I learned something very important about air travel while in the Seychelles. We’ll get to that later.
From Mauritius, I flew on Air Seychelles. It was rather uneventful, which is how I like my flights.
Visiting Seychelles is in no way cheap, from my experience. First, you are prohibited from taking suitcases or large bags on the bus, so that means you must take a taxi. The taxi was 35 euros to my airbnb (plus 35 back to the airport). Already 70 euros without doing anything in a country where most people are quite poor.
I had booked an airbnb and found it not as great as advertised. Imagine every house of every friend who’s living on her/his own for the first time. Everything is piled up in the kitchen, lawn chairs as the furniture, etc. No wonder the only pics were from the outside and of the bed. The hospitality was ok, and it wasn’t bad, just not great.
We did watch a World Cup game that night, which was fun.
In the morning, I walked around a ton (which included a steep hill for where the house was!).
That afternoon, I learned something intense about air travel. Upon returning to the airport for my flight to Comoros, there was no check-in counter for Turkish Airlines. I’d booked a flight with United points, they put me onto a Turkish flight from Seychelles to Comoros, and I was pumped for my 100th UN country. Alas, it was not to be. I found the office for Turkish Airlines, and a SUPER RUDE manager informed me about 5th Freedom. 5th freedom is essentially an agreement where an airline operates from country A (home country, Turkey) and has a flight from country B (Seychelles) to country C (Comoros) that doesn’t ever pass through its home country. Turkish does not have 5th freedom rights protected by Seychelles or Comoros and cannot accept passengers for only this part of the flight. You have to get on in Istanbul, stay on the plane when it stops to let some people off in Seychelles, and then continue on to Comoros. That’s the only way to ride this plane. They refused to let me board and acted like it was my fault I had this ticket.
After a bunch of arguing with the manager, arguing with airport customer service, and calling United (who were going to just cancel my ticket and give me back the points, which didn’t really help my situation), I decided to skip Comoros after using the airport wifi to realize how difficult it would be (and expensive!!!) to get a ticket to Comoros via another country leaving ASAP. Instead, I rerouted my United points ticket to skip Comoros and fly via Tanzania to Uganda. However, that couldn’t happen until the next day.
So, I jumped on hotels.com, found something near the airport that wasn’t the airbnb from the previous night (looking back, I’d forgotten my watch there and should’ve returned!), and called for their pickup service. Surprise, another 20 euros!
The hotel was gorgeous, peaceful, had mediocre wifi, and had great service. I tried to just relax and calm down.
The room had one of the biggest bathrooms I’ve ever used.
After starting a request for a cancelation exception with hotels.com for my Comoros hotel, I walked down the hill and explored.
Later that night, the guest house owner? manager? felt bad about my situation and the fact I was the only guest, so he offered me a ride with him and his friends into town to go grocery shopping for breakfast stuff in the morning / have something to do. It wasn’t excited, but it got me out doing something other than being sour.
(side note: hotels.com policy is that, no matter what happened, the hotel has to accept your cancelation, of course the hotel in Comoros didn’t ‘accept’ my last-minute cancelation for 5th Freedom laws, and so hotels.com says this is somehow my fault. Their customer service is worse than awful, and I’ll never use them again.)
The next day, my taxi was late picking me up for my flight to Uganda, and I was quite stressed, because I had no desire to have another airport issue trying to leave Seychelles. Seychelles is beautiful, but it’s super expensive, and I didn’t have the greatest experience.
Off to Uganda for # 100.This entry was posted in Africa, Seychelles