Today, my five-year-old son and I went to Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat Airport and found utter chaos at the Cathay Pacific check-in counters. After waiting for more than an hour I was informed that my flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver had been “cancelled because there’s a storm”. When I questionned why the flight from HCM City to Hong Kong was still able to leave, I was told that the storm was in fact over, but had caused a backlog of passengers in Hong Kong and I was considered bump-worthy. “We’ll call you,” promised the check-in girl. Hmmmmm… Given that they’d failed to call and tell me my flight was cancelled, I had serious misgivings.
Next stop was HCM City’s Cathay Pacific booking office where I was informed: “You can fly tomorrow but we can’t confirm your Vancouver flight so you must probably stay in the airport for some nights.” Well that sounds like fun. My kid and I could lie on the floor and count feet; or I could teach him about homelessness… But on second thought, no thanks.
When I declined, I was told that the EARLIEST available flight with the same conditions was in SIX days’ time. Yes, that’s right: 6. S-I-X. Which really S-U-X, as I will miss the family reunion that was the entire point of this journey.
Having worked as a travel writer for more than a decade I have NEVER had a flight delayed by SIX days. Perhaps that’s because I haven’t been flying with Cathay Pacific?