Old post: TG Experience – 20 Aug 2003
TG Experience – 20 August 2003
I am in Chiang Mai.
The city has not really changed much since the last time I was here. Well, maybe it has changed in many ways ‘physically’ (new shopping center, more high rise building and the public bus has come back!! Yeah!) but it still seems the same to me: a lazy town with mad song-taw drivers (public taxi) and the humidity that make me twist and turn in my bed all night long.
A couple of day ago, I was lying down on my sweaty back staring at the ceiling of my room while the fan was panning itself to the right and left at its own pace, I thought about the Greece trip. I could hardly believe that I actually have been to Greece and even more unreal to me that I am actually home…..
‘British Airway would like to announce the cancellation of BA…’
That panic moment at Athens Airport when my BA flight was canceled fifteen-minute before the boarding time. The confirmation by the official that the flight was REALLY canceled came 30 minutes later. The mop of the passengers was already gang up against the poor stewardess who probably didn’t know anything more than any of us: that the flight was canceled.
I decided not to join in with the mop, didn’t think that they would miss my participation either, also I didn’t think that my presence would turn the situation around. Looking about myself, I saw the familiar Thai int. airline logo blinking over the gate next to my ‘suppose to be’ boarding gate to Heathrow. A quick thought flash though my mind, and before any hesitation pop up, I decided to act on it.
‘I supposed to be catching TG 911 tonight from Heathrow to Bangkok but…’ ‘Can I join this flight?’. The TG ground staffs looked at me as if I was a con man, trying to bluff my way though. However, they decided to believe me. The lady (there were two staffs- him and her) told me that there is a chance, if BA decided to pay for the cost incurred from the process. She walked with me over to the BA counter. Stopped, and turned around. The counter and the stewardess were now flooded with angry-passengers whose eyes shown that they just couldn’t wait to tear the counter down and hijack the plane to fly themselves back to Heathrow.
The lady at the TG counter told me that she ‘will try her best’. She walked back to her counter, pick up the phone, dial the number and spoke in Greece into the phone. She hanged up, dial some other numbers, and again murmur away in Greece. I couldn’t tell at all what chance am I stand of getting on that plane but I could tell by her the way she place her hand on to her head and the tone; that this wasn’t going to be easy. So I started chanting silently.
I chanted hard, am sure she could hear me: we were only few feet away.
10 minute passed, she hanged up the phone. Told me to go and pick up my bag at belt number 4. BA and TG agreed to endorse my ticket so that I could fly back to Bangkok straight from Athens. Less than an hour before the flight taken off so it was a time to run!
So Run I did; liked being chased by a mad dog. I was the first one to get to the belt. I was hoping that my bag would be there right away. But as usual: the moment you need it to be right on time it would be late. I waited at the front of convey belt gate biting my nail, looking at my watch, looking at the belt, chanting hard, looking at the belt again still no sign of my bags, big sigh, looking at my watch again, still hoping but already thinking about something that I shouldn’t: ‘what if I couldn’t make it…’ .
After 20 minutes of waiting which at that time seems eternity, my bags finally appeared, they moved slowly though the black rubber curtains that brush against it harshly. I picked them up, swing the rug sack onto my back and rush to the departure zone of the airport which seems to me then; a marathon away.
I arrived at the TG check in counter 20 min. before the boarding time, panting like a dog under summer sun. I surrendered my passport and ticket, swing the two bags on to the scale, so sure that that was it.. I was on my way home.
But it didn’t end there, there was some problems with my ticket: a) it didn’t included Athens’ airport tax and b) it was student ticket. Sigh -_-‘ couldn’t you just let me go!!!
‘54C this way sir’ I have flown with THAI many times before but that flight was the whole new experience: Smooth as Silk. I already felt at home the moment the wheel lift off the ground. No one was sitting next to me, so time for light out. Good Night Athens, Sawadee Bangkok!!
^_^ Thanks to Liz and her family for everything. The trip was unforgettable!
It wouldn’t be half as good without you