Monday, June 7, 2021

I Missed My Flight

by Regin Reyno

I was in Marrakech, Morocco bound for Tel Aviv, Israel with a layover in Marseille, France.

Hotel Corail
Marrakech, Morocco

My airlines was Ryan Air, a budget airlines (similar to Cebu Pacific or AirAsia). I went to the airport very early morning at 4am. Booked a taxi the night before. I already checked-in online, too, via Ryan Air app; both flights from Marrakech, Morocco to Marseille, France, and then the Marseille, France to Tel Aviv, Israel flight. So, I already had a soft copy boarding pass on my smartphone.
Upon going to the check-in counter at the airport to weigh my carry-on luggage and to, probably, get a hard copy boarding pass, the lady at the counter didn't let me through and was referred to her superior. (And she asked me for some dollars for my carry-on luggage because, apparently, you have to pay for carry-on luggages at Ryan Air flights. Yes, what a crappy airline.)
The strict Moroccan man who was in-charge told me that I cannot board my plane because I don't have have a Schengen visa (Europe visa) and I was going to Marseille, France. I said, I'm just going to have a layover at Marseille and that my final destination is Tel Aviv. And I have a valid Japan visa, and according to the rules, Philippine passport-holders can have a layover in France if having a valid Japan visa. His argument is, Ryan Air is a point-to-point airlines and they don't care if you have a flight after that. They just check your destination for that particular flight to see if you have a valid visa for that country (or your passport doesn't need a visa for that country). I insisted that I'm not going to go out of the airport in France and I have a flight to Tel Aviv, and as a holder of a valid Japan visa, according to the rules, I can have a layover in France. But then, he insisted that Ryan Air is a point-to-point airlines, and they don't care about my succeeding flights after that; just my destination for that particular leg, which is France, and a Schengen visa was needed (for Philippine passports).
I sat at the airport pews, composed myself and just booked another flight to Tel Aviv, Israel-using app and my WeChat Wallet on my smartphone. This time it was Aegean Airlines, Greece's flag carrier, with a layover in Athens, Greece. The flight is going to be the next day, so I booked a hotel room, as well, using my smartphone, and had 1 day extra to experience Morocco (but lost 1 day of experiencing Israel).
Marrakech airport. Booking flights.

At the hotel, I realized I wasn't able to tell the ground staff boss that I already have a boarding pass from Marseille, France to Tel Aviv, Israel and that would probably convince him? But maybe not. Anyway, I still believe, that he should have let be boarded that flight, given the situation.
I ended up relaxing at my hotel, caught up with the news on TV, explored more the local lifestyle in Marrakech, did some grocery for my dinner ala locals, experienced a wonderful mall, and witnessed an amazing dancing fountain at sunset.
Morrocan breakfast after the airport incident

And, the next day, I had a wonderful flight via Greece's flag carrier, which served wonderful Mediterranean cuisine with complimentary small bottle of red and white wine for both flights-far better than the cramped, Ryan Air. As I enjoyed my meal while beholding the vast and super blue Mediterranean sea, I do believe that everything happens for a reason. We just need to trust Him.
Marrakech airport

Athens, Greece

This is part of Tuyok.

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