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nasty officer on a power trip
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:26 PM
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Angry nasty officer on a power trip

So I was on my way to my European cruise. It was supposed to embark in England. However my flight got delayed cuz of T storms and I missed it. Needless to say I was very upset since I've been looking forward to this for a looooong time.
Deciding to make the best of things, I made a reservation for a hotel.
When I got to the airport, the line was 1 1/2 hours long time go thru. 100s of ppl were pouring in. I was tired from my 8 hour flight and not in the best moods. I looked like hell most likely. Due to the delay I was stuck at the airport in MI freezing all night long.
The officer at customs didn't believe me when I said I was there to vacation (looked at me like I had 3 heads) and demanded to see my reservation at the hotel. I showed him on my phone. He still didn't believe me. He called the hotel to check for my reservation. The bewildered clerk confirmed that I have a reservation. He didn't believe her.
Then he accused me of trying to emigrate there! I said "no way! ew!" and he didn't like that. But really, why would I, my home is in USA!
He said that I was too suspicious so he made me wait another 2 hours. Meanwhile the line was getting so crowded. WTH Then he wanted to see my cash and cards. I only had 200 pounds and he said no way would it be enough.
Then he came back and demanded to see my bank acct! He took me to an ATM and made me use it. At this pt I wanted to get the hell out. I didn't really care if he sent me back. I just wanted to find a bed and sleep.
Luckily the ATM wouldn't show my bank acct, and he said HMPH!!!! like he thought so. He made me wait for another hour and then gave me back my passport. And told me that he didn't want to let me in but his superiors said that I was okay even though he didn't agree. He told me that next time I should have more cash
Well gee thanks. Go harass someone else. And my cash lasted me thru. I told my family about it and my sister, dad, and BIL were shocked. My sister visited before, and she didn't get the 3rd degree.
My brother told me that he was just doing his job and not take it personally. I told him that I wouldn't go back to visit even if someone paid me a million dollars and I meant it! Bro cussed me out! was I overreacting? My sis and dad don't think so I told my hotel and driver about it and they just laughed like they thought it funny well I didn't think it was funny to be treated like a fugitive. Even if I am overreacting fuck that guy.
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Old 05-29-2018, 10:54 PM
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morgana morgana is offline
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Quoth HotelMinion View Post
was I overreacting?.
Hell, no! Did you get the bastard's name/ID #? He deserves to lose his job!
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:24 PM
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I had a very similar experience trying to cross the US/Canada border as a UK citizen 20 years ago. Some people working that job are just a little overzealous...
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Old 05-30-2018, 06:26 PM
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I would file a formal grievance against that guy.
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:57 AM
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Yeah I was too confused to get any of his info. But oh well. Mostly I'm writing so I can warn others not to think it's easy to visit another country. They don't care how long you've traveled, or what it took to get there. I had a lovely time after I got over feeling upset. The people were lovely and I enjoyed the TV programs they had. But when my trip was up they (the airport) asked if I'd ever come back, I choked, remembering. Anyway I feel better after my rant. Thanks! ^_^
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:58 AM
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(Oops! This got long. Basically some people get just a little bit of power and turn into arseholes.)

That guard was a jerk. Not all are jerks. But some just llllooooovvveeeeeee the power trip.

Many moons ago on my first trip to Europe, I had to deal with someone like that. (This is pre-facebook, smartphones, amazing hotel comparison websites, AKA 2007.)

Picture a bus load of Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, a few Americans and 2 quiet, shy South Korean girls. A third of us are still slightly drunk (or high), a third hungover and the rest laughing at the 'not well' people. I was part of the last group. We have all stumbled off the bus at the ferry port at Calais after driving the 5ish hours from Amsterdam.

I'm half asleep due to some fun cold and flu drugs and lack of sleep catching up, but am mostly functioning. (I only looked like Death, but didn't have Binky or the scythe.) I'm in the line with everyone else. We all just have our passports in our hands because that's all the guard told us we needed when he boarded the bus. (Everything else was left for the drug dogs to sniff out. Did I mention our last stop was in Amsterdam? )

After taking 2 seconds to look at photos and then stamping passports for everyone else, he decides that I am only going to the UK to work and be a NAFA (Not Another Fucking Aussie). He wanted me to list every single town/city we had stopped at. (21 day tour, you fucknut, no one is going to remember every single goddamn place. Especially not on 3 hours sleep and cold and flu drugs. Did I mention 3 hours sleep? ) Then he claimed that I should have stamps if I went through so many countries. (For fuck's sake, dipshit, the EU had been a thing for a number of years, nobody gets stamps when driving THROUGH borders because there are no border guards/crossings anymore. And I wanted stamps damnit!) So he sent me back to the bus to get the itinerary of the tour.

Second time through, he waved me past the last 10 people from the tour. (Mind you, the only people to be processed are those from our bus. Another group had just finished as we were getting off the bus and there was no one else to be processed.) So now I had the itinerary printout from my travel agent that also had my flights on it. He freaks out when he notices that there is 5 weeks between the end of the tour and my flights back to the wonderful land of Oz. Starts to demand my hotel details and my full itinerary and how I was going to pay for everything.

This is the really fun part. I only had 3 nights booked at the hostel for the end of the tour, then I was supposed to stay with a cousin for a night, before going with her and 2 friends on a road trip. But the road trip was cancelled just the night before and I hadn't decided where I was going to go next. Like I said 'fun part'. My entire plan was to randomly pick places in the UK & Ireland that had YHA hostels and easy public transport to get there. This did not go down well.

Then he wanted to know how I was funding it. I had $**** (big chunk of money saved over years) in my bank account. But I also had one of the new, nifty, pre-loaded travel cards. (Think travellers cheques that work in ATMs.) So he sent me back to bus for proof of funds. (2nd time back to bus after 'you only need to bring in your passports' for those counting.) Well, Mr Pain-in-the-Arse had never heard of the new, nifty cards. And his colleague had never heard of them. And colleague 2 hadn't. Thank fuck the supervisor had heard of them and then I got to listen to her berate them for not reading the latest training material about this new, nifty cards and how they are legitimate money. (By this time there are only 2 other people in the line, everyone else is on the bus and I'm starting to freak out about missing the bus.)

Mr PITA then spent 10 more minutes doing dog knows what before deciding that I was ok to stamp and go through. This whole heap of shit took nearly an hour. I managed to just make it on the bus before it had to move off to get the ferry. If Mr PITA had delayed me one more minute, I would have missed the bus, then ferry and had to find my own way across ditch and then to London.

Two girls from the tour didn't make it through. But we all lost sympathy for them because they had finished the last of their 'munchies' only 2 hours before we got to Calais. Everyone was told that all 'things' had to be consumed before midnight of the last night in Amsterdam as the border guards will not let them though if they are clearly high. These 2 were so high that they didn't need the ferry, they could have floated in a light breeze. They finally made it to London the next day. They were finally cleared around 1am to go through the border. They ended up getting a lift with another bus from the same tour company.
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:44 PM
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Quoth Blue Ginger View Post

*snip*
After taking 2 seconds to look at photos and then stamping passports for everyone else, he decides that I am only going to the UK to work and be a NAFA (Not Another Fucking Aussie)...

Second time through, he waved me past the last 10 people from the tour....

This is the really fun part. I only had 3 nights booked at the hostel for the end of the tour, then I was supposed to stay with a cousin for a night, before going with her and 2 friends on a road trip. But the road trip was cancelled just the night before and I hadn't decided where I was going to go next. Like I said 'fun part'. My entire plan was to randomly pick places in the UK & Ireland that had YHA hostels and easy public transport to get there. This did not go down well.
Ugh reading this got my rage bubbling up again. Mine made try to name all the landmarks in England. When I named a few (stonehenge, big ben, tower of london) he scoffed and said that wasn't right! And then he implied strongly that I was an idiot for not naming them all. WTF

Additionally, now the cruise company is getting on my nerves, saying that they want proof of my flight being delayed. I had bought the protection plan, which said that under ANY circumstances that I was to get a full refund if I couldn't go, so why are they making me jump thru hoops??? ARGH

So thats another headache. I no longer like to travel anymore
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Last edited by EricKei; 06-07-2018 at 06:04 PM. Reason: snip a little more, if you please... ;)
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Old 06-07-2018, 06:06 PM
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EricKei EricKei is offline
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why are they making me jump thru hoops???
You answered your own question -- It would not surprise me if they almost never actually pay out (or at least pay in full) on those claims. Remember, their job is to DENY claims, not pay them. You get to go through hoops so they don't have to when Corporate calls down to demand an expanation for them doing a full-refund payout; this way, they'll have the paperwork/justification.
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2018, 07:14 AM
Blue Ginger Blue Ginger is offline
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Proof of flight being delayed should be (note that i said 'should be') as easy as getting something from the airline about the flight. The airline should have either a customer service number that you can call or maybe some kind of 'contact us' email thingy on their website.

There are also some different flight tracker websites that sometime keep the flight time info until the next time that flight number get used (normally a month later). Check out a few of them.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2018, 07:33 AM
Blue Ginger Blue Ginger is offline
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The thing that makes me really giggle, though, is only a few years later I was going there to start a 2 year work visa and I walked right into the country without going through any immigration lines.

Did you know that anyone at all can fly from Republic of Ireland to anywhere in the UK without going through either customs or immigration? I didn't. But you can. (Planes land in the 'domestic' terminals.) So I was working in the UK for 6 months before my Visa was actually stamped or recorded as 'arrived'. And the only reason it was stamped then is because my flight from Dublin was diverted to the international side due to renovations at Heathrow.

The poor immigration guy that got me that day was so confused. Luckily, I still had the luggage stub with my flight info from when I moved from Dublin to London. And that is only because I didn't realise it was still stuck in the back of the passport. So my arrival was back-dated after about 20 minutes of paperwork and questions. (So grateful for that ticket stub because I am really shit with dates and would have had no clue without having to go through emails. All I remembered about the date was the month and it was a few days after the Irish Visa expired because of the ash cloud from a volcano in Iceland had been grounding flights for a few weeks at that point.)
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