I’m currently blogging from the Cathay lounge in the Hong Kong airport…I’m supposed to be arriving back in Port Moresby right now, but our travel plans went a little haywire on this adventure.
We arrived at Jackson’s International in Port Moresby last Wednesday to catch our (direct!) flight to Hong Kong. We quite literally chose HK as our destination for this getaway only because we could fly there direct–normally you have to go through Australia to get anywhere (and we were looking to maximize fun time and minimize sitting in airport time, you know?) It was about 9:15 when we approached the check-in desk for our 11:45 flight.
And then they told us it was cancelled. No apologies. No explanation. Just “oh that flight is cancelled. Your travel agent didn’t tell you?” (We book our own travel, THANKS.)
And then I burst into tears on the spot.
You see, we try to leave the country every 6-8 weeks or so…we sometimes have business in Brisbane, or can take a weekend getaway to Cairns…but it’s essential to survival there. You just can’t possibly understand how depressing it is to be there with no break for much longer than that. Well this go-around, we hadn’t left in almost 3 months. This vacation had been my reason for getting out of bed in the morning for weeks. And poof! Cancelled.
We made our way over to the customer service desk where they tried to send us to the Philippines for an overnight to get to our eventual destination (no thanks) and then offered that perhaps we should leave tomorrow instead.
I’m not being dramatic when I say I could NOT go back to our apartment. Mr. Engineer agreed. We decided that if all else failed, we’d just go to Brisbane (there’s a flight there about twice a day).
After some harsh words (yes, Air Niugini, you WILL pay for our nonrefundable hotel if you don’t get us to Hong Kong, and you’ll do it NOW) suddenly a faster option became available. (Disclaimer: I’m not generally in favor of being a bitch to customer service people, but being nice was getting us nowhere. And they CANCELLED OUR FLIGHT WITHOUT TELLING US. WHEN WE HAD BEEN STUCK IN HELL FOR ALMOST THREE MONTHS. Desperate times, people.)
Suddenly we had about 11 minutes to check our bags, get boarding passes and board a flight to Cairns where there would be a connection to Hong Kong for us. And about 10 minutes later I was drying my eyes, seated next to Mr. Engineer on what must be the tiniest plane allowed to cross the ocean (those little things are scary!) en route to an Australian connection.
Our connection was on time, and we ended up in Tsim Sha Tsui about 6 hours later than we had originally intended–not bad, given how the day started.
More later. I’m off to enjoy the complimentary food and a bloody mary here in the business class lounge (we’re flying economy but scored a lounge pass anyway…with free WiFi!)