Friday, January 16, 2009

International Travel.

OK - So, it was supposed to be a 15 hour 36 minute non-stop flight from Chicago to Hong Kong. Things change... shortly after takeoff they announced that due to the cold weather they couldn't put a full load of fuel onboard (Chris can explain that to me when I'm home) and that we would have to stop in Anchorage for a "top up". No big deal, I had several hours in Singapore to wait before flying to Medan. We had a nice landing in Anchorage, a one hour fuel fill and we were on our way... never made it to the runway. As we were taxiing to takeoff the pilot informed us we had a mechanical problem and that we would now be spending the night in Alaska!

Then Monty Python took over... it appears that when we left Chicago we were deemed to have left the United States. We had to sit on board while they found immigration officers, on a Friday night, to come to the airport to check us back into the US. And all of our checked bags had to stay on the plane. While we were waiting another passenger gave me the toll-free number for the Mariott and I made a quick reservation for an overnight stay. I can now officially cross Alaska off my list of visited states - I wonder how many I have left.

According to United we'll be leaving at noon tomorrow arriving in Hong Kong at 3:20pm Sunday afternoon then on to Singapore. I should get to Banda Aceh on Monday now, one day later than planned.

Believe it or not it's 40F in Anchorage right now - a 57 degree difference from Appleton this morning!! Perhaps the 747 couldn't handle the change in temperature. If it freezes up overnight it'll work fine in the morning.

I can see Russia from my room... NOT

One other humorous note - the last time I got food poisoning was about 8 years ago on a flight to Hong Kong when they had served smoked salmon as an appetizer. I blamed it on the salmon... You can guess what they had as an appetizer on this flight to Hong Kong - I didn't eat it!! :-)

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