Travel can be stressful – we all know this. The lines, the noise, the crowds – they’re all things we can grin and bear, knowing it will all be over soon when we arrive at our destination and can relax, unwind, chill. And that’s how we all get through it, right? The promise that it’s a temporary, necessary evil to transport us to our “once in a lifetimes.”
That’s how I get through it anyway.
If you’ve been listening in on our story/goal, you’ll know that Rob and I set out the other day to accomplish an outlandish dream of mine. On September 7th we landed at London Heathrow after two perfectly uneventful plane rides (aside from the fact that our media players didn’t work for the seven hour flight from Detroit to London…). Getting through Heathrow was a breeze – easy immigration, easy baggage claim – no worries. Unfortunately we had to not only board another flight to our final destination of Prague, but we also had to switch airports, but we had been fine with that plan all along. It would allow us some time to meander one of our favorite cities, have a nice brekkie, and even run into one of our friends on his way to work.
Before long we knew we should head out to Stansted – another nearly hour on the train – to jet over to the Czech Republic, a 90-minute flight. No problem – we would land around 3 to greet his siblings who were joining us on this first leg of our journey. We were so excited, sat there in the waiting hall for our gate to be announced and get on our merry way. Showers, food, and family time awaited us on the other side of that quick trip.
But we kept waiting. And wondering. Why hadn’t our gate been posted? We watched everyone around us pack up their lives and head to their flights. Over and over again.
At this point we were already running on a combined 3-4 hours of sleep over a 24 hour travel day. We NEEDED to get on this flight so we could regroup and explore. The first leg of our city-hopping tour needed to go off without a hitch so we could start the journey off strong.
Sadly this was not what the travel goddesses had in mind for us. EIGHT hours delayed. I had NEVER experienced a delay like this before. No hotel voucher, a couple empty apologies, and virtually no options but to sit and wait. We did get a total of £21 toward food purchases but that doesn’t amount to much over the length of our stay. We opted to pay £60 for lounge access to escape the hustle and bustle of the terminal (hopefully we can get that reimbursed) but it didn’t take away from the fact that our 13:50 flight didn’t take off until 22:45. Desperate to save our sleeps until we reached Prague, we powered through, exhausted and disappointed, only to be sat on the plane (FINALLY) in front of a rowdy group of young guys off to celebrate a stag do.
Landing in Prague and getting through immigration was painless, but for some reason our luggage took nearly 30 minutes to reach us – how that happened with only one plane at that time of night, I have NO idea! Anyway, a 30 minute uber ride through the city later, we made it to our AirBnB, greeted by Rob’s sleepy siblings just past 2 in the morning. Woof, what a day!
All in all, by the time we cleaned up and settled down, we were in bed around 3:15am, after around 35 hours of travel and airport time, with only a few hours of rest to our names, but we MADE it!
Fingers crossed we get the delay compensation RyanAir promised us! So far, 8 months later we are still FIGHTING for it. AVOID RYANAIR.
Disclaimer: EU aviation law states passengers are entitled to compensation if a flight is delayed a certain amount. Always research this if you are delayed more than 3 hours!