My press trip to Hainan Island got off to a good enough start.
An early – but not TOO early – departure from Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok International Airport meant that I didn’t have to arise at the break of dawn.
I arose at a civilized hour, had some coffee, checked my email, got ready, and called a taxi. Arriving at Terminal Two, I was struck once again with how much it resembled a shopping mall. I’ve never been quite sure if this was an airport with a shopping mall attached to it or a shopping mall with an airport attached to it.
But I digress.
Lots of new faces and a few old friends were already waiting at the check in counter.
And this was only the start. There were going to be even more new faces – and, as fate would have it, one or too more old friends – at our destination. This trip included travel writers from Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen – plus a charming young lady from Korea and a lovely couple from Sydney, Australia. But I didn’t know that yet. . .
Happily, because this was a press trip, we were given access to one of those coveted departure lounges – you know, comfortable seating and things to eat and drink (the tuna fish sandwiches and Chinese dim sum were best!). The coffee was excellent – I even figured out how to use the machine that makes it!
There was even white wine, which I forewent, since our departure was at 10.30 am.
But it was nice knowing that it was there if I wanted it!!! I was horrified once during a press trip to the United States to discover that business class passengers in business class lounges were expected to PAY for their beverages.
No such indignities in Asia!
When our flight was announced, we were also allowed to board first without having to wait in line.
At check in, I had asked for an aisle seat, and – after I boarded the plane – I discovered that I had gotten all three seats to myself.
So far, so good!!!
While our flight left a bit late, it was only few minutes late. I’ve been on flights in which our delay was longer that the flight! So I’m not going to get hot and bothered over 10 or 20 minutes.
And when we finally did depart, the flight was only 75 minutes in duration.
Thank goodness for small favours! Just when boredom was starting to set in, it was time to land at Sanya’s Phoenix International Airport in Hainan Island, Hawaii of the East!