Possible flight stumbling block

On my most recent trip to Bangkok, Jan. 8-14, ’05, I encountered a curious and frustrating situation when checking in for my return flight.

I used China Airlines (www.china-airlines.com) from New York’s JFK Airport, since they had the best price and I had enough frequent-flyer points to upgrade to business class from New York to Taipei and back. The check-in at JFK went fine, but when I went to check in on the 14th at the Bangkok airport, the agent asked to see the same credit card with which I had purchased the tickets.

Well, I had left that credit card at home with my husband and was carrying another card. No, they had to see the very card I had used. I asked to see a supervisor. I showed both ladies numerous pieces of I.D. so they could see that I was indeed the person who owned the ticket. Not good enough.

When I pointed out that I was attempting to use the return portion of a round-trip ticket, this fact seemed to take both gals by surprise, as they looked at each other in a wide-eyed way and attacked the computer. Finally, the supervisor said she was going to believe me and I was checked in.

Honestly, you think you have everything covered, being a veteran traveler, and there’s just no end to the curve balls the airlines or airports or security people can throw at you. If there is any lesson to be learned from this, I guess it’s that you should carry the same card with which you bought your tickets.

The above said, China Airlines is a wonderful carrier. Of course, I was up in the hump of the 747, where it was quiet — no screaming kids and very little foot traffic. But on the BKK to TPE leg I was in economy class and was still comfortable, though I would not have liked 27 hours of it.

The food was great, even in economy, and the flight attendants all were very pleasant and helpful. China Airlines is priced significantly less than other carriers, so you win on all counts.

Readfield, ME