family of 9 backpacking in china | part 2

The Background: way back in 2011, my family decided to travel to China. Backpacking style. It was the first (and only) time we all flew overseas together. Read Part 1 …

So, the travel planning was going smoothly…until it wasn’t. And here’s why…

October 3, 2011:

In which broke our hearts…close to the end of the working day yesterday, I received a call from a foreign number…on my handphone. Now, we all know that there are tons of scams…people calling up and saying that they have kidnapped your child/father/mother/sister/brother…and I was all prepared to tell the person on the line to “Keep whoever you’ve kidnapped and good riddance to you!”

It didn’t help that the person spoke Chinese. After a few seconds of phone interference, I cut off the line thinking that it was a nuisance call.

A few minutes later, the same number (+61386722400) flashed across my screen again. Shoot, not again? Does this guy think that I’ll care who he kidnapped? The kids will play out The Ransom of Red Chief to the letter. Ha Paleface!

Man on the phone: Hello…hellloooo! Ni Shi <insert my name here> mah? (Also translated to “Are you so-and-so?”)

Me: (how on earth does Paleface knows my name?) Yes..speaking.

Man: (in English this time- definitely a Filipino this round) Oh, this is <insert my full name complete with my Chinese name>? (Oh, my Chinese name was just mutilated!)

Me: Yes…!

Man: I am (insert a name here) calling from Jetstar.

Me (is this a scam or what?): Yeah…

Man: I need to inform you that your flights you booked for Guilin on December 31 has been canceled.

Me (whoa!): What?? Why?

Man: You have two options.

Me: What options?

Man: You can fly to (insert three Chinese city names here) with no extra charge.

Me: Right, and the other option?

Man: You can cancel and we’ll give you a full refund plus a $50 Jetstar voucher per person. Or you can fly before 17 December 2011. (but we had a friend’s wedding to attend on that day!)

Me: Yeah, you just ruined my life and you want to only compensate me $50? (okay, I didn’t say that)

Me: Alright, can you email me with all the info you just said?

Man: Sorry mam, we will email you but not with the options I just gave you.

Me: Huh?

Man: This is only over the phone. You can call us at (some toll free number) and let us know what you want. You can discuss the options with your fellow flight members.

Me: Alright. Thanks. Bye.

Man: Bye.

Looking at other flight options.

The great thing is that the ‘other options’ can help us save about $500! The downside is that we might spend about 8 hours loitering in the KL airport waiting for a Guilin flight.

We’ll see!

October 5, 2011:

In which Jetstar comes out a shining star…picture this: me on the phone for 1 hour talking to the customer service AND getting flights to KL for $4 per person! Talk about an adrenaline rush!

Well, when God closes the door, He ALWAYS opens a window!

Later that day:

Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, the $4 plane tickets to KL. So, yah, I feel so proud of my self. Yay! I just booked the tickets from KL to Guilin. Total cost for the nine of us? $1,693.12 SGD. So, if we were to do a little math, the original Jetstar tickets to Guilin was $2,457.00 The total price for our trip to Guilin now is $1,729.12. That is a cool $727.88 worth of savings!

The downside? Spending 8…8 (!!!) hours at the KL airport…(overnight, essentially). But we’ll tough it out!

Well, we’ll see it anything goes wrong this time. But I’m still super elated over my $4 tickets!

January 17, 2017
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