Airport Not Accepting Any More Planes

I have a business trip to Beijing and decided to fly out after work 1 day earlier due to the holiday, why not spend the holiday in Beijing. After taking 3 hours by cab to get to the airport (Hongqiao airport versus Pudong) due to traffic out of Shanghai, I arrived 10 minutes before my flight was to depart. No employees around to talk to so I waited in line at the ticket counter. I was told the flight has been delayed for 35 min. Hooray for China and its craziest! I didn’t miss my flight! It is common for flights to be delayed and not depart on time. I was so excited! Well I shouldn’t have gotten so excited. It was delayed 50 minutes and it is wonderful how the people line up to get on the plane. They have assign seats (they assign them at the ticket counter…) but they have to line up and bum rush to get on the plan, so much fun.

It is a 1 hr 45 min flight from Shanghai to Beijing. Finally we are on the plane and we take off, they serve dinner and I am taking a little snooze when I hear an announcement in Chinese and then the passengers, start making noise, so much so I can barely hear the announcement in English and that is when I hear “The Beijing airport is not accepting any more planes” and that we are turning around and going back to Shanghai. WHAT?!?! We are like 30-45 min out from Beijing. I must be dreaming… The Chinese when they talk to each other, always sound angry to me and it seems like they are yelling… you should hear them on a plane, we had one passenger, hollering at the flight attendant and others randomly shouting things, with  my seatmate one of them. He would be reading his newspaper and then all of a sudden start screaming in Chinese. The airline for whatever reason, kept the bright lights on in the cabin. I am so tired at this point and here I am headed back to Shanghai. We land in Shanghai and another announcement that we will be going back to Beijing in 35 min (what is with the 35 min??) we sit in a holding area for approx. 1 hour.  After sometime the passengers start clapping and yelling, like at a concert when you want the band to come on the stage. I am sure the pilot was waiting for them to do this and that is the reason why he wasn’t moving, he needed the passengers ready to fly.  The bright cabin lights are on still, I could be sleeping. We move to the runway and sit there for 30 minutes the plane idling. We finally take off and I arrive in Beijing at 2am. Originally I was suppose to arrive at 9:30pm.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. adventureswben
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 20:12:39

    How horrible. Isn’t there a passenger bill of rights?


  2. Denise Jean
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 22:08:34

    I hope you had a nice hotel room waiting for you once you finally arrived!


  3. Rick
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 07:06:38

    Ahhh one of the things I dont miss about working in China are the never ending airport and flight delays and the antics of the travelers. Glad to see you have realized the ideal “This Is China” TIC as we use to say about 3 times a day. Those that dont have a grasp on that wont make it there. Safe travels back to Shanghai when your trip is done and hope its less eventful.


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