Hey it’s Katie. I’m back from London and each post will be a day-by-day account. So here goes…
Day One: October 19th to October 20th, 2018, Boston Logan to London Gatwick
So my plans had a major setback: my initial flight through Primera Air and Kiwi.com got canceled at the last minute. Without any proper notice from the airline and the website. Other than a reminder email about my upcoming trip a week later. Being a bit anal retentive and an overthinker, I decided to check and make sure my flight was on time. On Boston Logan’s website, there was no indication of a flight from the airport to London Stansted as was confirmed six weeks ago through Skyscanner (This google for flights has never let me down so I refuse to put them at fault at all).
When it set in that I had no scheduled flight to get to London, I had a minor mental meltdown to which I had to take my break at work early to figure out my next move; with all these plans and attractions paid for–as well as non-refundable–I was not going to just give up this trip. Hell no. So I decided two things: one I would make sure Kiwi would refund me in full and two I would have to find another flight asap. So in a matter of sheer panic and stubbornness-slash-determination, I found a flight, through Skyscanner linked to Norwegian Air, with a similar time frame along with being a non-stop round trip.
The only thing was that I had a difference of 900 bucks to pay for this last-second flight. So I had to put it on a credit card and not think about it. Just go on the trip and try to have as much fun and adventure as possible. After all, this is my first time traveling on my own overseas.
But the change of events didn’t stop there. Now just to be clear, this isn’t the first situation to where my travel plans have issues, delays, or obstacles. So I don’t believe that these tumbles were a bad omen.
Anyway, everything, from leaving work to getting on the commuter rail and then the shuttle to checking into the airport, was smooth and easy. I was three hours early for my flight so I got a meal for a ridiculous price and waited at my gate.
And waited another hour after we were supposed to board. Then the passengers and I also waited for two-and-a-half hours in my seat before we were able to take off. I watched the entire first Sherlock Holmes movies available on the headrest in front of me while humoring a passenger next to me who looked like a long-haired, British version of Indiana Jones. Instead of a whip, he carried a Doctor Who replica scarf. Ironically, he called himself “Ford” though his name was Charlie.
The flight was cramped since I didn’t leave my seat for the full duration. Even when I ate both my meals and had my complimentary drinks, I felt I couldn’t get up as I was also in the middle seat. It was one of two places to sit and, even though it was pointless now, I’d rather have the seat closer to the toilets.
With all these delays, there was an additional one: my coach to get to my hotel. I ordered not one but two of them because the first I would have missed anyways due to the new flight. Once I got through customs, I was fed up and ordered an uber to my hotel. Over an hour later, and nodding off and on, I arrived at the Best Western London Peckham Hotel. They were kind enough to let me check in early as I came in around 1:20 and check-ins have always been 2 p.m.
Once I settled in, I called Ma to let her know I was there safe and sound though exhausted. Also, I texted my best friend to let them know the same before I’d pass out. I slept my life away.
Time to recharge for tomorrow, Day Two. I’ll be heading over to the Tower of London and later to Shakespeare’s Globe Theater.
Lessons from Today:
1. Check who exactly is managing your flight. By that I mean the website and especially the airline. Skyscanner is a great source for finding deals but always see who is handling your transportation.
2. See where you’re flying into. Countries like England and France have multiple airports, so it may be worth it to pay more for your flight to be closer to your hotel and the mainstream areas in your itinerary.
3. If you can postpone from booking a coach or shuttle, DO IT. I was out of $40 for two non-refundable shuttles I planned and missed because of my flight delay. It’s far easier to do that than be on a time crunch only for a delay to happen. OR make your shuttle tickets time-flexible. It costs a little more but it can save you from trouble.
~Katie, The Once & Future Voyager
Every adventure is a chance to live the way you dream.