Miss a Flight

Have you ever missed a flight? Going to the airport only finding out that the plane has already left? Or some bizzare reason that forbids you from leaving the country?

Two weeks ago Vivian, Anna and I were departing Hong Kong to catch a flight to Taiwan. We were catching Dragon Air, and previously I have noted down from our itinerary that the flight would be 12:50pm in the afternoon. So we arrived the Hong Kong airport 2 hours early, as suggested by most airlines. We presented our passport and tickets to the check-in counter. That Dragon Air lady looked at us, looked at the ticket, took another look at her computer screen, looked at her watch, and then told us that the plane has already left. It turned out that the flight has shifted 2 hours earlier to 10:50am - only for that particular day of the week! The same flight has remained 12:50pm on the other days of the week, but our flight has changed!

We were annoyed. That was one problem of booking in your flight too early. We should have made confirmation before hand. Fortunately there were other flights to Taiwan on the same day, except we have to wait 6 hours in the Hong Kong airport. The new airport is nice and big with many shops and food plaza, but it was no fun wasting your day there. So we ended up catching the 7:40pm flight, and finally landed Taiwan at 9:00pm. Bad bad experience.

I came back to Sydney about a week ago, while Vivian and Anna enjoyed their extended holiday back in Hong Kong for an extra week. They should have caught the Cathy Pacific flight CX111 back to Australia this afternoon - but then I have just received a phone call - Vivian rang from Hong Kong, on the bus trip from airport going back home!

It turned out that her passport has expired! She was stopped at the check-in counter, and was not allowed to leave the country. Now she needs to quickly apply for a new HK passport, and hopefully there might be a vacant flight sometime next week so she can finally return back to Sydney. Having not see Vivian and Anna for a week, now I really really really miss them...

But the most scary thing is, Vivian's passport was not expired during that 1-week-long extended stay in Hong Kong. Her passport has long expired even before we have gone on holidays. In another word, for the last three weeks she has left Sydney, travelled to Hong Kong, left Hong Kong to Taiwan, and departed Taiwan for Hong Kong - all with an expired passport! Custom security? That surely makes those spy movies, where Mr. Bond can travel to any country with his dozen or so dodgy fake passports, much more believable...