Monday, May 7, 2018

Europe (2017): My Flight To Europe Wasn't Smooth-Sailing

Honestly to say, never in my life I would imagine that I will plan to do solo trip to Europe. Never ever, seriously. This is because I experienced travelling alone before and it's not my kind of thing. 

Somehow, something happened two years ago and I realised life is too short and you only live once (YOLO, like they always said). So when I came across a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark flying from Kota Kinabalu with Thai Airways was a great steal, immediately I bought without thinking any longer. I didn't even have the ample time to ask any of my friends to join along for this trip cause I know most of them have other travel plans. I never fly with Thai Airways before, therefore I was so eagerly want to experience it.

Because I was going alone, therefore I didn't do any research beforehand and just let everything go with the flow. The only things that I booked earlier are the accommodations and means of transport between two different cities/countries. 

And now here my never-ending stream of bad luck happened again. Two months right after I bought the ticket from Thai Airways, I received email stating the flight time is being retimed and I was given 6 hours hotel stay in Bangkok Airport transit area. Of course, I accepted the kind option given. Alright, that's fine.

Less than 10 days before my trip about to start, my friend told me that flight from Kota Kinabalu to Bangkok with Thai Smile will be suspended by 30 August 2017. Great, so what now? Imagine that I knew this news from my friend, and there's no any email or call receive from the airlines itself. It's really kinda disappointed. Instead of waiting for them, I myself decided to send an email to them to confirm whether the news of flight being suspended is trustworthy or not. Luckily they replied me immediately to confirm the news and given me two different options:

1) Instead of flying from Kota Kinabalu to Bangkok, now the first option is to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur with MAS and then to Bangkok with Thai Airways.
2) Full refund given for the tickets I bought earlier.

Thai Smile Flight Suspended

Of course I chosen the first option since I had booked everything earlier. Got no choice but have to choose the longest route and hours. Looks like I don't have the luck to experience this new airlines - Thai Smile (subsidiary of Thai Airways).

So finally it's the day to embark my trip to Europe. Just before leaving my house to the airport in the afternoon, guess what - I received email from MAS in the morning. An email stating that my flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur will be delayed for an hour. At that particular moment, I have a feeling that's not a good sign to start my trip with. An hour later, I received second email from MAS again. Initially, my flight was scheduled to depart at 3.30pm but keep retiming to 4.30pm and then 5pm. At the end, the flight delayed until 6.30pm and by the time I arrived Kuala Lumpur, I unable to catch my flight to Bangkok with Thai Airways.

2017 Europe Flight with MAS

But because I informed the staff at the counter earlier that I need to catch my flight to Bangkok and due to all these delayed, MAS compensated me with issuing another new ticket to Bangkok with them. I was in a state of shock when they assigned a Business Class ticket and was given privilege to enter Golden Lounge in KLIA. I have to admit it's my first time there. 

IMG_20180506_010423

Of course I do feel excited but somehow, I still have the mixed feelings at the same time. It's like all these bad things won't stop here. Definitely there would be another one. I was really trying my best to enjoy myself and spending my time in Golden Lounge but it's hard. 

MAS KL Golden Lounge 02

Looks like my 6th sense never betray me. While having some snacks in Golden Lounge, I keep looking at the flight information display system until one word which I wish it won't appear and it did. "DELAYED" - that's what stated on my flight to Bangkok details. What's wrong with MAS on that particular day? My flight from KK to KL delayed. Now, Bangkok turns. It seems like I couldn't make it to catch my flight from Bangkok to Copenhagen with Thai Airways. I was really devastated at that moment. Feeling like giving up. 

Quickly I left Golden Lounge and headed to the transit ticket counter asking for advise and help. I glad that I met a helpful and friendly staff and I told him that no matter how, I must reach Copenhagen by tomorrow because I have another flight to catch to Budapest on the following day. At the end, he arranged for me to fly with Emirates to Copenhagen with a short transit in Dubai. Good news is I don't have to pay any single cents for all these changes made - so luckily.   

2017 Emirates Airlines 1

Well, it's my second time flying with Emirates as I flew with them in 2016 to United Kingdom for my international girl scout camp. Although I love to experience Thai Airways cause I never fly with them before, I should be grateful that I still manage to catch my flight to Copenhagen despite all these never-ending unfortunate events. 

2017 Emirates Airlines 2
My flight from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai with Emirates.

2017 Emirates Airlines 3 - Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport. Don't really like this airport cause it's overcrowded. Still prefer Doha Airport which is main hub for Qatar Airways.

2016 Emirates Airlines DXB
That's me in Dubai International Airport two years ago.

2017 Emirates Airlines 4
Continue my flight from Dubai to Copenhagen with Airbus A380. Can you spot staircase behind?
Fyi, Airbus A380 is the world's largest passenger airliner.

2017 Emirates Airlines 5
In-flight meal. Well, the food is consider acceptable for me.

2017 Europe Copenhagen Airport
Finally I reach Copenhagen. So happy that I almost want kneel down and kiss the floor.

Just when I thought my bad luck is over, I was wrong. Waiting for my luggage and it never appear on the conveyor belt and everyone on the same flight as mine got their bags and left. So, I decided to ask the ground handling staff and they requested me to go to the luggage claim area. After given all my details to that respective staff, I was told that my name was listed in the missing luggage list. Oh cool! Obviously I pretend to be calm that time. That's mean my luggage is stuck somewhere and they couldn't locate it. Should I cry now? I know I couldn't do anything and so as the staff. I left the arrival hall along with report given by the staff in order for me to claim for insurance purpose. 

(NOTE: Always remember to get report in case you experience missing luggage like me. Cause after you left the airport, you will not able to get the report at all.)

2017 Europe Solo Trip
At the end, I travel light - a small backpack and a Anello sling bag.

Wondering did I manage to get back my own luggage bag? Yes, after more than a week of my trip in Europe, Emirates called and informed me that they found my bag stuck in Dubai Airport. In case you are wondering where was the mistake, actually the staff from MAS didn't change the initial luggage tag. But then to think of the bright side, it's not bad to travel light anyway cause majority of my hostels required to climb up a flight of stairs. And as for the travel insurance which I bought earlier, I managed to get full claim for baggage delayed.

(In case you are wondering which travel insurance I bought, I bought an annual travel insurance from MSIG which covering Area 1 & 2. I also recommend you to buy from AXA if you don't travel that often but need protection when comes to travelling.)

2017 Europe Luggage Bags
The thing that I miss the most from my missing luggage is the food I packed - Koream ramen, milo, junk food and etc cause Europe snacks are expensive. 

Although my flight to Europe is like a roller coaster ride with all the tough and challenging journey along the way, I found all these indirectly trained me to be stronger and learning how to stay calm when something undesirable happened towards me. Also, always remember to keep an eye on the flight information display system cause if I only happen to find out when about to board (less than an hour before the boarding time), definitely I wouldn't have the chance to be able to switch my flight and probably couldn't make it to Copenhagen. Life is not always a smooth-sailing one like we always want it to be but as the quote says, "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor."

Previous Posts on my 2017 Solo Trip to Europe

1 comment:

  1. This post is so interesting and I could feel the similar stress you encountered when I flew CX from KL-HKG-Fukuoka and return. I also received non stop flight delays message with missing luggage on both ways plus a free overnight stay at Marriot Hong Kong. That also trained me to fly with just a cabin bag many times. We went to China and Japan for over a week with just a cabin bag which was a breeze.

    I think your case is not a frequent thing with the Thai Airways or Thai Smiles as I heard of many positive reviews. Sometimes our luck and timing is not so kind to us. I have checking the cheap fares from KL-London and this Thai Airways is always lowest. I need to pray hard that I will be free from stress when the day comes.

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