This is the continuation of the post I wrote while I was in Nepal.
Once we were told that our flight had been cancelled due to bad weather and that we were going to spend the night in China, there was some confusion. It looked like the airline staff also didn’t know what was going to happen next. They just gave us visas to exit the airport and asked us to wait in a room. Thankfully, the staff member who was dealing us spoke good English so we could direct our queries and get some answers.
The waiting room had some chairs and snacks. They had some drinks, biscuits, and chocolate. I was kind of hungry and cold so ate one biscuit and drank a bottle of water.
Luckily AS had his thick jumper in his carry on while I had only a thin one. I was a bit cold when we were waiting while I could see all the airport staff was wearing puff jackets. I didn’t put anything in my hand carry because I didn’t think about that the flight could be cancelled. I expected few hours delay but not 14 hours.
We were in the waiting room for almost an hour when they finally asked us to follow them. We were going to a hotel. We all followed this guy all the way to the exit and as soon the door opened, I want to go and hide somewhere. It was freezing and the wind was not helping either.
As soon as we got out, I saw a hotel across the street. I was happy thinking that we were going there as we start crossing the road; but to my disappointment, we were told to wait for a bus to take us to our hotel. In a few minutes, the bus arrived and we all jumped inside. The staff member told us that we are going to some hotel but I didn’t catch the name.
At least it was warm inside the bus and we stared our 45 minutes ride to the hotel. Because we were not given a time frame, every hotel we saw on the way, we expect the bust to stop but it kept moving until it came to the Jiaerdeng Hotel Guangzhou.
The entrance of the hotel looked nice and we were all happy that it is a decent hotel. Most of us hadn’t slept for the last 24 hours so all we wanted was some warm food and bed for the night before we woke up the next morning to go back to the airport. I felt like a zombie and was looking forward to a hot shower as well.
As we queue behind the other passengers from the plane, we suddenly realised that there was no one from the airport with us. In addition, though not surprisingly, no one at the front desk spoke or understood any English. They had no clue why we were there so they were not giving us any rooms. We all spent next half hour trying to make them understand that we needed a room but it was of no use. No matter how slowly we spoke, they didn’t know what to do. We were stranded in the hotel lobby of a hotel in China with no clue what was going to happen next.
Luckily one of the bellboys of the hotel took his phone out and used Google translate to tell us that they had no idea what to do with us as they have no instruction from the airlines or the hotel management. Finally some communication! Then when we asked about the internet, he showed a plaque on the wall that had some number on it. No one had noticed that before but finally we saw a ray of hope in the dark tunnel. We all connected to the internet and used Google translate to talk with them.
Finally, after a real good effort by a few people, they manage to talk get someone form the airline and allocated the rooms. It was such a relief to get the key to our room. We got a nice big room on the 7th floor. Me and AS literally ran to the room to drop our stuffs and rest. It was after midnight in Sydney by then and we were so tired.
While we were getting ready to sleep, we realised that we hadn’t had a proper meal for a while so decided to see if they had anything to eat at all. When we went downstairs, there was a hotel staff handing a takeaway container to everyone and that was our dinner. When we opened it in our room, I was but disappointed as it had rice, cabbage and some chicken only, not very appetizing. As AS was hungry he had some of it and I did eat a few spoons and it was enough for me.
I was still freezing so AS decided to give me his jumper. The room had air conditioning but as everything was in Chinese we had no clue what to do. Still with some trial and error AS managed to turn off the air conditioning. In around 6 hours we had to wake up again as we need to be at the airport 3 hours before our flight to Kathmandu so we set an alarm and went to bed.
It was so difficult to wake up the next morning but I dragged myself out of bed and had a shower. I knew if I didn’t, I would be a zombie for the rest of the day. Once we got ready, we went to the lobby and there were lot more people in the lobby than the night before. They were going to airport to catch their flight to Kathmandu as well.
With half an hour for the bus to come pick us up, me and AS had enough time to go around the area and see the place. We saw lots of older people doing their morning exercising. When the bus arrived there was not enough room for everyone in that bus and we had to wait longer for next bus. Finally, it did and we were all happy to be on the road to the airport.
After 25 minutes, we were back doing the check-ins for our flight. The flight was on time and we were relieved when we finally boarded plane to Kathmandu. The flight from Guangzhou to Kathmandu was smooth and without any dramas and we landed in Kathmandu in the afternoon, 14 hours later than scheduled.
My FIL and BIL were at the airport to pick us up and we were on our way home.
So, this was my experience with China Southern Airlines. I am sure no one could do anything about the weather but the airlines did try their best to look after us. Being in China, it is expected that they don’t speak English. While our experience could have been a bit better, I have no problems flying with them the next time though I will certainly pray for good weather.