Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You will not defeat me Vietnam Airport!!!

On my first trip here, I was astounded by the fierceness of Vietnam ticket counter ladies. They made me check a bag that was a common carry on even though I was getting into Hong Kong at 11pm at night and had roughly 6 hours to sleep before catching a morning flight. All because it was 12 kilos.

I got smart, learned the max carry on weight was 10 kilo's and packed my entire trip around this one airport.

It's common knowledge that one purse (personal item) and one carry on is permitted.


Look at this sleek yellow hard shell carry on, with bulging purse on top. Granted it's a very big purse, the biggest I could find but it IS a purse.

Today I managed to get through the ticket line with no questions asked. With great glee I proceeded to waltz through customs when suddenly I was stopped by a group of vultures - "this way madam, we need to weigh your bag".

GASP!

But I'm OKAY, I followed the rules, 10 kilos for carry on.

Ah, but the rule changed, it's now 7 kilos TOTAL for personal and carry on!

YOU. CANNOT. BE. SERIOUS!

Stay calm and negotiate.

Please madam, I've flown here 4 times and the rule has always been 10 kilos, please let me go. I have to fly all the way back to the US and Vietnam airlines LOST MY BAG on the last flight. I cannot risk checking it in again! I've planned so carefully for this trip, you cannot defeat me now!

Well I said something like that.

She looks at me with big eyes and I solemnly promise to never over pack again. I see her crack, she's going to let me go. Reluctantly she tells me to wear the purse on my arm so it "Looks like a purse" and not luggage. Yes Yes I will!

Off I go, to sit in a little internet cafe and eat fruit before the flight.

How I'll ever get luggage down to 7 kilo's is a mystery. I did watch many travelers go through with bags the size of mine but the trick seems to be one bag, anything else is slung onto the body with casual care. In fact, the hippi next to me has a backpack, a carry on and another small bag! What???

Must learn to walk into customs with large crowd so I can hide!

Duly noted Vietnam Airport!

On the plus side, Vietnam security does not make me remove shoes, take off my sweater, take my laptop out of purse or remove 3 ounce liquid bottles. That's nice!

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