Other People on the Plane

We arrived in Taiwan on January 7th aboard a Boeing 777 with about 330 other people. Our imagined “ride with many others coming home to vote” was tested severely in line to check in. The flight, it turns out, was a codeshare with Singapore Airlines, Thai Airlines and one other that we couldn’t identify. Further, many of those checking in all around us had stacks of cardboard cartons addressed to persons and places in Vietnam. When passengers on the non-stop flight deplaned in Taipei, only those of us planning to stay in Taiwan gathered around the luggage carousel, where no cardboard boxes were in evidence. 

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After a round of airline deregulation in the USA in 1978, the Hub and Spoke system for routing became common. I recall hearing someone in the early 80s saying that Eastern Airlines flights “couldn’t get south of Atlanta without stopping in to say hello.” When I began flying regularly in North America I became very familiar with the airports in Chicago, Detroit and Minneapolis. But I’d not really thought of an airport in Taiwan, the “end of the line” for many international flights, as being a hub until rather recently. 

When, about a dozen years ago, airlines from Taiwan and China began flying back and forth between the two nations, more folks flying trans-Pacific began to make connections here. Apparently with code-shares, Taipei has also become a good place to change for South East Asia. This is one additional good thing about Taiwan, one more thing on a long, long list of good things. 

David Alexander now resides in Holland, MI after 39 years in Taiwan. 

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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