It’s never a good sign when the captain says, “Ladies and gentleman, due to poor weather in Ho Chi Minh City we are going to have to divert.”
I just cannot seem to escape drama on this trip. After booking a seat with only minutes to spare, I boarded what I hoped would be a quick and uneventful 1hr flight from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City.
The flight was not full and I ended up with a comfortable row to myself just behind business class. Legroom was superb. After takeoff, FAs offered a light meal and I sat back and relaxed, choosing simply to close my eyes and take a breather during the flight.
The weather looked fine (just a few clouds) and we did not even really shake much as we began our initial descent into Ho Chi Minh City. But as we neared the runway for an on-time arrival, suddenly the engines accelerated and our gradual descent became a steep and rapid climb.
But then the captain spoke up.
“Ladies and gentleman, you may have noticed that we had to abandon our landing due to poor weather in Ho Chi Minh City, It appears we are going to have to divert to a nearby airport. We have 20-mintues of fuel left and have we have been given permission to circle the airport for 15 more minutes. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Can you imagine how inconvenient that would have been? Arriving in to Vietnam without a visa and missing my flight to Doha?
This sort of thing happens. I figured if it did we’d just have to refuel, wait out the rain delay, then would continue on to Ho Chi Minh City. My concern was not the visa. But it was the missed connection.
I doubt Qatar would be very sympathetic on a $672 business class ticket to my late arrival.
Where Would We Land?
15 minutes later we left our holding pattern and began another rapid descent. We heard nothing further from the captain, making it anyone’s guess which airport we would land in.
With 30 seconds before landing, the Captain simply said, “FAs, landing positions please.”
We touched down. I noticed a building with a Vietnam Airlines logo on it. Were we in Ho Chi Minh City?
No one ever said where we landed, but I confirmed it was indeed SGN as we pulled up to the terminal building.
Nothing like a sultry afternoon storm to almost ruin a trip…
> Read More: How I Nearly Ruined My Qatar QSuite Trip