Sunday, November 20, 2016

Almost #Fail Events during my Trip to Zurich, Switzerland

Don’t you just love it when you find long lost friends online? I have been looking for this particular friend for a long time – let’s call her Bubbly because that’s how she is in real life. Long story short we found each other through Messenger/Facebook!

What makes this more timely is that she had a holiday booked for Lisbon and Zurich in 2 weeks’ time after we found each other online. I didn’t hesitate and quickly made arrangements for my travel to Zurich. I thought Lisbon was too far away and I have been a few times, whereas Zurich, well I have been as well but I didn’t really had the opportunity to explore the city so well. So that made the choice rather easy =)

Across this Credit Suisse welcome sign at Zurich Airport was a video reflected on the wall (similar to a hologram) of Rafael Nadal greeting newly arrived passengers and asking them if they want to have a selfie with him. I was a bit surprised and entertained that I forgot to take a picture, instead I took this one! #fail haha

This is moi in Zurich, just had to insert this picture of myself =)

Here’s the thing. I almost had a near miss, and twice even during this trip. My lucky stars were aligned prettily so I didn’t suffer any consequences. So I am sharing these almost fail events to serve as a learning lesson for others as well.

Almost #Fail Event 1: I Accidentally Deleted my e-Boarding Pass

I am not a gadget slash app person. I only keep apps in my phone that I really need and use. I like to keep my life simple really, and since the birth of the e-boarding pass, this has indeed made our lives as frequent travellers really simple and easy. That said, I have an app called Passbook on my phone where I can store boarding passes. This app will also act as your assistant and will prompt you with a notification when it is boarding time. Google does this already by the way if you have Gmail.

Anyway, being busy at work, I forgot to save my boarding passes into my Passbook app. I just let it sit in my inbox.

So the day of boarding came and I just used the showing of my e-boarding pass via my inbox. I mean it’s rather simple, you just open your inbox and open the mail with the boarding pass and voila you have the barcode. I zipped through security and didn’t really paid any attention that I forgot to close the window of my e-boarding pass on my phone.

I also have this habit to let everyone board the plane first. I hate queuing up and prefer to sit at the back reading a book. I heard the last call so I stood up to gather my bag and when I opened my phone, and well, I couldn’t find my boarding pass...?

I froze, standing halfway from my seat to the gate. The boarding pass is not in my inbox! Where the h…. it’s gone?! Gone!

There was some sort of calculated panic running around in circles but in an organized fashion in my head. A synchronized workflow of what do I need to do and what is my back up plan and what their eventual consequences would be. They all flashed before me in seconds like blinding lights. Then clarity took control and I went to check the trash bin, my deleted messages.

Ah, there it is! My e-boarding pass to Zurich. *sigh* I will get to Zurich today! Haha

I really have no idea how the boarding pass got deleted but this is a precious lesson learned. Use the Passbook app, or any other app for that matter to store your boarding passes on the phone. And make sure to have a charger with you too, and that you know your PIN code as well =)

Your typical *banking* commercial ads on the walls of railway platforms in Zurich.

Almost #Fail Event 2: I Thought My Plane was Leaving an Hour Later

After the boarding pass being accidentally deleted fiasco, I made sure that my boarding pass for my Zurich – Amsterdam leg was saved in the Passbook app.

But one thing I did not realise is that I have confused the actual flight time to an hour later. I was this highly convinced that I have even told my friends about it and have adjusted my schedule and will be taking the train later to the airport.

The only saving grace I had was that I had an earlier than planned dinner because I wanted to have coffee along the Limmatquai while there is still light. It is a beautiful place to hang around I thought while I enjoy the last rays of light. Then I decided last minute that I am done with Zurich and would like to leave early for the airport. I planned to check out Duty Free (maybe buy some chocolates for the Dutchman) and have a drink somewhere there.

Similarly to Amsterdam, Zurich’s airport is conveniently located near the city with regular trains servicing it every 15 minutes or so, taking only approximately 10 minutes travel time. You never really have to take a taxi unless you are going somewhere else than the city centre.

The mall attached to Zurich airport.

So while I was queuing up in security at the airport, I got a notification message on my phone – ‘Your flight to Amsterdam is boarding in 30 minutes.’

Huh? What, er wait. How can this be? It’s just 20:00?

Well, what happened was, I confused my 09:55 flight Amsterdam to Zurich with my Zurich to Amsterdam flight at 20:55. I usually follow military hours for my time, for work and for personal, but for some strange reason I really believed that my flight back to Amsterdam was 21:55 and not 20:55. I even asked the ground steward at the gate if they changed last minute the flight schedule. He looked at me with austere eyes trying to gauge the expression on my face if I was serious with my question. I was that convinced that my flight is leaving at 21:55 and not 20:55! LOL

Lesson learned: Double check always.

I would have dreaded another evening in expensive Zurich. Because a comfortable at least 3-star hotel would set you back 200+ euros and dinner at a restaurant, nothing fancy schmancy would be a spend between 50 and 60 euros for 1 person. I would rather spend this money on my next trip! Which I will, in 3 weeks’ time =)

The gate ahead with people queuing up is my flight to Amsterdam.

I parked myself at this bar with an impressive wall of beers and a good view to my gate. Surely I cannot miss this flight! Instead of a beer, I had some lemon drink in a nice bottle packaging. The whole branding and packaging must have cost 2/3 more than the actual product.

I am flying Swiss. I usually fly KLM because of my Flying Blue miles. Swiss unfortunately is not part of SkyTeam which KLM's Flying Blue is a part of. Swiss had a much better pricing than KLM and of course I am more loyal to my wallet than to KLM or Flying Blue.

Travel Period: September 2016
Destination: Zurich, Switzerland

Keep in touch and follow me on Facebook: Travel & Lifestyle Diaries by Dutched Pinay Travels
Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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