The date now is 20 Sept. It has been 6 days since we left our house to get a flight out of the Philippines and hopefully another flight or two to get to our final destination of Texas. We have been delayed by typhoons and cancelled or no flights. Today is our best chance yet, but it just seemed like another dead end when we arrived at the terminal.
After taking our P350 taxi ride to the terminal, the plane was not there, and it was suppose to be there already. Dave (Mr. Corrigan) informed us that shortly after take-off from Kadena, a flock of birds flew into one of the engines. They had to turn back to Kadena to assess the damage. It was not known at that time if they would be continuing the mission, or even if they could continue. So I’m thinking to myself, “Well hell. If it’s not a typhoon, it’s a flock of birds. Maybe it’s a sign and we need to forget about this trip”. Of course we can not forget about this trip. We, being in balikbayan status, need to leave no later than 24 Sept. We’ll just sit back and wait with the other passengers and see what happens.
Luckily the plane checked out and they decided to continue with the mission. The plane didn’t arrive until like 1100, 3 hours past the roll call time, but at least it showed up. More importantly it was taking a lot of passengers so all 16 of us waiting were able to sign up. We were then all taken to Clark International Airport to the Immigration section and we got stamped out of the Philippines, finally.
It was about a 2 hour flight on the C17 and the time went quickly. Lita is not feeling very well, but she is hiding it because we don’t want anything to delay this trip. She doesn’t take things very well and I think the stress of all the waiting and wondering got to her. She made it to Kadena without any incident, mostly because she slept the whole way.
Our next step in the Space A process was to try to get a flight from Kadena to Travis AFB in California. Of course sometimes Kadena will have a flight that is going all the way to Kelly AFB in Texas. That would be so much better, but the way our luck has been going, I’m not counting on that. The flights have just not been cooperating for this trip. Maybe our luck will change.
After being stuck in the Philippines for so long and not exactly being oil tycoons, we decided not to get a hotel room for that night. The reason being pretty logical really. You see the Kadena Passenger Terminal closes at 2200 and doesn’t open again until 0600. So closed for 8 hours. However if there is a flight coming in that will have passengers, the terminal will reopen one half hour before the scheduled roll call for each flight. There were 2 roll calls scheduled for the next early morning hours. There was one right at midnight and one at 0335. So that means they would open again at 2330, process everyone going, then close again. Then at 0305 they would open up again for the next flight, process it, close again, then open up at the normal 0600.
Now the first flight had lots of passengers and it took a little over 2 hours to process them all. We didn’t have to leave out of there until 0210. The 2nd flight only took like 1 hour to process. So by 0430 they were finished processing all the flights, but we only had to wait 1 1/2 hours for the terminal to open for the day. Our scheduled flight was at 0630, so they opened at normal time for that. At least Lita was not feeling any worse. She was able to sleep on a bench outside of the terminal. Unfortunately we did not make our flight. They zeroed out the seats. Now we are really wondering if we will be able to continue on with this trip as planned.
So will we even ever be able to get out of Kadena? If we do get out of Kadena, will we be lucky enough to get a flight all the way to Texas? What do we do if we don’t get out? All those questions will be answered soon, just keep reading each new post.