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Social Distance Like the Loch Ness Monster


Flying during a pandemic is obviously not ideal and I cannot recommend it unless it is absolutely necessary.
I flew out from Buffalo airport in New York 6am EST on Monday, April 20 via American Airlines. I was initially suppose to fly out a few days earlier and with my last flight to HK being cancelled and rescheduled last minute in 2018, I gotta say, I really did not think I’d be going on time. The whole day before the trip I was in total denial it was actually happening; I must have known. When I got to the check in counter in the morning, my flight status was “no go” and crew seemed unsure why. Eventually we worked it out after they checked my visa and saw I was approved to enter the country. Before I knew it I was saying goodbye and to my love (crying/sniffling in a mask absolutely not the easiest) and headed to security. Mike is suppose to be joining me out in HK once his dependent visa is approved since no tourists are allowed in the country at the moment, which we are hoping will arrive before June.

Security had me remove my mask briefly to check my passport, which I understand, but found interesting. I was really surprised, and honestly a little concerned no one was taking temperatures. Security was the same, but was allowed to keep my mask on going through the machines. I also had one of my few pair of medical gloves on to really be careful I was not touching anything. All the bathrooms in the airport were closed except one, and when I arrived at my gate with all other 8 passengers, the gate agent moved all our seats to spread us thorough out the plane more. (Positive side to a long haul flight during a pandemic is having the whole row of seats to yourself!). My first flight was from Buffalo to Dallas. After boarding, I Clorox wiped everything in my whole row before settling in to the freezing cold plane.
Some interesting challenges did appear on the flights. One of the most important things to do on a long haul flight is hydrate, and I had to get creative trying to drink out of my water bottle while keeping my mask on.
I also was a little worried about falling asleep in a mask and accidentally suffocating myself.
And total first world problem, but gonna have to get used to unlocking my phone without Face ID since the mask doesn't allow it to work. I also live by using talk to text, but that was no longer an option, since my phone cannot hear me through my mask.

There were only about 9 of us on my flight, with regular amount of crew, not doing any drink/food services on the flight. They did do the safety instructions in the beginning, and that was about the only time I saw them.

My second flight was suppose to be the long, 13 hour transatlantic flight from Dallas to Tokyo. This is the flight I start to lose track of time and watch the sun set and rise like four times in one flight. Before this flight began, I met up with another HK Disneyland cast member, Katelyn, who had worked with me at Disney World. I also had Felix on my flight, who was my stage manager for HKDL Halloween, and had been an international cast member at Disney World, but was being sent back home with everything going on. While at the gate, they called us up check our passports, and noticed Katelyn and I were not residents of Japan/ Hong Kong. After several phone calls on both ends, the Japanese immigration office declared we were not allowed to enter Japan with a USA passport at this time, even if it was just a passing through layover. Our luggage was being taken off the plane and sent to the baggage carousel for pick up, we would not be allowed on the plane; panic began to set in. We contacted Disney, and while they worked on a solution, we began the hunt for our luggage. 4 hours, several help desks, and 10,000 steps through multiple terminals later, they finally located our suitcases in a locked luggage storage room that no one could find the keys for. Eventually, keys were found, and our luggage was rescued, and boy was I happy to see my bags! Disney decided to send us back home (Buffalo for me) for the time being til we work out another way and date for us to travel out to HK, most likely just through the USA without layovers in other countries. After retrieving my bags, rechecking in, and going through security again, I was back where I had been all day at Terminal D in Dallas waiting to fly home.
Flight back to Buffalo I was in total disbelief this was happening, but was excited to be returning to my love once again. There were all of 4 of us on my flight, and they did not turn on a single light for the flight once we were in the air, so it was super dark. I also was so tired I accidentally started watching a tv show in the middle of the series, and did not realize til I was 5 episodes in. This day just never ended.
My knight in shining armor arrived with arms wide open and a fully baked cake to help ease the day, and boy was I happy to see him, even if I was right back where I started at the beginning of the day.
No information as of now on another flight day, but looking forward to everything healing eventually, and in the meantime please stay home and stay healthy.

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