Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Trip to Cairns

We enjoyed a pleasant onward journey from LAX to Nadi, Fiji (NAN)!to Sydney (SYD) to Cairns (CNS).

Fiji Airways offered us our choice of OneWorld or Star.Alliance Lounge at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). The best news is that Fiji (FJ) is now participating in TSA PreCheck, so we zipped through an empty line, bypassing at least of couple of hundred passengers queued in the regular line.

As our flight was departing just before Midnight, we didn’t eat or drink, other than one token glass of Champagne.

It’s a fair walk of 10 minutes to the hoarding gates, and Fiji annoyingly requested passengers to be there 90 minutes before the flight completely unnecessarily. We were waiting at least 15 minutes before the crew arrived.

Eventually we boarded the A350 and settled in.

Kathy went straight to sleep, but Brian savored a pastrami sandwich first.

We both got several hours of sleep in very comfortable flatbed seats on this 11-hour flight. We enjoyed blintzes for breakfast.

Fiji is 19 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Saving Time, so we landed at NAN in the dark around 6 AM. We love the views from the two cameras. The green shape is the forward landing gear down.

Soon we were parked at the gate.

The transit line for connecting flights was empty, and within a few minutes we were seated in the pleasant Fiji Premier Lounge, with its striking wall of (real) plants.

We felt no need of showers or anything to eat, so just relaxed before boarding the very same A350, this time bound for Sydney.

About four hours later we were landing at SYD.

Immigration was a breeze with its photo ID gates, our room at the Rydges Hotel across from International Arrivals was ready before noon, and we relaxed in comfort.

The next morning we walked across the street to the free Qantas transfer bus, preferred our boarding passes, cleared security, and stood for the 10-minute airside bus ride to the Qantas domestic terminal.

After a visit to the Qantas Business Lounge, and a queue for excellent Cappuccinos,we boarded our QF flight to CNS.

Three hours and an Uber ride later, we arrived at the Cairns Hilton, our home for the next five nights.

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