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The Flight Going to the US


Conclusion of blog post: Journey to US Immigrant Visa

So my mother’s US visa was delivered on Nov 11 (yes it was the 11-11-11 day) last year and my sister was able to schedule a US flight for my mother on Nov. 29. Though we are all expecting that my mother would be traveling to the US before year 2011 ends, you can just imagine how busy we all were in November. First my mother had to figure out where to book a flight for my mom. She first asked me to inquire the schedule and rates of Philippine Airlines. When I called PAL, the schedule they gave me was this: my mom would need to have two stop-overs and in both stops, my mom had to wait for six to twelve hours. My mother is traveling alone so we don’t want her waiting that long.

Then my other sister who is working in Abu Dhabi had to go home (only for a one week visit) because she wants to see my mom before her flight to US. She also wants to personally help my mother pack her things because as an OFW for almost 15 years, she is a pro when it comes to traveling abroad. Then we arranged two small despedidas for my mother. I also had to buy some stuff for my sister in the US.

Back to my mom’s flight, my sister just contacted a travel agency from the Philippines and booked a flight for my mother and then gave me the contact details of the agency. My mom and I went to that travel agency to pay in US dollars and claim the ticket and itinerary.

In this flight, my mom had to travel on a Tuesday morning, around 8 am then by 1:00 she would have a stop over in Narita, Japan where she would only stay for two hours. My sister chose Delta Airlines (formerly Northwest Airlines).

Then the next flight would be from Japan to Detroit, USA which is my mom’s US port of entry. She would only stay there for three hours then she would board a flight going to Baltimore. She was set to arrive in US time at 3pm. But in the PH time, that would be around 4 am.

As my mother is not used to traveling overseas, my sister requested wheelchair assistance for her. Though my sister already specified it in to the travel agency, I still called the airlines a day before the flight to confirm the wheelchair assistance and I also informed them that my mother would need help in filling out immigration forms.

I also did little research and found this short but helpful video for those traveling to US for the first time. I let my mother watched his video several times so she would have an idea what woud happen in the course of her flight.


On the day of the flight, we are all up early and arrived in NAIA three hours before the sched. It surely pays to be early, because as my mom is traveling to US for the first time, she still needs to undergo a PDOS seminar. That got me worried for a while but the airport officer told me that the PDOS formality would only take a few minutes. We had to pay PHp400 for this seminar and I filled out an immigration form for my mom. They also checked in and weighed our baggage. I am nervous about this part because my sister requested many items for her balikbayan box.

We are over the 10 kilo-limit but since the excess is only two kilos, they let it pass. I think an excess of up to 5 kilos is allowed. Then we had to take pictures before saying goodbye and bon voyage to my mom. My brother and pamangkins, husband and daughter were all there.

All throughout the flight, I am praying for my mom’s safety. I love Delta Airlines because they have this flight tracker tool in their website- www.delta.com

I was so relieved when I saw my sister’s facebook status about my mom arriving safely in Baltimore. My mother has been in the US for four months now and though she sometimes complains about boredom as there is barely nothing to do around the house (meaning no chores), she is happy and intends to stay for a year before coming back here for a vacation.

5 comments:

evyorian said...

wow! that was a good post...and also thanks for the video. it was an added knowledge. im a first time traveller too. as of now, we don't have ticket yet. my husband's busy looking for a very good airline, like your sister, we couldnt afford to take loooongg flights as i have 3 small children with me. IF only we could book a direct flight but that seems really impossible. Our destination btw, is Sacramento. that's 3-4 hours from San Francisco. I thought senior citizen like ur mom is exempted from PDOS, coz i attended the seminar last week. I think Delta Airlines is a good choice. I hope my husband pick that one.
Hayy the hardest part of all, separating from your loved ones. I can just imagine the pain and tears...just thinking about it makes my heart break into pieces...
I wish all the best to your mom. and to you too! all the best! take care! :)

Mabel said...

yes, my sister said there is no direct flight from Phils. to USA. i am not sure about the PDOS part, i just followed what the airport officer said (lol).i hope you can get a good flight sched soon.your kids must be very excited. San Francisco seems to be a nice place.

i agree about the separation thing. it's really difficult but don't worry constant communication despite the distance is now possible through the net. hey maybe you can start a blog too :-) after several posts and comments, i really feel like you're my friend now. God bless you and your family.

evyorian said...

i have some personal blog already, but i dont think im ready to make it public...i've been thinking about it lately but....maybe soon! i still don't have much time to go online due to busy schedule...but i'm dreaming about it. I want to start one now... hihihi! :)

God bless you and your family too...

Mabel said...

hey evy, again sorry for the late reply, been so busy too. i hope you're well! please let me know if ever you decide to start a public blog a i will add it in my blogroll :-)

evyorian said...

hi! i hope you still remember me! it's been such a long time. My gosh! I can't believe it till now, andito na kami sa US! mag iisang taon na pala sa May. i remember the time na binabasa ko un blog mo, daming naitulong sa akin. Right now, stay at home mom pa rin ako, di pwede mag work kasi 2 yrs old lang youngest ko, 3 sila na alaga ko, un dalawa ages 10 and 6 are doing good in school, good thing nakapag adjust na agad sila. I've been reading ur blog again kasi naka bookmark dito sa laptop ko, nakauwi pala ang mom mo after a year? galing naman, kami din gusto na namin agad makauwi jan...kakamiss din ang Pinas. Lalo na during the holiday season, ibang iba ang pasko jan sa atin. Congrats on your second baby! haha! feeling close na talaga ako...hope to hear from you again! take care! :)

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