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“I Just Had a Baby. On a Plane.” — Employees’ Most Unusual Business Trip Experiences

An upset airline passengerWe’ve all had a weird transportation experience at one time or another (some of us more than others.) From a guy on a bus jumping up and turning around in his seat to “scare” me with fake bloody teeth, to sitting next to a woman chanting incessantly next to me as the plane took off, to witnessing luggage fights with the flight attendants, I’ve had a few odd experiences myself. But none of them quite compare to the experiences workers in Careerbuilder’s latest travel survey reported.

Let’s not delay (travel joke) — here are survey respondents’ most unusual business travel experiences:

  • Backwash city: “Woman next to me asked me for a drink from my water bottle.
  • No napping on this flight: “Our plane was stormed by the Columbian military who thought there was a drug lord on board.”
  • Scenic view? “A client mooned the plane.”
  • Maybe he meant to say ‘the bomb’: “A drunken passenger next to me insisted my headphones were a bomb.”
  • Room for two? “A naked guy tried getting in my cab in Indonesia.”
  • Arrested development: “U.S. marshals arrested a passenger when the plane landed.”
  • Strangers with candy: “A guy next to me had a carry-on bag filled with candy, which he kept offering me over and over and over again.”
  • Hope she didn’t name her child after the airline: “A woman gave birth on the flight.”
  • Upon reflection, not such a good idea: “After waking up, I accidentally walked into the hotel’s hallway instead of the restroom in my underwear. Got locked out and could be viewed by the elevator which was all glass windows.”
  • This will make for an awkward rest of the trip: “Manager punched a co-worker on the plane.”
  • Possibly more comfortable than airplane seats: “Fell asleep in the airplane restroom.”

Can you top these? Leave your craziest experiences in the comments below and let us know!

What do the travelers have to say?

While workers may joke about their crazy travel experiences, and while travel can definitely be rewarding, fun, and productive, there’s another side of business travel that isn’t always so amusing. While employers may be the ones pulling the strings as far as when, how often, and how their employees are allowed to (or must) travel, employees are the ones forced to sit in cramped airplane seating, get stuck at airports due to delays (hellooooooo, O’Hare), and, most importantly, be away from their homes, friends and families for extended or frequent periods of time. But how many employees are really travel warriors these days?

  • The majority of workers (68 percent) surveyed said they never travel for business.
  • Five percent said they travel every other month.
  • Six percent said they travel every other week or more.

Though the numbers may be low, it’s important to keep in mind that the toll on those who are on a first-name basis with TSA agents can still be quite high. Nearly one in five (19 percent) of those who travel for business said the amount they travel negatively affects their home life — and that’s nothing for employers to take lightly.

To help smooth out the common bumps of travel for your employees, think about your current process:

  • What’s working and what’s not?
  • Have you asked your employees if they’re happy with the level of travel expected (particularly if it’s recently changed)?
  • Communicate with your employees to find out if the frequency of travel is striking a fair balance, and try to work with employees to find a solution for both them and your business if there’s an issue.
  • Remember to periodically thank your employees for putting in the time and work to travel on behalf of the company, a move that, yes, is part of their job, but that also actively and often takes them away from friends, family, and personal commitments.

What else have you found helpful in coordinating business travel with your employees (or with your own travel)? And what jaw-dropping experiences have you had while on business trips?

Amy K. McDonnell

About Amy K. McDonnell

Originally hailing from Ohio, Amy is the editorial manager on the content services team and has been with both CareerBuilder and the city of Chicago for nearly a decade. She writes on a range of recruitment topics on The Hiring Site, striving to bring a dose of clarity and humor to sometimes complicated issues around employee attraction, engagement and retention. When she's not working, Amy spends as much time as possible reading, pretending to be a chef, writing short stories, eating Nutella out of the jar, waiting for CTA buses and trains, going to see her favorite bands live, and spending time with people who inspire and challenge her.
9 comments
ReZamp
ReZamp

This is the first time I am visiting your site and happy to read this post. This site it is very useful one and gives in depth information. Thanks for this sharing this article.
https://twitter.com/re_zamp 

Annie Price REALTOR
Annie Price REALTOR

Your site is quite intriguing and very well in writing. I like the way it is coordinated and offered. Very concise and articulate.

Footy Preview
Footy Preview

The information and the detail were just perfect. I think that your perspective is deep, its just well thought out and really fantastic to see someone who knows how to put these thoughts down so well.

imrudh
imrudh

With such a high percentage of travelers who say that travel negatively affects their home life, how about some discussion about the benefits of video conferencing?

cash for clunker program
cash for clunker program

Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. Thank you for sharing great information to us.

Kristin
Kristin

A woman brought a bucket of chicken on the flight and proceeded to eat it throughout the duration of the flight

Marcia Reid
Marcia Reid

My taxi driver's trousers caught fire! He collected me from Istanbul airport and suddenly drove off to the side of the motorway and leapt out of the car - ablaze! He had dropped his cigarette in his lap. Luckily no lasting damage to either of us!

Diane Prince Johnston
Diane Prince Johnston

An elderly man trying desperately to open the exit door, thinking it was the restroom.

Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

That would make me jealous and hungry. :) Seems a difficult food choice for a flight, no? I see people consuming huge messy meals all the time on the trains and buses here in Chicago -- it's somewhat fascinating. Thanks for sharing your story, Kristin!

Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

Wow, Marcia -- talk about a memorable welcome! Glad you were both OK after that! Thanks for sharing.

Amy Chulik
Amy Chulik

Eek -- the one time to be glad a door doesn't open for you! Thanks for sharing, Diane!

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