Monday, 07 September 2015
The journey back to New Zealand was via UK so I could catch up with my two boys. Mind you I will see them again at Christmas when they visit us Kiwis. As I said it the last blog the air fare back to UK was ridicules but too late to do anything about it. We (that’s the royal we) flew via Malta. The leg from Cyprus to Malta was Emirates and was fine. Malta looks an interesting place so may be grab a few days there next year. Malta to Manchester was Air Malta whose call sign is KM which stands for Knights of Malta. Nice airport at Malta and they seem to sell Malta a lot better than Cyprus does so as I said think we might have a few days there next year. Manchester was it usual scruffy self but at least it was not raining which must be a first.
After 5 days at Lisa’s with the kids it was time to head back. 24 hours before my flight Emirates sent me a mail saying I could upgrade for 40,000 air miles or $1100. Getting all excited as I had enough miles I clicked on the link in the e mail. “Sorry there are no seats in that class available, please try again later”. So just for the hell of it I clicked on the link for the paid up grade, and guess what could have any seat I liked. Mind you there was also a little box telling me that this upgrade would not entitle me to access to the lounge or the car. Why would I spend another grand just to sit in a bigger seat? Half the fun of business class is the car and the lounge especially as I would have a 10 hour stopover in Dubai. Needless to say I declined their generous offer. Manchester Dubai leg on the Thursday morning went very quickly as the couple sat next to me were quiet chatty and joined me in a couple of bottles of red and a few cognacs. As I arrived in Dubai just after midnight I had no idea which terminal or gat the next leg was so I asked at the information desk. They did not know but thought it would be terminal 3, the terminal I ad disembarked at. So straight to the Marhaba lounge for some scran, a drink and a sleep. My next flight was at 10:20 hours on the Friday. Sleep is not really an option in reality. you don’t want to sleep too long and miss your flight and sleeping sitting up is not very comfortable. Anyway we managed to get some rest and at least I was not in the main concourse with all the hustle and bustle that is associated with the vast Duty Free shopping area that is Dubai. Eventually there is only a couple of hours to go so I abandoned the lounge for some retail therapy and to find a screen with the flight details and gate number. Still nothing on the screen yet so had a further mooch, until eventually I got, gate opening in 75 minutes. That seemed to be the longest 75 minutes I have ever known. Bang! Dubai to Auckland gate number C23. Now that’s terminal 1. I am in terminal 3. So downstairs get the ten minuet rain ride to terminal 2, walk the two kilometre to terminal 1 and rock up at the gate EK 412 to Auckland 10:20. Mmm my flight is EK 434 at 10:25 strange..” Excuse me but is this the flight to Auckland”. “Yes.” “So why have I got a different flight number?” “Oh, EK 434 goes from terminal 3 gate 20”. Walk the two kilometre to terminal, get the train to terminal 3 and arrive just in time to board. Note to oneself. Read all the information displayed.
79C was my choice of seat. It’s about two thirds down the back of the 380 in economy. It’s an aisle seat so I can use the loo without disturbing my fellow passengers and you get to watch the trolley dollies wiggle up and down the aisle. When I arrived at my seat there was a woman sat by the window and the middle seat of the set of three was empty. Shortly a young Swiss girl arrived but seemed a bit confused but she took up the middle seat. I was pleased with this as the other lady seemed a bit odd, (Johnny foreigner you know).
As usual I am asleep before we take off. Not sure what it is about flying but I can remember the last time \I was awake for an actual take-off or landing. Anyway once the seatbelt sign had been turned off, the lady by the window wants to get out to go to the bathroom. No issues, unclip my belt but before I can get out of my seat she is stood up on the arm rest and climbing over me and the little Swiss girl, This lady was not young and wore skin tight leather trousers with shear mesh panels down the outside of the legs. Very strange. Must admit I covered my nuts as I picture her socked foot slipping of the plastic armrest and landing on my plums
Meal time also cleared up why the little Swiss girl had been confused. They serve the specially requested meals first by carrying the tray to the seat number rather than from a trolley. A nice young Latvian turned up at our row and ask the little Swiss girl if she had ordered an Asian vegetarian meal, “no” she said she was then asked for her boarding card. Turned out the funny woman was sat in the wrong seat. Must be very difficult for the staff. I noticed a large group of Greek or Turkish people traveling together. Of course beside the fact that they stood up in the aisle and chatted so no one could get past, they had also swapped seats with each other. Guess this was so they could sit with their friends. They too, had ordered special meals. The poor cabin crew were up and down the plane like a bride’s nightie trying to sort out the meals. This of course delayed serving us, normal peoples food, by which time the vegies and vegan had finished and were blocking the aisle again or carrying there empty trays to the galley. The food trolley and worse the drinks trolley kept getting enticingly close to my seat only to be pushed past me to allow people to pass
Boy it a long flight to Auckland woke up after what seemed like days to find there was another 7 hours before we got to Brisbane. When we did hit the Ozzy coast we still had over 4 hours to Brisbane and we still had the get off and back on before we took off for Auckland. Brisbane is a quaint little airport and much easier and nicer to transit than Melbourne were I think they must send all the socially dysfunctional security officers to. Seriously hate Melbourne
Anyway arrived safe and sound to a rather cool Auckland. Let the next part of the adventure begin.