What an embarrasing weekend.
I got up early Saturday morning – 7am, getting ready to head to the airport to meet my sister who was on her way home after having been in the UK on a teacher exchange for the last 12 months or so. Her flight from Bangkok was due in at 7:40am, she had to pass through immigration, collect her bags, pass through customs, and then recheck her bags and catch a bus over to the domestic terminal for her onward flight.
I arranged to meet her off the bus at the domestic terminal, where we would hopefully have a couple of hours to talk and catch up before she had to fly out again.
When I checked the arrival estimation on the web, the flight was delayed by about 80 minutes, so I took my time getting ready, and then headed to the airport to arrive there just after 9am.
I had my iPod with me with a heap of unplayed podcasts, so I found a seat near the international terminal transfer desk, where the bus would drop people off coming over from the international terminal – and waited while I listened to my podcasts.
My sister was booked on a flight to Adelaide via Melbourne (the long way home), that was scheduled to depart at 10am. I knew it would be close and she would possibly miss her flight if it took as long to get through immigration as I thought it would. I was hoping there would be no problems in getting another flight – and that might even give us more time to chat before she had to leave.
10am passed. 10:30am. Okay, it’s now 90 minutes since the plane landed – I would have thought they would be out by now.
I asked the girl at the international transfer desk if she knew whether people from QF2 had come through – she rang the international terminal who confirmed that they had seen quite a few people leave from QF2, and many of them had come over to the domestic terminal. The girl was kind enough to check whether I had missed my sister on the outgoing 10am flight – no she wasn’t on it. She then checked to see whether she had been on QF2 at all. No !!! Hmm – that would be why she wasn’t there !!
I rang my mum to confirm the details – but couldn’t get hold of her. The problem all along was that I only had verbal details of the flights – nobody had sent me an email or anything with explicit flight details. QF2 is pretty hard to forget though.
While driving back home – I thought back to a conversation we’d had several months ago.
My sister asked – did I want to come to the airport to say hello when she was heading home ? I remember my response being, no – I would be in Las Vegas already (I was supposed to be attending a conference this week for work – but my trip was cancelled). Then I thought about it a bit more – I wasn’t going to be leaving until Saturday afternoon. So if my sister flew in on Saturday morning, surely I would have been able to see her before my flight to the US in the afternoon ? Unless she was actually flying in on Sunday !!! Doh!
I managed to get hold of mum later on Saturday and she confirmed that the flight was indeed due in on Sunday. *sigh*
My sister called from Bangkok Saturday night confirming that she would be flying in Sunday morning, and also that they had found her a better flight back to Adelaide – a direct flight leaving at 10:20am.
So yesterday, I retraced my steps back to the domestic terminal and sat once more with my iPod, waiting for people to come off the bus from the international terminal. The flight landed just after 8am, but it was 9:45am before my sister made it to the domestic terminal. She was very tired and grumpy – hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of days with an upset stomach, and had several hurried trips to the bathroom on the flight home. But she made it, and I took her up to the Qantas Club lounge for a bit to sit and relax before her flight out.
So all up, with my mistakes on Saturday, I spent nearly 4 hours waiting for about 20 minutes with my sister. Oh well – I hadn’t seen her in over a year, so it was great to catch up. She bought me a cute little paperweight from her time in Nepal – a wood carving of a turtle. He will sit on my desk and keep me company while I work.
I think I’ve already got my money’s worth from my iPod – without it over the weekend, I think I would have gone mad from boredom. I guess I could have taken a book, but then I probably would have been so engrossed in it that I missed my sister when she arrived! Playing video on my iPod is also cool – sharp enough to watch comfortably even on the small screen. Pity the batteries don’t last very long when playing video. Very good battery life for audio-only though.