As you all know, RFF first brought you the info about C/J on the flight from Beijing on towards Hawaii.
Here is the rest of the story.
While we have had this information since well before the show aired, I personally felt that it wouldn't be fair to the first teams that would be eliminated or to all the fans enjoying speculating on their favorites to release this info too soon. But after tonight we will have our final five, so I think it is finally okay to share this with you all.
I have been fortunate enough to be in contact with someone who came across the race in Beijing, on the way to Tokyo. Thanks to an enormous amount of time and help from her, I am able to bring you a good bit of info. This would be the connecting flight Beijing>Tokyo>Hawaii.
This description has been edited by me in order to combine a series of email exchanges and in order to simplify the info, so any mistakes in the editing are mine. My inserts/edits have been italicized, the rest is in her words.
Most of this comes in response to questions I posed.
We were flying on an Air China/ANA code share from Beijing to Tokyo on the 21st of November, flight later ID’d as CA925/NH5702 0930-1350
.All persons seen by her were confirmed by her matching photos.
At the terminal we discovered we had ended up on the same flight as the cheerleaders (Cara/Jaime)
and the Mom/son (Margie/Luke)
. To the annoyance of the airline ground staff the film crew kept trying to jump ahead in line and was filming other passengers boarding the plane. I pray my exhausted scowl does not make national television. It would not be an attractive moment to have aired.
Once we got on the plane, one sound man in particular seemed keen on climbing over seats to make sure he was involved.
Aside from the camera crew cutting in various lines and being a touch rude, I don't honestly remember much else aside from the fact that the cheerleaders were glad another team was fighting and said as much to the Mom/son team. I will say I was surprised at how open the crew was about needing to get certain shots like "the waiting for the plane door to close shot."
Those two teams split in a different direction once we left the plane in Tokyo as we went for our (personal info removed)
flight and they went to Hawaii (overheard them saying) and they went onward.
came across Phil at the JAL
transfer desk in Tokyo
. He was actually traveling with Tammy/Victor and BVM
They were ahead of us in line.
I do recall Victor was very nice to the crew and was trying to get the crew members window seats to sleep by to their next destination...Honolulu. They did film them at the counter if I recall.
I'm not sure if they were staying there or not as none of them mentioned anything beyond that. this group which included Phil, BVM (see below), and Tammy/Victor had NOT been seen by her on her flight.
Phil didn't really interact with anyone besides an older man who I would assume was a producer of some sort. Photo confirmation that this was Bertram Van Munster—insert:
And it definitely was Bertram Van Munster that was with them, he and Phil didn't really interact with anyone but each other.
The crew and such traveling with Phil/BVM/Tammy/Victor
were considerably nicer than the ones on her flight
discussing how they had been celebrating someone's birthday a few days prior and someone had accidentally ruined the surprise cake by letting the secret slip.
Once past the transfer desk we had to go downstairs to the Bus station to transfer to another Terminal where we again came across Phil and Tammy/Victor. We rode the bus with them to the other terminal and then lost them in the chaos that is Narita airport.
… I asked if she was able to get a feel for who might be in the lead at that point, or if these could be decoys: To be honest, none of the groups really seemed to be too excited or racing, so it would be hard to say as neither group we saw really seemed all that "race like."