3/2/10: Auckland, New Zealand
[Editor’s Note: If you’re reading this in your Google Reader, come check out our new header!]
Today should have been our longest day of the trip. Here’s what should have happened:
3/2/2010 6:30am – wake up in Wanaka, walk to the town center
3/2/2010 7:30am – take the bus to Queenstown airport
3/2/2010 11:50am – land in Auckland
3/2/2010 4:40pm – take off for our 14-hour flight to Santiago
3/2/2010 12:10pm – land in Santiago, 4.5 hours before we take off
3/2/2010 10:00pm – hit the hay, ending our 42-hour day
And I was so excited, because think of all the possibilities for a blog post on a day when our flight lands 4.5 hours before it even took off in the first place! It means we would be able to see into the future! I could have told you all sorts of things about what’s going to happen, like the Powerball numbers and what you’re going to eat for dinner. Sadly though, that’s a post for another day. Because though all went as planned until we reached Auckland, when we arrived at the airport, we were greeted by the news that our flight to Santiago had been cancelled. This didn’t come as a huge surprise to us since we knew the Santiago airport still wasn’t operating because of the damage caused by the earthquake, but I have to say that we were still a bit thrown off.
We checked into our hotel, courtesy of LAN and then spent the next five hours on the phone with three different people from two different airlines trying to somehow book ourselves on the next available flight to Santiago or reroute ourselves to get to South America. Out of those five hours I spent on the phone, about three of them were spent on hold. Kevin, being the loving husband that he is, entertained me by starting an impromptu game of Pictionary.
“Jamaican bobsled team! That’s an easy one. But where’s the lucky egg?” I asked. “There wasn’t enough room for the lucky egg,” Kevin replied. I studied his picture and drew a little egg next to one of the team member’s hands. “There!” I said proudly. “Um, nice try.” Kevin said matter-of-factly. “But that’s not Sanka. Sanka’s the brake man.” As if that were the most obvious thing in the world, and how could I be so stupid to not realize that Sanka is the brake man?
That cracked me up, but maybe you had to be there.
Anyway, after speaking to Qantas, who told me to call American, who told me to call Qantas again, we finally got our ticket re-issued with a flight to Buenos Aires on March 10th. This meant that we would have to rearrange our South America travel plans a bit, but it also meant that we now have an extra week in New Zealand. And even though that won’t be too nice on our budget, who am I to complain about spending another week in the most beautiful country on Earth?
[By the way, I’d just like to mention here that the American Airlines person was not very nice to us at all, but Qantas – oh man – they are the kings of airline customer service. They were the nicest people ever, and thanks to them we’re now on a Qantas RTW ticket instead of an AA RTW ticket, which is what we should have done in the first place!]
[Also by the way, I felt super awkward when spelling my name for the Qantas people, because I knew had to say “ZED” for “Z,” but it felt like I was lying to say “ZED.” So unfortunately it came out: “Um… ZED? Um… H – A – N – G.” I ended up just sounding like an idiot, as if I wasn’t sure how to spell my name in the first place.]
After we got our plane tickets sorted out, we went to eat our complimentary hotel buffet dinner. Kevin had one bowl of soup and three plates of food, and I finished off my dinner with a bowl of fruit and three slices of cake. So even though we didn’t end up having our 42-hour-longest-day-ever, hey, at least we got to eat until we felt sick! Which is always a good way to finish the day.
Pictures of the Day: Acting like the small children we are in Wanaka.