Tag Archives: travel fails

A series of unfortunate (flying) events

I’ve boarded quite a lot of flights over the two years I have been in Turkey, more than I can count – actually I could but then I’d be horrified at my carbon footprints so I’d rather not (definitely more than 25 times only in 2015) – so it’s quite unexpected when I say I’ve had my fair share of unfortunate events in terms of delays and cancellations, some about which I still have nightmares. Different airlines have different conditions when it comes to cancellations and delays but what I’ve noticed is that they do tend to somewhat resemble each other although do check the conditions of the airlines you’re flying with just to be sure in case of a pinch.

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Funnily enough, my most recent Ryanair flight was quite trouble-free

For most, you tend to be eligible for a refund depending on the situation except for ‘extraordinary cases’ which seems to cover everything from bad weather conditions to strikes to air traffic restrictions, and of course, which seem to usually be the most common causes for delays and cancellations other than overbooking – you’re fucked basically. You’re however entitled to food and beverages for the waiting time, accommodation in a hotel if necessary and compensation if you’ve waited for 2 hours or more (again, airline-specific). Doesn’t make it any better especially if you’ve got a meeting schedule for the next day, or in my case, a day planned at London Zoo to meet some old friends (human and non-human). It has however gotten me into the habit to always check the status of any scheduled flight a few days before flying, which in my opinion is one of the most important things when flying. Also make sure that the airline has a contact number and/or email where you can be reached in case of an emergency. Most of the time, communication will be in the form of a text message or email, or both.

From: Ankara

To: London, via Istanbul

Airline: Pegasus Airlines

What happened: An attempted hijack of a plane to bomb the Winter Olympics 2014 in Sochi, leading to the closing of the whole Istanbul Air Space.

What I learned: Always keep a clean pair of underwear in your handbag, just in case. Continue reading A series of unfortunate (flying) events

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10 Things I Learned Travelling Through 2014

1. Delays are more common than you think

As much as I like it when things go as scheduled, sometimes some things are just beyond your control. Such as a bomb threat.

When I boarded the plane in Ankara last February, London-bound with a stopover in Istanbul, little did I know about the roller coaster I was embarking on.  It was obvious, when we landed in Ankara for the second time after doing the Ankara-Istanbul-Ankara trip twice, that something was seriously wrong. News of an attempted hijacking of a plane in direction for Russia to bomb the Sochi games, which led to the closure of the whole Istanbul airspace after the emergency landing of said plane, was all over social media.

A bit more than an hour later, we boarded the plane again, in pure chaos if I may add. I missed my flight to London and was put on the next available flight to London a day later. I’ve since had my share of delays due to pilot strikes or the most common here in Turkey, breakdown of buses on the road. Possibly not the best way to start a trip but all you can do at the time is suck it up and deal with it: inform anyone who might be waiting for you at the other end, read a book and wait for more information – which could possibly not be in English. If so, just follow the crowd. Continue reading 10 Things I Learned Travelling Through 2014