Sometimes Things Don’t Go As Planned
It’s every traveler’s worst nightmare to groggily open one eye and look at the clock and see 4:36am staring back at you in big green numbers when you have a seat on a 5:00am flight. So…I missed my flight. First time that’s ever happened. I shot out of bed, yelling “oh God, oh God, oh God” as I ran up the stairs and went straight for my phone and computer. Even though the plane was already boarded my brain was telling me there was no time to lose in re-booking. It was hard to talk to the Expedia agent though with my stomach up in my throat. Keep calm and carry on, my ass.
I thought I was going to lose it but, much like when I landed in Seoul with no clothes, I somehow managed to keep it together enough to come up with a new plan and a back-up plan. I’d already had to delay this trip once, so there was no way cancelling it outright was an option. My last few years of travel have given me the knowledge and tools to deal with these problems, even if I was freaking out inside. I was going to Korea dammit.
Amazingly, I was able to get the same route, just 24hr later and I was even able to book window seats (a necessity for me on long flights where I plan to sleep). All in all it cost me $450 but it could’ve been worse – the first replacement the Expedia rep suggested was 36 hours of travel and an extra $1400. Um…no. And I believe that since I was able to re-book before the flight actually left the ground, I was only charged a change fee and didn’t forfeit my entire ticket cost. Small mercies.
The hotel I had booked was less accommodating, forcing me to cancel the reservation and forfeit one night’s fee since this all happened within 72 hours of my scheduled check-in. Chance I take with booking a Korean love motel I guess. If one turns you away there are about 50 more within a block or two so I knew that no matter what, I’d have a place to lay my head Saturday night.
To avoid missing my flight again I napped after work for a few hours and stayed up the rest of the night so that the flight wouldn’t sneak up on me. I made it to the airport with enough spare time to check in to the Maple Leaf Lounge and have a bagel and cup of coffee while flipping through a complimentary magazine. The rest of the trip was smooth sailing, going back and forth from one flight and lounge to another until I landed in the Land of the Morning Calm 24hr after I took off from Newfoundland.
The bumps didn’t end there since I forgot my phone charger and had to buy a new one. Then the lady selling bus tickets in Incheon sent me to Shincheon instead of the neighbourhood of Shinchon where my hotel was located. Nothing a trip on the subway couldn’t fix.
A friend commented on my situation saying “You’re not starting this off well are you?” I prefer to think of it as getting the crap out of the way first so that I’ll be free to have an awesome next few weeks.
March 23rd, 2013 at 4:22 am (#)
I am so glad I found your blog. It’s so nice to learn from you. I hope you will come visit me, you might like the travel part….
March 30th, 2013 at 11:17 pm (#)
Oh my gosh, that must have been such a panic moment! I’m glad you got there in the end though.
I’ve never actually missed a flight, but I came pretty close for my last long-haul flight. Even though the train to the airport is literally ten steps away from my apartment door, I managed to miss it last time. Still, Spanish airports are pretty laid-back so they didn’t care I was late, luckily.
March 21st, 2017 at 1:24 pm (#)
YES! i overslept once… Booking a flight at 7 am from Shanghai to Beijing, means that ive got to be on my way to the airport at 5am, waking up at 4 am…and while finishing packing by 1 am, i was pretty confident that my alarm with be my partner to give me couple hours of sleep. However, as soon as i opened my eyes, I checked on my phone.. 7:15am. Im far from making it. So i run into my roomates room (local chinese) and wake him up with crazy shouts! Chris! Chris! i missed my flight, to what he replies, what you want me to do? “I dont know, youre chinese, call the airline”… Well, surprisingly, when he called the airline, he got informed the flight was cancelled due to a storm during that night, so i could be moved to a next flight.. if, just if there was still some seats. So ive taken my luggage and went straight to the airport without any confirmation about it, praying to get a seat. At the end of the day, ive landed in Beijing, with no need of paying any fee. Thats definitely the most stressfull flight ive had.
March 21st, 2017 at 1:45 pm (#)
Wow, sounds like you got really lucky with that missed flight. Could’ve been really expensive.