02BC8: Rough Journey Start


Holiday Travel

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 960

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 07:00pm but it's already past 08:30pm and we're still waiting around. Our initial worries for the weekend were more tied to the weather potentially affecting our flight out, which it didn't do directly since things were calmer today but it did still affect us because yesterday's runway closures contributed to today's complications. 

The traffic on the way to the airport was already heavier than usual, but I initially attributed that to just a lot of people traveling during the long weekend. Then navigating Terminal 3 was a bit more complicated than before since they moved the travel tax desk to some new centralized area for different government agencies that were in the far corner of the airport. But things started to look up when we found that the internet check queue for Singapore Airlines was pretty short and we got to drop our bags off in short order. The only weird bit was that we hadn't been assigned a gate for our flight yet, and I was hoping it just meant that we were early.

The queue at Immigration was crazy long and not all desks were being manned, but this still felt with expected tolerances given it was still a holiday weekend. The subsequent queue for the final security check was also pretty long but at least was moving quite steadily. We finally cleared all the usual hurdles and had about 30 minutes until our scheduled flight time. We even grabbed some drinks at Starbucks and figured we had time to get to our gate in time for boarding, assuming the information board was accurate in terms of what our gate was.

But when we got to the gate it still said it was the gate for a Qatar Airways flight to Doha. We asked the airport folks what was going on and they referred us to the Singapore Airlines grounds staff who turned out to be waiting in the area. And they let us know just to take our seats and confirmed this was the right place to wait. 

And so we waited and waited and no updates were proactively given. We could hear announcements related to other flights whose gates had been moved or passengers that were being asked to get to their gates and that was it. And I had to approach the ground staff on my own a few times to get updates on what was going on and they didn't have much to say apart from how our plane was waiting for a gate assignment. 

Eventually, they made an announcement to move to another gate (although it was communicated rather poorly). And now we're waiting at another gate that was previously assigned to an ANA flight to Narita and finally, they updated it to Singapore Airlines...but with a different flight number

I'm sure we'll get to Singapore eventually. But this leg of the trip has already been quite stressful and it's certainly an unusual start to our trip.