No Guinness for breakfast
After so many years of international travel, I made my first serious (and stupidly embarrassing) mistake that cost me a lot of unnecessary stress and delays. I was so excited about my new Ukrainian passport giving me visa free access to Europe that I got careless and didn’t do my homework on researching the rules. We booked our flight to Berlin via Dublin (through British Airways) because it was cheaper. But did you know that Ireland requires a transit visa for citizens of certain countries (Ukraine being one of the lucky ones)?! I didn’t… Until I was informed about it while checking in in the airport by a very nice sympathizing agent. It doesn’t matter that I wouldn’t leave the airport (as we found later, there is no passport control for transit passengers!).
So what do we do? My first thought: give up, cancel the whole trip, cry. The final decision: Matt flies as it is without me, I go to the British Airways ticket desk and get on one of the many flights to London (because UK doesn’t care about stupid transit visa). If I can’t get a flight on BA (their website showed tickets available for measly $3000), I’d rebook with some other airline (tickets for only $700).
Well, with my luck one of the flights to London was cancelled, hence, they rebooked everyone on the remaining flights. The chances of me flying to London the same day had dwindled drastically. And that plan to book with some other airline? Not a good idea either. I’d loose my return flight (which was luckily through London already). My best bet was to get on a flight the next day and, if I’m willing to hang out in JFK for an undetermined number of hours, I could get on standby the same day.
During the three hours of anxious uncertainty I had lots of unpleasant thoughts about my own wits and all the potential outcomes of my negligence. In the meantime, Matt was in the air not certain when he would be able to see his wife again…
But I got very lucky. A seat became available on one of the flights! And I didn’t have to pay anything for this switch. Cheryl Cumberbatch (yep, that was her name) was such a professional and kind ticket agent!
So now I’m hanging out in dreary London, tired, sleep deprived and too weak to pronounce my name coherently to a Starbucks person. But I’m on my way to Berlin to rescue Matt from his loneliness 😋