Some mistakes cost!

by Kirsty on April 3, 2012

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“It’s amazing how relaxed we are at the moment, I mean we’ve not really planned anything, we’re going to a new country and yet I feel like I’m just nipping to the 7/11”

We were heading for the airport. It was a Saturday night,  Kirsty had finished her last day of work, we’d just packed our bags and jumped in a taxi to head to the Philippines for two weeks.  We were feeling pretty smug, remarking to ourselves, two years ago we would have been planning everything down to the last detail, now we don’t know where we will even be staying tomorrow night!

The two weeks away were incredible (plenty more on that in the next few weeks) but despite our easy going attitude the trip got off to a pretty terrible start.

We walked into the airport and were surprised by the unusually long queues for access to the departure lounge. Not a problem as we’d arrived for an international flight with plenty of time to spare.

We approached the check in desk and followed the usual conversation pattern.

“Tickets please”
“Sorry we don’t have them”
“Booking number”
“No, sorry”
“Ok what flight are you on? Can I have your passports?”
“Manila tonight, about 1am”  (Note the word tonight, it’s important)

Flights in the Philippines

Cebu Pacific – Bangkok to Manila

Usually this is followed by a few moments silence before our boarding passes are handed over. However this time we were left staring at the long departure gate queue for longer than normal.  After a few anxious looks and some brief conversations amongst staff behind the counter we were getting a little bit nervous.

Did they know we were smuggling 1000’s pounds worth of heroin out of the country? (jokes)

We found the booking number in an email thanks to the not so reliable free Internet at Suvarnabhumi Airport but that didn’t seem to help their confusion.

“Did you book your ticket for 10th March”
Phew, “yes, that’s the one”
“Sorry but you’ve missed your flight”
“How???”
“Your flight left today, this morning at 00.35”
“OH SHIT”

Yes, we’re those idiots. Or should I say I am! Somehow when I was booking the tickets it didn’t get through to me that if you book a flight for AFTER MIDNIGHT you need to book them for the next day and check in the day before! I was booking them for Saturday night but really I needed to book them for Sunday morning.

How the hell did I miss that one? I looked at Poi – he looked pissed and slightly confused. Should we still go? It was a split second decision we knew we had to just suck it up and rebook the flights for 24 hours later the flight we had actually arrived at the airport for.

It was a very expensive mistake…. We agreed to forget about it straight away, pretend it didn’t happen and get on with enjoying our trip.

Please please please tell me at least someone else in the world has done this? Or something equally as bad!

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Caroline Eubanks April 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

I got confused flying from Hawaii to Australia about the date change so I told my bf the wrong time to pick me up AND I was supposed to work that day!

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Kirsty April 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

Wow a whole day change – I’m still abut fuzzy about that!

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Audrey | That Backpacker April 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Ohhh, it’s happened to me more than once…. Last time it was in Lima, but I happened to check my ticket the day before — just in the nick of time! Yikes.

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Kirsty April 4, 2012 at 9:17 am

Thank god you checked in time! I wish I had a,Hugh we wouldn’t have been able to go the day earlier as I still had work!

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Camels & Chocolate April 3, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Yep, been there, done that. You’re not alone! Military time is confusing =)

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Kirsty April 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

Yay! It really really is! I used to always get confused at school with it, I think they should have a big stupid notice that says if you want to travel for x date you need to book for the day later! Okay? That should help us out!

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David - GeoPosted April 4, 2012 at 1:18 am

Ouch… not fun!
That’s one of those travel mistakes I fear the most. Good that you decided not to dwell on it and move on!
Hey, in a little while the sting of the money loss will be gone and it’ll be a fun story to tell. Promise!

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Kirsty April 4, 2012 at 9:19 am

Yeah the rest of the holiday was great just not the greatest start!

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Kieu ~ GQ trippin April 4, 2012 at 10:11 am

Aiyah! That’s a mistake I always fear and have come close so many times – flying to Asia is tricky. Our flights are always just after midnight but we think it’s the next day. I’m still confused. Glad you guys chose not to dwell on it. Looking forward to hearing about your PI trip. 🙂

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 9:17 am

Yeah – I tried explaining it to some friends when I got back and they were like – eh… you arrived on time! Sooo glad it’s not just me!

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Melanie- a girl with gumption April 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

Yep. You are not alone. Done the exact same thing. Booked my ticket for 1:30 on a bus from Madrid to Cordoba. I thought it in the afternoon. Of course I showed up at the station, saw all the signs and departure boards that said 13:00 and realized the mistake.

Luckily it only cost me 16 euros, and it was easy to book a seat on the bus I actually wanted at 13:30. Still really embarrassing.

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 9:18 am

ahhhhh… I could totally do that too! 1am?? why would there be a bus at 1am!

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Edna April 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Totally been there — booked a return flight from Shanghai for a day later than I was supposed to. My bf at the time and I both that had to work that day as well, so we had to call off a half day (conversation went something like, Why can’t you teach Saturday morning? …Because Edna’s an idiot at booking flights), then go to work straight from the airport! At least you won’t ever do it again — since then I’ve triple checked flight times before confirming!

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

I’m pretty good at organising stuff but when i mess up I tend to mess up pretty royally! Pretty good excuse not to go to work for the day though!

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Ali April 5, 2012 at 2:11 am

Hasn’t happened to me, but my best friend booked a redeye flight from Vegas to visit me in Atlanta, and when she got to the airport, it was just like what happened to you. But since it was the first flight of a round trip flight and she missed it, the airline also canceled her return flight. So she ended up rebooking the whole damn thing at the last minute, which was not cheap at all. I now triple check when I book flights like this. I hope you enjoyed the Philippines!

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 9:19 am

WHAT how could they cancel it all? Did that mean she had to buy a whole new ticket or was she reimbursed for the second part of it?
The Philippines was amazing, I already want to go back!

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Emily McManus April 5, 2012 at 7:39 am

Definitely made the same mistake flying home to Los Angeles from Dallas…. I don’t even have international worries or time zone mix-ups to blame for that one – it’s a silly mistake but we all make it…. ONCE! And then we learn 🙂 Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the trip!

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

We definitely do! From now on I know to double check flights that leave just after midnight! 🙂

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cristina @Travolution April 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

oh no! So sorry to hear 🙁 I can’t say I’ve experienced this one yet. Although i’ve come close to missing a flight I knew we had booked just because of my laziness and not leaving enough time to get to catch the flight. We literally ran the whole way through the airport to find out our gate closed 60 secs prior. I felt like we were in a movie running through the maze of people in Madrid (and the loonngest terminal on the planet just to get to the check-in) Thankfully we paid up the hefty tab and got on board

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

I also have nearly forgotten this one – that if you land at x it doesnt mean you can fly again 2 mins later!! I forget it’s not like a bus!

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RenegadePilgrim April 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Yeah, I did that when I flew overnight from Jordan to Delhi…I booked my flight from Delhi to Bangalore for the 5th of July, because that was the day I was leaving Jordan, but I wasn’t arriving until the 6th of July…that was not a super expensive mistake but it was $100 I could have spent elsewhere.

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Kirsty April 6, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Ahhhh… yeah next day messes me up! ours cost about $200 each but it’s a great lesson learnt! And the Philippines was amazing!

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Joseph April 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

trust me, you are not alone…once I booked a 3 day trip to Budapest, from the 19 – 21 May…well, when I bought the ticket, I didn’t pay attention and the return day was checked as 21 of July! I even patted myself on the back for getting such a cheap ticket…long story short, I realized my mistake and in the end had to buy another return ticket (the date change and the difference in price would have been much more expensive)

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Kirsty June 12, 2012 at 2:25 am

Oh dear! I couldn’t believe my mistake – but lesson certainly learned!

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Micamyx|Senyorita April 11, 2012 at 8:59 pm

You are not alone! That happened to me once for my Cebu-Manila flight. I missed my flight because I thought my friend booked the one for the 8pm flight, but she booked the 8am one T_T i didn’t double check because she never made a mistake till that day. Lesson learned, but it is an expensive mistake 0_0 it is also with Cebu Pacific LOL

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Kirsty June 12, 2012 at 2:27 am

oh dear! Cebu must be the unlucky plane! Although I do love their games!

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Klaus Kommoss May 23, 2012 at 12:17 am

We had a roundtrip flight to Australia – we thought. It was incredibly cheap, we loved it. When we showed up for the return it became apparent that it was only a one way ticket. Gee, so we had no choice but by a new one. It turned out that Quantas had been on strike but ended it on that day, so no one had booked and we had a jumbo yet all for ourselves from Sydney to Frankfurt.
I love your blog.

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Kirsty June 12, 2012 at 2:42 am

DAMN! At least it worked out in the end!

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Klaus Biesel May 28, 2012 at 11:07 am

When i saw your picture with cebu pacific airlines plane i got remembered that i was once fallen for one of their promo offers. The offer was 1899 PHP going to Hong Kong, when i was ordering the ticket at the counter it turned into 4100 PHP taxes and fees just doubled it. Just to let you know, that sometimes a promo is just like looking one. Now i really started to be more contiguous about the small letters 🙂

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Kirsty June 12, 2012 at 2:43 am

Ahh yeah taxes always bite you in the ass!

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Lisa Abroad August 28, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I almost missed a flight out of Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania because I failed to check online for changes to my flight. I had already been in TZ a month at that point.. figured the airline would contact me if anything changed. Lesson learned: NEVER assume Ethiopian Airlines will contact you on important matters. To make it worse I didn’t even know about the departure time change until, after wasting time browsing a gift shop, I slowly meandered over to the gate and heard a frantic voice say, “You are missing your flight, they are waiting for you!!” I had to run out onto the tarmac. Quite embarrassing. Lesson #2 learned: Actually read your newly printed boarding pass *facepalm*

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Katie February 7, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Yes, I know many people have done this. I learned from them and am now very cautious but still get confused am always unsure. I wish the airline would tell us what date and time we should be at the airport by, life would be so much easier.

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jezner January 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm

victim here! same scenario! hahaha! my stay in bkk was extended for a few days waiting to book for a cheaper flights.. stupid me or stupid military time! hahaha. charge to exp.

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