Back in the nest…

After a good 30 hours of travelling, I’ve made it back to the dorm and had a decent night’s sleep! The journey wasn’t without one or two hiccups though…

The first leg, from Newcastle to Heathrow, should have been the easiest, and with three hours to change at Heathrow, I could have afforded a delay. But for some unknown reason, I decided to download the British Airways app at about 9:30am, half an hour before leaving, so that I could have my boarding pass on my phone. Lucky I did really, because when I logged in and went to obtain my QR code pass, I read that the flight had been cancelled. Not ideal.

Anyhow, it made for an exciting half an hour or so in the car; both Sophie and I were frantically trying to check Newcastle Airport’s website, ring BA customer services, and figure out what to do. It appeared that there were two later BA flights to Heathrow which would have got me there on time, so off we headed to the airport’s customer services desk. As it turned out, one of those flights had also been cancelled, and the other was full. Bummer. It thus required some persuasion and blagging to get myself transferred to KLM (via Amsterdam) – the only other option that would have got me to Chengdu on time for my internal connection here.

So that was really my first experience of this sort of drama. But fear not, dear reader, a strongly-worded letter of complaint has been sent to British Airways by the “Director of JD Editorial”… Without doubt, the most disappointing thing was that they couldn’t find another way to get me to Heathrow within a seven-hour window. I’ll keep you posted on the compensation claim!

Moving swiftly on, I reached Amsterdam and had a five-hour wait there, most of which was spent proofreading – I had (wisely, as it turned out) left myself a decent-sized job from last week to do whilst travelling, as I had originally anticipated a ten-hour gap in Chengdu. Next up was the long Amsterdam to Chengdu flight, on which I managed to blag an extra-legroom seat due to the “inconvenience caused” – another bonus really! This worked out nicely, as I was able to sleep for a good five or six hours of the flight, which is unusual for me…

Baggage collected, I headed to Terminal 2, and en route met a nice Dutch guy who’d been on the same flight as me. He also had a similar wait for his connection, so we found a Starbucks together, sat and passed some time working, chatting, drinking coffee and latterly wandering about the duty-free. Eventually I boarded my final flight, which was also on time and due to arrive at 10:40pm in Haikou. It duly did. I picked up my case again and made for the exit, where Sunghee was very kindly waiting (I think the airport’s Burger King may have eased the burden somewhat)! A quick taxi back to the dorm and I got my first fitness test of the semester – lugging my baggage all back up to the sixth floor – before unpacking, catching up with Will, and finally calling it a night at about 2am! Welcome back 🙂


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