Monday, December 22, 2008

Lost in Osaka

Ok, we're not really lost - just delayed. We were supposed to be in Okinawa by now, but the flight from Detroit to Osaka was delayed. We got to sit on the plane in Detriot for over 2 hours before we even left the ground. Add that to a 14 hour flight, and it makes for a lot of uncomfortable sitting in one place.

It's nice to finally be sitting in a nice comfy leather chair in a hotel lobby rather than a cramped space on a plane. (The hotel WiFi Internet is only accessible from the lobby).

Since we only had a 2 hour layover in Osaka, by the time we arrived, our flight to Okinawa had already departed. The ground crew members in Osaka were extremely friendly, helpful, and apologetic (in stark contrast to the usual treatment in USA airports). They put us up for a night in a hotel at the airport, gave us two complementary meals (dinner and breakfast) and some free minutes to make calls anywhere in the world to help alleviate the inconvenience. (I know the hotel and meals stuff is standard fair for missed flights, but the whole demeanor of the people and how they handled it was much more courteous than I'm used to. I had forgotten how so much of the Japanese culture seems to be oriented around courtesy. It's very refreshing.)

We made some quick calls to people expecting us in Okinawa tonight to let them know our change of schedule, had a nice meal at the hotel, and then wandered around the airport to get our bearings for tomorrow.

Hopefully our flight to Okinawa will be uneventful in the morning.