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Air Adventures – When Travel Doesn’t Exactly Go Well

Do you remember when flying used to be like this?


I don’t.  But I’ve heard a rumor that flying really did command these happy faces long ago.

I flew to New York last week and it was an adventure.  I sort of felt like I was on Amazing Race.  Minus the television cameras, the teammate, the matching North Face outfits, and the lure of a million dollars, which basically just means it was a huge hassle.

I was a good sport when my red eye turned into a real red eye as my departure time changed from 10:45pm to 1am.  When I woke up mid-flight to turbulence and sudden dropping, I did not scream.  However, I may have thrown up.  Six times.  I can’t help it, I could get motion sick walking down the sidewalk.  Needless to say, my seat “teammate” didn’t look like he was going to miss me.

Thank goodness for these suckers...


I hung in there like a champion when my shuttle driver led me to my seat in a van packed with 12 people.  I did not outwardly cringe when he proved to be the jerkiest driver in history with his on the gas pedal, off the gas pedal driving through New York traffic.  However, I may have thrown up (once, in a plant.)  Three hours later, I was delivered to Times Square.

A few days later I mentally prepared for my departure convinced that my return would be uneventful.  I made it to the airport, and I made it through security.  Heck, I even made it on to the plane.  And then I sat, on the runway for three hours.  It’s not a good sign when they turn the plane off.  We went back to the gate.  Back in the terminal, they told us they would re-board in half an hour.  Forty-five minutes later, they told us our flight would take off at 6am.  It was 8pm.

For the next hour I ran between gates trying to hop on anything going west.  They had told us that all planes going west were grounded, yet I continuously heard announcements for planes departing for Denver, Houston and Los Angeles.  While slightly geographically challenged, I’m pretty sure when you’re in New York, all of those are considered “westbound” flights.

I managed to do a last minute hop-on, practically stowaway style on a flight to LAX.  And then I sat from 1am on waiting for my 7am flight.  I read a book, I waited for Starbuck’s to open, I felt my eyeballs dry out.  And finally over 24 hours from when I first left my hotel, I made it home.

It’s been four days, and I’m currently feeling like the rest of my life should be a staycation just so I never again have to experience an airport terminal in the middle of the night.

What’s your longest travel experience?


Other travel posts you might enjoy:

The Disney Fantasy- A Cruise for Families

Tips for Traveling with Kids

My Train Trip in Pictures (and with no kids!) 

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Comments (10)

  1. Tracy 11/19/2012 at 4:44 pm

    Our longest trip involved landing in 5 different states and two overnights before returning to our home state. Oh yeah-we had a 3and 5 year old with us- they were stellar travelers! Our adventures started when we drove from Illinois to St. Louis, MO. From there we went to Atlanta, Ga before spending the night in Dallas, TX. The next day we flew to Denver, CO and spent the night. The following day we flew to Salt Lake City, UT, Seattle, Wa, Anchorage, AK and finally home!

  2. Laurie Grant 08/14/2012 at 11:11 am

    I had a plane take off and then have to land because of technical problems… it was quite scary. BUT I then had an extra day (free) in Hawaii so there was a plus to the fright. Glad you are home safe and sound.

  3. Erin Oltmanns 08/11/2012 at 7:33 pm

    OMG. I still can’t believe this story. I’m never flying again on principle.

  4. Melissa 08/11/2012 at 1:53 pm

    You poor thing! How awful! I don’t fly often but my worst experience was a trip from Phoenix to Orlando. We were delayed in Phoenix a few hours so I missed my connecting flight in Houston. I was delayed there another few hours because of bad weather. Then landing in Orlando was a frightening experience with all of the turbulence. Kind of a pain but nothing like you went through. Hope your time in New York made up for it. I’ve never been there but it’s definitely on my bucket list.

  5. Allison Randall 08/11/2012 at 9:17 am

    I spent a chilly, air-conditioned night in Chicago’s O’Hare airport when I was 12. Not one of the happier family memories, but it certainly brought us closer– you know, to keep warm. Hope you’ve completely recovered.

  6. Amy Allen Johnson 08/10/2012 at 11:44 pm

    sooo sorry! glad to know you’re over your “jet laaaaag”. Once took 14 hours to fly from LA to San Fran. Normal flight time 1 hr 10 min. Normal drive time 6 hr 18 min says Google Earth (must assume no traffic anywhere). Took off, fogged in SFO, circle, try landing in OAK, circle, descend to SFO twice, can’t see it, circle, fly 12 min to San Jose, land. Get airline chartered bus to drive us to SFO (wait for all passengers and luggage to get on 1 bus), get to SFO, fight for any cab, home by 2 am. Read almost entire Harry Potter 3 = totally distracted.

    • Shannon 08/11/2012 at 1:07 am

      That is AMAZING!!! Awful!!

  7. Erica Fehrman 08/10/2012 at 7:09 pm

    That is awful. I can’t believe your return was as bad as the flight/shuttle out! My longest flight ever was from Greece to London, and then an overnight in a Heathrow airport hallway. I was lying outside a Burger King that was closed, but for some reason kept its techno music on All Night Long. *shudder* Then flew onto the USA the next day.

    • Shannon 08/11/2012 at 1:14 am

      My head pounds just reading this….

  8. Rachael Herrscher 08/10/2012 at 7:42 am

    Dude. Worst. Luck. Ever.