Murphy's Law Arrival
aka thick fog in Auckland
Well, a smooth transition onto a domestic flight home was not to be. First indication of the disruption was when the pilot of our large plane from Singapore said that conditions on the ground were 'hazy'. He wasn't kidding by half: you could barely see a meter from the window. It's lucky we were on such a modern aircraft with all it's instruments, as I heard of other large international planes that had to turn back or divert.
First indication of the fun ahead came when I couldn't check my baggage in at the international terminal. But it was still only mid-morning and there were still a couple of hours for the fog to clear before my next flight. Check-in was 'suspended' but the flight wasn't yet cancelled...
When you see TV news pictures of the chaos caused with these kind of airport disruptions, you usually get to see the crowds of people. But what you don't see is how much queuing then becomes involved. Once your flight is cancelled you queue to get another time.... If the new flight gets cancelled, you queue again... There are queues to use the phones, and queues to get accommodation. I must admit, I was feeling quite tired and it was hard to be patient when home and bed were so near but so far...
When my second Palmy flight was cancelled, I decided to try booking on one of the big Wellington planes instead, as they were still flying. I was booked to fly out at 6am, and the lovely smiling young woman at Auckland tourism booked me into a nearby motel for the night that did early airport transfers in its room price.
Auckland airport was still fogbound this morning, but my Wellington flight flew. Then I caught a shuttle to the railway station and found I had 20 minutes to get a seat on the Northerner train due to depart. Now I am en route north for Palmy, and the sun is even shining.
Full credit to the Air New Zealand staff involved with all the bookings yesterday. They were unfailingly polite despite the pressures. But there weren't enough ground staff on hand to deal with the problems. People queued in the wrong places etc. They really needed more people on desks, plus a few more 'triage' people working down the queue lines, helping to answer questions etc.
But all that is behind me, and I am on the train home!
Sent from my iPod