Somewhere Over the Pacific Ocean

Bad luck or good?  The morning of my flight to Vietnam I uploaded a photo to my Flickr site and noticed it was the 13th in my Big Trip set.  I’m not particularly superstitious but I would have felt better if it was the 14th photo.  A bad omen, I wondered?

My one-way ticket to Vietnam, bought with frequent flier miles, had four legs:  Denver > Las Vegas > San Francisco > Hong Kong > Ho Chi Minh City.  I was scheduled to leave Denver on Wednesday morning 7/28 and arrive in Vietnam the next night.

The Vegas flight was right on time and empty enough that I had an entire row of seats to myself.  So far so good.  But trouble was brewing.  The departure screen at the Vegas airport said “Possible Weather Delays” next to my San Francisco flight.  Sure enough, there was a delay, long enough that I missed my connecting flight to Hong Kong.  Not a big deal, I thought as I waited in the Customer Service line.  There must be another flight leaving soon.

Nope.  The surly United representative informed me in barely-understandable English that I’d have to wait until tomorrow for the same flight I just missed.  Nothing leaving sooner.  No way to re-route.  I was stranded in San Francisco for almost 24 hours, and – because weather caused the delay – United would not pay for a hotel room.

Under other circumstances that turn of events would definitely qualify as bad luck.  As it was, not so much…  Marie picked me up right after work.  We had dinner at her favorite Indian restaurant and stopped for dessert afterwards.  In the morning she made pancakes before taking me back to the airport.  In retrospect I should have intentionally scheduled that layover, but it couldn’t have worked out any better if I’d planned it from the start.

Now, as I type this, I’m flying to Hong Kong in the window seat of an exit row, thinking that my luck has been pretty good so far.