Our Long, Short Space A Trip 7
Continuing with our travels, my wife and I are in the process of heading for Texas via military Space A travel. We have been having a tough time because of typhoons and non-availability of flights. After being stranded in the Philippines for 6 days, we finally made it to Kadena AB, Okinawa Japan. Things are not looking so good here either. We left on 14 Sep and it is now 21 Sep. That’s 7 days, 6 of those days were spent waiting and spending money for a hotel and food. We were taking a chance leaving with limited funds as it was, so we’re not too sure how much longer we should hold out and continue this trip. We’re hoping our luck with change for the better. Let us now continue with our plight.
There is a flight leaving this morning at 0720 going to Yokota AB Japan. It’s not where we want to go, Travis AFB CA, but it is a little closer and Yokota still does have flights to Travis and maybe Kelly AFB TX (our final destination). Only problem with this flight is that it is showing 0 seats. Then we thought our luck had changed. The seat count jumped up to 50. Then about a 1/2 hour later it dropped to only 5 seats. That would still be good for us though. We’ve been on the list long enough to have a shot at making that with only a few people in the terminal. However, when they announced the roll call at 0710, they said it was back to 0 seats again.
With nothing on the schedule for the rest of the day or the next 2 days heading the way we needed to go, that’s when we decided that we should just give it up and concentrate on getting back to the Philippines. I was quite upset because I really wanted to get back to Texas to see the relatives, especially my parents and our grandsons. It just didn’t work out, and this was the first time that Space A just didn’t work out for me. We figured it’s better to go back now then risk getting stuck elsewhere and running out of money completely.
So there was a flight heading back to the Philippines on the schedule with a roll call of 1020. It was one of the small planes that only holds 6 passengers and it was showing 5T (5 tentative seats). Once again, around 0900, they announced that the flight is no longer taking passengers. I asked the Tech Sergeant on duty to please ask why and it turns out that the crew that was going had too much luggage.
Well no way were we not getting a hotel room tonight. We both needed to clean up, change clothes and get a decent night sleep (not on concrete benches, the floor, or a terminal chair. I made the reservation at the Shogun Inn, but we waited around the terminal for a little while hoping that an unscheduled flight would come up. It happens, but it didn’t happen this time. We had the Shogun Inn shuttle come by to pick us up. There were no more scheduled flights until Saturday (the 24th), and there were 2 flights that day, so we’ll just wait and hope.
After getting freshened up a little bit and taking a short nap, we decided we need to try to cash in some of our pesos for dollars, or yen if that’s all we could get. We took a taxi to the Community Bank on base to see if we could do that. Community Bank is a subsidiary of Bank of America (our bank) so we figure if they do, we can. They didn’t, so we can’t. However they did inform us of a place off base that ‘might’. I’ll be writing that as a separate post next, so be looking for it.
This is the most time consuming Space A travel that I have ever been on, and it’s not over yet. When will it be over? Will we have to give in and take a commercial flight? Where would we get the money for a commercial flight if we needed to take one? All those answers coming up, just stay tuned.