Friday, May 01, 2009

Hong Kong Hotel: You Can Check In, But You Can't Check Out

First an update on that ridiculous diversion today of a United flight bound from Germany to Washington. A passenger said she didn't feel well, and the pilot decided to head not for Washington but for Boston, where of course a media circus ensued as the plane full of passengers was treated as if it was full of anthrax.

Media circus tents have folded up now that it appears the lady who wasn't feeling so hot turns out to have been, well, just not feeling so hot.

Meanwhile, a hotel in Hong Kong is not allowing its guests to check out after one guest was diagnosed with the flu -- although in this case, it's important to note that the authorities said the man was a certified case of the swine flu.

The quarantined hotel is the Metro Park Hotel in the Wanchai district, linked to here, and having to stay there for a while sure beats having to stay at, say, the Hotel Carter on Times Square.

Plus, Hong Kong has been here before, during the SARS virus outbreak in 2002-2003 that killed 299 people there. The SARS outbreak in Hong Kong was traced to an infection that spread from a hotel.

I was in Hong Kong a few weeks after that situation settled down in 2003, and the sense of fear in the city was palpable. On the other hand, you could get a harbor-view suite at the Peninsula Hotel for about $19 a night. Always look on the bright side of life, ta-da.


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