The flight that would've pissed off Ghandi

Oh god, I just had to share the pain a bit.

I’ve traveled most of my life. Lived in like 6 countries by now. Anyway, I’ve been on a lot of long, crummy flights in my days but this one hahah, this one was special.

Let me start with saying that I don’t know about you guys, but I prefer spending as little as humanly possible on flights. More to spend on food, stuff and strippers :stuck_out_tongue: So, going in with that attitude I’m always prepared for a crummy trip. However :wink:

I was going from Chicago to Melbourne. The cheapest flight I could find had 2 layovers. One in LA which is required of all flights going that direction, and then a stop in Auckland, NZ. Fine. No biggie.

Leg 1:
I fly out from O’Hare. It’s a great airport, I’ve always enjoyed it but god does it get busy. I was stuck for amost an hour and a half in lines and security. By the time I cleared the last checkpoint it was boarding time. The flight is 4 hours. I got stuck in a window seat, which is a pain if you’re a tall guy like myself (6"4). Four hours is nothing though. I pained myself through the incredibly bad movie “Leatherheads” and read “Wired”.

I arrive in LAX at Terminal 7. My connecting flight to Melbourne is 2.5 hours away, but in Terminal 2. Shuttle time. Or not. Turns out the shuttle connecting T5 to T6 was malfunctioning so there was no way for me to get to my terminal. LAX is a big friggin place too. Got a bit worried because I knew there’d be a long line so I went out of the airport and crossed three parking lots with my 2 bags, ran across a freeway ramp and into Terminal 2. Lol. Reached the security checkpoint. Los Angeles. Crowded. Took more than an hour to clear everything. Moan.

Got to the desk, had to re-print my boarding pass because United doesn’t work together with Air New Zealand. He gave me the pass back. I look at it. 70K.

Now, anyone who does a fair share of flying around knows that 70K is the international flight equivalent of a kick in the nuts. It’s the seat furthest back, towards the window, without any seat recline (since there’s a toilet behind you). I laughed out loud a bit and asked him if the flight was full. Sure it was. Packed! I got the last seat because I more or less checked in when boarding time was due. Unreal. 70K. Oh well, suck it up! 14 hours flight time with no recline and window seat. It was brutal. Couldn’t sleep for a second. Oh, the best part is yet to come. The flight got madly delayed.

Leg 3:
Arrived in Auckland totally mashed. Popped three painkillers and drank two shots of espresso in Starbucks. My connecting flight to Melbourne was due at 7.40am. Problem was my flight from LAX landed at 7.15. No chance. Had to clear another friggin security checkpoint and obviously I get off the plane last because I’m in the seat of death.

Next flight to Melbourne is 10.00. Fair enough. Get my laptop up and was gonna do some surfing my of COURSE Auckland doesn’t support the US / Europe standard “Boingo hotspot” but have their own wireless network that costs 10 bucks an hour to use. Fine. Check some mail and have a meal at Auckland. Get on the plane in a decent seat (Aisle) and watch “Run Fatboy Run” along with some episodes of Flight of the Conchordes. Not too bad.

Leg 4:
Melbourne! Sweet, it’s all over!

Or not.

Have you guys heard of the quarantine rules they have in Australia? It’s brutal. Can’t bring in anything that has been in contact with anything that used to be alive. Almost. If your socks touched a hardwood floor in Vancouver, you fail! Almost. It’s insane.

I get my luggage and watch a huge HUGE line build up behind me. Get a bit confused and then I see the sign;

“Melbourne International Airport is trying out a new method to screen for Quarantine Material. We apologize for the inconvenience”

What ?

Oh, they have this weird scanner that you take your bags through. It supposedly checks for any problems. PROBLEM IS IT REPORTS A PROBLEM ON EVERY BAG!?! I stand for three hours in that queue. Total flight time is up around 35 hour mark now and I’ve slept nothing. Starting to get a bit cranky. I get up to the podium, finally. They scan my bags and suuuure something’s wrong.

First they give me gripe about a piece of Chocolate I bought at Auckland. I throw it out. Then they tell me there’s a problem with one of my big bags and I gotta open it up. They go through it and find a container of Green Tea (Republic of Tea mind you. Not anything shady). Oh and hell breaks loose because TEA has ONCE BEEN A LIVING PLANT and it’s forbidden to bring anything that used to have a friggin LIFE. Fine. I toss my tea out. But now they are suspicious with me so they go through my remaining luggage. Takes about 40 minutes all in all.

Madness I tell you :stuck_out_tongue: Sorry about the 4 pages long rant that noone will read, I only wrote it for therapeutic purposes. :frowning: