This post is more for encouragement than anything else. As every situation and airport is in no doubt different this is merely to show that you shouldn’t give up. On this occasion we’re running late for a flight from Bangkok’s busy Don Mueang International Airport scheduled for an international flight to Penang Malaysia. Arriving to the airport 20 minutes before take off we still manage to make the flight on time. In fact it only takes 15 minutes from the front doors of the airport to the time we’re sitting comfortable on the plane. Five minutes to spare before the plane doors close for take off. In this situation we already have tickets printed, we have only carry-on baggage (no checked baggage) and of course we make more slip-ups along the way. Our flight was not delayed whatsoever.
The fastest way to rush the airport is with the help of airport officers. We approach them at each process and are happily ushered past the long queues of travellers. If we didn’t get help from airport staff we would no doubt have missed the flight. So the first obstacle after baggage-check was immigration where Fanfan has forgotten to complete her departure card and after rifling through her bag she also has no pen. We waste more minutes running back to baggage-check to borrow (steal) a pen from airport staff. Scribbling the details we are quickly back to immigration where I plea with an idle officer. She opens the Diplomat lane and hurries us through. Next up is the carry-on baggage and body scans. At this point we agree for Fanfan to hurry ahead and to keep going to the gate. I would then muddle through the processes with all the carry-on bags. Again seeing our urgency we are ushered to the front of the line and pass quickly. I empty the liquids, laptops etc, get my pat down and go through the motions while Fanfan sprints for the finish line. Unfortunately Fanfan’s not much of a sprinter and having again packed the carry-on bags I’m soon gaining on her, passing her, losing her, big bags in hand. To make the situation more desperate we find the departure gate is the last of the terminal and as I close in to see no queues in front I almost give up. Just as I was ready to turn back a head appears behind the counter. I make a last ditch effort for the line and throw in my ticket and passport. The steward flicks through the passport as I dry heave over the counter. “There’s no hurry sir”. Fanfan staggers to join me. On the plane we go. 15 minutes.
Goes without saying right? If only. Arriving earlier in the day, 1 hour and 20 mins before the flight, Fanfan realises “I don’t have my passport”. As with most logical people I give up here but Fanfan was determined. From Don Mueang Airport it takes close to an hour to our city centre condo (Asoke). With the same back and time to pick up the passport we need nothing short of a miracle… Fanfan never gives up. In the back of the taxi I sit with the iPad checking later flights, possible changes to itinerary and am ready to cancel hotels. Damage control. Fanfan on the other-hand teams with the taxi driver to manoeuvre the traffic through express ways, down back streets in a somewhat terrifying pursuit. Of course we make it. Ask anyone and they’d say this is impossible and I still find it hard to believe myself. But we did it. So if your running late for a flight… don’t give up. Also delayed flights are not uncommon and miracles apparently do happen. Best of luck.