Awww the things that can go wrong while traveling…
Leaving Iceland was hard, because I felt like I left a big piece of my heart there. But what was harder, was getting into Hungary.
I left Iceland on Jan.7th, early in the morning. I was sad to leave, but also VERY excited about my trip to Budapest, where I had a good friend who is studying abroad waiting for me there. I had a 6hrs layover in London Gatwick Airport, which would have been my third time in London in just a week and a half.
I was waiting patiently for my flight with Easy-Jet to start letting people check-in, which would have been at 1pm. Finally, the clock turned to 1pm and I headed over to the check-in counter.
I was getting annoyed because I ended up with an employee that was giving me such a hard time about being 7 pounds over weight. He wouldn’t let me go to the side and figure out what I needed to get out, he wanted me to do it in front of him and everyone else. I really didn’t want to start digging through all my things in front of the world, so I ended up going to the side anyways and he had an employee follow me…annoying.
After taking out a few of my things, I got back in line and didn’t want him to help me, clearly. So I ended up at a different counter with a young lady and was happy about that. She asked for my passport and weight my bag. She looked at my passport and said, “I’m sorry you can’t board the flight.” WHAT?!
My passport was going to expire on March.5th, 2015 and I had planned that after my Euro-trip,to make a new one. Which was almost a dagger to my heart, since my collection of passport stamps has become my favorite thing to collect. The thought of starting over with a blank passport, is every true travelers heartbreak.
She told me that Hungary, has a very strict policy about having an active passport of 3 months or longer to enter the country.
This seemed ridiculous and crazy to me. I was completely shocked! What am I suppose to do right now? My flight was departing in 3hrs and I never considered something like this to be a problem. My heart literally dropped. I literally missed it by 2 DAYS!
I asked her, “What am I suppose to do?”, she said “Nothing! You can’t fly, you have to go back home.”
Can’t fly?! This is probably the worst thing you can tell a travel lover, let alone a travel blogger. I started thinking to myself “Oh my gosh! What if I really have to go home right now!?”.
I had planned to go from Budapest to Vienna, Prague, Sweden, New York and then back home to Los Angeles, clearly with flights and hotels already booked. On top of that, I had a few business meetings to attend and people were counting on me to show up. There was no way in hell I was going home!
I asked to speak with a manager, there just had to be a way around this. He basically said the same thing to me. He added, that if I did board the flight, which they wouldn’t let me, but if they did, Hungary would deport me. Ugh! This was seriously CRAZY!
Then he said he would be right back and when he came back he said you can try to go to the embassy and see if they would grant you with an extension or a new passport. But did mention that I would probably miss my flight today, because it was an hour and a half away from where we were and that they might be closed by the time I get there.
I was pretty upset and still shocked, but relieved that there was a way around this and that I could continue my trip. I made a phone call to the embassy and they told me to come the following day because they were closing in an hour. This now meant, I had to book a hotel in London which was gonna cost me, I also had to pay a fee of $200 to change my flight, pay for a new passport and figure out transportation to the city and to the embassy.
I won’t lie and say that this whole thing wasn’t inconvenient, expensive and annoying, but at least I got to keep traveling.
I did have to make a new passport and lost all my stamps (sad face), but now I have all the more reasons to travel and fill it up with a million more stamps!
Some friendly advice, always check the country you’re visiting passport policy.
As for Easy Jet and there bad and unhelpful staff in London, I will not be flying out of there airport again.