Rookie Wednesday: The MOST embarrassing travel mistakes & how to prevent them from happening!

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RenesPoints Rookie

Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.

oppsseee did I do THAT

It is so simple to make mistakes that will make you feel like a fool. You know what I am talking about – things that make a bunch of people look at you like – oh, brother – look at “that guy”.

I know I never want 50 eyeballs on me knowing they are getting more impatient with me by the second so what are the embarrassing travel mistakes to watch out for and how to avoid them from either A) happening to you or B) getting out of them ASAP. Let’s take a look

The TSA PreCheck disappearing boarding pass! Oh I soooooo hate this one. The Delta APP is actually very good and slowly becoming a great travel tool. But it has a major bug to me. Most times when I get to the airport I have my boarding pass already up (do it on the shuttle bus or wherever I am). But when I enter the airport, pull out my phone (normally at the TSA PreCheck line) it often starts to connect to the airport wifi and, you guessed it, my boarding pass goes away. AGGGGGG. The fix. Do a screen shot of your boarding pass and use that at the TSA check point as it is not reliant on connection to the app or the web (or just print a paper copy as a backup).

The I forgot a water bottle mistake. I have to tell you I am at fault on this one a sad number of times. You know you forgot one from a hotel or from a 1st class flight when the bag goes back up on the belt and goes back in for a second look. Then “whose bag is this?” is shouted out and you hang your head and know what you did. Everyone in the TSA PreCheck line looks at you like – you dummy. Ugg.

The lounge “dragons” refuse you entry. Oh I hate this one. You “think” you have access only to find either Delta has dumped this 3rd party lounge or that you do not have arrival privileges or your +1 is some crazy amount extra (like $29 – uh, no). So, you get the “look” from the 10 people ready to check-in behind you.

The your luggage does not fit go back to the front and swim up stream. I just about always travel with stuff I know will fit. But every now and then I grab some other bag off the pile and it is not much fun to have to squeeze past the stream of folks waiting to get to their seats.

The I forgot my passport oooppssee. This one is really bad. I have taken photos of my passport and save them along with my drivers license and global entry cards as well in a folder. For domestic travel that CAN work in a pinch but only in a last gasp to get you home if out of the country. Please just always check the passport is there before you head out to the airport!

The getting in the wrong rental car. I have to admit I have never done this one but others have told me that when there are several cars in a row say at Hertz, and you think the sign is pointing this way, but was the one next door, that can happen (I would always check the paperwork right away). It would be funny to get to the exit kiosk and have to explain you are not the same name as on the rental contract 😉

The getting on the wrong hotel shuttle bus. Guilty. Yep, I have done this. If you want to toss away a full hour of your life riding around a town you would rather not see by shuttle bus, then by all means get on the wrong hotel bus (sometimes they will show pity on you and drop you off near the right hotel).

The wrong city bus / pass. This can be madding too. Getting on the bus or train going the wrong way (done this too). You end up in a city you did not want to go to then have to pay to ride back the way you came and then maybe pay yet again. Sigh. Just not fun.

The trying to get in the wrong hotel room. This can be awwwwkkkkkwwarrrdddd to say the very least. If someone is home and opens the door, that is not fun. Even worse, if for some strange reason, the door opens and you walk in (yeah that can be really bad). Or, and I hate this, you go challenge the front desk that your key does not work in your door. Please check the number carefully.

So those are my top few most embarrassing travel don’t do’s. I am sure you have some of your own. Please share them in the comments below! – René

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  1. Even after years of traveling…I was so relaxing at the DTW SkyClub (you know the one with the self-serve bar)…great, comfortable chair by the window (overlooking my outbound flight) when I noticed it was pushing away! ??? WHAT??

    Yep, My cellphone had failed to switch over the timezone properly and I thought my flight didn’t depart for another hour…#WRONG !

    Delta DM Line took care of me (and my 7 -missed- following segments)!

  2. My most recent Oops moment was in Singapore. After four flights over thirty-one hours of flying and arriving around 2:00 AM, I went through passport control, stopped at duty free, and then followed the signs to Customs – Nothing to Declare while looking for the Baggage Claim sign. I exited the door and looked at friends and family welcoming people who had their bags. At this moment, I realized the baggage carousel was in the corner past duty free, and I did not have my bags.

    So, off I go to get permission to go back into the secured area and my boarding pass would not load because I could not connect to Wi-Fi. Finally, I was able to get my permission slip to be re-screened and to retrieve my bags. What a headache after a long trip, but at least there was a process in place to deal with this problem.

  3. Rene – For the disappearing boarding pass act, for those using iPhone, I would suggest adding the boarding pass to the Passbook App. It is one extra step to add when you check in via the Fly Delta app, but you can easily access your boarding pass from the Passbook or even Lock screen with a finger swipe and it doesn’t depend on data.

  4. I’m dog tired and waiting for a regional flight at a little airport in an Australian mining town. After visiting restroom I come out to see a small group who had also been in waiting area trudging across tarmac to a plane. Figuring my flight had landed while I was in restroom I rush after them without thinking, climb up stairs and am about to look for seat when this guy says “Who are you and why are you on our private charter?” That was one long, embarrasing walk back to the terminal to wait for my real scheduled flight! Moral: don’t assume; if you don’t know, ask.

  5. Best oops story ever: husband and I went to Florence Italy with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. Last day we were in Florence, the boys wanted to go to Pisa but the girls didn’t. Boys went to the train station, bought tickets and got on the train thinking they were going to Pisa. Ticket taker came through, took their tickets and tried to explain, in Italian, that they owed more money for their ticket. They showed him what little actual cash they had, he took it and another passenger made them understand that they were on the train to Rome and it was a 2 1/2 hour trip. And, they hadn’t paid near enough for the train they were on. Needless to say, they got off the train in Rome and only had about an hour to spend there before they had to take the train back to Florence so they could board the flight home back to the states.

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