We’re Going Where The Sun Shines Brightly: Travel Horror Stories
Today I’m slipping through the eye of the hurricane between the Catalan protests and the General Strike planned for Friday. The road to the airport has been unblocked and I’m outta here. Oddly, despite my bad experiences in seven years of owning a flat in Barcelona (mugged, robbed, insulted, caught up in terrorist attack etc) I love the place and its people more than ever.
Now that not-so-Priti Patel helping to turn away the 500 million potential customers on our doorstep and forcing the end of free movement upon us, thus killing opportunities for an entire younger generation, I must decide if I am prepared to leave London – not a choice I ever imagined having to make.
So, after the collapse of the venerable but hopelessly-run Thomas Cook, the world’s oldest travel agency, your travel horror stories are welcome.
I’ve wrote about one disastrous trip in the short story ‘We’re Going Where The Sun Shines Brightly’ (95% of which was absolutely true) but here’s one I could not have anticipated.
A few years ago I was on a flight to Malaysia on New Year’s Eve, connecting on to Langkowi. The flight was due in at 11:45pm but ran a touch late, landing at 00:05am.
As we disembarked it was discovered that the travel company’s insurance certificate ran out at midnight, so we were prevented from entering the airport. Technically we were now stateless, between two registered destinations, unable to enter either.
It was incredibly hot. My luggage was taken off and I was left on the tarmac in a state of limbo, like Tom Hanks in ‘The Terminal’. I missed my connection but Malaysian customs were surprisingly helpful and sorted out the problem. The travel company failed to respond, and only apologised weeks later after much prompting.
Discovering you have suddenly ceased to exist is quite an eye-opener but worse things have happened; let’s hear yours.