Saturday, August 9, 2014

July 2014 Travel Adventure: Part 1 (Missing Our Flight)

Many friends had been asking us how we managed to miss our flight for our recent family trip to Siem Reap in July, so here's what happened and our answer to the million dollar question, or rather the $460 question.

Having 4 kids, we really have to plan way in advance when it comes to family outings.  It's terribly costly just for the flight alone as it's no longer just a pair of tickets for a family trip.  I grabbed a Jetstar deal last year which had saved me probably about 40% as compared to booking the tickets later, but that meant booking at least half year in advance.
Fast forward to 22 July this year, the kids woke up happily in the morning, knowing that it's a holiday instead of a school day.  We got off to a great start and arrived at Changi Terminal 1 without any incident, in record time.  It is also the first time in my life that I arrived so early before a flight and did an early check-in!

Steffi posing in the Sunflower Garden at Terminal 2
Leroy having a go at posing too... awkward...

With lots of time to spare, I recalled reading about the fun places in Changi that other parent bloggers wrote about.  So off we went, taking in the sights and we even managed to have a leisurely lunch.  We visited the various gardens, took lots of photos and the kids were ecstatic!  Soon my wife needed to express her breast milk and we had to look for a family room with a power point.  We found one rather quickly and she did her stuff with Leroy and Stacci inside while I went for a walk nearby with Steffi.

We even had time to check out the Absolut bottles...
When I sensed that it was taking way too long, I hurried my wife a little as we were at the wrong terminal.  My wife was still saying we still have time after coming out of the nursing room, but nevertheless we doubled our pace to get to the sky train back to our departure terminal.  That's when the kids exclaimed that they needed to use the toilets too!  With the clock ticking, I took out our boarding passes, and realized there was no indication of gate number on it as we did an early check-in!
Luckily the flight departure details were everywhere in the terminal, but for some weird reasons, I looked at the departure gate number for Phnom Penh instead of Siem Reap and ended up at the extreme end of the wrong side!  When we finally arrived at our departure gate, the plane was still there but we were denied boarding.  The Jetstar staff calmly walked over to us and told us with a nice smile that he is sorry and cannot let us board.  He seemed to be enjoying his moment and doesn't seem the least sorry (for us that is).

Anyway we were led out of the departure terminal and I had to retrieve my luggage which was thrown out from the plane.  With my luggage, 3 kids and a wife hanging around the departure terminal in front of our favorite Jetstar counters, with no flights to Siem Reap till 2 days later, I had to think of something.

Here's me, checking out all available options on the phone while the 3 tired kids dozed off.
There were a few options then, such as getting into a heated quarrel with my wife on how she mistook the flight time on the tickets for the boarding time or why she took so long to express her milk, and have her retorting that how the hell I can see the wrong information on the screen and why we have so many kids in the first place and then call it a day for our travel plans and go back home defeated, not speaking to each other for the next 2 days or;

Book the next available flight to Siem Reap which would cost us way over $1,500 for another airline, or slightly cheaper for another Jetstar flight, but only two days later.  That would totally bust our budget and just doesn't make sense anymore as the single trip costs more than our return tickets bought earlier.  Phnom Penh flights were also only available the next day.  That's when I thought, why not take the cheapest flight to Bangkok right now and find our way to Siem Reap via land!

We took the last option and kept our fingers crossed that everything would turn out fine!  I guess in life, to be happy or not, really depend on ourselves.  Although I wasted $460 more for the single trip tickets to Bangkok, we chose to be happy.

Here's us right after deciding on our course of action!  We made the right choice, to be happy!
Stay tuned to find out how we made our way to Siem Reap via Bangkok in Part 2!

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