Wow. What just happened? I don’t even know what day it is…My trip to Spain was a disaster. Let me think back…
I planned to leave for Spain on Monday, September 10th at 11:00 pm. I booked my trip through Kiwi.com, and I was flying from Newark, NJ to Paris, France with Iberia Air. My connecting flight was with Vueling, flying from Paris to Malaga, Spain. Eight hours before my flight on Monday I received a text message saying my flight had been delayed by six hours, but not to worry because they were going to give me $5 towards a meal! Yay! My flight was now at 5 am in the morning on Tuesday, September 11th. I calculated my arrival time to Paris, and I knew 100% I was going to miss my connecting flight from Paris to Malaga with Vueling by a significant amount of time.
So I called Kiwi.com. After waiting for thirty minutes, I was put through to an agent. I explained my situation to the kind man. His resolution was: Go to Paris, if you miss your flight, call Kiwi.com, and we will figure it out for you…I was baffled by this answer. I was 100% going to miss my flight. It was common sense; the math lined up. I kept repeating this information to the agent. I told him I wouldn’t be able to simply call Kiwi.com when I arrived to Paris. I told him that we were on the phone together right now, at this very second, so let’s figure it out while I have you now. But he kept repeating the same line over and over again as if he had someone threatening him with a gun if he had said anything else: Go to Paris, if you miss your flight, call Kiwi.com, and we will figure it out for you.
The phone was on speaker. My mom got involved. She was not a happy camper. Why would a travel agent tell me to go to a foreign airport without a plan and possibly without any way to communicate with anyone if my phone didn’t work? I had Airbnbs and transportation planned out. I needed to know what the heck was going on with my flights before I left the United States.
So I called Iberia Air, deciding to take charge of my travel plans. After waiting on the phone for two hours, I finally got through. The lady was a saint. She moved my flight to the same exact flight, but for the following day on Tuesday, September 11th at 11:00 pm. I gave her many thanks and hung up, ready to call Vueling because I needed to change my connecting flight now.
I searched and searched and searched but could not find any information on how to contact Vueling because they were an international airport located somewhere…internationally.
Unfortunately, I had to call Kiwi.com again. I received someone new this time, however, and I told him the long, messy situation I was in. This agent was helpful. He simply moved my Vueling flight to the same exact flight, but the following day, Wednesday, September 12th. Another saint. Everything was in motion.
Until the following day when my new Iberia Air flight got delayed…AGAIN! This time only by two hours; it went from 11:00 pm to 1:15 am. Furious, I called Iberia Air, wondering what the heck was happening. The man would not give me a legit answer why the plane was delayed so I asked him straight up: do you think this flight will leave exactly at 1:15 am or will it get delayed to 5 am again? The guy couldn’t guarantee me an answer, but he said he was confident that it would leave at that time. I trusted his confidence. I said my thanks and called Kiwi.com again. I told the new agent my ever expanding story. I told her that, as of now, I would make my connecting flight in Paris. But I warned her, DO NOT LEAVE ME STRANDED IN PARIS! Especially if Iberia decided to delay the flight to 5 am again. The agent assured me that all of these updates have been noted in my profile. I laughed at that.
After my last supper, I hopped in the car with Mamma Johns, and we headed to Newark airport. My moving abroad to Spain didn’t hit me at all on the car ride there. Nor did it hit me when Mamma Johns put on her sunglasses to cry as she hugged me and told me how proud she was of me before waving goodbye. It was nice hearing those words, making me realize that I am not crazy, and that maybe I am doing something right. I took my suitcases, and Mamma Johns’s words, and walked into the airport, feeling the adventure I was craving.
For those who know me well, you know how much I do not like flying. I hate it. It’s the one place in this world that I start to shake as the plane begins to take off and when it decides to slam back on the ground. If a plane is that safe, then why do people have to applaud at the end after landing? No one claps when someone completes a road trip by car! It’s a shame because I love traveling, but flying has always held me back. I lived ten minutes from an airport in Washington, D.C. and used it twice in three years. Such a shame. My fear of flying was even the deciding point of whether or not I could really do this program, teaching abroad in Spain. Living in Spain meant: traveling by plane to other countries. I pushed past that fear, hoping to overcome it during my year abroad. But someone was definitely testing me because my travel to Spain only got worse…