Bangkok Will Never Let You Go Unharmed - Backpacker's Horror Story
My friend loved to say; Bangkok will never let you go that easily. I visited Bangkok twice before this unfortunate event, luckily I walked away unharmed, but not this time.
I arrived at the airport in Bangkok late at night for my early flight to Europe the next morning. So, I decided to spend the night at the airport instead of travelling from the city of Bangkok early in the morning.
That night, I barely slept because I already missed a flight the day before. I want to make sure that I will make it this time. I’m flying from Bangkok to Copenhagen with the connection in Helsinki. I walked into the check-in desk with confidence. With my surprise, the person behind the desk won’t let me in. My visa is valid from 10th of June but I was about to fly on the 9th of June. As a planner myself, I already made sure that this is alright, as when I land in Copenhagen, my visa is already valid. Unfortunately, the officers are not having it.
I was about to fly with Finnair and have asked them about this situation. That my visa is not valid yet when I land in Helsinki but it will be when I arrived in Copenhagen. They told it should be all good as long as I stay in the transit area.
The officers in Bangkok told me that there is no way this is possible. I tried to explain to them that I have to make it on time in Denmark as I need to make it to someone’s 60th birthday party and it was actually the airline’s mistake that they gave me wrong information.
With no luck, I walked away with tears in my eyes, heartbroken that I can’t fly that day and wasted at least 250 USD worth of the ticket. They suggested to me to book another flight for the next day which I did immediately.
I have no idea where I got the calmness when I message Finnair. however, they responded to me with apologies, admitting their mistake and the offer of re-booking the flight with 100 euros charge instead. I just rebooked it myself and paid 380 USD, I told them. Finnair asked me if I can cancel it, which I have no hope that it will be allowed.
Luckily, I was able to cancel it. But, the nightmare didn’t end there. Finnair wanted me to do a phone call to confirm the rebooking and to pay the 100 euros: Hell there is no way to make the phone call to Finland from Bangkok in a cheap and convenient way. I managed to get hold of them after spending more money and no luck that they could hear me. I have to ask my friend in Denmark to make the call for me. It worked! And now waiting for the email confirmation and the new ticket. It took a few more phone calls from Denmark and more than an hour shaking because of stress before Finnair managed to send the bloody email and ticket. The nerves were all over my body, even after receiving the confirmation, I couldn’t sleep.
The check-in time came, I stood 4th in the queue. I was shaking and can’t even stand on my feet. I can’t feel anything other than my heart beating fast and sweaty palms. When it was finally my turn, it wasn’t easy of course. They asked me tonnes of questions with suspicions. Sure they were just doing their jobs. I can remember myself have no emotion painted on my face, my mind wasn’t working, I didn’t have the energy to argue with them. I was ready to just walk away and forget about it if they deny me again.
To be honest, I guess they felt sorry for me, so they let me board this time. I stayed in Bangkok airport for 2 nights, even the staffs on the one and only shop there started to notice me keep coming back for 48 hours in their store buying frozen food.
I finally made it in Copenhagen and waiting for my train to leave, damn I don’t know what I have done to deserve all these, and the train was cancelled.
It was a distressful experience; I am literally traumatised and cannot imagine myself to be in any airport anytime soon. Oops, did I mention that I missed my flight from somewhere to Bangkok the day before? No, I actually didn’t miss it, again, the dickheads didn’t let me, board. But that’s another story.
-- Mary, Bangkok, Thailand 2016
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