June 15, 2010

Up in the Air Contest: Travel Necessities

We made it to Houston! And we are having a blast so far hanging out with our past Clients Turned Friends, Tiffany & Dan. Last night they took us out to their favorite Mexican restaurant and then back home for a lil’ reality tv. Fish tacos & the Bachelorette? Now that’s my kinda night! :)

But we just wanted to hop on real quick to announce our next contest for you guys!

In the comments section below let us know your BEST (upgrade to first class, filet mignon) or WORST (flight delayed ON TOP of an erupting volcano! :) travel story and we are going to pick one to win a survival kit of some of our favorite travel goodies. Like that soft roll measuring tape. L’Occitane lotion because my skin always gets so dry when we fly….especially to Houston! A “Mophie” battery pack for your iPhone to keep it charged through all those layovers. And of course, the movie that inspired it all, Up in the Air.

So get to commenting! This contest ends tomorrow night at 5pm EST!!

  1. Spring

    Mine was just a little over a week ago. I arrived from Little Rock via Chicago into laguardia to find out I had to switch terminals to get to my next flight- which at laguardia means out of security, onto a shuttle and back into security. After arriving at the other terminal to find out the thunderstorms had canceled my flight to Portland. I waited in line for about an hour to get re-routed to Boston. After another terminal change I finally board the plane to Boston. We sit on the run way for an hour waiting for Boston to clear us. But then they bring us back to the gate because Boston has a ground stop. After another hour in the terminal, followed by another hour on the run way we finally take off for our 40min flight to Boston. Needless to say getting up at 2am and not getting home until midnight made this the longest travel day.

  2. Caitlin

    So I’m headed to Ireland with my entire family, I’m talking the entire extended family. So give or take a few, but 75 total. And we’re close, really close. We all took separate flights (so that we didn’t wipe out the entire O’Brien family, should something happen.) We arrived last. However our luggage did not. This isn’t your typical "case of the lost luggage". This is a foreign country. So 3 days without luggage. 2 days without a shower. Then they over booked our bed and breakfast. So my immediate family *6 of us* slept in 2 double beds. HOW AWKWARD. The icing on the cake was washing my hair in a stream with my sister while a roaming cow licked my sisters face. Talk about the worst travel EVER. (luggage recovered 3 days later. GROSS.)

  3. feuza

    alrightie got a few but one time it was December and arrived at the airport to go to Brazil, I saw there were a lot of people complaining when trying to check in, I sat and waited patiently, but started to get a bit nervous, when I went to check in, they said they had overbooked the flight and offered me to stay the night and pay for the hotel, I said no way, I am going so they checked me in, so when I went to go in the plane, my suppose seats were not real, they were where the flight attendants sat, it was a mess~ then once we were on the plane and ready to take off, the lights were not turning on properly as if there was an electrical failure, we begin taxing and again lights go out, we waited like an hour in the plane then an announcement was made that there was a HOLE IN THE PLANE, no like, we all went back to airport, as we walk out we see plain mechanic, we were given a food voucher aka fast food very limited and waited at the airport then around 1 am we were allowed to go back to same plane, hole and all, I think they were still overbooked and trying to get some people off or was I just crazy to fly a 9 hour flight with a supposed hole in the plane, not sure.
    I do have one more which is just for laughs, when I was 12, I was traveling as a minor and t hey had booked my seat, was bumped to first class and but given economy class food, FAIL, lol

  4. Britani

    After my honeymoon, we were flying back home from Disney World. As the plane was lifting, the fireworks at Magic Kingdom were going off. It was so beautiful to have a bird’s eye view of them. We were in awe of what God blessed us with the entry to our marriage.

  5. Karen

    We had boarded a plane in Vegas and as the attendants were walking the aisle to make sure everyone’s seats were in the upright position, it was discovered that one seat was broken and could not return to the upright position. This resulted in a hour and a half delay sitting on the tarmac waiting. We were told before we could be cleared for flight we had to wait for a mechanic to bring a "placard". We are expecting an engraved piece of plastic to be places on the seat. An hour and a half later, the mechanic finally makes it on the plane and we all cheer….and then we realized he was holding a torn off sheet of paper with a HANDWRITTEN note AND TAPED (yes TAPED) it to the broken seat!!! Once he taped "the placard" to the seat and left the plane we were cleared for take off! Seriously, anyone of us could have taken care of creating that "placard" in 10 seconds! We now have a running joke about the placard anytime we board a plane….next time we are waiting for a placard we will be prepared to make one of our own!

  6. Molly Kate

    On my most recent trip to California I didn’t see one celeb, I was actually pretty miffed that in 3 days in LA I didn’t see one. Not. At. All. At the Burbank airport I was wheeling over to check my bag in at the JetBlue counter when this big dude got his luggage wheels locked with mine from behind me. I turned around and the gentleman with sunglasses unhooked his wheels from mine, lifted his eyebrow over the rim of his sunglasses sand said, "Heh, sorry." I replied, "S’okay!" and went on my merry way. I came back to my friend that was waiting for me to walk me to security and he pulled me aside and said, "Do you know that you just walked by Jack Nicholson?" I said, "Whaaa? Where?!" And he pointed in the distance to the guy leaning against a pole where I just had come from. I said, "That guy in the Tommy Bahama-y shirt, khakis and sunglasses?" "Yup." … "OH! That guy that ran me over?" "Yup." …. "Was I nice??!" "Yes … you said, It’s okay!" I stood somewhat starstruck for a moment, said goodbye to my friend and went through security. As it turns out, Mr. Nicholson was not only behind me in the security line but was on. my. flight. back to New York!

  7. Nora

    Worst: hands down winner is last winter, when my plane (that I was supposed to take to Amsterdam and then on to Budapest) sat on the runway for 9 HOURS (that’s right, longer than the actual 8-hour flight I was supposed to take), with no food or drinks offered to us, after which we were told that we’re not taking off anymore and everyone can go home and come back the next day. Oh yea and there was no transportation to the hotels they booked so most people spent the night at the airport (I was luckily home, so I just went home). Next day: HUGE lines for check-in, people were told their connecting flights would automatically get changed too, which of course didn’t happen. So I arrived in Amsterdam with no connecting ticket. Good times.

    Best: I like you guys am an old fox in traveling so I usually do pretty well with making the most out if. Best was probably when I got upgraded to business class on an overseas flight after befriending a flight attendant.

  8. Cathy M

    So my travel nightmare had to be flying solo with an 11 month old to see my family….who had a double ear infection AND was teething and wailed THE. ENTIRE. FLIGHT. As if I hadn’t been through enough already with delays, hauling a carseat through the airport and my own exhaustion…it was more than enough. Now that he’s a little older he loves to fly, so it makes it a lot more fun (and easier on momma)!!

  9. Deb

    So, with our five kids flying isn’t something that happens much, but I would have to say that of the maybe four flights ever in my life, having the opportunity to go to Germany when I was in high school takes the cake.

    My husband, being military and all, is always leaving to go to one school or another. This is where the worst comes in and I cannot figure out why this happens every single time. This is how it happens: He gets orders to attend a school or other training and will be gone for one week to one month. I drive him to the airport. His plane departs on time with no issues whatsoever. He arrives at his destination on time, gets a cool loaner and settles into a hotel. I juggle work, school, dirty dishes and cranky kids. His homecoming date arrives. I make arrangements and drive to the airport. I park in the parking garage, enter the airport and find the plane has been delayed. I find a cozy corner of the tiny airport, because the plane is delayed for a total of two to three hours. His plane finally lands and we are both exhausted and perplexed at exactly how simple it is for him to arrive on time, but to always have problems coming home.

  10. Ryan

    My worst travel experience was when I went from Maine to California for work. From Maine to Detroit, to Vegas was pretty good. In Vegas the plane broke down, and there was not another plan to catch into Burbank until the next morning, so we had to stay over in Vegas. Typically not a bad situation – but add that on top of jet lag – my first trip to California, traveling since 6am and its now 11pm Vegas time. Get up the next morning, go to the airport, check in again. Waiting in line for the tickets. A group of people a few spaces back in the line partied too hard the night before and vomited all over the terminal. Going through security had to be searched and scanned. Finally arrive in Burbank a day late, jet lagged and still had to work that evening until 9pm West coast time. On the way HOME, same trip. Get stuck in Atlanta. Miss my connecting flight in NYC. Have to stay overnight in NYC – again, after traveling all day. Get to the hotel nothing to eat there, and the burger king down the street is closed except for the drive thru, which won’t serve you unless you are in a car. Get up at 4am the next morning go to LaGuardia, get dropped off at the wrong terminal, had to rush to the right terminal – got searched again. Get to Boston, got searched again – finally get home to Bangor after being on 7 airplanes in 7 days.

  11. Tracy

    My worst was when I was traveling to visit a friend in Egypt – this was my high school graduation present! I had a layover in London for a night and I spent that night partying at a U2 concert with some new friends. I was wiped out by the time I got to the airport and I fell asleep at the gate. When I woke up, there was no one around and found out that I slept through check-in. Apparently, they were calling my name over the speakerphone which was interesting because I dreamt that I had "run into" an old friend who kept screaming my name in a crowded room! I cried when I found out I missed my flight and had to wait to catch the next flight the following day. I ended up rooming with some other random person who also missed their flight. I slept with one eye open and my passport and money under my pillow. My parents would kill me if they knew I did that!

  12. Jenny Solar

    Many years ago before we had kids, my husband & I traveled to NYC to visit his best friend. Our first flight out was late. We missed our connecting flight and had to wait for the next flight out. When we were boarding our connecting flight, they made us gate check our camera bag. We got a little ticket & they said we’d have to turn it in to get our bag back. When we arrived in NYC, our bag was nowhere to be found. We freaked out & finally the bag was found after we insisted they search the plane again. It was on the tarmac behind the wheel of the plane.

  13. Melissa

    Ok, I have a HUGE fear of flying. I just want to get that out in the open so needless to say all my flying experiences are traumatic and my fear intensifies 100x and I have plenty of some not so nice stories. But the most memorable one for me is when I was flying home from Puerto Rico to NYC coming back from vacation. We flew through a really bad storm THE.WHOLE.WAY.HOME, literally the plane was twisting side to side and bouncing up and down. I really thought I would never see my family again. I had my head between my knees the whole time, praying. The guy next to me, and I can swear to this, pee-d his seat, making the sign of the cross over and over and over, it was that bad. And on top of all of this going on the majority of the plane was filled with performers coming to NYC for the Puerto Rican Day Parade. They were dancing and singing in the aisles most of the way to NYC regardless of the Captain’s orders to sit in your seat with your seat belts on. Normally, I would have loved the entertainment as a distraction but I just wanted to get home, on solid ground. When the wheels finally touched ground, I couldn’t get off the plane fast enough. My sister was there to pick me up and when I saw her face looking at my face I knew something was wrong. She said I was literally green. I do have a really good experience too. About 10 years ago I was flying from NYC to LA and I sat right next to Drew Barrymore and Verne Troyer (Mini Me) sat across the aisle from me. They were flying home after appearing on SNL’s 25th(?) Anniversary Special. That was pretty cool and Drew (yes, we’re on a first name basis lol) is one of the most down to earth people you could ever meet.

  14. Joan Solitario

    My most memorable travel upgrade happened when my mom and I were coming back to the US from the Philippines. We didn’t anticipate having to pay customs and we gave all our cash away. So when we got to the airport, we realized we needed to get cash fast. I wasn’t married to my husband Ryan then, so it was kind of a blessing for me to see him one more time as he came to the airport to give us some cash. I couldn’t go outside to see him, because my mom wanted to thank him personally while I watched our luggages. So the only way to tell him thank you and I love you was through sign language. There were two glass walls that separated us. I was really sad that I didn’t get the chance to hug him one last time, but I was just happy to see him before we left. For some reason though, we still didn’t have enough cash… so a really nice guy in line behind us offered to pay the difference. (Thank you Mr. Nice Person!) As my mom and I finally got to the counter to get checked in, we realized that the attendant the counter started to upgrade us to business class (which isn’t first class, but is totally better than coach). The airline had overbooked the plane and we were the last ones to check in! It just proves that there’s a reason for everything! And that is my most memorable travel upgrade moment.

  15. Cindy Giovagnoli

    Imagine that it is October of 2004. My husband, a die hard lifelong Red Sox fan, is taking me to Europe for the very first time in my life. We fly out of the country the morning after the 3rd game in the Yankees- Red Sox series after watching NY slaughter Boston and Justin is thrilled to escape the destruction. So you can imagine his utter astonishment-slash-horror-slash-glee when we arrived back in the US 2 weeks later to see headlines everywhere that the Sox had made a record comeback against the Yanks and had gone in to win the series for the first time in over 80 years. It was the first time I saw my sweet husband cry. :) We don’t travel in October anymore.

  16. Hanh Nguyen

    Hi Justin & Mary,

    I LOVE L’Occitane! Their products are amazing!

    Btw Mary, I met you at WPPI (Connie’s friend) and attended your seminar. Love your work you guys!

  17. jan

    ready for this…i was 5 months pregnant, it was two days before our daughter, olivia’s, 2nd birthday, my husband, andrew, & i had a little baby-moon before #2 was to arrive. we boarded the last flight out of kauai at 10:30 pm to catch a flight to phoenix & then back to durango, co. we got all settled in & an announcement came over that the flight was delayed…an hour later the super generous & thoughtful flight attendants passed around luke-warm water, mmm refreshing. an hour later they told us they were still waiting on fax with coordinates back to phoenix. an hour after that i was still trapped in my seat with luke-warm water as we watched them shut down the airport-row by row all the lights went out & we knew we were stuck! finally 3.5 hours after our departure time, we got on the runway, where we then sat for 30 minutes before we finally took off-already missing any chance of a connection. we made it to phoenix & stood in line for an hour to get a new flight-did i mention we live in durango & our airport is tiny, with ONE security line, and there aren’t many flights in/out daily!? no? well, it’s tiny! we stood in line for an hour & were given stand-by tickets on the next flight to durango as well as the super generous $20, total for two of us, in vouchers for our inconvenience…thanks u.s. airways! we had about 3 hours to kill & spent our $$ at starbucks. we waited for our flight…two seats left…and just before they allowed us on & closed the door, the passengers showed up. an hour later, same thing! then we were put on a flight to farmington, nm-an hour away from durango. we waited for the flight & it too was delayed. there was a "mechanical issue"…we waited..the pilot waited…then they announced that the pilot was over shift hours, could not fly, and our flight was canceled. i had a pregnant adult sized tantrum, cried, & begged the desk clerk to get us home for our daughters birthday-now the next day! she looked at me as i begged her to get me home for my daughters birthday & tried to play my preggo card as i was still crying, & she told me that i "probably should have stayed in hawaii" NO KIDDING jerk-face…thanks for the great customer service!!! they told us about a flight to albuquerque, nm-3.5 hours from durango. it was boarding in another terminal & if we run, we might make it…we ran! we got there & all the passengers, some also from our flight from kauai, were still camped out around the gate…it too was delayed…the PILOT had not shown up yet! we waited, and andrew made friends with a man trying to get to durango as well. they agreed that if we ever made it we could all rent a car together-awesome! not only was i stuck in arizona way past my welcome, now i was going to ride through new mexico with a complete stranger that may or may not try to kill us-just awesome! we waited, and waited. finally, the pilot showed up…an hourish late! where was he, why could he not be to work on time, is he drunk, is he qualified to fly a plane, who does that?! we rode an extremely turbulent flight to nm. we got in the car with john, and he proceeded to tell us about his family, his job, his life in california…his love for marajuana-awesome! i used to work for the district attorney & now i’m riding through the night with pot-head john-thanks andrew, awesome! i was convinced he’d smuggled something on the plane, so i had 911 dialed on my phone the whole time in case he tried anything! we finally made it to durango, where it was snowing-in MAY! we slowed down & pushed john out of the car-not really, but i wanted to, & drove home to take a peek at olivia-sleeping soundly at 3:30am. that’s my story & i’m sticking to it!

  18. Irina

    This happened not too long ago. My husband and I were going to San Diego (he had a microbiology conference and I just wanted to tag along b/c … well… it’s San Diego!!) We’re from Buffalo, NY. We were scheduled to leave on a Saturday and our flight was super duper early at 6:20 a.m. We got up before 5 a.m., drove to the airport and found out that our flight (the only flight on the board) was canceled because the plane was broken and was stuck in Detroit. Okay, no problem. We’ll just reschedule. Then Sunday morning, we woke up, drove super duper early to the airport and everything went smoothly. It was only a 40 minute flight to Detroit. And we had another plane to catch there! But no… there was FOG in Detroit and the plane couldn’t land. The captain was directed to get into a standby pattern and so we were circling around in the air for about 2 hours waiting for the fog to clear. But the fog wasn’t clearing and the plane was running out of fuel. They had no choice but to fly to some Bend city (South Bend or North Bend) and get refueled. So it took 30 more minutes to fly to the Bend and we waited for another hour and a half there for the fog to clear in Detroit. Finally after close to 4 hours we made it to Detroit. But alas, after all the consoling words from our captain that maybe everyone’s connecting flight would also be delayed, ours had taken off for San Diego without us and we were given "stand-by seating" tickets for a flight 3 hours later. Great. And 20 other people got the same deal. We waited and waited for the next flight and finally the time came. The person boarding finally showed up and we ran up to him.. "What’s going on? We have stand-by.. What’s going to happen?" And this is what he said: "You just won’t board the plane and you’ll have to go to Gate 43 to reschedule your flight." That’s it. No remorse, no sugar coated words, no sorry’s. Just a blunt statement basically saying "Tough luck." But what about our luggage? "Oh it will end up in San Diego without you." WOW… could he be even more cruel? This was over the top. He was obviously having a bad day and taking it all out on us. But they were also saying to the other 20 people that if 20 people wouldn’t show up, we’d all be able to board. Ha. Right. So I started to cry. Yes, I hate crying in public but… I was really upset! This boarding guy really made me upset! Anyways at the last minute, when the flight was about boarded and ready to leave, I think the "Tough luck" guy must’ve taken pity on me and we were able to board "by the skin of our teeth" as my husband referred to it. We got the last 2 seats on the plane.. but in two different spots. So all my plans to be able to chit chat about what we were going to do in San Diego flew out the window.

  19. Leslie Barresi

    My Best Upgrade was on our honeymoon- we got delayed due to plane problems and missed a day in St. Lucia, which might make you think this is my worst, but no. Instead of going to St. Lucia we got to go to Miami and after a quick nap in the hotel the airline put us in we took a taxi to South Beach. We watched the sunset on the beach, I got to wade around in the ocean and we had dinner out, it was great. Even better the next morning we got put into first class on the flight from Miami to St. Lucia- perfect!

    The worst experience poor Justin actually watched me go through. Christmas of ’04. I named it, like you do a big blizzard or whatnot. I was having a rough year and was pumped to be going home for Christmas. On attempt number one (Christmas Eve) I got delayed at the little tiny spec of an airport in New Haven. I called my trusty roommate who had dropped me off and we went and got lunch together then I came back. To find out I had been cancelled. And rebooked on a flight that left at noon Christmas Day. From an airport an hour further away. Poor Justin took me home and then convinced me to make the best of it- I decided if I wasn’t going to have Christmas breakfast with my family the next morning I was going to do the next best thing and make sticky pull apart buns for HIS family the next morning. We did, they were delicious, and I still have the stained table cloth too prove their ooey gooey goodness! Attempt 2 on Christmas Day I got to Hartford Airport to find out I’d been cancelled there too! They were offering to fly me out 2 days later. This was just too much, cue tears, lots and lots of tears. Finally I convinced them to send me, not to OKC, but to Dallas and my folks drove 3 hours to come pick me up at 10pm on Christmas Day and then drive me 3 hours back to Oklahoma. Phew we made it, you might think. Not so fast! I made it, but my luggage (complete with Christmas gifts inside) fell victim to the US Airways baggage handlers strike. One day before I had to leave Oklahome to go back to CT my luggage showed up and I had a belated Christmas gift exchange with my family. But hey- I got extra gifts that year- nobody loves a girl whose been wearing the same shirt, jeans and underpants for 4 days. :)

  20. Jennifer Peresie

    Lesson learned – lawyers look less professional but also less threatening in jeans, a t-shirt and a ponytail. Although I know the rule is to carry on extra clothes in your luggage, a combination of a bum shoulder and broken carry-on resulted in me just checking on all of my luggage. Sure enough despite the 4 hour layover (or maybe because of it) my luggage still managed to not make it out on the plane and I found myself in Houston at 2 am with a business meeting at 8 am the next morning and looking like a 16 year old. After 2 hours of standing in line (and trying to convince the man at the airport that there really was an Arlington, VA…he thought I meant TX), I finally made it to my hotel, collapsed into bed, and woke up to a cockroach walking across my face (no joke!) (maybe he was attracted to my smelly post sitting in an airport self). I tried to get a cab to take me to Walmart for some clothes but it was apparently too close for a cab (no one wanted a fare) yet still too far for me to walk especially given the need to cross multiple highways. So there I was looking like a high school student at my first meeting with a client. But it ended up being a good thing – the client was terrified and convinced that I wasn’t a real lawyer (we had three other real lawyers in the trademark lawyer pinstripe so we were covered there) and ended up only talking to me the purported "non-lawyer". So – in need of a change of clothese and smelly – but definitely non-threatening I guess.

  21. Amy Clifton

    I would just like to say that I am DYING laughing about the guy who peed in his seat and all the performers dancing in the aisles during terrible turbulence. Hahahha! (But I’m super glad I wasn’t on that flight…sounds scary!)

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