When you’re in Southern Europe, you’re bound to have multiple layovers. And every so often, they are gruesome in nature. Okay, a little dramatic maybe. I’ll leave it to you to decide!Β Here is my diary of our day traveling home from Greece, spent entirely at airports.

[striped]4:15 am[/striped]

I don’t know what’s with these early wakeup calls, but I apparently love the torture. We woke up to be ready to head to the Mykonos airport at 5:00 am. The reason for the insanely early flight? We were booked to fly out of Athens at 9:00 am. Therefore, we needed to be in Athens no later than 7:30 am.

So, a little more background on these insane times. A flight from Athens at 9:00 am isn’t anything crazy if you’re in Athens. But we knew we’d be coming from Mykonos, so we needed one of the earliest flights possible. We purchased the main flight from Phoenix to Athens as a round trip ticket, which we had no wiggle room with. So our other flights had to be flexible

A ticket to Greece in July can run you about $1,500 to $1,700 from Phoenix. However, on one grand little day, Google Flights emailed me that a ticket had dropped to $1,000. I thought “holy crap, this is it!” We booked it immediately, saving ourselves at minimum $1,000. It was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. So we had no other choice but to make our puddle jumpers work around our amazing Athens flight.Β 

[striped]6:30 am[/striped]

We’re off to Athens from Mykonos. It’s only an hour flight so I’m trying desperately to stay awake for this one.

[striped]7:30 am[/striped]

Land in Athens, and quickly find out there is no Delta checkin counter. We literally walked from one end of the airport to the other trying to find Delta. We asked several airport employees along the way, and we got pointed in opposite directions. Lovely. All the while we only had an hour and a half to complete check in and security. Come to find out, we were actually flying Aegean to Rome. My sixth traveler sense told me it was impossible there was a Delta flight from Athens to Rome, but the online confirmation said ‘Delta’ with no other operating airline. Weird.

[striped]8:15 am[/striped]

We approach the Aegean check in counter, and they promptly tell us they have no agreement with Delta for checked bags.

Okay, pause… at this point we were running so behind for our next flight, that everything told me to just take our carryon bags through security and try to fit them on the plane. We each had one personal item too, so technically we were still at the limit, but we just didn’t want to deal with our bags. Now I wished I would have just listened to my sixth traveler sense. Ugh.

Resume. I explain to the guy that our layover in Rome is only an hour and that there’s no possible way we’ll make that flight having to check bags again. He nods his head in agreement, and gives a “yeah that’s not going to happen” face, and then makes a few adjustments on the computer. He said he would send our bags through as a ‘transfer’. At this point I am a bit sketched out because he literally just told us they don’t work with Delta. And all of the sudden they’re best friends forever? Total red flag that something is going to get f*cked up.

[striped]9:00 am[/striped]

We barely make it on to our flight. BUT WE MADE IT. Can’t sleep on this one either. 2 hour flight.

[striped]11:50 am[/striped]

We land in Rome, ten minutes early (thank god for that as you’ll soon see). The airline tells us we’ll need to grab our bags, and I think “okay, what was the point of that then?” Now we have an hour to grab our bags, and go through security again. We wait for our bags and constantly watch the time tick away. Our bags never come and I am mentally cursing the dude from Aegean.

We decide to just get a move on. Along the way we find a Delta employee and ask him about our bags. He looks them up right away and said they probably never left Athens. I said “so they’re lost?” And he replied, “bags are never lost.” Okay bruh, this isn’t the time to wish you were in some Keanu Reeves movie acting all mysterious and existential.

At this point, we are again super confused because we don’t have any tickets for our Delta flight to Detroit. We search everywhere for a Delta checkin and it’s nowhere to be found (we weren’t candidates for online checkin for some reason, hence all the counter finding). The hour is moving fast.

[striped]12:20 pm[/striped]

40 minutes until takeoff. Someone finally tells us they have our tickets held at the gate. Some fancy transfer stuff, which for a moment makes me feel important. Probably just me.

[striped]12:30 pm[/striped]

Grabbed our tickets up front, answered a series of questions, and then joined the queue for the plane.

[striped]1:05 pm[/striped]

Plane takes off from Rome on a 10 hour flight to Detroit. Can we just take a moment for international flights on US planes? The two seaters give me life. Can you imagine if you were in the middle seat on a 10 hour + flight? Omg I would literally die. Granted there are middle seats, but you have to be sick to take one of the four seats in the middle of the plane.

[striped]3:30 pm[/striped]

We arrive in Detroit, and for once we have a decent layover. I grab some McDonald’s because I didn’t get my burger fix in Europe this go around. I always crave burgers in Europe for some reason, and a lot of times I crave McDonald’s. It’s the weirdest thing!!

[striped]4:30 pm[/striped]

We head over to our gate to see if anyone working there could check for our bags. A lady working was able to scan our tags and told us that it looked like they were tagged to go to Phoenix. So instead of them coming out on the belt in Rome, they went straight to Phoenix. This was one possibility we had already entertained, so to hear her say something similar made us feel relieved.

[striped]5:15 pm[/striped]

Off to Phoenix!

[striped]5:35 pm[/striped]

The person sitting next to me did not understand the unwritten rules of having the window seat. Instead of leaning towards the window, which is the best f*cking part about having a window seat, he decided to lean towards me. Totally odd and super uncomfortable.

He also took the arm rests. I mean the middle seat person gets the arms rests for sure! And I’m saying this as someone who always has the window seat. The icing on the cake? The window seat was actually mine. He got the seating wrong, and I told him it was fine and that he could have the window. Yeah, that’s right. I did this to myself…

[striped]5:37 pm[/striped]

A baby starts screaming one row in front of us, and it lasts for nearly the whole flight. He was so cute though, and I’m not bitter about babies by any means. I literally can’t stand the people who roll their eyes and complain. Babies are babies and they cry. But damn. It was just one of those flights you cannot wait to get off of. Four hours of hell.

[striped]6:55 pm[/striped]

Finally touched down in Phoenix.

[striped]7:25 pm[/striped]

At the Delta desk filing a claim for our missing luggage. The absolute last thing I wanted to deal with after this flight. But you guessed it! They lost our bags.

Pssst, our bags arrived two days later at 8:00 pm. Thank god.



    1. Haha it was definitely one of the worst, but it wasn’t too terribly bad. I am also surprised I remembered everything! I do have an insanely good memory though ;). Thanks Estrella! Hope you’re having fun in Cali!

      Author Reply
  1. Haha, “bags are never lost” that part had me laughing. Flights, especially with layovers can be so full of surprises and unexpected turns. I genuinely feared for your luggage but I’m glad you got everything in the end! You’re so lucky to have gone to Greece, flights are so expensive aren’t they?! I’m happy all turned out okay!


    1. Haha thanks Diana! I am so glad everything worked out in the end too. Flights are CRAZY expensive this time of year. I had never been to Greece, so it was definitely a shocker.

      Author Reply
  2. Oh goodness what an eventful flight back! Literally all my worst nightmares about flying in 1 trip – early flights, checked luggage problems, lots of transfers, lost luggage, annoying seat mate – I would totally have lost it by the last flight, haha. Glad that you got your bags eventually though!

    Jenny | Geeky Posh

    1. It’s totally my fear too! I’ve never had an issue luckily. We should have just freaking carried our bags on, ughhhh.

      Author Reply
  3. Glad it worked out and you got your bags; this story reinforces my decision to go carry on only on my upcoming trip to Spain! And I can’t remember what seats I booked, I hope it’s not a middle one!

    1. Haha! Hopefully not! Those are the worst. I always try to carry on if I can, and I’ve written a lot about that and about why. But basically I am always paranoid they will lose my luggages. The technology is super advanced now to track bags though, which is good. And we could have technically carried ours on. But we had so many layovers we didn’t want to deal with it on the way home!

      Author Reply
  4. Whew. What a trip back home. I’m glad though that at least you finally got your back bag after two days. I haven’t been on an equally stressful flight… Well, I haven’t done layovers yet and now I’m suddenly scared. Who would have known that behind the awesome destination is a stressful trip that not a lot of people talk about. xD

    Hoping your next trip would be less stressful… Okay… Will be flawless. Hehe.


    1. Haha thanks Gellie! It wasn’t suuuuper stressful. I’ve been in way more crazy situations I think. It was just very unexpected. It seemed like everyone was telling us something different that day, and I think that’s what made it hard. We had no peace of mind about anything!!

      Author Reply
  5. Ah, love how you mention desperately trying to stay awake on a flight – I’m also forever snoozing on flights! SO glad to hear your bags were returned to you – what a nightmare journey!!


  6. Omg, I was so on edge reading this wondering what was going to go wrong with all these flight changes. That must have been so stressful not knowing what was happening with your bags! Glad you got them back in the end though. I was like ‘phew’ reading that last line when I got to the end haha.

    Samio x

  7. Oh god, you did such a good job of not losing your shit! I cannot imagine how stressful your day of travel must have been, I feel exhausted just reading it! I’m also amazed how expensive a flight to Greece is – that’s like how much it would cost me to go to Australia!

    Musings & More

    1. Thanks Em! I am super uptight, but I also understand that you can’t change things that happen. So it balances me out well haha. It’s definitely expensive being in Arizona. LA an New York is like 50% cheaper, it’s insane!

      Author Reply
  8. Hahaha wow! Nearly $2000 for a ticket to Europe for you? It’s about the same for Aussie and we have more than 20+ hours to get there. Sometimes you can fly for around $800 (if you’re seriously lucky and it’s probably just to England). That is crazy. I had issues on the way back home. I had a great run from Frankfurt to Shanghai only to get to China and find myself waiting for 20 minutes at the customs/border area because I didn’t have a visa, EVEN THOUGH I had a connecting flight to Oz?! He wouldn’t stamp my passport and let me through without his managers approval. Who this manager was I have no idea because noone ended up coming. I then had to collect my suitcase and make my way out and around the airport to check them back in. Only to have to go to security when I did so and open it all up because they found something which turned out to be nail polish. He wouldn’t let me put it in my suitcase, even though those two bottles already made that journey two weeks earlier, and told me to take them in my handbag (which I thought you couldn’t do?). Then I learned that I was downgraded to economy – NOT that anyone told me – only after I finally got my boarding pass and saw economy on it. So Air China doesn’t do P.E so they just knock me down to economy. No bueno and NOT HAPPY. No one can help me either, language barrier and all. Something which came to bite my ass yet again prior to boarding when it’s announced that the flight is delayed an hour after we’re supposed to be boarding the plane. No english announcements. Only to have them decide to board everyone five minutes later. Urgh it was such a cluster fuck. And BTW I don’t get people who have those middle seats either. Unless you’re travelling with the people next to you then it’s fine. But strangers. Nothing I hate worse than the person next to me wanting to get up every five minutes to pee. Both going to and coming home every single flight (with exception to Melb-Bangkok) was FULL and I mean FULL. I was hoping for a spare middle seat to put my feet up. Booo.


    1. Dang lady! Sounds like you had quite the adventure! Even worse than mine lol. Language barriers are the worst and I would be kind of annoyed if they weren’t making announcements in English. Not like in an entitled American way, but because most other countries speak Enlighs as a secondary language too. So some say from Denmark, would probably speak Danish and English, but not Chinese. Anyway… Glad you made it home! It’s always best when stuff goes wrong on the way home. It’s the worst when it goes wrong on the way there haha.

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