When the world stands still, it is difficult to imagine the speed we were going before. After four days and nights trying to find possible flight option from Vilnius to Cancun and flights disappearing every minute from the list, I managed to book the most direct flight option Vilnius to Cancun. This consisted of: Frankfurt (night wait); London (day and night wait); Amsterdam (day wait); to finally, my ultimate destination of Ciudad de México, Cancun. I am keeping my fingers crossed that one of them or all won’t be canceled!
Leaving Vilnius, I managed to get a place on the first flight leaving Lithuania after quarantine and it was with lots of precaution. Before entering the airport, I was greeted with a person fully suited in antivirus clothing who checked your tickets; then you passed by the temperature check with a doctor. Staff were checking the documents to prove that every traveler was on the way to their “home” destination, for work or study only. Without a doubt, they were ready to refuse people from continuing. As a villa owner in Tulum traveling for work, they allowed me to proceed.
Then the personal check-in and luggage check was conducted as usual; waiting for the flight you could do some duty-free shopping, buy a book and /or some snacks. Boarding the plane was normal, which surprisingly, was full with only one seat open. However, wearing face mask covering-fully over your mouth and nose-during the entire flight was obligatory. Landing in Frankfurt in the evening meant we had to wait all night for the flight the next morning. The other two flights by Lufthansa to Amsterdam and London were only available the following morning. Exiting the plane, there were two German police officers giving forms to fill-in for the quarantine for all the people staying in the country.
For the overnight leg of a flight, if you have a hotel booked in Frankfurt, I recommend to do so in advance to have a place there. I observed that people who had hotels booked were able to leave the transit zone and go to sleep in the hotel nearby. There is a basic hotel with only bed in the room and small shower inside the transit zone, but be careful as the prices are double. This time it was full, so lots of people didn’t even had a chance.
Waiting in the airport wasn’t that bad: the coffee shop was working till almost 1 am and opened 5 am, so you could have a hot drink or beer and a sandwich. The workers in the airport not all have masks, but it’s obligatory to have masks for the travelers. Lufthansa on each flight also was giving a bottle of water and a vegetarian sandwich with cheese and roasted veg to suit everyone’s needs.
After we landed in London, there were barely any customer service agents, so I had to find answers myself. Also, baggage storage also was closed as “unnecessary service”. The famous London phrase “Mind the gap” now has a different meaning: people run away from you even 6 feet if you try to ask something. This was only half of my journey, heading home to Cancun, and then Tulum to my villa (Playääkun villa).
Words and Photos: Ruta Ule @Playaakun