Challenges

A Sun Never Set Journey 日不落的旅程

Taking long haul flight is definitely not my cup of tea and the only times were those trips to Europe. Due to time zones difference, most of these flights leave Hong Kong in midnight. Passengers normally went to sleep shortly after the take-off and rushed to the immigration upon arrival next morning.

In consideration of the adverse impact brought about by covid-19, our mid-night flight to UK was rescheduled by BA to the afternoon.

過往甚少乘搭長途機,記憶中只有飛歐洲的數次,通常都是夜機,而大部份乘客一上機就抱頭大睡,早上醒來便匆匆下機。

今次飛英國的航班亦可能在疫情影響下,由深夜提早至同日下午。

We were quite astonished when we arrived at the airport. Those glorious days where the Chep Lap Kok Int’l Airport was full of people jumping around were gone. There were just a few airline counters opened for the check-in service while most of the shops and restaurants were closed until further notice.

As there was nothing we could do, we quickly finished our departure and moved directly to the boarding hall.

There was a speculation that people leaving Hong Kong to UK may left in trouble during departure. In addition, suspicious persons would also appear near the boarding hall to closely monitor people boarding UK flights. Frankly speaking, I didn’t notice any of these.

Boarding completed very soon as there were not many passengers, slightly taking up half of the available seats.

中午到達機場,昔日人頭湧湧的場面已不復見,整個離境大堂只有幾個登機櫃位開放,而店舖、食肆亦差不多全部關閉,沒有甚麼可做下便匆匆辦理離境手續,到侯機大堂等待登機。

坊間一直有流傳着離境時會被留難,亦有形蹟可疑的人監察離港赴英人仕,但就我當日所見,又未有發現。

由於乘客不多,boarding 很快便完成,而龐大的機艙亦只是半滿。


Unlike what we usually have in the past, most of the passengers were coming from groups of family. Young couples with preschool kids, single mom with little girl in one hand and dragging big baggage with the other. Family like us with a teenager was relatively uncommon.

Same as us, every family came with a lot of baggages: back sacks and hand carried bags that fully used up their in-cabin baggage allowance. One can hardly imagine how to pack them inside those small compartments. While I was wondering how to put my baggages, the cabin crew said to me “Just put wherever space is available !“. I had no choice but push my super large back-sack into the compartment of a nearby seat. For the single mom previously mentioned, she was just sat right behind me. After settled down her little girl, she tried very hard to put her extremely heavy baggage into the compartment but without any success. Finally with the assistance of passengers nearby, she managed to complete the impossible task.

Kids usually can’t get used to long hours of flight. Being tired and under unstable turbances, screaming and crying are inevitable. Under this situation, you are really out of luck and there is nothing you can do. Situation is a little bit wired with this trip was that none of this happened. So were those typical “HK papa“, “HK mama“, calling cabin crew for service or snacks were gone. What I observed was that quite a lot of the parents looked uneasy and many of them were focusing on their phones, watching email or replying WhatsApp messages.

To be honest, the cabin was so quite that seems a little bit daunting.

Someone said with a smile:

All those who leave are fugitives. We don’t care !

But somehow have you seen such groups of high quality “Fugitive” before?

Um ⋯ I’m shallow and I have never come across them. However, I’m very lucky this time !

舆以往不同,今次航班乘客差不多全是一家大小。有年青父母帶着幾歳大的孩子,也有單人匹馬的母親一手拖着幼女,另一手拉着大喼,步履蹣跚地上機,反而像我和太太帶着一個青少年則較為少見。

同我們一樣,差不多每個家庭也會用盡行李限額帶着多個手提喼及背包,頭頂細小的行李箱根本就不夠用。當我正在猶豫之際,路過的英航服務員隨意一句 ”Just put wherever space is available ! “,我只好無奈地把背包往鄰座上塞進去。先前提過的那位單人匹馬的母親剛巧坐在後一排,在小心安頓好女兒後,欲將巨大的手提袋放上頭頂行李箱,但奈何實在太重了,試過幾次仍失敗,最終在其他乘客相助下才能放上頭頂行李箱。

十多小時的航程,小孩一般都無法適應,在疲倦及不穩的氣流下,往往會尖叫或放聲大哭。遇上這情况,除了説聲倒霉外,也沒有其他解决方法。但很奇怪,今次航班卻一丁點的喊聲也沒有。另外平常港爸港媽們經常呼喚服務員,取飲品、小食的情况亦不見。反而父母們都有點神色凝重,各人都專注在手機上,睇電郵,覆 WhatsApp。

坦白講,航機內平靜得有點可怕。

有人無恥地講:

所有離開的都是逃犯,我們不在乎!

但你又可有見過這麽高質素的「逃犯」呢?

Um ⋯ 我見識少,以前未見過,但今次有幸遇上了!


Shortly after taking off, we were served with in-cabin meal. I’m not sure if this was lunch or dinner as we were supposed to arrive at Heathrow by nine at night. Quality wise, the food was not up to expectation to certain extent. Nevertheless, we had to accept it as this might be the only in-cabin meal we would have. Somehow, it turned out that there was another round of light meal before we arrived. In between, there were plentiful supply of cookies and drinks.

起飛不久,先來個不知是午餐還是晚餐的飛機餐,質素頗一般,但也不揀擇了,因為這可能是唯一的餐食。當然後來發覺落機前原來還有個包點及無數次的曲奇、餐飲供應。

The programmes available in BA’s in-flight entertainment system were quite old and boring. Combined with the intermittent failure of the control unit in front of me, I finally gave up and relied on enjoying whatever views outside or having a nap. My son who sat next to me, definitely felt boring too with the long flight. Nevertheless, he kept on watching cartoons and playing video games to relief the boredom. No matter how hard he had struggled, he was so tired that finally fallen to sleep an hour before the landing.

座位前的影音系統在起飛後斷斷續續的失靈,再加上英航提供的節目實在太舊太沉悶,最後决定放棄。剩下來只有無奈地望望窗外不知是雲,是雪,是山還是海的一片景像,又或者閉上眼休息便算,希望可以捱過漫長航程。而身旁的兒子呢,雖然時間真的很難過,他也一路撐着,跟卡通片同遊戲機拼搏,但在降落前一小時終敵不過睡魔,呼呼入睡了。

The flight started under the bright sun light in Hong Kong and racing against the sun for the whole journey. At the end, it won and safely arrived at Heathrow before sunset.

這個航班在猛烈的陽光下從香港出發,沿途跟烈日一起奔跑了十多小時,終於跑嬴了,在落日前安全到達目的地。


The immigration procedure at Heathrow is rather straight forward, border force officers simply checked our pre-approved BNO Visa and that’s it. Welcomed to UK!

Before leaving, the officer said to us “You have made the right choice 👍”.

Wow, what a mixed feeling for us.

在希斯路機場人境過程亦不算複雜,邊防人員只簡單的檢查已批核的 BNO Visa 便完成。

離開前,他更送上一句 ”You have made the right choice 👍”。

那一刻真有點百感交集!

Despite everything was so smooth, we ended up leaving the airport after 10 o’clock. Quickly we jumped on the reserved pickup van and rushed to the Airbnb.

Quickly, we took a bath, went to sleep and got prepared for the fresh beginning ahead.

盡管人境英國非常順利,離開機場時亦差不多晚上十點多,登上預先安排好的接送車,便直奔 Airbnb。

簡單梳洗後即上床休息,為迎接新的開始作好準備。

Finally arrived 終於安全到埗


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