The Big Q

What’s the biggest travel glitch you endured while globe-trotting?

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Kathleen Hopkins

Real Property Law Group


I was a liaison to an ABA commission that met with Justice Stephen G. Breyer at the U.S. Supreme Court. I decided to save my firm some mon­ey by staying at a small­er “boutique” hotel. I had two beds, so I used the spare as a desk and laid out my files, pads and books.

I’d taken a redeye, so I fell asleep early. About 3 a.m., I awoke to a very loud dripping sound. I found water leaking onto the spare bed (and my papers), the wallpaper bubbling out and the carpet quite squishy. I called the front desk clerk, who was aware of the problem but had not wanted to disturb my sleep!

Benjamin Lowe

Florida Coastal School of Law


As a Foreign Service of­fi­cer I did a lot of traveling, but my favorite story involves returning from Ku­ala Lum­pur, Malaysia, in 1989 with my family. My daugh­­ter was 6 months old and the passengers’ nightmare she screamed all the way to Hong Kong, then to San Francisco (21 hours total). We didn’t sleep and des­perately tried to quiet her down.

When we fi­nally got on the plane to Wash­ing­­ton, D.C., I was so tired I fell asleep with my head in the salad, and it stayed there un­til the plane cruised to the gate. I greeted the family with lettuce in my hair.

John Haller

Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick

Columbus, Ohio

I had to travel to Baltimore for a court hearing. Because it was raining that day, I decided to dress casually and leave my suit in my luggage. My dress consisted of black pants, black tennis shoes and a black mock turtleneck (in es­sence a black T-shirt made of silk, but still a T-shirt).

My original flight was canceled, but the airline assured me my luggage would be transferred. I eventually arrived in Baltimore about 10 p.m., but, of course, my luggage did not. After checking my e-mail, I went out for a snack (when things don’t go well, I like to spend some time with my friends Ben and Jerry). For this reason I always carry a spoon in my toiletries bag.

About 2 a.m. I went out to get some ice cream, came back to my room and went for the spoon, which was, of course, in my luggage which was who-knows-where. I then had to go down to a bar area in the hotel and find a spoon. To add insult to injury, when I hung up my pants I found out that there was a 6- to 7-inch tear in the back of one of the legs. I am about 6’4” and there is nothing in Baltimore that carries my size that is open before an 8:30 a.m. court hearing. I had to go to court in what amounted to a black T-shirt and torn pants. I think a nice gold chain and medallion would have been an improvement. The judge was very understanding but couldn’t stop smiling.

This month’s answers came from responses to the Question of the Week feature in the ABA Journal eReport.

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