Friday, July 1, 2011

China Post #37 Dalian Airport Troubles

So I like the fog in Dalian because it reminds me of the San Francisco bay area. However, the airport does not deal with the fog very well. On Thursday morning I said goodbye to Finbar, a guys from Ireland that we got to know a bit and on Friday morning he was back at the Shama. This should have set off the alarm. He had not been able to get out of Dalian airport because of the fog. We showed up at the airport around 10:30 for our 12:30 flight and did not see it on the board. What we did see however was an airport with about 10x the number of people that are normally there, one thing that the Chinese seem to do really well is move people through at least check in and security. After asking around we were told we could not check in and that the flight was delayed, but nothing else, no time estimate. We spent some time milling about and running into Finbar who was trying to get out again. We were then told maybe on Monday??? it is Friday. The flight was not officially canceled so we continued to hang around and got some lunch. Eventually we managed to get on a different flight to Shanghai that was supposed to leave at 8:00am and now had a boarding time of 4:00pm, at least we were going to be able to make the first half of our trip to Guilin.

We did not get on the plane until almost 4:45, OK now we are on our way. Not so fast, when we were headed to Xi'an with my parents we spent 2 hours sitting on the runway waiting, for what we don't know since we were never told. Naturally after they got us on the airplane this time we sat there until 6:45 before taking off. Since our flight to Guilin from Shanghai was scheduled for 6:50 we were going to miss that for sure. After arriving in Shanghai we had to deal with finding a flight the next day to Guilin and sucking up the lost money on the tickets for the flight we missed and finally finding a hotel for the night.

So now we are in the Shanghai airport waiting for our flight to Guilin.

This is the 3rd time out of 6 times that we have flown in or out of Dalian that there has been a significant delay. Strangely enough on another occasion the flight actually left early, so you never know what you're going to get.

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