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Air Adventures - When Travel Doesn't Exactly Go Well

A tale of travel pain. Red-eyes, three hour shuttle rides, stuck on a tarmac, and possibly a little air sickness on the side...

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...

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.

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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?

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