This was my first international flight. Even though I met Shaylene (someone in my study abroad program) we were sitting in different sections. We waited together for them to let us board the plane. Once we were boarding the plane we were told to check in our carry-ons because there was no guarantee there would be overhead space because it was a full flight. I said bye to Shaylene and headed to my seat. The plane wasn’t the most comfortable and it was only the departure I still had 12 hours to go. My butt went numb, my neck was sore, and I couldn’t seem to fall asleep (not sure what I was feeling). Once our plane from Los Angeles to Amsterdam landed, Shaylene and I met up and started walking to our terminal because we only had 1 hour to board our plane. As we were walking we were stopped by two women.
One asked, “where are you from?”
“Los Angeles” Shaylene replied
“Oh nice, where are you headed to? And why?”
I replied, “we are on our way to Spain because of a study abroad program we’re doing.”
She replied “how fun” “would you mind if we check your bags?”
Then they proceeded to walk us to a station around the corner. Where they had us open our bags then they swabbed our bags with a strip which was later put into a machine. They waited for the results and said we were good to go and we kept walking. Now we only have 30 mins until our plane leaves. Before getting to our terminal there was a huge line of people waiting to get their passports checked. There was no way we were going to make it. Worried we would miss the flight I asked one of the airport workers if they thought we would make our flight waiting in the line.
She looked at me and said “oh honey no go on and follow me” she removed the barrier and walked us to a shorter line. If it wasn’t for her who knows what would have happened?
Getting our passports stamped was the easiest thing but by that time we had to run to our terminal if we wanted to make our flight. Luckily it was delayed so they were still boarding.
Landing in Madrid, Shaylene and I met up once again and headed to baggage claim which was a bit stressful because out of all the bags coming out none of them were mine until after 25 mins they finally showed up!
We thought about waiting for the group flight so we could take the bus with them to the hotel but we waited about 2 hours and there was no sign of them! We decided to take an Uber and wait for them at the hotel. We got checked in and Shaylene and I went to our own rooms. I took a shower and after 14 hours of no sleep, I took a nap.