The flight back to the States from Thailand included a transit through Tokyo, Japan. But it snowed in Tokyo and the Narita airport closed. Waited in Bangkok airport 12 hours for an alternate flight to Hanada airport. With her Thai accent, I kept hearing the agent say “Canada Airport.” What??? Well finally got that straightened out. Unknown to me, Hanada Airport is also in Tokyo. But if it was snowing in Tokyo and one airport was closed wouldn’t the other airport be risky? Oh well. She must know what she is doing…I thought…
The minute we landed and I looked out the window of the plane, I knew we weren’t getting out anytime soon. Inside at the ticket counter a Canadian woman was yelling that she refused to spend 9 hours in the SF airport waiting to get to Vancouver. The husband shrinks. This goes on for an hour…the agent with very little English staring at her computer terminal. With no place for us to sit. Finally they left. I have no idea what the outcome was.
We tried to be nice…Doug is better at it than I am. They could see he could hardly stand with his psoriatic arthritis so they brought a wheelchair and wheeled us up to a Delta lounge, thank god. Personnel kept giving us updates…one agent comes up to us and says “we have an update for you…the airport will open soon.” A different agent soon after…”we have an update for you…the airport will open soon.” Then 3 agents at once. “We have an update for you…the airport is closed indefinitely.” So Doug and I joined a few hundred others on the airport floor where they at least they gave us blankets.
The next morning an agent said..“Narita has opened. You must take a bus to a different terminal and then another bus to Narita.” Doug could hardly walk with the arthritis much less help with 4 big pieces of luggage. Can I get a taxi? “No taxi today. And you must enter “Japan” and go through immigration and security again because the airport is not in “Japan.” Huh?
Upon questioning I began to realize this was one of their many ways of saying “no” without saying “no.” The part of it I could understand anyway with the heavy Japanese accent. I said “We cannot! “See…I learned this from the Thais! ha! They got on the phone with someone…the supervisor I suspect. Three times they came back and three times this happened. When they returned again they finally got up the gumption to say “No. The plane to Los Angeles is at the Narita Airport right now…you must go!”
I began to realize they were frantically trying to empty the Haneda airport lest we start living there. After all…all the snacks and drinks you could eat! So the three tiny women went with us to the bus helping carry the bags…bless their little hearts. “You are strong!” I said. Then we tumbled off that bus and onto another bus to Narita. Thankfully, other bus riders helped us off that one.
In contrast to little Haneda, these Delta agents at Narita were incredibly efficient, didn’t charge for overweight luggage, and the line went quickly. Whew! Even though we were originally booked for a flight direct to PDX…we got onto a plane for LA.
In LA we had missed the flight which was transiting San Francisco to Portland of course. Planes from hell to breakfast had been backed up for days. We stood in line (first a wrong one misdirected by a worker) over 3 hours to get rebooked and drop our bags. Only three Delta agents for a few hundred people! I was losing it! Then suddenly two more agents appeared. One woman wasted no time handling us and two other customers at once…and at the same time noticing Doug’s physical situation. Another airport worker suddenly appeared with a wheelchair and she bulldozed us through security and immigration. I will write Delta. These women need some kudos!
But my plane woes were not to end there. After a week in Salem Oregon, and a night waiting in the PDX airport for an early morning flight out to Houston through San Francisco, my transit through SF was cancelled. So I have a choice of going through LA or Las Vegas. Las Vegas! I quickly texted my son there and asked if I could spend a few days there. Yes, was the answer!
On March 3, from Las Vegas I was to fly to Oaxaca through Houston. Yes, the flight out of Houston was delayed two hours! Poor Andrea and Jose were waiting at the Oaxaca airport for me! I am taking them out to dinner Saturday at the Casa Oaxaca rooftop restaurant.
Tags: Bangkok, Thailand, USA, Worst Experiences