The journey from UK to Australia is long, but we knew that and just had to get through it. It is one of those situations when time has it’s own level.
Our flight left London Heathrow at 10pm on Thursday, so after takeoff, dinner was served then lights were dimmed for the night flight. The plane was not full for the first leg so the two of us had three seats to spread out over. The twelve and half hour flight was comfortable, with a breakfast served before landing in Singapore at 5.30pm. After a two hour refuel stop, it was dark outside when we boarded again.
We lost one whole day on the flight. It was then another night flight for the eight hours to Sydney, arriving just before 6am.
We made an incorrect assumption. When we checked in at Heathrow, our baggage was labelled to Hobart via Singapore and Sydney. So at Sydney, we left the plane, went through passport control and walked out through customs with just our hand luggage.
We then went to the domestic transfer desk to check in for our flight to Hobart. The girl found our bookings easily and stated “You have three bags to check in.”
We had to go to the other end of the terminal to the Singapore Airlines baggage services, explain the situation and wait for them to collect our cases and clear customs. This would take a while, so we knew we would not make the Hobart flight.
We waited. Airports are a fascinating place to people watch. We waited, along with a few other people. We weren’t the only ones to make this mistake.
Eventually our bags arrived and we went back to the domestic transfer desk. Our domestic flight was with Virgin Australia, but they could not rebook us, they had to get Singapore Airlines to rebook as they’d originated the ticket. So we waited. And people watched some more.
There were a few other Virgin passengers who came to check in, then a long line of people queued up all at once. We overheard that a flight from Bali had been delayed so forty people had missed their connections and needed rebooking. In the midst of this our boarding passes were ready and we checked in our luggage again. We could then get the shuttle to the domestic terminal and people watch there as we waited for our 2pm flight. We waited.
The Virgin flight was fine and on time so we got to our motel and had time for a walk to see our surroundings, before dusk on Saturday evening.
We stayed awake for a few more hours then sleep overtook us and we enjoyed the comfort of a bed for the first time since Wednesday night.
Things I have learned …
~ no matter how your luggage is labelled, you have to collect your cases at the point you enter Australia, not at your final destination.
~ I don’t want to work for an airline on their check in desks.
~ Hobart International Airport has no jet bridges to link aircraft to the terminal building. Everyone climbs down movable stairs and walks across the tarmac.
~ Hobart International Airport has just one baggage carousel.
~ Hobart is an international airport because, apparently, flights go to New Zealand and to the Antarctic, but there is nothing listed on the departure boards for the next few days. The only listed flights are to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.