Monday, August 08, 2011

the cheap flight that ended up being not so cheap after all!

i've always been amazed with those people who could get great travel deals. me - i luck out on mall sales once in a while, and i'd like to think i got an okay deal with my tv and washing machine, but never when it comes to travel.

until that fateful day in february where, despite the spotty internet connection at work (oops, i use work internet for personal stuff, my bad), i was able to book and buy three tickets for a trip to cebu. yes, it involved a lot of texting (i started out with an original group of eight), schedule wrangling, and phone calls (to get credit card information) but it wasn't long before i was emailed my itinerary and we were bound for cebu ... in five months' time!

{P2,474.40/3 = P824.80 per person ... round trip!!!}

while i'm generally not OC about things, i am pretty much so when it comes to making schedules. so it wasn't long before i was trolling the net for information about cebu city, and the two places we planned on visiting: bantayan island and camotes island. and, while there was a whole lot of information about bantayan, getting accurate, specific, and detailed information (i told you i was OC -- i found some information but it wasn't as detailed as I'd like my information to be) about camotes pretty much challenged my mad googling skills.*

five months = lots of time on the internet, budget planning, text messaging, emailing, and chatting with travel mates. i planned and planned and forced my travel mates to plan (and to see it my way, i am a bully, i know!). by the time we were about to leave, i had one word file (for our itinerary), one excel file (for our detailed budget), and a text message reminding people of their (1) share of the budget, (2) to wake up early, and (3) that with no check-in baggage, our maximum baggage allowance was 7 kilos.

yes, imagine me trying to limit my baggage to 7 kilos. still, i rose to the challenge. the OC person in me weighed and re-weighed my check-in luggage. and, even if they tried to "intercept" my hand carried luggage before we passed through the x-ray machines, i was still let through. so i -- and my friends -- arrived in cebu with zero checked-in luggage. fast, quick, painless.

only thing we didn't count on was the fact that between the three of us, we'd have so much pasalubong and that since danggit will be part of the stash we'd be bringing home, we need to check-in a bag on our way home.

several times we planned on amending our booking. as a matter of fact, on our last night, we tried, but the spotty internet using the hotel's bad wi-fi connection through our blackberries kept preventing us from buying checked-in luggage. we gave in, thinking that at the very most, we'd pay double (or P200, since 15 kilos = P100 if you purchase it at the same time you buy your ticket).

apparently, you pay quadruple, of P400 per 15 kilos. not only that, our giant box with everything from shamrock to sand (which the airport police thought was drugs!) was around 20 kilos meaning we paid ...

yep, P800 for our giant box. almost as much as one round trip ticket.

so, i planned for everything ... except our collective shopping ability.

*eventually i found sufficient information here.

**if the long-winded narration wasn't enough to drive home the point, here it is: never, ever, ever underestimate the need for check-in luggage. at the very least, spend that extra hundred bucks at the time of your booking, if only for your own peace of mind!

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