Day 217, Year 2: Stuck in Sydney
Date: Monday, November 27, 2007
Weather: Beautiful in Bundaberg; Cloudy in Brisbane
Location: En route from Bundaberg, Australia to USA
This was the day of delays. We had booked airport transport for 9 AM even though our flight didn’t leave until 12:15 PM. As this sad story develops, you will see that this was a good idea, but not good enough. The van picking us up taking us to the Brisbane airport was late. He delivered us to the Brisbane International Airport as our Orbitz flight information indicated. We unloaded all of the heavy luggage, got it inside, and then found out–wrong airport. We needed to be in the Brisbane Domestic
terminal. That required hauling the luggage on a cart down one floor and across a long walkway, taking it off the cart and putting it on another elevator, getting off and carrying each piece quite a ways down a train platform, and waiting for more than 40 minutes for a train to take us to Brisbane Domestic. It was less than a five minute ride, but too far to walk. We got off the train at the Domestic terminal and had to carry the heavy luggage one piece at a time a very, very long way down the
train platform. No carts! Each bag weighs 70 pounds, so this was a Herculean effort on Mark’s part. Finally, as Mark was carrying the last bag, a train employee saw what was happening and unlocked a door to give us a cart that we could use to carry the luggage across a long walkway to the terminal. We finally made it to the Quantas check-in. I had out my wallet for identification. Then we had a weight problem. One bag was 1.5 kilos overweight but one was 1.5 under, so we had to transfer some
things. In the process, unknowingly I left my wallet laying on the counter. I never needed ID as Mark had our Passports, so after checking-in we went upstairs to the Food Court before heading to our departure gate. We were having a snack when I heard my name on the loudspeaker. I went to the counter and the gentleman who had checked us in was there and asked if I was missing something. I clicked off all the bags and said I thought we had everything. Then he produced my wallet with all my credit
cards and driver’s license. I was so grateful. At least something good had happened today.
We waited for our flight to Sydney, but it was late coming in and late leaving. Then when we got close to Sydney the pilot announced that the Sydney airport was backed up and we had been put in a holding pattern. We finally landed at 3:15 PM with our flight to San Francisco leaving at 4:15 PM. We still thought we were okay, but then we had to go to a transfer area to wait on a bus to take us from the Domestic to the International terminal. At least we did not have the heavy luggage, but we waited,
and waited, and waited, and no bus. I was getting very nervous, but there was absolutely nothing we could do. When we finally reached the International terminal, we found we had to walk a long distance to get to the United check-in. As we were practically running, I heard a young woman call Mark’s name. She acted like she was the bearer of good news, telling us that she had us booked on tomorrow’s flight to San Francisco. Our hearts sank. She explained that they closed the flight 45 minutes
before take off and it was now ten minutes to take-off. So then the saga began of claiming that heavy luggage once again and getting Quantas convinced that they needed to take care of our meals, transport, and lodging. All of that worked out and here we are in an airport hotel for the night. We met a woman on the transport to the hotel that had the same problem as us, so we are having dinner with her tonight, compliments of Quantas. I’m writing this in hopes that the wireless internet here is
going to work. We had no internet access in Brisbane, so I am having to send yesterday’s log and then this one. I will write a final log for the cruising season tomorrow and send it from San Francisco. That is, assuming we get to San Francisco. Wish us luck!