The flight from Los Angeles to Sydney was uneventful. The stewards and stewardesses were much more efficient and professional than the ones I had encountered on the Atlanta to Houston leg. That reminds me!
Typically, I like to get our seats in the back of the plane. Needless to say, this implies that we are the among the last passengers being served by the stewardess. As usual, we were waiting our turn and I had decided to request the “illy” coffee that was being hyped in the United flightzine. Halfway along the flight from Atlanta to Houston, we encountered some turbulence. At this point, the stewardess was in the process of serving drinks. After stabilizing herself, she continued along the aisle (coming towards our row, that is). I was still hopeful of getting my taste of “illy”.
But then the captain came on the intercom and said that he was expecting to hit some more turbulence up ahead and that he was calling for a suspension of flight service in five to ten minutes. Guess what? The stewardess shut shop rightaway. I had hoped that at least she would continue with her service until the captain’s next announcement, and so did some of the other passengers. But after that, we had nothing for the rest of the flight. In fact, when a couple of us stood up to go to the restroom, she sat us right back down, which was OK, had she been consistent in her behaviour. Oh well, illy coffee illa (no coffee here)!! To complete the tale, I did seek and get the coffee on the next leg, and did not like it. What an anticlimax!
Where was I? Yes, I was saying that the flight crew was much more efficient on the flight from Los Angeles to Sydney. Baab and I like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Maybe it is just me, but it does appear to be bigger than those on other planes. At least, I don’t bump into the walls as often when I am in there!
One nice thing about this flight was that I had the armrest entirely to myself. Thankfully, there were only two of us in the row of three, so both of us got two armrests apiece, without having to resort to elbow-wrestling 🙂
We encountered an issue with our food though. Three of our family got our Asian Vegetarian Meal, where the food is excellent Indian fare, but the dessert leaves a lot to be desired, as they go completely vegetarian on us, and more often than not, dessert consists of fruits. But the fourth, Mrs. Porcupyn, did not get the AVML that I’d requested. The flight crew informed her that she was not listed as having requested a special meal, which I did not really understand. Fortunately, she was able to get the pasta meal which was also vegetarian. I wondered if I had made a mistake and not requested an AVML for her – more on this later.
As I dozed on and off, I tracked our flight as it went past Hawaii’s latitude, then entered the Southern Hemisphere (a first for everyone in the family), then passed exotic sounding cities such as Nuku’alofa and Niue. After a long time – this flight rivals the non-stop ones from India or the Middle East to USA – I started seeing the coastline of Australia appearing on the map showing Cairns to the north and Melbourne to the south. Finally, the captain announced that we would be landing in Sydney shortly. I looked out and finally saw land for the first time since we had left Los Angeles.
We flew right over south east Sydney and I saw all the major Sydney landmarks that I had researched – famous beaches such as Bondi and Coogee (which I misidentified from the air), Watson Bay (and its lighthouse), the Double Bay, and of course, the famous iconic sights of the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The plane then banked steeply and turned left (south) and out into the sea once more. I could see the sharp cliffs that were being hit by the waves relentlessly. With one more turn, the captain aligned the plane for landing and we touched down just under half an hour late, not bad considering that we were delayed by over an hour ex-LAX!