Monday, March 02, 2009

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Mat Fun - airport Hell!


This weekend has been a weird one.
When I do my Tasmania, Adelaide and Perth seminar run – I do them all together over a four-day period; so it’s a pretty hectic schedule, even when it all goes to plan. This weekend, although there were some outstanding highlights (like Steve Stevenson, Adam Newton and Oliver Murray receiving their black belts) there were some definite challenges.
The first hurdle presented itself when I turned up at the airport in Tassie and tried to make the flight to Melbourne to connect on to Adelaide. My itinerary (booked online last year) showed that my flight took off in 2007. Apparently, it’s now 2009! Why don’t people keep me informed of these things?
Fortunately, there was another airlines that was running an hour behind schedule, so I threw my itinerary in the trash and bought a fresh ticket with them (they ripped me royally, charging me more than three times what I had already paid). So money aside, at least I made it back to Melbourne, where I waited five hours at that airport to catch my next delayed flight to Adelaide.
The Adelaide seminar, like the Tassie seminar was a great success. I grabbed six hours sleep before getting up at 5:45am to head to the Adelaide airport to catch my 7am flight to Perth. Upon arrival, the smiling check-in attendant told me that I had missed my flight. I pointed out that I was an hour early – and was on the 7 am flight. I showed him my itinerary. Without glancing at it, he (smiling) told me the flight leaves at 6:15am. Sorry! He says (smiling still). I ignored him and ran to the check-in counter (apologizing to those I pushed in front of). I showed the check-in staff, who said ‘too late, it’s leaving now’. ‘Please ask your supervisor ‘ I requested. He shook his head but wandered up to the supervisor and promptly came back with another ‘sorry, you’re too late.’ I then ran up to the supervisor and put my case forward, showing him my Qantas itinerary, which clearly said 7am departure. He said, “sorry, there’s just nothing we can do’. I put t him that I was prepared to leave my luggage with them and run to the plane. He looked momentarily puzzled, then asked if someone could pick it up for me that morning – I replied in the affirmative – he got onto his walkie-talkie for a moment, and then said. You’ll have to run.
I had just enough presence of mind to pull Steve’s shiny new Black Belt out of my luggage – (forgot my toothbrush!) – and I handed him my suitcase as he handed me my boarding pass and I made my last sprint for that morning.
My alarm clock at gone off at 5:45 am in my hotel room – and by 6:15am the plane was taxi-ing down the runway.
I also realised, that my flight home from Perth was booked for 3:15pm, instead of 6pm. So I am hoping that friends and Black Belts Troy Flugge and Adam Metcalf can do a last minute ring-around and re-schedule tomorrow’s (Sunday) seminars for slightly earlier time-slots.
Al I can think of is that there must have been some major glitch in the on-line booking process the day I booked this weekends travel (sometime last year).
On the positive side of the things – after dumping my luggage at the Adelaide airport, I am now travelling light. Just need to buy a toothbrush and underwear. I’ll borrow a spare t-shirt and soldier on.
I have just called the strength and conditioning coach for the Geelong Cats, who have just won their football game in Adelaide today. the team is on their way back to the airport to head home, so they will be picking up my abandoned luggage and will deliver it to me home for me. Go Cats!
So there it is – a slice of my travel life. Simple message here I guess – don’t take NO for an answer! Not when it counts!
Now … what kind of toothbrush …

JBW

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4 Comments

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Craig 5:36 pm

John
Now that was a monumental muck up....I can't believe all that! I can believe that you made it to all of your destinations though. If the will is strong (no pun intended) there's always a way.
Craig

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Anonymous 12:56 pm

Haha,...I was just wondering why your hair was so messy when I went to the seminar at Troy's. Now I know why. Hope all is well now.

Jett

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My advice - when anyone makes an online flight booking - double check the itinerary when you print it out. Also, it may be worth double checking with the airline a few days before travel, that the flights havn't changed. They are supposed to send you an e-mail, informing of any changes, but sometimes, this can stuff up. perhaps their server (or ours) gets a glitch on the day they try to inform you. Whatever. But double check. This is the second time this has happened to me. Still, it all worked out pretty well.

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double checking a few days beforehand: definitely.
last time I went home (only to the other side of the globe) the flight I had booked had ceased to exist, and I was actually flying two days earlier.
nobody felt like they should tell me about that, and it was discovered by pure chance when I needed a second print-out.

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