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November 25, 2008

Missed flights, lost passports and other traveler woes

Most of us probably have a healthy fear of common traveler nightmares — missing your flight, losing your passport and other such mishaps. I’m that guy that has to double check every ten minutes on the way to airport just to make sure I still have my ticket, my passport and the rest.

Strangely this paranoia doesn’t seem to affect other forms of transport. I’ve missed more buses, boats and trains than I can count. My logic is pretty simple, I generally only fly to a particular area and then use ground transport, and I’m all for the flexible approach to ground transport. But my greatest fear is missing the opportunity to get out of my home country, hence the paranoia about flights.

Of course that doesn’t mean I haven’t missed some flights (actually only one), but more often I find myself spending long periods waiting in the airport. But as all long term travelers know, there’s no such thing as “down” time, there’s just extra reading and writing time.

But it turns out that many travelers aren’t as paranoid about missing their flights as I am. Since it’s a holiday week here in the U.S. and no doubt many of you will be waiting around airports today, I though I’d point out a highly entertaining tale of travel mishaps — missed flights, lost passports and a powerful oil sheik who comes the rescue.

The story can be found over on the I Keep A Diary blog, where the ever-entertaining Brian Battjer Jr recounts the trials and tribulations of going from New York to Thailand via Dubai. After telling his boss that he’s taking a month off of work, subletting his apartment, and arranging to stay with a friend in Dubai, Brian and his girlfriend speed off to the airport, where they are informed that their flight actually left the day before. Whoops. And it gets even more complicated from there, be sure to read the whole thing.

If you enjoy that story also check out Brian’s trips to South Korea, Japan and more.

Oh and if you’re traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, be sure to get to airport plenty early, not all misadventures have a happy ending like Battjer’s tale.

[via Kottke, Photo from I keep a Diary]

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