Have you ever felt excited going home from a long trip? Can hardly wait to smother your husband and son with hugs and kisses? That’s what I felt going home for my first roster break working overseas. The feeling was exhilarating.
Vacation was over, you still don’t want to go back to work but have to. Your body felt heavy anticipating the long trip back to work that you need to endure.
You will probably agree that in traveling, you can never really tell what will happen, what to expect.
So what really happened?
I missed my flight Bangkok to the Philippines
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are alone in a foreign place, surrounded by foreign people, missed your flight home, ATM card not working, no credit card, and cash on hand not enough to buy a new plane ticket home?
It was overwhelmingly terrifying.
The thing is, I did not ask if a one and a half hour interval between flights in that airport would be enough to check in to my next flight.
Yeah, right? I was ignorant. I had to admit that. It was my first time, remember (reasons!).
Standing there, looking at the counter screen reading the word “closed” in bold letters. The impact of the situation hit me. I felt like fainting and crying all at the same time in that crowded airport.
I anxiously walked around the departure area of Suvarnabhumi Airport a dozen times thinking what to do.
Thankfully, the airport has a 6-hour free internet so I had ample time to contact family and friends to share the bad news and who would care to help me out.
What was agonizing was all of them are busy with work, so I had to wait who can book me a ticket first.
An hour before my free internet expires, the staff in charge with our company booking replied to my messages and nonchalantly booked me a new one. I said a thousand thank you prayers to my guardian angel to that very fast response.
Time was ticking, 15 minutes before my internet expires, I received the copy of my new itinerary.
So thrilling, right?
My connecting airline cannot find my luggage
I have the option to pick up my luggage in Bangkok or let my connecting airline pick it up for me after I check in to their counters, I chose the later.
I will not pass immigration anymore so I will have a lot of time before my next flight.
I was thinking. Yes, window shopping galore!
Then comes boarding time, as I showed my ticket to board, the airline staff informed me they cannot find my luggage.
My first-time airport travel fail came back and hunted me. Why was I so lucky?
He asked me to show him pictures what my bag looks like so they can easily locate it, but I don’t have one.
He was then quick to run me through the mechanics of lost luggage and confidently reassures me they will find it.
That made me feel better. Wouldn’t you?
So there. The next day, instead of taking the first bus going to site, I went to the airport to hopefully collect my bag.
But my bag was still missing.
These setbacks will not affect me anymore, I told myself as I was trying to remember what was in the bag.
Then I remember the 2 kilos Lechon paksiw requested by my Pinoy colleagues.
Oh! What a waste!
But what can I do? Of course, just forget about all the food in there.
I consoled myself that it’s only a bag and a lot of food (that paksiw and canned goods).
The confident staff was not bluffing though after a week they found a bag in the lost-and-found section, tags nowhere to be found. The bag was mine.
I never expected those things to happen to me, maybe I was just lucky to be unlucky. Though my horrible airport travel experience really made me feel like a hundred percent idiot (ignorance is not an excuse, right?), frustrated and miserably that time, I thought about the bright side.
At least it’s just a missed plane, at least its just lost baggage. I can now laugh thinking about it now.
One thing though that was hard for me to forget about the first experience was, I fully shouldered the expenses of that second ticket. Therefore, ignorance has a price. And it is expensive.
How about you? What were your horrible airport travel experiences you can’t forget?
About the Writer:
Argel Mugot is a full-time mom to her 2 sons. She loves writing and crocheting in her free time. She is currently taking up her master’s degree focused on research to improve her writing and research skills