The first sign of things going wrong began the day before I set off. Whilst packing my bags under Abs’ (my mother’s) supervision, she asked me what my baggage allowance was, as she couldn’t see it on my boarding pass- the only thing there was my cabin bag allowance.
Yupp. I had forgotten to add luggage when I booked my ticket.
I thought I was being SO clever by booking with cheap airlines, but it turns out that they don’t automatically add luggage. Because you have to pay extra for that. Because this is how cheap airlines make their money. DOH.
I then tried to add it online, but turns out you can’t do that less than 36 hours before your flight. And this was when I began to panic.
Luckily, Abs is a seasoned pro when it comes to flying (on reflection I really should have let her book my flights for me), so she got on the phone with the airline and pleaded my case with some strong arguments, and offered to pay, ofcourse, because this is what cheap airlines want.
Anyway, about two hours later, I had a 20kg allowance added to my booking, and also had to pay a ridiculous amount but let’s not go into that. Shoutout to Abs and Starbucks Gal for keeping me calm and coming to the rescue. I am a fish smh.
So 8am the next day, after a tearful goodbye with The Keen One a.k.a Kenny and Abs at Stansted, I set off for Cambodia!
I thought it would be a smooth journey, but oh boy was I wrong.
Long story short: My first flight from London to Milan got delayed in London, so I ended up missing my connecting flights to Bangkok and Phnom Penh.
If I thought I’d experienced panic with the whole baggage trouble, that was nothing compared to the near panic attack/tearful mess/stressed out state I was in when I got to Milan and was told that I had missed my connection.
My phone battery was dying, the staff were being very unhelpful and unsympathetic, and it was my first time flying alone and I really had no idea what to do. Luckily I was able to connect to airport WiFi, so I called Abs immediately and explained what had happened.
Longer story short: My mother is incredible and I will forever be in awe of her ability to make things better. Not only did she get me to calm down, even though she later told me that she was panicking herself but didn’t show it, she called various airlines and fought my case until they sorted out the mess they had made.
I was put on another flight for free, but it wouldn’t be leaving till the next day, so Abs sorted out a hotel for me to stay in Milan for the night, with pickup from the airport so I wouldn’t have to worry about making my way there.
After some much needed sleep, I was picked up from the hotel the next morning, and my journey to Cambodia (take two) began.
Milan —> Istanbul —> 10 HOUR LAY OVER IN ISTANBUL (#longforman) —> Bangkok —> Phnom Penh.
This all took nearly 2 days in total, and I arrived in Cambodia a day later than I was supposed to, but boy was I glad when I did!
Moral of this tale? Don’t be such a cheapskate next time. I owe Abs a massive hug when I get back home- she is super woman and I am really blessed to have such an awesome, no nonsense mother.