Incidents of Travel Past is still going strong. This time, I get “Lost” on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles. Yes, Sydney to LAX.
In late 2012 I went to Australia for the first time. I spent New Years in Melbourne, then a week in Far North Queensland with Brad, before heading to Sydney to spend my last week in Sydney with yet another old friend from camp, Robby.
Sydney was experiencing an epic heat wave at the time. I am not exaggerating. It was 110 degrees Fahrenheit. On my last night in Australia Robby and I went out, got some Thai, and then were sitting around at the Sydney Festival, when I get an e-mail… from
Oceanic United Airlines. My flight the next day was cancelled due to mechanical issues. When we got home that night Robby went to bed and I went to work. I downloaded Skype and called United Airlines. I was a bit upset that they simply e-mailed me saying that my flight was cancelled without offering any alternative flight option or accommodations in Sydney.
I was probably on the phone with the friendly customer service agent for about two hours, but at the end she found a way to get me home. Originally I was supposed to fly Sydney-LAX-O’Hare-National, all in one day (crossing the international dateline going east has that effect). The flights she found me left later in the day the same day (Friday), but had an interminably long layover Friday before getting me home to DC on Saturday.
Except the long layover was in Honolulu! United comped me a hotel on the beach for the day, hotel rides, and food. I had a great sojourn for the day, and only got back to DC one day later than I would have originally. I also got some extra time in Australia, which let me some and do some more things that I would not have been able to do otherwise. Lastly, I got something like a $600 United voucher for my troubles, which I used for some great trips later in 2013. Lost would have been a much happier show if their plane troubles had landed them on the same islands that they did for me.
The only down-side of the trip was that on Monday I was back at National for work, heading to Chicago. The temperature when we landed early Monday morning: 10 degrees Fahrenheit. I made a 100 degrees swing from Sydney over the course of one long weekend.
Incidents of Travel Past: