We arrived at the airport about an hour later than we had planned to arrive. There was a minor complication that actually had me stressing for ten minutes. When I applied for our Australian visas I accidentally put my dad's birthday as my son's birthday. I realized that right after I did it and I had gone to the Australian website to see what I needed to do to fix it. The FAQ said to just apply again. So I did…and that was the end of that.
Well, when I went to check in my son they said there was a problem as he had two visas in his profile and as a result the agent could not check him in. She was going to need to place a call to get the visa removed. I was concerned because I was not sure how long it would take to fix…and I was worried he would not be considered checked in and his seat would be given to someone else.
The agent came back ten minutes later and all was well. We then proceeded through security and then headed to the lounge for twenty minutes. The lounge was ok – not as nice as the Delta lounge at JFK. The bathroom was really small – there were only two stalls. And I was not impressed with the food options.
We arrived at our gate right as they were starting to board. We waited in line and took our seats. Rachel and I were in the first row and the men were right behind us. The first thing the flight attended did was confirm that Rachel and I had the gluten free meals.
We got settled in our seats and then we enjoyed a pre-departure beverage. I had champagne, Rachel had a Coke. Take off then occurred around 10:50 pm and we settled in for a fifteen hour flight!
The goal for me on this flight was to stay up as late as I could before falling asleep. This was because we were landing in Sydney around 6:50 AM and I wanted to wake up as close to that time as possible.
By now you may realize that we flew business class to Australia….our four business class tickets cost us roughy $350 for ALL FOUR tickets. We were able to do this as we have saved our miles for years. We also took advantage of generous credit card sign up offers. We knew that if we were ever going to fly somewhere business class that it would be to Australia…that is one of the longest flights you can take and there are not a lot of options on getting there.
Two hours after taking off we received drinks and an appetizer. At first I was slightly excited as the appetizer for Rachel and I had rolls on it. I quickly asked if they were gluten free and then our appetizer was quickly wisked back away. We then received another appetizer….Rachel was being a real trooper…she was extremely tired and was upset when she saw other people eating bread. She really misses good bread…
I asked the flight attendant if Rachel could get her meal a little early since she was starving, and they were fine with that. I was so excited when that meal came out and it was plain chicken, rice, and broccoli. Three things which I knew she would eat.
After dinner the rolled out the ice cream cart. By this time it was 1:30 AM Pacific time. I had vanilla ice cream with hot fudge sauce while Rachel had vanilla ice cream with whip cream.
Following dinner and dessert I changed into the pajamas. As I walked through the cabin I observed many people were already asleep….yet my kids were going strong. By this time we still had eleven hours plus left of the flight. I changed my seat into a bed and actually managed to sleep for at least seven, possibly eight hours. When I finally got up there was still three hours remaining of flight time.
I drifted in and out of sleep for the next hour and a half. When there was 1.5 hours left of the flight they started waking passengers up for arrival. They asked me if Rachel and I wanted a beverage and we both had a Coke. Less than than two minutes after they handed us the cokes Rachel managed to spill hers all over my seat and my pants. I packed extra shirts for all of us but neglected to pack extra pants…since I figured we were more likely to spill on our shirts than pants….
Breakfast was served and our gluten free meal was actually sufficient enough for Rachel and I. She had some fruit, I ended up eating potatoes and an omelette.
After breakfast service it was time to start cleaning up. I put my contacts in and brushed my teeth. I cannot believe how fast the flight seemed to go by. I didn't even finish the only movie I started….
I am not sure what to expect with customs. I plan to declare everything. I have a mini cooler that contains food and while I think I can bring it all in to Australia I would rather declare it and have them check it than face a fine. Additionally the kids and I have been in lakes in the past week, so our shoes and clothing may need to undergo some scrutiny.
Once we exit customs we have a two things we need to take care of before we leave the airport. We need to obtain Australian dollars from an ATM and I need to get a SIM card for my personal phone. I have a work phone that is enabled for international service but I really only hope to use that when I am on wifi only, and it costs $10 a day for that. If this was just a one week trip I would be fine with that but since we will be gone a while I would prefer to spend $20 AUD for a lot more data.
I have to say this flight flew by. This was my first experience in business class and it was wonderful. Normally when I fly overseas I don't feel rested and feel like I need a nap immediately. However right now I feel like I could go siteseeing. I think we will check into our lodging, change our clothes, and go explore….and then probably come back in the afternoon for an hour nap or two. I wonder how jet lag will be for us over the course of the next week.