As we packed for our weekend trip to Germany, I had no idea that our quick trip adventure was going to turn into an ordeal of a misadventure.
The journey from Jerez – Madrid – Frankfurt was only supposed to take 5 or so hours, but before our flight out of Jerez I got a email saying that my flight was canceled from Madrid to Frankfurt. I have to admit, for all my worldwide travel experience, I panicked. This was the first time I had to face a misadventure as a parent and traveling with a toddler.
Our flight from Jerez to Madrid was simple and yet stressful, with a flight time like from Fairbanks to Anchorage (which only takes about 45 minutes) but the airlines customer service reps in Jerez told me they couldn’t do anything to help me and I had to wait till I got to Madrid to have the agents help me there. I felt totally helpless, before boarding I was trying to contact the main customer service but I wasn’t able to get through to anyone who spoke English (I have to say this experience has motivated me even more to learn Spanish).
Upon our arrival to Madrid I found the closest airline customer services desk. Thankfully, what could have been a very, very bad situation ended up shaking out to be a “not great but not the worst situation”. And the lady who helped us was absolutely amazing, she really made sure we were taken care of and found the easiest route for us.
We had to stay overnight in Madrid, but the airlines was able to get us a hotel room which came with food vouchers and handed us our boarding passes with two confirmed seats for one of the first flights out in the morning.
Getting to the hotel from the airport ended up becoming it’s own mini adventure. None of the buses shuttling to hotels were ours and after asking for the third time which bus to get on finally one of the drivers directed me to a board where all the hotel shuttle numbers were. I asked for a shuttle pick up from Terminal 4…”no we can’t do that, take a taxi…” – ooookay. Moving forward, finally got a taxi and arrived at the hotel. Checking in and getting food was easy and I was very thankful they even comped me a glass of wine.
Getting to bed was fairly easy but this was the first time that Harmony and I shared a bed (outside of morning cuddles) since she was an infant. It took us, mostly her, a minute to wind down and finally fall asleep on the hardest beds I’ve slept on outside of Asia. It was nice to be able to have a dark room to sleep all our own and not trying to sleep in a terminal.
Now we are about to finally land in Frankfurt after our misadventure which has delayed our trip by about 10 hours but I am finding a silver lining and those 10 hours we would have been asleep and we are landing with the whole day in front of us still.
The learning experience I have taken away from this misadventure is that you just have to roll with it. I could have gotten mad, cried, lost my temper but instead of freaking out – I found the positives. If you can turn a bad situation around and find the positives in every situation you will find your travel experiences – or any experience to be far more enjoyable to because you haven’t let a situation out of your control steal you joy.
Stay positive Wanderlusters!
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