Are you prepared for the big APEC week? I clearly wasn’t. I scheduled a trip to Hong Kong a few months back and I am set to leave tomorrow with my return trip scheduled on November 18. I am supposed to arrive back in Manila at 4:30pm on November 18… or at least, I was supposed to. I was recently informed that NAIA is actually a no-fly zone on that date, and so my flight back will be rescheduled to nope, not November 19 (also a no-fly zone date), but (if I’m lucky) November 20. Hayayay. Clearly, this was my fault as I didn’t inform myself on the situation better. Here is an advisory on the flight schedule updates for this week. Expect more flight cancellations during this period, in general.
Netizen Ryan Gamache has been facing problems, as well. He shares:
I am preparing for my 4th trip to the Philippines -this time to get married. Being aware of the posted security measures and road closures, I scheduled my arrival for the 16th – a day BEFORE. We have several long-awaited appointments on the 17th, so arriving after the summit was not an option. I booked through Expedia, and ended up with Korean Air. I called Korean Air directly to confirm my requested seats and fix an issue with my frequent flyer mileage. Near the end of the call, the representative noticed that a flag came up on my account, that my layover in Korea was only 30 minutes, just short of the 45 minute minimum to make a connecting flight. I asked why this had not come up until now either from them, or from Expedia. Apparently, the flight was moved ahead by a mere 15 minutes just today (2 days before my departure).
A seemingly arbitrary move of 15 minutes can have devastating consequences. And If I had not accidentally found out, when would I have? The only options Korean Air presented were to leave a day earlier (tomorrow!) or to have an overnight layover in Korea and arrive on the 17th, in the midst of the predicted security and traffic nightmare. Unacceptable on both ends, considering the planning and logistics involved in leaving my home, pets and the preparations involved on the departure side, let alone the missed appointments for VISA and wedding preparation on the arrival side. So I fought, and I fought hard. I stayed firm and calm, and I am thankful to have spoken to Expedia reps in a Manila call center, who understood my plight. I was able to catch a later connection from Korea to MNL that had me arriving at 0210 AM on the 17th. Granted, road closures and who knows what other madness begins at the stroke of midnight, but it will be easier navigating in the wee hours of the morning instead of the middle of the day. I will accept an inconvenience over a major travel disaster any day.
The moral of the story: Even if you planned ahead for this mess, double-check your flights. I cut it close on the 16th, and apparently too close. A short connection being moved 15 minutes is as good as a missed connection!
Good luck travellers! Lots of security to look forward to… maybe the bullet scammers will take a holiday, as well? We can only hope.
Is anyone else affected by this? Share your stories with us!