Cebuana Adventures: The Struggles of Last Minute Flight Booking

On March 30, 2017, without any precursor, I decided that I was going to travel for the Holy Week. Alone. This, despite the fact that my mom already has plans for the family.

While I was driving to work, my mind was quite empty until the thought popped up. So when I arrived in the office a few minutes before 9 a.m., the first thing I did was check for flights on random destinations – Bali? Coron? Malaysia? – any place that didn’t require Filipinos to get Visas. Then I remembered reading about Taiwan allowing visa free entries for Philippine passport holders with a valid US Visa. Immediately I searched for flights to Taipei and, surprisingly, the fare was still cheap for my desired date of travel which was April 12. Thank goodness for budget airlines like Airasia!

I took this as a go signal from the universe because I only had 13 days till the flight (now 11 days). I thought the that price would have already soared through the roof! Fortunately, it was only a couple of thousands higher than the average price of 2,000 PHP. The price coming back to the Philippines is a different story.

In my excitement, I hurriedly booked the 4,030 PHP ticket to Taipei without much thought. I had no idea how much my lodging, land transportation, and food expenses would be (by now, of course, I’ve had enough time to research on it). This is the most spontaneous I’ve ever been. How exciting…

What’s even more exciting is the fact that I do not have my passport with me. This dawned on me right after I received my flight confirmation email. I submitted my passport to the Embassy of Japan last week!  Who forgets something like that? Me, apparently.

And so, the following narrative ensued:

  • “Thank goodness I bought Travel Insurance! Maybe I can cancel my flight to Taipei for free, otherwise I’ll have to pay a fee to change it :(“
  • “But does my travel insurance cover cancelled trips for reasons other than death of a family member and natural disasters? I have look it up”
  • “The travel insurance website can’t find my policy! I gotta contact the airline.”
  • “Well this customer representative doesn’t seem happy to help me. Okay, I’ll just email the travel insurance company.” *sends email*
  • *receives reply attached with full insurance policy*
  • “NOOO! My insurance won’t cover it.”
  • “Oh wells, at least I didn’t buy a ticket coming back yet… Bye bye, 4,030 pesos.
  • “My passport should be back in a week, just a few days before my ticket’s departure date. I should just look for a return ticket” *Goes to Airasia website*
  • “Oh damn, it’s 10,000+ PHP coming back.” *searches for ticket from Cebu Pacific*
  • “Cool. Around 6,000 PHP, but still too expensive. I wonder how much it is a week from today?”
  • “Wow… only 2,000+ for a flight from Taipei to Cebu on April 9. Maybe tickets will get cheaper if I wait it out?”
  • *at 12 m.n.* Nice. that 10,000+ PHP ticket came down to 8,000+. I’m so sure that it’ll still go down.
  • *the next day* Dammit the ticket went up.

There you have it. All that trouble in the span of a day. Oh well, hopefully my passport will arrive within this week because if it doesn’t, I’ll have to watch my booked ticket go down the drain. We’ll see how it goes. Follow my blog to keep updated!