Of course this is a story of how stupid can I be. I’m leaving Cebu to come back to the US. My plane leaves at 1.30am so I have to be at the Cebu airport late evening the day before. I don’t get any sleep before I leave. Maybe this is the reason I’m so stupid.
We (Me, Nessie and Nancy) arrive at the Cebu Airport three hours early. I have the need to checkin and get rid of my baggage. I find I can go through security, checkin and then come back out in the visitors lobby to say my goodbyes.
Well my first problem is that I’m over weight and have to rearrange my stuff. Err! junk. Well I packed a 12 string mandolin in a case in my suitcase. Now I have it as a carry on. Ok! Now my weight is fine but I fail the radar scan. Seems I’ve go a big peace of metal that shows up in the scan. Yes, It’s more junk. An 5 inch hard drive I used 20 years ago on an Intel 8080 work station. I’m directed back to the ticket counter. I’m flying Korean Airlines and the people were very helpful in setting things straight. The hard drive was put in a separate box and taped shut with special security tape, put back in the suitcase and passes with special clearance..\
Things are fine and I have lots of time to goto the visitors lounge and say my goodbyes. Spend time with Nessie and when it’s time to go I see that I still have pesos in my pocket. I give all my Philippine money to Nessie. Why do I need pesos in the US? I still have a lots of time so I walk a bit in the visitors lounge. I read some instructions about, if you are a foreigner and been here longer that a year, You need papers and exit clearance.
Ok! So now I get in line to goto the plane terminal. I see this line in front of a window and a man collecting money. It’s called a terminal fee. Five hundred and twenty pesos. Dame! I don’t have any pesos. They don’t take a credit cards. I’m in trouble. I can’t get on board unless I pay. Sounds like an extortion fee to me. I argue that I seen no sign in the lobby that you need 520 pesos to get on the plane. I get the Philippine answer, “Thats not my problem, Your ticket agent was to tell you about the fee”.
I’m directed back to the ticket counter and I’m talking in an augmentative voice. Then I’m introduced to two people (Josephu M. Nacano and Jeff Carlos) from the MacroAsia Airport Services Corporation. They want to call Nessie to come back to the Cebu airport to give me money. I talk to Nessie and she is already home. It’s a 500 peso and a 40 minute trip back to the airport. My time is getting short so we get to an agreement to get me on the plane and everybody gets payed. Nessie tells me I have pesos in my engineers note book. Two hundred fifty pesos (new not circulated) I saved as a souvenir. Nessie is on her way back, but won’t make it in time for me to make my plane. Jeff and Josephu loan me the balance. So now I have the money to pay the terminal extortion fee.
I have many people to thank, MicroAsia Airport Services, Korean Airlines, Josephu, Jeff and a big thanks to my love Nessie.