Tag: Travel Hell

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Carnival Passengers Finally Reach Shore; Will Probably Never Take a Cruise Again

February 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM | by | Comment (1)

The real-life horror story of the 3,470 passengers and 1,086 crew members of Carnival Triumph Cruise which was stranded for five days in the Gulf of Mexico after the ship lost power has finally come to an end.

Last night, the broken boat arrived in Mobile, Alabama after being pulled along, slowly, by tugboats. It took another five hours for passengers to wait before they could actually step off the filthy ship which reportedly had overflowing toilets, broken AC units, food shortages and other undesirable living conditions. Folks had taken to erecting tents on the upper decks just to get away from the foul odors. One passenger told a news outlet:

"The thing I'm looking forward to most is having a working toilet and not having to breathe in the smell of fecal matter."

Ooo, perhaps a new tag line for the next Carnival Cruise ad?

Carnival has said they will refund all passengers' trip expenses as well as offer them a free trip on another Carnival Cruise of their choice and now they've just offered an additional $500 per person. But we're not sure that will take away the awful associations these beleaguered passengers now have with cruises.

Tell us: Would you still take a cruise after having been through a nightmare like this? Would you still take a cruise knowing that something like this could happen? We wanna know! Tell us in comments below!

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What It's Like to Be Stuck Onboard a Crippled Cruise Ship

Where: Mexico
February 12, 2013 at 10:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yikes. If you haven't already heard, there's a Carnival Cruise ship drifting without electricity (and, thus, propulsion) in the Caribbean. It's the Carnival Triumph, a megaship which embarked on a 4-night cruise from Galveston, Texas over the weekend, only to be crippled by an engine room fire on Sunday. Not much was known about the state of the ship and onboard conditions for the passengers until several were able to place phone calls when a sister Carnival ship came to the Triumph's aid with backup food and water.

The ship is being pushed by two tugboats from her position off the coast of Mexico and she should reach Mobile, Alabama on Thursday.

Still, this is one more entry into our series of "The Evolution of Cruise Ships," as events like this do happen as much as you pray they won't on your cruise. In fact, one of our friends suffered a similar fate on her cruise, though it took place before the age of cellphones/internet/immediate news dissemination.

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One Stuck Traveler is Living Like Tom Hanks in 'The Terminal'

Where: Chile
February 11, 2013 at 9:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

We feel like this isn’t the first—and probably isn’t the last—time something like this will go down at the airport, but once again we’re looking at a real life story straight out of the Tom Hanks movie The Terminal. It doesn’t sound like there was a cute flight attendant in this example, as apparently Catherine Zeta-Jones was too busy to reprise her role in the real life sorry. Anyway, the latest airport sleepover all took place over the last few months at Santiago Airport in Chile.

It’s been a couple of months since Rodrigo Ben-Azul first arrived at the airport, and it’s all because he can’t get back to Spain. There’s no political conflict back home like in the movie, but his problem is way simpler. He’s run out of money and he’s flat broke. Apparently he’s waiting for family back in Spain to wire some euros his way, but until then he’s been collecting the luggage trolleys hoping to earn a few cents here and there.

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The Obligatory 'If You're Traveling This Weekend, Don't' Blizzard Warning

February 8, 2013 at 3:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

Good God in heaven. It's getting worse. 2,792 cancellation this morning have become 4,500 flights canceled since Thursday, with numbers still "likely to grow." As we told you this morning, the New York airports are pretty much shut down, and have now reached more than 1,800 total flights canceled today and another 640 shut down for tomorrow. In Boston Nemo is scoring a perfect 10/10 on the Weather Channel's Winter Impact Index. If you were thinking of traveling to New England in the near future, make other plans.

Also be ready to make other plans if you're traveling to any airports with airlines that have New England hubs. It's not just people trying to get to and from the East Coast any more. It's anyone who was going to pass through, or anyone who needed a plane that's currently there. Houston's already had 100 preemptive cancellations and Miami's up to 90. A "ripple effect," is how we believe the airline industry refers to it. Flightaware's cancellation page is where you want to go to see if you've been personally screwed by Nemo, or whether it's just everyone else in the country.

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Lost Luggage? Ask Nicely for a Toiletry Kit

Where: Spain
January 22, 2013 at 9:44 AM | by | Comment (1)

Luggage gets lost. Sometimes even our luggage gets lost. Most of the time it's no big deal since we planned accordingly and packed the essentials in a carry on and have what we need until the airline get their act together and delivers the bag. No big deal, right? Not all the time. In particular the time we put all our money on one color and let it roll on Iberia from Madrid to Mallorca.

It was a normal one-way flight to the Balearic Island. After what seemed like an uneventful check-in and after closer inspection we were given the wrong boarding passes. Inquiring about the confusion, collecting correct passes and a confirmation that the luggage will be loaded, we headed off to the lounge. In a surprise twist, our luggage was not on the belt in Palma.

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So, Which Airline Supposedly Has the Rudest Crew?

January 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM | by | Comments (3)


These ladies don't look rude

Coming off a few days of our own little annual awards, this story might seem like it's part of The Jauntys, but it's most definitely not. In fact, this dubious accolade is nothing any airline would like to display on a shelf in their HQ. Instead, the award for the Rudest Flight Atttendant would make any airline exec sit upright in their seat and pay attention.

Skyscanner, a flight search engine, recently polled their customers on which airline they believed employed the least friendly cabin crew. Before we get to the answer, we need to detail the (very) unscientific survey. The survey group consisted of 1,000 website customers being asked questions about US carriers only.

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Where Will You Be Stuck This Thanksgiving? Let's Ask Math!

November 12, 2012 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of the year, where we cheerfully remind you that, if you're choosing between Thanksgiving travel and hanging yourself in a closet, rope is available at every hardware store and even on Amazon. We'd never, ever, ever actually advocate suicide (seriously). But as holiday travel completionists—check out the survival list we published last year—we think it's our duty to make sure you at least know your options.

Speaking of options, Orbitz has released its list of busiest airports for the holiday weekend. We'd advise you to avoid them over the holiday break, but many travelers don't even have that option. Not to get all mathematical, but the reason those airports are so miserable and crowded is because that's where all the people are—including, statistically, you!

So if you're among the more than 24 million people traveling next weekend, enjoy that:

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Surviving a Cancelled Flight 101: Getting the Spelling Straight

October 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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An Unscheduled Stop Forces Air France Passengers to Chip In for Fuel

August 20, 2012 at 8:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Lack of First Class Pajamas Leads to Qantas Flight Delay

August 13, 2012 at 7:58 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Misbehaving Child on a Flight? Alaska Airlines Ain't Having That

June 4, 2012 at 5:53 PM | by | Comments (0)

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 opinion—and almost always a strong one—about 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.

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Heathrow Immigration Lines Going from Totally Disastrous to Funny Disastrous

June 1, 2012 at 6:21 PM | by | Comments (2)

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.

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