GBF: How I missed my flight with a 3 hour layover

Australia, Thailand, The Good - The Bad - The Funny — By on March 15, 2011 11:59 AM


I emerged from my meditation retreat feeling relaxed, calm, and focused. Before I began the retreat I had no idea where my skirt would take me next. I was considering a few very different options, unsure of which was best. After seven days of silence and meditation my head was much clearer and I knew exactly where I should go next. The first stop of my new adventure plan would be back in Sydney where I would get to hang with my friend Karen from San Francisco who was there on holiday, meet up with my future travel buddy, and say goodbye to the city I love so very much. The rest of the plan will be revealed soon : )

Shockingly I was able to book a flight the following day by using frequent flyer miles. I had to move quickly to make the ferry off Koh Samui island to the mainland and back up to Bangkok in time for the flight. A short detour was also necessary to secure my brand new 2011 Cabrinha Switchblade kite that I will need for my next big adventure and was heaps cheaper to purchase in Thailand. The shop was out of the kite I wanted but located one at another shop and had it delivered to me at the Bangkok airport just in time for my flight. Everything was working out so easily and I felt great until ….


The flight attendant on my flight from Bangkok to Hong Kong dropped my laptop on the ground in her attempts to place it in the overhead compartment. My laptop still works but the left side is completely busted, making it difficult to properly plug in my charger, usb cords etc. I filled out a damage claim form with Cathay Pacific but I think it is doubtful I will be reimbursed. GRRRR


I managed to miss my connecting flight from Hong Kong to Sydney … and this is after a 3 hour layover!? When I arrived in Hong Kong, my gate was yet to be posted on the departure screen. Perhaps it was because I was distracted by trying to fix my busted computer but I never noticed until the flight attendant informed me that I was actually at the wrong gate! I was at the gate of a flight to Sydney on a different airline that just happened to leave at the same time my flight did.

Panic rose quickly inside me as I raced back to the departure screen where I once again saw only one flight listed to Sydney, which was the same one I had just tried to board in error. I ran to an info stand and the attendant was confused as to why my flight number was not listed on the board and suggested I go to Cathay Pacific’s help desk. I ran to the other end of the terminal and was informed my flight had just departed and that there was a glitch in the system that did not show my flight on the board. To confuse matters worse, they said they were unable to change my ticket since I was flying with a reward ticket from a partner airline and I would have to call that airline directly to change my ticket.

Long story short …. After 10 very frustrating hours spent in the Hong Kong airport I eventually was allowed on the last plane to Sydney.

Upon arrival in Sydney I went through immigration and was pulled aside by an officer who disappeared into a small room with my passport and cell phone. I had no idea why they asked me for my cell phone, nor do I know if it was legal that they went through all of my text messages apparently looking to see if I had any messages that implied I would be working in Australia instead of just visiting as a tourist.

These incidents stole my happy zen but I was happy once again when I saw my dear friend Karen and we had fun times together in Sydney!

To see photos from my most recent trip to Sydney CLICK HERE.

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