So the next morning we got up at 4 to start the whole process again for our 6:30 flight to Newark. All was well– Bug bounced out of bed, we got ready, and made it to the airport by 5:30 to check in. As we were waiting in line I heard the dreaded words — anyone waiting in line to check in for Newark you need to know the flight’s been cancelled.” ARRGH! I thought I was going to lose it, which wouldn’t do us a darn bit of good. Bug heard me say to G that the flight was cancelled and started to look worried and asked if we were still going to China. I assured here we were– I’d get us there if I had to sprout wings and fly.
I asked G to take Bug over to some seats to wait, and got up to the front of the line. God love her, the sweet gate agent from the day before who endured so much embarrassment was working the check-in counter and saw me. She told the guy helping us that we’d been affected by the “wheelchair cancellation” the day before and to take good care of us. He started looking for flights, and it didn’t look good. He could get us to Chicago for the same flight we’d been on the day before, but the seats were in first and business class, and the computer wouldn’t let him book the seats. After waiting over 20 minutes I walked over and told him, I promise very nicely, that we’d missed one day of our trip and we would be getting on a flight to Beijing today one way or another. I told him I wasn’t going to disappoint my little girl again.
We waited remarkably patiently about another 20 minutes (mind you, now it’s been about 40 minutes since we found out our flight was cancelled again!), and finally he called me over for the bags. He let me know he’s been able to override the computer and book the one seat in first class (that would be for G) and the two seats in business class (for me and Bug). I thought I was going to kiss him. This was about a 12.5 hour flight, and we’d somehow scored super-swank “pod seats” that recline flat. Sweet!
To me, the upgraded seats made up for the aggravation of missing a day — this flight is long and hard, and doing it with an almost-six year old is tough, no matter how good a traveller. Plus, moneywise, we definitely came out ahead. G. was still a little ticked, but I thought he’d get over it once he hit his first-class pod!
We had about 4 hours to kill until our flight to Chicago left, so we had a good breakfast and hung out in the terminal coloring and watching TV on the iPod. Our flight left on time (yay!), and we made it to Chicago with just enough time to hit the bathroom and make it to our Beijing flight about 10 minutes before it boarded.
We got on the plane, settled in to our cooshy seats, and made friends with our seatmates so that they wouldn’t get too pissed that we had a little kid in business class. Trust me– that makes some people mad. Luckily we didn’t get any dirty looks, and the woman sitting by Bug had a little girl about Bug’s age and was totally cool with it. We took off, ordered our five course meal, and settled in for our China adventure!
To be continued tomorrow– landing in Beijing, motion sickness hits, and the touring begins!