Sleep is almost impossible no matter what you tell yourself before the flight. Even though we have done it all before there are so many things to look at and do, then their are the meal. Is it the fear of missing out? Air travel is ultimately just like catching a really big bus except 1000 times more expensive. Would you eat food that was served up on the bus you caught to work if it was offered? Sitting here I imagine bus food would be some sort of curry for some reason. On the flight between Perth and Melbourne it was a hotdog. More bus food than plane food. I watched a couple of episodes of Flight of the Concords. So simple yet so funny. Just like a hotdog on an expensive bus trip! (I was wrong when I said Virgin Australia in a past blog. We are flying on Qantas both flights. We were going to book Virgin but Qantas came in cheaper at the last moment..)
Just getting to this flight was an exercise! Although we are booked all the way to Las Vegas we departed from the domestic terminal. We have backpacks and like to have them shrink wrapped to avoid damage and the only place we can do that is the international terminal... It's a 15 minute shuttle ride away. Then on the way back we got on the long term car park bus and did a lap of the car parks and back to where we had come from instead of the domestic terminal. As we bought new sleeping bags and wanted to claim the GST back we had to repackage our bags because they will want to see them... We have 2 large sleeping bags in our carry on luggage because they won't process the claim until we are departing the country....that's in Melbourne not Perth. We also forgot about the dateline and had our friend in Vegas ready to collect us 24 hours early.
Anyway, we're on the big flying bus on the way to the US and nothing can stop us now! I can still remember my first international flight well. It was to Perth! Better yet, I can remember my first flight anywhere. I remember saying to Dad that I could see the toy cars and houses out of the window. It's funny the things that stick in your memory seemingly forever. Air travel is an event that feels so impossible it's something that's hard to forget. Having said that, I don't remember them all! I am however old enough to remember when smoking was permitted on flights, and when you could drink unlimited alcoholic drinks. Both of those activities are really a recipe for disaster and it's no wonder the party is over. I guess the only thing left is the mile high club, and I'm told that's never going to happen.. So it's more and more like a really long bus trip to work every time I fly now days. That is until we started the next leg, Melbourne to Los Angeles. We were on an Airbus A300-800. The new giant double decker jobs. Maybe not brand new but everything looked newish enough to believe it was brand new. It was a bit more exciting. A like being in a new car for the first time. You get pretty keen to look around and the excitement comes back to it all a bit. This time we really got lucky with our seats too. At first we didn't think so though. We looked at the on line booking info and compared it to 'seat guru' and oh no, we are at the very last row up against a bulkhead with a big galley/kitchen behind us. On a trip from Frankfurt to Tokyo we had similar seats and it was hell. We couldn't recline the seats and had a terrible flight. We tried to call the airline to see if we could change the seats... The polite recorded voice at the Qantas call centre said we were in a queue and they expected to be able to answer our call in 60 minutes.. Oh well, that's that we thought. Christine did some more checking and found some information on the Trip Adviser web site about the seats that said they were actually really good. It turns out seat guru will say any seat against a bulkhead is bad by default. Trip Adviser was right, they were good seats and the meal was pretty good as well. More like a flying 'lounging restaurant' than the bus type affair we dealt with earlier that day. The area at the very back of the plane where we were seated took me a while to understand because it is only 5 rows of economy seats with the remainder of the top deck being business and premium economy. So this little bit of standard economy is the buffer so the expensive seats don't have to deal with the galley noise. I'm pretty sure that's the only reason it's there! It was good. Fast meal service, no queue for the toilet and we were able to enter and exit the plane with the business class travelers. But perhaps best of all, the staff that looked after our small area were the business class staff. We really did feel like we got better than normal service. Maybe this is just the new Qantas? We also had a full on movie marathon... That's right, exhausted from maybe 2 or at best 3 hours of sleep over 26 hours of travel but glued to the little screen the entire way. I watched Deadpool, Wild (both great) and Ted 2 and some more TV shows and Christine watched The Shawshank Redemption, Wild, Spotlight, The Theory Of Everything and some of Deadpool.
Los Angeles airport or LAX is a very, very busy place, and we arrived early in the morning! People everywhere, all the shops and bars were open and busy. We had some trouble finding our Las Vegas flight but made it to Vegas with no incident. We were collected from the airport by our friend Alpha and after a 2 hour nap at her house, we headed straight to the 'local' casino for a buffet dinner... WELCOME TO VEGAS BABY. The city that doesn't sleep has 2 new visitors and we are fitting in just fine.
it's Our Epic Trip...
David & Christine are from New Zealand and are embarking on a trip around the world the slow way, on foot and by personal vehicle. This could get interesting!