Traveler Story: Why I Like It When Things Go Wrong On Vacation

“Excuse me, my chair won’t lean back,” I said as the flight attendant passed by. I’d just gotten started, and already things were going wrong on my vacation. We fiddled with the seat a bit and neither of us could figure it out. She apologized for the inconvenience and continued divvying out drinks to thirsty passengers.

Right before it was time for her to sit down for landing, she came by and gave me the address to a website and told me to let them know that my seat did not recline. This, I thought. This is why I like it when things go wrong on vacation.

On another flight, the Wi-Fi was down on the plane, making it impossible for people to use their mobile devices while we were in the air. At the end of the flight, an attendant came on the loudspeaker and let us know that because of this inconvenience, everybody would be receiving a $150 flight credit. If we are already part of the airline’s mileage program, it would automatically be deposited into our account. I was signed up and the next day, there was the credit. Good for a year. Then, the pandemic happened, and they extended that voucher for yet another year.

I’ve also had my luggage lost before. Thankfully, mine was only last for 24 hours, but it was brought directly to the hotel. For some this may be a major inconvenience, for me, it was kind of exciting. First, I didn’t have to carry my luggage from the airport to the hotel. Second, I got to go shopping. I was told by the lost luggage department to be sure and hold on to my receipt from any purchases I needed to make. Other airlines will give you a credit right at the luggage counter.

Photo by AzmanJaka/ Getty Images

Overbooked on a flight and taking volunteers, I always sign up. If the delay is too long, I can ask for a hotel or credit at a restaurant in the airport. And, I’ve been offered as much as $400 in travel credit to wait. On a side note, you can even ask to be put on the list of passengers willing to get bumped.

The latest thing that went wrong, while I was traveling, was a bit of an inconvenience. But, it ended in a high note, unlike many of these,”trips from hell† When we arrived to this well known hotel chain, we knew something was awry. The receptionist was just getting up from the bar and slowly making his way over to the desk. He was drunk! He charged my card, and apparently another guest’s card, several times. Then, he gave us a key to a room that was already occupied. We weren’t the only ones who complained, and everyone received 50% off their stay and an apology from corporate.

Sure, it’s much nicer when things go smoothly while traveling. Yes, it’s an inconvenience, but it’s all about attitude. I’m traveling for the adventure. Add in hotel discounts, airline credits and impromptu shopping sprees, and the adventures are multiplied. That’s why I like it when things go wrong on vacation.

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