It’s a given that the bloggers here at Pic4Pass love to travel. What may surprise you is that our travel experiences aren’t always picture-perfect; after all, the more you travel the more likely you are to hit a snag along the way. We have experienced quite a few –from missing a plane, ending up in the wrong city, or losing our luggage. We at Pic4Pass have decided to share some of these stories throughout the blog; some our own and some we’ve been told by friends and family. So to start you off, here’s one from my own “portfolio of disaster”, and keep reading some of my next blogs for more sad, but true, travel nightmares. We hope these will help you avoid similar troubles during your own travels.
It was around 11 a.m. when I got in a taxicab headed for the Oakland International Airport in California. I was coming from San Francisco, which is typically about a 20 minute drive without traffic. I told the cab driver where I was headed, then sat back to answer a few work emails. I had only allotted an hour and a half to get to the airport, get my ticket, go through security, and get on my plane. During the ride, I only glanced up few times to see where we were. It wasn’t until I looked at my watch and saw it was 11:30 a.m. that I got a little concerned. After looking around, I realized we were on the wrong freeway headed to the wrong airport. In the Bay area, we have three main airports; Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. I had gotten into the cab with quite possibly the only cab driver in the entire region who didn’t know where the Oakland Airport was! It turned out instead of asking me directions he decided that taking me to another one was sufficient. Not so much. I quickly told him to turn around and began looking up directions on my phone GPS, and giving the driver step-by-step instructions. You’d think I’d be in the clear now. Wrong, the driver, for a reason still unknown to me, ended up exiting the freeway several miles too early. I was now in downtown Oakland, rerouting my GPS and desperately searching for an on-ramp. I got the driver to get back on the freeway headed to the right airport once again and told him he had better hurry up. By now I only had 30 minutes before my flight took off. With 2 miles to go, bag in hand, and my heart pounding, I asked the driver how much my actual fare would be, assuming I wouldn’t be paying for his mistake. Wrong again…he informed me that to void the fare he would need permission from the cab company; a task that would take “a few minutes.” I didn’t have a few seconds let alone a few minutes. As we pulled up to the airport, I reluctantly gave him the full fare amount, jumped out of the cab and ran. Thankfully, the airport wasn’t full and the security personnel let me cut through the line. I made it to my plane as they were calling my name–with one minute to spare.
These days when I travel, I always make sure I pay strict attention to even the smallest details and try not to get fully absorbed multi-tasking I also give myself a bit more time to get to the airport, just in case. Oh, and I never assume a cab driver will know where he’s going.