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The Most Common Holiday Travel Mishaps


Sometimes getting to your destination, especially around the holidays, feels more like a trial than an adventure.

Sometimes getting to your destination, especially around the holidays, feels more like a trial than an adventure. Hipmunk, a travel booking site, calls these tales of woe “holiday travel fails.” Most of the 200 Hipmunk users surveyed complained about problems at airports and on airplanes. Thirty-eight percent blamed the airline for the problem, 20% blamed the weather, and 15% blamed themselves. Happily, 83% of respondents did not let the travel failure ruin their holidays.

Interestingly, 1% blamed their pets. I can relate. Once my two dogs ran outside after I opened my front door to walk to the taxi waiting to drive me to the airport. It took 20 minute for me to corral my mischievous pups and all the time the driver kept the meter running. The saving grace was that I still made my flight.

Among the lamentations users posted at #TravelFAILS: a pot of honey in a bag leaked and coated their laptop; a passenger missed a 12:01 flight because the flyer interpreted the time incorrectly, showing up on the wrong day; visitors to Minneapolis/St. Paul unknowingly parked a rental car in a snow tow away zone and then spent six hours trying to prove ownership of the car so that they could return it to the rental agency.

Yes, travel fails happen. That’s why my favorite travel movie is the light-hearted Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Steve Martin and John Candy. The film chronicles how what should have been a two-hour flight turns into a three-day marathon of diverted planes, train malfunctions, missing rental cars and more.

More Hipmunk travel fails:

• 31% missed their flights because of being stuck in long security lines

• 20% missed their connections because of delayed flights

• 11% experienced the airline losing their luggage

• 10% slept at the airport due to a delayed flight

• 2% had toiletries explode in their checked luggage, thus ruining their holiday clothing

Like any frequent traveler, I have endured my share of “travel fails.” I chronicled my most recent in NYC Cabbie Road Rage: What Would You Do?

What are some of your memorable travel fails? Comment below or connect with me on Twitter, @familyitrips. And check out the Hipmunk infographic below.

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