Travel woes

This has certainly been an interesting 24 hours.  I flew from Shanghai to Hong Kong yesterday afternoon.  The flight was delayed because of a Typhoon in the Hong Kong area.  When we finally arrived, we were parked out on the tarmac and the flight crew had to give everyone plastic macs to de-plane, which we did into a T8 gale and fierce rain!  It took over an hour for my luggage to come through on the carousel and then I got told that the wait for taxi’s would be over 2 hours.  I decided to brave the train system and 1 hour after that, finally made it to the hotel – 1.30am!

This morning I got a message from the customer that I was suppposed to be meeting, that we were now cancelled because of the Typhoon (everything shuts down in Hong Kong when it gets to a T8+ status, and it reached a T10 last night).  I am only in Hong Kong for that meeting!!!!  The rain was so heavy last night that it sounded like hail against my 28th floor hotel room windows.  The wind was howling and shaking the building…….

I decide to work from the hotel room this morning and then I get a text from the airline informing me that my flight to Beijing this afternoon has been cancelled.  I immediately call our Travel Help desk and they re-book me on a later flight but I decide that I will probably have more luck at the airport (with prior USA experience of being a seasoned air traveller).  Little did I know that the experience of being a frequent flier in the USA does NOT compare to Asia.  At least in America, they are quick to give updates and do that frequently to calm the angry, travel weary person. 

As soon as I arrived at the airport I was booked onto a 3.15pm flight (along with a travelling colleague).  However, as soon as we had moved through security and customs clearance we saw that our flight was cancelled.  (We both have checked bags on that flight).  I have been sitting in Hong Kong airport all afternoon and been transferred to 2 different flights (I have no idea where my bag is at this point).  The desk is so unhelpful because the Airport Authority here do not update their systems!!!!!  So, none of the helpful American style updates here!  Michele and I have been to the desk twice each so far and get different stories each time!  I have witnessed the worst in human behavior with extreme yelling, screaming, crying and threatening physical abuse.  I have to admire the staff across the board for keeping their cool in the midst of all that anger and emotion – these are the times when it must really suck to be in customer service. 

We decided to camp out in DragonAir’s club lounge thinking we would not see so much of the yelling and screaming, but it doesn’t matter where you go, there will always be obnoxious people.

I don’t think I will make it out of here tonight.  I am contemplating booking myself into a hotel and trying again tomorrow.  What a wasted trip all round……

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