Accept three-country transit to save 1,500 USD
A traveler made a plan to fly from Indonesia to Romania by transiting Vietnam, India, and the UAE to get a flight ticket that was a third cheaper than the original price.
Dave Smith is an Indonesian travel writer. After two years at home, in early June, he decided to make his first post-epidemic trip to Europe. However, he was shocked when he saw that the fare for the Denpasar, Bali - Bucharest, Romania, connecting at one point is 2,200 USD, double the 2019 fare.
He went to a website to book a plane ticket, hoping to find a good ticket, and finally, Dave found a ticket for $ 430. However, with this fare, instead of taking a break and taking 17 hours to fly, his trip will last 41 hours, including connecting time at 3 points: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Mumbai, India, and finally Dubai, UAE.
The journey was hard, but the price was too good to make Dave think. Then he began to learn his specific schedule. At each of the three connecting airports, Dave has to pick up his own luggage and then go through customs and immigration to receive a new boarding pass. He must also prepare his own application for an entry visa in the required countries as well as documents related to vaccinations and nCoV testing. If any of his flights were delayed and the next one was missed, he would be stranded. But everything will be solved if he pays an additional 130 USD for flight insurance for this delay problem. He also bought hand luggage and $10 for an Indian visa. The total amount Dave spent is 710 USD. That still saves $1,500. And this is acceptable.
His first flight was delayed by 4 hours, but because the first two routes were from the same airline, the delay did not affect the procedures much. He landed safely at the first connection point: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. He waited on an empty row, the first two flights (Bali - Ho Chi Minh City, Ho Chi Minh City - Mumbai) were quite convenient. The flight attendants and staff at Vietnam's airport are very friendly and nice.
But when it came to the second point, Mumbai, things were no longer smooth. It took him two hours for immigration and security screening. After completing the check-in, he entered the airport lounge. Everywhere was full. The lights are also bright, so it's hard to take a nap. The hotels at the airport are luxury brands that are beyond his financial means. Some are so cheap Dave doesn't dare stay because he's read terrible bad reviews.
He found a corner at the airport and took a short nap. But when he woke up, instead of awake, Dave felt more tired and he realized he was only halfway across the road.
After taking a quick shower in the toilet and temporarily eating two cakes that he considered "the blandest, the most expensive", he checked in and got his plane card to board the third flight. Dave repeats yesterday's incident: inching each step in the long line to move. Queuing took him two hours. When boarding the plane, Dave was disappointed because of the plane's old interior, small seats, and barely cool air conditioning. Although very tired, he only slept for an hour. The remaining two hours of the flight are uncomfortable and hot for Dave. What's worse is that every time he or the person sitting next to him moves, their shoulders will touch, and they will be covered in sweat.
When Dave arrived in Dubai, the customs clearance time was easier. But he had to spend up to 6 hours shivering in the waiting room here because the air conditioner was too cold. But more consoling is that there is wifi here, while in Mumbai there is no. And when he got on the plane for the last flight, he felt better. The plane is clean, the seats are comfortable. He reached Romania at 2 am. At 3 o'clock, he checked into a room at a nearby hotel.
The airport in Dubai is modern and comfortable, but the temperature is too cold according to Dave. Photo: AFP
Dave's trip ended safely. The fare he found was rated as "couldn't be better". But in return, Dave had to pay the price in many different ways: struggling for nearly two days, moving a lot, being tired...
Dave shares these experiences for travelers who want to go far away but have limited funds to get more useful information. This way of flying is only suitable for young people with a lot of health. As for the elderly and middle-aged, it is completely inappropriate.
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