January 7, 2021

Finally Leaving America to Return to China

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Check-in Process

The check-in process was pretty much the same as what you’d normally expect, with the exception of having to scan the following QR code and complete the form.

Baggage Fees

I paid $360 for my bags but that was nothing in comparison to what they were going to charge me for my heaviest bag. The heaviest item alone would have cost me $420 because it weighed 42 kg (over 100 lbs). The attendant suggested that I rearrange my items in my luggage so I could get the price down. I was so tired that I didn’t care and was about to just pay for the whole bill which totaled $960 USD but she kept saying, “ma’am, are you sure? That’s a lot of money to pay for the luggage. You should rearrange your items so it’ll cost less.”

Since I have no idea how much the quarantine facility will cost, I chose to listen to her and spent AN HOUR playing musical suitcases with my belongings until the weight of each were satisfactory.

Ticketing and QR Code

As I paid the cashier for my baggage, she showed me another QR code that I needed to scan to complete some details.

The first code (all blue) was the one I was told to scan.

Where to Find Food This Late??? Panda Express!

Because I chose to wait to eat until I was squared away at the airport, I was hungry. In hindsight, I definitely should’ve eaten at the hotel before getting on the shuttle, but I was busy writing and trying to update my blog before heading out.

It was after 10:30p. As I was going through security, I wondered if there would be any places still open because it was getting pretty late. My flight was supposed to take off at 10:55p but it was delayed for an hour so the boarding time was rescheduled for 10:55p instead. This meant that I had 20 minutes to find something to eat, eat it, use the restroom and get in line.

Panda Express al Rescate!

As I headed in the direction of my departure gate, I noticed that the top level of the food court was closed. *insert instant despair here*

I stopped by the Starbucks that was closing up shop and asked if there were any places still open and they redirected me to Panda Express which was in the opposite direction of my gate. Thankfully, it wasn’t too far away!

As I walked up to the bottom area, I saw a line of hungry passengers, like myself, who knew that now was the time to get one last bite of our beloved “Chinese food” before we returned to the land of authentic Chinese cuisine.

There’s a difference, boo….there’s a biiiiiig difference.

I ordered egg fried rice, orange chicken and two spring rolls with a bottle of water that came to $16.32. I decided to use wisdom and sit down in the food court to unhurriedly eat my meal in peace. Once I finished, I went to the restroom and headed back to my departure gate just in time to stand in line for another 20 minutes.

Boarding the Plane

Boarding the plane was about the same as to be expected. Standing at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart was the requirement (BTW, only foreigners boarding the flight actually adhered to this; everyone else was all up against each other as usual), and we were told that we had to wear our masks the entire time.

Seating Arrangements

I expected to see passengers spaced out with an empty seat in between each person for the sake of social distancing like on my flight with Delta Airlines.

Nope.

Xiamen Air had everyone seated non-pandemic style. To be honest, I was uncomfortable with this arrangement.

God must’ve known that this would happen because there was an empty row in front of me!

I waited until we were about to take off to ensure that I wasn’t stealing someone else’s seat. No one showed up so I moved up and had the whole row to myself. #WINNING

Food on the Plane

There was none.

Ok, ok…there were snacks and bread that were wrapped up in a clear plastic trash bag with a bottle of water. ? That was it.

I was so glad that I ate at Panda Express before boarding the plane because that was heartbreaking to see that there wouldn’t be in-flight meals as usual.

Look at this bag. Like seriously. What is this???

The Bright Side

Oh well…next stop will be China and I’m still excited about that!

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