February 11, 2010

Bangkok Airport Marathon

We survived the Bangkok airport without pulling out all of our hair. I don’t know how there’s any hair left after the craziness that’s the Bangkok airport.

We arrived at 10:45 PM off our connecting flight from Chiang Mai ready to continue the travels home to Harbin. Immediately off the airplane, we climb down some stairs. For some reason the gate we pulled up to was not open so we had to wait for a bus to take us to another terminal. As a family, we waited what seemed like forever for our stroller as the other travelers boarded bus after bus. We boarded the final bus and headed off to the new terminal.

At the new terminal, we were ushered up some escalators and asked to join the end of a long line at the security check. We managed to wait about 30 minutes and unpacked the stroller, kids, laptop, and feed them through the x-ray machines. Now we were home free, or not.

We followed the signs through the mostly empty terminal (it is 11:30 PM by this time). We walked 400 meters and came to another security check point. Again we waited, as our temperatures boiled trying to convince ourselves this was somehow not the craziest thing ever. (In Chiang Mai, we had already gone through security twice, so this makes time #4.) We did make it through with all our things and were off to find our gate for our transfer flight.

The gate was close to a kilometer from where the journey began. At the gate, we meet our friends also traveling to Harbin. We determine that none of us has yet received a boarding pass for the next flight. I check at the gate. “You must go back the way you came and get a boarding pass. We can’t issue one here.” At least I could get the boarding passes for my family without having to drag two crying kids along on the journey back.

I walk back and find the transfer desk to issue a new boarding pass and try to find my way back to my family. Guess what, I have to go through ANOTHER security check point. THAT MARKS THE FIFTH TIME! (But this time it was without the kids or all my stuff making security easier. I still had to take off my belt again though)

What a mess! Five check points and I’d only been on 1 airplane at the time without leaving the airport once. I don’t recommend the Bangkok airport to anyone. But the Thai people are quite nice. They checked us in and issued us the bulk head row for each flight so we gained some extra leg room and a baby bassinet.

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