Your Holiday Disasters (or near disaster) Thread.

Edwardoka

Prolix Maximus
No coups d'etat or rail disasters on my holiday. Indeed the vast majority of the trip wasn't disastrous at all. Cycling from Normandy down the entirety of western France to Pau, then across the Pyrenees into Aragon, east into Catalonia, up the French Riviera and all the way to Italy. Most enjoyable but not terribly eventful, barring a few interesting days where forward motion turned out to be quite the adventure in itself.

A month in, and on my first full day in Italy, my custom-built bike - and everything on it - ran off with someone in the 2 minutes I was in a shop buying water. Thousands of pounds invested into the trip of a lifetime, lost in an incautious moment.

The day afterwards, in Genoa, after dealing with the crushing embarrassment of walking around a city in cycling clothes and cleats senza bici by raiding H&M, and on the way to the library to try to arrange a meeting in the consulate that turned out not to exist, my phone (one of the two items I had on me when the bike was lifted) slipped out of my hand and the screen was irreparably smashed. That was a proper howling at the sky "WHYYY!!!!?" moment.

I won't say what happened the night before I flew back, because that would consistute a massive thread derailment even by my standards.

It is safe to say that it was a very glum Ed who flew out of Milano (still wearing cleats) and an actively miserable Ed on the airport coach from Edinburgh Airport to Glasgow under a stereotypically lowering Scottish sky. I've never recovered from that bus journey.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
Again, not holiday but work.
En route to Uruguay via Madrid I used to carry a lot of electronics, comms gear for my job, this always caused minor problems. Heathrow, went through the xray machines, got held up while the looked at the contents of my hand luggage, already a little tight on time, got the all clear, set off at pace to the departure gate....got half way there.....my bag, I've left my bag at xray !!!!!
Ran back, ran to departure, made it ok.
Changed at Madrid, on to Montevideo.
Arrived, went to baggage...waited...and waited, and waited for my main luggage, nothing. Logged the loss with Iberian, now late for my taxi. No clothes, lots of parts and components lost, stuff I need for the job.
All got sorted in the end, cobbled clothes together locally, borrowed tools, managed without the parts.

Egypt, we sent a container out there with a full packing line setup, computer, software and specific comms hardware ...and a hardware 'key' that looks like a memory stick.
Arrived, unloaded the container that had quite clearly been gone through by customs, looked like a bomb had gone off in it, set everything up....and the hardware key was missing ..I cant run without it. Probably taken and inspected (or stolen by someone) at customs. £600 for a new one and they flew it out next day.

Cyprus, comms pc went up the swanky, couldnt get a replacement locally that would work with our software / hardware...had to send our IT guy out from the UK to sort it. He didnt mind...
 

Bazzer

Setting the controls for the heart of the sun.
A holiday to Slovenia before it became an independent country.
The flight out wasn't great. - Aircraft not clean. Vegetarian wife and daughter not catered for despite plenty of advance notice. Cabin staff whose make up seemed to have been applied by a blind decorator.
The suitcase containing my daughter's clothes went missing and didn't reappear for 4 days, despite promises of "tomorrow".
The holiday home we had booked wasn't available (!) and we were put into another property. This was a smaller property in the grounds of the owner's house, but each time we went out, furniture and/or fittings would be removed from property by the owner, never to return.
We had prebooked a Golf as hire car. We were provided with crappy Yugo.
The holiday company rep refused to intervene with anything at first, only getting involved after repeated complaints.
The flight back was the same standard as the outgoing one.
Took the travel company to the small claims court and won. The company went bust before I could recover our money.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
I was checking in at Alicante airport on my way back from one of my Costa Blanca cycling holidays. I knew from previous holidays that my large Scicon bike box would not fit through the X-ray machine but the security guys insisted on trying. I don't speak Spanish. They didn't speak English. I watched them faff about for 2 or 3 minutes before they gave up...

A big, very stern-looking security guy said something in Spanish. I shrugged. He tapped the lock on the box with his baton. Ah, the usual thing... Unpack the box, x-ray the contents, repack the box... The frame went through, the wheels went through, my clothes... Then we came to the large blue container with the screw-top lid. The one with about 1 kg of maltodextrin carbo-powder left in it. Maltodextrin, a white powder that might very well look like... Oh crap! :eek:

Baton guy rapped the lid with his stick. I unscrewed the lid, revealing the coke-like powder within the container...

The guard leapt back, muttered something to his colleague, and tightened his grip on the baton. He pointed to the powder and barked out a question to me... I didn't need to speak Spanish - basically "WTF is THIS!!!"

My legs started to shake. Then I had a moment of inspiration... I mimicked getting on my bike and riding along. I wiped imaginary sweat from my brow, my tongue dangling down. I pointed to one of my empty bottles and pretended to scoop powder into it, add water, and give it a good shake. Then I guzzled half of the imaginary contents down, remounted, and rode off...

Security guy glared at me, then slowly broke into a smile. He turned to his mate and laughed... "Ha ha, it's only maltodextrin carbo-powder for his rides, innit!" Or the Spanish equivalent of that...

He tapped the side of the box and indicated that all was ok. Pack up, and finish the formalities.

Thank goodness that Spain is a country that understands cycling! :laugh:
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
Again, not holiday but work.
En route to Uruguay via Madrid I used to carry a lot of electronics, comms gear for my job, this always caused minor problems. Heathrow, went through the xray machines, got held up while the looked at the contents of my hand luggage, already a little tight on time, got the all clear, set off at pace to the departure gate....got half way there.....my bag, I've left my bag at xray !!!!!
Ran back, ran to departure, made it ok.
Changed at Madrid, on to Montevideo.
Arrived, went to baggage...waited...and waited, and waited for my main luggage, nothing. Logged the loss with Iberian, now late for my taxi. No clothes, lots of parts and components lost, stuff I need for the job.
All got sorted in the end, cobbled clothes together locally, borrowed tools, managed without the parts.

Egypt, we sent a container out there with a full packing line setup, computer, software and specific comms hardware ...and a hardware 'key' that looks like a memory stick.
Arrived, unloaded the container that had quite clearly been gone through by customs, looked like a bomb had gone off in it, set everything up....and the hardware key was missing ..I cant run without it. Probably taken and inspected (or stolen by someone) at customs. £600 for a new one and they flew it out next day.

Cyprus, comms pc went up the swanky, couldnt get a replacement locally that would work with our software / hardware...had to send our IT guy out from the UK to sort it. He didnt mind...
Strangely enough I did a business trip to Montevideo a couple of years ago with Iberia via Madrid and my luggage also failed to get on the Madrid-Uruguay flight.

I was only there four days and it turned up on the fourth day. Montevideo had a Gap so I spent the meetings relaxing in preppy university style gear I bought there. Then Iberia argued the toss over how much I spent :ohmy:

I've flown to Asia more than a hundred times so I've got loads of biz trip horror stories :laugh:
 
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gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
I hated flying Iberian, surly staff, unhelpful.
Long since defunct Cyprus Airways (or Airlines)...I loved flying with them, looked after you, happy people, good service and wine was always free.
 

gavgav

Guru
Lads holiday to Tenerife, back in 2007, first night there, plenty to drink, fell head first down a set of concrete night club steps....knocked myself out, broke my nose, broken tooth, 30 stitches inside my mouth and lips, blood everywhere, 2 black eyes, spent the rest of the week on painkillers and feeling very sorry for myself.......learnt my lesson the hard way about getting way too drunk.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
In the late 90s two of us booked a flight to Malaga for a short tour round Southern Spain. On arriving at the airport I realised I had mislaid my passport. Friend caught the flight & I made a hurried trip to the Passport Office in London to see if I could get a rapid replacement.

A day later, clutching a brand-new passport, I was at Gatwick hoping for a cancellation seat. Got one pretty quickly & arrived at Malaga in the morning. There was no sign of my friend so I headed over the mountains to Ronda & found a hotel for the night.

Next day I headed for Algeciras. It started raining and a very slippery road (see somewhere above) brought me down. Bike & I slid down the road, me wondering whether we, or the lorry just behind, would stop first. It was a bin truck. The two crew got out, one picked me off the ground, the other lifted the bike & expertly checked it over. One suggested that I should get the cut on my head seen to, said there was a hospital in the next town.

I couldn't see the hospital, so continued to Algeciras & found a pharmacy. They directed me to a 'night clinic' where the cut was patched and road rash on my hip dealt with by application of iodine (ouch!).

Finally, I had a call from friend Chris. He'd nipped over to Morocco for a quick tour, bought a rug (which he carried in a pannier for the rest of the trip) and been threatened with death by a tour guide whose services he'd declined.

The rest of the trip was comparatively uneventful. We eventually found our was to Ronda again. The Hotel owner looked askance at me when I asked where to put the bikes; then I realised it was the same hotel that I'd stayed in just a few days ago.

I managed to retain my passport for the flight back to Cardiff.
 

bruce1530

Veteran
Location
Ayrshire
Not me, but Mum & Dad, plus aunt & uncle, granny, plus a handful of cousins, all going on holiday to Spain.

Day before they’re due to go, aunt phones my mum, “I’ve just been checking our tickets for tomorrow. Check-In closes in 20 minutes.” They’d all got the day wrong...

Travel agent was brilliant managed to get them all on an alternative flight later that day. However, the rearranged flight was from Leeds, the original was Glasgow -so they had 8 hours to get ready, pack, and drive about 250 miles... (and to organise drivers to bring the cars back, since they would not be returning to Leeds....)
 

MontyVeda

a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll
Going to Turkey for the 2006 total eclipse with a couple of friends... the flight was Manchester to Schiphol, Schiphol to Antalya, with five hours in between. It was the last Saturday in March so the clocks would be going back at 2am on Sunday morning (which was around the time of our flight out of Schiphol). One of my friends (the type who thinks he knows everything about everything) insisted that the clocks only go back in the UK. I knew that other countries do have daylight saving times, but wasn't entirely sure in the Netherlands was one of them, or if they adjusted the clocks on the same date as we do in the UK, and the other guy had no idea... but we eventually agreed to play it safe and set off back to the airport an hour earlier, just in case. Then we went to a coffee shop, got really stoned very quickly and completely lost track of time. We legged it through the streets, got on the train with seconds to spare, legged it to the airport (a bit like the hurried poor family from the Fast Show), legged it through the airport and got on the plane ten minutes before takeoff... phew! (don't do drugs)
 
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