Mr Grumpy: a flight from hell
We’ve all had them. A flight from hell. Mine was Qantas QF147 Sydney to Auckland just over a week ago.Landing at Auckland Airport over four hours late well after midnight, we finally got home at 1:30am – without the puppy.
I was returning home after a few days judging at the Six Nations Wine Challenge. I normally fly Air New Zealand economy class across the Tasman, but a last-minute booking forced me to fly Qantas Business Class. That was the only way we could get back to Auckland by 9:00pm to collect our new puppy.
The flight was scheduled to leave at 4pm. I arrived at the airport at 2pm.
“Your flight leaves at 5:30pm,” said the check-in clerk.
“Er … it says 4pm on my E-ticket itinerary.”
“It’s been delayed.”
Thanks for letting me know. I would prefer to have spent an extra hour-and-a-half shopping in Sydney than sitting in the lounge.
“What sort of aircraft is it?”
“A small one.”
Qantas Business Class lounge offers a selection of tasty gelato, but we were underwhelmed by the food generally until Marion spotted a sign advertising smoked salmon. We couldn’t see any. An attendant told us the smoked salmon was in the salad before digging around until she spotted a small fleck of salmon in the bottom of the bowl.
“There you are,” she said triumphantly. “Do you want it?” We declined.
Boarding was delayed by a further 30 minutes. We finally slumped into our seats and perused the dinner menu. A choice of two starters included Dhal soup. The main had a choice of six dishes including Dahl soup and a selection of cheeses. To finish we were offered a selection of cheeses or ice cream.
We sat on the tarmac for another two hours waiting for passengers from a connecting flight from South Africa. Landing at Auckland Airport over four hours late well after midnight, we finally got home at 1:30am – without the puppy.
I’ve been flying this route with Air New Zealand at the same time every year for 16 years. The Saturday night Sydney to Auckland flight coincides with the Bledisloe Cup. An Air New Zealand pilot usually announces the result before we descend into Auckland. The Qantas pilot chose not to say anything.