Tuesday, May 25, 2010

10 boarding passes in 12 days...

The past few days were possibly my busiest and craziest foreign travel experience. I took Delta Airlines. To accumulate more mileage. The sponsor of my conference in Chicago, Heartland Institute, paid for my plane fare and hotel there.

May 15, 2010:
1) Manila – Narita/Tokyo; change plane
2) Narita – Minneapolis, Minnesota; US immigration, re-check baggage
3) Minneapolis – Chicago, Illinois; attend a conference May 16-18

May 18:
4) Chicago – Detroit, Michigan; visited a Filipino friend in Monroe, he toured me around Detroit city

May 20:
5) Detroit – Atlanta, Georgia; change plane
6) Atlanta – Houston, Texas; visit another Filipino friend

May 23:
7) Houston – Atlanta; change plane,
8) Atlanta – Narita; on the way back to Manila

Plane encountered some mechanical troubles, made a U-turn when it was probably above the Canada-Alaska border, went back to Minneapolis. So the flight became Atlanta – Minneapolis.

Delta brought us in some hotels in the city. I went to Embassy Suites in Bloomington, Minn. Nice hotel. We arrived there around 9:30pm, had dinner and rested. Checked out 8:30am after breakfast the next day.

May 24:
9) Minneapolis – Narita; arrived Narita 3pm of May 25, 400+ passengers on a B747.
Narita – Manila was over-booked as the flight yesterday was cancelled, our plane that came from Atlanta was supposed to be the plane that will go to Manila.

May 25: we were stranded again in Tokyo. Delta brought us to Radisson hotel, not far from the airport.

May 26:
10) Narita – Manila; via Philippine Airlines (PAL).

My consolations in those 2 days of aborted flights were the following.

a) I was able to get out of the Minneapolis airport (yesterday was my 3rd landing/arrival in that airport), stayed in a nice hotel.

b) I was able to get out of Narita airport today for the first time (landed and departed from this airport several times, at least 8x), had a “shore pass” Japan immigration in my passport, and stayed at an even nicer hotel, Radisson.

There’s a saying, “When life gives you lemon, make a lemonade”.
The past 2 days, I just did that 

The various queuing though, were very tiring:

i) Get a hotel and dinner voucher in Minneapolis airport, May 23 (about 1 ½ hours).
ii) Get a new boarding pass at Minneapolis airport to go to Narita, May 24 (almost 2 hours).
iii) Get a new plane booking and boarding pass for flight the next day + hotel booking, Narita airport, May 25 (about 3 hours).

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