It was a late start for a change. Our flight was at 6:40pm. I am used to having to be at the airport at some crazy hour of the morning or in the middle of the night. We did however, have to be at the airport four hours early this year. This was a slight but much needed change because it took forever for American Airlines to check us all in. Once we got through it was all a blur of airports, fast food, loud kiddos and a very tired me. Charlotte to Dallas Fort Worth, Dallas to LAX, LAX to Hong Kong (14 hours) and HK to Beijing (3 more). All together flight time 24 hours. Add in the layovers and airport time and we are looking at 34 hours of travel. Here were some highlights.
One "Ralph" but not as epic at last year. Just a small one in the plane bathroom. The first two American Airline flights were fine minus the fact that they didn't feed us anything. Not even a bag of pretzels. What is this world coming to?! The third flight was fabulous. Cathay Pacific airlines LAX to Hong Kong. This plane was pimp. For starters it was huge. 11 seats wide in our economy class. Movies, video games, T.V. shows in the back of the seats, lots of leg room the head things that I love that let you lean your head to the side, pillows, blanks, the whole nine. Very comfortable. Here was the problem with that flight. I was located right in the middle of a big group of our kiddos. So right when I would just be on the brink of falling asleep, I would feel a tap on my shoulder. "Miss Mandi, am I allowed to go to the bathroom?", "Miss Mandi, when are they going to bring breakfast?” Miss Mandi, can I have your pillow?" NO, I AM USING IT!!! (Yes, a real question).
Close to two hours out, the group started getting very restless. They got louder and louder and louder. And the teacher in my head started getting more and more annoyed. The plane from HK to Beijing was even worse. Once again I was in the thick of them. They were borderline inappropriately loud and I had to use my teacher voice several times. Now at this point I am thinking, they are beat-dead-tired. Give them the benefit of the doubt. It was very hard to restrain myself.
The last plane was the worst. I was right in the middle of kiddos that were jumping out of their skin. They were literally standing up, turned around in their seats, yelling and screaming. I had to speak to them more times than I care to mention. It was even to the point where they screamed as we landed (as if they had never been in a plane before, never mind three other planes that day).