DAY 42 – THE ALMOST CALAMATOUS JOURNEY HOME

6/11 – And the part that WAS planned turned into a near disaster. Had a crack of dawn flight to Shanghai so I could pick up my return flight home, but it was canceled due to bad weather YESTERDAY and I had to go stand-by on another airline. When the “Flight Manager” issued my stand-by ticket, he motioned to the ticketing agent to check my luggage – jumping me in front of a lot of people on line, who didn’t see the gesture. One woman gave me the evil eye and I was like “HE told her to take it! I’m not one of THOSE jumping-in-line people!”  It was like a “Curb” sketch. But my stand-by flight was delayed a couple hours, so I clearly wasn’t going to make it to Shanghai in time. So scurried to the  International Terminal, which is like a 15 minute shuttle bus ride away – it’s like a separate airport – I’ve never seen anything like it – to see if I could get the Air China people to just let me board the *&^% plane in Beijing, where it STOPS ANYWAY.  The best I could do, after going back and forth between domestic and international terminals three times – and spending about 3 ½ hours – was getting a “change fee” of $200, which is okay because I’m SUPPOSED to get a refund of about $100 for my Shanghai canceled flight. That’s yet to be seen, but spending an extra $100 not to go to Shanghai and spend extra hours on the plane is worth it, even if a few of those hours were tense and shuttling between terminals.

They kept asking me if I wanted to change my flight and I kept saying, no, I want to KEEP my flight – same everything, except I missed the first part of it, I still want to take the main part. If it was a sitcom, I would’ve explained that I was saving the airline money on fuel (my weight) and meals, etc, so they should be paying Me. It’s crazy. Why should I have to pay $300-500 more to sit in the same seat? One girl agent said “You’ve been in China six weeks. Why did you wait till today to come to Shanghai?” like I was supposed to stay there for a week before my flight or something. I’m exhausted from lack of sleep and this turn of events and still have to work on a place to stay in the next 3 hours, etc. Then it turns out that the plane from Shanghai arrived in Beijing really late, so maybe I could’ve made it after all. Anyway, I finally board the plane. And that, friends, puts the button on my blog.

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