Monday, April 5, 2010

Double-check assumptions

IMG_4754We knew we would need to be efficient to see Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park and still make it to the airport for our 13:50 check-in. Despite the pouring rain, there was lots to see and we had to pull ourselves away by 11:45.

The MRT got us back to the hotel by ~12:45 time to shower, change, pack and get a taxi to the airport for our 13:50 check in. It all seemed very smooth, and we were congratulating ourselves at our efficiency as we presented our ticket confirmation numbers and passports.

But then… “And your Australian visas?”

What?? Canadians don’t need visas for Australia!

Unfortunately, we do. In fact, the little matter that we also hadn’t obtained visas for Singapore had apparently been overlooked as well…

“Not to worry”, the helpful check-in guy said. “It happens a lot. Go over to that counter and they'll give you an email address you can use to get one online from the free Internet at the McDonalds.”

Well, it wasn’t quite that simple. The info counter clerk made a quick call, and told us we’d have to catch a shuttle (with all our bags) for Terminal 2 to have things processed at the Singapore Airlines counter. We dashed out to catch the shuttle just in time to have to wait for his smoke break. Argh!

Anyway, with way more sweating than we’d expected—and an unexpected SGD$100 ATM withdrawal to pay for them—we did manage to get the visas. Another shuttle bus ride and were back to the same check-in guy just before he closed the flight. With great relief, we cleared through and got our flight.

Moral? Never assume anything when it comes to visas!