2019 Trip to Hong Kong: The Flight

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Finally! March of 2019 came. This trip to Hong Kong with my awesome friend, Jana, was almost a year in the making. I booked the trip way back in November of last year and made sure to file my leaves ahead of time.

The events leading up to our flight was not smooth at all. For some reason, I was so stressed out and was uneasy. To add to that, I almost terribly damaged my eye in the process.

You see, I bought contact lenses to wear during our travel because I wanted to look nicer in our photos. I bought my pair from one of the more accessible optical shops. When I tried to wear them two days before my flight though, my right eye started to feel terribly irritated. Lubricating felt like my eyeball was on fire and ordinary eye drops to refresh my eyes felt the same thing. I could not see any scratch and could not remember getting something in my eye before it suddenly felt so dry that I had to drop on some lubricant.

The following day, my eye was still a little bit pink (a sign it’s still irritated) and eye drops still made my eyeball feel on fire. I immediately contacted our family’s ophthalmologist and was advised to have it checked just to be sure. However, since I could not go to his clinic, I opted to go to another doctor in the hospital near my office. I told my original eye doctor what I was prescribed, and he did not seem to have any problem with the anti-inflammatory drops I was asked to use. He did tell me to visit his clinic soon when I got back.

img_1300On the day of the flight, I was still uneasy. I cannot understand why. Maybe it was because it was going to be my first time to travel to Hong Kong without my sister picking me up from the airport. I was also feeling responsible for my friend who was going on her first out-of-the-country trip. So, when we were invited to have our carry-on luggage checked in for free because of anticipated volume of carry-on luggage of a packed flight, despite my gut feeling telling me not to, I opted to have my bag checked in.

Upon boarding the plane, I asked two flight attendants in two separate occasions to ensure that my bag was indeed checked in. They assured me of the process, but I still felt something was going to turn out wrong.

At the immigration in Hong Kong, it was my first time to be ever asked for itinerary. So, make sure you have yours prepared just in case they ask for it. If you booked packages over Klook, please make sure to show them your bookings from your phone. Also, before giving them your passport, make sure to remove it from its jacket/holder.

Only my big suitcase arrived on the carousel. Ten minutes after all bags from our flight from Manila were already taken, my carry-on luggage that was checked in still did not arrive. I panicked immediately because the bag contained documents my sister needed. I immediately asked the assistance of the personnel at the Baggage Enquiry Desk while I tried to contact Cebu Pacific’s hotline.

I was amazed at the efficiency of the personnel at HKIA. They were understanding and supportive. They remained calm, so I did not panic even further. However, I was disappointed with Cebu Pacific because I was told to wait up to 48 hours for them to get back to me. No, scrap that. I was asked to call them again after 48 hours. So much for using the word “escalation.” I was fuming at this point!

Twenty-one minutes of long-distance call and Php 2,500 charge on my bill later, Jana told me she saw my bag already. It arrived together with the bags from the flight from Mumbai. I guess at the last minute, they remembered I checked in my bag and had it brought to the carousel.

Maybe if I had a little more faith on the ground crew of Cebu Pacific, I did not have to make the phone call. Still, it was my first “lost luggage” experience so I guess I should not be so hard on myself. I am grateful they did not lose my bag and I still think they should improve on how their customer service personnel handle cases like this. Please don’t sound as if you’re as helpless as your customers.

img_1296Almost lost luggage aside, Cebu Pacific still provided us a comfortable flight. Our seats were upgraded to the seats near the exit so, we had more leg room. Jana and I had fun trying to figure out how to open the exit door in case of emergency. The flight attendants were very nice and attentive to our needs. I guess, I just need to not be so uptight.

I am also thankful that I was not alone that day. Somebody could have picked my bag while I was still at the Baggage Enquiry Desk.

Lessons learned: If you can check everything in, check everything in. Once you decided to have carry-on luggage, don’t have it checked in anymore unless necessary (no more space at all).

Despite the tears, numerous eye drops and the tugging and pulling around my right eye, my Maybelline HyperSharp Powerblack Eyeliner and Essence I Love Extreme Waterproof Volume Mascara did not budge when my contact lens irritated my eye. Talk about product review after a mishap!

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