Really Shit Travelling Experiences


Well-known member
In my early-20s, traveling from Barcelona to NY, with connection in Madrid. When I got to Madrid, the second leg of my trip had somehow been cancelled. All flights that day were sold out, so had to rebook for the next day. When I went to leave the departure area, I apparently tried to exit the wrong way and was met at the bottom of a set of stairs by two guys in full military gear who pointed their machine guns at me. This was back when the ETA Basque separatists were still active, not being able to speak Spanish didn't help.

Also, since I was young and broke, the only place I found to stay the night was a rundown hotel on the airport outskirts where I'm sure I was the only customer not involved in an illegal activity. Even the taxi driver who took me was wondering if I really wanted to go there. I didn't even leave my room to get dinner that night, just laid awake most of the night and headed back to the airport first thing the next morning.


Well-known member
wanted to take my girlfriend away for a weekend when i was 18, absolutely skint and had never been anywhere, thought i'd keep it a surprise for her until the day, looked at paris but it was way too expensive, had heard that manchester was cool and so found a cheap hotel in.....eccles......we got there and watched a documentary about sam allardyce on the TV, all things considered it wasn't as romantic as i'd hoped


Cat Malogen
Dept of Homeland Security at Philadelphia airport arrivals, one of the last times in the states. The shift from transiting along the east coast after 9/11 became a complete farce. I’m quite dark and with added sun and a beard get taken for Med/Middle Eastern, which is what happened when the cunt who took my passport saw me stood in line

First he called over a dog handler who started firing his pooch into a single piece of size restricted hand luggage and a record bag. The dog got bored rapid but then the dog handler whooped “she’s onto something“. Facepalm moments all round from others on the flight but very quickly there were at least 4 of these cunts hovering, like it was a genuine problem suddenly. I heard words akin to sir (always with the fake politeness) we’re going to have to move you to a search area and in seconds a door opened and got ushered through

Much smaller space, surrounded, dialling up the intimidation and instantly the focus shifted to going to Canada so frequently (to renew tourist visas) and a firm no to letting me phone family/friends to explain lateness until I’d submitted a) to bank account access and b) a urine sample. At which point you think this is actually taking the piss but you have kinda been working illegally and you’re high as fuck so stfu, play dumb and repeat “this is illegal“. Then another door opened and in walked these mirror shaded-up fuckwits from local Philly police who just stood by each exit, like some threat/power play signal

I asked where the legal suspicion was and why was it falling on me? Wish it was exaggeration but the DHS cunt closest kicked a chair a wee bit with ultra polished shoe, “because you look sketchy, faggot”. Subjects shifted to actual Philadelphia team sports questions because I had a Phillies t on: what was Michael Vick arrested for, who was the starting pitcher for x season, where is Cherry Hill, tipping into the purely surreal because I only knew about Vick’s dog fighting charges, Eagles winning fuck all (at time) and their fans being wastrel drunks. Could’ve omitted the last bit

Moved to another larger holding pen area after an hour of this incessant pecking, where everyone was either Latino, Middle Eastern or Chinese/Thai/Philippino. You mull over wtf is happening (should I have shaved?), how long the wait will be and got talking to folks sat around too. Everyone just shrugged, “America!” etc. I realised my passport had been kept in the previous session, which limits anyone’s movement options. Walked to desk at front to ask its whereabouts, cue ‘whoah, back up there red-coat” overreaction. Up until this point, broad Philadelphia accents had always been endearing, now it was just over-familiarity psyops. 4-5 hours about covered it. Got passport back eventually, no drug test, missed a train which made me late for a wedding. Still love you fighting Phils
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Well-known member
make this into a short film, or at least a short story.

christ, rich, nothing to even remotely compare to that ordeal.

once had to spend a night in a shit airport motel in Madrid many years ago when there was a problem with my ticket in a connection from Barcelona to nyc. when I checked in in BCN, the agent said the first part of the trip was fine but the connection from Madrid to nyc had been cancelled, said to fly to Madrid and they'd sort it out there. of course, there's no love lost between Spain and Catalonia, so I seemed to piss off the woman at the airline ticket counter in Madrid when I relayed that message. that airline had only one nyc flight a day and it was full, so had to rebook for the next day.

then I somehow managed to exit the gate area the wrong way and was immediately surrounded by three Spanish paramilitary dudes working security, with their machine guns drawn. this was back when the ETA was still bombing public places and Spanish security was on high alert. once they realize I was just a harmless stupid American who didn't notice the do not enter signs, they let me go.

this was pre-cellphone/internet days, so not even sure how I found out about the motel (not even good enough to called a hotel), maybe asked a taxi driver to take me to the closest place. small dumpy place, probably a hot-sheet motel, I was probably one of the only people who actually stayed overnight. can't recall all the details but in retrospect just lucky I didn't get robbed or stabbed, LOL! no one knew where I was, anything could have happened.

hilarious, I recounted that same story two years ago when this thread started, in a bit more detail.

Mr. Tea

Let's Talk About Ceps
wanted to take my girlfriend away for a weekend when i was 18, absolutely skint and had never been anywhere, thought i'd keep it a surprise for her until the day, looked at paris but it was way too expensive, had heard that manchester was cool and so found a cheap hotel in.....eccles......we got there and watched a documentary about sam allardyce on the TV, all things considered it wasn't as romantic as i'd hoped
Ahh well. Points for trying, anyway.


That's the story we want to hear, @martin
It's quite dull, tbh. I was on the Delta flight in a window seat in the 2-seat side row and this bloke who looked like a bigger/balder Tony Soprano with a paisley short-sleeved shirt sat next to me and liberally spread himself over both seats. By this stage, I was so knackered and relieved to not be sitting in Fort Worth overnight (or have my anus probed by the TSA), I just assumed a zen-like calm, paid $5 for a tiny can of warm, greasy 'ale' and drifted off.

When we were getting off, he started blabbing to the captain about how he owned a bar in NOLA and gave him a business card. I then got a shuttle bus to the hotel and a giant rat bolted across the front door when I arrived.

On the flip, I then one of the best weeks ever :cool:


Well-known member
he needed to have drawn the story out for a another 5 or 6 paragraphs to really nail it but otherwise it was pretty good i reckon


Well-known member
I went on a weekend to the lake district with some mates and it was one disaster after another. Sunk boats, lost wallets, near electrocution from a car battery, a camp site ban, a faulty motor boat, a scratched car roof and plenty more.


Well-known member
version being stuck in some weird animal house frat boy social circle even though hes in his thirties and a sensitive soul who reads books is brilliant


Well-known member
This was quite a while ago. We were split between two cars with three in each and my car was the one where everything went wrong. The other lot were there within two hours and we arrived like six hours later after getting lost, nearly pulling into three lanes of oncoming traffic, mate getting stuck in a service station toilet and various other things and it got worse from there.


Tight but Polite
Not really in the same vein as some of the stuff on here, but we recently had our first experience of having to pull off a motorway and find the first random sideroad where we could stop in order to clean all the toddler sick out of a car seat using a pack of wetwipes.


is not like other people
Not really in the same vein as some of the stuff on here, but we recently had our first experience of having to pull off a motorway and find the first random sideroad where we could stop in order to clean all the toddler sick out of a car seat using a pack of wetwipes.
really sick travelling experience


Well-known member
At the airport early morning en route to NYC on the 4th of July (so packed as fuck) with a friend to play a show two days later, we were pulled out of the ID/ticket check queue just as we made it to the front, after standing in a barely crawling line for maybe an hour. Some airport police armed and with dogs had gone by the line by just previous, I saw/heard no indication of canine reaction but apparently one of the cops or whatever had and sternly commanded me to come with them. They figure out my friend is with me and do the same to him, he lets out an incredulous “Really? Why?” as he obviously passed the dog’s sniff test and had literally just been given the go-ahead from ID check. Man responds in absolute rage screaming “YEAH REALLY, BECAUSE I SAID SO” at which the three hundred or so other people in line quickly fall silent and whip their necks around to stare at us with what felt like a mix of instant suspicion (could it be? the pre-empting of a ‘Murica day terrorist attack?), second-hand docility and secret relief that it was none of them being picked on. We are taken aside and led to an extra bag security check station, no one will tell us what the apparent issue is. First they completely empty all our tightly packed bags, take their time checking every single item and question me about the 1/4” patch and speaker cables in my bag, I have to explain what guitar pedals are but they neither acknowledge nor pretend even to listen to what I’m saying as if to presume I’m lying. At this point they say they’re going to call the bomb squad in and tell us to sit and wait because it could be a while. After maybe half an hour of waiting we begin to complain that we are probably going to miss our flight, they say we are getting ahead of ourselves, we should “calm down” and everything will be fine. “Bomb squad” shows up and say they need to inspect and x-ray my fucking shoe… Another thirty minutes or so go by, they claim to have detected residue of explosive materials on my shoe (which is complete bullshit) but that we can go. We begin packing everything back up and insist that we have definitely missed our flight, which they again dismiss implying they have been in contact with the gate and that we have nothing to worry about. Sure enough we get to our gate and have missed our flight, we head straight back to where they held us, couldn’t have been more than ten minutes and none of the same five or six people are there anymore, “bomb squad” included. Airline wants nothing to do with our complaints since our holdup is outside of their responsibility, next flight to NYC is not for another 12 hrs so we bus to the nearby city and haul our things around all day killing time trying not to spend what meager spending money we had stashed for the trip. The flight that night went over smoothly, though. Can only imagine how much shittier, longer and less exceptional that would’ve been if we weren’t a couple of young white guys but rather fit their regular profile for that kind of stupid harassment.

As a bonus, on the way back home after our return flight we are on a bus waiting for the stop at which we are supposed to get off and transfer onto another route. Bus never gets onto the street where our stop is at, my friend approaches the driver to ask why he didn’t make that stop. Not sure what kind of day the driver was having but he simply shakes his head and laughs at my friend and doesn’t explain anything. After a long day of traveling (we live in the Pacific Northwest) my friend is not happy with the guy and is obviously insulted, indignantly explaining to the guy that he just wanted to know why we missed our stop. Driver continues to passive aggressively laugh at my friend at which point he returns to the seat next to mine to complain, I suggest we just get off at the nearest transit center to see if we can get some help figuring out how to transfer since typically the stop we missed is the only one at which to do so and transit website hadn’t mentioned anything. Some cow of a woman looks over at us and informs us that the stop has been closed for a week, “haven’t you heard? I don’t see how you wouldn’t have noticed,” as if there were no chance we, with all our luggage, were from out of town, or even hadn’t ridden this bus in this godforsaked shithole area off the side of the freeway for *over a week*. We stew in the parochial ignorance and lack of sympathy on this bus for a little longer until we reach the transit center. My friend walks up to the first employee he can find to figure out what we’re supposed to do, immediately the driver darts over to them and interrupts, saying my friend is an idiot who didn’t pay attention to where we were going, probably nervous my friend was issuing a complaint about his shitty attitude, when all we wanted was to get home. My friend instantly gets upset and makes some reference to the previous situation, they loudly argue for a moment, and the employee seems to either tacitly side with the driver or else evade the situation altogether and ceases to help my friend. We ask around and eventually figure out what to do, a bit of walking but it certainly wasn’t very complicated or commensurate to the supposed mistake these miserable people seemed to think we had made.

All that said this was absolutely nothing compared to IdleRich’s stories which I enjoyed (?) reading.
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