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Newer Page 630 of 968 Older Full Trip Report
Hong Kong Chengdu Dragonair Airbus A320

23 March 2013

Not enough air

It surely was an epic journey.
First up, after my various delays and plane changes in Adelaide, I had plenty of time in Brisbane, well about 30 minutes, as the Qantas flight to Hong Kong was also delayed.
The problem with that is, my connection in Hong Kong was already going to be tight.
Having a good seat was nice, the flight all through the day was nice but lacked food after the initial 3 course lunch. I think in business now you are supposed to ask them to make you a snack on demand, they had grilled cheese, some sort of quiche and whatever, but I prefer to wait for the cart to come around to be polite, it never did. Knowing my connection time would be tight I thought this just meant I wouldnt eat until I got to Chengdu.

As soon as we parked at Hong Kong I stepped off the plane first to be greeted by a smiling stewardess in Dragonair uniform holding a sign with my name on it. She expressed relief that I appeared fit and healthy, as we need to run! So run we did, all the way through Hong Kong airport, and then out to the satellite terminal where I had not been to before.
She was quite fit and good at running in heels, I suspect this is her main job function.
We got to the gate with minutes to spare before departure time (not boarding time), but none the less, no one had boarded.

After wandering around the small satellite terminal for about an hour or so, we were allowed to board late. Awesome, I made my last flight of the day.

However, we sat, on the ground for an hour. People were amazingly calm, the flight was totally full, then the announcement came from the Irish accented pilot (who later gets translated into Mandarin and Cantonese), 'Due to the airspace around Guangzhou being at capacity, we have been asked to hold on the ground for another 2.5 hours'.
Thats all he said! I literally prepared myself for a riot onboard, as there was no departing, and no getting off for another 2.5 hours. However, people were calm, and within seconds were out of their seats chatting with random strangers, playing cards, sharing their children with old women etc.
Of course everyone is terrified of me, after 18 hours of travel I looked like a yeti. So all I could do was observe and wait.
Thankfully, they decided to serve a full hot meal whilst we were on the ground, and kept the drinks flowing, until they ran out! What that meant is eventually once we took off, they left the seatbelt sign on for the full 2.5 hour flight so that people knew they couldnt get anymore drinks.

Arrival into Chengdu at 1:30AM (4AM Adelaide time where I had departed from) was very quick and efficient.
I still had to get into town, at this time by taxi, even that went OK, I spoke Chinese to the guy who seemed to laugh at me each time and nod his head. A combo of That way!, Yes that way! Good one! along with some pointing and hand movements whilst I followed the map on my blackberry got us there in good time.

Hong Kong-Chengdu-Dragonair-Airbus A320 - Brisbane airport, I make a point of taking at least 1 photo of each city I go through so this is it. This highlights the hilarity of having a separate

Brisbane airport, I make a point of taking at least 1 photo of each city I go through so this is it.
This highlights the hilarity of having a separate domestic and international terminal, with no air side transfer. Despite being somewhat late for my planned departure time, I have to go out into the street and wait for a bus. Its about a kilometre so no taxi will take you. If I was really in a hurry I would probably run it!


Hong Kong-Chengdu-Dragonair-Airbus A320 - This is my poor suffering Dragonair A320, which had to hold us at capacity for many hours without being allowed to do what it likes best, fly.

This is my poor suffering Dragonair A320, which had to hold us at capacity for many hours without being allowed to do what it likes best, fly.


Hong Kong-Chengdu-Dragonair-Airbus A320 - And finally, a photo of the inside of the Satellite terminal in Hong Kong. Thats it for boring plane pics, coming next, photos from Chengdu, after I h

And finally, a photo of the inside of the Satellite terminal in Hong Kong. Thats it for boring plane pics, coming next, photos from Chengdu, after I hopefully go to sleep at some point!


NewerPage 630 of 968OlderFull Trip Report