Stranded in Beijing….

When we land, I just know I’m not going to make the next flight, but I’m wishing and hoping. I’ve never wanted to punch through people so bad. They were taking forever to get off the plane.  Despite hustling as fast as I could with my ridiculous travel pack, I get to the transfer desk only to be told they closed the boarding. One would think that if one’s airline was late, one would hold the plane. It’s the only direct flight to where I’m going and it’s the same airline!!! (Come to find out later the plane was sitting on the tarmac for over an hour 😑) But no, they closed the doors to poor me and quite a few others that were supposed to be on the next flight. After getting the runaround about where to go to remedy this situation, I’m finally told I can get on the next flight…in 24 hours. Needless to say, I was not pleased. The ticket agent gives me a hotel pamphlet and tells me if I want to try to make other arrangements, I have to go to the international ticket counter, which is through customs. Out I go, after getting in the 72 hour no visa line. I have to take a tram to another terminal and then spend time trying to locate the correct desk, navigating a sea of people. Finally I find the correct desk, only to be told there are no flights. I tell the woman I will take an indirect flight. Miracle of miracles, I’m on the next flight to Bangkok in a few hours, 12:15 am. Which is now delayed  to 2:00 am, which means it’s going to be a struggle getting my second connecting flight from there. So here I sit waiting for the time to pass until I get where I’m supposed to be.

Throughout the night the gate kept changing. First it just moved a few gates down. A group of us lonely travelers move accordingly. Then the gate number goes away all together. We all move to the screen that tells you where the gates are.

Nothing. Hours go by. Now it’s 1:45 am and still nothing. Then finally it says E51. We take off running. Left turns, long hallways and downstairs, we finally find gate E51. Only to see the horror of the gate changing AGAIN! E60. Sigh. We all run back upstairs make a right turn this time and back down another set of stairs. We come upon an aging gate that opens to, not a tarmac, but a bus lane. Confusion all around and not an airway attendant in sight. There is a very confusing sign that says another flight at a different gate. On the other side of that sign it says my flight number and via Bangkok. It was a nightmare. We all just wait. More and more people show up. Finally an attendant shows up and just keeps repeating that there are delays and they don’t know when the flight is leaving. It’s now past 2:00 am. Everyone is on edge. A young mother with baby and bags in tow starts yelling at the attendants. They are eerily calm. Some time later the news comes that we will be boarding in 30 minutes. But after about 15 minutes a line starts queuing, and I know this is a sign to make my way into the line. Then we hear the joyous announcement, “We are now boarding. First class, people traveling with small children, and those with special needs, please board first.” No one listens and a panic line ensues. I’m able to get on the second bus to the tarmac.

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I hop out and almost fall flat on my face, since there is snow EVERYWHERE. I make my way up the stairs and into my seat. I settle down for a four plus hour ride to Bangkok, knowing full well there will be a struggle to get another flight……

2 thoughts on “Stranded in Beijing….

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