Well, I’m back in Singapore despite several good attempts to screw up my flight schedules.
My flight was delayed over an hour on take-off because too much fuel was accidentally loaded in the tail tank (9 thousand pounds of it) making the plane unbalanced and unable to take off. They were originally going to redistribute the fuel to other tanks but that apparently failed and they switched to plan B about 40 minutes into the process.
Plan B is adding 20,000 more pounds of fuel to the other tanks to even it out. This gave us quite a fuel reserve and made the plane pretty heavy. The pilot was sitting in my area chatting with us because he was bored like the rest of us. He said that the plane would weigh over 850 thousand pounds on take-off. One of the fuel tanks weighed more than a DC-9. This was a 747-400 on a direct flight from MSP to Tokyo’s Narita airport.
At any rate, we finally take off and I was a little nervous because I had a pretty tight connection at Narita (an hour and 10 mins) and they make you go through security on international connections at Narita. However, during the flight the operations people say that they will be changing our flight plan a bit and giving us a faster travel speed (we had extra fuel after all) to try to minimize the delay.
Eleven hours later, as we are approaching Japan, they announce that there is bad news and good news. The bad news was that there has been an earthquake and that Narita airport has been closed. The good news is that because we were late, we missed the earthquake, and additionally, because we have so much fuel they are going to let us hover rather than diverting us to an alternate airport.
It turned out that there was no damage at the airport and they released us to land pretty quickly and we ended up being about a half hour late total from our scheduled arrival time! I walked off one flight, went through security and walked onto the already boarding flight to Singapore. Others on our flight were not so lucky. There was quite a bit of disruption due to diverted flights and a lot of people apparently had to stay over night and get flights out in the morning.
This time, I’m staying at Le Meridian Singapore on Orchard road. Sort of in the same area as our previous hotels but also in an area this is a little different then the other two. The hotel is quite nice and after sleeping for 6 hours or so I’m up and ready to spend the day shopping!
No, don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. I may have to make several trips back to the hotel to avoid putting too much strain on my back. I bet the Kenneth Cole boutique delivers…