My flight to China: THE FULL STORY

After 42 hours I finally arrived in Nanning! It was the craziest trip. It all started like this: My flight had 2 stopovers (Vienna to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Guangzhou, Guangzhou to Nanning) with the company China Southern and KLM. On Friday I left my hometown at 04:00 in the morning to take the train to the airport in Vienna (2 hours train ride). It was the only train at that time so I arrived early and had to wait (3 hours) at the airport. So far so good and everything was easy in Vienna and also on the flight to Amsterdam (1 hour 50 minutes flight).

In Amsterdam I had to pick up the luggage because it was operated by KLM and then I had to go outside and check in again with China Southern. While waiting for my luggage I checked my next flight to Guangzhou. It was supposed to be a 2 hour stopover in Amsterdam.

Then I found the shocking news: My flight to Guangzhou got cancelled. I already travelled a lot but a cancelled flight has never happened to me before so naturally I became a little bit nervous. I went to the information desk of China Southern, which btw was crowded…of course….

So I had to wait for a long time until I got an information. They said that both of my flights have been cancelled because of the Typhoon. There was no flight available and the only thing they can do is book me on the same flight but one day later. So my 26 hour trip just became a 42 hour trip. So I was stuck in Amsterdam for 24 hours and the only thing I thought was fuck, what am I going to do here for so long? I had a loooot of luggage. It was heavy and also broken and walking around with it is no fun. I went to the informaton desk to ask for a plug/battery station because my phone was almost dead and I explained him my situation. The guy after me in line said: „I think I got something for you“. So he pulled out of his bag a 2-day transportation pass for Amsterdam. Valid for all busses, metro etc. And on top of that the guy at the information desk said: „I got something for you too“ and gave me a city map and told me that there is a luggage storage downstairs. I actually didn’t even plan to go to the city because of all the luggage and everything but I kind of got pushed because of these 2 guys and became really excited about it. After thanking them I went down to the luggage storage and left my luggage there for 15 Euros (price for 2 luggages for 24 hours).

I hopped on the bus and went to the city center of Amsterdam. It was a great day. It was warm and sunny and in the evening a friend of mine who I haven’t seen for a few years came to visit me after work. He even convinced me to just stay at a hostel overnight and get some energy instead of spending the night at the airport. I booked a hostel for 19 Euros, it was called Orfeo. It is very basic but cheap and I didn’t need more than just a bed. At the same time I cancelled my hotel in China because I was supposed to arrive one day before my boyfriend (who has access to the aparment) and because of the delay we arrived on the same day.

The room in the hostel in Amsterdam was for 6 people (2 bunk beds with 3 levels). In the middle of the night at like 03:00 some dude that made a lot of noise arrived. He slammed the door several times, ate really loud and disgusting and smelled awful…like a mix of alcohol and weed, just really disgusting. Other than that I slept well because I was really tired.

It was my second time in Amsterdam but so much better and more beautiful than the first time. The first time I went there for Queens Day and the whole city was covered with people wearing orange shirts. This time I kind of saw the real Amsterdam and I loved it. Especially that so many people go by bike instead of car! So the short and unplanned city trip was all worth it.

In the morning after breakfast I went back to the airport. I picked up my luggage and then went to do the check in. There was a huge line and I think it took me around one hour until I finally was inside. Also because my luggage was broken (I broke some handles and then the airline broke the rest of the handles, so now I have a huge and heavy luggage without any handles – imagine going with that somewhere, every step turns into an obstacle haha) it took much time because I could not do the self-check in of the luggage and had to bring it to the „oversize and special luggage area“.

And then I finally got on the plan to China!! But first to my next stopover in Guangzhou. When I first booked China Southern I honestly was a little bit sceptical because I read so many negative references about it. But it was great. A blanket, pillow and headphones were on the seat, I got 2 full meals which tasted really good as well, I watched 2 movies, listened to music and studied some chinese. I tried to sleep but I just could not sleep at all. But it was a great flight and comfortable (I know 12 hours sitting around is not comfortable but considering the circumstances it was comfortable haha). All I wanna say is that China Southern positively surprised me. 12 hours later we arrived in Guangzhou!

When I left Amsterdam 2 different people told me that I would have to get the bag and check it back in again in Guangzhou, like I did in Amsterdam. So when I arrived in Guangzhou I asked another person and she told me that she is sure that my bag will be transferred directly to Nanning so there is no need to do the check in again. I was a little confused but I kind of trusted her and went to the next gate, waiting for 3 hours for my final flight to Nanning. While waiting for my flight a really nice chinese lady started talking to me in English. We talked a lot and exchanged our WeChat numbers (It’s the chinese kind of Whatsapp). She only had a stopover in Nanning though because she continued to her hometown in the north of China. The flight to Nanning (1 hour 40 minutes) was great too and I did not expect to get such a big snack (actually it was more like a full meal) on such a short flight. In Europe you usually just get a cookie or nuts… or nothing.

After the flight I felt so relieved to finally have arrived in Nanning. My new chinese friend helped me negotiate a price for the taxi. When you arrive somewhere in china there are most likley people standing around and following you with „taxi, taxi, taxiiii“. (Note: actually these are no real taxis) but since everyone seems to do it, I accepted. So I paid 100 Yuan (around 12 Euros) to go to the city center which was like a 45-50 minutes car ride. So cheap!

By the way: Neither in Guangzhou nor in Nanning I was able to connect to the WiFi at the airport. They require to log in with a chinese phone number which obviously I don’t have yet. So I got a little bit nervous to not be able to contact my boyfriend who is supposed to arrive 2 hours later and we agreed to meet at the new apartment. So that’s when the next drama started. But I am gonna write a new post about that because this is getting too long here haha.

Anyways: The flights were both with KLM and China Southern really good. The flight to China only cost me 300 Euros. The customer service on the airport in Amsterdam helped me well with the cancelled flight and I can only say positive things about it. For those of you thinking why they did not provide me a hotel for the cancelled flight: If a flight gets cancelled because of things like weather condition the airline does not have to provide compensation because it is not the airlines fault that it happened.

Next up: the arrival from the airport to the city of Nanning

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