Sunday, March 24, 2013

Short European Trip - Weds

Recently had a short trip to Europe for training and tried to make the most of it.

Worked the Thursday morning before heading home for an afternoon flight. Taxi arrived right on time. Quite a bit of work going on at the airport with the expansion of the international terminal. Still lots of earthworks to be done and the cabbie told me that the airlines were moving in on Saturday!

Ate my lunch and then visited the polling station for the state election as I'll be out of the country on election day. No real privacy and my name was marked off electronically. Was searching for the ballot box when one of the staff showed me and mentioned, "I would have rugby tackled you." "Well," I replied, "I know taekwondo so that would have been interesting."

 Don't forget to vote

Checked in at Qantas - great, my bags are going all the way through to Vienna. Three flights so we'll see. I'll freeze if they don't make it. Border Security posed no issue. Did see some woman using her mobile in that restricted area but nobody said anything to her. Had to do a full body scan and passed - no missing body parts which is an obvious relief. Then, the first bit of work to do - shopping for duty-free cosmetics for the wirfe. And she prepared a bit of a list too. Just glad I took a photo of the list as I left the actual list in my baggage. The shop downstairs only had 2/4 items so I had to go upstairs after taking a look at the public viewing deck. Not a lot of activity plane-wise. Found all the required items but three of them were really expensive.

Bit quiet at the airport

Ha - one Indonesian guy left his wallet at the security checkpoint and another guy left his iPad behind. I remember leaving my backpack at the x-ray check in Korea once and just rescued it before it was sent away for destruction.

One of my pet hates emerged at boarding - upon the call to board no attention was paid to the rows being called for. So many people boarded prior to being called which slows down the whole boarding process. Same everywhere you go. Sat next to a young lass, Victoria, from Bolton who'd been in Oz for four months for a working holiday. She's seen more of my country than I have. Interestingly, all four air stewards in our section of the plane are male. Not a female-dominated job anymore.

Surprise, surprise. The entertainment system wasn't working properly as the audio was all jumpy. Same with my travelling companion. Tried swapping headsets. No difference. One of the attendants rebooted the screens. Victoria shared some M&Ms. Yummo.

"This is the best bad idea we have sir. By far." - Argo. Thoroughly enjoyable movie. Glad I had the option of the subtitled version as the audio was stuffed once again for the last 20 mins or so. And you miss so much of the dialogue due to aircraft noise. Got nearly two hours of work done on the laptop - email feature works brilliantly. Some much needed work done. We made up lots of time due to a strong tailwind kicked up by the cyclone on the northeast coast. I was unable to obtain a righthand side window seat with a view of the cyclone when I checked in - dammit.

Couldn't get wifi access at Changi Airport on my mobile. Not sure what the problem was (I know now though). Maybe I had to login first and accept the terms of service as I did with my laptop. Few more emails answered. No mucking around or queue jumping in Singapore. People boarded by rows as they were called and boarding passes were checked before allowing them to pass - as it should be. Lots of Germans onboard. Hardly surprising as we are bound for Frankfurt. Just about the oldest bunch of flight attendants I've ever seen.

Plane for Frankfurt from Singapore