I kicked off my summer travels on a high note when I left my apartment in Dubai. I was excited that I have two months off and minimum 8 countries on my list. And Ukraine was not one of them.

I had been to Ukraine before and there is nothing more to see in Kyiv for me. So going to other towns would be better. But people usually come to Ukraine for two reasons, the hot girls and titi bars and how cheap things are. Not this bull lists that active Ukraine puts up.

Of course Ukraine has a lot to offer and when you meet the right people here, it can be a wonderful experience.The Archetecute is marvelous by the way.

But it’s not always about the people because some of them can be very rude. Although that happens everywhere but for me, Ukraine, Romania and Russia top the list for the worst customer service. More on this later.

Ukrainian Airlines

Wow, just wow, the worst I have flown with. Let me start from the beginning. I left my house, met some friends who goodbye/see you in two months festivities.
drinks and vacation

Then off I was to the airport in high note. Everything went okay. I got on the plane and since I was tired, I fell asleep for short nap. I woke up, looked at my watch, the guy next to me nudged me a bit and said we were getting off the plane. I didn’t pay attention to the time but I know two or three hours had past.

I was thinking wow we landed already, sweet. But as I walked out of the plane following the group, I realized, holly shit I am still in Dubai. Panic mode but calm, I need answers.

We had to go through security again. We got to the counter. The one man staff, overworked yet polite, was explaining something in Russian.

When he switched to English, he said,“there is a problem with the airplane”. When pressed, he said there was a problem with the tire. We all thought bull because we waited an hour and the “tire” was still not fixed. Then another hour passed and nothing happened. People started to get annoyed by hour 6.

Why so annoyed?

I was trying to make it to a festival in Budapest. I made my reservations for the balaton sound festival. And trying to make it for a day of music and sleepless 4 days in a tent was proven difficult thanks to Ukrainian airlines. And I hate to keep people waiting and these guys were expecting me:

Balaton sound festival Budapest
Friends waiting at the balaton sound festival

Not only that, I was wasting a portion of my 200 Euro tickets plus tent and camp ground space purchase. So I was annoyed. I could have been very upset but I thought what’s the point! Because if an airline has one staff here to handle a problem that affects over 75 people, why would they give a rats ass about me and my festival?

It didn’t get better

Six hours of waiting became more, a lot more. The airline kept saying the plane was being fixed. So we waited. We became agitated and impatient as one would expect.

Nine hours into the ordeal and they finally started booking people into other flights with Emirates. The first people were called by name and sent off to a flight that was leaving in an hour thirty minutes, and so on and so on. Some people got to their destination eventually and made their flights. Some of us were not so lucky.

Yay I got a flight

He called my name and said there was a flight going direct to Budapest by Emirates airlines. I was like, yes finally I get to leave Dubai and begin my vacation.

It was about 7:50AM at this point. I arrived at the airport the night before at around 12:30AM; needless to say it had been a long night. Imagine the elation when I heard my name. But not so fast…..

I ran down stairs to the Emirates counter. The flight was scheduled to leave at 8:20AM so I had to hurry. I waited for the bus and got in and got down there at about 8:05AM.

The attendant took my passport to look me up in their system. She searched again, and again and I even had the supervisor have another person check and nothing.

The supervisor said, they (referring to Ukrainian Air) didn’t book you on this flight. I was crushed. Back to sitting and waiting again.

I got back in the bus and went through the security scan again. Even though they had seen me and others go through there from when they took us off the plane we had to go through it again.

Meet George

Met a guy named George who was helping the lone staff at the Ukrainian air. He was very very helpful in directing people and making sure they go the right way and take the bus to make their flights.

Another gentleman named Steve from Estonia was there as well who I got chatting with. He had been traveling for 36 hours before this ordeal. He had a 36 hour flight from the Philippines and was dead tired just to come and deal with this mess in Dubai.

But he wasn’t having it. He wasn’t going to let that ruin his fun since his vacation was over. He copied a couple that was super happy under the circumstances. The couple had been drinking the whole time we found out from George.

So like the couple, Steve went up to McDonald’s, ordered himself an apple juice, went to the duty free shop and made himself a nice drink too. And just like that we kept waiting.

Ukrainian Air Delays Flight
People making other plans and flight delay

I had been looking for other flights but nothing that would get me to the festival on time. Not many flights were going direct to Budapest other than the one that left from Emirates.

By the time I came up and told the guy that I was not booked on that flight like he said I was, the flight was closed and left already. And there was no chance getting to the festival on that day.

So, another five hours later with no hotel provided by Ukrainian air, we finally got a flight. The plane was finally fixed. Although I could not get to Budapest, we made it to Ukraine.

And once again began to wait because at the transfer counter, no one was there from Ukrainian air. 15-20 minutes later, a chubby looking girl shows up with little to no information. Eventually we asked her where to go and get help.

Steve and I went up stairs were sat this hottie who started by making fun of my pink phone, apparently Apple lied about this sol called rose gold iPhone. It looks pink to everyone but Apple.

After getting boarding passes from her and her being less than courteous with Steve although she kept making jokes with me, we left to another counter at Kiev Boryspil Airport. THat’s where we met another traveler, Anuj. A great guy and a fellow companion on our night out in Kiev.

We went out to check out a few places at the city center. It was plenty late and not much was going on. But we did end up at a Karaoke bar where we watched a guy embarrass himself not just in singing song after song he sucked at but also harass two young ladies that walked in and sat next to him and his friend.

We went to a few other places and then went back to the hotel. The next day, I boarded my flight to Budapest. And we were off finally.

You can see some photos at the festival on my facebook page and more will be uploaded later when I have internet again.

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Tate Nanje
Tate Nanje
I travel, teach, and invest to make a million dollars by the time I am 45. That's the mission. In the mean time, I enjoy life; traveling and seeing the world, teaching and giving back, seeing wonderful places, tasting awesome food, what could be better? A million in cash that's what. Follow me as I make this mission a reality and invest with me. I have 13 years to do it. Let's go!