New York to Sydney via Los Angeles
07.07.2013 - 09.07.2013
We were due to check out of the hotel by 1.00 pm and were very pleased discover that the hotel provided a free shuttle service to the airport. Our flight wasn't until 6.55 pm (!) But we decided to spend our time at the airport rather than going into New York for a few hours. The Qantas desk wasn't open when we arrived so we waited about an hour and a half before we could even check in. Several people in front of us were pulled up because their luggage was overweight and they had to open their bags and discard stuff or redistribute items in other bags. They did this at the check in counter, which held up the line. Surely they could have moved to the side and let everyone else check in. We had been through this kerbside! in Miami so we knew our weight was okay.
At check in we enquired if there were any business class seats left and how much they were. She directed us back around to ticketting where the British Airways staffer phoned Qantas in Sydney only to be told that we should have done it at the check in. We would have to get on the end of the line, then cancel our check in, then ascertain if there were any business seats available and then decide if we wanted to pay the price. Consequently, we decided to leave things as they were.
Passed through immigration and security okay. It is now about 4.00 pm, so we still had three hours to kill, but the time went surprisingly quickly. We had something to eat and wandered through the duty free shops, but found them very expensive. Read a bit and played computer patience and in no time at all we were boarding. We taxied away from the terminal, on time, at 6.55pm and then sat on the tarmac until 8.30pm. Finally they announced that there had been an engineering problem, which had now been fixed and we had lost our place in the queue but would be taking off soon! Great!
Five hour flight to Los Angeles and with the time difference, we arrived in the terminal at about 11.00pm. We all had to change planes, as some people were getting off in LA, and the rest of us were flying to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. We were at Gate 103 and had to get to Gate 121 in 15 minutes. It was a long way away but we all made it. Delayed again for a little while because a passenger wasn't on board, but his luggage was, so they had to get into the hold and take his luggage off. Finally we were on our way for the 15 hour flight to Sydney. We had two seats together down the back of the plane. We had specifically requested these seats ages ago. They give you a bit more room.
The flight went quite quickly. I slept a lot and Phil watched movies and slept. We were due into Sydney at 7.40am and about an hour out we came into some very rough weather and our plane was hit by lightning. Not to worry says the Captain, this happens all the time. AIrcraft are built to withstand this! Good!
Immigration and customs okay and checked our bags through to Canberra for the final leg. One more security check for Qantas domestic and they found that Phil had a small tool kit in the bottom of his carry on luggage that he had forgotten about. We had been all through America with this in his carry on and no one had picked it up. He had to go back to the transit check in counter and put it in plastic bag and check it through.
Finally landed in Canberra at about lunch time, 8 degrees but sunny and caught a taxi home.
Now the washing and ironing begins!