I’d never been prevented from flying for whatever reason as I always have my travel documents updated, required visas and any other document an airline might require (I even always carry both passports with me in case I have trouble with one). I used the past tense as this was true until my outward flight for the honeymoon… Let me bring you up to speed.
I bought the tickets for the honeymoon online from Cathay Pacific’s website a month before the flight. On the ticket stub it did say to present the credit card which purchased the tickets upon checking in, but I’ve seen that so many times and have never been asked for a credit card that I simply dismissed it. That, my friends, was a mistake.
Before I go further let me explain how our flight to Hanoi should have panned out: Our wedding was on the 1st of September; We would fly to London Heathrow on the evening of the 7th of September, taking a taxi to my aunt’s house in West London to pick up her car to take our 2 big suitcases filled with most our clothes to my parents house in South London. There we would pack our backpacks with our stuff the for the honeymoon and (play with the iPad Raquel gave me as a wedding gift) and get some little sleep before getting up at 7am to get leave back to my aunt’s house to drop off her car; take the train back to Heathrow to check in bags and board our flight at 11:55am.
That was the plan… Then a ‘lovely’ Cathay Pacific employee (please note the sarcasm) at the baggage drop off desk asked me for the credit I paid the ticket with. Considering that I didn’t want to take all my credit and debit cards with me on a trip like this, I left my credit at home. I told this Cathay Pacific person that I didn’t have the card with me and her response was short and sweet: “Then I cannot allow you to fly!”. My heart sunk and anger rose up, not only with this person but with myself too!
I tried to explain to her that I had another bank card from the same bank which I could show her. She said no again. I went onto my online banking app on my iPhone and showed her the credit card which showed the transaction was charged to me. She said no again. Then I played the honeymoon card and told her it was our honeymoon and she could be potentially destroying the start of it. She phoned her supervisor and said no again.
At this point she directed us to the ticketing counter and told to buy a new ticket and the money for unused ticket would be refunded to card, however they could not guarantee that the ticket would be same price. I stood in the queue at ticketing counter staring daggers at the lady at the check in counter. Eventually we were helped, but she too claimed that without the credit card present we could not board the flight.
Then came the highlight of this experience: I asked them, what they would do if the credit card was stolen and their response was “we contact the bank to verify the transaction”! When I asked why they couldn’t do that then, she simply said that my card wasn’t stolen so the procedure doesn’t apply. Completely annoyed I asked her what she could do to help me and she finally gave an option which didn’t add any significant cost to the exercise. She was willing to put me on a later flight and change my connections to give me time to go home and pick up my credit card to present.
So between paying extra for a new ticket or going back home to pick up the lousy credit card, we obviously just went back home… Taking a taxi to get to my aunt’s house to pick up the house keys; taking her car down to South London to pick up the card and drive back to West London; Take the tube back to Heathrow, all in the space of 2.5 hours to be back in time for check in for our changed flights. A couple hours later we were on our way to Hanoi via Hong Kong.
That is not how to start a honeymoon…