Friday, May 24, 2013

One Night in Bangkok ...

The vacation life of an airline employee isn't always champagne in business class. As a staff ticket traveler, you accept a percentage of risk every time you fly. As I always tell Brian - "Remember, we are dirt and the full paying customer is king. If the flight crew tells us to jump, we ask how high." What is all this leading up to?  Our "one night in Bangkok"

We were coming back from our trip to Phuket and had a direct staff ticket on Air Berlin that left at 6:30pm. We got to the airport early and were asked to wait as we had ID90 tickets - this means we got a 90% discount on the full fare, but were flying standby so could only get confirmed once all the other passengers were loaded.  We waited patiently as we had done this before and weren't too concerned. On our flight out, we got bumped from business class and had to travel cattle ... oops, I mean economy, but we got on the flight so no worries.

A bit later, the ground staff agent came by and said, "Ma'am, I'm so sorry, the flight is completely full so we're checking with the pilot to see if the jump seat is available for you. Please wait a few more minutes."

What?! The jump seat? For those who don't know, the jump seat is the little fold down seat the flight crew use during take off and landing. Definitely not appropriate for us yahoos and not at all comfortable for an 8 hour flight to Abu Dhabi! But, before I could process all of this and tell her not to bother, she was off to check with the pilot.

Luckily, the pilot refused. Unluckily, this meant we were stuck in Phuket until the next available flight which was the following evening. I know at first glance that sounds like good news, but Brian was leaving for a work trip to the US in 2 days and he really didn't want to get off an 8 hour flight and only have a few hours before a 15 hour flight to the US. We headed to the bar to find some wifi (and yes, a beer - we had a feeling this might be a long night).

After a lot of web searching and some running around the airport to the various ticket agents, we decided to book a full fare ticket on Bangkok Air from Phuket to Bangkok and then catch an Etihad flight from Bangkok to Abu Dhabi the next morning. No business class champagne in sight, but at least we were going to make it home and only about 12 hours later than originally planned. All I can say is thank God Al Gore invented the internet!

This change of plans also meant we needed to spend the night in Bangkok. Well, not the whole night - we arrived after midnight and had to be on our way to the airport again by 5:30am so yes, it was "one night in Bangkok", but a very short one!

Extra airfare? = 1000 AED
Hotel stay in Bangkok? = 500 AED
The adventure and the story to tell? = priceless

One Night in Bangkok Music Video

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