… and here’s what happened at the airport…
(lost? check out the article, “flying” for a preview :p)
The rigid baggage check at the airport entrance made me scramble towards the first check in counter that I saw. When I regained my composure, I double checked from the airport official if I was on the right lane… and I was not. -_- Apparently, the lane that I was in was for China Airlines and I was supposed to board the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM).
The long queue on the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) lane did not dampen my excitement. Before reaching the check in counter, the luggage needs to be weighed and I was totally shocked when the officer told me that the check in luggage should be 20 kilos and the hand carry should be 10 kilos!
(Note: The school (Maastricht School of Management) in Netherlands booked my flight. I unwittingly asked the luggage details (30 kilos for check in and 10 kilos for hand carry) from my friend but I did not bother to read through the notes on the travel itinerary. Later on, I learned that my friend travels first/business class most of the time and I was on the economy flight. -_- Silly me… I should have known better. As they say, there’s always a first time. Ha!)
My original plan was to place all heavy stuff in my check in luggage and have my hand carry (sling bag) contain all important documents. However, my check in luggage weighed nearly 45 kilos. Ha! I was so embarrassed! I quickly left the line and went to a corner to remove some of the contents of my luggage.
I opted to leave some of my clothes as well as the heavy souvenirs and dumped it temporarily on the vacant chair. I felt helpless because I don’t have extra suitcase to put in the excess and there’s no shop nearby that sells a bag or a paper bag. One pregnant airport staff offered assistance by giving me a big SM (ShoeMart) plastic bag and proposing that some of the heavy personal belongings should be placed inside the plastic bag to lighten up my check in luggage.
She kindly watched the excess things that I placed on the empty chair as I went to queue again for the second time. Sadly, my luggage was few kilos more than the allowed weight. I don’t have budget to pay the excess kilos so I went to the same corner to remove some more “junk”. The pregnant airport staff advised me to add the other heavy things in the big plastic bag and asked me to leave the big plastic bag with her together with the excess stuff.
For the third time, with my luggage and sling bag in tow, I went to queue again. I was apprehensive when it was my turn to weigh because I don’t want to go through the whole process of removing junk again. Fortunately, I passed the weighing “test” this time. Whew! Finally, I was able to check in my luggage and get my boarding pass.
I took the excess stuff and gave it to my family. Good thing my father, stepmother and younger sister were still outside waiting for me to board the plane. The pregnant airport staff was patiently waiting for me in my little corner. I took the heavy big plastic bag and gave her a lunch money as a small token. It’s truly heartwarming to see angels everywhere… 🙂
The immigration officer looked at my “hand carry” then asked if I can manage. I gave a sweet smile and told him that its light but the truth was, it weighed more than 10 kilos. O_O I passed through the immigration and boarded the plane without a fuss. Indeed, the big green SM plastic bag accompanied me to Europe…