I was just talking to my friend last night how I feel I have somehow developed a slight phobia when leaving from Kabul airport. The stress of the whole process where you had to go through several xray screens and physical checks really does take its toll especially when you have maximum allowable luggage weight in tow.
Fairy godmother must have heard my silent prayer and this morning…
I just had a series of airport fortunate events 🙂
1. A VIP will be coming in in the morning. Last I heard I will be in a different convoy. But this morning, I was taken by the VIP escorts to the airport, bypassing the biggest ordeal any passenger could have – physical check # 1, xray screen # 1, porters touting their service, a long walk to xray screen # 2 or a bus ride which is also chaos.
We went straight to Parking B where it is just right by xray screen # 2. I got the service of a porter, and I made a good decision for it.
2. My porter made my day! Really! From xray screen # 2, there was another xray screen # 3. He took care of everything. Xray scanners softened up when they find out I am a Filipina. That speaks about Filipino reputation in this country 🙂
Anyway I thought his service would end as soon as we got to the terminal building. But, no. He showed me to the physical check # 2 while he fell in line for xray screen # 4. After my check, he motioned me to go ahead and complete xray screen for my handbag. I waited for him at the other end. He accompanied me to the check in counter and that’s when I thanked him for his service and gave him his tip 🙂
3. Baggage transfer service is free to my final destination 🙂 I saved $80ish for this. Shopping money! Haha…
Thanks to the cooperation and agreements between airlines. It makes our travel a lot easier. And cheaper 🙂
4. I was assigned a window seat without asking! How’d she have read my mind? Amazing!
5. Strangely, when I got upstairs at the Immigration area, a guy took my passport immediately, ushered me to the passport checker and then took my passport to the immigration officer to have my passport stamped. I didn’t have to leave the passport checker’s desk. It turns out, as you may have guessed, he walked me through the aisle to xray screen # 5 just before the boarding area and asked for “bakshish”. I know I need not translate what it means for you.
I told him I have no more $ and it almost worked! Until the security checker flipped through my passport and I saw a $20 bill inserted. Haha… The bakshish guy became more obnoxious. Ok. $5 for it. It’s a lot, I know, but I had no more 1’s left.
6. The final security check was a breeze. No more opening of bags. Whew!
Finally! Time to relax for a bit and enjoy free wifi while waiting for the flight.
They say the best things in life are free. While this may not be the best travel experience, hence not free, I opted for comfort.
…which gladly came with a price tag of $15. A win-win-win situation. For Mr. Porter who is $10 richer in 15 minutes, a day’s worth or labor for an average Filipino worker. For Mr. Bakshish who earned $5 in 3 minutes. He’s smart and cunning! Haha… And me who escaped stress, sweat and temper. A good omen of what lies ahead 🙂
Care to share your own similar airport experience? How did you get through it?