Social Question

nikipedia's avatar

You're stranded in another country. How do you get home?

Asked by nikipedia (28005points) January 3rd, 2011

You go on vacation in a country an ocean away from your home. Owing to some combination of stupidity, foreignness, and understandable mistakes, you miss your flight back.

Flying home basically involves buying another ticket, more expensive than the one you bought to get there. Let’s say over $1,000. In fact, let’s call it $1,336.87.

To keep things interesting, let’s assume you don’t have a credit card. You left it at home and there’s no way to get it, or you never had one in the first place, or something.

How do you get home? Or… do you?

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31 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Airlines will sometimes allow you to change your flight to another day. I’d try and get them to do that for me.

If I have to buy another ticket, I get some friend or family member in the States to purchase it.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

Are you stuck in Berlin?

nikipedia's avatar

For the purposes of the question, @wundayatta, let’s assume that changing your flight is not really an option. Specifically, owing to a blizzard in Europe, a blizzard on the east coast, and the holidays, you cannot get another flight for weeks. And even then, it will cost you $275.

and @Not_the_CIA, I am home, but this might be based on a true story. Gchat for details…

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Prostitution. Hypothetically.

filmfann's avatar

Prostitution, Hypothetically.
It might take 1337 dates, and I might still be 87 cents short, but I am determined, and will sacrafice.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m not as cute as ^^^ so it would take me a long time to raise the money.
I’d call my friends. They’d buy it on their credit cards and I’d pay them back.

filmfann's avatar

Thanks @worriedguy. I think you’re cute too!

oh, you meant Neffie

nikipedia's avatar

Just for fun, can we be more specific? What friend or family member would you ask? How do you think s/he would respond? How would you pay him/her back?

LuckyGuy's avatar

@filmfann You slipped in there pretty fast . You might raise that money quicker than you think.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Hahaha. That was great.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have at least 10 people I could call and ask for $ with no justification. They would just do it because they know I’d do the same for them. That’s what friends are for.

Just for the record I had a similar case when working overseas and had my wallet contents erased while standing in a high energy RF field. Train cards, telephone cards , all credit and bank cards – gone. I went to the hotel where I was staying and explained my predicament. (Brace yourself!) The asked me how much money I needed for the rest of my stay! They even paid for my car rental!
Of course I paid them back when I returned home. They did not charge any interest.

YARNLADY's avatar

There are Traveler’s Aid offices in most countries. If there isn’t, then the American Embassy would be my next suggestion. I had no trouble getting help to find my transfer flights and such when I went to Sweden in august.

It’s hard for me to answer, because my credit is simply a phone call away, and my available credit is high enough to carry any emergency.

wundayatta's avatar

Good answer, @YARNLADY I never would have thought of that. I would have felt I had to do it on my own.

Let’s see. My wife would help. My parents. Other relatives, if necessary, and friends. It would just be temporary, so it wouldn’t be a big deal. What would be a bigger deal is the obligations I might not be able to meet since I didn’t get home in time.

But then, I’m never late for planes…. or trains. I have a horrible fear of missing a flight. Or a ferry. I left three hours extra last summer for a drive to meet the ferry. Good thing, because our car broke down and we had to get it to a shop and rent another car to get there. We made it with fifteen minutes to spare!

sliceswiththings's avatar

I suggest looking for a cheaper flight out of a different country, then RyanAiring over there.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I know how to soldier. I’d walk. : )

bob_'s avatar

If I were American, I’d call these guys at (030) 8305–0 (assuming it is an emergency; if not I’d look for a non-emergency number).

If they don’t help, I’d ask a friend. If I can’t find any friends, I’d ask an acquaintance.

@CaptainHarley Are you Jesus Christ? If not, I think the Atlantic Ocean could be a bit of a problem.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

I would ask my Mom/Sister/Aunt for a ticket. And I have some friends that would get me a ticket. I know my aunt would hook me up since I have borrowed thousands at a time and paid her back each time.

And if everyone said no I have a ton of computers and cameras that would easily get me a ticket if I had to have someone sell them.

CaptainHarley's avatar


LOL! I’d just charter short hops to Ireland, to Iceland, to Greenland, to Nova Scotia. : ))

bob_'s avatar

@CaptainHarley Not much of a swimmer, then?

deni's avatar

If I don’t have a job to get back to by a certain date, which I hopefully wouldn’t, and I wasn’t alone or scared or uncomfortable where I was, I would stay, bum around, and enjoy life.

Jeruba's avatar

Well, if I were truly stranded abroad, the first person I’d call is my husband. And I’d suggest that he call my cousin who used to be a travel agent. Meanwhile I would probably be talking to my airline, my hotel, the American embassy, and anyone I might happen to know in that country. I could probably find a friend of a friend in maybe half the countries of Europe, definitely in India and Australia, and quite a few other countries, although in South America or Africa I’d most likely be sunk.

Oooh! I know! I’d sign onto fluther and shout for help!

Brian1946's avatar

Fugetta about it.
That’s why I now live in the USA instead of my beloved Canada. ;-p

CaptainHarley's avatar

@bob_ Not THAT much of a swimmer! : )

Austinlad's avatar

I can’t add a better answer than some of the ones above, so I’ll simply suggest click your heels three times and chant, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place…”

wundayatta's avatar

Oh dumb! How come I didn’t think about this? I’d call Mastercard and tell them I needed one of those instant replacement cards like they advertise. Or someone advertises.

Problem solved.

MissPoovey's avatar

Credit cards are promoted at the airport. You may even recieve a free shirt while signing up.
But really, everyone here has pretty much covered the topic except the thought of staying awhile and using the visa to work and check out living in a foreign country for awhile. Expand your horizons and get to know another culture and language.
I think I could do it. Just hang until the visa expired, work and get the cash to go home later. People always need something cleaned somewhere, that will usually pay in cash under the table..
Yes, I think I could stay awhile.

bob_'s avatar

Hey, I just thought of something: how attached do you feel to your kidneys? You only need one!

Response inspired by an episode of 30 Rock.

nikipedia's avatar

@bob_: Dude, I totally found my credit card on the floor of my car under a pile of markers today. Sure wish I had remembered to pack that…

bob_'s avatar

You never know when you might need markers.

nejiwhopper's avatar

I’m in this exact situation actually! My husband and I were evacuated from Egypt to Athens, Greece by the US Embassy. The Embassy knew at the time that my husband did not yet have his U.S. visa to enter the U.S. but evacuated us anyways. We are now stranded in Greece with no credit cards and no money. The Embassy paid for 4 days at the hotel but will not pay for flights back to Egypt or (now that we have his visa) flights to the U.S. Friends and family that we have always been there for have turned their backs on us and even though they are capable, they are unwilling to help in any way. We have no money for food, no money for the hotel and no money for airline tickets.

talljasperman's avatar

Beg on the street, or beg for work and be a janitor for a couple of days.

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