Sunday, September 16, 2007

Leave on a Jet Plane

0400 Wake up, take shower, shave. Finish packing.
0430 Get taxi to SGN
0445 Arrive SGN
0500 Made it through security and to first class lounge.

When I arrived this morning the new international terminal at SGN looked all shiny and clean. I stood in the first class line for United, which is pretty much the first counter inside the terminal. There were about 8 or so people in that line.

A United agent came up and asked me if I was in First Class. I said I was. They do this all the time in the states. They want to keep the riffraff out of the wrong lines. It turns out here they do it because the riffraff get in the line. He told me he would start another line for me. And took me to the next counter, which was empty. As he did this, a guy who was already in the line complained to him that he was also in first class. I'm guessing he wasn't asked since
he was Asian. It's typical in Vietnam to get special treatment if you're white. I'm not sure how long that will last. Probably not long. As the country gets more affluent and there are more Vietnamese who are also affluent they won't stand for the discrimination. It's a pretty good bet that you're well off if you're white and in Vietnam, at least relatively speaking.

The lounge was very nice, as you can see from the pictures. It's right next to the gate so you can hang out there until the last minute.

I splurged and upgraded using my frequent flyer miles. The first class cabin is nice. Each person gets a pod with storage cabinets and a chair that will go completely flat so you can really sleep.

The first leg of the trip is SGN to Hong Kong. It's morning so you get a nice breakfast. I chose the fruit plate over the Chinese congee. That's papaya and dragon fruit. The fruit was excellent.

The flight to Hong Kong was short and sweet. Next stop, the United lounge at the HK airport.

Maybe I was a little whacked out from lack of sleep, but I made this video of the restroom...