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May 13, 2024

From Singapore: Pedro and my Boarding Pass

I was going from Windhoek to Kota Kinabalu via Addis Ababa and Kuala Lumpur. When I checked-in at Windhoek Airport (Namibia), the attendant told me he could not see the next flight (Addis-Kuala Lumpur) in the system but that I could get my boarding pass in Addis. I boarded in Windhoek as expected and I arrived in Addis at 10:30 PM. I immediately went to the Business Lounge to get my boarding pass for my flight from Addis to Kuala Lumpur. I had been booked in Flight MH 5972 of Malaysia Airlines, departing Addis at 10 minutes past midnight.
At the business lounge, I was told that this flight did not appear in the system and they had no Malaysia Airlines plane leaving from Addis. I insisted and showed them my ticket and they sent me to the Ethiopian Airlines desk, where I was told that I had no ticket to continue. They said there was an Ethiopian Airlines flight leaving at 11:30 PM and there were no seats available anyway.
It seemed my office travel agents had made a mistake and booked me on a non-existent flight (my secretary had been dealing with them when I told her there was no flight from Addis). I looked at the airport's departure board and my flight did not feature anywhere. There was only one Ethiopian flight leaving for Kuala Lumpur at 11:30 PM. It seemed clear that the agents had put me on a flight Addis-Kuala by Malaysian Airlines which didn’t exist, supposed to leave at 12:10am. I insisted and showed the Ethiopian people the ticket I had, but nothing worked. I was taken from the help desk back to the business lounge and back to the help desk and nothing. It was now 11:00pm and the Ethiopian airways flight was already boarding as scheduled to leave at 11:30pm. I had prayed to Don Alvaro but I guessed he was busy. So, in the midst of this confusion and being stuck in Addis, at this moment, just 30 minutes before the Addis flight departed, I asked Pedro for help. I said "Pedro, help me. I need to officially open a conference in Kota Kinabalu tomorrow."
Immediately I said this, the lady came back to me in the queue and said "give me a minute" and she took my passport and my phone where the ticket was in electronic form. After a few minutes that seemed like an eternity, she came back and gave me my passport, my phone and a boarding pass with seat 1D for the Ethiopian Airways flight, departing imminently. They had printed a boarding pass out of the blue. She told me "rush to Gate A12. There is someone waiting for you there.” I rushed and I was the last to board the flight. The doors closed and the flight departed.
Shortly after this, my secretary messaged me to say: “I got a call from our agents. They hadn't booked you by the time you boarded. So the jury is still out how you actually were allowed to board. are hopefully on an airplane and you will arrive in Kuala Lumpur. Now I'm trying to get the boarding passes for the rest of the flights. I just want to make sure the agents didn't mess up the rest of the flights.”
As I write this, I’m almost landing in Singapore for a short stop, then to Kuala Lumpur, then to Kota Kinabalu. The time frame is so tight that if I had missed a plane I would miss the event in Kota Kinabalu.
I thought Pedro had helped, but also thought my office had managed to get me a new ticket just in time. I was grateful to Pedro and to my secretary. Now it turns out that I’m only grateful to Pedro for the office never bought a ticket. So no one knows how I got the boarding pass and how I’m flying. Pedro really came to my help and I'm so grateful.
XX (Singapore)
25 February 2024

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