Flight From Hell with Vueling

*This is a piece that originally went up on Huffington Post. I’m posting here in case you missed it!*

Any one who knows me knows that I’m a very patient person. It takes a lot to get to me but like everyone, I’m human. Things get to me. Tonight that thing was a flight to Amsterdam via Vueling from Luton Airport.

I’m currently living in Europe (London specifically) and with that comes the ability to travel to places near and far to fill up my passport with stamps from new places and to experience different culture and people. The first of my trips for the summer was a weekend getaway to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is known for many things but I was most excited to see the canals, beautiful buildings and flowers. Packing only the weekend essentials in my Kate Spade Weekender, I left my film program and made my way to Luton Airport. Since I had never been to the airport before, I wanted to give myself enough time to prepared to be lost and also to get through a potentially rough check in.

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Funnily enough, the travel to the airport went as smooth as could be. The only major hiccup was the fact that I had to pay an extra $15 pounds just to get through the tube even though I already purchased a monthly Oyster card (and that thing is like $300 for Zones 1 – 6). Don’t get me wrong, I still love London but boy is the underground overlord shady in finding ways to sneak in added charges to your daily travel. What was causing the actual hiccup was Luton Airport itself, or more specifically, Vueling.

My flight was expected to take off at around 8:40 PM landing in Amsterdam at approximately 11 PM. This was not bad. I could have a nice little weekend away and get back to London on Sunday in order to prep for class the next day, or so I thought.

When I get pass TSA, the hoards of people waiting for their flight are quite alarming. There’s literally no place to kick up against a wall because everyone is covering a spot waiting for their delayed or cancelled flight (not a good sign). I keep spirits high however and assume that maybe there is bad weather wherever these people are going and that I won’t suffer their fate.

2 hours later.

My gate number still hasn’t been listed and my flight should have already boarded. The staff at Luton appear to be clueless and tell me to wait for the board to share some info. I do. Eventually, it flashes and tells me that my flight is pushed back by 2 hours (10:40 PM). Not ideal but I can handle.

8 minutes later.

Suddenly, I overhear a group of Americans say their flight was pushed back again. I have a sinking feeling they are on my flight and quickly get up to check the board. Estimated Flight Departure – 2:15 AM.

You’ve got to be kidding me. I hastily grab my items and try to find the nearest airport staff. They keep redirecting me and telling me that because they work with a separate airline, they don’t have answers. CLASSIC.

After running through the airport clueless and running into one of my favorite YouTube couples, Jamie and Nikki, I finally find a Vueling rep. She is inundated with angry passengers from my flight and other cancelled flights associated with EasyJet. She is the only person serving multiple flights full of angry passengers and I feel for her but I want answers. All she can do is offer us a voucher for get this, $6 pounds for our troubles. Lame. You’re delaying my flight by six plus hours and giving me a voucher to buy at most, a small dissatisfying sandwich?

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Now, I’m here. Still sitting in Luton, hopeful my flight to Amsterdam actually takes off and that my hotel still keeps my reservation (since I’m not able to check in).

Amsterdam, you better be beautiful but word to the wise, think twice about flying Vueling out of Luton. Your pockets will thank you for it.

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