Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunny Sydney

We enjoyed another great flight SFO-SYD, leaving Sunday night and arriving here early Tuesday morning.

As we boarded at SFO, the Purser asked if we were seated together. Yes we were. She asked if we were willing to swap for upper deck seats that had been assigned to a wheelchair couple. Of course we were. We were across the aisle from the seat the UA computer had inexplicably bumped Brian out of a a couple of weeks ago. It seems clear that the new United is still experiencing computer problems. Incidentally, there was nobody "special" in that seat, just some young fellow who'd had it assigned to him. The upper deck is a special treat for us. It's like a little sanctuary removed from the downstairs hustle-and-bustle of a 747. Our flight attendants were terrific.

The cause of the plane delay turned out to be quite simple. Given the prevailing tailwinds, an on-time departure would have had us landing at SYD during the quiet-hours curfew, which apparently costs airlines a lot of money.

As it was, we landed at 6:00 a.m. so we were in no hurry. We had "fast track" passes through Immigration, and were on the airport to Sydney by 7:00 a.m.

When we arrived at the Hilton, our room understandably wasn't ready, but the clerk offered us showers in the gym. What a treat that was after 24 hours of flying, interrupted only by five hours at SFO.

We also had access to the Executive Lounge, where we drank the best coffee we've had in several days (UA coffee isn't very good), nibbled on the continental breakfast, and spent some time chatting with Mort from Washington DC, a fellow FlyerTalker we've previously met who had also just arrived and is on his way to Oz Fest.

It's a beautiful day here and we strolled around Darling Harbour for awhile, taking in the sights, enjoying the fresh air, and getting some much-needed exercise.

When we returned about noon, we found our room was ready, and we're going to relax here for awhile before venturing out again.

It feels good to be back in Australia. Tonight we're meeting some of our FlyerTalk friends for an early dinner at a popular Australian restaurant, Tony Roma's.

Yes, they have them here too. We were hoping for an Outback but we'll make do with this.

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