I feel so lucky to have gotten the upgrade to Business Class and was going to take advantage as best I could. After taking off in San Francisco for a long 15 and a half hour flight to Hong Kong, settling into my own personal Business Class pod, it was the best treat ever as I got the luxury of champagne, yummy food and a bed that fully reclines flat and I slept for over 8 hours and was able to get onto the right time zone by timing my sleep just right. I will admit, this was the most enjoyable flight ever…till the last 2 hours.
There was a young, unaccompanied boy that was seated right behind me, as I’m sure his parents wanted him to be looked after on the long flight. All of a sudden he returned from the area where the restroom was and as he got to my seat, he threw up all over the floor and on my fancy duvet. I felt bad for him and the 3 flight attendants that had to clean it up. The flight attendants asked me if I wanted to move seats, and luckily there were more Business Class seats open on in the middle of the plane, so I gladly moved and continued on with my movie. If that was my only issue on the flight, I still way.
After landing in Hong Kong, I quickly found one of the four business class lounges in the airport (why so many???) It was a nice treat to get to take a shower in the lounge (Cathay Pacific has private shower rooms which I’ve used before and just love!). When I was trying to figure out my next flight departure, there wasn’t a gate assigned for my flight yet and the lounge staff said to check the monitors all over the lounge. When the gate finally came up, it was only 40 minutes before takeoff.
When I asked where the gate was, I saw a look of panic on all four lounge staff faces as they said “far…real far”. They looked at each other then me and said, “you must hurry, and run to make it”. The gate was all the way across the airport (6 moving escalators), then down an elevator and then I had to take a bus to another terminal. I quickly took off, (almost a mile according to my fitbit) and made it to the gate right at last call, but I made it. The funny part with this is as I settled into my seat, the captain came on the loudspeaker to say, we would be delayed about half an hour as they were going to wait for a connecting flight from San Francisco with another 23 passengers. So all that hustle for nothing.
This last flight was quite strange. It was quite turbulent and rough, but I was tired and feel asleep. All of a sudden, I woke up to hearing an alarm…and saw red flashing lights where the word “exit” were in the front of the plane. I looked around and could tell something was off, but not sure what. When I looked behind me, a flight attendant quickly got out of her jump seat, ran to the emergency door behind me, and did something to re-latch/lock the door. Not sure if something came loose, but it sent off alarms and I’ve never experienced that. It got fixed and we finally landed in Yangon after 1:00am (just an hour late).
I find the visa process to be interesting. At this airport, I just had to present my visa on arrival letter with my passport, but this has to be either the slowest or maybe the second slowest customs experience ever (behind my time in Kenya). The man took so long to look at the passport, look at his computer, look at my visa letter, flip through many pages of the unused passport, and back and forth. I think it was my immigration guy as the other lines were moving faster. In the end, it took me 30 minutes to get through, and I was only the 3rd person in the line. I felt bad for the additional 25 foreigners behind me.
I was really glad I paid for the hotel to pick me up, as at this hour, after the long flight, it was the best $25 every (35,000 kyat) for the airport ride. We were told we could get a taxi for about 8,000 kyat (or $7) but this was the best expense for me as it was almost 2am and I was told it would be an hour or more ride to the airport. As it ended up at that hour of the night, the ride from the airport to hotel was only 12 minutes and I was quickly taken to my room where Milena was fast asleep and I was out quickly.