17th of May 2016, I’m sure that I will never forget that day. 2days have passed since my 32 birthday, I was running at the airport of Bogota with a white face. I had just 15 min until my flights time of departure but I couldn’t see if the check-in counter was still open. I found a line of other customers who missed their flight at the customer desk, they quarreled with the staff of the airline company about the cost of exchanging the flight fee. “Why should we pay $100 each for being only 5min late ?” “Because you were late!” I heard their back and forth and I thought please pay $150 immediately without useless exchange of opinion. In the meantime, the departure time came and I missed my flight to New Zealand (hereinafter wrote NZ).
They who quarreled with the staff paid $100 each after finishing the long complaining time and my turn came. I asked the staff of the airline company for exchanging my flight but they said that I should do it by myself because I booked that ticket with Expedia. I called Expedia using Skype, I waited my turn to get through to them because their line was busy but if I got through them after I waited my turn, it was difficult to talk to them and suddenly the line was shutting down because of the terrible internet speed (I used a PC at an internet cafe in the airport because their wifi is terrible but it was still terrible and too expensive).
I barely asked them to exchange my flight and they answered that if I paid $1100 more, I can take the next flight to NZ. I tried to do it and asked them what time I would arrive in NZ but they said that I should wait for tomorrow’s plane and I looked up at the sky..
Why have I missed my flight?
Why did I come in Colombia at all?
Why didn’t I make plans in good time?
A lot of things were racing through my head but it was too late. After I hung up, I checked another flight with which I could get to NZ in 2 days by myself with the internet and I found it!!
17th of May Bogota 11:20p to Auckland 11:50p (+2) $2,200
Actually, It was necessary for me to get to NZ before the 20th of May. Because I was supposed to go to NZ with a working holiday visa which I applied for on the last day of my 30th year. For me as I turned 32nd years old, as Japanese, It means my last opportunity to work abroad with a working holiday visa and if I couldn’t get there before the 20th of May, I will lose my working holiday visa of NZ and I can’t ever work on foreign country with working holiday visa again.
But Why will this flight get to NZ only 10min before the 20th of May?
What would happen if the flight will be late 10min?
Should I bet $2,200 for that 10min?
Racing a lot of things through my head again but I have only one choice.. asking about this ticket situation to immigration control office with the terrible internet again. I told them that I had to get there before the 20th of may because of my visa situation, I missed my flight for that, I found the next flight but the flight arrived there only 10 min before that day. But it was around 6:30 there and they didn’t have a person for working holiday visa. the operator said that if you will call back after 2.5 hours, you can talk with a person of working holiday visa and ask about that problem.
It was around 13:00pm and I went back to my hostel to wait for 2.5 hours and call them using the hostel’s internet. I looked at all the sites of airline company for some other solution but I found only one solution and It was that flight.
17th of May Bogota 11:20p to Auckland 11:50p (+2) $2,200
Yes, It was only the ticket called “betting $2,200 for 10min”.
Then, 2.5 hours have passed from the last call and the time to call back came. I tried to explain my situation to them but my hostel’s internet was like sh*t that time, the line suddenly shut down as last time, their line was also busy as 5 or 6 persons were also waiting when I called back and I had to wait on the line every time. Then, after 2 more hours, since I started to call back to immigration control office, I finally could ask them my serious question.
“Yes. You can’t get your working holiday visa if the airplane will be late 10min.”
“But I wa..”
Betting $2,200 for 10min!!!!
I’ll bet whatever they want for 10min!!!!!!
I tried to pay it, desperately hoping but the site which I found that ticket had a system error.
Why!? Why does it have to have a system error now?
I waited for the system error to be finished, I reloaded that site every single minute but finally, that flight ticket was already gone and I couldn’t find it anymore and anywhere when I opened the site again after they fixed the system error.
At that moment, I could hear the sound of my one year’s plan, which I was thinking of a lot and worked out, fall with a crash, I watched the PC screen in a daze and I reloaded the same page many times over even though, it showed me “No flights found” again and again…
So, It was my unforgettable 17th May of 2016. I lost my one-year working holiday’s plan in NZ on that day and I really had no plan from that time. I regret a lot of things about that day but It was too late and what is done cannot be undone. The important thing is accepting my failure, learning from it and never do the same mistake again. I also really appreciate you who gave me kind advice as if it were your own. Because when I came back to the hostel from the airport and I couldn’t sit still, I posted about that situation on my FB.
Thank you everyone for your kind advises.
I was really sad about that happening and I regretted by myself a lot, but I keep going to reach my goal and I promise you that I won’t give up to write the next book while I’ll be learning from that happening and not be doing the same mistake never.
・Before 20th means until the end of 19th.
・Donot misunderstand “a.m.” or ”p.m.” when I set an alarm.
I don’t give up to write the next book because I can’t say “because of my oversleep”.