Once a year I head out with a bunch of friends for a week of winter sports. This year my snowboarding buddies and I (a skier) decided to skip the unfriendly European slopes and flip over the Atlantic to Jackson, Wyoming in USA for a whole 10 days of slope mastery.
As always our first flight landed us at Gatwick. One overnight stay led us into flight 2 to Atlanta, Georgia via Delta Airlines. The flight was a whopping 9.5 hours but luckily quiet and under booked. If they hadn’t smashed the handle on my new luggage I might have given Delta a full 5 stars.
Things got exciting at US customs when the customs officer said "Come on little buddy" to a friend ahead of me. At that point all sense went out the window and was replaced by uncontrollable giggles and a bout of amnesia as to what exactly I’d come to do in the USA. Thankfully I’d already written out all the details on the Visa waiver form and despite a few stern looks and harsh words was let in. I guess terrorists and illegal immigrants don’t break out in a laughter attack at customs checkpoints.
Tired and dazed we boarded another 4 hour flight to Salt Lake City and then a quick 1 hour to Jackson itself where we finally met our Inghams rep Nicki – imagine a Scot with an American accent…
During our first day my friend James had a nasty fall off his snowboard that left him with a very painful wrist. As the day went on we found out it was dislocated and fractured and he was soon hospitalised.
As the week went on he’d go through three operations, have a metal plate put in his wrist and require a skin graft which would leave a massive red square of bare flesh on his leg.
To make matters worse he wouldn’t be able to join us on the return journey home and one of us would need to stay out a little longer to bring him home once the doctors think he’s ready.
Travel insurance is of course invaluable when this happens but phoning them up and making them sign forms when drugged up on morphine leaves a lot to be desired.