Okay, here’s my story that just happened to me 6 hours ago when me and my mother are going to Delhi via Singapore with Singapore Airlines. We have tickets booked for 7.05 pm from Jakarta to Singapore, a trip we have done dozens (literally) time before. I was going back home from hospital at 1 pm and as soon as I am home, I went to shower and prepare my backpack for India. We went for a tea time and snacks at a shopping mall nearby my apartment at 4.10 (the first mistake we did) and finished around 4.40 pm. We went straight to the airport afterwards.
Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, the most populated and heavily trafficked city as well. Today is Friday and people are coming home early from their office, the same time we went for the airport. From our experience living in Jakarta, the traffic usually is very bad, specially when raining and could take over 2 hours to get to our destination (from Central Jakarta to North Jakarta). When we hit the road, we realized that our driver had forgotten to remind us about the lack of gas of the car we are in. First we try to calm each other, then we had to decide between refuelling the car and take a heavily traffic way or hit the highway and gamble with the gas issue, hoping it would be sufficient to get us to the airport at least. We panicked of course, being stucked in a traffic when we had a plane to catch in less than 2 hours. An hour passed and we barely move 10 Km due to the traffic, its mission impossible. When we decide to refuel the car first, it’s 6.40 already, 25 minutes to departure. Confused, panicked and clueless of what we had to do. We had couple of hit and miss events before but we have never been this late going to the airport. I have never seen my mother as frustated as this before, and so do I. Our driver did his best in getting us as fast as possible safely.
We call our travel agent but there is no answer. Then we have an idea to reschedule our flight to the next one, one hour apart. We call the Singapore Airlines representative in the airport (there’s a number for it on the website) and had a hard time reaching them. After 10 minutes, a man name David picked up the phone. We explained that we are going to miss the flight and ask him to reschedule our flight to the next one, it was a tense condition but he managed to explain the available options to us and offer to cancel the flight we have checked in online (the flight we are going to miss). By cancelling the flight, we are able to ‘reschedule’ the flight by paying $20 instead of being charged for $100 for penalty. Our flight was rescheduled to the 8.25 pm, so we are relieved partially on the condition if the next flight have empty seats availabld.
When we arrive at 7.20 at the airport we ran to the check in counter and ask if we could get on board. The plane has leave the hangar and ready to take off, so there is no way we are going on board on that plane. But there’s a catch, it seems that the ground staff knew there’s problem about us and were told that we could board the next flight (thanks David, very much appreciated). Luckily our connecting flight to Delhi from Singapore is at 2.30, so we had a spare time in Changi Airport. As I’m writing this post, I am sitting with my mother at “The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf” cafe, feeling relieved that we manage to catch the flight to India. We don’t even pay the $20!
I hope this help others who are going to miss their flight or miss their flight already. Please, please, please do go to airport earlier and wait there, it’s worth avoiding the hassle and frustration of missing your flight.