It’s about the journey, not the destination
As a traveller, be prepared to be flexible. Things are not always going to go the way you planned. You might run out of money, have to sleep in uncomfortable places or have to take a huge detour. Don’t let this put you off. Unexpected turns often make for the best adventures. Last summer, a mistake brought me to visit Romania for the first time and it was actually a place I loved.
Monday morning, it was still dark. Considering it was summer, can you imagine at what horrible hour I must have gotten up? My boyfriend joked that he hoped I would be back at his front door that night after he would get home from work. The weather wasn’t great, but it didn’t matter now. I was going to fly away from it. Knowing my signature is being always late, I take precautions being extra early for things that don’t wait—such as flights. Meaning the whole getting up extremely early thing was probably not even necessary if I had a normal feeling for time management like most people, but no. I prefer to get up in the middle of the night to make sure I get to the airport 5 hours in advance, rather than 2 minutes late. Since it was my decision to go this early I was fully prepared for getting up really early and than waiting 5 long hours, sweaty, in order to save some room in my backpack. When it was time to board I wasn’t anymore grumpy than usual despite having spent a full working day awake before noon. Then it happened. Flight delayed… Ok. Nothing happened to my mood yet. I was still going on a holiday and my friend in Belgrade could probably wait an hour more. Only, it wasn’t just my flight that was delayed, it was pretty much all of them. Something was off, but the airport gave no notice of what was going on. After about 40 minutes I decided that it was time to figure out for myself what was going on. You don’t need to be a master researcher to find out what the airport is not telling you… The rest of the world new already that the traffic control tower had been evacuated because of a strange penetrant smell.
Really. Where we in any danger? Probably not. If somebody anthrax hoaxed the traffic control tower they were probably hoping for planes to crash, which wasn’t a likely scenario now that the tower was closed by authorities. This lack of excitement made us just a bunch of sweaty people in the same situation. Slowly things started to change. Transavia introduced buses to take their passengers to Schiphol to reschedule their flights from there. I felt bad for all the people who had gotten up around daybreak to get to Eindhoven at this hour like me and that were now transported to Schiphol, still optimistic as I was for my own flight to depart, although be it with a delay.
Hours later I found out that I would have been happy being one of those people lucky enough to fly from another airport. My flight got cancelled… Because Serbia is not in the European Union, we had to go through customs to get out of departures. Since it was a Wizz Air flight I was one of the few people that had checked-in luggage and I had to go collect it before rebooking my flight. By the time I managed to get to the right desk, there was literally the whole plane lined up before me. You only know how many people fit in a bloody plane when they’re all in line and I can tell you that that is a lot of people. It was past 9 p.m. when it was my turn. The agency was happy to rebook my flight at no extra costs… a week later. No way. My holiday wasn’t much longer than two weeks and besides a friend was waiting for me. There seemed to be no way though. All the other flights were fully booked, by all those peope that managed to get in line before me. After a long discussion I managed to get something done. I would be flying from Brussels Charleroi (Belgium) to Timisoara (Romania) two days later instead of flying from Eindhoven (the Netherlands) to Belgrade (Serbia). Okay. I was a little bit stressed because of this turn in events, but I managed to look at it from the adventurous point of view and got excited again. Besides, I would get to see one more country and I had one more day to find out how to travel from my name destination to Belgrade to find my friend. Let’s go do this. But Wizz Air, can you refund the extra costs? And a compensation for the delayed flight? Would be nice to make budget travelling even more budget. However Wizz Air supplied its passengers with nothing, while all the other airlines had managed to get their passengers on the plane only with a slight delay. What I learned? Pay a few bucks extra for a proper airline. And never travel with Wizz Air again. They don’t value their customers even the slightest bit. Anyway. Very tired, a bit grumpy, but also very excited, I got back on the train home and knocked on my boyfriend’s door. “Hey babe…. I guess your wishes just came true.”
Edit: After long e-mail sessions that took months of treathening to take legal actions and notifying them of this very blog-post, Wizz-air ended up sending me the refund I was entitled to. Thank you Wizz Air, I hope you did this for everybody on that plane though…