On Tuesday night Hong Kong airport was shut down by authorities again. There were many, many, many unhappy people who had been rebooked onto flights from Monday that now had their flights cancelled for the second time.
For us it meant another night sleeping at the airport. There was no ability to leave the airport because that meant being escorted by Cathay staff (one of the four trying to rebook thousands of stranded people) back through the security area and then having the uncertainty of not being able to get back in again.
For us the critical time was Wednesday morning at 9am when we hopefully started our dog-leg trip to Rome via London. Helping us was the fact that the airport authorities realised that cancelling flights was causing chaos and it was better to let half empty planes fly than to have increasing numbers of people trapped in the airport. So even on Tuesday night when all flights were “cancelled”, some of the high volume flights were leaving.
So with a long night ahead and no chance of getting out of the airport we sought accommodation other than “the third bench from the left at Gate 42” and discovered the only pay as you go lounge we could find – the Plaza Premium First lounge. I don’t think they often have people booking for 24 hours so we negotiated a good rate and settled in. The ability to shower, eat and drink without having to queue up for hours was a God send.
The lounge wasn’t set up for sleeping but with a bit of ingenuity people made up beds from chairs, loungers, couches – whatever was to hand.
Finally on Wednesday morning we flew out to London and dog-legged back to Rome arriving late on Wednesday night exhausted – ready for our holiday to begin.