I pulled out my National Express bus ticket from my handbag, upon arriving at Heathrow from Manila. I was pretty proud of and impressed at myself for being wiser this time to have bought a return bus ticket to and from Norwich. Last year, I paid £54 for one way because I purchased my ticket on the day of my trip. This time I only paid £45 return when I found out I could buy it online and saved myself a few pounds. I checked the departure time and it says 10:40 AM. It was only 7:15 AM. I went to the desk to ask if I could get an earlier trip and something caught my eye for the first time. The date was April 28! I nearly froze! How could I have made such a stupid mistake? I knew all along I was coming back on the 29th. My mind was racing back and forth as I thought of paying a penalty of £54 for another ticket. I could cry but what good does it give?
I knew my ticket said, “Amendable but not refundable.” It was only £38 return but I paid £7 extra for insurance and flexibility in case I needed to change the time or date. But it also said, changes should be made prior to the trip. I am one day late. I have already forfeited the privilege. Anyway, I timidly approached the lady at the desk and told her that I had just arrived and my ticket was for yesterday. I was, somehow, hoping that she would consider my flight was delayed by a day and give me a new ticket for less instead of £54. She made a few taps on the keyboard while I was anxiously waiting for the verdict. Then she said:
“Five pounds for amendment fee. The next bus is at 8:40” I wanted to jumped over her desk and give her a massive hug for being so kind and considerate. No sooner had she said them than I pulled a £20-note from my wallet feeling overjoyed at my luck.
Whether it was her kindness and consideration or the extra £7 I paid that have made the difference, I was so relieved to pay only a few pounds instead of £54. It really is worth paying more than the basic even when you are on a budget because a few extra pounds could save you 54.
Bottom line is, mistakes do make us wiser but sometimes stupidity costs us a fortune.