Four-thirty: time when I woke up to get
ready for my flight to China. Seven-thirty: time of intended
flight on United Airlines. Nine-thirty: time of actual
flight on United Airlines due to delay of absent crew
members. Two Hours: time pushed
back for flight. Four hours: time
spent at the Houston airport.
Okay, so the first flight was delayed a
couple of hours. That happens. But problem was, we had to
transfer at San Fran, and the next flight wasnít going to
wait for our delay.
After waiting in line for two hours at
check-in, the lady told us that we will for sure miss the
next flight. She recommended we switch to Air China, because
United only flies to Beijing once a day. Either switch or
sleep the night on the bench in San Fran.
Well, switching seemed like the best
solution of course, and we eagerly agreed. But there was a
slight problem: Air China was already jam-packed full.
However, after messing around with computer data for half an
hour, she finally got us some seats. Our names were
confirmed, and we were officially in the system.
And so we boarded the plane feeling
extremely blessed because we got the seats on time. Some
people behind us in line may have had to stay the night in
San Fran, waiting for the next dayís flight.
We arrived a little late, and ran,
rolling luggage and all to get in the cream roll line that
was swirling itself around and around in the lobby.
Apparently May 30th was one of the most popular dates to go
to China. No wonder all the flights were full.
So we wait in line, for about four hours.
Yes, four hours. There were hundreds of people waiting, each
taking like ten minutes at the check-in desk, so you can
imagine the scene.
Worst of all, I didnít eat breakfast. And
now, itís the afternoon, and I was famished. I took a stroll
to the food area only to shrink back when I see a
shrink-wrapped half cut of a deli sandwich selling at eight
Finally, we reach the front. Passport in
hand, luggage ready, we eagerly told our names to the
attendant guy so he could find our confirmation.
Then, he told us our names werenít in the
system. Nothing. Zero. Nada. Gone. But, but we confirmed at
Houston and the lady told us we had reserved seats. Nope.
But, but our flight here was delayed. Sorry, not our
problem. But, but we need to get to China today. There are
With a frantic look around, we see five
or something people from the delayed flight that were in the
same situation as us. They even sported the same frowsy,
frantic, famished look coupled with dreary eyes and
The group of us rejects stood together to
chatter furiously in Chinese about the injustice of it all.
Possible night stay in San Fran, no food, waiting in lines
for six hours, and no ticket on the flight. Then this
student started repeatedly saying the F word, grabbing his
hair in frustration.
We were all put on a wait-list. If people
didnít come for the flight, we would be allowed their spots.
Of course, that meant another hour or so waiting because
they have to wait til the last minute to close up the
Praying, hoping, worrying, and
considering a reroute to Shanghai or Los Angeles, all of us
still banked on some people to not show up so we can fill
At last, finally, four of the six of us
got tickets. Apparently some people didnít come and we were
able to get on. The two pitiful people left over had to be
rerouted to Los Angeles to wait.
Sixteen hours: time spent actually flying. Eight hours:
time spent delayed at the airports. A whole dayís worth of