I never enjoyed flying. Sitting in a cramp cylindrical tube for hours, constrained to small seats, scrunched up with strangers is not my cup of tea.
I was super excited for this specific flight though because it will be my first trip abroad. And I'm traveling alone!
I was going to Singapore to visit a friend. I didn't know what documents to bring since it was my first time with international flight. All I have is my one-way ticket to Singapore, passport and an invitation letter that my friend sent me.
On the day of my flight, I came to the airport 4 hours early. Did I tell you I was excited?
I was the very first one to check-in. Paid the travel tax and terminal fee. Everything was smooth until I went to the immigration. I was subjected to a series of questions.
Question #1: Are you traveling alone? I said yes with a hint of pride in my voice.
Question #2: What are you going to do in Singapore? I told him for vacation and yes, still with pride.
Question #3: How long are you going to stay? I said I'm not sure yet because I was thinking of visiting Kuala Lumpur after since it’s only 6 hours by bus from Singapore.
And the most dreaded question: So you don’t have a return ticket?
It all went downhill from there.
The agent gave me a long piece of paper with personal questions that I have to answer. Questions like:
- Who is my sponsor?
- Who is paying for my trip?
- How much have I already spent for the trip?
- How much money do I have in cash?
Another agent asked me to go with him inside an office to be interviewed after I answered the papers. To say I was nervous is an understatement. They told me they wont let me travel unless I can give them proof that I am going back or that I have any reason to go back. The thing is, I did not bring with me my leave form or my company ID.
I ended up buying a return ticket four times more expensive than my promo ticket to Singapore.
Without hesitation I rush off to immigration, through security and towards my gate, arriving with only a few minutes to spare. As soon as I buckle my seat belt and settle into my window seat, I lean my head back, wipe the sweat from my forehead and take a deep breath. I'm on my way to Singapore.
While on the plane, I got to chat for a little with my seatmate who I found out was a backpacker and has been traveling for six months now. I ended up telling him what happened to me in the immigration.And that’s when he told me about this site called returnflightonwardtravel.com where you can basically rent a ticket for only $9.99! Waaaay less than what I paid for my ticket.
From now on, whenever I travel with no itinerary, I used the site to get a return ticket. It was a lesson learned the hard way.