We slept in a little bit on the day we were supposed to leave Japan. We’d been planning to go do a few things, but we looked outside and it was POURING rain. Seriously, floods pouring from the sky. We got ready still intending to go out, but we watched one family set foot outside and they came running back in ten seconds later, utterly soaked. It looked like they had just stepped out of a shower. So we went back upstairs and just packed up our bags, and had the front desk call us a cab. We weren’t even going to try to get to the train station. In our five second walk from the hotel to the cab, we were completely soaked. Not super exciting when you have 18 hours of flying ahead of you.
We got to the airport and grabbed some Okinawa Soba for lunch – I LOVED it and it was a perfect last meal. We were so bummed to be at the airport and leaving, we just talked to our families briefly and moped around, reminiscing on how much fun the trip had been.
We got our tickets, got through security where Randy had to throw away his cologne 😦 and then we were on the plane. It was about a 4.5 hour flight to get to Beijing so we pulled out our computer and watched James Bond and slept.
Then, we got to Beijing. And let me tell you, we really don’t like that airport, or Air China, or any of it. It was HORRIBLE.
We got off the plane and again had to go through really scary and not fun security, they were yelling at us and everyone had to get extra searched for one reason or another. We went to this American restaurant and had tacos and burgers for a quick bite to eat. We had a long layover so we just walked around the airport, it’s eerily quiet except for when you see other people, mostly those people are yelling at each other and it’s not fun.
We didn’t get our gate information for a long time, so we seriously just sat and were praying everything would go ok.
We got our gate info and went there to wait. We finally saw a plane come in about 1 hour before our flight was supposed to leave, only 20 minutes before we were supposed to board. We kept asking the people at the desk if there were any delays and they kept assuring us there weren’t.
We didn’t board the plane until almost an hour after we were supposed to.
We had a connecting flight in LA to Utah that was set to take off two hours after we arrived, it was the only flight that night and our only option when we had booked it.
We finally got on the plane and were assured again and again that the plane would be landing on time. Randy and I slept as much as we could, alternated with watching movies and snacking on the little snacks we brought on the plane. We didn’t eat either of the meals, the smell was just making us sick. It was a pretty uncomfortable flight, and we asked the flight attendants when we would be landing a bunch of times. Finally when on the screen it told us we would be landing an hour late, we asked and they told us that we would be an hour late. We started freaking out, wondering if we would make our flight in LA.
We asked the flight attendants if we could move further forward so we could get off the plane more quickly, and they were nice and let us.
We were in agony for that last hour wondering how we would make our flight. We hadn’t event checked into our flight because we didn’t have access to printers on our trip. We landed and it took FOREVER to get off the plane, we got off and were RUNNING off the plane, we rushed to get through customs and show our passports and everything. Every time we had to wait in line it was AGONY.
We found out we had to leave the international terminal and go all the way down to terminal six, which was the FURTHEST terminal from us. We had to leave the airport by the baggage claim and we were outside, SPRINTING around the outside of the airport. It had to have been at least a mile that we ran the whole thing. We got into the terminal and ran to the counter to get our tickets. We had 30 minutes before I plane was going to take off, and they stop boarding at 20 minutes or so. They told us it was too late to check in and we were FREAKING out and begged them to help us figure it out. They called the gate and they told them they had seats left, but they wouldn’t hold the plane for us. So if we got there before they closed the doors, we could go.
We got our tickets and were frantically going up the escalator, we were so lucky that there wasn’t a line for security and we were whipping our shoes off and throwing our backpacks and suitcases on the thing so we could get through.
We got through quickly thank HEAVENS, and then had to sprint to our gate. We were sweating and SO disgusting at this point, and of course our gate was the furthest one away. We ran and ran and almost mowed people over, and finally got to our gate seconds before they closed the door. I swear, it was like a movie how we barely got on. We were walking up the aisles of the plane panting like CRAZY and I’m sure people thought we were insane.
We sat down and took off to Salt Lake and that flight was perfect.
The moral of the story is that we HATE Air China and we will NEVER fly them again. It was inexpensive, but for us it wasn’t worth it at all. We almost missed our flight and we couldn’t stop saying silent prayers of gratitude that Heavenly Father helped us end our trip OK, and that we got home.
Visiting Japan was absolutely amazing and we made memories there that I will cherish for as long as I live. Getting to see where Randy and his family are from, learn more about his culture, and see the places where he lived while he was there absolutely strengthened our bond and helped me fall even more in love with him (if that was possible!)