I hate airlines

I’m trying to fill the gaps in for my schedule in July. Thanks to Matt, I have some info regarding flights from Bali to East Timor and this is causing me some bellyache.

I just booked Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar at a time that won’t suit Leah. Thing is, while I was waiting for her to get back to me I was watching the Air Asia flight prices rise before my eyes. So I just went for it. This means I’m leaving KL about 5-6 hours before her, but it’s still half the price of flying the next day. Then take into account accommodation and the loss of an entire day until the next flight and I didn’t have a choice.

The problem is that I land in Denpasar at 22:00. I don’t expect the Merpati or Garuda ticket offices to be open at the airport at that time. From what I gather, Merpati have a flight out at breakfast time to Dili, which I’d be interested in… but does their ticket office open early enough to book a seat on that flight in the morning? I can’t book online as their web site is still under construction.

Garuda’s page is more functional and tells me I can get a flight to Kupang from where I know I can get a bus to Dili. The downsides: the flight’s in the afternoon so I’d likely have to stay in Kupang for a night and get the bus the next day (it’s a 12-hour journey)… and you can only book online with Garuda if your credit card was issued in Indonesia. Therefore by the time I get to Indonesia where I can book over the counter with them, all of the cheaper seats (and they are cheap) will almost certainly have gone.

Earlier in the trip I have a flight landing at Ko Samui airport at 10:45 in the morning. Ideally I want to get a ferry from Samui to Ko Tao. There are two companies (Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery) with boats at suitable times and both around 550 Baht each way for a 1½ hour journey. Lomprayah offer a free bus transfer from the airport, but this bus leaves at 11:00. Do I have time to get off the flight, grab my luggage and be on that bus? I don’t know, so I emailed them a day ago to ask… and haven’t had a reply yet.

Alternatively, Seatran’s boat leaves a couple of hours later but I’d have to make my own way down to the port… and I can’t find out which one of the several ports I’d need to get to!

You know, I much prefered traveling when I just turned up in places and winged it. I hate being on a schedule.

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8 thoughts on “I hate airlines

  1. Welcome to the wonders of Indonesian airlines — there’s at least 50 of them, and, believe it or not, Merpati is pretty cutting edge.

    Could be worse – you could be heading out Dili way by ferry and that’s a right royal PITA.

    BTW if you miss the Lompryah bus, just get a cab to get the boat.

  2. Hey, Stuart. I’d actually *prefer* to get to Dili by ferry, but as mentioned my time is limited. A couple of years back I’d have island-hopped and enjoyed it more!

    Ta for the advice on Ko Samui. I wasn’t sure what the availability of transport would be from the airport, or the length of the journey. Free bus is good, but it doesn’t help if it won’t wait for you!

  3. Yeah, I’d spotted Seatran. I thought the price was the same, though I was skimming the fares. Wishing I’d booked the combo ticket thing from Bangkok rather than got the plane, now. Ah well. As I said, the joys of being on a tight (for me) schedule for a change.

  4. You would have liked touring with me years ago we just showed up and winged it like you say. We did book a few flights but they were quick and painless and all seemed to cost about $100USD at the time.

  5. Hey Hans. Yeah, that’s what my first couple of years were like. Hell, that’s what India was like, remember? And Nepal. Especially Nepal.

    “Where are you gentlemen going?”
    “How will you get there?”
    “By bus.”
    “Oh, no you won’t…”

  6. Great to hear you are doing well, Mosh. Not sure about this ‘tight schedule’ nonsense. Don’t let a voyage of discovery turn into a chore because of clockwatching.

  7. Not a chore – a different kind of challenge. Unfortunately I have to get home by a certain date and I have to catch Leah partway round, so have to work our two schedules together.

    Waiting for a 3rd party company to get back to me – it may be possible to book my Garuda tickets in advance via them.

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