It was spring break when I was studying abroad in Prague during the spring semester of 2012.
My two friends and I decided to do a crazy trip, hitting up 5 countries in 9 days. We started in Prague and went to Munich (Germany), Belgrade (Serbia), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Mostar (Bosnia), and Tivat (Montenegro). It was a wild experience that was definitely the craziest week of my life.
Munich was fun time. We were only there for one night because the flight out of Munich to Belgrade was much cheaper than from Prague, so we took a short train there. It was my second time in Munich, so we skipped all the touristy things and just partied (my style!)
The next morning, our flight was scheduled to depart at 6:10PM to Belgrade. Already in a massive rush, we headed to the bus station to catch a bus to the airport. We jumped on the bus and asked the driver what time we would arrive at the airport. He said 5:15AM, so we told him to drive extra fast and we would give him a tip…
Well, turns out that we misunderstood the bus driver’s poor English, and he really said 5:50 (not 5:15)… So we were FLIPPING OUT and telling the bus driver to speed because we really needed to catch our flight.
We literally arrived at the airport at 5:45 for a 6:10 flight. We sprinted to the check in counter and the attractive, innocent girl said that we had missed the deadline to check in for our flight. We tried bribing her for money, and anything else, but she said no.
So, we said “screw this” and literally sprinted to the security checkpoint WITHOUT our boarding passes. We cut the line to the very front, until the security guards stopped us…
SOMEHOW, we convinced the security guards that our flight was departing in 10 minutes and we were in a huge hurry. I have no idea how we convinced them, but they let us proceed through security WITHOUT A BOARDING PASS. Can you imagine if this happening in the U.S.? There’s no chance that you can get through security without a boarding pass. For all they knew, we were terrorists with weapons in our bags.
We got to the gate at 6:05 and the doors were already closed. Sweating bullets and breathing heavy from running, we had to deal with the airline representative at the gate. At first, she told us that we had no chance of making this flight. But we demanded that she called the headquarters to verify that we are on the flight. She did, and she let us through!
It was the closest call I’ve ever had to missing a flight. Thankfully, everything worked out and we didn’t miss out on Belgrade! I took this photo out the plane.
First lesson learned:
Always Always Always check in online before your flight. Just in case a situation like this happens to you.
Second lesson learned:
Show up at LEAST 2 hours early for international departures. I’ve come to realize that many airlines have different policies and regulations with checking in, baggage, etc. Just make sure to get there extra early to avoid any problems.
Safe Travels and don’t miss any flights!