Oh, to get to Jakarta!
Saturday October 23, 2010
Never in my life had I experienced such a string of bad luck in a single day! And the irony is that it did not happen to me alone but to all three of us and on an important business trip!
Being rushed for time on this trip, I did not check the air ticket details as I usually do. Hence when I received the details for my flight, I just kept them till the day of departure. The flight was at 10am, but I arrived at the LCCT way ahead of time at 7am.
I went straight to the check-in counter. When my turn came, I handed my check-in information and passport to the attendant. He tried to check me in, but then he shook his head. Sensing something was amiss, I enquired what the problem was.
He replied, “Ma’am, I think your flight was not booked. And there are no seats left. The next flight is at 5pm.”
I panicked. We had not made the payment! Hence no flight! I checked the print-out and it stated the need to confirm payment. We had no choice but to take the next available flight to Jakarta — our meeting would start the very minute we landed. Later, we were told the 5pm flight had been fully booked and that we would have to settle on the 7pm flight!
Luckily, the attendant realised our urgency and suggested a faster route: fly to Singapore, then catch the 2.15pm flight to Jakarta. We’d be in Jakarta by 3pm.
We landed in Singapore, only to discover later that our flight to Jakarta would be delayed by an hour. And when we arrived in Jakarta, the bad spell started again. We were told at the immigration counter that we had filled in the wrong forms, so we had to walk 100m to the other side to get the correct ones. We filled up the forms again and when we reached the immigration counter, the queue had grown to 20-people long.
After we finally cleared immigration, we went to collect our bags. However, after 30 minutes the luggage still did not arrive.
We began to panic. We approached an officer who told us that our luggage had been left at the unclaimed luggage area. We rushed there, and there our luggage was indeed.
It took a while but in the end we did get out of the airport, and when we reached the hotel, it was, happily, one of the best we had had the pleasure of staying at. The next three days went smoothly for us.