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Homeward bound


View 2015/16 Parahawking in Nepal on alexchan's travel map.

To my surprise, Dragonair and their Kathmandu ground staff turned around the big jet in an hour. We left around 0030 for a 2h30 flight to Bangkok. Within half hour of takeoff the inflight service of hot pastries and juice was over, leaving us all to rest.

The fuel stop in Bangkok is, necessary due to border issues with India, meaning that the landlocked country is rather short of fuel. All but the shortest international flights require a stop. We filled up and go in an hour for a 2h flight to Hong Kong.

For the second sector, we were offered a more substantial meal with bread roll and fruit. With the time difference, we landed in Hong Kong around 0900. I was out with my bags in no time; perhaps most people were connecting elsewhere.

I made my way to the Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge for a 3h complimentary stay from 0930 to 1230, where I also enjoyed a much needed shower. That left me “homeless” fro 1230 till 1455 when check-in opened for my 1755 flight. It isn’t always worthwhile turning up so early on standby as one normally gets asked to wait to flight closing anyway.

Today was definitely one of those situations and the airline staff in charge told me not to inconvenience myself queueing; just come back 90 minutes when the flight is nearly closing. So it was back to doing things on the computer and internet. But with the sleeplessness setting in, I didn’t want to do bills and serious admin.

When I came back 90 minutes before departure, they told me to wait a bit more. Some customers had turned out without proof of exit from New Zealand and another had forgotten his passport. Eventually they called for the standby passengers but they realised that I hadn't been marked as here and waiting. This was quickly fixed and a few of us made our way promptly to the the gate, only to be held up in the massive crowds at security and immigration.

Inflight, the reading lights of the Boeing 777-200 were playing up. This had already happened on the flight to Hong Kong but it would take 3h to fix, so the Captain decided that it is a lesser inconvenience to operate the flight "as is". When I turn on my reading light, someone else's comes on but after a long lag. And there's no rhyme or reason; it could be someone different the nex time I turn it on ... it is all quite random. To make matters worse, the lights had been readjusted as people try to "steal" the light from others (unlike on Airbus aircraft which have fixed unadjustable lights). The crew were telling passengers to not fiddle with the lights. I suggested to the crew that it might be helpful to have the cabin lights on because people want the lights to do their arrival forms before the meal service.

The end of a short trip with one big highlight and very little else. Not a bad way to add sparkle to my Christmas break.

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Hong Kong

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