Flying to Taiwan is quite a journey on its own, but combined with unforeseen weather complications and mechanical problems, it’s becomes a full-blown adventure! What should have been a 26 hour journey with two short connections turned into a 3-day fiasco where EVERY SINGLE FLIGHT we had was either canceled or delayed. My partner and I arrived at the airport with plenty of time, not knowing the complications soon to arise.
We lugged our suitcases through the check-in line only to discover that each bag was just a few pounds overweight. “Maybe they’ll let it slide or perhaps there will just be a small fee” we thought. Nope… Try $650. So here’s what we do, we leave our bags there, go through security, and buy another suitcase. Then, we shove all the extra weight into that and check 4 suitcases for a fee of just $70. That is some messed up math, but at least we saved the money.
First, we get on the tiniest plane EVER to Houston, TX for our first connection.
Except we don’t stop in Houston, we stop in Louisiana due to a storm and sit in the plane for an hour before leaving again. The pilot decides to fly THROUGH THE STORM so that we don’t all miss our connecting flights. This hour long flight from Louisiana to Texas was easily the most terrifying part of the entire process. In the tiny plane, we could feel every little rumble, jerk, and falling sensation of turbulence and I was legitimately afraid that we might die.
But, good news, we didn’t! We landed in Houston, fought though the plane, and RAN through the giant Houston airport to, literally, the other side. “You’re just a few minutes late, the plane to Tokyo, Japan just left. You’ll have to go to customer service to get a new flight.”
At this point I’m annoyed but optimistic. “I’ll just talk to someone right over there, get a new flight and leave in a few hours” I say to myself. Not quite…3 hours of waiting in line, 1 hour of waiting on a customer service agent to find a new flight schedule and I have my new, and very complicated, itinerary. It basically says: Spend the night in Texas, fly to San Francisco then to Hawaii, spend the night in Hawaii (not too terrible), fly to Japan, fly to Taiwan and arrive two days late. We spend some time moseying around the airport until I decide I never want to go back to Texas again.
So we spend the night in Texas (of course the did not pay for the hotel) take a nice hot shower and sleep in a real bed. Then the next day we discover our flight from California to Hawaii is cancelled but, figuring it would be better to be stranded in California than Texas, we fly there, still feeling pretty good. The plane was bigger too. Goodbye Texas! Hello San Francisco!
Knowing our flight is canceled we head straight to customer service where they tell us (after a LOT of waiting) that they can switch us to a direct flight to Tokyo, tomorrow of course. We spend another night in a hotel (our airline REALLY doesn’t want to pay for those) and leave for Tokyo. 12 hours in cramped conditions is no fun and next time, I will take stronger sleeping pills. Jeanne and I were both really unhappy with the flight attendants and amenities (we’ll be taking a different airline next time) but we survived.
Nothing says “I wish I were unconscious right now” like taking pictures with fake smiles and greasy hair.
The view was gorgeous though, we flew over water the whole time so it looked just like an endless sky.
Naturally, our flight was delayed, which forced us to RUN across the airport again, barely making it on our connection to Taiwan. But we MADE IT! I slept the entire way to Taiwan and woke up just as we landed. At last, we were here! We were greeted by the cutest little pilot you ever did see. Have I mentioned that everything in Taiwan is unnecessarily adorable? I love it!
More updates and pictures coming soon! I promise to whine less but, really, what did you expect from a post about airplane travel? Thank you for reading, you can subscribe to future updates by entering you e-mail at the bottom of the page .