Everyone loves flying out of Shanghai
I went to Shanghai this weekend to attend a Toastmasters conference (District 85P Spring Conference), and of course, to cheer on 2 of my club’s members who competed in the District-level Evaluation and Speaking contests. Sadly, they didn’t place. As a good friend of mine recently move from Beijing to Shanghai, I decided to extend my trip by one day to spend Sunday with him (I was originally supposed to return to Beijing Saturday night). Shanghai is nice! This was my 4th time to Shanghai, and for some reason, I hated it the previous times I went. This time was different, but I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s that I’m getting tired of Beijing after 5 years? My return flight was scheduled to depart from Shanghai Hongqiao airport at 9:05PM Sunday night. I get to the airport on time, we board on time. Then the perser came on the intercom and told us our flight would be delayed 1 hour “due to bad weather in Beijing”. Everyone sighs. People start getting up to get their books or music players from their overhead luggage. Air China was nice enough to put on a movie (in English) that kept me busy… After about an hour, the perser came on the intercom again, and regretted to inform us “that due to deteriorating weather in Beijing, we’ll be delayed even longer”! I then decdied to check out just how much the weather in Beijing was deterioratin by SMSing friends in Beijing. Pretty much, my friends thought I was nutts because the weather was actually fine. It rained a bit earlier, but it was dry now. These guys are pulling something! I remember hearing from someone a while ago that there’s a law in China that if a plane is delayed more than X (I forgot what X was), then the airline would need to compensate the passengers. Clearly, this is a pro-passenger law. But there are rumors that airlines, regardless of the problem, claim the delay is weather related so they can get out of compensating the passengers. This allows time for the pilots to sober up or the engines to be fixed or whatever the case may be. Any way, maybe half an hour later, the perser comes on again and says we’ll take off around 11:15PM. Finally! Some good news! We were pretty close to that estimate - we touched down around 1AM into the new Beijing Airport Terminal 3. An improvement, but I wasn’t about to ooo and ahh at that hour (this was my first time actually traveling through this terminal). Ok, story done.