I have arrived in Korea! It is Sunday morning and after a few hours of shut eye, a few hours of texting with people in the States (more out of excitement that I could than jet lag), I am here to provide my first update!
Thursday, December 20th at approximately 6:45pm, I boarded Alaska Airlines flight 645 from San Antonio, TX to Seattle-Tacoma. It was an uneventful flight and other than the delay in departure, it was smooth sailing. Upon arriving, I gathered my 4 suitcases and somehow found the USO lounge for some R and R before embarking on the long-haul flight. However, I found no rest, and certainly no relaxation lol Because it was a "flight night" as they called it, the USO was CROWDED! The sleeping room was full, every couch was full with more sleeping travelers, and every seat in the TV room, lounge area, and computer room were taken by more sleeping patrons. So, I settled for eating a snack in the food area since traveling can make one a bit peckish lol Since we had to check-in between 1:30am and 4:30am, I was not in a position to get good rest anyway. So I spent about 2 hours at the lounge before then lugging my luggage across the airport once again. Thankfully the Seattle Airport had one security gate open so I opted to spend the rest of my lounging past security rather than returning to the USO lounge.
The Patriot Express aka AMC Flight aka Space-A is nothing to write home about. But alas, here I am writing about it. The flight was a contracted flight by Omni Air International on a Boeing 767-300 with all economy seats. There were two flights out to Osan AFB by way of Misawa AFB this week. The first flight of the week had a whooping 230+ passengers and the flight I took Friday morning had a passenger count holding strong at 40. Needless to say, we had our own rows with many to spare. When I say everything I was told and read about an AMC flight fell short, I mean, it truly fell short.
Imagine a grungy greyhound bus. It's clean enough that you feel you can sit in it but you don't particularly want to touch anything you don't have to and would probably throw away anything that touched the floor...that was what it was like flying on this airplane. The food: it can only be called food because it was semi recognizable and at the point right before it becomes non-edible. Anyway, as you can imagine, there were no bells and whistles. It was a FAR cry from airlines like Emirates, Turkish Air, or even IcelandAir. But, the flight attendants were nice enough and the pilots delivered us safely, and for that, I'm thankful.
We were not allowed to take pictures of the flight line so I don't have my desired "Welcome to Korea" picture from the outside of the arrivals terminal. But, it was cool having the experience of flying to an AFB rather than commercially. Upon arriving to Osan, we were herded into a small, hot room where we were instructed on how to complete our customs forms. After waiting for at least another 10 minutes in this room that must of been 80 degrees while sitting in winter coats, we were finally told that we could go through customs and immigration. I quickly went through customs, picked up my luggage and was welcomed by 3 smiling faces.