Our transfer from Koh Tao to Bangkok was easily the nicest in South East Asia. We caught the Catamaran to the mainland then hopped on a coach where we were treated to 3 easy going action movies back-to-back [Expendables, Resident Evil – Afterlife and Salt] before eventually reaching a drop-off point 50 yards from our hotel.
The next day was our flight to Manila so we reached the airport nice and early and went to check in. The somewhat disinterested check-in attendant asked to see our onward ticket out of the Philippines. This was a bit of a strange request at check-in, but we thought nothing of it and explained that while we didn’t have one booked yet out of the Philippines we had a round the world ticket to connect with in Singapore.
Apparently this wasn’t enough; oh, but there’s an extortionate internet cafe at the other side of the airport [the very big airport] so we’d have to go and sort out a ticket.
Damn, OK. Cue a frantic run to the other side of the airport, the paying of ridiculous fees for access to the net, multiple unfathomable failed payment attempts [most likely due to poor websites flat-out refusing British cards being used from Bangkok] and an end result of an expensive flight booked from a major airline just to meet this “rule” that there’d been no mention of anywhere when booking the flight into the Philippines.
I eventually reached Fi who’d bolted back to the check-in desk to explain that I was in the process of paying for the ticket only to be told that check-in had closed.
We’d missed our flight.
Fi was understandably upset and I was fuming at the apparent new immigration / border control powers granted to check-in personnel. After quickly coming to terms with it we set about finding the supervisor for Tiger Airways.
We explained what had happened and the supervisor was very apologetic, helpful and polite – three things missing from the now nowhere to be seen check-in girl who was by now probably off stealing single socks from people’s laundry or pickling children – something else horrid to screw up someone else’s day I’m sure.
The supervisor explained that all she could do was move our flight on 2 days for free – we’d have to submit a complaint through the web for anything else. As I write this we’ve yet to hear anything.
We had little choice but to take that and return to Bangkok frustrated, angry, but resigned to the reality of the situation.
On account of this poor turn of events we resolved to spoil ourselves a bit and booked into a more upmarket spot – the Ecotel Bangkok. As always seems to be the case we were following in the footsteps of Rob & Gilly who’d stayed here on their second visit to Bangkok. It was a lovely spot and what we needed.
We didn’t do much during our unexpectedly prolonged time in Bangkok other than grab a few tasty meals [including a huge pizza fest] and chill out reading, writing and processing photos. Our return to Bangkok airport went much more smoothly and interestingly on our arrival at Clark airport in the Philippines we weren’t asked for proof of onward travel at immigration…