So how did the saga end? To summarise very quickly I’ve traveled to Atlanta for a meeting at the CDC. I’ve had three of six flights cancelled. On Friday afternoon USCDT after I published my last post outlining the most significant cancellation I went to my room and noticed a voice mail had been left for me. The message said that Qantas was sending a bus at 5 pm and I should be in the lobby by then. I’d been in the lobby all day lol
I grabbed my stuff and went back to the lobby and set up my devices again, you know MacBook, iPad and iPhone plus my BlackBerry. At about 1630 CDT a Qantas agent arrived and started marking off peoples’ names. The bus arrived at 1700 CDT, we got on board and then drove to the airport. We all nearly died when the driver had to slam on the brakes because the person in front had stopped so he could enter another lane. There was a heap of road to merge but this driver stopped and wanted to enter immediately. Our bus driver let him know what he thought. The bus horn blasted for at least a minute and some more after we passed him.
On getting to the airport some passengers assumed they could use yesterday’s boarding pass and go straight to security. I assume they don’t travel much. The rest of us found the Qantas check-in counters and queued. The queues were huge because there was the regular QF8 plus our special flight, viz., QF7008. There were five economy lines, one premium economy line and one business class line. Well that’s the official story. The signage made it look like two business class lines. When one line kept getting preference tempers frayed and some passengers started remonstrating with the Qantas agent who, poor fellow, was just trying to do his job. It’s sad how some people get really nasty with people who have no real control.
Anger was demonstrated again from some passengers who were told last night they would have an opportunity to upgrade from economy to business class at the check-in counters. The staff at the check-in counters had enough on their plate and there were no upgrade seats available anyway.
I felt sorry for one bloke who didn’t seem to know what to do. He had entered the line correctly but he looked impatient so he tried to go to another area of the terminal I assume he was an American Airlines code share passenger and tried to check-in there. When I saw him next he was the last person in the longest line looking quite disturbed.
The security area was the next challenge with a couple of the lines closed which meant long queues. I wonder about some people who assume they can just push into lines because they don’t like waiting. It’s a good thing human beings are largely kind hearted. I expect the presence of TSA officers also keeps people calm knowing they can be carted away if they create a disturbance.
Once through security I made my way to the lounge which was already filling up. I parked myself in the business centre and set up my devices and kept myself busy.
Dallas Fort Worth International terminal check-in zone
I liked this. It was high up on a very tall wall. It was so bright it kept me awake.
When I got into the lounge they had just put out Bain-marie with hot food in them. This plate had turkey chilli and beef sausages on it with chips (crisps). The beef sausages were quite tasty, a mild spice but not too spicy.
After a couple of hours it was tea time. Dead Duck Dilbert needed a soothing cup of Earl Grey “black and hot” just the way Captain Picard likes it.
On the way out of the Qantas club I noticed an old British Airways model Concorde and thought it would be a good photograph with 3D.
I left the Qantas club a few minutes before the designated boarding time of 2115 CDT. As I arrived at gate D11 there were already lots of passengers assembled. They were obviously keen to get on board. After a few minutes I noticed from the aerobridge Qantas crew were emerging. They were the crew from our aborted flight from the night before. They were headed to another gate. A few passengers tried to engage them in conversation but they wouldn’t stop. They weren’t rude, they just didn’t look like they wanted to speak. Minutes later an announcement was made that passengers for flight QF7008 needed to head to gate D14. As we approached the gate we noticed our crew from the night before. Shortly after another announcement was made that passengers for tonight’s QF8 would need to proceed to gate D11. We all started wondering what was going on. Then another announcement, passengers for flight QF7008 were told our flight would be delayed. we weren’t told for how long. In the end we waited over an hour. We heard snippets from the crew about our bags being moved from one aircraft to this one mating with the D14 aerobridge. We also heard the aircraft we were originally assigned to had no food on board. An earlier announcement had flight QF8 being delayed so that QF7008 could get away on time. There were not enough staff to handle two identical flights simultaneously. When we boarded flight QF7008 well over an hour late, we sat on board for another 30 minutes further delaying our departure. We were told it was because cargo was being transferred from QF8 to QF7008. I assume because it was already a day late. As time passed the Captain made a surprise comment that the loading shouldn’t take anything more than 10 minutes assuming the ground staff weren’t lying again. It took longer. This reminded me of a great e-mail I received from a fellow blogger Barb the Salmon Fishing Queen | Click here for the story of Kulula airlines.
Interestingly the crew had kept our dinner and breakfast requests from the night before. I had chosen the rib fillet and potatoes au gratin. I was asked if I wanted to change my mind. I said yes, I’d go with the chicken schnitty given last night when I chose steak we didn’t fly. In an attempt to be optimistic I even changed into pyjamas and folded up my day clothes.
Green salad and schnitty sandwich with coleslaw.
Muesli with a plate of bacon and eggs and some mushrooms (not in shot)
The flight was good albeit a little bumpy. The head winds weren’t a problem and the total flight was a little under 16 hours. We didn’t need to stop in Noumea or Auckland. I managed to get about six hours of sleep and did some work while on board. On landing my passage through passport control and customs was uneventful. There was a DAFF Biosecurity labrador and handler in the baggage claim hall. The labrador was so cute. He came and sniffed at me and my bags. Australian passport control is so easy now in an age of electronic passports. I proceeded with no difficulty. I was optimistic my bag would come through, it was one of the last on the conveyor belt. I was just happy it was there. I managed to check it in for my last leg and took the bus from the international terminal to the domestic terminal.
Brisbane Qantas Club
It was good to be home in Australia in my home town as I waited for my flight to Canberra
3D in the Qantas Club Brisbane
3D wanted some yoghurt
With the time difference between Brisbane and Canberra this is lunch.
The last flight was uneventful. Quick and easy. I caught a cab and unlike previous airport cab journeys the driver was competent and knew exactly where to take me. He didn’t even smell bad.
After getting home and showering and starting some clothes washing I went grocery shopping. I’m craving home cooking.
Dinner with Bron
Pork with green vegetables. It was so good to have a home cooked meal and vegetables.
Chocolate ganache tart made with port and berries and cream
So I’m home. My washing is nearly complete. I’ll iron my clean shirts tomorrow night and I’ll be back at work in the morning. It was a great meeting in Atlanta and an adventure in terms of travel. Out of six flights, three were cancelled. The major disruption was the DFW to BNE flight which had to be cancelled and rescheduled >24 hours after the original flight time. I missed Bron. It was good to see her tonight and have a home cooked meal at her place 🙂
Until next time…good night
- Qantas and Virgin claim on-time lead (bigpondnews.com)
- iPads for Qantas In-flight Entertainment (ubergizmo.com)
- Qantas cancels Adelaide-Singapore flights (abc.net.au)
- Dreamliner cash lifts Qantas profits (bbc.co.uk)
- American Airlines adds Android in the sky (reviews.cnet.com)
- Qantas expands in-flight iPad program for passengers (tuaw.com)
- I never want to fly again. I mean it this time. (whichwaynow101.wordpress.com)
- Qantas expands in-flight iPad program for passengers (applios.wordpress.com)
- Kangaroo Route Turns Chinese With Flights to Guangzhou – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)