Continuing our story of traveling with my in-laws in a big group of 10 for a family wedding... Man, our family are troopers!
We had to fly from Tokyo to Manila over a red-eye, to catch a second flight from Manila to an island. Otherwise we'd have to wait a whole day in Manila. The maximizer in me said, let's do it. And my family said okay!
Actually the situation was worse than that, we had to take a night train from Kyoto to Tokyo, then transfer to a different train to the Tokyo airport, then wait for the midnight flight. And that was with 10 people still recovering from jetlag. Yeah, two grand parents and four kids 10 and under.
Actually it was even worse than that, we found out during check-in that our midnight flight got rescheduled for 1:30am. Which meant not only did we have to wait with our sleepy kids in the airport for so late, we will also only have 40 minutes to to transfer from our first international flight, through immigration, to the second domestic flight, in a different terminal.
The optimist in me hoped that the terminals would at least be close to each other. Or if we miss our flight, we can get on the next flight in another couple of hours. I tried calling the domestic airline to see if their are availability. Oops, the customer service hours was over by 15 minutes. I tried calling the Website that sold me the plane ticket, and was told they don't see any availability for that or the next two flights but maybe due to a closed system. Hmm... I googled and found that the two terminals are at opposite ends, and it takes 20 minutes by shuttle and by taxi would be faster.
The optimist in me isn't feeling so hot...
Still, we landed in Manila; we flew thru immigration. We found two taxis to take us to the other terminal. They charged us $34 per car for a 6 minute ride. (I found out later that's probably 10x what they should've charged. Whatever.)
We then found a huge line for security. With 20 minutes left, I begged the security folks to let us skip the line. They said just go to the front of the line and ask them to let us through. Really? Yep, we were that rude family that just went to the front of the line.
We go to the airline desk with 18 minutes to go, and was told sorry, gate's closed. You can't get on.
To say we were disappointed is a giant understatement.
Soldiering on, we asked about the next flight. "Oh that's full." And the following one? "Same." In fact, all direct flights were sold out for the next two days too.
Omigod, I've never been in such a terrible predicament in all my years of traveling. I checked, there's a connecting flight that night but the second leg will be another redeye. No, I can't do that to my family again. :(
Desperate, I asked, "Please, are there any other options?"
"Maybe you can ask the other airline a few desks down. They also fly to the island."
We waited in line behind folks that were checking-in. The optimist in me gave way to the pessimist... If that first airline's all sold out, how could the second one have room for 10 people?!
The pleasant Filipino lady behind the counter smiled when we asked. Yes, they have flights to the island, leaving the next hour. Yes, flights for 10 people. No it's not expensive.
We were stunned but very happy. My husband told the lady she saved our trip.
After we arrived at the island at mid-morning, I spent most of the rest of the day mmm... no joke. :)
You can learn more about where we went and our overall trip experience at my Travel Blog here: https://mitmama.tumblr.com/ . Yeah I keep all my pretty pictures there and tell you the raw stories here on Yana. ;-) A few of you asked me where I went on our big trip so I thought I should share both.
Stay safe with your holiday travels... and hopefully no missed connections! :)