Travel | Stories When Your Flight is Cancelled

Check-in Counter E
The Philippines is highly vulnerable with flight cancellations due to force majeure or natural phenomena such as typhoon, monsoon rains or flood Manila airport. Since the capital Manila is the main gateway of the country, it really is a sure destination where some cancellations of flight will be experienced. It is not a fun thing in the Philippines, though.

Okay, let me share my experience with the recent typhoon with a local name Karen. I am having a vacation in Thailand where my connection to the Internet is less to none. I haven't availed any simcard for Internet connection. I only am connecting via the wifi of either the bus, hostel or airport (if the airport is generous enough to have free wifi).

A day before the flight, I have checked my e-mail if there are flight cancellations made. I received none at that time so I am very confident that the flight is sure to go. However, I really have that feeling of anxiety and I can't sleep. I am worried with my flight and the typhoons. Eventually, I am able to sleep and get up early to proceed to the airport.

To my surprise, there is a long queue of passengers for the same flight I have. I am thinking that my flight is f**ked up! In situations like that, I must keep myself calm and everything will be fine. Since there is a long queue, I am really wondering, why only a single check in counter for the customer services of those passengers with cancelled flights is open? Passengers are then told one by one according to the queue about options regarding the changes of flight. That is sick! The servicing is very low to no movement while the next flight ahead ours is moving so fast with their check in procedures. Okay, I must keep calm. Wait and see game is on!
I have been talking to the passengers in queue to get some information since they frequently ask the check in counter for updates. They have been saying that the flights are fully booked! Next flight with available seats will be on Tuesday 40 minutes after midnight. Those ahead of me choose that option. That really is sick, I still have work Monday and I don't have the extension for my leave. Okay, I am keeping my temper and talk politely. I can surely stay in the airport or at least another day but I have to be back in Manila on the same day.

Now, my turn is on! Still, I am given the same option given to other passengers. Though I wanted to take the next flight expecting of some passengers with no show status. Sh*t happens! My flight is changed though I wanted to do as chance passenger. Yes, there are other passenger who have the same status and so even that change in my flight I still urge for a chance. There are 8 passengers ahead of me. Yeah, I am ninth on the line. Almost 45 minutes before check in counters close, the crew in the counter, together with her supervisor, tries to get me in but the status has been closed! Oh my, it is the end of my chance. However, they see me without any baggage and so they also try to ask for the reopening of the counter and check me in. Time is ticking and every second becomes so precious - am I in or out?!! Negotiations by the crew in the counter continues and they are finding ways to get me in. They are really trying their best to make me in. 30 minutes before flight, oh well, that is already boarding time, I still don't have my boarding pass. Still, I can't surrender the chance since the crew and the supervisor are hanging on. Oh my 27 minutes before the flight, I have my manually written boarding pass and they say it is good! Thank you Miss Sitthurat!

Accomplished Boarding Pass
Manual Boarding Pass
Oh no, that is not yet the end of the adventure! I still have to go through the scanner, passport control or immigration procedure and locate the boarding gate. 27 minutes, are you serious!!!

Okay, no time to waste, just move forward... the scanning area is full of passengers and I queue in the lesser passengers, good thing it takes 5 minutes for me to get in - however goodbye to my water and powerbank having more than 32,000 mAh. I respect that, it is in their airport protocol and just funny because I have been in their airports already bringing the said gadget. Anyways, move to the next procedure. The passport control is like in a blockbuster cinema queue. No express lane for boarding passengers at the immigration. Yes, I get in the queue. A Caucasian behind me and around 15 passengers in front of me. Oh no, I cannot spend forever in my queue. I politely ask for favor from the man behind me and go in front and again politely ask a favor to this beautiful Caucasian woman. Oh yes, the heavens are with me, they allow me in and pass the immigration - thank you for the support guys! That takes 10 minutes of my time. 12 more minutes before I can catch the boarding process. Suvurnabuhmi Airport is one of the biggest I have been and my first time to depart from the airport. Can I make it?!! There I go, running and looking for Gate F1A. No time to talk much asking for directions but I am on my own with flaring nose running towards the gate at the far end of the airport. That is more than 500 meters run. I have arrived at the boarding gate 4 minutes before the flight. Yet and yet, a long queue of passengers are there. I am completely relieved. I am in and flying the next flight after our cancelled one.

On Board the Plane - Not Fully Occupied!
Surprisingly, the seats in the airplane are not even filled out. Now, I can't imagine how they always say that the flight is fully booked. There can be more passengers who could have been on board if that is the case. Anyways, I am happy to get through the odds.

To sum it up, in situations like this, keeping one's self calm and with upright mindset will really help go through the odds. I will never wish that any body will have the same experience but this is just a narration of my story. I am freaking out inside but I still need to show modesty and politeness.

Again, thank you! This is an experience that I cannot forget. It is a first time in my international flights. Customer service of this airline company should improve. Thank you for the help crew and for the support of other travelers. Good deeds will reap good karma! Thank you! :-)


  1. Unta dili ni mahitabo sa akoa, kapoy bya dagan hehe

  2. hahaha... kapoy mo lang... anyways, it was still a fun, thrilling experience...