March 01, 2008
The Bangkok Airport, Thailand
My bad flight luck continues….
First, I’ll mention that all is well and I will be on my way home today. Just not as I thought, on the flight that I thought, etc. etc. etc. I’m in the Bangkok airport right now killing a little time after spending a few hours figuring this mess out.
So get into the airport this morning early enough – check-in, check baggage, make it through passport control, security, into the boarding area when the ticket lady comes up to me asking for my ticket saying it was booked wrong in the system. I’m on a Japan Airlines flight though my ticket was booked and confirmed mind you through Northwest (NW frequent flier miles were used). About 30 minutes of Japan Air trying to find my ticket number, asking me a million questions, calling NW airline who apparently they don’t have a contract with and hence can’t book frequent flier tickets through and so nope, can’t get on the flight. I attempt to buy my ticket for let’s just say way too much money but all I want at this point is to get home and my credit card is declined. Stupid me!!! I forgot to call my credit card company ahead of time to tell them I’d be in Bangkok. And the first time I used the cc was abuot 30 minutes earlier to buy breakfast since I have no more cash on me. So apparently that set off the restriction on the card.
Anyway, they de-board my luggage and escort me out of the boarding / gate area to the NW ticket counter which has no one there. The nice lady from Japan Air feels bad for me and let’s me use her cell phone since mind you I have no credit card and no cash to call out with. Get ahold of NW and they give me many moons of run arounds and try to get me on another flight out on a sister airline…. you know, one they actually have a contract with. But it’s Sunday and this is Thailand and so none of the systems are open. A long while later and they determine all flights out today are full. So they book me on a 6:00am flight out tomorrow… which they can get me as far as Toyko on but the flights into the States are overbooked. I won’t have an actual ticket until I arrive at the airport tomorrow morning when the ticket counter actually opens (3:00am). So this is getting better and better you see…. I MAY get out of Bangkok sometime in the next day or so but in-between then and now it’ll be wonderful if my CC could work since no one takes debit.
So first thing I do is get $$ out of an ATM for security purposes. And then find my way to the information desk to determine that yes, there is ONE flight out to LAX today on Thai airlines. Full well knowing my CC doesn’t work I still go to their ticket counter. Apparently the flight is closed. Great – but then they get a few supervisors over (something about a stranded blonde in the middle of bangkok that looked like she was going to pass out may have spurred a bit of sympathy) and determine that yes, there are seats and 30 minutes later they have it authorized for purchase. OH… but my CC doesn’t work. I have them hold the flight and rush out to the payphone praying my debit card will work. It doesn’t of course on the first phone. Buy a card for the next phone, doesn’t work. Finally I’m able to locate a working pay phone and my debit thankfully works. Call home to mom just in case I’m not able to get through to the credit card company to let her know i’m okay but the line drops (don’t know if you got that call or could even here me, mom, but yes, I’m safe 🙂 And then finally get ahold of the CC company. Whoow… they lift the restriction… back to Thai Airline. I book the flight for $1,500 LESS than I was going to pay Japan Airlines (I know, it was almost an irrationale purchase). But I’m just glad to be getting out of here today with a booked ticket and confirmed seat. Of course… you just never know!!!
Okay… more about Bangkok and the rest of my time later.