|Bon Voyage Cake|
The final day in Mumbai was hot. We decided to a walk along
Marine Drive. Cathy has a bad back, but can walk on level ground with little
problem. We took a VERY long walk on this hot day. We love looking at the sea,
the buildings and the couples strolling along the seashore. Many Bollywood
movies have been shot along this path.
We found one last store, new to us, to shop at! The Taj gave
us a very late checkout (6pm) and we decided to eat dinner at the hotel before
heading for our flight home. Once again we ate at Masala Kraft the hotels
premier Indian Restaurant. We ordered a wonderful meal including dessert and
then they surprised us with a Bon Voyage Cake. Nice Touch!
A word about the Taj Palace Heritage rooms. We had stayed
there before the terrorists took over the hotel and destroyed much of the
Heritage Wing. The service and quality in every respect at this hotel (and the
Hyderabad Falaknuma Palace) are exceptional. Cathy summed it up when she said
“I don’t want to leave, lets just move in and stay till our money runs out!”.
We checked in at the Mumbai Airport about 9:30 for our 11:20
flight. We checked all of our bags through to LA and boarded our Thai Airway
flight to Bangkok. The food and the plane were not great, however the flight
was short and we slept through a lot of it arriving early in the morning in
Bangkok. We then transferred to another Thai Airway flight to Shanghi. This
plane was new and very nice. Thai Airlines redeemed itself.
Arriving in Shanghi China we were at an enormous airport. We
looked for the transfer desk to make sure we had proper tickets for the final
flight to LA on United Airlines. We found the transfer desk and it was closed.
The police told us we would have to leave the secure area and pass through
customs and then re-enter the airport. We were sure we were given wrong
information, but didn’t want to argue with Chinese Police. We headed for
customs and while standing in line started talking to another person. He said
we had to claim our luggage and start anew like we had just arrived at the
airport. We said that was impossible, and showed him the receipts for our
luggage showing the bags tagged to LAX.
We checked with some other officials and they said yes, we
need to pick up our luggage. We waited for our luggage at the carousel but
never saw it. We then gave up, left the secure area and went to the ticket
counter. It was not manned. We finally found a person who brusquely told we had
to claim our luggage, we explained it was checked through to LA and showed the
receipts saying LAX. She said, no matter, go get your luggage. We were outside
security and had no tickets to allow us back into look for our luggage. They
said just say you forgot your luggage. We decided to try again, and we
schlepped back through the big airport, and surprisingly they did let us back
in. Just as we arrived at the lost luggage desk, an employee arrived pushing a
cart with our 3 pieces of luggage on it. We were happy to see our luggage, but
can’t understand why we never saw it on the carousel. We felt it was a close
call, if the passenger hadn’t mentioned to us about claiming our luggage we
never would have checked, just assuming it was on its way to LA with us. We
have never experienced this problem at any other airport.
With our luggage we trouped back to the ticket counter,
which was still vacant. We decided to hold a sit in and wait for someone to
show up. Eventually they did, and we were issued proper tickets so we could
enter the secure area. We then checked out the stores and restaurants. All were
of very poor quality. We went to the lounge where they had bad wine and worse
food. We were tired and sticky. We then wondered if they had showers. We asked
and they did have very nice clean showers and we freshened up and we felt good
We boarded our new 777 for the flight back to LA. It was a
new plane, and we had seats that faced the tail, so we flew backward to LA. The
food and drink was good, we had dinner took strong sleeping pills and reclined
back in our lie flat beds. We immediately fell asleep and slept for almost the
entire flight waking up about 45 minutes before we arrived. A very nice flight
and fitting in end to our trip.
A note on Shanghi airport: drab, lousy shops and
restaurants, disorganized. Most of the people police and airport spoke
excellent English and were helpful as we tried to navigate the confusion. They
could take some lessons, however, from the Hong Kong Airport.
Post a Comment