Stranded in BKK – Live blog

November 30th, 2008 6 Comments

Well, as live as I can make it.  I will update with any info I hear.

Our situation:

12/2 – 12:30 : Waiting to hear if we are able to get on an EVA flight out of U-tapao tomorrow or not.  What we got from them yesterday was a “waiting list” for the “possible flight” tomorrow and a confirmed for Dec. 8 out of Suvarnabhumi.  I looked at the paper work and started laughing.

Our other option which we really doesn’t want to take is to get on a bus to Kuala Lumpur then board a plane to Taipei then Taipei to LAX.  The South is being hit by massive rain. It’s flooded everywhere.  And the trecherous conditions already claimed at least 4 lives of the tourists trying to get out through the south.

My Auntie Network is doing its thing.  And Brandon has now contacted his friends at the office to see if there is something they could help with.  Because US Embassy was absolutely useless.

General Movements – What I’ve heard so far (Bangkok time):

12/2 – 12:30 – Thai Constitution Court dissolves PPP as predicted.  Now we wait…

12/1 – 14:25 – THAI Airways told us that there will be no new tickets issued for anyone.  They are currently working with tourists with THAI tickets.  Say, if I want to buy a ticket on THAI to go to Singapore from Phuket, that will not be possible, accordingly to what we have been told.

12/1 – Lunchtime

Rumors abound that tomorrow (Tuesday) the court will dissolve the current majority political party and therefore sack the PM.  Then a coup will follow to mop up the mess, disperse the airport crowd.  Then an interim governement. Then election.  The Red Shirts aren’t going to like it but that’s the only way to solve the stand off, in my opinion.

Another thing Westerners have to understand about our coups as of late is that our military has turned into the Cleaner.   The political scenes cause major disturbances and mess with our country in a way that there is nothing anyone could do.  Last time, Thaksin was entrenched and unrest was at hand. We had coup. We started over.  Now we have yet again arrived at an impass.  The military will have to wipe the slate clean and once again, start us over.

It’s not very democratic of us, but that seems to be the only thing left to do.

12/1 – a.m.

The Minister of Sports and Tourism announced on the morning news for travelers to stay put with their airlines in regards to their flights out.  He said to update your airlines on your whereabouts so that they will be able to contact you when they have further information about the next available flight.

From both the Aunties Network and the news, THAI Airways does not have direct flights to the U.S. because of U.S. strict safety policy which the humble U-tapao cannot provide.  Back to the drawing board of going from U-tapao to another destination then to the U.S.  Still waiting on another THAI connection through the Aunties Network.  She might be able to provide more information and help.

According to the U-tapao is packed. Traffic is backed up.  Tourists are spilled all over the parking lot, lugging their luggage in from the streets.  This 1960-built former U.S. airforce base during Vietnam War has only one luggage scanner.  A Thai-blog reader contacted me to said that he tried to “drop in” on U-tapao and it was a total nightmare.

Anyone heading out should allow themselves a LOT of time to get there and to go through the maze of lines and put up with lots of characters.

11/30 – late night

Stranded aircrafts were being flown out of Suvarnabhumi airport to U-tapao and other regional airports.  At least now there are planes to fly people.  More than the concern over the availability of aircrafts are the fact that nobody was really watching those parked planes.  To quote the local news, “the Sissy Government” is now finally worried that a third party might be tampering with those jets to cause even more chaos.

Um yeah…yer didn’t think of that when you let the PAD stormed the airports in the first place?  Jack ass…

11/30 – 15:04

The Aunties Network (friends of my late mom’s) called to let me know that there are buses (not public buses) available by some travel agencies to take people to Kuala Lumpur for 2,000 Baht.  Most stranded tourists so far have employed this method.  You can also rent a car or charter a van to do this 10-12 hour trek to our southern neighbor.  KL is an international hub so there are many flights available to all sorts of destination.

Old News

U-tapao still has flights to Phuket…I think…which is a springboard point to other international locations.

6 Comments

  1. Olaina says:

    I’m hoping your commute to my birthday party is Los Al to Redondo, not international… and I hope you make it in time not to be jet-lagged! You’re in our thoughts and prayers for safe and snappy travels.

  2. Sujitra says:

    Hope you and your husband make it back to the US in a timely manner.

  3. I hope you and Brandon find the solution to get back. I’m with you on this.. I don’t get it.. Why they think this action will help Thailand???

  4. Mam says:

    Hi Oakley, I’m in the industry and you may already know this but here is my thoughts.
    I think you may have better chance getting out from Phuket then Chiang Mai. There is Air Asia flight from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur. See if Eva will re-route your flight to depart from KL, if not you could purchase new ticket from there. I saw Air Asia flight that depart Phuket to KL 9am-1130am cost Bht 4700 pp and connect with China Air depart KL at 2.20pm arrive in LAX 6.50pm cost about US$ 990 pp. You can do this either the 3rd or 4th of Dec depending on how soon you could get to Phuket. Both airlines still have seat on both dates. My clients (4 ladies) was schedule to leave on 30Nov on Northwest and they’re now re-booked to fly out from Hong Kong on Dec 6th.

    Good luck!!!
    Mam

  5. Komsant Frederick says:

    Hi O&B! In Seoul waiting to board for LAX. Good luck in UTapao…nasty place. Thanks again for your communications. Best of luck! Freddie

  6. Pealpfaibia says:

    Stunning, I didn’t know about that till now. Thx!

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