Flight cancelled 14 hours ahead of schedule

When I arrived back in HK yesterday morning, my flight to Guam that night was cancelled 14 hours in advance, turning my half day in HK into another full day and night.

The initial auto rebooking had me flying the next day HKG-GUM-PVG-ORD-YYZ, inc. an overnight and half day in Shanghai (PVG) but arriving 28 hours later, which was briefly tempting but I opted instead to get myself rebooked onto HKG-ORD-YYZ the next day, which gets me in the same time as original 4 flight return itin HKG-GUM-HNL-EWR-YYZ.

I can still get my original frequent flyer miles credited since it was an involuntary change (it’s called Original Routing Credit). I just need to call United after the trip is over to get it corrected.

Added bonus: about 7 fewer hours in an airplane seat.

Back in the lounge this morning, looking a little scruffy…


2 flights and a few tasty biz meals

I did manage to sleep 3 and 1.5 hours on these 2 flights. I skipped the sandwich near the end of the first 7hr flight.

Salad with scallops


Shrimp and salad main dish (out of 4 options)


Oh yeah, the ice cream trolley!


Tasty curry sauce on chicken and rice


And surprisingly they had an amenity kit (without an amenity bag, which is a good thing) inc slippers, on the gum-hkg leg.


Flight map for upcoming HKG/SIN/Cambodia trip

Flights for my upcoming trip to HKG/SIN/Cambodia in one week:
(REP is Siem Reap, where Angkor Wat is; PEN is Phnom Penh, the capital)

YYZ-HKG-SIN plus Cambodia (map created on Great Circle Mapper)

The red lines YYZ-IAH-HNL-GUM-HKG-SIN are 5 flights / 12,718 miles each way on UA (I’m upgraded on 8 of those 10 flights and waitlisted for one more leg). Though I spend one night in HKG on the way, and 12 hours in HKG on the way back.

The 2 green lines are JetStar Asia flights (a LCC = low cost carrier).

Seoul/Guam: Sitting in ORD, one leg to go; plus Frequent Flyers

One more short flight from ORD to YYZ, can’t wait to be done with flights. Until Tuesday that is :-)

I actually met a United Global Services member (that’s United’s top elite tier that is invite-only) in NRT lounge – he was flying the same ICN-NRT-GUM-SFO flights, and then I coincidentally sat next to him on the NRT-GUM flight. He gave me some good tips regarding the perks I’ll be receiving as my elite level increases.

On my SFO-ORD leg, the lady next to me (in first class) is a 1K member, who coincidentally flew out of Istanbul on Turkish Airlines the very same morning I did two weeks ago (albeit to Toronto instead of my flight to Chicago)! It’s a small world after all…

Seoul/Guam: 4 of 6 flights completed on way back

Sitting in lounge in SFO, catching up on Seoul blog.

Managed 2.5 hours of light sleep in lounge in Guam.
Also slept lightly most of the way on the 5 hour overnight HNL-SFO leg.
So I’m feeling ok, despite having been travelling for 41 hours already.

Side note on upgrades:
I didn’t get upgraded HNL-SFO, though surprisingly there were no 1K status folk above me on the list – with one exception, they were same level as me (Star Alliance Gold) but must have been travelling on higher fare classes (not surprisingly, given my cheap ticket). So there is hope yet for when I hit 1K status.

I did get upgraded on both SFO-ORD-YYZ legs a few days ago, which is surprising (though it was an expensive ticket). Now I see there at least 11 people on the upgrade list for SFO-ORD and only 2 seats left in first class for them.

Seoul/Guam: an extra 20 minutes in NRT. And lock trouble

Really? After a 6 hour layover, the incoming flight is late so now we’ll be leaving 20 minutes late. Oh well, I guess that’s 20 minutes less sleeping-in-the-airport time in GUM (or 20 minutes less until the business lounge opens there :-)

The seat map looks like I might score one extra seat next to me by the window (it’s a 2-5-2 seating on a Boeing 777). Out of only 2 empty seats in economy/plus! Some deity is smirking at me, if not smiling, today.

The lounge here is down to maybe a dozen people. Which is surprising, given how full this big plane is.

Side note: I had a problem with one of my luggage locks, which I keep on my carry-on knapsack. It’s a 3-digit TSA-approved combo lock.
Well, it wouldn’t open. And the compartment it locked had my passport.
The agents called for maintenance, but they didn’t bring the right tool. Wihle one maintenance guy went to get a bolt cutter (hopefully), the other one fiddled with the lock and suddenly opened it. One digit had shifted by one position magically. i.e. if my combo was 1-3-5 it was now 1-4-5 somehow! Very weird.
But at least I have my passport to get on the flight!

Update: I spoke too soon. The flight will be full (in economy/plus). I reluctantly agreed to move so 2 people could sit together. I asked if they’d move me to the rather empty business class, and she said no. Sigh.) Good karma perhaps?

Guam: 1/2 day

(on my way to Korea last week, I had a one-night layover in Guam)

My hotel was up the hill near the north end of Tumon Bay, a west-facing horseshoe bay with a narrow beach and lined with hotels (about 10 minutes from the airport). I had a view of the water, and fast Ethernet internet access. No wi-fi in the room, which meant I couldn’t use the internet on my smart phone, only on my laptop computer – and here I was beginning to think the smart phone almost made the computer useless!

The road, on the inland side of the hotels with no view and no real breakfast options, was full of high end shopping malls and low end strip malls, bars, massage parlours and strip clubs. And lots of typical American chain stores and restaurants (ABC Stores, Subway, Burger King, Circle K, Outback Steak House, etc.) In other words, not very pretty or exciting once away from the beach. Not surprising, given that Guam is a US territory (and uses US$).

Apparently they get a ton of Japanese visitors, with an increasing number of Chinese visitors. To wit: I recognized the cold Mr Brown’s Coffee cans from Taiwan (recall, that’s the one whose logo reminded me of a Simpsons’ style Mexican caricature).

There were a few public beach access points, and I meandered up and down the beach (only 15-20 minutes to walk most of the length of it, in one direction). The beach wasn’t terribly wide, but adequate. The water was warm, shallow and calm due to the protecting reef. There is some algae, and some rocks. Parts of the beach are better than others.

The native culture is called Chamorro, whose language has a Spanish influence due to 300 years of Spanish colonial rule. You see Hafa Adai (“hello”) everywhere (e.g. at airport and on restaurant menus).

Well, it was a nice break to my long flights. Unfortunately on the way back my layover is 4.5 hours in the middle of the night!

Tumon Bay, Guam