Flying to L.A. was supposed to be relatively easy to arrange. We booked the flight with our agent in mid-late July, a full three weeks before the scheduled date of departure. The return flight was confirmed, and I was put on the waiting list of 4 flights from HKG to LAX. Going online to zuji, every flight of every airline was pretty full. Apparently, people were returning home after visiting the World Expo during the Summer holidays.
I stayed on those four waiting lists until the booking's deadline, and then my agent tried to keep me there because the return flight had been confirmed. It was only a few days ago that I discovered that Cathay doesn't allow someone to remain on a waiting list past the deadline. The rules are that you either 'publish' the ticket by the deadline or lose it, but you're not permitted to 'publish' a ticket if the seat hasn't been confirmed. So, your agent is forced to rebook your ticket each time the deadline is reached, effectively putting you at the back of the line every time. Cathay needs to do something to improve their system.
So, by August 8 just 5 days before I was scheduled to leave, I was still without a ticket.
At the same time, I developed a personal disability over the weekend. Without a ticket, and with this personal disability, I contemplated delaying my trip to L.A. until the end of August. If so, I realised that I would have more time to prepare for Project S and decided to take advantage of it. We would do more than originally planned! I contacted the team in L.A. and notified them of the planned change.
Then on August 8, we were having lunch with a large group of friends and acquaintances and discovered that one of them might be able to help me get my ticket anyway. On Monday, he confirmed the ticket for me, which was a good thing because it turned out that my friends in L.A. were not available to help me in late August anyway, so I'm leaving for L.A. on Friday as originally planned.
But what of the 'extra' I had planned? Well, when I informed my friends in L.A. that we were returning to the original schedule, two of them told me that they could still prepare the extra for me in time for my arrival!
So what do you get when I can't confirm an air ticket to LAX? You get something extra.
As for that disability, I'm working hard to temper it and hopefully have it completely subdued by the time I begin work on Project S in L.A. next Wednesday.
By the way, the 'S' in Project S stands for… ;-)