While I completely understand the logic of needing to check in to a domestic flight 60 minutes before if you’re connecting internationally, that does fall down somewhat when your domestic departure airport is somewhere like Paraparaumu. The absolute maximum number of people departing from here at any given time is 50. So, leaving my house at 5:30am made me bitterly resentful.
Probably all for the best, though, as the Air New Zealand computer system crashed halfway through checking in. A nice auspicious start to our morning! The old adage of turning it off and on again seemed to do the trick, however, and we had enough time to spare for a breakfast panini (and a massive coffee for Josh).I checked in online yesterday, and our Auckland-Gold Coast flight had assigned us seats across the aisle from each other. Because this leg was a Virgin Australia codeshare flight, I was unable to change the seat selection while checking in. However, when we got to the airport this morning the computer gave them an alert to reprint our boarding passes — and our seats had changed so we could actually sit next to each other. Not sure if this is because I grumped at them on Twitter, or if it was a coincidence, but either way, props to Virgin Australia for actually letting us sit together on our nice romantic getaway 🙂
Now, here is a PSA for you when you’re travelling. If someone on your flight has a medical emergency, for the love of all that is good in the world, don’t bloody crowd around them! A guy on our flight got up and fainted in the aisle, and like half the plane shot out of their seats to gather round. With nothing but good intentions, I’m sure — but honestly, I can’t imagine anything worse than passing out and waking up to 20-odd strangers staring at me.
Anywho. A bumpy landing in Auckland, but we arrived in one piece and wandered over to the international terminal. We had a five-hour layover, so Josh’s grandparents drove out from near Pukekohe to say hi and hang out for a while. It was great to see them.
TripIt gave us a notification that our flight had been delayed — only by 25 minutes, though, thank goodness. So we headed through security and managed to score a couch I could nap on for an hour or so until we finally had a gate announced.
Sidenote: of all the places to stop and check your bags, why on earth would anyone pick the end of the escalator?! Someone actually did this, and nearly got barrelled into by a couple of people. You can’t just pause an escalator…
Then it was on the plane to the Gold Coast, yay! The flight itself was painless — Josh had a toddler playing under his seat for a while, but apart from that, a nice smooth trip. Then it was through customs (painless) and a 30 minute wait for our shuttle.
On the shuttle, I discovered that two other people in the shuttle were also in town for the same conference I’m attending! So we were chatting for a while about the market and what we were hoping to get out of the conference.
Then, finally, we were at our apartment. We’re staying with a family friend who very generously offered us a room, and the place is absolutely stunning — and right across the road from the convention centre, hooray! Josh went on a scouting mission for food and we had dinner at like 4pm (time zones are weird).
I had a session to go to at 7pm, so I went to that while Josh slept. While the session was great, to be honest I was completely exhausted and very glad when it was over and I could just crash into bed! Thursday is a no-conference day, so we might be able to get a bit of exploring done. Or just sleep all day…