Much to the dismay of my SkyMiles Frequent Flyer balance, AMEX is not (or at least rarely) welcome in the UK. Come’on, don’t they know I’m gunning for Diamond status this year?
I’m quite adept at ignoring Google Ads. Or maybe I’m just so familiar with them that they never catch my eye when I’m at home.
But this morning I was reading the NYT from London. One of the Google Ads was for a “How To Use Twitter” seminar in London. Four hours for £250 (not including VAT).
First: four HOURS?
Second : 250 quid?
If you’re dense enough that it takes four hours to learn how to use Twitter than this course is a bargain for you.
It looks like the 25th of March is my lucky day.
Following the crash of a FedEx plane on Narita’s airport on Monday that effectively closed to the airport to jumbo jets, I’ve been stuck in Tokyo. There are, indeed, worse places in the world to get stuck.
Still, I hadn’t planned on spending this much extra time here.
The fiasco began on Monday when it became clear that many flights would be canceled. My carrier, Korean Air, simply turned everyone away telling them to call their travel agent. That would be okay if 1) I knew the travel agent’s phone number; 2) I spoke Japanese; 3) I had a cell phone that both WORKED and had a charged battery.
I immediately skyped Delta since the ticket had been purchased as a codeshare flight. Delta informed me that I was already confirmed on the next flight out on Northwest.
After standing in line to check in for the Northwest flight for an hour or two, I was pulled to the front — thank you Elite Plus status. After a long, long time on the phone coordinating Delta, Northwest, and the booking agency, it was determined that the ticket couldn’t be issued since Korean Air hadn’t released the itinerary. Options: buy a new ticket and get credited for the first. Great.
Back to the Korean Air counter. WTF? Rebooked on standby for Tuesday with unlikely odds of getting a seat. By then, Northwest had set up direct rebooking courtesy phones – a nice touch. Until this point, I’ve found the degree of integration between Delta and Northwest to be mostly in name, but I thought I’d test the system anyways. Sure enough, the Northwest international rep was able to fetch my itinerary and then give me the great news: first confirmed seat out would be Saturday! Saturday? Saturday. Five more nights in Tokyo. More Yen needed. Much more Yen. Buckets of Yen.
Tuesday: attempted to fly. No seat.
Wednesday: good to go.
With that out of the way, here are some quick reflections on Japan.
Fresh Air. I thought that the Dutch were the only people who didn’t like open windows, but apparently this extends to the Japanese as well. Ugh. Open some windows! It’s so hot and stuffy!
Gyoza. Yes. My new quest.
It’s not quite painful to get from London to the Yellowstone National Park area in Montana:
* departed for LHR at 5 AM (9PM local MST)
* arrived near Yellowstone via Bozeman (BZN) 11 PM
–> 26 hours in transit