Rainy day - got to be good luck. Got to the airport in plenty of time.
customs and immigration with no problems. Boarded the aircraft and got to know my seat
mate - a guy from Detroit by the name of John. Again, no problems.
Weather had traffic tied up so had to wait about 20 minutes before pushback - no
problem since I have plenty of time in Tokyo. Pushback, no problems. Lined up on the
runway and taxied down the runway. Pilot couldn't get one of the engines re-started. Since
this was a loaded 747 he decided not to try it on just 3 engines.
Good choice but now we have a problem. Pilot said it was a starter motor, NW had one in
stock and we would be back underway in about an hour - still have time to make my Delta
connection. Mechanics found out that there was another part broken - don't have the part
but China Air has one - be another 1/2 hour - part got there - requires a special tool -
don't have one - can't find one.
Now we have a big problem. Since we have already cleared immigration, we are basically
in no-mans land. My visa is for a single entry (sound familiar to Saudi?)...... Finally,
about 3:30 they decide that immigration has a special place that we can go to. Now mind
you, we have been on this plane since 8:45AM. NorthWest doesn't know what to do with us.
It is finally decided that they will put us up in a hotel for the night, get the plane
fixed, take it to Tokyo as a special flight tomorrow morning.
This plane is packed to the gills and the Chinese and Japanese folks are getting antsy to
say the least. Tempers are beginning to fray. Glad I wasn't in coach.
Anyhow, the NW agent is being really hassled by the locals, but she is doing a
marvelous job of holding her cool. Anyhow, we are shepherded through immigration to be
stamped back into the country (long queue) and then we wait some more. Finally told about
the hotel and that busses are being arranged to take us there. By this time, there are
about 4 of us in Business Class that have been hanging out together and we are now getting
a little punchy and start making jokes about showers, shaving, deodorant, etc - our bags
are still on the airplane and won't be given back tonight.
Finally shepherded upstairs to wait some more - another hour goes by before we are
shepherded outside for the "awaiting" busses. Two of them for over 300
passengers. Needless to say, more hassle. Finally get to the hotel - beautiful Holiday
Inn. More queue time, but I have been put up in the Executive area. Dinner was on NW. Wake
up time is 5AM because the busses leave at 6AM back to the airport. That's when it's going
to be interesting. Do we pay the airport tax again? What about immigration? Same plane?
Don't know. I did manage to call the AMEX travel agency and found out that I am confirmed
on tomorrow's Delta flight.
Tried calling Judy at home about 4AM EDT time and got the answering machine - one more
fling before the old man gets home???? <snicker> I am making the assumption
that she was over at Cams. Don't have the number. Went to use my AMEX card for the call
and the operator puts in the wrong number and I get locked out for calling. Ah ha - have
an ATT card - pin number has been eradicated - no good there either. Finally about 8AM EDT
time I start calling collect - Andy and Lisa, no answer - Brian and Shannon, no answer -
did finally get through to Nancy who found Judy and let her know what was going on.
Northwest 0012Special got off the ground at 0830 6/25 - great flight to Tokyo - got
plenty of time - no problems.
Transfer Terminals once again - but wait - it's lunch hour - no busses running - no
problem, got plenty of time. Finally get over to the other terminal, go to the Delta
counter, get checked in and then am told that due to flight delays, DL56 won't leave until
1950. Who didn't know that. To break this epistle off, DL56 left Tokyo, flew
12 hours and 12 minutes, touched down, got bags, took Marta, Judy met me, lots of hugs and
kisses, got home and crashed.
Long Day - and glad to be home.