This is the tale of how the lack of exercise and the fact that I haven’t even seen what the gym looks like at my new condo comes to bite me in the a** with a 19-hour journey from Shanghai to Singapore and a missed connection and cancelled flight on the return in Beijing. The exercise bit came from the fact that I had to run to try and catch each flight on 3 occasions, but hey, at least I got to do some cardio!
Airline: Dragon Air
Flight: KA 875
Sector: PVG – HKG
Dep (Act): 4:30pm (6:15pm)
Arr (Act): 7:05pm (8:45pm)
It was time for my monthly trip back to Singapore. I originally wanted to book SQ non-stop on miles, but a Marriott points-to-miles conversion didn’t come through on time, and the only option available to Singapore was Dragonair / Cathay via Hong Kong.
At 230pm I took a taxi to the Longyang Rd Maglev station as I find the taxi ride to Pudong is not only more expensive but usually very boring. While I was on the train, I got an SMS from CX saying my flight would be delayed by 45mins. At this point I knew I would have trouble getting to my flight to Singapore, but if I took my luggage as carry on I might still have a chance.
(On the way to the airport)
(Reaching top speed of 431km/h)
I got to the airport around 3pm to find a very long line and most CX / KA flights delayed. I thought perhaps my flight to Singapore out of HK might be delayed as well and everything would work OK. When I finally got to the check in desk, I asked the agent what would happen with my short connection. He told me that since I was going to Singapore he would try to book me on SQ directly, and I was very happy about this! Unfortunately two minutes later his supervisor came and told me the two SQ flights were full and so was the MU flight.
Luckily all the liquids I packed were under 100ml, so I could bring my luggage on board, just in case I made it to my flight. After checking in I went through passport control and security and headed to the BK lounge (that’s Burger King, by the way, no real lounge access for me this time). After having a whopper, I headed to the gate, where I saw that boarding time was 5:15pm (which was the rescheduled time of departure). I went up to the desk and was told the flight was further delayed.
(Need some advice?)
(AA and EK 777, PR A330)
(PVG Terminal 2 gates)
We started boarding at 5:15pm and 20mins later everyone was seated and ready to go. And that’s when the captain came on the PA telling us we would be delayed again until further notice because of weather on the route. Now I knew I would definitely not be making my connection to Singapore, unless the a/c flying the HKG – SIN leg was also delayed coming into HKG.
We finally pushed back around 6:15pm and made our way to the active. I was quite anxious about us finally getting on our way, that I hadn’t had much time to see what the whole KA Y product was like.
The seat pitch was ok, but I noticed each seat had a box as per the picture below that made it very uncomfortable for the legs and feet. I suppose this is some kind of IFE box, but I can tell you it is not worth it as the IFE was not AVOD.
(Parked next to EK 777)
(This box is under every seat and significantly reduces legroom)
After about an hour in the air the meal service came. I am thankful there is food on these short flights, but as usual it was not as good as what is usually offered on SQ. I had the chicken and noodles with vegetables, but it came without a roll or appetizer, although it did come with some ice cream.
About an hour or so later we started our descent into Hong Kong. It was quite bumpy and we were wrapped in the clouds pretty much until touch down. It was also quite rainy, and you could tell the big storm had just passed. As we touched down I was very, very anxious to know whether or not my connecting flight had been delayed as well. Once the plane arrived at the gate, I bumped through the lady seated on the aisle seat, tackled one or two weak looking kids, circled around a lumpy lady, and got into the 100m runners position by the door. Once the door was open, the F/A didn’t even get a chance to say thank you for choosing Dragon Air, as I was already jumping on the jetway and running up as fast as I could with a small carry on in order to see if I could still make it on to CX 715. Once I got up to the gate area, I saw a big sign that said CX 715 Singapore and then in very small handwriting “SQ 1 8am”. By then I knew I would have to spend the night in Hong Kong. My heart pumping, my pores open to let the sweat out, I just stood there, looking like a fool, while all the other pax I had bumped or pushed without any sportsmanship passed by me with a grinning satisfaction in their faces of someone who would be home that night.
I was stranded along with two other guys going to Singapore and a girl who was going to Colombo on holidays. Immediately, Phoebe Ting, the CX person in charge of us, gave us some vouchers so we could have a coffee while she made the bookings on SQ 1 for the next morning (that’s the very first flight out of HKG to SIN, AFAIK). We had a coffee and something to eat, and by the time we were done Phoebe explained to us what would happen. She would book the four of us at the airport hotel, give us dinner and breakfast vouchers, and the next morning we had to go to the SQ check in desk to get our boarding passes.
As she said, we headed to the airport hotel, checked in, and then the four of us stranded passengers met again to get something to eat before heading back to the hotel to sleep. The hotel was OK, probably a 4-star (I think it was called Regal Hong Kong Airport Hotel “The Best Airport Hotel in the World”).
Airline (Act): Cathay Pacific (Singapore Airlines)
Flight (Act): CX 715 (SQ 001)
Sector: HKG – SIN
Dep (Act): 8:00pm (8:00am +1)
Arr (Act): 11:45pm (11:30am +1)
The next morning it was an early start as we decided to meet at the lobby at 6:30am to go together to the check in desk. We used the Business Class desk as I am Star Gold and we were quickly checked in, except for the fact that they had to go and look for the baggage of the two other guys that were stranded.
After this we went through security and to the gate, where we waited about 15mins before boarding began. Me and one of the stranded guys used the Business Class lane and then made our way to the back of this 77W which was inbound from SFO. I was stuck in the middle seat of the middle section, but it wasn’t too bad as SQ’s new Y seats are very comfy.
(SQ’s new Y cabin)
We pushed back right on schedule and made our way to the active. The 77W took a while to rotate, as it was probably full of cargo on the way to SIN, not to mention the fact that the LF in Y was 100%, probably similar in C, but less in F.
I turned on KrisWorld and started browsing for movies or TV shows to watch. I started with an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm before breakfast came. For breakfast, I watched Shutter Island, which was ok.
Breakfast was fantastic. A delicious egg and cheese omelet with all the trimmings, a roll (!!!), fruit, coffee, OJ, and a warm, chocolate chip muffin. This all filled me up nicely, even though I had already had something to eat at the hotel.
After breakfast I dozed off for a bit as I was still quite tired from the short sleep I got the night before. After a nice nap, I put on some music and did some reading, and before I knew it we were descending into Singapore. A storm had just passed the city-state and it was a bit bumpy on the approach. After landing, we parked at Terminal 3, the newest one at Changi.
By this point I was no longer in a rush. I had missed my important appointment in the morning, missed a meeting with the boss, and was just making it in time for lunch to catch up with my friends. But at least I got some exercise and some SQ miles too!
Part II to follow soon.