I finally got on the plane. So here I am, on the plane. At the moment of writing, it is 17.27. We departed at 13.30 and so far I’ve watched Hobbs and Nobbs; I can’t remember the name of the film … oh yes, Hobbs & Shaw. It’s that spin off Fast & The Furious movie, with Dwayne Johnson and that English dude. It was better than I thought and the script wasn’t as cringeworthy as I expected it to be. There’s no Wi-Fi on-board, sadly, so I’m stuck with the on-board entertainment, which happens to be okay.
I’ll watch a few more movies and try to sleep a bit later. The flight is over eleven hours long and I’ll be landing in Phuket at 06.55, local time. When I checked the flight data on my screen in front of me, it said we would probably be early.
This is my first trip outside of Sweden for two years, I had a few booked during 2020, but they were all cancelled due to reasons nobody can be bothered to speak about anymore. And this trip actually started with trouble.
I had to take a later flight because I didn’t have a Thai Pass, which is required. When I spoke to the Thai embassy in Sweden, they didn’t give me that information; they led me to believe that what I had was enough. This is just a reminder of how difficult it is to travel right now … the rules are so hard to understand.
So I missed my flight trying to get my Thai Pass approved in time. I had to leave the queue, sit down and phone Thailand around 400 times, fill out forms and take pictures of my passport and stuff like that. And then a really sweet couple came up to me and asked how it was going, a young Thai couple with a child, living in Sweden. They were so nice and gave me a hand with phone numbers and other things to think about. I hope I see them in Phuket so I can thank them for helping.
I managed to be approved in a short space of time, but not short enough. I grabbed hold of some staff members at the airport as soon as I received my Thai Pass QR code in my email; they phoned the gate and asked if there was any possibility, and there was none. I had to persist for them to phone, but it was in vain. So I went home, heartbroken.
I spoke to Thai Airways, and they booked me on the next flight, literally within minutes. The next flight was two days later, “and here I am: having dinner with you fine people.” I often reference Jack Dawson in Titanic. I wonder why. Maybe I want to be him … or maybe, he wants to be me! Twilight Zone. Anyway, no more Titanic when I’m 39 000 feet in the air. I’m travelling at 985 km/h by the way. I’m almost supersonic.
I was impressed with how Thai Airways helped me. I am less impressed with how the travel agency, TripX, responded. I contacted them first because the package trip was booked through them. They just said no over the phone, and told me to contact someone else. So I did. Not the Ghostbusters, or the A-Team, but yours truly, Thai Airways. They helped me with no questions asked.
And guess what? TripX emailed me the day after, saying: “We have information that you have rebooked and that Thai Airways have taken over your flight plan. We have no record of you rebooking with us. Please contact us right away.”
Hello? Good morning? Happy Christmas? Who did I try to call first? I called you first! Maybe TripX need to fire someone… Or everyone.
A major thumbs down to TripX from me. Thai Airways, on the other hand, have exceeded my expectations. So three thumbs up to them. And the first meal I had, about two hours ago, was marvellous. It was chicken with some sort of potato something. It was spicy and not bad at all. They served me bottled water, juice, red wine, coffee … I started to wonder if they thought I was a an empty swimming pool.
I’ll post this as soon as I have a Wi-Fi connection, which will probably be at the hotel.
Fast forward to present day. I’ve now been here for two days and now I have a moment to post this. I’ll write more later.
Song of the day: Pretty Great – Fickle Friends