We were picked up at the hotel at 7:00 by Ja-Lin (finally found out exactly how to spell her name). She took us to the airport and made sure that we were checked in for our flights and walked us to the security check point. With tears in her eyes, she said that she would miss us…..it was hard to say good-bye!!!
The first flight to Beijing was uneventful, however we were shocked to see that there were several inches of snow on the ground. It was not only a shock to our system, but also to my sandal clad feet and short sleeve shirt!! Fortunately, we didn’t have to spend much time outside and soon arrived at the International terminal.
Unfortunately, this is where the rot sets in…… The plane didn’t arrive until 30 minutes before we were supposed to board, we didn’t board until an hour after our scheduled take-off time, and then we sat on the tarmac for FOUR hours waiting to be de-iced!!!!
The 13 hour flight itself was relatively uneventful although they did have a call for a Doctor on board to help with a medical emergency.
Needless to say, we missed our flight from Newark to Atlanta. We went thru customs and to the airline counter to re-book another ticket, and found 10 or so people ahead of us. The agents slowly worked their way thru the re-bookings and it was now our turn…at this point there were 30+ people behind us in line. We were directed to an extremely nice woman who worked thru our situation. She told us that we were already confirmed on a 4:15pm flight to Atlanta, but that we could fly standby on any other flights for the day. We knew that we needed to get back home as quickly as possible, so we agreed to do standby. We were talking with her about how angry people can get in this situation. She told us that it was about to get worse because the ticket agent’s were supposed to leave in about 10 minutes!! We were VERY fortunate to get our tickets taken care of!!
We decided that there wasn’t any reason to find a hotel just to sleep for 3 or 4 hours, so instead chose to spend the night (or what was left of it) in the airport. We found a McDonald’s and had something to eat, found a table with an electrical outlet and proceeded to enjoy several hours of emailing, blogging and catching up on American life.
We were pleased to be placed on the first flight of the morning (6:30am) and finally walked thru our door about 11:00 am.
All and all, it was a wonderful trip. We were taken care of in every aspect of the trip and were totally in awe of the great care that was taken in planning our days. We found the Chinese people to be warm and welcoming people and the city of Kunming to be beautiful.