Second morning of our journey begins with decent breakfast offered by the Mercure hotel we stay in. Part of the Eclipse Tour team who took a rest last evening before going back to the airport take opportunity to explore hotel neighbourhood. Our shuttle bus arrives with 20 minutes delay but this is not an issue because we have plenty of time before upcoming flight.
After mandatory security checks and passport control procedure we are ready to fly to our point of destination. It is about 45 minutes left till boarding and some of it goes to do routine airport window-shopping. Most of the team lead to a remote gate where additional security checks are expected for people travelling to United States. And there is unpleasant surprise for us – security officer after checking Loreta’s documents announce that previously acquired ESTA is not valid because of passport number mismatch in both documents and she is not allowed to board. An hour remained until the end of the boarding is dedicated to resolve this issue. Unfortunately due to technical reasons Loreta is unable to acquire new ESTA and therefore she and Austris are forced to stay in Istanbul. It is severe loss for our team.
As we are heading to West the Sun is shining in the sky during all the twelve hours long flight. One can say that we have returned to past or had a special long last day of July as when we landed in San Francisco there is still 31 July. After the Customs and border control we meet Agnese who arrived just two hours later from L.A. Afterwards we take a public transport and go by groups to our accommodation sites. Could be that everyone is tired after such a long flight and needs to gain energy for next day when we are going to explore the city of San Francisco.
Later it was found out from the US embassy that Turkish Airlines had no right to deny the boarding because of missing ESTA. There always is a chance to acquire ESTA after landing in the US as it’s a very quick process (of course ESTA can be denied and then it’s not a quick process at all)