After a nice evening spent drinking Kirin beer and eating some Chinese lamb chops in the Pudong Renaissance lounge, I got a good night’s sleep and made preparations to head back to the airport.

Our cab had one of those bogus meters you hear about, charging probably 2 times the correct rate. You read about them once in a while in the Shanghai newspaper “Black hearted cabbie steals from kind visitors.” The fare was 60% higher than last night’s despite the fact that he was driving like a bat out of hell, playing chicken with another cab from his company.

We arrived and got into the special line for our special departure. Turns out they kept the plane here, got a new crew and decided to send us back as an intact group. Easier than re-booking 300 people I guess.

Once again, it was chaos. No one at the special gates really knew what they were supposed to do. Someone had come up with the brilliant idea of pre-printing all the boarding passes, a nice idea if everyone lined up in alphabetical order. But since we didn’t they had to deploy a second crew of agents to run around and grab the correct pass and deliver it back to the agent handling the passenger. After me they got wise and started asking the second passenger in line for their information so that they could pre-stage the pass. I was handed a survey, a printed letter apologizing for the inconvenience and a pass to the 1st Class lounge. Through security, we ran there figuring it was going to get real busy as all those people checked in.

Now we wait for the day to unfold. Next blog, by phone from the plane.