She’s Got Her Ticket

I’ve always loved that Tracy Chapman song, “She’s Got Her Ticket.” The idea of a woman taking control and searching for something better, in spite of not knowing what she’ll find, struck me even when I was a child. I admired that woman.

She’s got her ticket.
I think she’s gonna use it.
I think she’s going to fly away.
No one should try and stop her,
persuade her with their power.
She says that her mind is made up.

Well, my friends, until another song becomes more relevant, this shall be my theme song – because I do indeed have my ticket. And now, more than ever, the success of my plan feels real.

My very first post, way back when I was dreaming all of this up, was about one-way tickets. After having purchased a one-way ticket to California, and then a one-way ticket to New York, I was setting my sights on a one-way ticket to the Netherlands. I had not much of a clue how I would accomplish this. Fortunately, like most other (seemingly) nutso plans I’ve set out to accomplish, saying it meant doing it. And now, almost a year later, I have a one-way ticket to Amsterdam.

I had been searching for flights for a few weeks, debating between direct flights and layovers, and investigating animal flying policies. Prices seemed reasonable, though primarily for the flights with layovers. And considering I will have my cat with me, a layover is a much less appealing option. But Iceland Air was looking pretty good. A stop in Reykjavik would be noteworthy. And it only added about two hours to the travel time. Plus, it was only $330. But looking further, they had only references to animals flying in the cargo section of their planes. After calling, that was confirmed. And no way Zora is going to be checked like luggage – even if it is temperature controlled.

Continental had the next reasonably priced ticket, and their flight from Newark to Amsterdam is direct. But they don’t take animals to Europe at all, not even in cargo. Not sure why they hate animals and the people who love them. But this took them out of the running.

KLM seemed pretty clear on their website – animals are welcome. Even with that, I was nervous that transatlantic flights would be an exception. But the guy on the phone assured me, at least three times, that Zora would be allowed in the cabin with me, as long as there was only one other animal booked on the flight. The odds that more than two people would be flying from JFK to Amsterdam on January 15th with animals in tow seem slim. I would even venture to guess I’ll be the only one. So although KLM’s flight was more expensive than the layovers and Continental’s direct flight, this was the chosen airline by process of elimination. It helps that I’ve flown with them a bunch of times and know they have nice planes, particularly those going to Europe.

Although I had chosen the airline, I still wasn’t quite ready to purchase a ticket. My Mom and her husband have offered to come with me to help with the move. So I wanted to line up our purchases to ensure she was okay with the flight as well. Plus, though the money is sitting in savings, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ready to be spent. It seems to enjoy sitting there, chatting with the other bills in the bank, networking and making friends. Who am I to prematurely rip the 600+ dollars from their home, especially so soon after they got there?

But at the same time, I felt nervous that prices would go up or the flight would suddenly fill up with cats and birds. After I checked flights again later that night, I saw that a few airlines had raised their rates by about $30. I freaked and pulled out my debit card. It was time.

I knew exactly which flight I wanted, and I knew which of those travel sites would give me the best rate (kayak.com). So I went right to it. Purchased it within ten minutes. And then I spent about an hour on the phone making Zora’s reservation. Patience prevailed, providing both of us with reservations on the same flight, sitting in the same part of the plane. And as with any large purchase of this type, it couldn’t have been so easy. There’s just this one problem: Zora needs to weigh 13 lbs. I’m pretty sure she weighs more. So we have a few months to get some weight off of her. But the lady told me as long as she promised to go on a diet, her reservation could be made (could you imagine how terrible it would be if there were similar policies for humans?). We were all set.

So that’s how I ended up with a one-way, direct flight on KLM from JFK to Amsterdam, leaving January 15th and arriving January 16th. And just so you know, it’s non-refundable.

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