Saturday, July 20, 2013

Flying to the Land Down Under by Margot Justes

There is no easy way to get to Australia from the US, however it’s well worth the effort. I’m only sorry I waited this long for my first visit; the tiny part I saw was simply stunning.

I booked the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney to Cairns through a travel agent, and booked the leg from Chicago to LA myself. Just to give you an idea of the length of the trip, in my case it was a bit unusual. I had a 4 hour flight from Chicago to LA, 10 hour layover, plus a 3 hour delayed departure, then a 13 hour flight to Sydney, 3 hour layover in Sydney, and a 3 hour flight to Cairns. We’re talking serious time in travel.

I have to say I was impressed with the service provided by Virgin Airlines. They kept the passengers informed about the delay in LA, and were accommodating, and friendly. They brought back the service in customer service. I couldn’t ask for more-delays happen-it’s how the airlines handle it that is important.

Virgin handled it perfectly; as opposed to Alitalia, an airline I will never, never fly again. Never. I digress...even on the way back home from Sydney to LA, there was a 45 minute delay, they told us there was an immigration issue and a passenger couldn’t board, so they had to remove the luggage from the plane. Not difficult to do, just courteous, tell your passengers why they are sitting in the plane on the ground and not moving.

There are shorter layovers to be sure, mine just worked out to be long in the first leg of the flight. Keep in mind, if you miss the connection, there is no other flight that evening. I say evening because the flights I saw posted to Sydney all left in the evening. Mine was supposed to leave at 10pm LA time, instead we boarded at 1:00am. They actually served dinner at 2:30am. I skipped dinner, way too late or early to eat, but was up for breakfast.

Even without lengthy delays, the flight is long, but the visit was an incredible experience, and the people are friendly and welcoming. The no worries, mate so true. In Cairns, Dina and I even went to get some nibblies from Woolie’s- translation- snacks from Woolworth’s.

It was my retirement gift to myself, and I’m already looking for a reason to go back and see more.

More next week.

Margot  Justes
A Hotel in Paris
A Hotel in Bath
Hearts & Daggers
Hot Crimes Cool Chicks


Debra St. John said...

I hope you'll post more about your trip soon!

I would love, love, love to go to Australia, but it really is a lot of travel time. I'm sure it would be worth it though. How long did you stay?

Margot Justes said...

It really was worth-amazing trip. I'll post more with picture.

Morgan Mandel said...

Can't wait for your pictures, Margot! I travel vicariously through you!

Morgan Mandel

Margot Justes said...

They are coming...promise.