What will happen when you missed your flight from the other side of the world? One sure answer is, it will be costly! I spent five amazing days loving the cold breeze of Montreal’s Autumn, Canada’s french-speaking city that felt like Paris and a European city in North America. I was just recovering from my jet lag at that time when I needed to fly back to Singapore soon (because I have a job there), then I learned that couldn’t make it to my flight.
The flight is full (apparently) and since I’m flying on a stand-by ticket, I’m at the bottom of the food chain. I waited until the last hour when most of the passengers have been on-loaded. Then I went back to the counter when heart breaking news was delivered, flight is full! And I can’t make it to that flight, what a lucky day! I tried to beg (shameless), I’m hoping at least one passenger haven’t checked in yet and I was right, but in just a blink of an eye that last passenger came and took that last remaining seat. Upon learning the next flight will be after 3 days, I felt so devastated but I didn’t panic. There’s nothing I can do and no other options but to book the earliest flight going to Singapore through a different airline, the cheapest I found is 1,200 Singapore Dollars or around 45,000 Philippine Pesos.
So I just booked it eyes closed! I was so tired and having lack of sleep, so I decided to book one of the fanciest hotels in Montreal for a night that as if I did not buy an expensive one way ticket.
It was the best decision to stay in a fancy hotel for a night, all the stress and worries fade out, somehow I forgot that I’m wasting a hefty some of money due to my impulsive decision to fly thousands of miles and just to spend 5 days of break. Though the real reason is I wanted to try how to make an entry using my Canada PR card for the first time since I got it. That decision was easy because I know I’m spending very less using a staff ticket. Though flying with staff ticket is not always pleasant, if you make it to the flight it always feels like a huge win and a big treat but if you don’t, it’s an awful experience and sometimes, could cost you money.
I had the best sleep of the week on the most comfortable bed ever but then I woke up to another bad news! My flight was not confirmed by the airline! I tried to book using Skyscanner and the cheapest fare was through a third party agency. However, the agency couldn’t confirm the ticket from Cathay Pacific so they just refunded my money in full. Scrambling again to find the “best” flight that I can’t think of the price I would pay at that moment anymore, it didn’t matter. I just needed to go back to Singapore because I have commitments and deliverables at work. I found a good deal, Singapore Airlines saves the day again, code sharing with Air Canada, I got the best flight out of Montreal flying to Singapore with a short layover in Frankfurt. The cost? 1,400 Singapore Dollars or 55,000 Philippine Pesos which leaves in the afternoon on the same day. There are cheaper options around 150 SGD less but would take me 2 days to reach Singapore, so I decided to fly with the two airlines from Star Alliance.
Good thing with code sharing of airlines is I can be checked-in all the way to my destination. Otherwise, I will have a problem transiting in Frankfurt with my Philippine Passport. Which is also the reason that I have limited choices, I could have flown to the US on a cheaper flight due to more options are available there but I don’t have a US visa back then.
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I made it to Singapore and stopped thinking about the experience (except the part that Montreal’s autumn is pretty). I paid the bill when it came straight out of my emergency fund. I punished myself with less travel, less dining-out, drinking, shopping to compensate with the loss. It’s a learning experience, though it’s a tough and expensive one. I’ve learn how to better manage risks from then on. There was a feeling of guilt, spending that amount of money for something that “may not” be worth it. At that time, I can only think of my reputation at work matters more than a thousand dollars plus. Some people would ask, why not just work from there since you have mobility at work? I work in a production environment during Singapore working hours from 9am and I’m completely at a opposite timezone, that’s hard to manage and could put my well-being (and health) at risk. Working in a financial sector, we are also bounded by cross border rules and that’s one of the deciding factors.
Related Article: How I Got My Canadian Permanent Residency
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