chance—than any other carriers will plan to pick up the pieces.
Everyone knows that it’s kind of risky to transport pets to here or there—except when using Pet Airways of course. Risky is probably just the beginning when it comes to sending a few critters that love the water, and that’s just what happened when one airline decided to send some dolphins across the globe underneath the belly of an airplane.
We’ll let you know that all the dolphins are doing well, but Hong Kong Airlines is getting called out for sending five finned friends as cargo between Vietnam and Japan. Some are calling the shipping conditions as bad as “flying coffins,” as the critters were stuck for as long as seven hours. The dolphins apparently were being sent from the Japanese town of Taiji, whichto make matters worsehas a less than stellar reputation due to their annual dolphin hunt.
This is not her car, but still WTF
We often wonder if one week will ever pass in which there’s just not some totally obscure travel story. This week isn’t going to be it, as we’ve already found the winner for a huge "WTF."
A Houston woman was doing her best to navigate her rental car towards a hotel room for the night when she veered off the road and got the car stuck in a drainage pond in Idaho. However, instead of getting out of the car and making her way to safety, she just decided to hunker down and wait for help in the car. For like three days. We’re thinking she must have really liked her rental car, and maybe she scored some kind of sweet upgrade.
Travel Hell / Accidents / Cruise Travel / Costa Cruises / Costa Concordia / Travel Rants / → All Tags
Late Friday night, The Costa Cruises ship Costa Concordia sailed from the Italian port of Civitavecchia near Rome, beginning what would be a nice Mediterrnean cruise. Shortly thereafter, it went off course and struck a reef, eventually listing and coming to rest off the island of Giglio.
The weekend brought new stories, new shocks and new questions of what exactly happened that night, and how it could even happen. Even the death tool is fluctuating. So until some concrete facts emerge, we're returning to a story we know to be the firsthand account from a friend who survived a cruise ship accident (though it didn't end up sinking).
Kathy, who was kind enough to share her story with us, was stuck onboard a crippled cruise ship for three days, albeit a couple decades ago.
Here's her story:
Celeb Travel / American Airlines / Rachel Zoe / Checked Baggage / Travel Hell / Lost Luggage / → All Tags
When you’ve got loads of designer clothes that just need to get there on time, we’d probably recommend carrying on. Unfortunately for Rachel Zoe—famous for dressing celebs and her The Rachel Zoe Project show—checking things was apparently the only option, and now she’s missing all kinds of stuff.
The stylist to the starts was heading to Miami and then on to St. Barts to celebrate the holidays and took to the skies aboard American Airlines thinking that everything would go swell. She was wrong, and now like a week later all her stuff is missing somewhere in the maze of baggage carts, conveyor belts, and handlers in the American Airlines system. Her Gucci jackets and Missoni goods are nowhere to be found, and she’s taking to Twitter to complain about it.
Travel Hell / Airlines / Airline News / Comtel / ATQ / BHX / VIE / → All Tags
We’re sadly used to paying extra for our flights now – baggage, drinks, extra legroom seats, priority boarding… But one thing we never expected to have to shell out for is the actually taking off.
So it’s gobsmacking to hear of Comtel Air, an Austrian-based airline that, in October, launched a twice-weekly service from Birmingham (UK) to Amritsar (India). On Tuesday, a plane which should have taken off on Saturday, stopped in Vienna for a scheduled refueling; only, according to passengers, the pilot refused to take off until they clubbed together to pay £23,000 ($36,000) to get the plane in the air again.
After a six hour standoff (let’s not forget they were already three days late in their arrival), the passengers agreed to pay £130 each to get the ordeal over. If they didn’t have cash on them, they were escorted to ATMs in the airport before being let back onboard.