Thursday, 13 March 2008

Round the World Five - Day 8 (Thu, 13 Mar)

Itinerary: After spending Thursday, 13th March in Bangkok, transfer to the airport to catch Thai Flight TG794 leaving at 18:30 for Los Angeles by an A340-500.

I didn't see much of Bangkok this trip, having spent most of the day in the Business Centre at the hotel, trying to sort out some of my experiences. That long flight to LA is still to come. It's a long trans-Pacific flight through what should be the night, arriving fourteen and a half hours later (what?) at 19:00 hours local time. But, because we've crossed the International Date Line, it's still Thursday, 13th March. Travelling east from England, you lose time until you get to the Dateline, then you gain a complete day. Carrying on east, you continue to lose time so that, by the time you get back to England, your clock agrees with local time again.

We should arrive at Los Angeles International Airport, Tom Bradley International Terminal 'B'. After immigration and customs, to Terminal 7 for the UA1492 United Airlines for Ted A320 flight at 22:45 to Las Vegas. Arrive Las Vegas McCarran international airport, Terminal 1 at 23:58 and taxi to the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel, for a 5-night stay.

Postscript: I've got as far as the new airport at Bangkok. Not only is the airport huge but, since it's Thai's home airport, the 'Royal Silk' lounge I'm in is the biggest I've seen anywhere!

Post-postscript: Between the Thai lounge at Bangkok and the aircraft, we had two very thorough security checks. But the people were friendly enough, so it wasn't too bad. Now I'm at Los Angeles. The Thai flight from Bangkok was good but oh, so long! I adjusted my watch to West Coast time when we set off. After the first meal, they darkened the cabin and screened the windows to encourage people to sleep but, once we'd crossed the terminator, it was bright sun outside. It's all a bit odd.

The international terminal at LAX (Tom Bradley) is being rebuilt, so it's not a very pleasant experience walking to the terminal. Neither is waiting in line for Immigration. The process didn't take too long and the immigration officer was friendly. I walked to terminal 7 for the United connecting flight and managed to work out how to check in with a paper (not electronic) ticket. To get into terminal 7, you go through another security check and the lady security guard directing the traffic was rather officious. They make you take your shoes off so they can X-ray them. Since I wasn't wearing socks, it meant going barefoot on the floor past the X-ray machine. I politely pointed out to the one girl employed there that the floor wasn't really clean enough to make this an attractive experience but, of course, she just looked at me blankly. It's a bit noisy and scruffy in the seating area near the gate and I'm getting a bit tired. Anyhow, I found an automatic Internet machine which works (for money) so I'm able to do this minor update.