Arriving to Bangkok, Thailand… Ticket Scam
We arrived to Bangkok around 4pm after a short flight from Hong Kong. We decided right there to leave to Chiang Mai right away rather than spending a night in Bangkok. Ryan went looking for internet to research trains, while I went up one floor to departures to get prices for flights. I couldn’t find the tickets counters, so I asked an airline employee for the counter location.
The employee was very accommodating and called somebody on his cellphone, which seemed a little bit weird, but I thought he might be calling the ticket counter. He told me someone was going to help me get the tickets in a minute. He let me in the check-in area, where only people with tickets could enter, and walked me all the way to the back, where another employee met us and took me to an inmigration office. That’s when my radar starting to go off… I was thinking how I get out of this situation. It was obvious at that point, that the employee was trying to get a commission of my purchase or I was going to be scammed… all I wanted was him to point out the airline ticket counter. The worst part was that I was dealing now with inmigration officers… You don’t want to mess with inmigration officers. They could accuse me of whatever they wanted to, they could take my passport, if I refuse to buy the tickets or whatever… I was really scared.
Once inside the office, I saw 3 more male officers. They asked me where I wanted to fly to. I just played dumb and told them I had to look for my husband before I bought the tickets and that I was coming back once I found him. I got out of the office as quickly as I could. I was so upset that an airline employee did that, and I thought of reporting the whole incident, but I really didn’t want to waste time or energy.
Once I left the Check-in area I realized that the ticket counters where right beside me. I got prices but I was really expensive so we decided to go to the train station and tried to catch a train to Chiang Mai that night.
We arrived at the train station and fortunately there was a sleeper train leaving later that day to Chiang Mai, but they did not take credit card or US dollars. At the airport, we only exchanged about 20 dollars, because the exchange rate was really bad. The train station had an exchange rate worse than the airport one, so we had to get money out of an ATM. With money at hand, we returned to the window and finally bought our train tickets! We were rushed to the train… we didn’t realized that the train was waiting for us. As soon as we boarded, the train departed.
We were impressed with the sleeper train in Thailand, they had only 4 berths per cabin and each berth had a privacy curtain you could close to make it more private. They also served warm meals and the food although really overpriced for Thailand was still cheap and tasty.