Saturday, November 1, 2014

Left your luggage at Suvarnabhumi Airport? Don't Panic.

While in Bangkok City, I received a confirmation from my Boss that my work visa and plane tickets would be sent to me as soon as possible thus I don't have to return back to Manila with my family last night.

Because of this, I decided to stay in Bangkok City while my wife and two kids left for Manila via Cebu Pacific. There was a complication regarding our paid baggage. We paid a total of 80 kilos checked baggage for four of us or 20 kilos for each one of us. If I wouldn't check-in then the ground staff will only allow 60 kilos of checked baggage thus I decided to check-in just to avail our 80 kilos baggage limit. Otherwise we would be forced to pay an excess baggage of 20 kilos at 350 Baht per kilo or around 7,000 Baht. Unknowingly, the ground staff attached the two baggage tags to my boarding pass and under my name while the other two large suitcases were put under my wife's name.

my boarding pass and baggage tags

Since I won't be accompanying them, I asked my wife to bring my boarding pass with baggage tags so they can retrieve them at NAIA airport in Manila. I asked her also to inform the ground staff at the boarding area that I wouldn't be in the flight. Following my instruction, my wife was surprised when the ground staff at the boarding gate decided that the two bags under my name will be bumped off for security reason; the bags would be left at the lost and found section of the airport according to them. After some arguments the ground staff told my wife that she could pay the excess weight which amounted to 5,000 Baht if she wants the bags to remain in the plane. Sounds fishy, isn't it? Initially, the two bags would be left behind for security reasons then afterwards for 5,000 Baht they would forget the security blah-blah. Fortunately, I was online in our hotel thus my wife was able to contact me. I told her to let the two bags remain at Suvarnabhumi airport's lost and found and I would retrieve them first thing in the morning.

In short, I raced to the airport today and searched for the lost and found section. To my surprise, there wasn't any lost and found area but rather a left luggage area. I inquired at the said place but the staff directed me to a nearby security post beside the airport pass holder entrance.

Due to limited command of English the security staff dialed a certain number. I explained my situation to the lady over the phone. After confirming that my two bags were indeed left in their custody the lady asked me to wait for the porters.

Soon after, the porter arrived with some documents and copied my passport details and inspected my scanned copy of boarding pass and baggage tags. We then proceeded inside the bag carousels area through the airport pass holder entrance under assistance by the security staff.

The porter directed me to BFS (Bangkok Flight Services) office beside carousel 22. There, I saw my two bags lying outside the office together with other unclaimed luggage; padlocks were still intact.

I grabbed my bags and raced immediately to basement to catch the City Link train. I have few hours left before checking out of my hotel. Furthermore, I need to send the bags by sea cargo before I check-out from the hotel because it is much cheaper to do so.

Since the wife and two kids have left for Manila there was no more reason for me to stay in Pratunam area thus I have transferred to a single bed room in Khao San road. It was a truly tedious day for me but I appreciate the help I got from some Suvarnabhumi airport staff.

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