My Biggest Travel Snafu

My biggest travel snafu happened about 5 years ago. What was one mishap spiraled into  3 major issues on one trip. And these 3 issues had major financial consequences.

Our flight (Sr. Elizondo and I) to Europe had a layover in Canada. At the time, Mexicans were required to have visas for Canada. Did you know visas apply even when it’s a layover of less than 2 hours and you’re not leaving the airport? I didn’t. When we landed, we were sent to immigration and explained our error to the agents. Canadian Immigration was not as sympathetic as I thought they would be. As the clock was ticking, we were stressing. After what seemed like forever, they finally gave us the visa at a price of approximately $200. We raced to our next flight. (Important side note: We told them our flight home also came through Canada, so the visa needed to include that day as well. They understood…or so they said.) Anyway, the irritation and anger dissolved on the flight and we were on our way to Turkey!

Turkey exceeded our expectations and we had an awesome time. We were both sad we only had a few days there. We taxi’d to the airport to catch our flight to the next country. We’re at the ticket counter and the airline employee lets us know we are at the wrong airport. FYI: Istanbul has 2 main airports. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to taxi to the correct airport which is across the bridge on the Asia side of Turkey. I thought Sr. Elizondo was going to kill me. We had to buy 2 new tickets to get to Berlin. Ugh…. After receiving a small tongue lashing, all was well again.

The rest of our trip was great. We enjoyed a few more countries. Now it’s time to go home and again we taxi to the airport in Vienna. It’s all good. We get our tickets, were waiting in line to board, we give the airline person our tickets, and she won’t let Sr. Elizondo on the plane. Apparently his Canada visa was for 7 days only. We were well beyond that timeframe. NIGHTMARE! Again, we race to the airline customer service who will not re-route us for free or with any discount whatsoever. The question becomes: do I take the original flight and Sr. Elizondo gets another at full price; or, do we fly home together…? $4000 later, we are flying home together. We’re no longer speaking. Sr. Eduardo is beyond angry and I’m in a puddle of tears from guilt. Needless to say, it was the longest flight home ever.

BTW: We’re still together and happy. However, we NEVER EVER talk about what happened.



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