I have returned! (I am sure you already knew this though from Twitter and what not, but I am back!)
I have had some crazy adventures this summer. This fun one, World Youth Day 2016, all began with a terrible airport experience. First, our group was too large to check everyone in properly.
Second, they had to delete “notes” on our reservation in order to check us in. This means that my gluten-free meal request was CANCELLED! I was not exactly happy with this because this means that I would be without food (except for the snacks I brought with me) on the trans-Atlantic flight from New York City to Prague, Czech Republic.
Needless to say, I wanted them to fix this terrible error. I was told at the airport in Montana by some not very friendly gate agents that they couldn’t do anything about it since it was less than 24 hours before the flight. YOU DELETED IT SO YOU SHOULD FIX IT! WHY IS THIS MY FAULT? (Not that I actually yelled any of this, I said it rather politely for someone who has just had a flight messed up.)
We had a layover in Salt Lake City where I spoke to a gate agent who told me the problem would be resolved and I would have my meal. Yeah, I wasn’t so sure they were telling me the truth at this point.
So, when we finally arrived in New York City, I found the Delta help desk where a very nice lady helped me out. She took it upon herself to figure out why the meal request could not be re-added. She even called the meal people and told them to put a meal on the flight with my seat number attached. She told me to double check with the flight attendants onboard the plane.
Then the nice lady also gave me a meal voucher for the airport so I could buy something there to bring with me just in case the meal didn’t make the flight. I ended up using the meal voucher to buy myself lunch (we have a 5+ hour layover at JFK) and bought a few more granola bars with my own money for the flight if I would happen to need them.
When it came time to board the flight, I dropped my bag off at my seat and proceeded to the flight attendant standing at the back of the plane (I was only six rows away, if I remember correctly). The flight attendant told me they didn’t have me on the list so they didn’t have a meal for me. She was all “You need to make sure you register at least 24 hours in advance.” I was all “I DID! THIS ISN’T MY FAULT!” (Well, I didn’t yell but I was pretty close to tears as I explained the situation. I really wanted to be able to eat something on this flight.)
Once I had fully explained why my name was no longer on the list (thanks to the wonderful Delta agent in Montana who DELETED MY MEAL REQUEST!), the flight attendants thanked me for being so kind about it and told me they would find me something to eat. They asked what I could all eat and were planning to make me a meal from different things offered in first class.
However, I did not get a first class meal. Right before we pulled away from the gate, the kind flight attendant informed me that they had an extra gluten-free meal that had been sent for the flight. I would be able to eat something without worrying on the flight! I was sooooooo happy! THANK YOU, KIND DELTA FLIGHT ATTENDANT LADY!
Anyway, things managed to work out just fine with my meal. It paid to be super polite with the flight attendants on the plane before take-off. They were ready to do whatever it took to get something together so I would be able to eat. It is also good to note that, should you be flying on a group reservation, it is quite possible your special meal request will be deleted at check-in (at least in Montana).
This was how my wonderful adventure to World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland began. Needless to say, it was an adventure I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of my crazy World Youth Day adventures!