Today we pack, wash clothes, watch a little of the college national championship game, and head to the airport at 4 PM for a midnight flight.
I can not explain the disaster of Manila construction around the airport. Add to this all the safety drills and extra precautions because Pope Francis is coming in two days and what you have is one asphalt and carbon monoxide disaster.
It takes us 25 minutes to get within 3 blocks of airport. It takes is 90 minutes to get rest of way. There are over 4,000 security guards on the street lining up shoulder to shoulder as we head into airport. The line goes for miles. I have never seen anything like it.
Manila airport has been voted the world’s worst airport 3 years running. It’s not in danger of losing that distinction. Traffic is just half the problem.
You go through security at the front door then you stand in line for your airline to check bags and confirm seat arrangements. Then you pay your airport tax, go thru passport control, and security again. We start this process at 6.30. We are finally thru security to the gate area at 9 PM.
There is a small convenience store, one restaurant, and a Starbucks back here. Our flight is at midnight. We grab dinner and a coffee.
Here’s where it gets just plain crazy. Each gate has another security check point. And this one is a bit evasive. They make you unpack all your carry on luggage. You take it all out, they unzip every zipper. Then they do a thorough pat down. Not the TSA friendly kind. The ‘face the wall and assume the position’ kind. Then they make you sit down and take off your shoes and they inspect your shoes.
To their credit, they are professional and courteous. But after going thru two other security checks – it seems a bit over the top.
And we are delayed.
We have a 3.5 hour flight to Guam. A short layover then a 7 hour flight to Hawaii. A short layover then a 7 hour flight to Houston. Then KC.
We make the connection in Guam with a few minutes to spare. In Honolulu- we fly over Pearl Harbor and then have to be escorted thru customs and run thru airport to catch flight. They close the door behind us.
Just another adventure in flying the friendly skies.
Tomorrow – my not so random thoughts of the trip.