January 17, 2003

Thrifty Car Rental announces winners of Honeymoon Disasters Contest

Tulsa, Oklahoma – Thrifty Car Rentals announced that Katie and Ben Buchanan of Oregon were the grand prize winners of their 9th Annual Honeymoon Disasters Contest. The couple will receive roundtrip airfare to a destination of their choice in the continental U.S., three nights hotel accommodations, a four-day car rental from Thrifty and $500.

The couple’s tale began the day of their wedding when Katie, a nurse, was feeling ill and attributed it to wedding day jitters. The pair made it through the ceremony without incident, but that is where good fortune left them behind.

After spending most of the wedding night looking for their missing passports, they were finally able to get three hours of sleep at the hotel before their 5 a.m. departure to Mexico. While waiting in line to check their baggage, Ben discovered his wallet was missing. After dumping all the clothes out of their suitcases and scrambling all the way back to the hotel to look for it, he discovered the wallet wedged in a crevice of their car. The newlyweds joked with each other that maybe something was telling them not to go.

After one good evening at their hotel, Katie’s sickness grew — worse than the last couple of days combined. She decided staying inside wouldn’t be an entire loss since Hurricane Lane was now bearing down on them. Later that night, the pain turned to lower right quadrant pain — something she immediately recognized as an appendicitis attack.

After a local doctor concluded that surgery would be required, the couple made their way to his six-bed clinic. The doctor told Ben that the surgery would cost at least $10,000 and that he required some up-front cash before he could perform the surgery. With the hurricane canceling all flights back to the U.S. and his new bride in excruciating pain, Ben emptied his wallet.

As Katie lay strapped to the narrow operating table, she panicked when the doctor began unwrapping the surgical instruments without any gloves on. Two hours later, Ben heard screaming coming from the operating room — Katie’s anesthesia had worn off while the doctor was stitching her up!

After two days at the clinic with Ben sleeping on a piece of foam on the floor, Katie had improved enough to leave, but not, the doctor insisted, before they paid the remaining $8,000. After haggling as though they were at a flea market, the group decided they would meet back at the clinic the next day — the same day the Buchanans were scheduled to leave.

The next morning, the couple met the doctor not knowing how they were going to come up with the $8,000. After Ben was threatened with jail and missing their first flight back to Oregon, the doctor finally allowed them to leave after Katie’s mom promised to wire the money later in the day.

The story has a happy ending. They made it back to Oregon and Katie’s insurance eventually paid the doctor’s bill and she healed just fine. Katie reflected that although the honeymoon was stressful, it was a “definite time of bonding for our new marriage.”

More than a thousand entries were received in Thrifty Car Rental’s 9th Annual Honeymoon Disasters Contest and judged by a panel of Thrifty employees.

To enter the 10th Annual Honeymoon Disasters contest online for a chance at a second honeymoon, or to read more outrageous entries, visit www.HONEYMOONDISASTERS.com or www.THRIFTY.com.

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