Vietnam Airlines


Hobo TRAVEL TIPS - Vietnam Airlines Scam - Hobo Base Camp
157   August 10, 2004
TIP: Vietnam Airlines Scam
LOCATION: Khon Kaen Thailand
A Hobo trip around the world. Year 7
Write Andy a





         How I feel today...
        This weeks pictures.
      Travel Blog! A daily web diary of my travels.
       Map of present location and plans.
~ HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)
     Location of Hobo and opinions
     Hobo Base Camp
~ HOBOGUIDE.COM (Go this way)
       Vietnam Airlines Scam
         Scott’s Bike Trip Around World
~ TODAY’S TIP FROM THE - “Peanut Gallery”
       A Joke Tip that is ... hmm sarcastic
       Questions for Hobo Andy - Take Care.
~ HOBO GOSSIP and/or Jaded Remarks
       A jaded remark on world travel.
Thank you, Lord - I'm doing fine






~ HOBO TRAVEL QUOTES   - Back to top
How I feel today, or a start down
the proverbial travelers path.

It may be that writers in my position, exiles or emigrants or expatriates,
are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back,
even at the risk of being mutated into pillars of salt.

Salman Rushdie (1947 - )
Indian-born British novelist.


Tin Tin
 - Belgium or French Cartoon about a boy that travels the world,
you will see the cartoon on shirts in various cities around the planet.


Crooked arm
 - Signal the boss gives when he wants more speed.


~ HOBO PHOTO GALLERY   - Back to top

A lot of photos - The world unedited...

French Architecture
Duong Bui Vien
USA Flag
Mu Nei Vietnam Beach
Fish Sauce
Vietnam Airlines Scam

Vietnam Airlines
Vietnam Airlines Scam
Vietnam Airlines Scam Victims
Standby Airplane Ticket
Standby Waiting List


~ HOBO DAILY TRAVEL LOG   - Back to top

      Andy's Travel Blog! A daily web diary of my travels.

Andy's Travel Blog! A daily web diary of my travels.

RSS FEED - Place the blog for free on your site

Travel Blogs Hosted on
The Wanderer
Oren World Traveller with two "LL"

Want to have your travel Blog hosted on
Be a Hobo! Write
Blog with Hobo!


~ HOBO MAPS, NOTES AND THOUGHTS...     - Back to top

Where I am now?


~ HOBO STEW (A Dish of Meat and Vegetables)    - Back to top


I have moved around the last few weeks.
Went to Cambodia, then to Saigon, Vietnam, tried to
go to some beach by the name of Mui Nei in Vietnam, then
just had enough of Vietnam so I I flew back to base camp
to regroup and then hopefully to a beach.

Bangkok, Thailand has got to be the Center of the Backpacker
Universe for Southeast Asia and must be the cheapest place
to fly in and out of Southeast Asia or the place to start all trips
into this region of the world, so I am at base camp.

Quito, Ecuador, Lima, Peru, and La Paz Bolivia are my
choices for South America.

San Jose, Costa Rica, Cancun, Mexico, or Mexico, City
for Central America.

It would be possible to make New York city a base in
North America if you did not have to mortgage your house
to live in the city.

I am not sure what to do with Europe, it must either be
Amsterdam or Prague, but I have not visited them yet?
Maybe Jordan is the Center of the Backpacker Universe
for the Middle East, and for Africa I have no clue.

I am going to the beach, maybe the Philippines, maybe
a Thailand beach, maybe Penang, Malaysia, but by this
time next week I will be on a nice beach.

Vietnam was boring and really cannot say much good
about the place other than the pretty girls walking around
in pajamas. Cambodia and Vietnam are still in the business
of selling misery of war, so 40 years later get a life.

The Mui Ne beach smelled like Fish Sauce as this is probably
a good beach to visit Fisherman, but I am not sure for what else,
only stayed one day, and that is a record for me and beaches.

Now you folks that had a great time, did you pay a lot of money?
I sort of figure if I can have fun on my 5-10 dollar a day budget
than you for sure can have fun on your 100 dollar a day budget.

Don't let them fool you, money does make happiness easier.

I have been laughing at a new shirt I spotted in Thailand.
It says,

"No Money, No Honey."

Now that is an honest shirt in this region of the world.
Life is good, with a honey or with no money.

Today's Go This Way

Today’s tip
Vietnam Airlines Scam

Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
      X was HERE!

Life is good.

Article written by Andy the
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.

~ HOBO ECONOMICS 101   - Back to top




ADVERTISE HERE: - Thailand Hotels


~ HOBOGUIDE.COM (Go this way)     - Back to top


The culture, customs, and lifestyle of country is a mystery story and
the challenge to a traveler is to leave your home and to enter into the
house of another person, each passing year I become more and more
aware that learning about another culture is maybe my greatest
challenge, and locating a hotel or a tourist attractions is a duty
impossible to avoid.

I live inside a cocoon of tourism and western values, to break out of the cocoon and to fly away is my wish, but you never know your inside the cocoon until suddenly and almost only by accident you find yourself outside the comfort of the cocoon.

I had an epiphany.

The word epiphany is one of them words I like, but only of value at
a cocktail party, and in the real world, not of real value, but on some
occasions means exactly what I mean.

An epiphany is a sudden realization: a sudden intuitive leap of
understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence

I am in northern Thailand visiting a friend, in a small place, without a
tourist in sight, I walked into a small shop to purchase the normal
6 bottle package of purified water of Thailand. I give the person
50 Baht and receive 35 Baht back in return.

I say,
“Kee Baht?” Or but to say properly maybe I would or could say,
“Tal Wry?”
I want to be sure, is it possible?

How much?
The person reaches over and grabs a calculator and types in the number
15, now I am sure and he is sure and we are all sure together.

I am outside the cocoon!
What other new and wonderful things will I discover?

On Khao San Road the same 6 pack of water cost 25-30 Baht minimum
and almost anywhere I travel in Thailand the price is the same, but I
always knew I was living inside the tourist cocoon until one day I broke away.

There are small signs of culture, always ordinary, because that is what
you look for when you study a culture… What is ordinary?

Life is good!

Article written by Andy the
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.

~ TODAY’S TRAVEL TIPS     - Back to top

A Standby Scam
by Vietnam Airlines and Happy Tours

I was involved in an airline scam of sorts when I was trying to leave
Saigon, Vietnam and fly to Bangkok, Thailand. This flight I believe
is a very common route for the airlines and they have three or four
flights daily from Saigon to Bangkok.


- Simon and Nikki from England - Flying to Bangkok.
- Andy - Flying to Bangkok

- Tiem the female travel sales person from Happy Tours in Saigon
or Ho Chi Minh City - HCMC - Duong Bui Vien Road.
- Vietnam Airlines Standby Desk person.

A scam is scheme for making money by dishonest means.
A scam is to trick somebody: to obtain money from somebody
by dishonest means. Normally two or more people are involved
in a pre-meditated scheme to cheat you out of your money.

A scam is a confidence game where the victims trust the persons,
in this situation we the victims trusted Tiem of Happy Tours and
Vietnam Airlines would not allow this to happen.


All three of us, Andy, Simon, and Nikki purchased tickets from Tiem
at Happy tours on July 23, 2004 to leave the next day on July 24, 2004.
All three of us purchased tickets at normal advertised prices for this trip,
and were told by Tiem and guaranteed that we had a reserved seat. Tiem
called before I paid to see if there were seats available and then called
again after I paid to reserve the seat. This is not a normal western type
of reservation system where they issue the ticket on the spot, but the
airlines delivers the ticket to the agency. All three of us received a
receipt for our ticket then picked up our tickets from the office of Happy Tours
and left directly from the office by taxi for the airport.

Andy - I did not have a reserved seat, it was a standby ticket.
Simon - He also received a standby ticket.
Nikki - She actually had a reserved seat, so one of them received
the proper ticket and the other did not.

I picked up my ticket and they took the money receipt from me in
exchange for the ticket, I checked that they had the name correctly
spelled and the date was correct, I had also booked a taxi so they
arranged the taxi and I left for the airport. After locating the check-in
counter and standing in a short line I arrived at the desk, I hand the
lady behind the desk my passport, ticket, and put my bag to be
checked onto the plane on the conveyor belt to be weight, tagged
and received by the airlines.

I stand patiently waiting and the check-in person goes over and talks
to what I later learned was the Standby desk, or maybe a complaint
counter of sort. Remember that all the signs are 90 percent in the
Vietnamese language and I do not read or speak the language.
She talks very briefly with the lady in my view and comes back to says,
“You have a Standby Ticket, you must go over there.”
I said,
“I did not purchase a Standby Ticket.”

I walked over to the other counter and look at a sheet taped to the
counter and my name is already very clearly written on a list of what
I now assume was a standby passengers list, I was at the top of the
list. The lady at the standby desk never had my ticket in her hand and
the name was there when I arrived to the desk.

I tell her I did not have a standby ticket and she says,
“You purchased a Standby Ticket, it says right here you have a
Standby Ticket and points at the ticket.”

I did not even look at the ticket, because I have purchase many
tickets in my life and know for sure there is no way I would understand
all the small abbreviations and status codes on an airline ticket, and
in the Vietnam language this would be ludicrous.

I said,
“I did not purchase a standby ticket.”

The lady persisted to tell me the type of ticket and in the typical
Asian custom she kept pointing at a seat and telling me to sit down,
I then went into final phase mode of discussion with Asian people and said,
“Tiem at Happy Tours lied to me.”
The lady did not flinch, she said,
“She did not lie, you purchased a standby ticket.”


This is when I started to get suspicious, Asian people lie all the time
and it is normal for their culture to lie on a minute by minute basis, but
what is not common at all is for a person to say they lied, so they can
lie with impunity because the save face be a liar part of the culture is
never questioned. So when you do question them or call them a liar
they go into a panic, like how could you call me a liar? I then proceeded
to ask the lady or insinuate she was lying, I did not come out and say she
was lying because I still wanted to get on the plane and this is a corrupt
country and I was in line to lose my money and the ticket completely.
She had all the answer down pat, and just kept treating arrogantly
and telling me to go sit down, but that would have been an ascension
to her statement, I stayed and continued to say,
“I did not buy a standby ticket.”

I learned as I asked questions that the flights were fully booked for the
next 2-3 days and I could not reserve a ticket on the next flight out that
day and the only reserved seat I could arrange was for about
3 days in advance.

While standing there in front of the desk and trying my best to be
a squeaky wheel and have the lady want to put me on a flight to get
rid of me she took the sign in sheet and added another name.


She has added the name Coates, Simon JG, I start to look all around
and over at the seats where she keeps pointing trying to see if there
is anyone that is a white person or of Western origins and there are
none, always remember when in a stressful situation it is nice to talk
to someone that speaks English, so I am sort of glad someone has
come to talk with me.

I look over to my right and two Western style backpacker come
scurrying up to the desk from the check-in counter, they were all
agitated and started to say to the lady,
“We did not buy a standby ticket.”

I started to take photos because I know for sure at this point there
is something very unethical happening here, and I take photos and
proceeded to listen and both Simon and Nikki say or discuss the
exact same discussion.

Why would we buy one standby and one reserved ticket?
Why would Vietnam Airlines allow an agent to sell this ticket?
Can we reserve the next flight?
When can we reserve a flight?
What are our chances of getting a seat?
When will we know if we get a seat?

I then broke in and asked,
“Did you buy your ticket from Tiem at Happy Tours,”
They said,
I said,
“So did I.”

What hit me as completely awry was that Nikki looked very
indignantly at the lady behind the desk and said,
“Don’t you want to know that a person is out there selling
your tickets and lying?”

Hard to explain what happened next, but the lady looked at her
like why would I care or to say it was Nikkis problem and not her
problem, and she just did not care. At this point I was positive
that Vietnam Airlines was also involved in this scam.

Nikki then asked,
“Can we talk to your manager?”
The lady says,
“I am the manager, there is nobody higher.”
She smiles in that obnoxious Asian way, with the look of I am
smart and you are stupid, and it is always stupid to ask questions,
and raises both hands to the sky.

This was my clue, I was positive she was lying on this fact because
the head of Vietnam Airlines or the boss of the whole operations in
Saigon does is not sitting at the standby desk. She was lying for
sure, and would continue to lie and conspire.



The goal of an airline is to fill up the plane with paying customers.
After you fill up the plane with paying customers, then what happens?

2-3 people do not show up for the flight.

The do not wake up, they do not have transportation, they have a change
of plans, or they just forget, many reasons, but the bottom line is there
are people that do not show.

So the question for the airlines is how to sell the seats for the no-shows.

The normal way is too overbook the flight and hope the numbers work
out correctly, that they overbooked 2 people, and 2 people do not
show up for the flight.

If there is a problem the airlines offers a free ticket, or some form of
compensation to a passenger to accept or go on a later flight. If the
airlines gambles correctly and they play the odd correctly they will
make a little more money.

What is the other ways.
Just sell the tickets and be happy that you have sold all the seats,
and fly the plane with a couple of empty seats.

THIRD WAY - Scam Way
Sell a unsuspecting person a non-refundable, no-exchange ticket
telling them that they have a reserved seat to a person from a
different country that will probably never return to the country
like a backpacker.

Then when they get to the airlines tell them they have a standby
ticket, and make them sit in the airport until an extra seat comes
available on one of the multiple daily flights. The airlines in this
scenario has no obligation to return the money, no obligation to
have a seat, they make money and the passenger is abused.

The travel agent makes money even though the technically had
no seat to sell.

Vietnam Airlines and Happy Tours Standby Scam

Solution, probably the only solution is to buy a ticket at least
two weeks in advance and make sure you have a ticket in hand
a few days before the flight leaves, and have time to inspect
with the help of the Vietnam Airlines staff, a better solution
would be to not use Vietnam Airlines.

Scams are widespread around the world and only the highest
level countries stop this type of business behavior or have any
mechanism to stop. I always say, if they will sell copies of CD,
software, or brand name products, then they cannot be trusted
because the rule of law does not work. Ergo if your country
openly sells copies your country is not trustworthy,
so buy beware.

1. Names already on the list.
2. Pointing and telling me I purchased a standby ticket.
3. A man and woman do not buy a standby and a reserved seat.
4. Refusal on the part of the lady to get a manager.
5. Refusal to call or talk with the agent, or to say that she was in any way responsible for this.
6. Victims do not live in Saigon or speak Vietnamese language.
7. Lying about there not being a manager or supervisor above her.
8. We was sold a non-refundable, non-extendable standby ticket.
That has be an orphan child, because nobody would plan that.

See the status of income for the flights.
It will probably show as having completed paid tickets plus two or three extra.

Report types of Scam for every country in the world anonymously or take credit on this page.


Just another day in Paradise!
Be a Hobo, and leave your mark.
X was HERE!

Life is good.

As always, these are suggestions. Please realize I am
giving guidance, and there are always other opinions.
“One mans paradise, is another mans hell”
This way we do not all go to the same place.

Article written by Andy the
On year 7 of Hobo trip around the world.
Budget Travel, Jobs, and Adventure, etc
Subscribe to Free Newsletter at:
You may publish this article for Free
on the internet If this box stays attached.

~ EXTREME HOBO TRAVEL   - Back to top

Archives of Scotts Story

Note: Send recommendations for next
"Extreme Hobo Traveler" for newsletter to follow.
Write Hobo


“Peanut Gallery”     - Back to top
Fun tips - Here's a little tip from me, to you,
as an experienced traveler.
You can ride a bus during the day,
it is allowed and a good way to see country.
(Too many travelers are taking night buses.)




subject line: Tours

comments: Me and my business partner are looking for an actual
Hobo tour. Basically, hitch a train from Denver to ??????
then back. Cookouts, stick, red dot bag, etc....

Let me know if that is something you provide.

Blair P


so you want an actual Hobo tour. I suppose there is a way,
but I am not sure how? I would suppose the tour would be free.
I purposefully avoid talking about train hopping or much
of the lore of how actual Hoboes roamed around the USA
looking for jobs or sometime being tramps, mainly because
jumping a train is dangerous and I do not like to encourage people
to go into harms way.

Riding the rails, jumping a train, or train hopping is the lure
that is most times associated with Hoboes, although I believe
that there is much more to a Hobo way of life than a train,
but generally there is a hooked-at-the-hip association between
trains and Hoboes.

There is a Hobo newsletter that I read or try to read about
train hopping, it is more or less a group of train hoppers
that will help you to find a train and give you the ins and outs
of when, where, why, and how to hop a train. They are an
independent group and see secretive, but very helpful.

I think they would help you to do anything you wish as long
as you do not talk buls#@$ and are straight with them.
I think they smell this a mile away.

Send an email to:


More information about Hoboes

I will one day tour around the USA, and I suppose I could
be convinced to take you along, as I do like an adventure.

Life is not for everyone.


subject line: Adventure Tour Guide

comments: Hi, my name is Kate Munro, and I'm an avid traveller
with a bachelor's degree. I'm currently just getting back after
6 months in India, and would love to find work as an adventure
tour guide. Do you know the best way to go about finding work
in this area? Thanks!!


Hello Kate,
Adventure to me means you could get killed, but to the average
traveler it means India. Probably the easiest way to get a jobs
as what I would call a non-adventure Adventure tour guide would
be to got any large city and look up the section on travel tours and call
the advertisements.

If I really wanted to be dangerous, which I am not sure they sell them
types of tours, I would probably go to Adventure Travel Conventions
and walk around talking to the vendors for 3 days.

This company or organization puts on Conventions which I keep
wanting to attend, but never so far have been able to accomplish.

Note that Germany and France are probably your best bets to
find large number of closer to Adventure Tour Companies.

I keep thinking about renting a booth at the above conventions
and sitting around and see what happens.

Suggestions or comments can be posted here.



subject line: Thailand in a month!

Hey bro, I've reading your site man and I want to thank you
for keeping a record of all your travels for us. A lot of useful info.
Also I have to say I'm a little jealous. Your definitly an adventurer.
I am going to be in Thailand for a month starting sept 6th
(rainy season I know but I don;t care) and I want to travel as much
as possible. Bangkok to chaing mai then fly to phuket over to
Ko Samui then train or bus back to bangkok. I read your about your
last visit to Vietnam and you didn't seem to excited but if I can fit in
a quick flight over to Ho chi minh I'd like to. Possible? probably
I guess but but do you think I'll have time to really enjoy it. Where
do think I should spend more time?

Also, if your still there maybe I could by you a drink somewhere.
I'd love to hear some of your stories in person.
Well happy travels bro, nick X


I suppose I am always available in a way to talk, as that
is my main goal in life. Good conversation and fun, just need
to follow my blog and get within a hundred miles or kilometers
and I will help to make the rest work out.

How to use your time? Come to Thailand and roam around
Khao San Road, you will talk or find people with the same
interest to you an they will lead you astray.

I do not like Vietnam, but I am sure you could, so why would
I say or not say what to do, everyone is different. Modulate
your speed on your enjoyment factors and not on some
itinerary you think you should have.

This is why I try to encourage people to go on the cheap
because when you are paying 5 dollars a night for a room
you can have all the time in the world to explore and enjoy.



subject line: Hi Andy!!!

I was wondering if you had ever been to Egypt? I was there a
year ago, and there is so much to see there. I know it can be a
tourist trap, if you let it, and people definately look at tourists as
money bags, but it can be really cheap if you do it the right way.
For example, I had a room in Alexandria, with 2 single beds,
very clean. It was carpeted, the TV was new and worked, I had a
balcony overlooking the Eastern Harbour (spectacular view), a
fan, the en suite was large, clean, western style and completely
my own. I also got breakfast every day of eggs, cheese, bread
and tea. The whole lot cost me $11 dollars Australian! So,
probably about $7 American. You could go cheaper, too, but I
like a bit of luxury :o). Of course, you can go and stay at the
Western style hotels and pay hundreds of dollars per night, too,
but why bother? I just recommend that you don't go in the middle
of summer. Otherwise, do it - it's an amazing country to experience!
Best regards, and keep having fun!


Hello Susan,
I have never been to Egypt, although ironically this is more
or less on my agenda for the next around the world jaunt.
In Thailand there are a couple of countries that can construct
some good one year plane tickets. I really want to go to Israel
and chase girls so I am thinking about flying into Jordan and
making a quick trip to Egypt, and also Israel.

My friends son want to see the Pyramids so I will make sure
and ask if he wants to come along, but who knows?
I have seen a lot of the major archeology sites of the world.

I would like to go where they are really doing an archeology dig.
The Red Sea is suppose to have some good beaches?



just a gear reccomendation,, i have used one of these for years,
they're safe and they work, they work great with a regular stove,
very quick to heat,, and if needed you can burn paper, grass etc
in the pan to heat water,, keep up the good work with the website,,,



Super design and really smart, I really appreciate this recommendation.
I do not like the price and would think that around 20-30 dollars would
be more reasonable for something I am going to forget and leave
in a campsite or at the Hostel kitchen, but it is still a great idea.

Weight is a big concern and up to one pound is maybe good.
15 kilos in a bag or about 30 pounds is the max a normal person
should carry although my backpack weighed in at 21.5 kilos on
my last airplane trip.

Normal flights will allow 20 kilos and a 5 kilo grace.
Budget flights may only allow 15 kilos and no grace.
Put the weight in your carry on as they do not weigh this very
often....except maybe on as they seem to like to
nick or gouge.

I think you could put to pots together and form the same
type of contraption, I will do some experimenting.

I will keep thinking about this design.
Probably will drive my friend Chris from Idaho off to another
search of the internet also.

Thanks and keep these types of recommendations coming!


Click on here to ask a question:


~ HOBO GOSSIP and/or Jaded Remarks    - Back to top

The best eco-tourist stays at home.
One less hotel room built to destroy the world.


My wish list of things to help me travel.
I want to buy this travel gear.

HELP Andy's Grammar


"Thank you, Lord, for thinkin'
'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."
I’m alive and doing fine.‘
Song by: Five Man Electrical Band     - Back to top

MY APOLOGY - If I do not reply quickly or
forget. I am sorry. Please write again. I do reply
to all well mannered e-mails. I try my best and
do want to talk.

CONTACTING THE EDITOR a.k.a. Andy   - Back to top,  

Write or go here:


NOTICE: Letters to Andy are considered public.
Any letter written to Andy is considered
property of Andy and could be published in
entirety to the internet.



Thailand Hotels


Copyright © 1997 - 2016 - All rights reserved. is not responsible for content on external web sites

Join My Hobo Today