Wait, let me clarify - I'm smiling because I actually managed to get back to Melbourne as planned, despite all the hoo-haa this morning.
In super-short summary:
- I hadn't realised that my Resident Return Visa had expired while I was in Penang - eeps!
- The airline wouldn't allow me to board without a valid visa.
- With 10 minutes to go before take off from Penang -> KL, Canberra provided clearance and granted my entry. They provided an authorisation code to overwrite the system, allowing me to enter without a valid visa.
- I rushed to board my flight.
- Upon reaching KL, while trying to check in for my KL -> Melbourne flight, the system refused to accept the authorisation code Canberra provided.
- Apparently the code was only valid to be used within 5 minutes. OMG. You cannot be serious.
- The airlines had to seek for a new authorisation code from Canberra.
- We waited, and waited, and waited.
- 1 hour and 10 minutes later, still not a peep from Canberra. OMG.
- Then finally, after the airlines called Canberra directly, a new code was issued. Yippee!
- With 15 minutes to go before take off, I rushed again to board my flight. The gate was a fair distance away, in a different terminal.
- I heard an airline officer chanting "run faster run faster" as I sprinted towards the gate.
- And when I finally boarded (I wasn't the last passenger though....) the plane, sank in my seat huffing and puffing as I tried to catch my breath, I realised I had a smile on my face.
What a morning!