Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Airplanes and Airports; Part Two.



In yesterday's post, I wrote that, this month, I'd flown on 8 different airplanes and passed through 6 different airport - twice. I also pointed out that, for the most part, the trip to Philippines was unremarkable and uneventful. It wasn't until the return trip, I wrote, that things became unpleasant.

Actually, the unpleasantness wasn't immediate, but rather came in degrees.

Whatever unpleasantness there may have been at the Dumaguete airport as we were leaving was not because of the airport, or Philippine Airlines, but rather the crying and unpleasantness of having to say goodbye to loved ones.

We arrived in Manila at the domestic Terminal 3. We'd need to transfer to Terminal 1 for the international flight. Oddly enough (or maybe not so odd) where the taxi from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 when we arrived was 330 Ph pesos - roughly $8 - the reverse taxi ride was quoted at more than 800 Ph pesos - $20 !

Fortunately, we were able to locate a shuttle. It was a slow go, but it only cost 20 pesos each for the three of us, and as we had a long overnight wait, slow going wasn't a problem.

The last flight out of Dumaguete brought us to Manila around 5:30 or 6:00PM. Our flight leaving for Japan wouldn't leave until 6:40 AM. A 12 hour layover can hardly be called pleasant, but it wasn't due to anything horrible at Terminal 1......it's just that, a 12 hour wait is a long, long, boring wait.

The worse thing about Terminal 1 is having to pay the terminal fee - 550 Ph pesos each - 1650 pesos! Nearly $40 bucks. At least the souvenirs were reasonable priced.

The 2 hour layover at Tokyo/Narita was an improvement. Heck, I could stand on my head for two hours.

On the flight from Japan to New York, I began the readjustment to the difference in time. It was tempting to sleep as much as possible, but I forced myself to stay awake according to an Eastern Time Zone schedule. Finding a few interesting movies on-board helped. (King Kong wasn't half bad.)

Unlike our experience on the way to Philippines, making our way through JFK on the trip home was a nightmare. All of Delta's flights are located together in a separate terminal - except for incoming international flights. After going through customs, we had to find our way to this elusive terminal with no idea how to get there; most of the folks employed at JFK are equally clueless as how to find it. Finding Skull Island in the above mentioned King Kong was easier.

We were lost - even went security twice - until we finally talked to a TSA agent who actually knew his ass from a hole in the ground - a rare animal, indeed.

Getting to Atlanta and leaving JFK behind was such a relief that I wasn't the least bit upset to find out in Atlanta that the folks in New York had put one of our bags on a later flight. Delta located said piece of luggage and delivered to our house the next morning.

It's Tuesday and I've pretty well adjusted to the time difference with little jet lag to speak of. It's back to our normal routine, where an 8 hour day at work can seem like a 13 hour plane ride from the U.S. to Japan.

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