Murphy’s Law 101 for travellers

The amazing thing about travel is that no matter where you’re going, for how long, or how much time you have to prepare, you will invariably fall victim to one or more of the classic “murphy’s laws” of travel along the way.

Here’s a list of some that I’ve experienced over the years (and thankfully rarely more than one at a time):

  • The taxi is late picking you up.
  • Your taxi driver doesn’t know the way to the airport.
  • You arrive at check-in but the baggage handlers are on strike so the queue is 400 people long.
  • You remove your boots, belt, watch, jewellery and wallet and still manage to set off the security alarm every time. Maybe its the metal plate in your skull.
  • Airport security won’t accept your home-printed-out boarding pass – which 20 minutes ago you were so smug about possessing – and you need to go back to the airline desk for a real one.
  • Departure gate 479 is at the absolute arse-end of the airport terminal, and you’re just about ready to commandeer one of those golf buggy things to get you there in time.
  • You finally arrive only to find out that gate 479 is actually over in terminal 4.
  • The airline doesn’t tell you that your plane has been delayed for 3 hours until you actually arrive at the gate.
  • There are 398 people also waiting at the departure gate and only 70 seats.
  • You finally board the plane after midnight, just to sit on the tarmac – trapped – for another 2 hours with no explanation.
  • Due to the Chilean volcanic ash cloud, your flight has to fly at low altitude which means the pilot isn’t allowed to try and “pick up time” – in fact its going to take 2 hours longer than usual.
  • Even though you booked and paid in full for your flight 6 months ago, confirmed with the airline a week ago, and checked in online 2 days ago, your seat has been re-allocated and none of your party are together.
  • The person in front of you reclines their seat immediately upon take-off. And this is the point where you discover that your seat is broken, and will not actually recline.
  • Your sitting between 2 people that know each other and want to talk all night but neither wants to swap seats with you (who in their right mind would give up a window or aisle seat?).
  • They are out of the beef and chicken, with only a gluten free, non-dairy vegan meal remaining. Which turns out to be a glass of water and a raw carrot.
  • The kid behind you is ADD and kicks the back of your seat constantly.
  • The entertainment system dies – for good – right at the point of the movie when you’re about to find out “who done it”.
  • Mr Window and Mrs Aisle have now decided to get drunk, and managed to spill a Jim Beam and Cola on your seat while you were in the lavatory.
  • A fellow passenger has a heart attack mid-flight and you have to make an emergency landing somewhere in the Arctic Circle.
  • By the time you get back in the air its quite clear that you will miss your connection.
  • In the rush to get off the plane when it lands, Mrs Aisle’s 2 litre bottle of duty free Kahlua rolls out of the overhead compartment and scones you.
  • Finally you arrive at your destination. But your luggage doesn’t.
  • Customs are suspicious of you and your bleeding head, and go through everything you own with a fine-tooth comb.

And so this was the time of your life – or at least one you’ll never forget – all the while with your tray table up and your seat back in the full upright position.

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