(the above photo “Sometimes maybe I shouldn’t have drunken blurry nights before an early morning flight? naaaaaaaah”)

I almost missed my flight – crazy travel stories

The idea for today’s word of the day came from an idea I got when I was telling a story from one of my travels when I almost missed my flight home from Paris. (Note: read this story very quickly in an excited tone and it sounds more exciting… hmm maybe I should make a podcast of this…)

In December of 2007 on my second visit of Europe at the age of 23, just out of a recent break up I went on a two week Contiki tourContiki tour of 8 different countries. That trip was one of the best trips that I have ever been on and I literally made some of my best friends that I currently have now from that trip. On our last night together all 45 of us (30 Australians, 6 South Africans, 6 Americans, 1 Mexican, and 1 Columbian, me) went to an irish pub called O’Sullivans next to the Moulin Rouge. Obviously we drank our faces off, danced our butts off, sung our lungs out and then the next thing I remember is waking up at the my hotel room the next morning.

That morning I had an 11am flight from CDG back to Canada, since it was an international flight I should be at the airport for 8:30am at the latest, not knowing what the traffic would be like, I should get in a cab at 7:45am just to be safe. Most of the people I had been traveling with for the past two weeks were leaving on the bus to go back to London at 6:45am. The hotel was offering us free breakfast from 6:00am to 7:00am. Even before I went out that night I set my alarm for 6:15am so I could get up, eat, say good bye to everyone, then shower, pack, hop in a cab and all would be good. Good plan.

I almost missed my flight - crazy travel stories

Partying late into the night at an Irish Pub in Paris, France

At 8:30am I woke up with my alarm clock in my hand…I had picked it up, turned it off, and went back to sleep. I jumped up and started running in circles, thinking “Oh crap I have to run downstairs and say good bye to my friends!” and  “Oh crap I missed them they are gone already, I didn’t get to say bye to any of them!” along with “Oh crap I’m going to miss breakfast, OMG I already did!” and “Ugh, look at my room its like my suitcase exploded I haven’t packed anything! OMG whats that smell!?! Aahhh that smell is me!” (you could still smoke in bars in Paris at this point, I don’t smoke but I did smell like the dirtiest Parisian ash tray ever from everyone else smoking). “Oh no I’m gonna puke!” (That was the previous night saying “Hi! Remember me? We had fun, we drank a lot.”)

Still running around I try to calm myself down, I feel horrible and smell worse. Knowing that I need to get to the airport ASAP I call the front desk of the hotel. In my broken French I ask for them to call me a taxi and they refuse to do so until I’m actually in the lobby and promise me it won’t take long. I then hopped in the shower to try to make myself look, feel and smell slightly more presentable because there is no way that I could sit with myself smelling like this for a 5 hour long flight.

I got packed, got presentable and ran downstairs. It was now 9am, 2 hours until my international flight departs and I ask for the front desk to call a taxi and I wait, and wait, and wait. Finally a taxi (not the one they called) shows up dropping a passenger off and I run out to get in but of course his Credit Card machine is down and the passenger being dropped off doesn’t have cash… At this point I start to freak out “just” a little…. but finally they figure something out and we hit the road it is now 9:20am and I have no idea how long it will take to get the airport.

The taxi driver assures me he is going as fast as he can and I realize that I should call home to my mother to tell her what I’ve done and to see if she can figure my flights out if I need to change. It was straight out of an episode of the Amazing Race. I asked the taxi driver to use his cell phone (and he actually let me) using my calling card I call home, forgetting that it’s 5am in the morning and I immediately start crying and telling my mother the story and that I might not make it home, but really there wasn’t much she could do until she knew for sure I wouldn’t make it.

We get to the airport, I open my wallet and voila!! All of my money was gone and of course had been spent the night before and lucky me this cab drivers Credit Card machine still didn’t work! All I could do was leave him with my luggage and run inside with hopes of finding a ATM near by. I come back out and happily he is still there with my luggage and I give him too big of a tip but can’t be bothered waisting time waiting for him to fiddle for change. I run inside to find one of the biggest, endless check-in lines to date in the world, I swear.

Immediately I spot an employee tell her my sob story and she puts me to the front of the line. I’m going through security and I can hear my plane is boarding. By some miracle they let me through and checked my luggage. Had I been literally two minutes later this wouldn’t of happened.

I made the flight, I didn’t throw up and that was the story of one of the craziest times I almost “missed” a flight.

Have you ever missed or almost missed a flight or do you have any crazy “missing” stories from your travels?

Please share I would love to hear them!