Going back to Europe was not really part of the plan, well at least not this early. Already booked for LA this January, I decided to have my flight rescheduled when my Xiamen friends confirmed that most of them will spend New Year’s in Hamburg. One of them told me to check out Eurowings, and that’s how I discovered that you can fly from Thailand to Germany for as low as PhP10,000 one-way. And so I booked the flight anyway. I mean, how could you resist such a tempting offer, right?
I ended up paying almost the same fare had I booked a one-stop flight from Manila on a gulf carrier. What happened? That motherfucking street in front of NAIA happened. You know how it always takes you just 15 minutes to get to the airport from your house? Then suddenly you get stranded for an hour on that same road not even a kilometer long. Anyway, what’s done is done and I’m partly to blame because I chose not to risk my life dodging speeding vehicles on the other side just to get to that fucking airport.
The simple Manila – Phuket – Cologne flight had to be rerouted to Bangkok, with a sleepless night that came as a bonus. And yeah, I had to pay for last minute fares which inflated my supposedly cheap airfare. Thank you, Manila. I love you so much. Moving on, what I thought would be a nightmare waiting to happen defied my expectations. For a cheapo airline, Eurowings’ onboard service was almost excellent and the flight crew were really friendly. It would have been great if not for that one check-in counter booboo.
I had to spend half an hour trying to explain my itinerary from Cologne all the way to the language course I will attend in Rabat, which is so none of their business because Morocco is not even part of the Schengen area. It just happened to be my exit point. In short, they were not convinced that I would be spending the holidays in Europe. Oh look, a brown Asian is trying to board our plane to celebrate the new year in Hamburg! We’re not convinced! Well, fuck you too. In the end, I still got on the flight. I win. Bitches.
Anyway, let’s move on. What’s the use of spending more time ranting about the incompetence of the idiots around you who do nothing more than complicate what is supposed to be a simple life, right? Back to Eurowings, it felt like Diet Lufthansa. Depending on the fare you purchase, of which you have three choices, you get exactly what you pay for. I originally booked the cheapest one, but opted to upgrade to the one in the middle because I had check-in baggage anyway. And meals would be nice too.
I guess I got lucky getting a single row all to myself. It simple meant I was able to lie down and sleep for more than 2/3 of the flight’s duration. But of course, there will always be people luckier than you are. I am referring to those who got an entire row of four seats. I only got three, which meant bending my legs because I didn’t want to risk them being amputated by the flight attendant’s food cart. They hurt for a bit, but quickly recovered once I sat down and had a quick stretch.
Inflight entertainment was not included in my fare, but I could have easily been given access for 10 euros extra. The same thing goes for their internet package which starts at 5 euros for 10 MB. I needed neither of those because I took advantage of the downtime to recover from that Sleepless in Bangkok episode. Okay, fine, do I recommend Eurowings? To some extent, yes I do. If not for that check-in counter incident, the experience would have been positive overall. If you are rather low on budget, then by all means, go.
The evening was spent in Cologne, but it was not enough to go sightseeing. It’s a good thing that the cathedral is just next to the Hauptbahnhof, which meant an additional photo or two. I will surely go back to Cologne for a longer tour of the city, perhaps in tandem with Bonn which is just a few backflips away. For now, it left a good impression, and if Eurowings continues to offer such cheap long-haul flights, then maybe I would come back more often.
[COLOGNE] Long-Haul, Low-Cost