Sunday, March 02, 2008

Sydney, Australia: Leaving Sydney Inernational, Sydney Australia (SYD)

02MAR08 Sydney International, Sydney Australia (SYD)

I arrived at the airport at 9:51a, even after missing the 9:00a train from my friends’ stop. I was too busy having breakfast and checking mileages for my possible options from Sydney so I left their place at 8:50a.

I first headed upstairs to the check-in area and chatted with Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) as they have a 10:20p flight to Hong Kong arriving at 5:55a on March 3, 2008. It had room so push comes to shove that is my last back up out of Sydney although it makes for a really long day though.

Next stop was Emirates (EK) to see if my waitlist on the flight via Bangkok (BKK) to Dubai (DXB) had cleared and it had not :-(. They had just finished checking in the inbound flight to Auckland (AKL) and were clearing up. I then headed for Etihad Airways (EY) for the Airbus A340-500 flight to Abu Dhabi (AUH) and was told that it was full and they were trying to get passengers on other flights.

Umm…I am zero for two now. I went over to Air Canada (AC) to see how their Boeing 777-200LR service to Vancouver (YVR) was. When I got there I saw a flight 2234 on the board also to Vancouver. I also heard the agent finalizing some upgrades for that flight. As it turns out, AC2234 was AC34 from two days ago; a mechanical I assumed. But it was now 10:34a and too late for me to get on it as it was leaving at 11:00a. Bummer, I thought as that flight would have connected with the 8:00a Continental flight to Houston.

I had seen the aircraft at the gate and was wondering why they were loading a 1:30p departure so early with cargo; now it all makes sense.

She said that the 1:30p looked bad as well, but if I wanted to try it I had to be back by 12:45p the latest to be checked in. I thanked her and headed for Qantas (QF).

At Qantas, the agent checked me in for the noon flight and said it did not look too bad, although all three cabins were overbooked, but not by too many; maybe I’ll get lucky and make it to Business Class at least I thought. He said to be back no later than 11:15a. I thanked him and headed for the Observation Deck.

It is always nice to hang out there as you get a pretty good view of the terminals and the operations. I saw a few airplanes being towed as well as landing and taking, then it was time to go.

I was keeping an eye on my bag and saw a guy who obviously was not there to watch planes looking around. I kept my eye on him and he continued on.

It was almost time to return to Qantas anyways so I did. In a few minutes, I collected a middle seat boarding pass close to the back of the plane. I thanked the agent and headed for the security area.

There were no lines and by now it was 11:30a and boarding had started by the announcement on the PA. I cleared more security near the gate and then waited a bit. As I did, I saw the Air Canada Boeing 777-200LR taking off as well as Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER.

I asked the agent for a better seat, but he said there were none available and I was quite lucky to get a seat.

I then boarded.

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