I was waiting for the email. It had seemed too good to be true—a weekend trip away at the beach, flights and accommodation covered. But with all the back-and-forth negotiations, it just seemed like it was going to fall apart. And fall apart it did.
As a generally well-regarded travel blogger, I do get a lot of great opportunities. I know that. Sometimes they work out, other times, not. But when this beach trip failed, I was more than a little sad. It’s already September and summer is ending. The weather is Berlin has started to change—I’d already taken out my autumn jackets out of storage. So I was ready for a beach holiday—one last summer adventure.
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We were at my friend’s apartment for dinner, complaining about the fact our last chance for a summer holiday was quickly diminishing. Weather in Europe in September can vary widely. That’s when my friend recommended Germanwings’ Blind Booking option. None of us had ever done it before, though I’d seen it on their website and heard about it for ages.
We opened up the computer and checked it out. Seemed easy enough. You choose your departure airport and the potential travel dates. The on-screen instructions (in English, even!) make it really easy. You see a list of potential destinations after entering the airport you’re departing from. Flying out of Berlin, we had almost 15 different potential destinations, ranging from Rome and Venice to Stuttgart and Cologne. There were options in Spain and Croatia, and even Turkey. Of the list of possible destinations, you’re able to pay an extra 5€ to exclude an option—up to as many times as you want, so long as you leave at least three destinations remaining. Naturally, we paid an extra 20€ to exclude the options in Germany and Austria, ensuring a more summery locale for our September holiday.
Entering our data and credit card information, we were excited. My friend Nicole, witnessing all of this, was equally excited. Where would we end up? Our travel dates were only a few days ahead. We closed our eyes as I pressed the “Buy Now” button, letting Nicole see our winning destination.
It felt like we’d won the lottery. Paying just 91€ each for the tickets, we had scored round-trip tickets from Berlin to Barcelona. Better than any last-minute flight deal I could find on any of the other German travel websites. Normal rates for blind booking start at 66€ for a round-trip ticket, but to check bags, eliminate destinations or pay with a credit card (rather than debit), you’ll end up paying additional fees.
Still, I’d never been so excited to buy a plane ticket before.
The Germanwings Blind Booking system has been around for a while. It’s a handy way of filling seats and offering travelers a bit more excitement in the flight booking process. Blind Booking is only available in select destinations, and the process can vary depending upon your departure city (more options are available in their hubs, such as choosing the type of holiday you want whether it’s adventure, city break or beach holiday). If you search online, you’ll also discover there are some potential hacks to the Germanwings Blind Booking system—something about checking the web page’s HTML source code before purchasing to find the airport code of your destination. But honestly: the joy of blind booking is the excitement at not knowing where you’re going to end up. And then quickly having to determine what you’re going to do there, where you’re going to stay and what to pack.