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My Bangkok Stopover Nightmare!…Part 1

[ 6 ] February 18, 2011 |

It began as just another uneventful and boring plane journey arriving on time to Bangkok, clearing customs in a jiffy and just like every other trip standing around the baggage carousel in anticipation of getting my bags and getting out of the airport as quick as possible!  So there I was, another day, another airport standing wearily against my trolley hoping that my bags would be the first off so I could leave and get a proper sleep, laid down flat not bent awkwardly in an uncomfortable plane chair!  I stood there for what seemed like an eternity as one by one bags disappeared off the carousel and my fellow passengers went on their merry way to a comfortable bed… I was alone, just me standing by the carousel watching the same six bags go by, not one of them was mine.

Realising that it didn’t matter how much I stared at the bags and walked around the carousel the luggage wasn’t miraculously going to morph into mine.  My heart started to beat rapidly, my mind started racing as panic set in. WHERE WERE MY BAGS!!!  I anxiously walked over to the Bangkok Air Services Desk and told them that my bags were no where to be seen, “Are you sure they’re not there” the attendant asked.  What a stupid question!  Of course they weren’t there, I knew what my bags looked like, plus they were pretty distinct, a bright red backpack and a black suitcase with yellow pinstripes, hard to miss!

A few minutes later I got the dreaded bad news, while I had arrived in Bangkok my bags had decided to stay in Melbourne.  Some how connecting from the Canberra to Melbourne domestic flight they just never ended up on my international flight!  FANTASTIC! GRRRRR!  All I could do was fill in the paper work and hope my bags came in the next day.  With that over with I headed off to the airport hostel for hopefully a good nights rest!

But alas a good nights rest was not in the stars for me that night, kept awake by the worry of my lost bags and the loud sounds of the planes taking off and landing, by the morning I felt worse than I had the night before.  To add insult to an already un-ideal situation I had the sudden realisation just how much sh*t I was in.  One of my bags I had intended to be my international carry on but the twat at Canberra airport instead of just checking it through to Melbourne checked it all the way through to Bangkok.  Now that wouldn’t have been a problem If i hadn’t split my money like I always do between all three bags in the event that one was stolen, problem was I only had one of 3 bags and my Visa card was safely locked in the one still in Melbourne.  OH CRAP!  Here I was planning to spend a day at Ko Larn island about 3 hours from Bangkok, I was so desperate to go to the beach but alas I only had 1000 Baht on me and 200RMB for when I arrived back in Shanghai, on top of that I still had to pay the change fee for the flight I had changed a couple of weeks back.  Oh dear, it looked like I wouldn’t be making it to the beach after all.

I went back to the airport in hopes there would be some news on my bags, there was, and it wasn’t good.  My bags wouldn’t be arriving in Bangkok for a few days and by then I would already be in Shanghai.  Obviously there was no hope of rescuing my Visa card and extra money.  The only thing I could do was go pay the cancellation fee and hope I had enough left to at least spend the day not in the airport until my flight back to Shanghai that night.

"Airport of Smiles" I certainly wasn't smiling!!!

After walking around the check-in area forever trying to find the China Eastern rep who unhelpfully wasn’t at their help desk I finally found someone to pay the change fee.  Wondering what the damage was, the next thing she said was the last thing I expected or wanted to hear “Sorry Mam, you missed your flight.” WHAT THE!  SH*T!!! (This time I said it out loud) how did I miss my flight, it was tonight, how could I miss a flight before it had left!? “It left last night” she said, but how I was sure it was that night, that was the whole plan, to have a days stopover.  I stared at her in disbelief, clearly I looked shocked so she turned around the screen to show me.  Oh sh*t she was right, it had gone the night before.  Dammit in the confusion of re-booking my flight over the phone, when I said I wanted to leave on the night of the 16th at 2am It ended up being re-booked as departing at 2am on the 16th the night of the 15th. STUPID! I didn’t specify that 2am would actually be on the 17th, how could I have been so careless, why didn’t I double check, triple check.  I had no excuse for making such a stupid mistake, I was trained as a travel agent, I had booked connections countless times and never managed to screw up but for myself apparently I just couldn’t get it right! So there I was standing there with hardly any money, a flight to rebook and no clue what could go wrong next!

I could tell the China Eastern girl felt sorry for me, she looked at me in the way you pity an abandoned puppy.  She informed me that to rebook I’d have to call the reservations hot line on a payphone, she didn’t know how much I would be charged or if I’d lost all the money on the ticket, could I even afford to leave Bangkok!?  All I knew was this stopover was turning into my worst nightmare and all I wanted to do was be back in Shanghai in my own bed and venting my frustrations to my best friends.

…to be continued…

…Ok it’s cruel to leave you hanging! Read the conclusion here in Part 2!

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Category: South East Asia

About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include,, and now View author profile.

Comments (6)

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  1. Connie

    Oh no! It’s the worst thing after a long flight to discover that your bags aren’t there. I remember when I rushed back to California from Istanbul when my grandfather fell very ill. I was literally on the next plane out of my new home and had to make 3, yes 3 (!!!) connecting flights. I was fretting over my grandfather the whole way and when I finally arrived in San Francisco, my luggage was still in Italy! I swear, I almost cried!

  2. Rebecca

    This sounds like an absolute nightmare!! I’m so sorry you had to go through this :-(

  3. Stephanie


  4. [...] for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginWhen I last left you hanging in ‘My Bangkok Stopover Nightmare Part 1′ I was staring in horror and disbelief at the China Eastern Rep and Bangkok airport. A summary of [...]

  5. Sasha says:

    Wow Connie, sounds like you had quite the nightmare yourself! I never though loosing my luggage would be that big of a deal until in eventually happened to me! I still feel traumatized! I hope I don’t end up trying to backpack the world with on tiny backpack because I’m scared to ever check something in lol

  6. Sasha says:

    Oh the suspense! I swear I didn’t leave you hanging just for the fun of it! lol Here’s part two

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