One side effect of being a travel writer is spending a lot of time in airports and on airplanes. And your destinations are sometimes off the beaten path. The more you travel, the more your personal collection of horror stories grows. Here's a few from our writers we think you'll enjoy.
St. Thomas: Has that ship sailed?
I was flying into St. Thomas to meet my two grown kids for a luxury cruise. They were waiting for me at the airport. As my plane approached, things got choppy. The pilot came on and explained there were strong winds. I nervously pondered our proximity to the sea and a nearby mountain. The pilot decided to abort the first landing attempt. My kids, meanwhile, were briefed by a cruise-line rep that Mom was about to arrive then promptly told, "never mind."
The pilot went in for a second attempt. But, again, he backed off from the looming mountain. Beginning to think they were in a scene from the movie Airplane, the kids were again told Mom was landing, but no. They worried for me, of course, but also that we would miss our ship's departure. By the third attempt, the kids had decided that, no matter what, they were going on the cruise, since that's what I would have wanted. Fortunately, I was able to join them. - Fran Golden
Monaco: Jetsetting (eventually) in the South of France
I was flying to the South of France from Britain for a friend's book launch party. Dress code: lavender. Drinks: champagne. Guests: Monaco's jet set. I was in a good mood as our two-hour flight rose from the gray skies of London and headed for sunny Nice.
It took four tries to land. Upon success, the pilot then appeared and stated: "Someone is on board with luggage that doesn't belong to them. Please, can everyone else sit down, and this individual stand up." I was accustomed to applauding landings but I did so too soon. A smartly dressed young man made himself known. Looking out the window, I saw a swarm of armed gendarmes descend on him. The rest of us were hauled into a stuffy room for an interview near the runway. Later, that champagne never tasted so good. - Anna Goldrein