DEPARTURE DATE: Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong, Apr 3, 2011
This time I purchased a real flight ticket, which means it is not a cheap one. I am flying with United Airlines. Is it cool? I have never thought one day I would fly with them – an American airline. The departure time again is a bit weird again. It starts at 5:50AM and duration is around 2hr25mins. Not that bad at all. I could not sleep much last night as usual, doing stuffs with camera, photos, cellphones, travel data and importantly packing. LOL. I managed to sleep for 2hrs. Tan Son Nhat airport is quiet. Check-in process is quickly. Two United employees thought E and I did not do on-line check-in. They said in Vietnamese generally that they were a bit lazy to input my data because I am a Vietnamese. WTF?! After making all clear, I dropped my bag and got my boarding pass – a real one. Normally, when I do on-line check-in, I can print the boarding pass by myself. It is different for this time. I just could print out the paper called International Card, showing that I finished doing check-in on that flight departing at that time on that date and I had to show it at the check-in counter for a hard-copy boarding pass. Oh well, paper-working. Getting through immigration counter is fast and surely I got a lot of similar questions as they asked me before. Sooner, we headed to boarding gate and wait, they checked bags by hands besides the scanners. It was first time I knew that. While waiting to g et on board, a man looking like a pilot gave me a card saying United Airlines – Boeing 747-400 and its information like height, length, etc – Pretty cool.
Honestly, this is the biggest airplane I have ever got on. LOL
ARRIVAL DATE: Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City, Apr 9, 2011
A trip from Kowloon Tong to the airport is a bit long and cheap. I quite enjoyed it. From Broadcast, Kowloon Tong where I stayed to the airport, I took one bus E22, costs 18.20HK$. Edward was very nice giving me a ride to the bus stop. I thought if I had walked with my 17kg backpack and 7kg hand-bag, it would have taken me more than 30 mins walking downhill. I do not remember the bus schedule but no worry since every 15 or 20 mins there will be a bus coming. So, give yourself a safe time 🙂 The bus ride was about 45 mins or less and was a pleasure trip.
Hong Kong International Airport is HUGE. There are only two terminal (one is for international flights and the other is for domestic ones, which go to mainland I think – no 100% sure). There are more than 70 gates. Luckily on the way to two main terminals, there are many electronic boards saying which airlines are located in which terminal. I flew with United Airlines, which located in Terminal 1, zone 3. The bus dropped me off at Passenger Terminal (Arrival and Departure Ground Floor). A bit confused to get a way to Terminal 1. I still made it with a bit mumbling 😛 Just simply follow the direction boards or ask airport employees. All are solved.
I did check-in online on my Greengar’s iPhone one night before. I was just not allowed to use it as a boarding pass. It said I had to print it out at Easy Check-in Counter. OK. I followed directions on the counter, scanning my passport and answering some basic questions. Boom. Not valid to do check-in and contact United Airlines employees for assistance. Great! I do not know why such an annoying paperworking always happens to me. Things were not that bad. I quickly finished my check-in and got my boarding pass by a friendly UA staff. I had 2 hours wandering in Terminal 1 and 2 🙂
Inside Terminal 1, there is a train. Pretty fun. “Relax. Trains come every 2 minutes”. There is no worries. Direction boards are everywhere. You can ask for help all the time. I really like the convenience of that airport. Immigration Staff is friendly to me. Security is quite strict. They did not touch my body though. They asked me to open my bag twice, before going to immigration counter and before getting on the airplane. I saw two cool handsome security guards walking around terminal 1, near United Airlines counter. I loved to take photos with them but I thought I was not allowed to do that and it was a bit weird. They were on duty by the way.
Again, I sat on seat 50K by the window and by myself. There was nobody sitting next to me. I thought flights from S.F to VN, via Hong Kong, are usually full. One Vietnamese guy sat on my seat. How come? I politely asked him to move in English since I had no idea if he was a Vietnamese. He replied me in Vietnamese that someone said he could sit here because his whole family were sitting on seat 50G, bla bla bla. No way. Nobody said so. Don’t mess up, man! I showed him my ticket without saying anything, simply pointing to the seat number. Yay! He moved and I had a whole seat for myself.
I had again Muslim snack which was not that bad at all. I remembered that I did not eat at all the b-fast snack they gave me. No idea what its name was. I spent all time reading my new novel book. Quite interesting.
I landed on at 10:00PM. Happy to be back!
United Airline is good. Friendly staff. Big seat. I like it
A night Muslim snack offered by U.A
big space for a little girl
A train inside Terminal 1 – after getting through security and immigration counters, I followed direction boards to get on the train to my boarding gate, which was 63. Train took around 15mins and trains come every two minutes – so no rush 🙂