Every once in a while, travel brings some unexpected challenges. Recently my family had an unexpected travel experience. The current COVID policy with taxi services is that no passenger sits next to the driver. Therefore with 3 or more passengers an Uber XL or similar is needed. Unfortunately, this comes with third-row seating and unless you are familiar with the car you get, it is up to the driver to let the third-row passenger out of the car.
My brother, wife, and two nieces recently traveled to New York and took an Uber XL from the airport. As they arrived at the hotel, my brother, wife and one niece got out of the Uber waiting on the driver to let my other niece out of the third-row seat. As this was happening a random man jumped in the car and proceeded to carjack the Uber with my niece still inside. My quick-thinking other niece jumps back into the Uber and now both have been carjacked.
Everyone calls 911 and my brother tracking the Uber drive, jumps into a cop car with the Uber driver and the chase begins. However, the carjacker realizes he is being tracked and dumps the Uber driver’s phone. Meanwhile, my nieces are in the Uber screaming to get out, and as standard in NYC, no one pays attention. They demand to be released and the driver complies but somehow they decided they would not get out unless they had their luggage. The carjacking resumes and my nieces must have been screaming so much that the carjacker one again and stops and puts them out with their luggage. My nieces are then picked up by a pursuing cop who takes them to the precinct while the chase continues for the carjacker.
I don’t know how that chase ended but it was an unexpected trip and experience for my nieces and my family. I’ve never had anything remotely similar happen in my travel experiences. It was a reminder that in all travel we need to be vigilant and self-aware.
Have you had any unexpected travel experiences? I’d love to hear about it.