Stuck in Athens?! How to Avoid My Rookie Travel Mistake

Last year my cousin and I had the most epic weekend in Athens through a glitch fare we found online. The initial planning was exciting, but the closer it was to our departure date, the more frustrating it became. It is very rare to read the frustrations about travel so today I’m sharing my personal travel story about my trip to Athens and how to avoid my travel mistake.

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When booking our flight, the link found on Twitter directed us to Momondo, which then shared all booking companies to purchase at the glitch fare price. After being booked and ready to go, we received notice of flight changes. The option of a direct flight home was given, but our e-ticket needed to be released.

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After several requests via phone and email, a direct flight was given without releasing the e-ticket. The flight home was at 2 PM, but the e-ticket was still for a 7 AM flight with two layovers. While waiting for a new boarding pass, everything was resolved in time to go through security, immigration, and board. If we didn’t make the flight, ticket prices would’ve been around $1000+ to get home. On top of that, we both would’ve missed a workday.

Despite the highs and lows from booking to boarding, here are a few reminders from this trip

  • Book Directly with the Airline – Chasing the deal, we booked through an unknown company. Not only did it take a few days to confirm, phone and email communication were almost non-existent. It wasn’t until after we wanted to make adjustments that they started becoming difficult. After researching, we saw that other travelers provided the same or similar complaints.
  • Get Travel Insurance – Since the price was reasonable, I didn’t think twice about getting travel insurance. Depending on the terms, travel insurance can help you in case of injury or unexpected events happening abroad. In this case, if we didn’t want to go to Greece anymore, we would’ve received a full refund for the flight.
  • Document EVERYTHING – Write down names, phone calls, dates, emails and everything in between. On more than one occasion, past conversations and emails were “forgotten” about and I had no problem referring to them to “refresh their memory”.
  • Leave at Least a Day Open – Having a day or two open after traveling gives the opportunity to rest before going back to work and be prepared for cancellations or flight changes. 

What are some mistakes you have made when traveling?

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