After spending 28 days in Macau, the next stop on my “Jamaican in China….and Beyond” adventure is Da Nang, Vietnam. Why? Oh, I dunno. Because that’s where the Vietnamese are? Because it’s a country in Asia that begins with a letter of the alphabet? Because it’s Monday? Pick a reason or make up your own.
So, I made my reservations, and I was all set! (I’ll give details on how little it all costs in an upcoming post!) On the morning of the departure, I left home at 5:15am, got to the Macau airport by 5:30am, checked in, went through the security check, and then waited for my 7:15am flight!
Now, a few days earlier, when my friend and Macau host, Ron, found out I was heading to Vietnam, he suggested that Air Macau would be a good choice of airlines. Why? Oh, I dunno. Because he gets a commission for every passenger he refers? Because the upright position of the tray tables and seat backs offers more leg room than other airlines? Because he’s a captain with the airline and can arrange to be my pilot for any flight I choose? Pick a reason, or—um, actually, I think it was that last one.
So, after I made the reservations, Ron took care of things on his end.
As I boarded the plane on the morning of the flight, somehow, mysteriously, I was upgraded to a Business Class seat. (That’s like “First Class” for those who keep track of such things!) It’s so amazing what good karma can bring, isn’t it?
Then, I discovered that another surprise was waiting for me, when, shortly before takeoff, one of the flight attendants came to my seat and informed me that the captain had invited me up to the cockpit! I got to meet the other pilots and ask questions. And, most importantly, I offered my services should they require it. After all, I’ve seen enough movies where a hapless passenger is successfully talked through an emergency landing by the guys in the control tower! Just sayin’…
Once I returned to my seat, I couldn’t help thinking: It’s pretty cool being flown on an international flight to Vietnam for the first time, aboard an Airbus 321 jet airliner, knowing that my best buddy–Ron McFarlane–is the captain in charge, and “dread at the controls!” It makes it a unique personal experience imagining my friend in the cockpit doing what he’s always wanted to do since he was five years old.
Here’s a video recap of the whole experience featuring an in-flight interview with the captain himself with some words of advice for aspiring pilots and anyone pursuing a dream! Too bad I wasn’t in the economy/coach section so that the common fo–I mean– the other passengers could see and benefit from what he shared! (Share this blog post and Youtube video with anyone–young or experienced–who can relate to Ron’s reality!)
I was well taken care of throughout the one hour and 28 minute flight thanks to the gracious and friendly cabin crew! Thanks, everyone!
Once we touched down (a smooth landing thanks to Captain Ron and crew), we all posed for photos while the Vietnam cleaning crew waited patiently on the ramp.
In pilot parlance, this would be a “turnaround” flight. So, after cleaning and boarding of a new set of passengers, Captain Ron and crew would be heading back right to Macau! Thanks, Ron, for kicking off my first visit to Vietnam and making it such a memorable experience!
Note to self: I need to do similar interviews with Caribbean travelers in Asia and post to Youtube…With that said…
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