Zone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 7 Posted (9 years 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9745 times:
Introduction: My gf had to go to Hong Kong right around the time I was done with school because they were having a family reunion of some sort. This would be the last time her family would have a free place to stay, and she invited me to tag along. I said I would love to come if I can find a cheap fare. Fortunately, United had a fare sale to Asia. I needed to figure out my itinerary, though. After hours of playing on United's website, I decided that I would buy two roundtrip tickets, one going from Indianapolis to Boston (where I would be working for the summer) and another going from Boston to Hong Kong. It would be a crazy traveling experience because I would leave Terre Haute, IN (where I go to school) less than 24 hours after my last exam and stay in Boston for just one night. I hope you enjoy the trip report, and please leave any comments you have, so I can make any future trip reports better!
My dad wanted to get to the airport as early as possible because he was driving all the way back to Mobile that day. My original flight was at 3:29pm, but I waitlisted myself for a flight that departed at 10:50am. Once I got my 2 bags checked and cleared security I found out that all flights to O'Hare were delayed because of bad weather. I was flabbergasted (not really). After about 30 minutes of waiting they announced that the next flight to O'Hare would be leaving soon and that people waitlisted on flight 7800 (the flight I was waitlisted on) would be waitlisted on 7807. My name was the first they called when they started to clear the waitlist. I was kind of surprised since I have no standing in Mileage Plus.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Once I took my seat I looked out the window and saw them putting one of my checked bags on the conveyer belt. I saw my other bag sitting there. I thought they probably just haven't gotten to it, but then after a while they stopped putting luggage on the belt. I got worried, and rang the flight attendant call button to tell her that one of my bags isn't on the plane. She told me they stopped putting bags on because of a weight imbalance. She went up to the front of the plane and after a minute she told me they have put on all the bags, and asked me which one was mine. I described it to her, and she told the ground crew. They put it on the plane. I was happy that I caught that because I didn't want my luggage in the hands of United for two weeks while I was in Hong Kong. Here are two pictures I took while on the ground in Indianapolis.
The flight to O'Hare is short and because of this and the bad weather there was no beverage service. It got pretty bumpy once we started to come in closer to ORD. We started flying through rain clouds and once we passed near MDW you could see lightning strikes about 10 miles away. If it was 2 years ago I would be sweating bullets right now, but after flying so much since being in college I really don't get scared at all anymore. We were a little less than an hour late, but I really didn't care since I was just trying to get to Boston earlier than my original flight, which departs at 6pm. We touched down at the end of B near the Ted gates. I hate navigating my way through that area because there are way too many people for such a small place. Once I got out of this area and near where Lufthansa leaves, I look for Boston on the board. The next flight leaving is the same one that I am waitlisted on according to my departure management card. It is close to boarding time for this flight, so I walk quickly to the other end of B. Once boarding completed, I hope my name gets called. The gate agent started giving away people's seats that haven't boarded. It seemed there were about 6 people on the waitlist, and they only had 2 seats available. Unfortunately, I didn't get the seat. Because I haven't had anything to eat so far today, I decided it was time to get some food. I start walking down to the other side of B again because that was where the next Boston flight leaves out of. I get a sandwich and a drink. Usually the waitlist transfers between each flight, so I don't really bother the gate agents when I'm trying for earlier flights. The same thing happens to me again for UA536. So I find where the next Boston flight is and, surprise it's on the other side of B. So I walk back down there. This time after my name didn't get called for UA564, and I see people getting on board that don't have Mileage Plus numbers on their tickets, I ask where am I in the waitlist. Usually, they don't tell you where you are, but she asked for my name. She told me she wasn't on her waitlist. And I think, "Great. I wasted the entire afternoon in O'Hare because they didn't transfer my name to the next flight." That is one reason I like flying Delta--they have the displays at their important cities that let you know where you are in the waitlist, and if you are on the waitlist. Now since I'm trying to get between two of the most delay prone airports in the country in the afternoon, the next flight to BOS and my flight are now delayed. I just give up because the next flight is delayed more than my original flight.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Equipment: Boeing 757-200
Once we got on the plane I took out the headphones and listened to channel 9. We were already slightly delayed and a delay program was in affect. I could hear ATC tell planes to take "the scenic route" around O'Hare. Basically things were really delayed and they had planes traveling in circles around the airport's taxiways. Fortunately, I heard ATC tell us to go straight to the runway. Once we were in line to take off, ATC had all the planes do a little circle because some NW plane needed to talk to NW dispatch beforehand and some shuffling of the planes was needed. We were in the air about 25 minutes after leaving the gate. I hate O'Hare! In the air I got to see a beautiful sunset. I love sunsets when flying. There isn't anything more beautiful. Beverage service was prompt. This was the first time I got to listen to the XM sponsored IFE. Personally, I didn't think it was any better than before. I think it is just marketing hype for XM. I kind of wished they had buy on board on this flight, because I was a little hungry, and I'd need something small before I go to sleep. Once we got closer to BOS the captain put the seat belt sign on because the weather was bad in Boston. Once we broke through the clouds, I could see it was lightly raining. We were coming in from the north setting us up for runway 4R, the 10,000ft runway at BOS. We'd probably need quite a bit of the runway since the runways were probably nice and saturated. I knew we were close to touching down once I saw the beach near Point Shirley. I go spotting there quite frequently when the airport is in this configuration. The landing was fairly good and the captain put the spoilers up and the reverse thrusters on fairly quickly. I was a bit surprised to see a couple of planes waiting to take off, but from what I heard BOS was severely delayed earlier in the day. We arrived about 40 minutes late. Once I was on the ground, I went straight to baggage claim. I was not too surprised to see my luggage waiting there already. Too bad I wasn't on the same flight my luggage was on. Oh well. I called my land lord who was picking me up, and he was right there. We made our trip to Watertown, so I could get about 5 hours of sleep.
Once I got into my room and did a little packing rearrangement I set my alarm for 3:45am. I had my taxi pick me up at 4:15am. I really didn't know how early I should get picked up because they always say allow 2 hours for international flights. I decided getting at the airport around 4:30 should be okay. Once I got to the airport I went straight to international check in. There were quite a few people there already. People were checking in for mostly Asian flights it seemed. When I checked in it asked me if I wanted to upgrade to Economy Plus for something like $130. I declined because I didn't want to leave Christin back in economy while I was in Economy Plus for the HKG flight. I decided that I'd ask the gate agent about Economy Plus because I really wanted some sleep on this flight, and I wanted some extra room for the longest UA transcon flight.
I proceed to security once my bag was tagged. Some of the worst security waits I've ever experienced have been in BOS, but this morning it as fairly smooth. Once through security I picked up a muffin and some cranberry juice. I proceeded to the gate which was the same gate as I arrived at a few hours ago. I'm assuming they were the same planes, so I'm listing the registration numbers the same even though I didn't check the registration number on the ORD-BOS flight.
Once the gate agent arrived, I went up to ask about Economy Plus. She said there were some seats available, so I upgraded for $54. Boarding commenced shortly afterwards.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Equipment: Boeing 757-200
I was extremely happy with my seat since it was the 2nd exit door. It was a little annoying for people to walk so close to you as they were boarding, but I didn't get hit too many times. We had a nice smooth and on time departure out of BOS. Once in the air we were given the possibility to buy on board. I wasn't really that hungry and Christin said she would have some food in San Francisco. One thing nice about Economy Plus is you are guaranteed a pillow and a blanket for the flight. I listened to Ch. 9 as the flight attendants were making their way around. After I had my drink and snack, I went to sleep. I only really napped off and on during the flight, but it was a good way to pass the time. I really can't get into a movie on a plane. I think it's because I get distracted to easily on a plane. When I wasn't sleeping I was trying to see what was going on outside, but most people had the shades closed because they were watching the movies. I kind of missed being in a window seat so I could watch us pass into California. People began to open up the windows once we were into our descent into SFO. The only Bay Area airport I've been to before this is SJC. I spent a week in the Silicon Valley in 2001, and a couple of days in San Francisco last year. I looked out the window to see anything I remember. I saw Moffett field as we were coming in. Hopefully it wouldn't be the last time I see the awesome blimp hangers. As we touched down I could see the Clarion hotel I stayed at last year and some of the places I spotted from. We pulled up to our gate at concourse F. Once I got off the plane, I was kind of surprised that the airport wasn't any busier. I waited around to see if Christin would be there. I couldn't call because I had to send off my cell phone before I left Boston. I decided to head toward the international terminal, and I used the bus instead of walking. Someone was there checking to make sure you had a flight in the international terminal, so I gave him my ticket. He let me pass and go down the stairs toward the bus. It was cold waiting for the bus, so I put on my fleece. The guy making sure we didn't run out on the ramp asked me where I was going. I told him Hong Kong. He proceeded to tell me how nice Hong Kong is. Once we arrived at the international terminal I took some quick pictures.
A picture of the ramp with a United 747 and a UA 777 in Star Alliance livery.
Mmmm. 777 engine!
The international concourse is pretty nice. I walked around a bit and found our gate. It looked like we would be traveling in N199UA today. This 747 is in the new UA colors! Once there I called mom on a calling card. Afterwards, I decided to walk around a little more. I found Christin walking toward the gate. After I told her my trip so far we sat down and had some lunch. She had leftovers she needed to get rid of. They were pretty good.
Once we were done we walked down to the end of the international terminal to where our 747-400 was waiting. The area started to get congested with people waiting for our flight and an ANA flight. Because we didn't have seats next to each other, we decided to wait in line to see if we could get that changed. We started to get yelled at by the ANA people because we were infringing on their territory. I happily complied with the cute Japanese woman. Christin and I joked around about how we can't mess with the uniformity and discipline of ANA. Once we started waiting someone came on saying that the computer systems at the airport are down. This meant that everyone in line that were waiting for seat changes were out of luck for the time being. We decided to wait in the line anyway so that we could be first when the computer systems came back online. After a while I just went up to a gate agent and gave him our tickets, and he said he would try his best. We went back to find some seats and wait. After about an hour past our estimated departure time they started boarding. They called us up and told us they couldn't change our seats. Oh well. They boarded United First and Business followed by Star Elite. After that they stopped announcing anything so it seemed like it was now a Southwest style boarding.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Arriving: 6:00pm (next-day)
Equipment: Boeing 747-400
Once on the plane we started to exchange seats with people. Christin was in a middle seat on the other side of the cabin. I was in a window seat. We were hoping that would help us out some. Christin was asked to move with someone and this allowed her to be on the same side of the cabin as me in row 47, just 3 rows in front of me. Thankfully, the person who had the window seat in row 47 was traveling alone, and was okay with switching with me. So, we got to sit next to each other on this 14 1/2 hour flight. I was feeling lazy on this flight and didn't get my camera out at all. We started pushback over an hour behind schedule. Once we cleared the gate and started taxiing, the captain said we had to go back to the gate because of technical issues. Christin said the Chinese translation said we had to go back to the gate because there was a problem with paperwork. Ugh. So once we eventually started our 747 style roll down the runway, we were about an hour and forty five minutes delayed. It didn't matter too much because we had no connections. Once the video presentation started, I closed my window shade because there was nothing but Pacific Ocean down there. When the flight attendant first came around to take drink orders, I decided not to get any alcohol. I didn't want to make any unnecessary bathroom runs because I didn't want to be too much of a bother to the guy sitting on the aisle. The two flight attendants serving us were a young guy and a scary young Asian woman. She didn't speak much or have that many facial expressions. That made her kind of scary. I guess they keep United's senior flight attendants up front. Christin and I really didn't watch any of the IFE, we talked a little and tried to sleep for most of the flight. By the time we arrived in HKG I would have been going for over 26 hours.
The first meal service began with a warm moist towelette. Unfortunately they weren't cloth like the ones in premium cabins, but I was surprised they offered this in the first place. I would have thought they would have done this later in the flight. For the first meal I had the beef. It was a Salisbury steak type thing with noodles and gravy. It wasn't that bad. It was served with assorted fruit. I was actually impressed because it tasted better than a filet mignon I had last year in United Business. The desert was carrot cake which I really don't like, so I passed that on to Christin. After dinner we went to the restroom and tried to get some sleep in. It was fairly hard, and I finally got in a nice position. Unfortunately I woke up over an hour later and my leg was asleep. Once I got my circulation flowing... PAIN! It was too bad I couldn't sleep in that position because I actually slept for a long time. So I slept off and on between meal services on the flight. I probably got around 5 hours of sleep on this flight, which is pretty good for me; even better when you consider I was in economy minus. I was expecting cup of noodles for the next meal, but instead we got some type of sandwich. Once we started getting closer to Asia as shown by AirShow I was like, hmmm usually it get's real bumpy near Japan. Within 2 minutes we hit some bad air and it got pretty bumpy. Christin was mad I had to say something about it. Shortly after this they started the final meal service. The rest of the flight was fairly good. We were in the clouds until we were on final approach to HKG. Once through the clouds I could see the lights coming from the buildings and cars. The landing was uneventful. It is nice coming into a new airport with lots of gates, you don't have to worry about getting a dreaded stand out in the middle of the airport. Because my bag was behind me, and I didn't have my passport, I couldn't fill out all of the customs form until after the flight. We let everyone pass behind us and then I went to get my bag.
Me looking not that bad for over 26 hours of fun.
Once off the plane and after a bathroom run we proceeded to immigration. Before we got there we walked by a thermal scan to make sure we weren't running a fever and sick. That's pretty cool. Christin headed toward the citizens line. I went toward the visitors. One thing I noticed is they have a lot of people employed in Hong Kong to just help you. For example, they have a person at the start of the line at immigrations that direct you toward the next immigration officer. In America you are just called to an immigration officer, or you just figure out when to proceed. There are so many people in Hong Kong to help you do simple tasks. I will comment on them further in the trip report. Immigration wasn't bad. They have candy in a bin with a happy face where the immigration officer is. Christin was done sooner because her line was shorter. We got our bags and headed out of the airport and to the bus. To grandmother's house we go. I couldn't keep my eyes open on the bus at all. Once in Kowloon we got off the bus and made the hike up a hill to Christin's grandmother's apartment. Once there we got a quick snack and went to bed.
We spent 13 days in Hong Kong, but also traveled to Macau and Taipei. At the end of this trip report I'll give the link to read my entire Asia trip report, which is hosted on my personal website.
Wednesday, June 7, 2006
On our last day in Hong Kong we decided to go to the beach. The good beach is kind of far away by bus, but we made it. There were not that many people at the beach. Everyone must have been in school or working.
After hanging out at the beach for a while we had lunch at a Thai restaurant in town. It was pretty good. We ordered something with curry that was served in a coconut. We were running a little late, but it was okay. I picked up my bags at Christin's grandmother's house and said my last goodbyes. Christin accompanied me to the airport. Since we were running late we decided to use the Airport Express.
I showed up at the airport about an hour and a half before my flight. It was a little later than I wanted to be there, but everything was okay. There was no line at the United Economy counter let alone the Premier counter. As with every US carrier's counter in a foreign country, it was roped off, and you had to show a Passport to be let in. There, they hand checked my luggage and matched my name with the passenger manifest. After that I walked up to the the counter to get my ticket. I was greeted by the happy United representatives. My final destination today is Boston, which is scheduled as HKG-BOS with a stop in ORD. Of course they don't fly the same plane. This sucks because they only give you the miles for HKG-BOS instead of HKG-ORD-BOS. I asked them to make sure I had a window seat for the ORD-BOS leg since I couldn't choose my seat when I bought my ticket. Once I got my tickets, Christin and I walked around the ticketing area some, and found a seat in front of a window. We sat there until it was time for me to leave.
After a while I made my way towards security. There were like five girls greeting people where the security entrance began. Security in Hong Kong isn't that bad. It is much easier than FRA. I made my way to the gate fairly quickly. I took a picture of the plane that will take me back to the United States and wrote down what I thought the registration number was. It was fairly hard to see from where I was.
Equipment: Boeing 747-400
When I got to the gate they were already boarding. There was no one in the United First and Business line, and the Economy line wasn't that long. I was hoping for a empty flight for United's second HKG-ORD flight of the day. I chatted with a family that was in line to board. They must have been getting back from China because they had China Southern stickers on. The dad was saying how they tried to upgrade to business but the UA agent wouldn't let them because they had small kids. I think that was just dad trying to keep his minions happy and to stop nagging him. At least that is what I would have done. I boarded and made my way to the back of the plane. I was pleased to see no one in my row. After just a couple of minutes the purser came on and started the pre-safety announcements, including which languages were spoken by the flight attendants on board today. I was extremely thrilled of the possibility of no couple sitting next to me making out during the entire flight. My heart was pounding as each straggler walked by. Finally, the purser made the announcement to stow all cell phones because the boarding door was closed. YAY! I get an entire row to myself. Forget, Economy Plus. Forget Business. Neither have the luxury of United's fully flat Economy Sleeper product. I looked around and many people were enjoying the lack of people in the cabin. I moved my backpack from the overhead bin to underneath the middle seat. Pushback and takeoff were fairly uneventful. The takeoff roll was extremely long for the longest UA flight in their system. Much longer than the HKG-TPE flight that I had a couple days prior. Since starting college I have flown so much. If this was just a couple years ago my heart would have been racing, praying that the engines could get us off the ground, instead of racing hoping no one would sit next to me. Now it was time to enjoy United's trans-Pacific Economy product. After a couple minutes passed after breaking through the clouds that never left during my trip to Hong Kong, they started the meal and beverage service. I had a Bacardi and Pepsi because, a) spirits are free on UA's trans-Pacific flights. b) There was no one sitting next to me, so I didn't feel guilty having to go to the bathroom multiple times during the flight. They don't announce that alcohol is free on trans-Pacific flights, but it is listed in the Hemispheres magazine. I wasn't asked for any ID, which was nice. Last year I was asked by a DL gate agent if I was an unaccompanied minor, and a few days before my 21st birthday, a UA flight attendant asked me if she would need to see my ID during my Business class flight from FRA-IAD. The flight attendant gave me the flask of Bacardi and a can of Pepsi. About the same time I finished they came to serve me the first meal for the flight. It was a salad with ham, assorted fruits, some bread, the main course, and desert. The main course consisted of mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, green beans, and a beef over some sauce. The desert was very good and interesting. It was a pastry filled with whipped cream and covered in Hershey's chocolate. Very innovative if you ask me. I was extremely satisfied by the meal. Sorry about the weird shadows in the meal pictures. I don't know what that is from.
I wasn't that interested in watching the in flight movies for the day. One of them was shown on the Cathay flight I took, and the others didn't look that interesting. I really can't get into inflight movies anyway, so during the meal service I just listened to my iPod. After the flight attendants came by to pick up my completely empty tray, I decided to do some Suduko in the Hemispheres magazine. Unfortunately, there were only two puzzles in this month's magazine. May had 4 and they were much harder compared to June's. It took me only a couple of minutes to do the two puzzles. Afterwards, I decided to try to go to sleep. Unfortunately, the woman behind me put her foot on the seat B-C armrest. I felt guilty shoving it up while she was trying to sleep. Before I tried to go to sleep I went to the bathroom. I like it how people just wait in lines for lavatory when there are some vacant on the other side. I walked through the rear galley to get into the large lavatory right in the back of the plane. I always go for one of these since they are fairly roomy as far as airplane lavatories go. I make my way back and noticed that the woman put her foot down, so I pushed up all the armrests in my row, sat in the middle seat and stretched out. I used the three pillows I had to cushion myself from the metal parts of the seats. I slept off an on for a couple of hours until the next meal service began. I was looking forward to this meal service since it was supposed to be the United Cup of Noodles. We didn't get any on the flight over, so I was looking forward to tasting how United does ramen. I asked for 7-Up for my drink, and again I got the full can without even asking for it. When the flight attendant passed out the box I opened it and didn't read the directions on the cup of noodles. I accidentally pulled the entire lid off. You are suppose to just open up half of it. Oh well. When the flight attendant came around with the hot water she told me I needed to cover it after she puts the water in, I told her yeah I messed up. I put the cookie that came with the noodles over the lid, and left the noodles cook for a while.
The noodles were fairly good. In addition to the noodles we got a sandwich. I wasn't hungry at all, so I put that in my backpack. During this meal service I noticed how nice it looked outside with the sun setting.
It's moments like these that I always love to experience when I fly. I went back to sleep after everything was picked up. I slept for another couple of hours. I felt this was the best way to pass the time on this 14 hour flight. After a while we were over North America, and the purser came on telling us what our final meal would be. It was hilarious because he described the chicken and pasta choices and said, "yummy, yummy" after describing it. Then he said, "so you have a choice, the yummy yummy chicken or yummy yummy pasta." I was cracking up. I had the chicken.
The main course consisted of noodles with chicken and snap peas. The meal also included orange juice and some fruit. At this point we only had a couple of more hours left so I decided to get my last little bit of sleep in after everything was picked up. Overall I think I slept for over half the flight, which is amazing considering my previous record on sleeping on flights. I woke up after we passed into the United States.
You can see our contrail in that picture. Once we were over the United States I started listening to some Channel 9. We were getting close and the movies were finished, so I opened up my window shade for the remainder of the flight; I don't think people care that much about Airshow. After a while the flight attendants came around one last time and picked up the last of the service items. Our elapsed time was now over 14 hours. When we were getting cleared for landing on 14R I could hear there was an emergency declared on an incoming AA flight. We were one of the last planes cleared to land on 14R because that was where the emergency landing would take place. I didn't hear what the emergency was, though. Once we were on the ground I could see all the emergency vehicles waiting on the taxiways. We quickly taxied off the runway. The radio fell silent as the plane came in. You could hear someone announcing how far out the plane was. Unfortunately, we taxied into the international terminal too quickly for me to see the landing, but I heard the AA captain said everything was fine. And with that, I ended the longest flight I've flown. Deplaning was fairly quick since there weren't that many people on board. When I walked past the economy plus section, it looked like almost every seat was used. I'm glad I didn't upgrade! Once off the plane I made my way to the bathroom and on to customs. Since I was bringing back cookies, I went to the declaration line after going through passport control. Overall it was fairly easy, and all they did was take my immigration form. Now I made my way out of the international terminal and onto the tram to the United gates.
I got in line for security re-screening. Behind me was one unhappy 2 year old traveler. They were German and holding LH tickets, so I just felt bad for the people that would have to endure this along their flight across the pond. Once through security I looked at the departures board, and not surprisingly my flight was delayed. I would say over half of my flights involving BOS are delayed because of weather. I wasn't that hungry, so after calling my parents I decided to get a McFlurry at the end of concourse B. Because I was near the United self-service kiosk, I tired to see if I could waitlist myself for an earlier flight. The next flight was delayed also, so I would have not been coming in that much earlier. The kiosk couldn't pull up my itinerary, so I decided just to wait it out since I doubt I could get on an earlier flight with no elite status.
There were quite a few people that were on my HKG flight waiting around for the BOS continuation. They looked fairly tired, and most of them had kids with them. I really wasn't that tired because I slept so much on my previous flight. I saw someone with a digital SLR camera taking pictures around the gate area, so I decided to take some pictures for the trip report also.
The concourse was clearing out as our flight continued to be delayed. You could see the cleaning crews start to clean up the trash. Eventually they started boarding over an hour delayed. This wasn't good since the flight was suppose to arrive at midnight. Oh well, what can you do.
Equipment: Boeing 757-200
I took my seat hoping that I would have no one next to me, but that is a pipe dream on a domestic flight these days. Two bubbly girls sat next to me that were just getting back from LAS. I put on my headphones to listen to some Ch. 9. I rested my eyes for the entire flight, but I couldn't get any sleep. I was a little hungry, but not that much. I was okay with some Sprite and the trail mix. I just wanted this flight to be over. Those connecting flights after a long haul flight, are just no fun any way you slice it. The weather was fairly bad in the northeast. That is why we were delayed so much. We hit some large spots of chop during the flight. It was nothing that bad. Nothing like Japan area turbulence. We arrived to Boston some time after 1:00am. We taxied up to our gate and to a lifeless airport. After a while, the captain came on saying they couldn't get the jet bridge to work, so they were getting airport maintenance out. Oh boy! People were getting angry, and you could hear people that were in the aisles yelling, "let us out!" I was too fatigued to yell at this point, I just wanted this trip to be over. After about 15 minutes of people standing in the aisles waiting to get off the plane, they got the jet bridge to work and people started filing out of the plane. I made my way to luggage claim, and there was nothing coming out. I went to see if my luggage came earlier, like my last arrival into BOS two weeks ago. Unfortunately, there was nothing there. Finally, after about 10 minutes the bags started coming off. I didn't have a Star Priority tag, so my bag was one of the last to get out. After I had my bag I called my mom, because she wanted to know that I arrived in BOS okay no matter what time it was. This was almost 2am.
After that I made my way outside to the taxi line since at this hour the T isn't running. The line was about 100 people, because multiple flights arrived about the same time as mine. Great, this looked like another hour wait. Eventually, some guy wearing a taxi service shirt came by asking people where we were going. The person in front of me said Fenway. The guy told him he would take him there for $25. When the guy asked me where I was going, I told him Watertown. He said he would take me there also. I was like, okay. So I followed him up to the arrivals area. I knew this seemed shady, but I just wanted to get home. When we got to Fenway the guy told us that we also had to pay for the toll. We told him we would split the toll. The guy was speeding and running red lights pretty much the entire way to Watertown. Once we got to Watertown he told me $40. I wasn't that surprised at this point that this was going to be a rip off, but whatever. I gave him less money for the toll than the previous guy, but he didn't care. I gave him $42. Ugh. Oh well, you live and learn. Once in my room I collapsed, but really couldn't sleep because of the jet lag. It took me a couple of days to get back on a normal sleep schedule, and not wanting naps in the afternoon.
Summary: Asia was a lot of fun, and I hope to go back. I am so happy I got to go, and it was nice I had a place to stay. I hope to go to Japan or mainland China next. Many people ask me if I like Europe or Asia better. I really can't answer that question because they are so different. I wouldn't recommend doing Asia without a friend. It is fairly difficult, and you can get burned out in Asia much quicker than Europe I think. I liked the fact that I wasn't that jet lagged coming over to Asia, whereas I felt like crap for a day or two once in Europe. I wouldn't mind going to Vietnam either. United for long haul economy flights is a good choice. I think they have excellent service in the sky. I really think their ground services and technology support system can be worked on, though. It is no where near where Delta is currently.
If you enjoyed this trip report, I encourage you to go visit my entire Asia trip report, here.
NZ8800 From New Zealand, joined May 2006, 425 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9597 times:
Wow! That sure was some detail!!!!!!!
What a routing you had to take too; IND - ORD - BOS!
Poor Dad, DRIVING from Indiana to Mobile... I think I'd fly it no matter what the cost (!). But then, I come from a country where three hours is considered a Long Distance Drive!!!
Has your girlfriend killed you yet for that photo of her eating on the trip report?
Great report mate
MDZWTA ~ Mobile Disaster Zone When Travelling Abroad
Zone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9561 times:
Quoting Skookum (Reply 1): Brilliant report. I will definately have a peek at your linked trip report.
Thank you for the compliment! The full trip report is 7 pages long, and has a lot more pictures than what is shown here.
Quoting NZ8800 (Reply 2): What a routing you had to take too; IND - ORD - BOS!
Yeah. I needed to get my stuff to BOS for the summer, but I didn't want to take all of it to HKG. Doing this routing was cheaper than IND-ORD-HKG-BOS-IND and the cost of shipping some stuff. Plus I got more miles! Hopefully I can get Premier this year.
Quoting NZ8800 (Reply 2): Poor Dad, DRIVING from Indiana to Mobile... I think I'd fly it no matter what the cost (!). But then, I come from a country where three hours is considered a Long Distance Drive!!!
What can I say, I have a great family.
Quoting NZ8800 (Reply 2): Has your girlfriend killed you yet for that photo of her eating on the trip report?
She doesn't know that it was included in the A.net trip report, yet. Unfortunately, she will read this some time soon since she reads A.net sometimes. Shhhh!
Dc10s4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8925 times:
Lucky you. Hong Kong is one of the most exciting cities in the world. I love going to the south side of the island around Repulse Bay and Aberdeen to get away from the hustle of the city for a while. For those of you planning a trip to HKG, try the Boat House Restaurant near Stanley Market. Very good, great views!
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 10411 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 8560 times:
Amazing trip report. It is one of the best out there. I personally couldn't do an itinerary like that. I'd be wiped out with that much flying in economy. Only an A.netter would subject himself to that crazy itinrary.
United seemed like it was pretty good although the lack of PTVs on the 747s probably isn't that good. Please do this again for us next time you travel.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Zone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 week 1 day ago) and read 8178 times:
Thanks for all the great compliments everyone!
Quoting 767747 (Reply 7): The food on the flight from HKG to ORD looks pretty good! I've flown through IND and I found it to be a nice airport.
I was extremly impressed with UA's food on the HKG flights. A friend of mine took DL's flagship route to NRT last year, and I have to say that UA's food looked much better. It tasted good too! Here are pictures from my friend's Delta flight:
I know some airlines are natorious for giving too little food on long haul flights, but UA had generous sized portions. Like I said in the trip report, I couldn't eat the sandwhich they gave with the cup of noodles.
IND is a nice little airport with a good amount of non-stop flights to various destinations around the country. It is getting a little cramped, but all that will be solved in a couple of years when they finish the new midfield terminal. Sadly, I probably won't be in Indiana at that point.
UA is a great carrier for long haul, and they have never let me down. The PTVs are an interesting concept for a short little train ride. If I remember correctly there wasn't that much English programming.
Actually, the worst part were the domestic legs. I was more drained after them than the international legs. But then again, I was flying with someone I knew on the way there, and had an entire row to myself on the way back.
Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 10):
United seemed like it was pretty good although the lack of PTVs on the 747s probably isn't that good.
It would have been nice to have some PTVs. I really don't like watching movies on a plane because I can't get into the plot that well, but I do enjoy watching short TV shows. It's also nice to see the Airshow whenever you want.
Quoting Zone1 (Thread starter): We were coming in from the north setting us up for runway 4R, the 10,000ft runway at BOS.
I'm suprised no one caught me on that one. It should read coming in from the south.
Christao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 967 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (9 years 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7701 times:
Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for the report; it was very enjoyable. Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. Thinking about maybe taking another trip there in September, even though the last one was only in June.
ChrisNH From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 4293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7494 times:
Quoting Skookum (Reply 1): We arrived to Boston some time after 1:00am. We taxied up to our gate and to a lifeless airport. After a while, the captain came on saying they couldn't get the jet bridge to work
Yes, but the tunnels to and from the airport are working marvelously
I love this line: "I was flaggergasted (not really)."
Zone1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (9 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 7193 times:
Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 14):
Yes, but the tunnels to and from the airport are working marvelously
Depends on which tunnel you are talking about. The Silver Line tunnels are all operational... for now.
Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 14): I love this line: "I was flaggergasted (not really)."
When it comes to weather delays I really don't get mad at the airline, or anything. I just have to expect that when I'm flying between two of the most delay prone airports in the US, that weather delays are inevitable. I wish I could have flown through IAD, but I couldn't get my itinerary to work out. I've come to appreciate UA's IAD hub in the last year.
Quoting Zarniwoop (Reply 15):
Hi Zone1, is that picture from Victoria Peak? If so, it looks like the same place where I asked my (then) girlfriend to marry me Smile
You guessed right! That picture was from the peak. It is a great place for a proposal. It is very romantic.
Quoting Christao17 (Reply 13): Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for the report; it was very enjoyable.
Thank you for the compliment, Chris. I can only strive to reach the level of your Asia *A reports! I can't wait to read your next one!