The Art of Negotiation

I was sleepy and tired of dragging my heavy bags throughout the compact city, jumping from one subway to another. Ten friggin hours.

Almost midnight. The friendly Malaysian lady at the transit desk had warned me this morning to check in earlier but between 10pm and 1am. I made a mistake by going to Terminal 1 to reach my transit hotel first without realizing that I must produce a boarding pass to get through immigration. So I went back to T2…

The check-in counter was quiet, but I was ready to enter the departure gate, a tall guy came forward & asked for my boarding pass.

“Are you travelling alone, miss?” he asked friendly.

“Yes,” I said. We chatted a while until he asked me to put my luggage on the scale. Over many years travelling with this airline, I have always passed! 8+5 kgs. I saw it, he saw it.

“You have 3 kilos of excess baggage,” he showed me the picture of a maximum of 10 kilos.

I did leave Jakarta with 8+ kilos, but they didn’t weigh me. Plus, I went shopping all day in the city. But he didn’t know it.

“Oh no. How much do I need to pay? Will it take a long time? I really need to check in to my hotel & get some sleep,” I said.

“Well, you need to pay an extra fee…,” he looked at my boarding pass, and called his supervisor. The third person came and told both of us the same thing we’d already known.

“Miss, you carry 3 kilos extra,” he said.

In my mind, I said I could drop it right there and say OK, but I hate to check my bag & just want to lay down.

“There are shoes there. I will wear my shoes in the morning, cuz now I’m only wearing sandals now!” I said with a big grin on my face.

The supervisor smiled.

“Ok, can,” he said and walked away. The first guy just stared at my pass.

“Well?” I asked.

“Can lah,” he said. I replied with ‘thank you’ and walked away with a victory feeling.

Note to self: Not to be sexist, but this only works with male officials, it doesn’t work when I was dealing with female airline staff in Spain and France. Lol.

📸 the pilot on my last flight

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