Tom’s vivid recollection

Janice’s blog post understates the trip. We started the trip very worried about making the connection from our Hartford plane to our Hong Kong plane in Chicago. I harassed my sister Alice into taking us to the airport early. I would rather spend an hour waiting patiently at the airplane gate then five minutes standing in the security line fretting that we are not going to get through in time.

We explained our concern to the ticket clerk and she very generously offered to put us on an earlier flight (something our travel company, Orvitz, said was impossible).

We strolled to the gate, only to find that a millimeter of snow in Chicago was creating delays. Our old flight was supposed to leave at 10:52. Our new flight was supposed to leave at 9:00. We boarded on time (9:00) and then sat on the plane for an hour. Then we deboarded and sat around the airport for an hour. When we finally took off, we figured that the only chance of making our Hong Kong flight was if it, too, was delayed.

Luckily, the new flight was landing at the same concourse as the flight to HK was leaving from. As we were approaching the airport in Chicago, our seatmate checked the schedules on his iPhone and found out our flight was the only one in the city listed “on schedule”. We landed with 5 minutes to get from our plane to our plane, 5 gates away. I cut off a couple of people getting off the plane and then led Janice on a mad dash down the concourse, including a detour through a newsstand that almost took out a display case. I dashed up to a line that looked like it was boarding at our gate, 18.

A quick query revealed that this was a line for customer service and a finger pointed at the gate—which was empty. I dashed over and noted with enormous relief that the boarding gate was still open and loading. Panting and sweaty, Janice and I took our seats only to spend two and a half hours waiting for other passengers who had been delayed.

When we finally took off, hours late, I was just grateful to not have to stay in Chicago. We very quickly flew into darkness. Hours later, it started to get light again. Then we had a sunset and it was dark for the second time. I was confused. Then I realized that we left in the afternoon; flew North to go within 40miles of the North Pole, flew south over Siberia were we caught up to our evening once again, and then watched the sunset of our day—only it wasn’t our day anymore, it was the next day.

We arrived in HK about 24 hours after we left home, 12 hours later in the day; happy to be underway


2 thoughts on “Tom’s vivid recollection

  1. Interesting story and I was eager to read on but I got stuck trying to imagine Tom… dashing to the gate.
    Wondering, if there was a race between Tom dashing to the gate vs the plane flying from Chicago to Hong Kong…?

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