Friday, July 19, 2013

Reflections on Flying 2013

So, on a Saturday, two days before I was to fly to Thailand and Vietnam, I'm hosting a BBQ for my friends who were going to watch my psycho cat. Psycho kitty is really low maintenance, as it hides from everyone except me. It really is a one person cat. Well, as I'm prepping some pork ribs, News of a crash of Asiana 777 plane shows up on the boob tube, and it's constant. It is so constant, that I get really really frickin nervous. When something like this gets picked up by US news outlets, they go crazy. Every other minute is about the incident which ratchets up my nerves and blood pressure. I'm flying on a 777. Shit.

Plane crashes are not exactly everyday news. The problem is that I booked with what I thought was one of the better airlines. It was top rated among many surveys for service. Well, I tried to cancel and rebook on Sunday, but that proved to be impossible. So, my fate is sealed.
On Monday, as I was getting a lift to the airport, there was a rear end collision right next to us on the 105 freeway. So, I'm not exactly looking at this trip as beginning on the best of ways. When I try to book an aisle seat, that doesn't work, and they can't give me a boarding pass for the Korea to Bangkok leg. The aisle seat is at the back of the plane near the tail. No way Josue. The flight is delayed, and I'm not exactly cool with it, as there was only an hour between flights. I board the plane, and get seated. I'm wired. The danger of not making the transfer was rather high. After sprinting between planes, eventually I got on the plane for the last leg. No one was on the plane. I had an entire row to myself, and I dozed for a little bit.
I go through immigration pretty easily, as I got my Thai Visa. Now, you don't really need it as there is a "Permission to Enter" stamp, but I've found that with a visa, you go through customs really quick.
When I arrive and get picked up, I'm pretty rattled. Of course, the airline that I thought of swtiching to has problems too. Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo returns to Boston - Channel NewsAsia. This does not bode well. Then I get more wonderful news from London. Boeing's 787 problems return with Dreamliner fire in London - Jul. 12, 2013. It's like there is a conspiracy against me with flying.
So, why did this trip start sort of rocky.
  1. Saturday. During the BBQ, the plane crash makes all the news outlets. It's Asiana, which supposedly is one the safer and nicer airlines.
  2. Sunday. Try to rebook with JAL or ANA. For the most part, I'm stuck with the booking.
  3. Monday. Get a lift to the airport only to see a rear end collision on the 105 freeway. Can't book an aisle seat. No boarding ticket for the Korea to Thailand leg. Flight is delayed.
  4. Tuesday. Thai time. Arrive, and I have to book a different apartment from before. It's smaller, but it's okay.
  5. Rest of the week. See various news flashes about JAL having problems, Ethiopia Air having problems and generally thankful I am on the ground.
I'm supposed to fly out to Vietnam in August. Hopefully by then, my nerves would be better. The way I look at it now, the trip can only go up.