Would you ever book a flight to an unknown destination? Spontaneous and budget-conscious travellers can do just that by blind booking a flight with Eurowings, a low-cost airline subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group.
I first heard about blind booking a flight from my blogger friend Rachel. The idea is simple – you can select a German (or Austrian) airport of departure (Cologne-Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hannover, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Berlin-Tegel or Vienna), a selection of top European locations to potentially fly to, and your desired departure and return dates. Location categories include Culture, Party, Metropolis, Snow & Ski, Trekking & Hiking, Shopping and more. There are approximately 10 different locations available per category and include destinations such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Dublin, Stockholm, Paris, Rome, Prague, Budapest, London and more. There are also several German destinations included on each list, such as Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Leipzig, and Dresden.
Once you pick a category of destinations (let’s say, Culture), you can either leave all the destinations as possibilities or exclude certain undesirable destinations for 5 Euros per passenger per destination. You must leave at least 3 destinations as possibilities. Tip #1: If you plan to exclude a few destinations, make sure you browse the other available categories first since they may not include your undesired location(s), thus saving you from having to pay to exclude it/them from your original category choice. Tip #2: Research the Eurowings flight schedules from your desired departure airport in advance. For example, if Eurowings only flies to and from London on Mondays and Wednesdays from your departure airport, you won’t be getting London as your blind booking destination if you want to depart on a Tuesday and return on a Thursday.
You can only complete a blind booking within 45 days of your desired trip dates, so it’s really catered toward last-minute trip planners. Each flight is only 33 Euros per person each way (excluding add-on fees for eliminating certain destinations or for reserving a seat and checking luggage). It’s a fantastic way to travel to different European destinations, especially if you’re on a budget.
After doing a lot of research about blind booking, considering a few possible activities we could do in each destination, and researching flight schedules, we decided to throw a little caution to the wind and do our first blind booking with Eurowings!
Since we live near Stuttgart, it was an easy choice to select our departure airport. Stuttgart currently has 3 categories of destinations: Metropolis, Party, and Culture. All 3 categories offer excellent locations; Metropolis has 11 choices, Party has 11 choices, and Culture has 13 choices. After looking through all the categories and observing the differences and similarities in destinations (for example, Sarajevo, Leipzig, Dresden, Zagreb, and Vienna are in some categories, but not others), we decided to go for the Metropolis category. We only excluded one location, Brussels, a location we would normally love to go to but is currently listed as level 3 out of 4 for security threats. We could have excluded more destinations to narrow in on our top choices, but the flight prices can quickly add up this way and then it is no longer such a good deal. Tip #3: Consider the current climate of possible destinations available and your willingness to go to certain places. If you’d feel easier avoiding certain spots or really can’t imagine enjoying yourself there, exclude them from your list of possible destinations.
Since we researched the flight schedules of the destinations in the Metropolis category in advance, we knew we would have no chance of going to Rome since Eurowings currently only flies there on Fridays and Sundays from Stuttgart and we wanted to travel somewhere during the week. Therefore, we were down to only 9 possible destinations out of the initial 11 (having now eliminated Brussels and Rome as possibilities).
Once we selected our dates, we had the option of making seat reservations or adding checked luggage to our booking for a fee, neither of which we selected. With crossed fingers, we entered our payment information and pressed ‘book now’. Those 30 seconds of waiting to see where we would go were so nerve-wracking (but pretty exciting, I must admit)!
So where are we going?
Hamburg! I have to say, it wasn’t our first (or even second or third) choice, but we’re really excited to check out the city, the harbour and all the sights. We’ve already booked tickets to see the Lion King musical and noted down some recommended restaurants and cafés around Hamburg. We’re leaving for the airport in a few minutes (!) so I better sign off!
Are you interested in doing a blind booking yourself? Here’s some more information about blind booking a flight with Eurowings.
Do you have any recommendations of things to do or see in Hamburg? Our trip was so spontaneous that I didn’t have as much time to plan as usual. I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!
Have you ever done a blind booking? Where did you go? How was your experience?