Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

Tips for flying ‘student class’

Tips for flying ‘student class’

I think we all know what that means, Ryanair or Wizz Air journeys. Most of us are working part-time, we are low spenders and let’s be honest, how can you miss a round trip to Barcelona for £35? Even the taxi to take you to the airport will be more expensive. It is a must!

However, you need to be prepared for delays, long waiting times, emergencies, annoying passengers and non-stop merchandise when you finally get on board. One of these disasters got me today.

I am writing this post sitting at Bucharest Airport. As an Aviation and Airport Management student, I do not mind delays. I enjoy my time spent at ALMOST any airport. Just walking around the terminal trying to spot different airplanes (my favourite is the A350) and airlines and taking shots of them while hoping security will not think I’m strange!

But let’s go back to what I wanted to say: Flying ‘student class’ is also very tricky. Most of those are flights arriving at night time when all public transport is shut down and yeah, exactly, you then need to pay for that taxi that is more expensive than your flight. No worries when flying in groups with friends as you can share the cost, but the issue rises when you are on your own.

Things to always have in mind:

  1. Plan your journey with the most economic option available to you – Even though we all have data and roaming (travelling in Europe) many times it’s better to read some feedback and recommendations on how, when and where to get your transport from, as well as details about pricing.
  1. Always have a backup plan – However, as I already mentioned, flying ‘student class’ has its negative consequences sometimes. A delay of a mere 15 mins can eliminate your original plan and leave you rooted to the spot for hours and hours.
  1. Be prepared that people might not speak English – Yes, English is the official native language of 360 million people and has as many as 1.5 billion speakers across the globe. However, this does not mean you will encounter an English speaker wherever you go. I am quite confident when I say that personnel at the airport will assist you with that, although the situation escalates when you go out into the streets in search of a taxi. You’ll use a combination of unintelligible yelling, flailing arms and jumping to attract their attention and once inside the taxi, the arduous task of attempting to tell the driver your desired destination while not being able to understand each other begins.
  1. Always bring some food with you – I am not saying cook curry with rice and naan (as much as love naan) but grab some snacks for any emergencies. Imagine you are going to Greece, but you fly to Bulgaria, and you are renting a car there to get to Greece as it is more economical. You, however, had a 40 min delay; the rent-a-car office does not open out of office hours, and you end up stuck at Sofia Airport having no Bulgarian currency. It is a late night, you have no cash to exchange. You are going to say “I’ll just pay by card”, but just for once, trust me and get that £1 pack of digestive biscuits from Tesco. You will not regret it. You are not you when you are hungry.
  1. Bring your own bottle of water – When I say a bottle of water, I mean an empty bottle, otherwise, security will make you throw it in the bin. An empty bottle can be easily filled right after the security check, and you will save around £2.50.
  1. The charger will save your life – I would say a book, but the book can only entertain you where the phone can play a role in you creating an emergency masterplan to get from point A to point B.

I will stop here even though I can go the whole night. But it is morning now at Bucharest, I have not slept in the last 19 hours, and now I need an emergency plan to save myself from guaranteed boredom.


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