Trip to Orient – Feb 2012

Trip to the Orient

In February 2012, I was given the opportunity to travel to the Orient for IBM; China & Japan to be precise. Going to Shanghai and Tokyo for a two weeks on business was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.

To China

Our trip to the orient didn’t start off well at all. As we arrived in the Chicago airport my colleague, Terry, and I were greeted with two flight delays then the ultimate cancellation due to equipment failure. On the positive side of things, it’s always best to have equipment failure on the ground before you take off. But that put our arrival in China behind by a day.

Rebooking my flight was an adventure. After a long wait in line behind one of those difficult customers, I walked up to the counter and proudly said that I would be easy to deal with because I had flexibility in my travel. Wrong. Because I used airline awards to subsidize my upgrade to business class, the airline automatically rebooked me on another flight to Shanghai in business class. Their route was going to take me from Chicago to Newark to Paris to Shanghai.

The gracious host in the Admiral’s club worked on options for almost 30 minutes before we settled on the two best choices. I was tired so it took me a while to decide which option was best. The first option was fly business class Chicago to London (8 hr) with a 6 hr layover then to Shanghai (11 hr) arriving on Saturday at 9:30 am China time. Option two was to stay in Chicago overnight and fly out on the original 10:30 flight to China (14 hr) but in coach. You probably did the math in your head a lot faster than it took me. (I said I was tired) Right, 25 hours travel time in business class versus 14 in coach but with a full night’s sleep in a free hotel. Continue reading Trip to Orient – Feb 2012