It’s an interesting phenomenon that when you travel and one thing, yes, just one thing goes awry then literally the remainder of the journey is generally a complete mess…
Case in point last week on our return flight from Manila the Philippines.
We got to the airport 2.5 hours in advance of our flight departure from Manila to Seoul. As we exited the taxi at the departure terminal we noticed the line was at least 100 meters long to get into the terminal as every bag must be x-rayed prior to entering the terminal in the Philippines.
They have super strict security and I’m still not used to seeing so many police, military and other security forces with automatic weapons wandering around and eyeing everyone with a degree of suspicion.
Although based on history I can certainly understand why…
Okay, we have plenty of time I thought, no need to worry.
The line moved in jumps and starts and took us approximately 20 minutes to make our way into the actual terminal proper.
Given that I have status with Air Canada we could check in at the business class desk which had no line to speak of. Perfect I thought!
As we handed our passports over for review to the airline agent (Asiana airlines), she asked us to wait a moment while she went and conferred with her supervisor.
This in itself made me a little nervous…
And for good reason, once the agent came back she told us that unfortunately our plane, which was coming in from Taipei was late and therefore our flight to Seoul was delayed by 1.5 hours.
The upshot of which was, they were very sorry but you’ll miss your flight to Toronto. Okay, so will you put us up in a hotel? And when could we expect to fly home.
More conferring with her and her supervisor and the head of the local Asiana airlines team in Manila. This took a lot of time…
After 40 minutes the head guy came back and said that the best they could do would be to rebook us from Seoul but it would take a few days.
OMG! A few days? Ah, no! We need to get home.
Okay, don’t worry we have it all arranged in Seoul. Take your original flight and see our staff who will be waiting for you at the flight bridge when you deplane in Seoul.
Famous last words!
After our 4+ hour flight to Seoul there was no one there to meet us (a new foreboding began afresh) and for good reason. We found an Asiana Airlines staff member, but they had no record of us. She had a list of other passengers who were going to miss their flights, but not us.
Yep, things were now “officially” spiraling out of control.
As she gathered the 8 passengers on her list we tagged along as she led us eventually back up to the transfer desk.
We now had to re-explain our situation to the new Asiana Airlines transfer staff in Seoul. After much discussion the best they could do would be to put us on the red eye to San Francisco leaving in about 3 hours.
After that they had booked us on a flight from San Francisco to Seattle, then tomorrow night on the red eye back into Toronto.
We could take it or leave it, but that was all they could do…
Now it was our turn to confer. But really what choice did we have? This was all they were prepared to do. No hotel, no future Air Canada flight…nada!
Okay then I guess we’re heading to San Francisco! How about our bags I ask…
“Don’t worry your bags will be checked through to Toronto”, you’ll just have to pick them up from the carousel after customs in the US and put them onto the transfer belt and everything will be fine.
By this time we were both tired and just a little cranky (okay, we I was anyway) 🙂 The big reason was that I had rolled my ankle on the morning before we left, but didn’t really think too much about it at the time other than it was painful but likely just a slight sprain.
However, on the 12.5 hour flight to San Francisco my ankle began to swell and throb painfully. Totally robbing me of any sleep or rest, not to mention my mobility as now it began to hurt by just putting my weight on it.
We arrived, and as instructed, after going through US Customs retrieved our bags and went to place them on the transfer belt.
This was greeted with “I’m sorry but you’re going to have to exit the terminal with your bags and re-check them into Air Alaska for your flight to Seattle. Yes, Asiana had once again screwed us!
So, now limping, exhausted and super cranky we found our way out, and took the monorail to new terminal where Air Alaska was situated and rechecked our bags.
We now had a couple of hours to kill before our 1.5 hour flight to Seattle. First things first! I needed some Tylenol or Advil for my headache and throbbing foot.
The flight on Air Alaska was fine, and arrived into Seattle at about 7:00 pm Our flight to Toronto was set to leave at 10:15 pm, although this was also delayed until 10:45 pm.
We arrived back into Toronto some 38 hours after leaving Manila, which should have been 20 hours if our flights were on time and were able to connect accordingly.
Some might call it Murphy’s law, but all I know is that if one things goes awry when you’re traveling, then all bets are off! 🙂
If this little “adventure” has taught me any is that I will not fly with Asiana Airlines ever again! Our experience was poor from start to end…
I eventually went to the hospital emergency on Wednesday morning to see what was going on with my painful ankle. After being x-rayed the doctor asked me when I’d been injured…oh, that would be five days ago.
The doctor looked and me and shook her head – it has two cracks and you’ll need a mobility boot and crutches for a few weeks.
No wonder it was painful! 🙂
Until next week