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Your Turn: Best Travel Nuisance Tales in 100 Words or Less

Traveler's Ed's Top 11 Nuisance Tales
How to Make Your Complaint Count
Airplane Horror Stories Part I and Part II
Post Your Own Travel Nuisance Tale!

A few weeks back, I ran through a Top 11 Travel Nuisance Tales in 100 Words or Less; in truth, these were likely the Top Stories Fit To Print, and I limited myself to nuisances caused by the vagaries of the travel industry, and not so much by cultural differences -- or, more accurately, "bad behavior by locals and travelers alike." Maybe we'll get to that list someday -- though we don't need any international incidents! As the saying goes, sometimes H-E-double hockey sticks is other people.

We invited readers to send in their own stories, and received over 125 responses running the gamut from Gnats Ate Our Vacation stories to B&B hosts who greeted visitors in their skivvies. Word counts also ran the gamut, from eight words (included below) to a seven-screen screed that read sufficiently miserably but missed the word count by a few thousand words or so.

Without further ado, here are some of the favorites that met both the spirit and arithmetic of the challenge (as well as the unstated "fit to print" requirement -- there were some doozies). Thanks tremendously for sharing your woes for all of us to enjoy!

Jar Jew Goeeng to Eat Jer Tomato?
"This is from the 80's. Flying back from San Juan, a drunk, cigarette-smoking Puerto Rican man sat next to me. He blew his Winston exhale in my face and spilled his scotch on me twice. Then when dinner was served, he said, 'Jar jew goeeng to eat jer tomato?' I said, 'Yes!' and he poked his fork over me, stole my tomato and said, 'Now jer not!' I pressed the flight attendant button and she took his food, his cigs and, most importantly, his alcohol. You can imagine the last hour next to him was real fun." (98 words) -- Debvial

When in Doubt, Call in the Pros
"So, for the first time in years I checked a bag on American from San Francisco to Dallas. My TSA lock was on the bag, just as it should be. When I arrived at DFW I collected my bag, only it had a different, non-TSA lock on it. When I confronted the TSA person there, she said it was the problem of the San Francisco TSA, not theirs. AA said it wasn't their problem. When I got particularly pushy with the AA baggage person, he did call in someone from the airplane maintenance section. He picked the lock. Ugh." (99 words) -- Johncurtis6111

Father Knows Best (but not Geography)
"My 24-year-old daughter calls me hysterical: 'Waah, Dad, I missed my flight to Greenville, I'm gonna miss my trade show!' Good old Dad says, 'Don't worry, honey, I'll take care of it!' Dad goes online, gets daughter flight from FLL to Greenville, $600. Several hours later, daughter calls again, hysterical. 'Waah, Dad, I'm in Greenville, North Carolina.' Daddy says, 'So what's wrong?' Daughter: 'I was supposed to go to Greenville, South Carolina!' No airline flies direct between the two Greenvilles. $1,000 and 12 hours later, my darling daughter arrives at her destination." (92 words) -- Larry R.

Borderline Wakefulness: Part Deux
"My stepbrother and my family cross over to Canada. Step-bro gets drunk, and they are on their way back. Border patrol asks the usual questions, and when she gets to 'Do you have anything to declare?' drunk step-bro shouts from the backseat 'Yeah! War on Canada!' Border Patrol: 'Pull over...'" (50 words) -- pneumandro

Ivan-na Get Outta Here
"In order to escape the RNC in NYC, you take a 10-day trip to the DR. First, while scuba diving, given an oxygen tank with just enough air to get down 60 feet, next sit for five days in a hotel (with outdoor hallways, and all outdoor restaurants) while Hurricane Ivan pummels the island. Then, when it clears up, you take a cab into town to cure cabin fever. This is where you are robbed at gunpoint for $1,200. Finally, you want nothing more than to leave, but to change your flight, you're stuck booking a one-way first-class ticket." (99 words) -- UptownishNYC

Manual A/C
"It was a warm time of the year. My wife and I traveled to Europe and I waited until Germany to book our trip to Paris through a German travel agent. The agent spoke broken English but understood our request for A/C and assured us our hotel would have air conditioning. When we arrived and found no apparent A/C in our room, I headed for the front desk. The lady at the front desk explained to us how to work the air conditioner. First you unlatch the window. Then you swing it open to adjust for air flow." (98 words) -- Randygorace

Hey, Those Rubber Stoppers Can Be Lethal
"Had knee surgery in Ohio. Went to return home to Texas and took a small jet from Cincinnati. Had about 10 steps up to plane. They take my crutches as they could be used as a weapon -- all this with only one handrail. Two attorneys handed me their cards." (50 words) -- Kneeshot42

YY/MM/DD -- Uh-Oh
"January 3, 2004 was the day I was suppose to fly home from El Paso, TX to Orlando, FL. Little did I know that the travel agent had printed my itinerary to show 'year, month, day' instead of the natural 'day, month, year.' Since I had been living in the year 2003 for 12 months I was shocked to realize my error. But the ticket agent was nice enough to point I out that I was supposed to leave the day before (on the 3rd) instead of the 4th, the day I showed up." (94 words) -- Angie H

Do I Get Half a Sandwich, at Least?
"Overbooked flight in Rome. Reassigned to different flight to Chicago. The new flight is not only overbooked -- it is double booked. Every seat was sold twice. Once to a cruise line, and again to everyone bumped off other planes. The funny part was we were all let on the plane. Total chaos. Everyone off the plane. Hours later, got a flight to New York. Connecting flight to Chicago canceled due to weather. Long story short: 31 hours from Rome to Chicago." (82 words) -- Vikingkay1

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