Dilemma in Budapest

 

Towards the end of my European travels, I was thrown for a loop in what was one of the most stressful moments of my trip in one of my favorite cities- Budapest. I arrived at the airport three hours prior to departure of my flight to Istanbul, and went over to the ticket counter to both check my luggage in and get my boarding pass. After a few minutes crept by, I noticed that the rep for Pegasus seemed to have come across some sort of issue. She proceeded to explain to me that my passport had to have a minimum of 150 days prior to expiration in order to travel into Turkey. Being that I was just four days short of the minimum requirement, she apologized and explained to me that unfortunately she wouldn’t be able to provide me with my boarding pass, because if she let me into Turkey not meeting these requirements, not only would both the airline and I get fined, but I’d be flown back to Hungary at my expense. My heart dropped! How was this possible? I was only staying in Istanbul for 5 days! Baffled, I thanked her for her time, walked away, and started researching. What was I going to do? All my bookings, flights, hotels, and hostels would be affected by this unexpected occurrence. I immediately started looking for options, and navigated into the Turkish Travel website where it detailed the requirements for tourists. Then, I came across its golden statement noting that if one was to stay less than 90 days, one would be permitted to visit the country. Immediately, I rushed back to the counter of the woman who assisted me, and after she finished helping the client at her service desk, I showed her the information I came across. Hope set in; maybe I wouldn’t miss my flight after all? She made some calls to her supervisors and even called a Turkish rep to confirm the information I came across and after about 10-15 minutes, she told me that she would be able to give me my boarding pass, however, I’d have to get a Turkish visa upon arrival. Happily, I agreed! She instructed me to lay my luggage on the conveyor belt, and handed me my boarding pass with an hour and a half left until departure. I proceeded to walk towards security check point thanking GOD for helping me work it all out! For any future travelers going to countries abroad, make sure your passport has a validity of at least 6 months till expiration. It will save you headaches and trouble in your future escapades. I definitely learned my lesson!! ^_^

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