I got an opportunity to help out in our Brisbane, Australia support center recently. At different times, a couple people from North America are going and a couple people from Europe are going. Today I started my journey to Brisbane. It hasn't gone well so far. My flight from RDU to ATL was delayed by over an hour due to rainy and cloudy weather in Atlanta. By the time I made it to Atlanta I had missed my connecting flight to LAX.
However, luckily for me I had planned to have a big layover in LAX anyway. There was another flight to LAX an hour after my missed flight that would arrive at 10pm with my LAX to BNE flight leaving at 11:25. The exact word I said to the ticketing attendant when she informed me of this was a long exhaling "sweeet." Well it turned out to be a bitter sweet moment. We boarded early, around 8pm for the 8:20 take off. We sat around idly for 20 minutes while the pilot made really lame jokes about how his plans to go to Miami were interrupted because he had "a job which required him to fly to LA." Oh and he also mentioned "but that's what they pay me for." haha okay buddy.
At some point the pilot mentioned that one of his mechanics noticed a panel on the plane that wasn't quite right. It needed to be repaired. The pilot then made a joke about how the panel should take 10 minutes to fix and 20 minutes to do the paper work. In the end we didn't leave until close to 10pm. I was expecting the pilot to make a joke on us about how he felt bad for us and that we had the unfortunate situation of having to chose Delta for our travels. For some reason he never made that joke.
Now remember my flight from LAX to BNE was scheduled to takeoff at 11:25.. Once we finally take off from ATL the in seat monitor informs me we will be arriving either 11:10 or 11:25. Then the captain tells me we are arriving at 11:05pm. We actually do land at 11:05. It takes until 11:25 to get towed up to the gate.
By the time I'm in the terminal the airline staff are calling out "Brisbane." When I go up to the guy he shakes his head and tells me he doesn't think I'm going to make it. (It turns out LAX is so big you have to ride a bus to get from one terminal to the next.) Instead he directs me to the ticketing area to book another flight. It's so late there is no one even there to book me but I noticed some employees off in a tiny office nearby. They're clearly finished for the night and are all talking and eating food. I stand there for a bit in the doorway like an idiot while they stuff cheesburgers in their mouths and stare at me. After just a bit too much awkward silence I just announce "I missed the Brisbane flight." This Aussie chick "Emma" steps up to help me.. she logs onto one of ticketing computers and books me a flight for 9pm Saturday to Sydney, from there I'll have to get *another* connecting flight to Brisbane. She also hooks me up with a "distressed traveller" discount at the local Four Points hotel. I asked her about the status of my checked bags. "Will they stay here tonight or can I get them." She says I can get them and goes off to talk to someone. Oh, turns out the baggage guy is already gone. So I can get them tomorrow at 3pm. Luckily I did end up not putting *all* my toiletries in my checked bag.. I have a toothbrush and toothpaste in my carry on laptop bag. I hope no one notices I'm wearing the same clothes tomorrow that I wore today.
So to wrap it up, in my first day of travel and attempt to get to Brisbane I had two (2) delayed flights, and two (2) missed flights, with one of the missed flights being my final destination. I'm now a day behind schedule and stuck in a hotel in LA with only the clothes on my back, a laptop (thank god ;-)) and a toothbrush.. It's 1:50 am Pacific but I'm three hours behind and we just had Daylight Savings end so it feels like 4:50am to me. Initially I was pretty frustrated with this bad travel luck but then I found myself grinning because it's not often you get an opportunity to do something like this.
Hm, what will I do in LA tomorrow?
Oh, Happy Halloween!