Flights

In Luxembourg and about go to sleep having just finished my 4th flight in 36 hours.

Had near disaster (and not of my making) at Auckland Airport. There were some last minute changes to my tickets and they were meant to be sent to my travel agent Thursday morning for me to pick up. However they got sent to a law firm by mistake and could not be located in time.

What this meant was that Air NZ agreed to let me fly up to Auckland without a ticket, and then at Auckland I would pick up from Air NZ the tickets for the whole journey. Now as there was only 75 minutes between scheduled arrival and departure I was nervous about having time to do this, and got travel agent to check with Air NZ if my luggage could still be checked all the way through from Wellington. They said it could.

However at Wellington Airport they then said I could not, as they needed to see the tickets for the later legs, so I had a maximum of 75 minutes to disembark, pick up my luggage, transfer to the International Terminal, pick up my tickets, check in, and clear security and passport control in time.

Murphy’s law is the flight is delayed 20 minutes. So my margin has shrunk to 55 minutes. Then at Auckland Airport there are no free gates (due to Chch Airport having been closed) so we spent 15 minutes just sitting on the tarmac. I now have 40 minutes.

I sprint to the luggage and wait over ten minutes for the luggage to turn up. It is now less than half an hour before the international flight leaves and I have not even checked in. There were others on the delayed flight for NZ2 to LAX but all of them were already checked in and bags checked through.

I collect up bags (which includes a heavy box of NZ tourism pamphlets) and forget any idea of waiting for shuttle and grab taxi telling the driver I don’t care what he charges me, just to get me there quick.

At the international terminal I go to sales and pick up my tickets and then rush through to checkin. As expected they told me the flight closed 20 minutes ago. It is now around ten minutes until departure.

Once again the Farrar charm comes to the rescue and they get a manager to reopen the flight, and also personally escort me through a back route into the gate area. I think we ended up breaking several security rules by missing hand luggage checks.

Flight takes off a few minutes after I boarded. I seem to be making a habit of these late entries, but for once this was was 100% not my fault.

The London bombings happened during the flight to LAX. Only found out online once I arrived. Was a bit surprised they did not announce the news on the plane, but in hindsight I suppose you don’t really want to tell passengers about terrorist bombings while still in the air.

Security took two hours to get through at LAX and then 11 hours to Frankfurt. A two hour stop there and a very quick (and small) flight to Luxemburg.

In all I read one book, viewed eight airline movies, viewed four laptop movies, read nine newspapers and five magazines during the flights.

Now to see if any news blogging needed, and then to get some sleep so I am up in time for the All Blacks vs Lions test match!

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