Expect the Unexpected When Travelling
The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry! And this is especially true when you are traveling. Even though, you may plan your trip to the tee, a few surprises do pop up here and there. In fact it’s impossible not to have some occasional jolts and jerks along the road. Like this incident…
It was November of 2009, after a wonderful vacation at Srinagar, we boarded the Spicejet flight no. 852, from Srinagar to Jammu, after ALL the security checks. You may know that the number of security checks in Srinagar are way too many! The flight was full and all the passengers had occupied their seats. And just then, an air hostess and 2 officials reached the seat no. 16-D and asked its occupant to disembark from the plane. The occupant of the seat no. 16-D was none other than KG, my better half!! KG was all shocked and bewildered at this. To add to this, the embarrassment of being the cynosure of about 150 pairs of eyes!!
Amidst protests/explanations, KG disembarked from the plane and at the bottom of the staircase was his blue colored VIP Skybag, which was surrounded by 4 officials.
They explained that there’s some problem with the bag!!
And the problem was…
The seams of the bag was open by 5 cms! So, they made him sign on his baggage tag. And that’s IT!! I mean, THAT’S IT!!!!
Are you shocked? Angry? Annoyed? Irritated at this??
Well, KG truly was!!
So, when he entered back into the aircraft, he insisted on seeing the Pilot. When he came out of the cockpit, KG demanded a complaint register. And none was available. Let me tell you, KG is damn impressive in creating a furore! And you bet, he created one for the whole flight to see!
At Srinagar airport (like many other airports), there is a process of Baggage Identification (wherein, you have to personally identify your baggage after check –in, after which it is loaded onto the aircraft). And it seems that the personnel at the Baggage Identification missed seeing this. The protocol demands the baggage to be locked and intact! (This was in 2009, I don’t know if the protocol for baggage identification has changed in Srinagar now.)
So, due to negligence of the airline employee, we had to go through this humiliation and embarrassment, which was so unexpected.
When we say that the greatest joy of travel is discovery and exploration, I think we should take these unexpected situations in our stride and make the most of them.
While, we reacted at that time and it was easy to blame it on human error, but retrospectively, I think such things do happen.
So, what best can we do in such situations?
- Stay positive
- Be open and curious to the new experience
- Accept the situation
- Don’t delve too much into it and let the bad experience roll off your shoulders
- Remember that such experiences make for great stories later on
- Express gratitude for the experience, learning and of course the amazing story too
I have realized that some things are inevitable. It makes sense to embrace the adventure, appreciate the journey, and move ahead, because a new adventure is waiting to happen.
Do you remember the last time you had to deal with an unexpected situation during one of your travels? How did you manage it?
April 24, 2018 1:00 am|
Very heart thumping situation when you are pulled off from a plane. KG handled the situation very well. We had a happy unexpected situation. Me, my wife, and son were going to London. At the San Francisco airport, the system automatically upgraded my wife to business class. I told the supervisor that we are together and all of us should be upgraded to business class. He made a few calls and upgraded all 3 of us to business class. The unexpected was not over still. After we sat in business class, a couple came on board. One of them was allotted a seat that were given to us. So the inflight manager upgraded my son to first class.
April 24, 2018 11:21 pm|
Wow! That was a happy surprise. What a fab experience, SG. Thanks for sharing 🙂
April 24, 2018 1:02 am|
I try to pull the same excuse that we travel together and all of us should be upgraded to first class. But it did not work this time.
April 24, 2018 4:49 am|
I am laughing at this SG, this is funny! If anything like this happens with me, I will surely try that! Hahaha
April 24, 2018 11:22 pm|
You must and do share your experience with us, Shesha 🙂
April 24, 2018 11:21 pm|
Aww! That’s sad! 😀
April 24, 2018 2:17 am|
ha ha re SG’s comment! Delightfully unexpected! I’ve had luggage not turn up at the other end … though delivered a day or so later .. thanks Shilpa .. expect the unexpected is a great attitude 🙂
April 24, 2018 11:24 pm|
Gosh! Delayed or late arrival of the luggage on the baggage carousel makes me nervous and yours didnt turn up. :O
Yes, being positive is a great attitude to have especially in such situations. Thanks, Susan!
April 24, 2018 4:51 am|
Shilpa that was terrifying situation. They could have just scan the bag and then close the zip. But no, they want to deal with common problems in uncommon ways and give a common man tough time!!!
April 24, 2018 11:25 pm|
I know, but then how would that make an interesting story for us 😀
April 24, 2018 7:41 am|
I have not yet been to Kashmir..but once I go I will keep this story in mind and take precautions accordingly.
April 24, 2018 11:26 pm|
All the very best, Balaka 🙂
April 24, 2018 8:38 am|
I was so amused by your line “KG is damn impressive in creating a furore”. Honestly, what a fuss about nothing, Airlines are cracked.
April 24, 2018 11:27 pm|
LOL 😀 I am sure he will give me a dirty look if I show him this line 😀
You bet, they truly know how to make a mountain out of molehill or nothing actually!
April 24, 2018 9:37 am|
Jammu and Srinagar airports are a NIGHTMARE – ill trained security personnel with no sense of space or sensitivity and they are ill- prepared to handle situations. Let me tell you about 3 of my experiences which had me fuming to the core.
1. I was carrying my set of scrabble and Pictionary from Jammu to Delhi. Being bulky boxes, I carried them in my hand. Both boxes twice went through X-RAY machines; yet they asked me to open then and take out everything – then the entire stuff was just pushed off the table to a “side” but most of it felll down. I was so furious and asked the lady to be a little considerate, She yelled at me that she has so many passengers to check – so I need to take it all off the table like NOW.
2. I was carrying my camera bag with lenses. The security check personnel went AWOL on the lenses. I was made to take them out, remove the front and back caps for them to inspect. Then I was asked what the hell is this? I truly wondered how they let journos through if they dont even know what a camera lens is.
3. I was coming back after Diwali and mom had gifted me a gold coin which was in my purse. The lady at the first security check grabbed it and wouldnt let it go asking me why am I carrying it. She was insane and I was worried she will make it disappear for it would then be my word against hers. I created a ruckus and she was forced to give it back as other peeps showed up to ask whats wrong. She refused to understand my logic of it being a Diwali gift and asked for bill and other proofs for it. I was so sure that I am not going to see it again.
Another time I saw them harassing a young mother with a tiny tot in her arms. The cerelax powder was being investigated as she was carrying it in a ziplock. Yes they spilled it out too – all the while the poor lady was trying to juggle collecting her bags and the baby and answer these moronic ladies.
April 24, 2018 11:33 pm|
God! Such harrowing experiences you have had, Shalini!
Agree, some of these security are so dumb and they just dont get simple things. They once made me take a liquid homeopathic medicine which is actually supposed to be mixed in water and then consumed. I took a drop and it burnt my tongue.
April 24, 2018 10:53 am|
God! Sheer stupidity on the path of airlines staff! But these are anecdotes we recall with a laugh later on, don’t we!:)
April 24, 2018 11:34 pm|
I know, they make for such fun stories!
April 24, 2018 11:38 am|
That was quite a tale! Once I was questioned at Mumbai Airport about the pressure cooker I was carrying in my bag. Even the fact that it was filled with underwear and socks didn’t quite convince them that it was not a dangerous device in my bag…Luckily better sense prevailed and seeing my face getting more and more red, they decided to let me go with the cooker lest I let off steam
April 24, 2018 11:34 pm|
LOL @ underwear and socks in cooker. 😀
April 24, 2018 12:30 pm|
Very scary. Glad both you & KG managed.
Human error can prove costly. Aviation rules are stringent, more so for some places.
Agree with your points. Truly expect the unexpected!
April 24, 2018 11:35 pm|
I know, they are for our safety, but sometimes, these rules are truly annoying and especially when they just follow rules blindly!
April 24, 2018 12:36 pm|
You always need a lot of time and patience in the security controls… I try to keep the calm, and I haven’t had any major issue so far. But sometimes it’s funny. I travel frequently to Spain, and I have realised that in Madrid they are obsessed with computers. You should take it off, sometimes even the battery, And in Barcelona, it’s the same with cameras… I wonder why?
April 24, 2018 11:37 pm|
Gosh! How amazingly annoying!
April 24, 2018 1:09 pm|
Omg I would have been scared if I was pulled out like that. It must be quite frustrating. Just because of human error you had to go through all that. But yes, we can take all of this in stride and not dwell over it too much.
April 24, 2018 11:47 pm|
Yeah, you cant undo the whole thing so might as well accept it and move on!
April 24, 2018 1:20 pm|
Enjoyed reading your post and take the learnings from you to expect the unexpected 🙂 I loved reading the responses too and was quite amused with the expereinces shared here… Thank you for tips to deal with the unexpected situations during travel..
April 24, 2018 11:47 pm|
Thanks much, Genevive. Glad you enjoyed reading this post and the discussion 🙂
April 24, 2018 1:55 pm|
OMG that must have such a terrible situation, Ofcourse anybody would feel annoyed and angry. No one likes to be pulld out for no reason. But yes, in travel one must be mentally prepared for these sort of unexpected encounters.
April 24, 2018 11:48 pm|
Yes, taking the unexpected in your stride is the right way. Thanks Ramya!
April 24, 2018 1:58 pm|
this is absolutely relatable. two years before while me and K cleared the immigration checks my son was held up with the bag. K is a typical man of discipline and principles. he makes sure everything is ok before we holiday. somehow we forget my son’s bag. seems he had carried his compass in hand luggage unknowingly becos we started the day immediately after his school closed for vacation. the scanner beeped, security took him aside, called us, and too much of drama.
April 24, 2018 11:54 pm|
OMG! What an ordeal it must have been! :O
April 24, 2018 2:03 pm|
What a horrible situation! I was once pulled aside at boarding and handled very roughly as the officials had spotted a “lethal weapon” in my bag under Xray. After much embarrassment, it turned out to be a tiny pair of craft scissors that I had lost during my time with friends in the USA. It had slipped into the lining of the case and I hadn’t been able to find it. Needless to say, they confiscated it and I went my way without the scissors I thought I’d lost anyway. But I’ve often wondered why they had to be so rude. Really? I was going to hijack a plane with a teeny pair of scissors which I couldn’t have got to anyway?!
April 24, 2018 11:56 pm|
Good Lord! How ridiculous. I am imagining an airplane being hijacked with a small pair of scissors 😀
April 24, 2018 2:27 pm|
April 24, 2018 11:56 pm|
April 24, 2018 3:58 pm|
Main issue I’ve had was with connecting flights. Running between airports with luggage from one end and being the last one in the other flight
April 24, 2018 11:57 pm|
Yeah, that can be such a painful nightmare!
April 24, 2018 4:34 pm|
Expect the unexpected is a great piece of advice. You would never be disappointment and would always be prepared.
April 24, 2018 11:58 pm|
Absolutely, agree with your thought, Thanks Priya!
April 24, 2018 4:56 pm|
Absolutely and always. One needs to be prepared for all kinds of things to go wrong.
April 24, 2018 11:58 pm|
True that! Thanks Damyanti!
April 24, 2018 5:43 pm|
Oh God! This was terrible, I am happy he created a ruckus, I would have done the same . But I agree with you the unexpected always happens. Once on a short flight from Denmark to Sweden the air hostess didn’t give the seven months pregnant me a glass of water despite of my repeated request and sternly replied every time I pressed the button to wait for my turn for them to serve. I was almost struggling, will never be able to forget her. Such incidences stay with me somehow for in a similar situation I would have given my love to help the woman in need.
April 24, 2018 11:59 pm|
OMG! How annoying!
Agree with you but most people dont think the way we do 🙂
April 24, 2018 5:48 pm|
Okay, this was way too silly but I’m impressed Spice Jet did this 😛
Oh the unexpected things while traveling is so much! Flight delays is one of the things I hate the most! I know it is totally unexpected, but still.
April 25, 2018 12:01 am|
Guess, they were good once upon a time 😉
April 24, 2018 5:52 pm|
I do remember the Security checks at srinagar for when I had gone with my college trip.
but i do agree be prepared for the unexpected. BUt good on KG to have created the fuss
April 25, 2018 12:02 am|
The scurity checks are WAY TOO MANY at Srinagar and they start much before you enter the airport!
Thanks Bikram. Good to see you here 🙂
April 24, 2018 6:42 pm|
This seems hilarious in retrospect but I can understand the trauma you went through… I consider a journey complete only when I see my bag on the carousal. ..
April 25, 2018 12:13 am|
You bet! 😀
April 24, 2018 7:49 pm|
Thanks for sharing this experience and offering great advice on how to tackle such a situation.
This is true…such incidents make for great stories later 🙂
April 25, 2018 12:13 am|
True that. We remember these stories with always and love sharing them 😀
April 24, 2018 9:01 pm|
I really don’t like the unexpected. I’m as flexible as bamboo in that respect. Just not me. Sigh.
April 25, 2018 12:14 am|
Hahaha, Jacqui., I like the flexible as bamboo part 😀
April 24, 2018 10:44 pm|
WHAT!?? That was weird and annoying and stupid, really! What a pain that must have been for you!
On a couple of trips, we too have faced some complications, but hubby (who is very much like yours!) can handle anything, with style, and makes sure the concerned party/person who rubbed him the wrong way, gets an earful! 😛
Hehehehe….Shilpa, we have similar husbands, too!
April 25, 2018 12:16 am|
And arent we blessed to have hubbies who can handle these situations with elan 😀
Yes, we may have similarities on that front too. 😀
April 25, 2018 12:26 am|
O yes, even the best planned travels can be full of surprises. As long as those surprises are good ones, fine. But if they are bitter, less said the better.
April 26, 2018 8:42 am|
Oh My! Wonder how would I react when called by security like that on high-security airports. But hat’s off he handled it so well. demanding a register and not having one is very common on most of the flights. We had a situation when daughter and I were traveling alone to Lucknow and this steward was quite rude to a male co-passenger.
Will keep the points in mind for any travel.