Travel Woes Delay Hanson's Hong Kong Arrival But Don't Dampen His Spirit

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December 5th, 2016

Whenever there is racing involved, it appears I'm a particular target of the travel gods' schadenfreude.

Rather than taking in a late supper at the well-reviewed Megan's Kitchen on Wanchai Road Monday night as originally planned, I'll just be hoping to make it to Hong Kong at all after being stranded in Chicago after numerous, weather-related delays Sunday.

I don't fly as much as I used to, so yesterday's experience was patience-testing. Besides waiting out a storm that dumped more than twice as much snow as originally forecast, there was the additional irritation of finally being boarded, sitting at the gate for nearly two hours, and then being queued-up on the tarmac before being returned to the gate. Guess there's some regulation regarding how many hours a crew can be on duty, and our long delays in the terminal and on the plane ate up their available time. Even an unscheduled stopover in Tokyo to change crews was nixed.

Flying through O'Hare was generally unavoidable on this journey, and I've done my best to sidestep this hub of hubs since the beginning of the century, when I was forced to spend an inglorious night in the terminal after numerous Lexington-bound flights were canceled due to weather (a mere $50 hotel credit offered by the airline wasn't going to cut it). I was returning from a trip that included a weekend of racing at Belmont and Monmouth Parks, so this on top of that and what happened in England leads me to believe I'm especially prone to the bite of the snake (but thankfully I haven’t been delayed because of any snakes on a plane).

My make-up flight is supposedly on time as I write this, which puts my Hong Kong arrival sometime late Tuesday afternoon. It's 21 1/2 hours in the city I won't get back, but knock on wood I'll be on the ground for the Wednesday morning trackwork at Sha Tin, and for sure, the International Jockeys Challenge at Happy Valley that evening.