Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Japan, Day 2: From Incheon to Haneda

We arrived at Incheon international airport at almost one o'clock in the morning, Korea local time. As I joined the rest of the passengers to file out of the plane and the female air crew were all standing at the exit to bide us farewell, I could see relief on their faces. I guess they were just as rattled as us during the attempted landing at Haneda some two hours earlier. I spotted one of the more senior crew members. "Are you the pilot," I asked him. "Yes," he replied. "Well, I want to shake your hand. Thanks for getting us out of a sticky situation," I said. We grinned at one another.

The airport was basically closed when some ground staff from AirAsia X met us at the arrival gate. Well, at least the airline had someone come to meet us at this unearthly hour. We were led to the airport security where our carry-on luggage was checked and scanned before we were allowed into the departure lounge. We weren't allowed out of here. All the passengers were required to stay here until the rescheduled flight, bearing a new code D7522D, leave Incheon at six o'clock. That would be in some five hours time.

Although each passenger was then given a 10,000 Won food coupon, there was hardly any food outlet opened. We were lucky. We were the last passengers to use our 40,000 Won to buy up the last of the sandwiches at the only available food outlet. Then we settled down to attempt some shut-eye which, of course, did not happen to me. I think it was only my wife who got some sleep.

At 5.30am, we assembled outside Gate 109 and were soon allowed into the aeroplane. There was a fresh set of crew who would fly us to our intended destination. The aircraft left Incheon at 6.45am and flew without any further incident into Haneda, reaching there at 8.45am. By 8.59am, we were already on terra firma and waiting to depart from the airport. Hello, Japan, finally!

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