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Forums > Social Chat > I just had the most stressful morning of my life..

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.

Total posts: 756
Posted:As I've been shouting from the rooftops to everyone and his dog for weeks, I was supposed to be flying to NZ this morning..
Being me, so always paranoid about missing flights, I spent the night at the airport (just in case the 5.30 bus didn't get there in time for an 8.40 flight).. so I was the first person at check in when it opened.
I produce my ticket, the girl behind the counter looks through my passport and first off tells me 'Your visa expired in July'
It doesn't, it expires on Saturday, which is why I was leaving then-
she asks to see my visa for NZ.. I tell her (as got from the immigration website) that as a UK citizen, i don't need a visa for visits under 6 months, I just need a return flight booked. She says okay, and asks to see the return ticket.

5 minutes later, she comes back and says 'But you don't have a visa for Australia, for the return flight'
I say I was planning to apply from NZ.
She looks at me blankly, then says 'But you need to already have the visa before they'll let you in. I'm sorry, I can't let you on this flight.'


I say, okay, can I apply for a visa or something here- I mean it's an airport.. seems a logical place for an immigration office.

But you can't apply for an Aussie visa from inside the country.. and they won't let me out without one..

Unless I buy a ticket back to the UK.

Now.. I don't really have much money on me, I'm cutting this trip pretty fine, and pretty well banking on having a tax rebate come through, which is due in the next few days- I definitely can't afford to buy a plane ticket I don't even want back to the UK..

By this point, I'm getting pretty stressed- my visa's up in 2 days, I don't have enough money to buy a ticket out, and I can't even afford to apply for my second year visa- if you apply in the country, you have to have a $400 medical check, on top of the price of the visa..

At this point, the guys at Virgin, who I was supposed to be flying with just went 'well, nothing to do with us' and walked off..

Fortunately, there's a lady at one the other flight desks who is a bit more a) clued up and b) incredibly helpful
who figures out she can sell me a ticket for $1400 to the UK, which I can cancel as soon as I get to NZ, and get an (almost) complete refund... then use the ticket I already have back to Australia.

I basically have to pay another $100, in cancellation fees, and I can still go.

So I try phone my parents- to try borrow some emergency money.
Normally, they're pretty predictable- Mum always works thursdays, and she gets up early- so they're never out on a wenesday night after about 9.30.
But they are tonight- in the UK it's after 10, and they're definitely not in..

I call about 10 times.. then realise I actually have my brother's mobile number somewhere, so call him (in a MAJOR panic, having misread the board, I think I have 35 minutes before the plane goes- I really have 2 hours)
Now.. I feel so bad about doing this, 'cos this is the first time I've called him in the year I've been here, but I ubblove my bro..
He goes 'okay, put it on my credit card, if it gets refunded, I pay the extra $100, he gets his money back, minus a few days worth of interest'

Except the system refuses his card.

And his other card.


Both fully paid up- nowhere near maxed out- no-one can figure out the problem.. and now the flight's getting closer..

Eventually, we discover the card company put the card on hold 'cos he hadn't used it in a bit, but failed to mention this to him..

10 minutes before boarding, he finally managed to get his card reactivated, and buy the ticket..

I go back to check in, final call, the girl looks at the ticket and goes 'but this says you're coming back to Sydney before the UK'..

I'm a total gibbering wreck by this point,- since when did you need a visa to go through an Airport (except the US, okay)?? She was seriously not going to let me on the damn flight after watching me panic for 4 hours because I would have to pass through Sydney airport when I didn't fly on a ticket I wasn't going to use..

But..

I made it..

Just.
12 hours early for a flight, and I still only *just* manage to catch it..


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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FlyYak
GOLD Member since Sep 2007

FlyYak

stranger
Location: London

Total posts: 8
Posted:Wow, that horrible creature was messing with you something bad! There is some satisfaction to be had in thinking of how bad her karma must be by now. (she's getting cut off in traffic, birds pooing on her car...) Your brother's a hero.

Enjoy the sunlight, we're losing ours here everyday and yup... here comes the rain!


"Dost thou think, because thou art
virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?"

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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne

Total posts: 5125
Posted:wow.. that is cutting it fine indeed

well done hazel smile

hug


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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Curly_Sue
SILVER Member since Nov 2006

Curly_Sue

laughter is the way to get through life
Location: Inverness

Total posts: 179
Posted:Wow man I bet you were a whiter shade of pale at the time but sitting on that plane I can imagine the colour coming straight back slowly. close call.

I fell down a hill once, got up then fell down it again.

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:VISAs are the pits.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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MagsKat
BRONZE Member since Mar 2017

MagsKat

Don't feed her cookies
Location: Surrey side

Total posts: 113
Posted:holy moly!!! I'm only just deliving into the whole Visa ocean and after that i'm pretty nervous!

Formally known as kat224

We are not friends.. we never were.. but if i was part of your life then i thank you

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth

Total posts: 5814
Posted:whew...... hug hug hug

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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The Tea Fairy
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...

Total posts: 853
Posted:Visas are a nightmare... wouldn't it be great if we were all just allowed to go wherever we wanted without the silly bits of paper...

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan

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BurdaA
SILVER Member since Jul 2007

BurdaA

Sacrebleu
Location: At the quiet limit

Total posts: 377
Posted:Nicely done. Virgin suck real bad. I had similar troubles during my travels, but nothing quite to that extent. meditate

End of mad
Time to biggrin


Poi(poi~y) n. : A Hawaiian food made from the tuber of the taro that is cooked, pounded to a paste, and fermented.
- part owner of Wooktastic

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natasqi


natasqi

addict
Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:*hugs*

Though nearly as bad as yours, I will follow the stressful morning theme...

Last night I was at the universty waiting for my second last exam. Only the computer system crashed and we couldn't sit it. So half of the year completed the exam, and half of us didn't.

So this morning I was entirely stressed about this. The fact I was hoping for this exam to pull up my marks, the fact they may reschedule it when I have work, or PERFORMANCES (which as I'm sure you realise, cannot be rescheduled) or how they were going to solve the problem.

Then today I was studying for my last exam, which is tomorrow afternoon. Only when I went to the hopsital to pick up my book with all my pretty pictures and notes and with everything explained in it (they were marking it)... they had LOST IT.

So I had to spend half the day copying other people notes because I didn't have my own book to study.

And they sent an email telling us they have rescheduled the exam for SATURDAY MORNING at 9am.
a) It is university policy to give at least a weeks notice for any exam
b) this f*****ed everyones travel plans
c) the reason I'm most annoyed is all the meticulously planned parties for Friday night can't go ahead. frown

So, I have two exams coming up, and I don't feel prepared for either of them...


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Wait, the U.S. makes you have a visa to connect through an airport?

Have I mentioned that I am routinely ashamed to be American?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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pineapple pete
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

pineapple pete

water based
Location: melbourne

Total posts: 5125
Posted:we might have picked that up doc.. but we still love you smile

hug


"you know there are no trophys for doing silly things in real life yeah pete?" said ant "you wont get a 'listened to ride of the valkyries all the way to vietnam' trophy"

*proud owner of the very cute fire_spinning_angel, birgit and neon shaolin*

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polarity
SILVER Member since May 2005

polarity

veteran
Location: on the wrong planet

Total posts: 1228
Posted:Immigration has some of the stupidest rules out there, no matter what country you go to.

I've been to Japan twice. The first time was with Turkish Airlines and I had to change in Istanbul, which was fine on the way out, as I was only in the airport for a couple of hours before getting on the plane to Japan. On the return journey though the wait between flights was more like 12 hours, so I was to stay in a hotel for the night (and I really could have done with a rest as I can't sleep on planes, and I'd just got off a 14 hour flight). The airline had forgotten to tell me that I'd need to pay for a visa though, and it could only be payed for in Euros or US dollars, while I only had UK pounds and Japanese Yen. So I had to wait around until someone could be bothered to deal with me, then for a member of security to become available to escort me through customs to the currency exchange desk, then back through customs to pay for a visa (and the minimum exchange amount was 3 times the value of the visa).

By the time I'd done all this, then been driven half way across Istanbul to the hotel, it was only 2 hours until the taxi came to pick me up for the trip back to the airport. When I got to London I'd lost so much sleep I was hallucinating all through customs at Heathrow. The second time I went to Japan I just forked out the extra and got a direct flight with ANA.


Japan has the 6 months stay with no visa required thing too, so you go and spend a weekend in Bali or South Korea then go back to Japan for another 6 months. I've met people who've stayed in Japan for 5 years doing this.


You aren't thinking or really existing unless you're willing to risk even your own sanity in the judgment of your existence.

Green peppers, lime pickle and whole-grain mustard = best sandwich filling.

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:wow what a scary story!

glad you made it on the place smile


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by: natasqi


And they sent an email telling us they have rescheduled the exam for SATURDAY MORNING at 9am.
a) It is university policy to give at least a weeks notice for any exam
b) this f*****ed everyones travel plans
c) the reason I'm most annoyed is all the meticulously planned parties for Friday night can't go ahead. frown




Oh, our medical school did this crap, too.

We got 10 days off between third year and fourth year. People planned vacations, one couple even planned their wedding and honeymoon.

Three weeks before it, we get told that we have a MANDATORY orientation smack in the middle of our "Vacation." Anyone who is not present will not be permitted to advance to 4th year.

People were incensed and protests to the administration were met with messages about "professional behavior." Someone's wedding was scheduled for that day.

Finally, one of the members of our class who was a lawyer composed a very nasty letter to the administration advising them that they were legally responsible for the damages if they threatened anyone's education or travel/wedding plans. He then began to organize a class action suit. He also mailed a copy to the almuni association and threatened to have it sent to the entire alumni mailing list.

The administration relented.

Medical training can be truly awful.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Gnor
BRONZE Member since Mar 2003

Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth

Total posts: 5814
Posted:Medical training seems designed to try break you mentally and physically. Seems almost a " well we went through hell to be doctors so you had better too"

Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.

Total posts: 756
Posted:Thanks for saying nice things everyone biggrin..

I know I should check stuff more carefully before I fly, but I still haven't figured out how I was supposed to do anything different, and I'd only had 4 hours sleep in the 2 days prior to getting on the flight (sometimes I hate hostels) which really didn't help my mental state.

I'm already having a great time though.


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted: Written by: Gnor


Medical training seems designed to try break you mentally and physically. Seems almost a " well we went through hell to be doctors so you had better too"



Yeah, it's true. The difference was that there was a 43yo attorney in our class who has a tolerance for horsedung that's about 0.00003mm high.

Failing that, we were all planning on just not showing up and daring them to fail the entire class. That does makes you look GREAT to prospective students... wink


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:Wow that's so scary. Stupidity and the lack of co-operation is a common human desaster, I'm not sure whether the behaviour of this desk clerk actually would be within the companies policies. I I were you, I would raise this issue to the CS department of Virgin and file a formal complaint - their fares are not the cheapest (I reckon) and such stories do not make people trust whether they have made the right choice flying this airline.

This girl has just been a censored censored ....

Happy I have not remotely experienced such a power struggle ridden desk clerk and such disinterested ground staff.

You reckon it would have helped to kindly ask for her Supervisor/ Station Manager and noted her name?


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.

Total posts: 756
Posted:I did speak to the supervisor.. he was just as vague. He changed his mind twice about what ticket I had to buy-
and I don't remember either of their names.

The lady who did help me out *loads* -from the Quantas help desk told me it happened all the time with those guys, they're not directly employed by Virgin even, it's some contractor who deals with their ground staff, they get basically no training, and they just don't have a clue.

I wasn't even the first person to have the same problem that day, and it was only the 3rd flight to leave in the morning... you really would expect them to know what they were doing..


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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The Misguided Oracle
GOLD Member since Aug 2005

The Misguided Oracle

the floor is a sea of tigers...
Location: Brisvegas

Total posts: 404
Posted:Yikes! talk about stressed.
Anyway, I'm glad you made yoru flight in the end. Having fun over there?


"My body is a well tuned machine... It just needs a competent driver." - ?

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Posted:Wow, remind me to have all my ducks in order next time I travel.

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.

Total posts: 756
Posted:They tend to confiscate ducks at customs.. mean people..

THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3288
Posted:some of the meanest people I've ever met have been working in immigration / ticketing situations. Especially immigration. They seem to love to make people's life difficult for no good reason. I've not been on the end of the worst of it but I've seen it happen too many times.

I've met nice immigration people too tho ...


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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