Trip Start May 31, 2009
16Trip End May 25, 2009
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Where I stayed
After dropping MakMak off at the transit, we headed to the Manila airport early Sunday morning to catch our flight home. The airport was not too busy. One of the features of airports in the Philippines, (I am not sure of elsewhere) is that you first pass all your luggage through security as you enter the front door, and then you get to check in. The line up for our flight snaked across the floor. In front of us was a fashionable young filipina and her daughter (maybe 3 years old), who was sleeping on her luggage. We noticed that every once in a while the mother covered the daughter's hands and arms with disinfectant. The kid was cranky too.
We were in line for about an hour, and once we got our boarding passes, and dropped off our luggage, we headed to the security where we paid our transit fee and went through security again
When the little girls started vomitting near the end of our flight, the attendants took notice, and as we landed we were asked to stay on the plane until quarentine officials could enter. A doctor came on board and took the girls temperature and I noted the gauge read 37.8 C, which is very high.
More quarentine officials came on the plane, and everyone within 5 meters was given a mask, and we were herded off the plane. From there the 20 or so of us, were detained in the gate where we had to have our throats swabbed. After that procedure we were herded quite some distance away into a Quarentine room, actually just the corner of a room with office cubical type dividers and full of classroom style desks. We were told we would not be flying that day and they would update us in three hours.
After three hours, no refreshments, not even for the two year old with us, they herded us to a much smaller room. We asked to speak to someone in authority, but that was refused
The finally fed us after 4 hours, still no information, cold burger king chicken sandwiches. And after bringing the sick girl past us on the way to the hospital, they brought us back to the original room this time with no desks.
They then basically left us alone. We couldn't understand if this was a serious quarentine or not, as they kept walking us through public areas of the airport where other passengers were walking. A couple of people in yellow quarentine vests tried to keep us in the general vicinity of the room, but they did not speak either english or philipino.
Finally a girl who spoke some english came and we explained that after 6 hours we had not been given any information, nor any opportunity to call our families. I asked if we were under detention, and asked to be able to call the Canadian embassy. This was allowed, however, they would not bring me to a phone that worked for outside the airport calls
Finally after midnight the group was declared negative and those that were hanging around the quarentine office were told, but not the bulk of people in the quarentine room. We had to spread the word ourselves.
We were told to head to the Korean Airline transfer desk where we would find out about the next leg of our trip. However once there we were given hotel vouchers and told we would be told our flights in the morning. We insisted, and found out we would be asked to fly via a connecting flight at Chicago Ohare, not a pleasant idea. We were told they could not make a change and that was the flight, but in the morning we could talk to a manager.
We were then brought to the hotel, where we were asked to pay a $100 deposit. Several of our group were not able to do this, so we insisted that they be accomodated. They hotel offered to hold our passports instead, but noone wanted to give up their passports to a stranger.
The deposit apparently was for the minibar..so we though problem easily solved, remove the minibars
We finally got to our rooms at about 330 am, and needed to meet the airline people at 9 am, so it was a short night. After more arguing, we got flights on Korean to Vancouver, where we will transfer to Air Canada.
Hopefully no more sick kids, I know with the lack of sleep, stress, etc, I am starting to feel sick....next I'll be quarentined.