We board a venerable Airbus 321 with only one row of business class seats. They are comfortable and offer lots of foot room.
The young flight attendant is most attentive and even offers to put our slippers on us, as she does for the other two business class passengers.
Seated across the aisle from us are two men who are certainly aware of their status. One talks on his cell phone through the safety briefing and much of the taxi. The flight attendants are clearly too timid to confront him.
Our flight is surprisingly good, and includes an excellent meal with a choice of entrees, duck for Kathy and spicy beef for Brian.
Nibbles and French wine...
Fruit for dessert...
We have personal video players, similar to the ones Alaska Airlines use. All in all, a fine flight.
We land at Haikou Airport at a remote gate about 3 1/2 hours later. There we’re ushered to a special luxury van for business class passengers and driven to the domestic terminal, a ride that takes nearly 10 minutes!
The domestic terminal is basic and has few signs. We eventually walk a kilometer to it, following a young Chinese passenger who speaks some English.
Once there, we realize there was probably a bus transfer, but the walk in the fresh air (and no rain) is enjoyable,
Besides, the international terminal is crowded and we soon realize we’ll have to wait in line for two hours for the Hainan counter to open. Good grief.
Finally, an eternity later, we traverse exit immigration and an unpleasant security line before finally reaching a small but pleasant lounge, where we simply sit and relax.
We again have access to a special business class bus,this one similar in size to a hotel shuttle van.
Very soon, we’re looking up at the Airbus 330 that will take us to Sydney in another nine-hour flight.
The flight is almost empty. Despite our fatigue,we enjoy the service, food, and flatbed seats.
We love Hainan’s personal bread baskets, this one at breakfast.
The Sydney Airport seems deserted when we land. We find our way to the Airport Train and ride into the city.
There’s a glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the Circular Quay stop.
Then it’s off at the Town Hall stop and a short walk to the Hilton. There we nap, meet friends in the Executive Lounge for awhile, and then sleep some more.
We made it, but we’re happy we’re not planning a round trip to Frankfurt.