In order to get a good deal on tickets, I’m willing to fly a bit out of the way; okay a lot out of the way. My flight home from Sweden was not only long, but ended up being longer than anticipated.
The journey started out decently. I found a cheap flight to Istanbul on AtlasGlobal which arrived late on the Saturday night, with plenty of time to make my connection. Since these were two separate tickets I wanted to allow for a lot of time in case something went wrong; luckily, it didn’t. AtlasGlobal is a discount carrier based in Turkey, but they are much better than any other “discount” airline I’ve flown, such as EasyJet or Ryan Air. The flight from Stockholm to Istanbul was on time, and fairly pleasant. With free food, free drinks, and a row to myself, it was a lot better than many flights in North America. I will say that someone was allowing their children to run up and down the aisle, jumping on seats. Some people just have no clue. I was close to saying something, but then the drink cart came by and blocked them in the back of the plane for a while… and the wine also helped. Continue reading
My original plan was to fly home from Melbourne via LAX. I was very excited because I’d manage to score a first class ticket on Qantas! Unfortunately, with my change in plans, I ended up having to cancel the ticket 😦 So instead, my flight home ended up taking me back through Japan on Japan Airlines (known as JAL), luckily in Business Class. the best part about it is that you get to skip the lines at the airport! Continue reading
Of the United States that is. Okay, so technically it’s not quite true since I actually flew from Vancouver, but we’ll just go with it.
One of the things I’ve always found a bit funny/strange is that most of the time it can take longer to travel within North America than it does to travel to Europe. There are very few direct flights from the Pacific Northwest to Florida and exactly zero from Vancouver, so you’ve always got to stop somewhere. I had a pretty direct route this time, YVR-DFW-TPA. One stop only! This was key since I tend to have really bad travel luck and had to get there by 4pm Friday.
The good thing about travelling west to east is that usually you can catch a redeye flight. The bad news is usually you have to catch a red-eye flight. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with domestic (North America) red-eyes in that they’re rarely long enough to get a good chunk of sleep, even if you can manage to grab a nap, but you also don’t lose a full day travelling and waste a day of vacation. The flight to Dallas left just after 11pm and was 4 hours long… Just enough time close your eyes and get comfortable(ish) before you’re starting your decent. But I had a limited schedule and not a whole lot of extra time to waste, so the red-eye it was. Continue reading
So by the time I was finally getting my flights all sorted there was almost nothing left for a transpacific flight in business class; in fact, the agent who was helping me couldn’t pull up anything at all on their system. I was finding one transatlantic flight with availability: SEA-FRA on Lufthansa, but that meant getting to Seattle first.
There were some schedule changes that made my original flight a bit more onerous, so I ended up switching to a single stop in Chicago and then on to Istanbul. However, when I was printing out all my documents, I realized that my visa didn’t start until the 9th (the day I was supposed to arrive) and now my flight was scheduled to arrive the 8th… Lesson learned: get the visa for a day or two before you arrive in case your flights/schedule changes. Continue reading