Thursday, July 27, 2017

come along and ride on a fantastic voyage

SB has been on a fantastic voyage, and by fantastic I mean the Merriam-Webster definition 1-C and not in any way excellent.

When I bought the tickets on the United website, I was distracted by the very attractive price, followed by the relatively short journey time, and did not notice what has now become the most important part of the ticket offer: the code share and stopover location. Only after SB got to Airport Express did we start to have misgivings about flying Air China through Beijing. That two hour layover that was so attractive became a source of concern when taken with the fact that 60 percent of all Air China flights to Beijing are delayed by more than 20 minutes, ostensibly due to weather.

SB sat on the plane for an hour and a half due to "weather". When the plane landed in Beijing, it taxied for fifteen minutes before finding a gate. I phoned Air China in the meantime, having found a later flight, but I was told that SB needed to arrange the flight at the airport. He stood in a queue for two hours and was told that the other flight was booked and he needed to spend the night. He was offered a room to share with some other unlucky passenger, which he declined. Air China at least gave him a ride to the hotel that he paid out of pocket for. The ticket agent reminded SB that due to inclement weather, he would not be reimbursed for food or any other expenses incurred. SB wryly noted that it was sunny and calm all the way from Hong Kong to Beijing, but it was amazing that the flight was delayed due to weather. And by amazing, I mean the Merriam-Webster definition and not the common, broadened meaning; there was nothing slightly better than pleasant in the ordeal.

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