Chinese Women, Asian Women, Online Dating & Things Chinese and Asian
Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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Chinese Dating Via Thailand Part 4: A Day in China Travel Hell! 与中国女人在泰国约会 第四部分 噩梦一样的中国航班    

By Paul Fox
2261 Views | 4 Comments | 1/29/2015 3:52:03 PM

We arrived at Krabi airport in relatively high spirits. Although our holiday was over we had both had a fabulous time. We knew that we were in for a rough night because our 3 hour 30 minute flight was due to land in Guangzhou around 1.30 am and our flight to Amy's home town was due to take off at 07.10.
The flight from Krabi was smooth as silk and we landed on time so after doing the immigration thing and collecting our bags we grabbed a bite to eat from the only cafe that was open.
For those who have never been, Guangzhou airport is huge and as we made our way from the International terminal to the domestic one, the silence was almost deafening - there was hardly a soul around.
By now it was 3am and we looked for somewhere to rest for 3 hours or so before we checked in for our short 1 hour flight to Amy's home town of Liuzhou in Guang Xi province.
The airport went from being as quiet as a library into being noisy and bustling literally within minutes. Hundreds of travelers were arriving in their droves
It was 5.30 am and neither of us had slept a wink - we were both extremely tired.
I went and asked where we were to check in (nothing was displayed yet) and by the time we reached the check in counter there must have been 100 or so people in front of us.
We eventually boarded the plane around 6.30am and it became obvious quite quickly that our plane was only half full.
This was a China Southern Airlines flight - a company that I have flown with many times including Perth to China and back on many occasions.
We took off on time and tried to get a nap. Flights as short as this don't offer any food - only a bag of peanuts and a bottle of water. Ten minutes at cruising altitude and the pilot begins his descent.
As we came in to land we had about 200 feet left to descend (i could make out the birds in the trees) when suddenly the captain aborted the landing and we started to climb again.
Obviously we all thought there was something wrong with the aircraft - had the pilot forgot to lower the wheels? 
The plane made a huge circle and the pilot made a second approach.....same again....up we went!
I'm not scared of flying but this had me a little worried to say the least.
An announcement in Chinese came over the tannoy and Amy turned to me with her mouth aghast - we were flying back to Guangzhou! 
Liuzhou has some beautiful scenery including many hills and mountains that are lush and green but today they were covered with mist and fog. The pilot couldn't see the runway clearly enough to land the plane!
Despite aviation rules Amy turned her phone on in order to send a message to her friend who was waiting to pick us up from the airport. Her friend replied quickly and sent several photos of the foggy surroundings. Apparently the weather had been like this for hours - so why did the pilot take off in the first place?  We should have been delayed at Guangzhou until the weather cleared at the destination airport - after all, Chinese airlines must be the best in the world at delaying flights!
Another announcement came to say that we would fly back to Guangzhou and then be taken by bus to Liuzhou - a 4 hour ride!
It was just after 9am when we touched down back in Guangzhou and the pilot parked the plane at the far end of the parking area
We were told to sit tight and wait instructions.
Then we were told to collect our belongings and wait in the terminal - it was 9.25am
All Amy and I wanted to do was sleep!
An hour later we were still sitting on the plane with no signs of being asked to get off.
People were starving hungry - most had had no breakfast and we hadn't eaten since around 2am.
We were all given more bottles of water. The plane literally had no food on board!
No-one seemed to know what was going on. The crew on the plane were doing their best to keep people calm but it was obvious that they had no idea either.
Noon came and we were still in our seats parked up at the airport. This was getting ridiculous. ..people were literally demanding food now - we had been on board for 6 hours with nothing but water. The aircraft door opened and we were told to get off. Some people stood up, others were refusing to alight. Amy became quite vocal at this point and began telling people NOT to get off the plane - if the passengers split up then who KNOWS how long we would be hanging around.
I called a steward over - his English was ok - and asked him what the hell was happening 
He said that the weather was clearing and that we should be taking off around 1pm
So what about food?  He said there was none on board so there was nothing he could do
I looked at him sternly and said "Mate, if you don't arrange to get food on board this plane right now, you're going to have a bloody riot on your hands - this is F*cking ridiculous! "
He disappeared muttering that he would see what he could do
About 15 minutes went by before the catering truck rolled up and loaded food onto the plane but it was not given out because we would be taking off at 1pm.
"It's 12.30!" I shouted - "That means another hour before we get fed" 
Amy looked at me with a questioning look on her face
"Half hour before take off, 20 minutes to cruising altitude before the food trolley can come out means best part of another hour " i explained to her 
The cabin crew busied themselves preparing the cabin for take off and began asking passengers to put their stuff back in the overheads - i think they were just as frustrated as we all were.
Finally we took off and the cabin crew fed us as quickly as they could before we landed around 2.15pm after sitting on the plane for over 8 hours
OK so 8 hours on a plane isn't an issue if you are PREPARED for it. This was supposed to be a one hour flight and Amy and I were looking forward to getting to the hotel room by 9am in order to get some decent sleep.
As it was, it was 3.30pm by the time we got to the hotel - both of us with headaches from lack of sleep.
Well done China Southern Airlines - you couldn't have made a worse job of a bad situation if you had TRIED!




         机场本来安静得像一个图书馆,几分钟以后,突然开始热闹起来,噪音此起彼伏。几百号人到了。现在是早上五点半,我们没合一眼,累得要死。我去打听在哪里办理登机手续 (告示牌上什么都没有)。我们到了登机台的时候,我们前面大概有一百多人。


        我们准时起飞,想办法睡觉。这样的短途飞行他们通常不提供早餐,只给一袋花生 一瓶水。 巡航高度 十分钟以后, 飞行员就开始降落。

         大约在两百英尺的高度的时候 (我压根都看不见树上的鸟),机长突然放弃了降落,飞机又上升了。很明显,事情不妙,我们都在想—飞行员是不是忘了放下轮子了?飞机绕了一个大圈,飞行员第二次试着降落,跟刚才一样,我们又上升了!



          柳州山峰众多,绿林葱郁  ,景色优美,可是今天被雾霾遮蔽。飞行员连跑道都看不清楚,怎么降落啊?





        都中午了,我们还在机场坐在飞机上。真是可笑….乘客们开始要东西吃-我们已经在飞机上坐了六个小时,没有一点吃的,只有水。机舱门打开了,他们让我们下飞机。有的人起来了,有的人不愿意下飞机。Amy开始说话,劝说大家不要下飞机。 如果我们分散了,谁知道我们要花多长时间。




          “现在十二点半了!“我叫喊道, “你还要我们等一个小时。”






          南方航空公司你们干得太好了! 面对这样一种情况,即使你们百般努力,也不会做得更糟糕了!

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#2015-01-29 16:31:39 by wyhyaya @wyhyaya


#2015-01-29 20:42:18 by Barry1 @Barry1


This was an interesting story, thanks Paul.

Amongst other things, it really did highlight the fact that taking the red eye, late night flights are a double edged sword.

On one hand, the tickets are cheap. But on the other, taking such flights can result in a lot of inconvenience and tiredness. When you're on a set schedule with only a limited number of days before you need to go home, maybe it's better to pay more on little side trips so at least you can fully enjoy the time you have on the holiday?

It was interesting also that you mentioned on the flight that Amy became quite vocal. I can see possible storm clouds on the horizon with this relationship.

I agree 8 hours on the plane must have seemed very long. The longest trip I've had on a plane was 15 hours traveling from Sydney to Los Angeles, flying against the jet stream most of the way, slowing us down. I remember constantly standing up at the rear of the 747, sometimes for 30 or 40 minutes at a time. This is what helped keep me going. I normally find aircraft seats too uncomfortable to sit in for more than a couple of hours at a time.

I now make a point of watching the inflight movies when I travel. The last time I flew from Hong Kong to Brisbane, I watched four of them in a row and the eight or nine hour time period seemed to fly! I was too engrossed in the plot twists and turns to even bother sleeping.

Well written, Paul! (y)

#2015-01-30 14:02:32 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Paul, it is damned depressing how badly some airlines can screw things up, but in the end it sure beats the likes of certain Malaysian airlines doesn't it? I am sure that was cold comfort to you while siting on the runway all that time, but looking back now maybe it gives you pause to be grateful to be alive, unlike many who have disappeared forever instead of for a few hours.

Don't get me wrong, I do not mean this as any kind of criticism. Had I been you on that plane I might well have made Amy seem quiet and serene. I hate any added time spent on an airplane and as soon as it is on the ground a little claustrophobia sets in. I am just saying in hindsight maybe you got lucky and just didn't feel it at the time.

#2015-02-01 01:51:07 by anonymous12862 @anonymous12862

It sounds like the airline really dropped the ball on your flight Paul. There is no legitimate excuse to leave people on a plane for that long, they should have deplaned you and provided vouchers for meals in the airport at the very least. I also agree with John's statement...maybe got a bit lucky.

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