That Unplanned Trip You Have to Take

i was writing about a 2006 trip to italy for #indie2012 and was reminded about how i had to do something i hope i will never have to again:

i don’t really have any tips on finding bereavement fares (if you’re reading this because you were looking for help, i’m so sorry for your loss *big hug*) other than to be persistent and check all avenues if you have the time. hopefully something cheap will come up.

[picking up from where i cut and pasted from the other entry — i decided this deserved its own post:]

…the only bad part about this experience is that i received a phone call on my last night in milan that my grandfather had passed away and i had to return to los angeles if at all possible that weekend for the funeral.

i remember frantically trying to find local airline phone numbers, calling them to see what my options were in terms of bereavement fares (pretty much niente) and schedules (equally cruddy), and discovering that nothing was cheap and convenient.

to give you an idea of how whirlwind this was, this all happened on a wednesday night, and i still had most of the day thursday to sightsee. it would have been too expensive to move my flight, so i figured i might as well make the most of it before going home to germany where i was in grad school. i had to be in LA by friday. (i could not fly directly to LA from milan, since i was woefully underpacked for a funeral and prices were crazy expensive as well.)

i still have the information on my flight from milan back to stuttgart, which corroborates the timing as i remember it in my mind’s eye:

By the way, I lived for these one-cent fares as a wanderlusty student!

i got back in to stuttgart thursday evening and i remember asking about ticket prices at the various ticket counters at the airport. i got sympathetic looks, but nothing really feasible for a student trying to leave the next day.

back at my dorm room that night, i looked online and stumbled upon a great fare from orbitz (which, by the way, according to my history, was my first purchase from them). $640 all in (much less than what i was getting over the phone and about half what they were telling me at the airport, as i recall), leaving in about 12 hours. long story short, thanks to the time difference i made it in time for the viewing on friday and funeral saturday before flying back to school on sunday.

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  1. Amongst the Dead in Milan | Wanderlusty

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