I didn’t quite know when the funeral was going to be. All I knew was that it’s the first week of August. So I booked my outbound flights for the 2nd August.
Just a few days later they set the date for the funeral and it was on the 1st of August.
Great news. It made my day.
I had no choice and booked a one-way flight to Tallinn (with a connecting flight from Amsterdam). Problem solved.
I also had to visit the Estonian embassy to address my expired passport situation.
I have mixed feelings about the embassy. The guy behind the counter was the first Estonian I’ve seen in months… anywho I had to fill in a form or two and voila I was given a “certificate of return”. Think of it as my emergency passport, looking dodgy as hell. It was valid only for a week. The guy was issuing passports and ID cards to a few people who showed up after me (because it was a quick little thing and my thing took longer…). I expected the man to finish with me before moving on to other people in the queue but no. Welcome to Estonia.
My new flights were with British Airways and Estonian Air. I made my way to London City Airport (super easy to get to). I thought it probably makes sense to talk to the peeps at the British Airways desk because of my dodgy passport and give them the heads up.
The man at the counter didn’t quite know what to do, so he called his boss who called the peeps in Amsterdam and after a few nervous minutes it was all green lights boulevard.
I found the way everybody treated me on British Airways wonderful. They were all bending over backwords to make sure I get to my dad’s funeral. Nobody raised any additional questions when I boarded the planes. Faith in humanity restored.
The funeral was sad. I saw a bunch of relatives I hadn’t seen in many years. They might as well have been complete strangers… I knew nothing about where they lived, what they did for a living or what they studied/planned to study at uni. I’ve lost touch with most of them.
First thing on Monday I needed to get a new passport. It takes up to 2 working days to get it done if you choose the speedy option. My dodgy passport only allowed entry to Estonia but was no good for a return flight.
Anywho, I was impressed by the speed of things. I applied for a new passport around 10 AM on Monday and received an email to collect it the same day at 3:40 PM. Wow! The only downside was that I had already left Tallinn and had to travel back again on Tuesday to pick it up.
During the week I met up with a few friends. It was really good to see my main bros – Siim, Pete and Olav – and my family as well.
Remember, I didn’t take the first leg of my flights I booked originally? I thought I could still use the return flights from that original booking. I was wrong. I discovered this about 24 hours before the flight when I tried to do my online check in.
Since it was a no show, all my flights on the booking were cancelled. I was never notified about this.
The carrier (Lufthansa) said the travel agent (TravelUp) might be able to reinstate the flights. I called them but no such luck. All I could get out of them was a £31 refund which would take 4-6 weeks to be processed. Faith in humanity is now a thing of the past.
I can’t catch a break.
It seems like this is standard practice – if you miss the first leg of your booking they cancel all flights.
I was out of options and booked a new flight to Stansted for tomorrow. I’m glad I’m made of money.
This has been an expensive, stressful and crappy week (with a few exceptions). I hate Lufthansa, TravelUp, buses, online check ins, my bank account and flying. I just want to go home.