The Long Journey OutAugust 27, 2019 in China ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C
Not the best start to our travel adventure! The night before departure, we'd gotten a message from Cathay Pacific saying our flight was delayed 30 minutes. Normally that would be a shrug and a whatever, but our connection in Hong Kong was fairly tight, at about 65 minutes so we were now cutting it pretty fine! But there's not much we could do.
Got a lift to the station from Rae, then a train to the airport where the desk lady confirmed that yes, the flight was scheduled 30 minutes later and that we were unlikely to make the connection. She upgraded us to exit row seats to help getting off the plane faster, and since we didn't have checked bags she said we could still attempt the connection in Hong Kong.
Got through the airport in the usual good time, but boarding started late, and then during taxi we stopped on the ground in several places for about half an hour. So ultimately we were more than an hour late leaving Sydney from the original time. Meals were decent, and we took advantage of the unusual (for us) situation of having TV screens, so we watched some movies.
As we got closer to Hong Kong it was clear there was no chance of us making the flight - ultimately we touched down and got to the gate around 7:15pm local time, about 20 minutes after the flight had departed. At least they had staff waiting with our new boarding passes and a meal voucher each worth about $25 AUD.
Had some food and then settled in at the boarding gate for a 3 hour unexpected wait - I played games on my laptop while Shandos dozed. Eventually the flight left at around 11pm bound for Beijing, the flight only half full. Had a third dinner and then dozed for the next couple of hours before we arrived in Beijing at 2am.
No issues with Chinese immigration or visas, but when we went to pick up our SIM cards from the "24 hour desk", the girl there told us we'd have to come back at 6am! Only available between 6am and midnight, apparently. Shandos spoke to someone at the company we'd bought from and they said they'd give a refund, but still a pain in the arse.
And of course, arriving at 3am meant that the shuttle buses and the subway had stopped running for the night, so our only option was an expensive taxi. 40 minutes later we finally arrived at our hotel where we checked in and went straight to bed, nearly 24 hours after we left Sydney. Hopefully things get better tomorrow!Read more