I thought by now, I’m a pretty experienced traveler…kinda. But boy, was I wrong. I am a mere rookie.
I missed my Taiwan trip.
A few things happened that prevented me from going to the Taiwan portion of my Asia trip.
First I left my passport at my uncle’s house (which is where I stayed) and my poor uncle had to get off at the next bus stop to help me retrieve it ($42 HKD down the drain). I have never, ever, left my passport anywhere. I have always been known to nag and check thrice about passports.
Secondly, when I got to the counter, Eva Airlines informed me that they won’t be able to issue me a boarding pass because I was one day, one day, passed the 6 month validity. The ticket agent was sweet though. She saw that I had forgotten my passport earlier and helped me ask around to find out what to do. Just my luck, it was Easter Sunday so nothing was opened. She told me to call Air Canada the next business day and also find out from the Canadian Consulate in Hong Kong if I can get an emergency passport extension.
To console me, my uncle said it was all meant to be. Some higher being out there was telling me not to go to Taiwan. I totally bought it, it made me feel better at least.
Be careful what you wish for.
Not that I don’t love Taiwan, but it was not my intention to visit again. I was just there 2 years ago. So I had secretly hoped that I could stay in Hong Kong for a few extra days. Which is what happened but not under the circumstances that I wanted. Good thing my aunt and uncle were sending me off…we caught a ride back home.
Since it was Easter Sunday, there was no point in stressing about anything. Nothing was opened and no one would’ve been able to help. Instead, I was able to enjoy another night of dinner with my family in Hong Kong.
It was the next morning when I began to panic. I woke up early in the morning and sped walked over to the Canadian Consulate in Quarry Bay. I never knew how many Canadians there are in Hong Kong until I saw the line up. Thankfully, I got a special ticket to speed up my process…but there was no resolution. The earliest I could leave to Taiwan was Friday (it was Monday then).
I got back home and called Expedia who were of no help. Then I got on the phone with Air Canada HQ through their hotline. I explained my situation and I was
almost in tears.
Thank you Air Canada agent, Jean-Francois!
I have some kind of luck. Bad luck first, but there’s always someone who ends up helping me out (I am so thankful!!). I got on the phone with an Air Canada agent, Jean-Francois and explained my situation to him, “I forgot by passport and when I had it, I found out I wasn’t allowed in Taiwan, lost my Taiwan hotel deposit, I might not being able to go to Seoul and may lose another 7 night hotel deposit and not sure how to get back to Toronto if my entire ticket is deemed invalid”.
He put me on hold and I waited desperately for almost an hour. But it was totally worth the wait. Jean-Francois came back on 48 minutes later and told me he had to be in touch with 3 different departments to get this resolved.
It was really my fault for not checking my passport validity and country admission requirements but on a technicality, he was able to get me a flight from Hong Kong directly to Seoul, South Korea. Jean-Francois was so helpful and sympathetic. He told me it happened to his friend before when they traveled together.
Luckily, I made it to Seoul the next day without having to forfeit any hotel deposits 🙂
Make sure you have a valid passport – better yet, renew your passport 6 months prior to the expiration date.