What was your worst travel experience ever, and why?
Most of my travel experiences have been pretty good although I detest hanging around airports and air terminals. I’ve generally taken it as a necessary evil to be endured in order to travel. I’ve had a number of less than enjoyable travel experiences but by far the worst would have to be my family’s last journey from Germany back to the States when I finished my “tour from Hell” at Sembach. It’s a long story, so get comfortable.
Nearly everything associated with this move was Murphy’s Law carried to the nth power. The first sign that things were not going well occurred when I was waiting at home for the movers to pack up our household goods. When no one had showed up by noon, I called the base Transportation Management Office (TMO) and learned that my packing out date had been rescheduled and they seemed to be as surprised as I was that I hadn’t been notified. My new packing date? The day before our flight out.
Talk about cutting it close. We didn’t vacate our quarters until after midnight the morning of our flight and I had to give someone power of attorney to clear housing for me and take care of my second car.
We had an early morning flight so we didn’t get much sleep. We flew out of Rhein Main Air Base in Frankfurt and had a stop over at RAF Mildenhall where we were quarantined to the terminal for several hours during the hottest English summer in several years. Finally, we reboarded and flew on to Philadelphia where we went through customs and immigration. How anyone expected a whole 747 full of people to be processed in 30 minutes is beyond me. Naturally, we missed our connecting flight to Cleveland. I was able to book us on a later flight. When we arrived at the folks’ place, I was never so glad for a trip to be over.
This particular journey was the first thing that came to mind when, during my Wright State University placement exams, I was asked to write the infamous “A Day that Ended too Soon” essay. All I could think of was the day that didn’t end nearly soon enough.