Reporting from the international lounge at LAX. After a series of mini-adventures that unfolded throughout the week that threatened to derail the airtight schedule of the next few weeks, I'm just glad that my ass is in the sterile zone waiting for departure. The bags were slightly overweight with only a 3lb cushion for my personal stuff, and my glasses decided to ditch a screw so now they're being held together by a paper clip.
I had to sort out a mess with the flagship carrier airline, who informed me less than a week of departure that my bookings could not be honored because of a US law that does not allow them to basically usurp similar routes that customers can get through domestic carriers (read: LAX-GUM costs almost 2x vs. LAX-MNL-GUM-MNL combined). Long story short, I had to throw a Saipan leg of my journey out the window to accommodate a 72 hour window wherein I'll be lollygagging in Manila.
And to top it off, I found out during check-in that the GUM refuel ain't happening, it's a straight flight, and the 'cabotage law' monkey wrench that effed everything over disappeared in an instant. Thanks for all drama! It's so great to finally be 28. :)