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.

IMG_2273.jpg

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?

IMG_2280.jpg

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.

Traveling To London Part 2

Somehow I always find myself on an overnight international flight. I doubt it’s a coincidence.

I think the answer is the cheap flights with no layovers are always at night. I’m not sure if people despise overnight international fights and that’s why they are cheaper but I personally love them. I can literally sleep the whole flight if I so choose and by the time I wake up, it’s morning. The day has already begun in the place I’ve made my way to and there’s tons for me to do, keeping my little adrenaline soaked heart elated. I can go to a restaurant or a landmark as opposed to be resigned to staying in and trying to find something still open for me to visit.

But back to the plane, where I previously left off.  I just boarded and made my way to my aisle seat but I encountered a bit of a problem. The temperature!

Unbeknownst to me, airplanes are really really cold. Like arctic level cold. You’d think that after all my travels I’d retain that information but sadly, it did not stick. Instead I was greeted to what felt like negative temperatures and no little airplane welcome pack (a package of free items consisting of earbuds, a blanket and an eye mask). If you wanted a blanket, you had to bring it yourself or prepare to purchase one from the flight attendant. Me, I wasn’t buying a blanket. No way would they crank the air on me in order to scam me out of my dollars. Instead, I made a makeshift cover using two Zara jackets I happened to bring on the plane (no more space in my luggage meant drape the jackets over your arm and just walk on to save your bag from any extra weight).

The jackets really saved my life. One was draped across my legs and the other draped across my face. Yes, that’s right. I felt some air hitting me right on the baby’s soft spot of the head and could not take it for a minute longer. I spread the other jacket backwards across my torso and put the hood over my face. That relief from the air was amazing! Not only that, I was able to sleep and drool to my hearts content since people couldn’t see my face. The best drool catcher if there ever was such an invention.

A few hours, a cranky flight attendant and a rough landing later, I was finally in London. Touchdown.

Now it’s time to meet unique people, get myself tangled in fun adventures and maybe even spot a few of my favorite British Youtubers.

Stay tuned for more!

Traveling To London Part 1

It’s been one day since I’ve arrived in London. Away from the things that are so familiar and routine for me. I feel so excited but now the nerves are coming on full force. My luggage is packed, I’ve spent a week saying goodbye, checked off all the items from my list, and savored my time in NYC.

Although I’ve never been super sentimental, I’ve made an effort to really enjoy everything about my hometown and appreciate it. I am trying to keep the “I Miss You” feelings away now that I’m in Europe. I’m not trying to be a robot but I want to give this the fullest shot I can – this means keeping my head straight ahead (so to speak). But first, let me tell you about my road to get here (London)

Cut to me trying to look cool but fumbling with my luggage at JFK.

IMG_2162.jpg

I tried my best to under pack, only bringing the essentials but how is that possible when you’re packing for three months and need to factor in haircare! Low and behold, my fears of being overweight at the airline check in were confirmed when the woman told me that I was 20 lbs over. What that meant was I’d have to pay $15 per extra pound which would amount to about $200. I WASN’T having it. And incase this isn’t stressed enough, please please always weigh your luggage before a flight. It will literally save you the heartache and the pocket shock when you arrive at the airport to have your fears confirmed.

Any who, I’m in a panic about my luggage and the prospect of paying $200. It wasn’t like I had any options (or so I thought) until the sweet bag check lady told me about option 3. I could check a 3rd bag for only $65 and she would just let me on with my overweight baggage. The only problem there was I didn’t have a third suitcase. Again, if you know your bags are overweight, research the airline extra baggage policy. Save you from sweating through your travel outfit. BUT, I did have my backpack so I was able to get away with checking that as my third bag. That woman was literally a godsend.

After that, I zoomed through TSA check in and then looked for my gate.

IMG_2147.jpg

Two phone calls and some ritz crackers later, my flight was called for boarding. I was about to get on a plane to better my future with no idea how. The great unknown – how freaking terrifying and exhilarating.

Post To Be Continued

Pip Pip Cheerio, I’m London Bound

So I can now officially let you in on my secret – I’m London bound for the summer!!

It’s exciting, nerve wracking, mysterious, and everything else in between. At moments, I honestly don’t know what to think. My anxious self gets all in a spin and I start thinking about my future, my present, what’s right, what’s wrong. When my mind starts going in that direction though, I tell it to shut up!

Trust me, it’s needed. I can literally drive myself crazy thinking about what if’s. But you know what, life is a giant what if (at least that’s what I’ve come to accept). I can never really know what’s to come and all I can do is move forward with what I think is right. London feels right.

How am I able to go to London for three months you may ask (yes, it’s a little over three months)? Do I have a trust fund (pfft!)? Are my parents financing me (NOT A CHANCE IN HELL)? Did I get a job offer (not yet, haha)?

A lot of saving, the fortune of having family in the city of London and a desire to pursue a dream are the answers.

Living in London and studying/working in film is something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do. Those feelings have never gone away for as long as I can remember. Instead, they’ve only lingered in the back of my mind, somehow finding its way to the surface every so often.

london

My third time in London circa 2014

After hitting 2016 and maybe having a crisis or two, I realized I couldn’t deny my travel itch anymore. I needed to be in Europe and I had to find a way to do it productively. I started researching programs, pulling together a budget spreadsheet and looking into other places to travel. At the end of all this and many sessions with my journal (so therapeutic for the racing mind), my mind was firm.

Bringing it back to the top, I can’t be scared of the unknown. Everything is technically unknown, even the things you feel are most secure. That’s what great and terrifying about life. I couldn’t let my fear of failure or the uncertainty stop me from trying, so I committed and I’ll be in London beginning this June. Ready to share travel tales, insights, and awesome recommendations (even though I’m on a budget, I’m exploring), you need to follow my blog to see what I run into!

What am I doing? I’m going to be studying film making and production, traveling in Europe, and meeting awesome people (eating pastries is also part of the plan). I’m really excited at the prospect of so much to be discovered and to do. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself for this trip to be super freaking awesome but I hope it will be. I know whatever happens, it’ll be amazing and good for me as a person.

Well, I have plenty more items to share with you as well as chronicles so stay tuned! London baby!! Stories are waiting for me.