Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hard to Leave Australia

"Hard to leave" has two meanings today. We're always a bit nostalgic as we depart from Oz. Today seemed just a tiny bit harder than usual, although the total time between leaving the hotel in a taxi to being seated in the small ADL Singapore Business Lounge was only an hour.

First, as we checked in at the Singapore Business counter, the very friendly agent thought she noted a discrepancy on our "visa invitation" letter. The outfit annoyingly sends out the letters with quite a few passengers included, and the first person on the list was exiting Vietnam June 1. We pointed our names toward the bottom and all was well.

We then went through domestic security screening. No I.D. needed, not bad, and Brian was nabbed for a random "explosives" test that only took a few moments.

After that came international security and another X-Ray conveyor belt for the bags. The alert crew found a small water bottle in one of our bags that we'd completely forgotten about (you can still carry liquids on domestic flights here), but even allowed Kathy to drink it and return it to her bag. She was then grabbed for a random visit to the radio-wave scanning machine. There's no opting out from that in Australia but from our reading we conclude hopefully that this technology is relatively free of risks. At least it's not the X-Ray scanner.

From there we went through exit immigration and walked over to the Silver Kris Lounge near Gate 16, where we'll relax for awhile with coffee before boarding SQ278 for Singapore.

All of the various people we dealt with were friendly, the queues were quiet and organized, so all in all it's a reasonable start to a fairly long day that should have us landing in SGN about 12 hours from now.

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