July 16th marked my last night on the island of Tenerife. After spending two months exploring an island I didn’t even know existed prior to my arrival… I was feeling nostalgic and in the mood to celebrate. After a weird day of exploring (refer to previous post), I arrived back to the hostel around 11pm-ish and was definitely in the mood to have a glass of wine and unwind. My co-volunteer swooped by around midnight to take us to one of our friend’s house for a BBQ. Yes – we LEFT for the BBQ at midnight! I had a blast eating and drinking and drinking and eating and didn’t get to sleep til close to 4am. WHELP – I was woken up at 7:30 and couldn’t fall back asleep. I took a shower, pounded some water… then got to packing.
I got to the airport about 2 hours and 15 minutes before my flight. NICE. I don’t have to worry about missing my flight right?? NOPE – WRONG WRONG WRONG. Here is my day of being a travel idiot. You seriously would think that it was my first time ever taking a flight and being in an airport — THAT is how dumb I felt.
Just for shits and giggles I decided to do my Luminosity exercises (brain exercises on an APP on my phone)… and I achieved my LOWEST scores ever. That is enough scientific evidence for me to prove the negative effects of drinking some adult bevies and not getting enough sleep.
As Jamie Fox would say…
Here are My Top 5 Reasons to NEVER Travel Hungover and Sleep Deprived…. (this all happened in ONE day)
1. You may forget to check in for your flight
– Ok, this is just common knowledge. I don’t know how it didn’t cross my mind to check in to my flight! I arrived to the airport and went to the RyanAir documentation check counter and BAM…. see #2. The only thing to my advantage was it was more than 2 hours before my flight. When I first got to the airport I had about 15 minutes before that window of time to check in expired.
2. You may forget to print your boarding pass
– The woman at the RyanAir counter asked me for my boarding pass… which of course I didn’t print. To give myself a LITTLE credit, many of the flights I’ve taken in the US I could print the boarding pass at the airport when I arrived at the kiosk. WELL with RyanAir you have to either print it at home or have it on your phone. OK… no problem – I GOT THIS. I figured I could find wifi and check in easily on my phone right? She pointed me in the direction of information so that I could find wifi. A few minutes later I was connected for 15 free minutes. I went back to theRyanAir counter to tell the woman I had wifi and to ask her to help me with my confirmation e-mail given it was all in Spanish… she then said it was too late to check in and receive the mobile boarding pass. WHAT?? You JUST told me I could! AHHHH. Then the woman was saying I would be charged 70 Euros for late check in (my flight cost 45 Euros) and kept rambling on. I wasn’t understanding her and she got frustrated with me. EVENTUALLY I was able to get passed the mumbling accent and figure out I had 10 minutes to: a. Find the airport computer station, b. check in, c. print my boarding pass.
I rushed over, put in a 50 cent coin to use the computer station, and googled RyanAir check in. FML – EVERYTHING was in Spanish!! Shit shit shit. I attempted to go at it and fill in the spaces but it was giving me an error message. I looked at the clock and had 8 minutes left. I turned around and asked the first person I saw if they spoke both English and Spanish and the nice man said YES. HALLELUJAH! He came over and guided me through it. Prior to his arrival apparently I was trying to print my boarding pass without FIRST checking in. FAIL. Finally, I was properly check in and I went to print my boarding pass. I inserted 3 Euros and when I went to click print it said that there wasn’t enough money for the 3 Euro fee. WHAT? I looked at what coins I had left and I didn’t have another 3 Euro. SERIOUSLY? AHH! The nice man started reaching in his pocket but I decided to exit out of the screen and press print again and the money I inserted now showed up as credit. I clicked print and *Cue lights shining down from above and trumpets playing* — my boarding pass was now in my hand!!!!! Yipee! I had TWO MINUTES to spare! I thanked the nice man and told him he did such a good deed and saved my day. I went back to the lady at the RyanAir counter and she clapped for me haha! I think she was amazed that I figured it out — in your face lady!
3. You may not be able to find the correct boarding zone in the airport
– I got through security nice and easy and had two hours to kill before my flight departed. I looked at my boarding pass and saw 2C so I went in search of that boarding area. I arrived at Gate 2 (at the end of the long corridor) but it was abandoned. I figured since I was two hours early people just hadn’t showed up yet so I went and found a table, connected to wifi for my 15 free minutes on my computer, and did some writing. About 45 minutes before take off I went back to the 2 boarding area and it was still empty. UH OH. I saw a man cleaning the floor. Lucky for me he spoke a little English and said 2c was my SEAT on the plane… NOT the gate. IDIOT! SERIOUSLY? Is this my first day on earth? He showed me the screen that had the flights and my flight to Madrid was at gate 14. I easily found the gate a short distance down the hall and saw a long line waiting to board. PHEW.
4. You may get off the plane in your new destination and SOMEHOW end up in the next terminal over
– My flight was pretty quick (about 2.5 hours) and I managed to get a little sleep…. but it’s never sleep sleep. Sleeping on a plane for me is a series of kind of falling asleep and waking up shortly there after because my neck hurts from supporting my huge head. We landed in Madrid ahead of schedule and when I got off the plane I followed signs for Baggage Claim. In Tenerife they made me check my backpack since the flight was full, which made me SUPER nervous given everything I have traveling with me is in that bag. I specifically chose a small backpack so I could always carry it onto flights with me (guess that plan isn’t always going to work!). In the Madird airport, I was following two other people from my flight… but at some point stopped to go to the bathroom. I continued following the signs and found a baggage claim area but my flight wasn’t listed. I saw more people from my flight so I kept walking and exited the baggage claim area through sliding doors. I decided to stop at information and ask the man. He said something about going into lounge 6 so I walked over and saw “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY”. I came back to the info and asked the lady… who asked to see my ticket. When she saw my flight was RyanAir she said I was in the wrong Terminal. I was in #2 but RyanAir flights land in Terminal 1. HOW this happened I still have no idea… but I am comforted by the fact that I did see other people from my flight walking the same path so I think (or at least will choose to believe) that other people made the same mistake. It was a 10 minute walk to Terminal 1 where I found my new Workaway hosts standing facing the baggage claim doors waiting for me to exit. I came up from behind them to say Hello then had to explain that I still needed to get my bag and that somehow I got lost. Nice way to make a great first impression right?
5. You may have to sneak back in through the baggage claim doors that say AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY to retrieve your bag
– Now that I was in the correct terminal, I had to figure out how to get back into the baggage claim area to retrieve my bag. We quickly looked around but there were no airport workers… so I had to be THAT person that was walking IN… while everyone else was walking OUT. The doors had big signs saying not to enter and authorized personnel only but I figured if I got stopped I would just state my case. I got in no problem… found my bag in a jiffy… and made my exit.
WELCOME TO MARID!!! It’s a miracle I made it on time and in one piece 🙂