30 hours of stess later…
Everything started on March 11th.
It was 5h00 am, everything is still dark. On our way to the airport, we heard on the news that a couple of hours earlier, a heart quake shook Japan. Guess where our connections are: Chicago and TOKYO (Japan)!
5h45 am. We arrived at AirCanada counter to realise that all AC flights going to Tokyo are CANCELLED. We heard also that NARITA Airport was shutdown… hummm doesn<t sound so good. We were advised to NOT BOARD our flight since we had really high chances to get nowhere else than to our first connection (Chicago). Since we booked through AEROPLAN, no-one is reachable before 7h00am (opening time of the office) so we have no ways to know more about our flight neither the cancellation/ reimbursement policy. Our flight leaves at 7h25. There is no way we can catch our flight if we wait until 7h00am to talk to an agent before boarding.
6h25: We check in… not knowing where these flights will really bring us.
6h40: Security says: Good morning, How are you? I say: Good! Besides the fact that I am connecting in Japan and that a heart quake apparently shut the city down. Inside joke: On est chargees comme des chameaux qui partent pour Chicago!
6h55: Trying to call AEROPLAN… customer service is not open yet…
7h01: Talked with customer service for the first time. They don<t know much neither, I should call Air Nippon (Japan airlines) so I could have more info. She explains all reimbursements or rebooking process so I would know what to do when come the time…
7h20: Final boarding call… shit, I was concentrated on the phone, I am not even at the right gate. My sister is gone to the shop to buy an international calling card.
7h30: On board. Departing to Chicago.
Later…. In Chicago. Flight to Tokyo is scheduled on time. We hear on the news more about Tsunamis, Heart Quake and now… Nuclear alert. ARE WE REALLY FLYING THERE? Calling again AEROPLAN… Checking with ANA counter to see if our flight from Narita to Manila will also depart.. No one know but there is a chance that by the time we get there (15 hours later) everything will be back to normal.
Departing to TOKYO. 4 movies later, a couple of white wine bottles, one meeting with a News Reporter going to cover the [Japan Crisis], and a 50 pictures of Alaska beautiful air view later… we land in Tokyo.
Local time is around 3h00pm. Flight schedule to Manila is still UNDETERMINDED. While we walk in the airport, we see that unending line of unhappy customers waiting for their rebooking with American Airlines… We get to the ANA Counter and realise that 10 super efficient Japanese are dealing with the crisis. Still no information available for us though…
We find a blanket and some comfy seats to rest a while. I meet with this chinese man and try to get on internet. Wireless is sooooo slow. Not even able to open one page.
4h30 local time: UPDATES ARE UP! New departure time is on: 6h55pm. Great news!
8h00: The plane is still empty… we wait for more people to get in… We meet with this american/philipino guy who is super nice. We will finally get to share a cab with him in Manila.
8h15: More passengers get in.
About 30 hours later….. SAFELY AND FINALY LANDING IN MANILA!