Yesterday I left Shenzhen for Beijing, a flight that usually takes about three hours, this time the aircraft was able to get to its destination in a a little over ten hours.

We boarded the aircraft about 30 minutes before takeoff as usual. Then, after the boarding was completed, the cabin crew announced that there would be a short delay because of bad weather conditions en route. Fair enough, but the short delay soon became a longer delay and after two hours we were still stuck on the plane. After almost three hours, the aircraft finally backed away from the gate and taxied to the runway. Positioned for takeoff on the runway, the plane raced the engines, had its takeoff clearance cancelled and was called off the runway.

This, of course, was not something the Chinese passengers liked very much, and there was not that many smiles to see in the cabin when it was announced a further two to three hours delay. It became so heated, in fact, that the cabin crew decided to throw everyone off the plane and send them back to the gate. At the gate we were met by people from both the airport and the airline, who blamed each other for the delay. As it turned out, the weather conditions were acceptable for flying now, but our flight has been pushed so far back in queue for takeoff it would still take a few more hours before we could leave for Beijing.

Once again, not the most popular announcement, and some of the passenger got even more pissed. Thanks to modern technology, I give you my 2 minute short movie “Angry Chinese Air China Passengers at Shenzhen Airport”. It’s recorded with my cellular, and requires that you have a 3GP compliant player installed, like QuickTime. Enjoy 2 minutes of social documentary.

Maybe an hour or so after we were allowed back on the plane, it taxied to the runway and took off. So, finally, after ten hours of plain (pun intended) fun, our Air China flight finally arrived in Beijing. I think I prefer the weather here compared to Shenzhen. The temperature is about the same, but it’s not as humid so you don’t start to sweat like a pig the moment you go outside.