What I Learned When I Flew Cathay Pacific (It’s not what you think…)

I was just re-telling this story about Cathay Pacific to my friends yesterday and thought it would be a funny thing to share on my blog.

Back when I was living in Japan we took advantage of our proximity to the rest of Asia to do as much traveling as we could.

One of the carriers that has a lot of routes in that area is Cathay Pacific, which is a pretty decent airline, imo, and we flew them a lot.

Cathay Pacific will get you to Hong Kong and you can take a ferry to Macau for some high stakes gambling.

However – they have a secret.

Each time we flew, we had a layover in their hub in Hong Kong. This was normal. This was expected. The layover was on our ticket, and part of the itinerary.

An expected stop in Hong Kong

What wasn’t normal, is that there was an additional stop (shhhh) that was NOT on the itinerary. An unexpected layover in Taipei, Taiwan.

Just a quick touchdown – maybe for refueling. We never changed planes but we were always forced to leave the plane with our carry ons and go through Taiwanese security.

The scary part was that as we were descending (no turning back now), the captain would come on the overhead speaker and announce:

“We are now making our descent into Taipei and would like to remind passengers that transporting unauthorized drugs into the country is illegal…and punishable by death.”

Ulp.

Thankfully, the most contraband thing we ever had with us was some nouc mam from Vietnam (another story) but we always craned our heads around to see which other passengers might suddenly be sweating bullets or running for the bathroom with their carry on. 😀

Checking the nouc mam at the “factory”
Where did you think fish sauce came from?
The freshest fermented fish in all the land.

Moral of the story? Flyer beware! You might get more (stops) than you bargained for.

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