Thursday, October 26, 2006

Or Maybe Not...

The best laid plans and all that...I'm still in California after all. Last night I boarded a packed-full United flight and we took off from SFO at 11:20 PM. Usually I have a glass of wine and then take an Ambien. I felt a bit hungry, so I decided to eat some dinner first. Thank heaven for that!

About an hour and a bit out, I had finished eating and was about to take the pill and head to dreamland, when the voice of the pilot came floating through the dark...uh-oh! Seems we had a fuel line with a valve stuck closed. Have to jettison a whole lot of fuel and then return to SFO. Sigh.

Another hour plus back, and we landed around 2AM. The powers that be rescheduled us for TONIGHT at 11PM, so I'll be having all this much fun again tonight. I felt really sorry for many of my fellow travelers for whom SF is not their home destination. I was able to catch a cab and get home to our condo, but there's a huge Oracle convention in SF this week and there are absolutely NO hotel rooms available. The United gate staff was telling the passengers that wonderful information, and then saying "but we'll pay you $60 for a hotel room (which is not available anyway) and $10 for breakfast." What generosity! They followed up that useful information with another news note: "We have lots of pillows and blankets available for your use." Translation: Have a nice night on the floor at the airport. What a mess!

I tried to come in the condo as quietly as possible at 3AM, but of course woke DH up, scaring the stuffings out of him. Had to ring my in-laws, who had come up to Sydney to stay at a hotel overnight, so they could meet my 6AM arrival...not! Now they're in a quandary about what to do. I tried to convince them to just go on home and I'll find a shuttle service to take me from Sydney to Exeter on Saturday, but they're insisting they'll come back to get me. At their ages (mid-80s), I think it's just too much to get up at dawn's crack to get there to meet me.

I'll try to phone the Qantas airport staff who handle the pet arrivals this afternoon to see if their flight was on time and everyone arrived alive and well. Then I'll check a few hours later to be sure they've arrived at the quarantine facility at Eastern Creek. I'll be a bit nervous till I hear they're all ok.

Sometimes life's just like that, ya know? The glamours of international travel! Anyhoo, I'll post again once I'm in Exeter for real. Thanks for all your good wishes, everybody...I got your comments this morning when I woke up.

11 comments:

DubiQuilts said...

Oh well what can you do. I wish you and the cats a safe ride. I am sure you all will be safe and happy in your new home.

Anonymous said...

UGH - I am so glad nothing like that happend to us... Hopefully the kitties had a better flight. Which reminds me, why were you on United anyway?

Dianne said...

Thanks, Debbi and Calico Cat. I was on United because that's the airline we always use, and that's where our frequent flyer miles are. Fortunately, they were able to upgrade me to business class for this flight, though it was a VERY near thing!

Pet Express was the service that moved the cats, and they contract with Qantas. We just heard that the cats arrived in Sydney safely. Not sure when they'll be moved to the quarantine facility 40km outside Sydney. The Qantas guy said it was pandemonium there this morning because a panda was shipped from LA to Sydney, also arriving when our cats did, and it's being shipped on to Perth. So they've all got their hands full. Still, he managed to go look at our cats...said they all have water and are meowing a lot, so I'd say they made it OK!

Libby said...

Sorry to hear of the trouble -- at least the kitties made it fine. Best to just take it in stride. Good luck tonight *s*

Sweet P said...

How awful! I'm glad to see that cats made it OK. Now I hope you make it on the plane OK too.

Tonya R said...

good news your kitties made it safely. what a miserable flight tho - so sorry to hear about that. fingers crossed for tonight tho!!!

Marcie said...

Heart felt wishes, Dianne. One stinkin valve messed up things for a lot of people. Hope all is well this time around.

KCQuilter said...

Oh, boy, can I feel for you! Three of the four flights on our trip to Italy were delayed--an hour or more!!! We were on Delta. Just adds to the already mounting stress, doesn't it? I am thinking about you and hoping everything goes off without a hitch second time around! Hope the kitties are enduring well.

Cynthia said...

good luck with the flight and hope you arrive here in Australia safely.

Jenni @ Fairybread said...

What a pain in the neck! Glad the cats are ok. You will make it here eventually.

Nicole said...

Ack!