His name is Johan, but everybody calls him Rick. Until the beginning of last summer, he worked the overnight shift on our front desk. He left to work at a summer camp near Orillia. north of the city.
He arrived back at the hostel last week to arrange his flight back to Perth, Australia where he plans to resume his old job (temporarily) as a bartender at an upscale casino.
By his calculations, he had accumulated enough “air miles” to fly from Singapore to Perth for free. So he set his money saving “plan” in motion.
He had a bus ticket someone had given him for a one-way trip to New York City. It’s a grueling 12 hour plus, overnight run to the Big Apple. He had discovered that airfares to Perth from New York were slightly cheaper than a flight from Toronto.
He left the hostel around 4 PM on Tuesday afternoon. I told him he was crazy! He is! What follows is an mind numbing, exhausting travel horror story that has still not ended even as I write this at 6AM on Saturday morning.
He has been on the go non-stop for four-an-a-half days and he has only made it as far as Hong Kong! He has been unable to confirm space on the Singapore to Perth leg so he’s stuck at Hong Kong Airport! I don’t know how much money he has saved but that’s what I call “false economy”!
I spoke with Rick when I saw him on Skype last night intending to ask him how the weather was in Perth. That’s when I discovered he was stuck in Hong Kong. He sounded exhausted and I can’t imagine how he look or smells! (Or don’t want to!)
Here’s his (money saving) trip thus far:
Leave the hostel @ 4PM Tuesday to walk to Bus Terminal.
Leave Toronto Bus Terminal at 8:30 P.M for 12 hour trip to NYC (with brief stop at border to be harassed by U.S. Customs).
Arrive NYC early Wednesday morning around 7AM. His “Cheaper” flight? NYC – London does not depart until 9PM!
Arrive London in the morning and has 12 hour lay-over until flight to Hong Kong. Spends about $50 sightseeing!
Arrives Hong Kong to discover that no space available for a redeemed air miles ticket avalable Singapore to Perth – standby only! Forced to wait in Hong Kong.
Spends 42 hours at airport minus a few hours for a trip to town carrying all of his baggage! (He’s accumulated quite a bit after a year in Canada!)
He finally arranges his flight and will arrive home in Perth about 3PM Toronto time on Saturday!
How much money did he save? A lot I hope! Madness!