One Long day

Travel from Australia to most parts of the world involves marathon flights and associated transfers and waiting. This was no exception.

Because we will be away for several weeks it made little sense to pay to park our car in Brisbane. Instead we cleared our garage to make room for our house sitter to park, left our car at home, and took a one way rental to the airport. For a 10:25 am flight to Sydney that required rising at 6:00 am to have breakfast, farewell Hannah and her kids who had come to say farewell and stay over night, drive to Brisbane, say hello to Jane on the way through, and make it to the airport sometime after 9:00 am.

Self service check-in could not cope with the OS connection but the Qantas staff sorted that and we were on our way. We had time for a second breakfast and coffee in the Qantas Club at Brisbane but the transfer to the international terminal in Sydney was crowded and we reached our gate with no major hassles but little time to spare.

The flight was crowded. As usual I set my watch to the destination time zone as soon as we boarded. We departed shortly after 10:30 pm Friday on Dallas time (1:30 pm Saturday in Sydney). I manage to watch a couple of movies and eat dinner/lunch before deciding that 2:00 am was time for sleep. I dozed on and off until 7:45 am, apparently soundly enough to miss the mid-night pizza and ice cream distributions. After waking I watched another couple of movies, ate breakfast, and listened to some music before we landed in Dallas at bit after 1:30 pm Saturday – near enough to the same time we left Sydney after about 15 hours in the air.

Immigration, baggage collection, and customs were slow but that was no real bother to us since our original scheduled flight had been changed and we were not scheduled to leave until around 6:00 pm. Once through that we cleared security again with the full shoes and belts off and body scan characteristic of major US airports, rode the overhead ‘train’ from Terminal D to Terminal C and found our way to the Admiral’s Club where we could relax and wait for the flight to Dulles.

When we checked in at Brisbane I noticed that we were not seated together for the final leg to Dulles so I looked to change seats. The only two I could see together were in an exit row so I grabbed them. As we went to board at Dallas we were pulled aside. I don’t know if that was triggered by my change of seats in Brisbane but it worked out well. We were upgraded for the final leg – front row, plied with drinks, and real food. We arrived in Dulles tired but relaxed after snoozing for the last part of the flight.

Baggage took some time to get to the carousel but it all arrived and we found the waiting shuttle to our room at the airport Marriott. The bed was welcome after more than 30 hours of travel.

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