It’s been an amazing year of travel. Absolutely amazing. We’ve flown some of the world’s best first and business class seats and even inadvertently managed to try out a seat where you get a free beverage cart smashing when you close your eyes. Of all the memorable, luxurious and strange moments, there’s one that stands out in my mind as the greatest, because it followed some advice I share here on the site, and it saved our biggest leisure trip of the year…

We Had A 45 Minute International Connection Requiring Check In, Immigration and Security And We Made Our flight With Time To Spare…

From day one we knew that the planned 60 minute connection from Qatar Business Class to Emirates First Class would be a tight connection, even with a (hopeful) early arrival. We needed to deplane, clear immigration, make our way to the Emirates check in counter, re clear security, re clear immigration and make our way to the gate. Imagine our worries when we reached the gate to deplane with just 45 minutes…

We Had Pre Booked A VIP Transfer. Thank Goodness For That…

Mission impossible? With 45 minutes to do what should take 2-3 hours we knew this would be a seriously tight squeeze. When we virtually sprinted off the plane, we were quickly met at the gate by Piyawadee K, a representative of Bangkok Flight Services, which Gary Leff, my favorite blogger had recommended. She offered to take our bags and quickly pointed to our special electronic golf cart (with a roof) which would whisk us along…

The Golf Cart Ride Was Just A Small Amazing Part…

Airports you’re not intimately familiar with can take a bit of calibration to navigate. Piyawadee saved countless minutes that we would’ve been searching for signs steadily navigating us exactly where we needed to be. She also totally fast tracked us through a private immigration line, handing over our passports to the waiting agent, saying a few words of “get this done fast” style encouragement.

We Got Our Bags, Rushed And Found Check In Closed…

Piyawadee grabbed a luggage cart, as at this point we had to ditch our faithful golf cart. After receiving our luggage she easily saved us ten minutes figuring out where to go for Emirates check in. As we approached the desks my worst fear was confirmed, Emirates Check in CLOSED. We would’ve tried to through check, something we always suggest trying, but the airport in Italy where we checked in was down and everything was done manually. No through check and no check in. Piyawadee mouthed a few choice words to the Emirates check in crew and within moments check in closed turned to “open”, at least for us.

The Grand Total For All Of This VIP Stuff?

Thailand’s currency isn’t exactly rock solid at the moment and we paid for this privilege in Thai Baht using a no foreign transaction fee credit card. If  memory serves, we paid roughly $30 per person, roughly about $60 total for all of the perks mentioned above. A private greeting at our airplane gate, a golf cart speed ride through the airport, immigration fast track, baggage assistance, magic wand waiving at check in and security and a friendly smile (complimentary) when we finally made our flight, complete with bow! Moral of the story, especially in foreign countries VIP services can be totally affordable and 100% worth it. If we missed this flight we would’ve been stuck for at least another day if we didn’t change to a different airline.