The Land Down Under – Australia Getting There

Travel Hurdles

 Although my flight from SeaTac to The Land Down Under was scheduled to leave late in the day my husband’s business schedule caused me to arrive at the airport at 8 am for a 6:45 pm flight. I like being early-yes this is a bit much but with the perks from being a Delta Gold Medallion you can get earlier flights without having to pay for it. Nice right? Next earliest flight was 5:25 pm. I know no big difference but I took it any way. One hurdle down next was to deal with checking my bags 9 hours early. All the years I traveled I didn’t know you can store and check your luggage for a later flight with the skycap. For a fee of course $9 not a bad deal to get checked all the way through to Brisbane my first stop to the land down under.

 Thank goodness Delta Gold’s go right past the incredible long lines of vacation travelers through the premium line at security. It’s so early Delta Sky Club here I come. On the way I stopped at the Currency Exchange to pick up Australia dollars for my trip to the land down under. This is where I meet Patrick.  He is a musician and has an e-commerce site but wants to learn social media so he can use it more effectively. Of course this was my cue to give him a coupon to Strategies for Networking Successfully with Social Media. Then I make my way to the lounge. A nice place to spend my 9 hours since there’s free food, drinks, internet access and NORMAL business travelers. I’m feeling pretty good, got a lot of work done, feel secure all checked in and ready for my trip.

The Flight to The Land Down Under

The flight to LA went off without a hitch. LA to Brisbane had some interesting twists and turns. The international terminal for Qantas in LAX is at Terminal 4 but I landed in terminal 5 they aren’t connected. I asked 4 different people how to get to Qantas gate and go 4 different answers all of them different accept for the fact you must go back through security to get to the Qantas gate. Two people told me to catch the bus to terminal 4. After a long wait for the bus I saw a sign to terminal 4 right behind me – it was in walking distance. OMG! Finally I got checked in at the Qantas gate but my electronic travel visa (now it’s been check 3 times) has a problem. Apparently my passport number was input incorrectly – interesting Qantas caught it and none of the others did.

The Qantas plane is huge with gracious staff so friendly and pleasant. I have a middle seat, dang that really sucks on a 14 hour flight at least I can stretch length wise. I reviewed my seminars, watched Oblivion (glad we didn’t pay to see this) and The White House Fallen (didn’t Jamie Fox & Channing Tatum just do this even better).  The free dinner & drinks are nice. I slept well & was awakened by nice warm breakfast, next thing you know we were landing at 7 am Brisbane time on a beautiful sunny day.

The Arrival to The Land Down Under

Traveling to the Land Down Under

When Your Luggage Doesn’t Make it

There were long lines at customs and getting through took a while I just have to pick up my luggage and go meet the limo driver. There’s a few hiccups! Can you believe my luggage (remember I paid $9 to have it stored and checked) it didn’t show up. Great! Qantas customer service is so nice, they are laughing and having fun, making fun of me and my first visit to Australia and my luggage not showing up. I was not really bothered by the luggage situation other than the $9 I spent to prevent this from happening. They say don’t worry we’ll take care of you. We’re going to give you some money, find your bag and drop it at your hotel.  We completed all the paper work and they give me a nice package with toiletries and pajamas including a MasterCard with $100 on. What? The United States airline service providers never treat us so well. So worst case I have $100 to purchase a new suit if I have to.

This episode didn’t take extremely long I was the only one at the Qantas service counter so imagine how surprised I waswhen I couldn’t find the limo driver – dang I was really looking forward to taking a picture of the sign with my name on it. Imagine the simple solution to this problem doesn’t pan out what would you do?