Tuesday, May 24, 2011

the cabin door

All because of a cabin door our flight to the USA was miserable.  I am easy going.  I can handle long haul flights, inconveniences, slow airport security lines, and the general stress that is international travel.

 However, I am still recovering from the worst travel experience I have had yet.  I will just share the lowlights and spare the details.  We departed from Auckland 2 1/2 hours late due to a cabin door not closing properly.  It was clear, even before departure, that we would not make our connecting flight to Phoenix upon arrival in San Francisco.  

The concierge on board assured us all would be well and we would be rebooked on the next flight to Phoenix. I chose to believe her and tried to rest on the 13 hour flight.  For some odd reason they did not have my meal selection on the plane so I got to eat leftover fruit from First Class for dinner and breakfast. That made me starving and grouchy on the plane.  

When we arrived in San Francisco we waited for over 2 1/2 hours to receive confirmation of a new flight booking to leave Phoenix.  Have you ever waited in an airport line for more than 30 minutes?  It is torture.  The next flight to Phoenix was at 9pm so we were given a hotel room to rest in until the departure 8 hours later.  Our taxi driver got lost on the way the hotel and tried to make me pay for the whole fare even though he got lost.  Dang American.  
This is where we said goodbye to Jason's family at the Auckland Airport

After a much needed shower, restful nap, and first taste of American cuisine, Jason and I felt like our troubles were behind us.  False.  When we got to the San Fran airport to check in for our flight they said there was never a booking for us.  Air New Zealand screwed up again.  I was crushed when I heard this.  The airline agent could see I was distraught and assured me it would all workout.  It did all work out but not before our baggage was lost, and our flight to Phoenix was delayed.  As you can see, the little cabin door put us out so much!
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The best part about our actual air travel was the immigration line.  The immigration agent was very helpful and offered a warm welcome and congratulations to Jason.  We were not treated like terrorists this time.  

The first thing we saw at Baggage Claim in Phoenix was a group of tall people holding red, white, and blue balloons, American signs, and patriotic clothing.  They also held up a sign saying, "Kia Ora Kiwis."   It was glorious.  I have never been more happy to see my family.  
  

2 comments:

LeashyLoo said...

AWWWWWW Larissa! What a warm welcome from your family!!!! I bet the reunion was / is glorious!

McKenna said...

WELCOME HOME!!!! That trip sounds miserable... and I know from experience that when you retell the story it never sounds as bad as it really felt. I'm just glad you are back :)