Travel Horror Stories Only Happen At Airports

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Usually, travel horror stories while in a place are reminders of things that we have and/or take for granted. Someone taking your iPod, stealing your shoes, getting caught in the rain with no change of clothes all make for epic stories. For some reason (perhaps for the reasons listed above), I find the airport the worst part of any trip.

I remember flying to San Francisco (SFO) a few years back. I flew through security only to look back and see my travel partner, burly and bearded, being searched and heavily frisked. Perhaps it was the international zeitgeist of travel or perhaps it was his sinister expression from furrowing his eye-brows too much. Nevertheless, the few minutes of frisky behavior left him with a sour taste for airport security workers.

A recent article in The Toronto Star highlights this point. Since September 11th, security measures have been increased in response to a laundry list of potential terrorist attacks. For example, 2010 is the year that the Canadian government re-upped its measures for anyone flying to or stopping over in the United States.

The article focuses on Brian Erlington’s experience with travelling. What once was a pleasure, now begins on the wrong end of the stick. “At the end of the day, it’s my vacation, and I feel that my vacation begins the moment I am at the airport,” he told the writer of the article, Rob Charles. Apparently, as Erlington sees it, the negative experience with security officials has been getting worse. To him, the passport face-furrow is symbolic of the airport travel woes.

Still, travel to the United States has not been curbed for everyone as Canadians take advantage of a good dollar and good deals across the border (18.9 million Canadians in 2008). Personally, I have never had a bad experience in an American airport. My favorite (of all airports) is Detroit (DTW), where a security official jokingly chided about the size of me juxtaposed to my luggage.

But I guess it’s not that way for everyone. I can recount endless times (actually, every time) waiting at the YYZ (Toronto) for my friend to arrive from Lebanon. Hours would go by, leaving me wondering if I had gotten the date wrong or if she had some medical emergency or if … after multiple times of drinking multiple cardboard coffees, she would emerge from the “Arrivals” Gate without luggage because the airline had lost it. Every single time.

I guess from personal experience, even though it’s through my friends’ experiences, airports seem to be the only places of travel horror stories.

By Brit Weaver


About the Author

Toronto born and based, Brit is an avid leisure cyclist, coffee drinker and under-a-tree park-ist. She often finds herself meandering foreign cities looking for street eats to nibble, trees to climb, a patch of grass to sit on, or a small bookstore to sift through. You can find her musing life on her personal blog,

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