Delta 041, LA to Sydney, 5/15/22 through 7/17/22
I’m still feeling like this is a bit surreal even though I’ve been in two airplanes for a total of about 13 hours plus the 5-6 hours of waiting in Mpls and LA airports.
The anxious feelings I had about baggage and checking in during Covid ASE behind me, a bit of unknown still to experience once I’m in Sydney getting through customs and hopefully no quarantine. Quarantine chances are low, I think since I got a negative Covid test results on Thursday prior to the flight. Good thing I’ve learned is free 3rd bag check at the gate is worthwhile, at least for me. That allowed all three of my bags to be checked through from Mpls to Sydney. In the past I’ve had to claim my domestic luggage, walk to the international terminal, about half a lie, and then recheck all the baggie. Just one backpack filled with electronics of all sorts to manage in the cabins.
International travel with lots of luggage and bikes, to me, is always a bit unnerving. Lots of unknowns. Delta has made the grade this time around, only $100 extra baggage fee for the oversized and slightly overweight EVOC bike case and bike gear. Getting to the airport in Mpls extremely early and just trying to work with the gate agent seemed to play out well. Maybe a lot of people on both sides are trying to figure a better customer experience. A flight attendant standing next to me on the Sydney plane was funny, asking why we all were flying now and not a month ago when the plane was empty as this flight is filed, no extra seats to be found. Glad I picked a “Comfort +” seat although the choice I made put me midway back in an aisle seat that sticks into the narrow aisle. A bit awkward and not really easy to sleep. I did learn from the Mpls leg to get all the food trays and video screens sorted before take-off when the lights are on and people are still moving about. Hidden posts and special push buttons to be found. Plus, wired headsets for the video screen is a plus, no battery power less to deal with.
Quantas connector flight is no longer a thing from LA to Sydney, Bushy tells me Quantas has gone through restructuring and is no longer the quality of the past. Sad to hear but things change.
Passing the time, iPhone book for a few hundred pages, two movies on the Sydney leg so far and working on this blog addition. Maybe 4-5 hours of fit full sleep. I should have downloaded my book and more music to this iPad to become a backup for my phone. The layover in LA helped get some devices back up to power. An updated wireless headset from the LA terminal should be an overall trip plus too. It won’t be the first time I’ve gone off the rails at an airport store.
And did I talk about masked yet, no I didn’t. I bought some KN95 masks a while ago for home use. They have a metal upper nose support that can be bent to fit better plus two really tight elastic bands. I’m not used to wearing them for continuous use. I found a quiet spot away from everyone at the Mpls airport where I felt safe enough to not wear a mask until close to boarding time when crowds formed. Keeping the mask on during the flight to LA but eventually removing the annoying metal nose support that was becoming very uncomfortable. LA, terminal change via shuttle, mask back on until again the crowds at that terminal got large, ok, most all the time I was there as I suspect the crowds are always big there. By the way, masks are REQUIRED to be worn once we land in Sydney, optional on the plane although I’ve tried to remain masked most of the time, adjusting straps as possible for better comfort but
Boarding in LA was a bit chaotic with crew taking about the full plane load and trying to consolidate luggage and checking extra bags at the gate.
That brings me to now, about 4 hours to go, maybe another movie, still need to fill out the customs arrival form, not too complicated. Clear customs, claim baggage and look for Bushy’s smiling face to finally make the trip change from surreal and now real.