This week I’m “liveblogging” my trip to Ukraine. Unlike traditional reports, these posts will be shorter and more frequent.
With the late arrival of my bus (7:30 am instead of 5:00 am), I was forced to take a gamble on award flight space that thankfully paid off.
Flight Dilemma: Cancel And Rebook Or Fly From Warsaw To New York Via Chișinău And Warsaw (Yes, Warsaw Again) To Be Safe?
I had planned to fly home on a LOT 737 MAX 8 from Warsaw to London, connecting from London to Los Angeles on United Airlines. That flight left Warsaw at 7:50 am.
But by the time we reached Dworzec Autobusowy Warszawa Zachodnia (the west bus station), it was already 7:30 am. I canceled my flight in order to avoid a no-show fee and sat down to work on a solution home. The station was crowded and freezing cold.
There was no immediate solution for my trip home.
I’m not sure why a Saturday in February was so busy, but there were very few options to get me home that day and I needed to get home that day.
Recall, I had booked an alternate way home on LOT Polish from Chișinău (KIV) to New York (JFK) via Warsaw (WAW) when I was considering the train back. There was no additional space from WAW to JFK and I figured if I canceled the ticket from KIV, the space may not return to inventory (especially since we were now talking about same-day travel).
Thus, my choice was to fly to KIV that morning on LOT to catch the flight back to WAW and on to JFK, or cancel the space and hope I could rebook the WAW-JFK space by itself.
I took the risk and canceled the space.
And waited a moment.
Boom. The award space went back into inventory and I was able to rebook it (70K Aeroplan to JFK in business class). From New York, I’d travel home to Los Angeles (LAX) on JetBlue, though the connection was again tight.
It was on to Chopin Airport and a day of lounge hopping and catching up on work.
Side note: I was in such a deep sleep that I did not notice we had reached the station in Warsaw…and no one woke me up. Thankfully, I heard the cargo door of the bus slam shut just as it was about to depart for the next Polish city. Otherwise, I would have woken up in Poznan and had a whole new problem on my hand!
I really hope you can get a shower before boarding your plane to the US. 🙂
Spoiler alert: I certainly did! 😉
If you were a cat, you would have used up 8 of your 9 lives in the luck department on this trip the way all the pieces just fell in place. Well done but maybe you shouldn’t tempt fate with weird itineraries for a while 🙂
Merry Christmas and Happy Easter can be the same phrase in Polish, so it’s unclear if the decoration folks at Warsaw West are really lazy, or super ambitious.
And I assure you this is not an old report! 😉
Wouldn’t the KIV-WAW be a turnaround for WAS-KIV?
Sounds like you got it worked out. Another option would have been to consider booking flights out of KRK (Krakow) and connecting via PKP rail (2 to 3 hours). There’s a (new) rail line from Krakow central rail station to the Krakow airport. Although KRK is a charming, small airport with far fewer connections, I have found routes of out of there unavailable via Warsaw.
Maybe the cigarette guy told everyone else not to wake you up 😉
That looks like a very unpleasant place to have to figure out your next travel move, especially as it was so cold. Glad you got it worked out.
BTW, you’ll arrive to an LA cold spell with the high tomorrow only in the low 50s. Maybe you’ll still get to see the unusually low snow levels.
Yay! So glad you made it. Was worried at little after the cliffhanger yesterday of your welcome into Poland.
Why would you take a bus?! If you were in such a hurry, take a car. Sounds like you just have to blame someone other than yourself.
I wish I would have taken the car, though I ended up having a lovely flight on LOT Polish to JFK>