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Overbooked flight – Why I was over the moon

Overbooked flight – Why I was over the moon

How an overbooked flight made my day


This has been a terrible week for the United Airlines and even worse for their unlucky passenger, who was assaulted and then dragged off the plane by force. Now Easy Jet made the headlines with a similar story – without the punching and dragging. A couple heading to Catania, Sicily, were ordered off the flight when it was overbooked. The airline staff then failed to explain their rights or offer these poor holiday makers any compensation, set in the EU261 regulation. EasyJet had failed to adhere to the correct  EU protocol from the start, as they hadn’t looked for volunteers, who would be willing to take the next available flight. But I want to write a happy kind of story about an overbooked flight. Yes, there are those examples too, when the airline has overbooked your flight and they are still able to make you feel amazing about it. Let’s hope the British Airways practice becomes the new overbooking standard in aviation.



Volunteering when a flight is overbooked


I rushed to the check-in desk at the Manchester airport, UK, and dug out my passport. Immediately I was asked if I would like to volunteer to take the next flight, as my first flight had been overbooked. Before I was able to show an irritated frown and decline their offer, they continued that I would of course get a 400€ compensation and an upgrade to business class, which meant that I could use the BA lounge. Now they got my attention.


I asked if I was still able to make it to Helsinki on that evening, as it was already late afternoon and I had a connecting flight via Heathrow. I was told that I will be put on the next flight, which means that I can still get home on the same day.

Products from

    This arrangement caused no inconvenience what so ever, but made me feel like I had just won the lottery. The reason I was so pleased was that I had booked a flight with a 4 hour waiting time at the Heathrow airport. The largest airports are probably those few places that can bring out the worst in me – the hoards of people boarding their Christmas flights, the queuing, the endless tunnels and just way, way too many people for my liking. Now I was presented with an opportunity to cut my waiting time at Heathrow and enjoy champagne and single malt whiskies at BA’s Manchester lounge. Of course I said yes.


    Flight overbooked or delayed: How much compensation am I entitled to?


    AMOUNTFlight destination & distance
    Compensation of € 250 (£ 182)For flights of up to 1500 kilometres
    Compensation of € 400 (£ 290)For all other flights within the EU
    Compensation of € 400 (£ 290)For flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres from or to an airport outside the European Union
    Compensation of € 600 (£ 436)For all other flights


    What you need to know about this compensation rule is that if you are not offered compensation at the airport due to a long delay or an overbooked flight, check your rights online but do not leave the airport. Ask to speak with a supervisor and make the arrangements there and then. Besides financial compensation, you may also be entitled to food, drinks or refreshments, emails, two free phone calls and hotel accommodation in some cases. Especially if you are travelling with small children, getting a hotel room is good practice. The airline must also put you on the next flight, regardless if it is their own flight or if it’s another airline. Airlines can no longer use the aircraft’s technical faults as an excuse for extraordinary circumstances to avoid paying compensation. Unfortunately, they can still avoid paying out by claiming the delay was due to bad weather. 



    What you should do if the airport staff declines your delayed or overbooked flight compensation



    If the airport staff don’t offer you these and you meet the criteria set out in the EU261 regulation, save all the receipts for the purchases like refreshments, food and hotel accommodation.  You can still claim these costs back from the airline, as long as the airport staff had made a mistake and you were entitled to them after all. It’s still best to deal with the issue at the airport. And please, try to keep your cool at all times. The staff usually want to genuinely help you, so try to make it easy for them. It’s likely that you get better treatment if you are a likeable customer. Delays or overbooked flights are not the fault of the check-in staff, although they often get the blame. So how did my own overbooking ordeal end?



    sandwiches at the Manchester airport VIP lounge


    How my overbooking incident ended


    In the end, I made it to the same connecting flight I was meant to be on anyway, so I had just bagged myself 400€ in cash and avoided the Heathrow waiting time. Instead, I chilled at the airport lounge eating through plates of those tiny, little sandwiches that were there to tell me “now have some more champagne and forget about that silly little overbooking blunder”! That’s how an airline should aim to make their customers feel, when the airline is to blame. I felt they valued me as a customer. And I did not complain about the business class upgrade either!


    Since being treated so royally by an airline – which feels like a change to all of those times when my hand luggage was weighed and measured again at the gate when I’m just about to board –  I have appreciated the cash compensation I’m entitled to, as an EU traveller. I will usually offer myself to be transferred, with compensation, to a later flight, if it fits my schedule. If you want to stay in Rome, Paris or Barcelona for an extra night, you need to be the first in the check-in queue! Even if you have checked in online and only have hand luggage, I really recommend speaking to the check-in staff to see if there is an overbooking. If you casually drop in that “the transfer is no problem if they are able to offer business class”, often within Europe we can strike a deal there and then. However, this highly depends on the airline. And if you choose to try out this strategy, it may become handy to refer to the “EU 261 regulation” which states your rights. You can also ask to speak with the check-in manager. As long as you do it in a friendly manner, the check-in staff is likely to want to help you out. Regardless, however, you have a case and you should always exercise your passenger rights. It won’t matter whether you are a citizen of the USA, Singapore, Nigeria or China. As long as your fight stars or ends up in Europe, you have rights.


    I once had a curious conversation at the New York La Guardia airport. I sat next to a guy whose flight was severely delayed. I mentioned “at least you can now cash in”. The look on his face was similar to the meme “conspiracy Keanu” from the Bill and Ted movie. He had no idea what I was talking about. I retreated whispering “ooohh it’s maybe a Europe thing…”.. So at least we now know where it’s best to get screwed over by an airline. Right here on the old continent! So you Americans, memorize the mantra “EU 261 regulation” and look after yourselves over here!


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    Look what I just found! Cheap flights for 5€


    I wanted to give you guys a quick tip for cheap flights: I have found this site called Volotea that sells tons of flights for 5€ within Europe. What’s interesting is that they have opened lots of new routes that haven’t been well covered before. This opens up many more holiday options straight off the bat.


    There are flights for the following countries:

    United Kingdom







    Czech Republic









    Volotea is selling 1 million flights for 5 € so check out where you could fly to next!



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    How to improve your Uber rating and why you should do it

    How to improve your Uber rating and why you should do it

    Follow these simple steps to check your Uber rating

    It’s no secret that as a passenger, you are being rated by the Uber and Lyft drivers. But why does it pay off to try and improve your Uber rating? It’s simple: you are more likely to be accepted as a customer even when it’s very busy due to bad weather or when a big event, like a football match or a concert has just finished. We hate nothing more than waiting too long to book after an event has finished and then watching the Uber waiting time jump from 5 minutes to 45 minutes! These are the moments when you really need to have a five star passenger status.

    If the driver gets a request during a peak time from a customer whose rating is below 4.5, for the driver it may be better to skip this customer and wait for a better one, as in big cities you will get the next request within 30 seconds and this time, it will be from a better customer. Passengers with the rating of 4.8 or higher are more likely to be on time and more polite. But as Uber doesn’t exactly advertise your own rating to you, how can you know how many stars out of five you have? Here’s how. 

    Dream Work And Travel: Uber rating.

    How can I check my Uber passenger rating?

    1. Go to your app
    2. Go to help  > Account and Payment > Account Settings and Ratings > I’d like to know my rating
    3. Click submit
    4. A pop-up will open up with your rating out of five stars

    What is the average Uber passenger rating?

    The average Uber passenger rating is 4,8 stars out of 5. If you have 4,5 or below, it is an indication to the drivers that other drivers have had problems with you in the past. Usually being late is a quick way to get a poor rating, as waiting equals loss in earnings for the driver. Another pitfall is cancelling the ride. Next, I will tell you exactly how to improve your rating, so you get great drivers quicker in the future.

    How can I improve my Uber rating?

    You can improve your Uber rating easily, if you take a moment to consider how you can help the driver get through their day. If you are a courteous and prompt person that looks after personal hygiene and have some manners too, you are off to a good start. Here’s my tips how to improve your Uber rating:

    • Be on time: it’s much easier for the driver to find the right location, if you are standing by the road when they pull up. It’s not difficult to estimate the car’s time of arrival, as you can see it on your screen. Making the driver wait equals loss in their earnings, so being late is a sure way to decrease your Uber rating
    • Update your phone number in the app – it’s impossible for the driver to get a hold of you without the correct number
    • If the driver helps you with heavy luggage, it’s courteous to thank them
    • It’s polite to ask how the driver’s day has been. Sometimes the driver is not in the mood for a chat, so it’s OK to leave the small talk there, if neither of you feel up for it. However, chatty passengers tend to get higher ratings
    • Leave your wet umbrella on the floor so you don’t get the seat wet
    • Don’t drink alcohol or eat in the car out of courtesy
    • Even if you are heading to a party, try to avoid yelling with your friends, as it can be incredibly annoying to someone who has done a 16 hour shift and is heading home to sleep
    • It’s not a good idea to bring your pet along
    • Sometimes if you have smoked outside when the car is approaching, your stench can actually be smelled by someone who is not a smoker
    • When you book an Uber, stick with your booking! Don’t just hail down a cab if you see one. Cancellations can affect your rating
    • Kids fighting in the backseat can also lower your rating. How to avoid this is however a whole different matter.  Unfortunately I have no instructions how to make the fighting between two young siblings stop!

    Get your first Uber ride free

    If you are new to Uber, just download the app and use this promo code to get your first Uber lift free: ks1k1ue

    Book your hotel


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    Taxis in Turkey – what you need to know


    Holy cow! I just realised what I need to pack

    Holy cow! I just realised what I need to pack

    Oh for the love of God… Not this again

    I think it´s best to start this blog post by explaining our situation. We are a couple from Northern Europe, who have spent a varying number of years in the UK. A while ago we moved from two cities in the UK to New York. However, we found that commuting two hours per day, stuffed in a Metro like a sliced tomato in a BLT sandwich, was no fun. So it was time to pack and go. We moved back to Europe again. We have now enjoyed the Mediterranean island of Malta for almost a year, but to our horror we are nw getting the “10 month itch” again. And so we decided to fast forward our next international move date from October to June. We both agreed on the reason for another international mammoth move: “Why the he** not?”


    The trip that requires creative packing

    Just when I would need to be home arranging the house move, I’m taking off to travel through 6 countries, all on low budget. The challenge is that my trip includes very differing locations, weathers and events. This means that I have to be creative with how I pack for the trip. I must also resist the temptation to pack things that I’m not 100% sure I would desperately need.

    So the first destination on this “Grande Tour” is a one-night stop over in Istanbul, Turkey. I mentioned Istanbul in my blog post as one of Europe’s most affordable capital cities to visit. The idea is to pack the overnight essentials in my hand luggage, so I can leave everything else in the big suitcase, which stays with the airline whilst I stay in the city. This leg of my journey should therefore be relatively easy.

    Next up is one of the Northernmost countries, Finland. I will arrive at the Malta airport wearing shorts and flip-flops and will dress up in my Michelin Man jacket shortly after. My weather app suggests that the degrees in Finland may plummet down to +4C, which is in 39F. Can you see why I’m dreading the moment when I book the airport taxi? That is exactly the moment when I will find out whether lifting those weights at the gym helped me shut my suitcase zip and wrestle the beast downstairs, or not.

    Next, I need to have a quick stopover in Stockholm, Sweden, as this is one of the few countries in Europe that sell Snus tobacco legally. Having showed my face in this beautiful kingdom of the North, I head to the UK next. Where exactly, I don´t know yet. I´m meeting my partner and attend an event they are creating, which should take place somewhere in the North of England. From the hot, sunny climate of Malta, I have run past a couple of Nordic and Scandinavian countries and are about to land the soil of a not-so-tropical, drizzly island.

    But what´s this? Am I about to get lucky with the weather? No rain and +23C (73F) degrees in London? I checked the weather app and felt my mood elevate.


    Check out how warm it is in London (Lontoo)! I'm sure I'll enjoy the parks and beergardens in the North of England too!

    Check out how warm it is in London (Lontoo)! I’m sure I’ll enjoy the parks and beergardens in the North of England too!



    To make absolutely sure, I added the Northern city of Leeds on my weather app and stared at the forecast. Surely the Leeds weather could not be far behind. It was a good idea to pack those flip-flops, after all!


    …You MUST be kidding me.


    Leeds is 12 degrees colder than London! Good bye, beer garden...

    Leeds is 12 degrees colder than London! Good bye, beer garden…


    By this time, I have gone from flip-flops to woolly shirts to rain jackets and rubber boots. What could possibly be next?

    From the UK we continue our tour to Barcelona, where we will spend 3 weeks looking for an apartment. Finally we can bring out the sunglasses again! By this time, I have worn the same outfits for a month and have another month to go, before heading back home. I´m sure we will enjoy Barcelona to the fullest, but I cannot buy one thing there for myself, as anything we buy will have to be carried in a suitcase to our next two destinations, to Malta, and then back to Barcelona again, before I will own some storage space to put our socks and shirts in.

    Before we know it, it is time to take off to the country number five.


    Bucharest – Romania

    We have been invited to a wedding in Romania, which I’m sure will be fabulous! It’s our first time there and from what I’ve learnt, Bucharest is the most affordable capital city destination in Europe. I think I even thanked my friend for marrying there! We will also travel up to Transylvania for a few days. I must remember to pack my camera and get some amazing photos to share with you!

    With the un-arranged international move looming over our heads, we should feel a sting at the back of our minds by now, as it is getting really close to our moving date, and we still have the whole apartment to pack. By this time, we have only 1-2 weeks left to arrange the removal or courier company, make a ton of calls, pack up the whole apartment and leave the country. To be fair, we have done it in a matter of couple days before, so this should be a piece of cake, right?


    Calling for reinforcements

    When I’m typing this, it becomes more evident that I’m facing a mammoth task of packing the right things for hot and cold, a funeral and a wedding. I will also be zigzagging with the suitcase all across the continent, yay! Honestly, there’s nothing less appealing to me than dragging that suitcase and getting lost in the city centre, whilst trying to navigate around the city with limited wifi access. I think it’s time to call for reinforcements. I’m calling this company called SendMyBag that will deal with my monster suitcase for me. I just need to get myself from one country to the next, and my suitcase will follow from door to door. The reason I’m using them is that their services may be the same price as Ryanair’s luggage fees anyway, but it saves me a ton of hassle. Have a look at their website here – getting a quote for your luggage or parcel should take only seconds. These guys saved me blood, sweat and tears many times!


    Read also:

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    Don’t travel without this app – WiFi password finder

    Don’t travel without this app – WiFi password finder

    How to get the wifi password anywhere

    When you are on the road, you need free wifi even more than you’d be using at home, as you are making route plans, buying tickets, booking hotels or navigating the streets with the help of Google Maps. Usually I just buy a ‘pay as you go’ -sim card if I’m staying for a week, or try to manage with a couple of guaranteed free Wifi’s: those of the banks, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, if I’m in the US. But wouldn’t it be nice if you had an app that unlocked all the wifis in the public places, like cafes, hotels and restaurants, without going in and actually asking for that password? Of course I recommend buying a coffee from such a place, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or patience to queue up. How to get wifi password anywhere? Here’s what you can do! I’ll tell you about my favourite free wifi password finder.


    Free wifi: how to get wifi password anywhere and cheap flights anywhere


    Free wifi password finder – Free wifi passwords

    How it works

    Here is how to get wifi password anywhere. This free wifi password finder contains up to 100 million WiFi hotspots and passwords. These passwords are added by app users and you can also contribute by adding the password into the app when you find a new one. Type in the name of the city of choice and the WiFi connections will come up. The WiFi spots are shown on a map, which you can move and scroll. You can then just choose the nearest connection and get online there and then. What motivates app users to help others by adding wifi passwords then? They can also store these passwords in the app for themselves to use at a later time. Brilliant.


    The app WiFi Map Free found thousands of WiFi passwords in Barcelona city centre

    Here’s all of the WiFi connections with passwords the app found for me in Barcelona city centre.


    A newly added feature allows the user to filter only the recently added hotspots on the map, which means that the password is more likely to be up to date. The app also monitors all devices that are currently connected to the same hotspot you are using. You can evaluate the security level, detect any intruders and resolve network related issues. There’s also a real-time customer support team to answer all of your questions. But does this free wifi password finder really work offline? How is that possible?



    One might think that you’d need wifi to be able to use such an app, right? Not necessarily. As long as you are connected to a wifi before you travel to the next destination, you can also make the app work for you offline. All you need to do is to find the city you are going to be traveling to and view and scroll around the map. That’s all you need to do, as the app can now work there too without an internet connection.

    The app is free to use, although there are some in-app purchases. At the time of writing this article, WiFi Map had almost 360 000 downloads and its rating in Google Play Store was 4.3 out of 5. You can opt out of seeing any ads. The app is available for iPhones and Android devices.


    How to get wifi password anywhere and how to get cheap hotels anywhere


    My Experiences using the wifi map – free wifi

    I wanted to test how the app performs when I’m actually completely offline. I had opened and scrolled around the app the previous day using a home wifi connection. I tested the WiFi Map – Free WiFi app in Malta, Europe, in the city of Sliema. My expectations were not high, as even Uber hasn’t set foot there. To be perfectly honest, I expected to find maybe 10 wifi hotspots with partially expired passwords. You can imagine my happy surprise, when I saw this:


    Wifi Map screen shot


    The map was full of available free wifi connections. Where I was sitting I had multiple options to log on with. I saw the top connections but wanted to test the app by choosing a wifi option lower down in the list. I chose Subway. And there it was! The password was a random list of numbers, something I could never have guessed. I copied the password and changed to my phone’s list of available wifi connections. I chose Subway World and logged on. And the free wifi password finder worked fantastically.

    After this part of my test, I walked into the Subway, bought a nice big Italian BLT (which was really nice) and kept surfing. I even spotted the same wifi password there at the checkout too.

    I really love this wifi password finder and I hope you will too! I hope you have found this article useful and have learned how to find wifi password anywhere. Please leave your comments, I’d love to hear what you would like to read about next!


    Are you interested in DropBox discount codes?

    If you are looking for DropBox discount codes or maybe a free lift with Uber or a free money transfer with Transferwise, read this.


    Read also:

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