Iceland - Day 1 : Missed my flight
When I woke up it felt strange that I would be flying to Iceland a few hours later, but I wasn't nervous. I had planned everything as best as I could. The only things I was worried about were the tight transfer in between my flights and if my petrol stove would make it through customs. It was empty but it wasn't clear if it was allowed on the plane.
In the afternoon I got on the bus with a stuffed backpack and 2 kilos of granola as hand luggage. I took the train to Schiphol airport were I arrived on time and the check-in went fine. I was four hours too early. In hindsight I had probably been a bit too cautious in not taking the flight at noon, but I didn't have a lot of experience in flying (alone) yet.
I walked around to kill time and take my mind of the transfer. I met two cousins who I hadn't seen in years. They didn't understand why I hadn't taken a direct flight. I explained that those tickets were a lot more expensive and those airlines didn't allow bringing more than 3 kg of food on the plane. They looked very confused. I had considered buying all my food in Iceland, but I didn't know how difficult it would be to find good hiking meals and it felt reassuring to have everything ready before I left.
Back at the gate I received some bad news, my flight was delayed by 30 minutes. There was no help desk so I had to ask the stewardesses for advice. I could tell by her face that she was sure I wouldn't have made the transfer even if my flight hadn't been delayed. I knew she probably was right, but the lady from the helpdesk had assured me it would work. I would only have 5 minutes to transfer.
In the airplane it suddenly smelled horrible and the man next to me put on his fan, nice. I tried to stay calm which didn't really work until the pilot announced, 7 minutes before we were supposed to land, that we would land in 22 minutes. We ended up landing 25 minutes behind schedule on top of the 30 minute late start, even though the flight itself was only supposed to be half an hour.
At the airport I sprinted towards the gate where my flight was supposed to leave, hoping for the odd chance that it had also been delayed. To my surprise I did see a Lufthansa flight to Reykjavik, but at a different gate. I ran as fast as I could. Not entirely sure if it was the correct flight I got in line. The stewardess scanned my ticket... DENIED!! As I expected I had missed my flight.
I was directed to the Lufthansa helpdesk. The lady there said: 'Hi, you must be Mr. Teunissen. You will be staying at the IBIS hotel tonight and here is your plane ticket for tomorrow morning'. That was pretty awesome. This was even better than a direct flight as I then would have arrived in the middle of the night. My luggage would be automatically sent to Iceland as well and held there until my arrival. There was also a taxi waiting for me outside to bring me and another passenger to the hotel.
I walked outside where I saw the other passenger. I don't remember his name but let's call him 'Henk'. Henk was pretty weird, his teeth were all black, he had long hair, and his eyes looked like he had been stoned for the past three years. We both couldn't find the taxi. Henk proposed to just sit down on a bench. I figured it would be better to ask someone for help. A lady was nice enough to call the hotel and she explained the cab was at a different terminal 100 meters away. Henk also asked to use my phone because he didn't have any money, I didn't know how much it would cost to make phone calls abroad so I told him my battery was empty.
In the bus Henk explained who he wanted to call. A friend of him was supposed to pick him up in Iceland, but he wasn't aware Henk had missed his flight. I didn't really want to pay for his international calls. At the hotel we found out a free dinner and breakfast were included in our stay. I had already eaten some food in the airplane so went to bed, but not before making sure there would be a bus to take us back to the airport the next morning. It around midnight and we would have to take the bus at 5:15.
I had a 3 person room all to myself. In bed I realized that my delayed and missed flights were about the worst things that could have happened, but the result was even better than I could have hoped for. Instead of arriving in Iceland at night and needing to find a place to sleep, I now was staying in a luxurious hotel with breakfast for free.
I quickly ate the complimentary candy on all the beds and went to sleep.