🇺🇸 Travel Part Three - An Exceptional Experience

August 22nd, 2016

I spend the morning relaxing, getting the hotel breakfast, compliments of Asiana, and writing journal entries.

At 10:00am I check out of my hotel room and stand waiting at the entrance for a shuttle to LAX. A line of people appear behind me and after a 15 minute wait a hotel worker comes out with some information for us.

He addresses the group, telling us that if we are flying Asiana, we are suppose to check back into our hotel rooms and then meet back here to ride to the airport at 10:00pm. We have new vouchers for our rooms.

Pushing my flight back a day is less than ideal. There'a lot of orientation happening and I'm told it would be best to try to arrive on the 24th at noon by the latest.

I grab my phone and book a ticket with China Airlines. It's slightly cheaper than my Asiana ticket and it stops in Taiwan instead of South Korea. I briefly wonder what the process is for getting a refund from Asiana, but even if I don't want to stay here.

I get back in line for the next bus to the airport. I made sure to get travel insurance for all of my flights, looks like I might have to use it. (Though I have no idea where or when to start that conversation.)

Now I'm at the Tom Bradley International Terminal again and the line for Asiana is really long. I'm not sure which line I should be in, so I stand in the general boarding line for an hour to get to the front. I'm told I should be in a different line, but it's a lot shorter and I find myself talking to the manager in just a couple of minutes.

I tell her I booked another flight and need to cancel this one and get my luggage. She focuses on the luggage part. She has me step to the side and gets a radio to talk with the luggage people.

She asks which airline I'm flying and I tell her it's China Airlines. She seems confused, do I mean Air China? Nope. I show her the email, China Airlines Flight 5. There's a little flower logo. She talks to the person on the radio, most of it isn't in english.

"Can we just transfer the luggage to them downstairs?" she asks.

I'm hesitant to say yes, because I'm not certain she has the right airline, but I tell her yes anyway. I'm relying on divine intervention to get my luggage to Hong Kong at this point.

It's noon which is too early to check in to my China Airlines flight, they aren't even open right now. I have to wait until 12:45pm. The airport is busy and a lot of people are sitting around. I get a chai tea latte from The Coffee Bean.

There's a shorter black man in a blue officer uniform. He's standing in front of four empty seats near the bathrooms. I approach the chairs with intention and he shakes his head no at me. Guess they are reserved or whatever.

I make my way outside where the weather is still gorgeous. The lady on the PA system tirelessly relays the same information to anyone willing to listen.

"Here at LAX we hope you have an exceptional experience!"

Well, at least they have that part right.