Canada 2017 travel blog

LAX from my room at the Sheraton Gateway

Usually, you go to the airport, catch the plane & land where you’re supposed to but that didn’t happen today. I set the alarm for 4:30am & ordered a taxi for 5:30am.

All went well – the taxi arrived right on time & I had no problem booking my bags through to Vancouver. However, while I was in the taxi I got a text message that the flight from Melbourne to LAX was delayed which was just as well because the 6:30am Mildura flight didn’t leave until 8:00am because of fog in Melbourne.

By the time I got to the Qantas lounge in Melbourne, QF93, the flight to LAX had been delayed a further 2 hours so instead of a 9:15am departure, it was now 1:15pm. Of course, that meant I couldn’t make the connection to Vancouver but the staff told me they wouldn’t reorganise bookings until we were in the air but we would know before we landed what our connecting flight would be.

Apparently, our plane coming from LA had been diverted to Sydney because of the fog in Melbourne this morning & then was delayed in coming from Sydney, partly because the crew was “out of hours”. Anyhow, it finally arrived in Melbourne about 1:00pm & we were given a new departure time of 3:00pm.

We started boarding at 2:30pm but were told not to fasten our seatbelts because they were still refuelling – go figure that one out! Nearly ready to leave & the captain tells us there will be another delay because the computer in the refuelling truck has crashed so we need to wait while they reboot it so we can get the necessary paperwork.

We finally start towards the runway when the Captain comes on again – his brake light is on. Because of the fast turnaround in Melbourne the brakes are still hot from the landing so we have to idle around for another 20 minutes until we are finally ready to go.

The plane is very comfortable with lots of room between seats & very smooth & quiet on the top deck. However, the entertainment system wouldn’t work. They rebooted it 3 times without success & finally, about 1½ hours into the flight they finally got it working which was a relief.

I started watching Star Wars Rogue 1 but couldn’t make any sense of it so gave up & went back to reading my book – I’m revisiting Anne of Green Gables in preparation for my visit to Prince Edward Island.

We arrived at LAX at 12:30, just about 6 hours late & I was told I’d been booked on an Air Canada flight leaving at 2:20. We walked for miles from the plane to the Immigration hall where we all had to use screens to scan our passport then answer the same questions as we’d filled in on the immigration cards given to us on the plane. Then we had to wait in another long, slow line where we went through the normal, manual individual interview at the immigration booths. Just a total duplication of systems so I don’t know what’s going on there.

There was no delay getting my bags & I was given a hand-written boarding pass for the Air Canada flight which I learned left from Terminal 2 which was about a 15-20 minute walk (with all my luggage). When I finally arrived there I was told very cheerfully that the flight closed 10 minutes ago & it plus the next one at 5:30 were full anyway. The girl seemed to be one of those people who delight in being as unhelpful as they can but the only alternative I had was to go all the way back to the International terminal & talk to Qantas.

By now there was a group of us all in the same situation, 3 of us booked on the same Air Canada flight & of course we couldn’t find anyone from Qantas to talk to. It was about 2:30 & there was a sign saying Qantas staff would be available at 6:00 but we eventually found one little man who was very helpful.

He booked the others on the next flight to Vancouver (the one we were told was full) but because it was such a long drive for Mike to meet me, I didn’t want to get there in the middle of the night so volunteered to stay overnight in LA & start off fresh next morning.

That worked out fine & I had dinner & spent the night at the Sheraton Gateway, just across the road from the airport, courtesy of Qantas.

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