Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hong Kong

I just landed at Hong Kong International Airport. The flight here was about 13.5 hours but it seemed like it took forever.

At LAX, I witnessed a huge security hole. The check-in procedure, for Cathay Pacific anyway, is to go to the counter, check-in, get your luggage tagged, then bring it to one of the X-ray machines at the end of each counter. I took my bag to the one next to Eva Air and handed it to a TSA person. As I was walking away, I noticed that the X-ray machine was not working. There were several repair access hatches open and tools were everywhere. Curious, I walked back to where I dropped off my bag and saw APS (people who move your luggage) employees pick up my bag and loading it on to a cart. I thought they were going to bring the bags to another X-ray machine but rather, they brought it back to the Cathay counter and stuck them on the conveyor belt. I was there for about 5 minutes and saw at least 10+ bags bypass the X-ray screening. Great security... the X-ray machine is down so we won't screen any bags. Sigh...

BTW, LAX is a friggin' disgrace. Bradley international terminal is a dump, even compared to the airport in Chengdu. Right now I'm using the free WiFi at HKIA. LAX of course, only has paid acesss (T-mobile) to the Internet. Even Portland airport has free WiFi.

On the flight over, I also noticed that the flight path was slightly different from my LAX-HKG flight in May. Instead of flying over Taiwan, we took a more southern route and bypassed the area between Taiwan and mainland China. I think this was due to typhoon Sepat which should be off the west coast of Taiwan right now. I sat in seat 68K which is the window seat in the last row on the right. I kept looking out the window during the last two hours, partially expecting to see the eye of the storm but ended up just seeing a lot of clouds.

My connecting flight to Chengdu is in ~3 hours. There are so many flights at HKIA that my flight is not listed yet so I don't know what gate I should be at. I should go find out before my flight departs.


... and more clouds, but nothing that looks like a typhoon

Flight path around southern end of Taiwan instead of over Taipei last time

1 comment:

hogsman said...

LAX really is a disgrace -- our family flew to Vancouver last Sunday on vacation. It was a madhouse -- it took us 1.5 hours in line just to get up to the check-in counter, after which we were directed to take our luggage to an x-ray machine down the hall. When we got there, airport personnel directed us back in the other direction to a less-crowded machine. We dropped off our bags and made it to the gate just ten minutes before the scheduled departure, even though we had gotten to the airport more than 2 hours earlier. It being an Alaska Airlines flight, we didn't have to fly out of the Bradley terminal, but I can't imagine it would have been much worse.

When we arrived at Vancouver Int'l Airport, we noticed it was much nicer, more efficient, and more up-to-date than LAX. The only disappointment was that our bags didn't make the flight. The Alaska Airlines lost baggage rep asked, "Didn't they tell you when they gave you these luggage claim tickets with "V/S" on them that your bags would be delayed?" No, they didn't -- what a surprise.