The next day our flight was scheduled to leave at 10.15pm, by which time I was already about four hours past my need to crash*.
We arrived at LAX nice and early for our flight, and attempted to check in with V Australia at Terminal 1. The man behind the counter (labelled with 'Warning: This area contains carcinogenic chemicals' - you know, as it does...) cheerily told us the flight had been cancelled and that we must proceed to Air New Zealand in Terminal 2.
Well, Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 may only be adjacent, but they are bloody big terminals, and it was the equivalent of shlepping two ginormous suitcases from Sydney to Newcastle***.
We waited in line at Air New Zealand and were finally served by another man behind another counter which apparently also contained carcinogenic chemicals. He didn't seem fussed by the cancer risk, but he also didn't seem to have any idea where we could sit on the replacement flight or indeed if we were sitting at all.
|And then it became a flat bed.....|
'Please help to sort this out,' I begged him. 'I'm tired and I need to go home to my kids.'
And then I wept, just a little.
Within five minutes we were all sorted, we were seated on the 11.30pm flight to Sydney, and we were in Business Class, and I hugged my Team Leader like he was Simon Baker. He seemed unfussed.
We started boarding the plane at 10.30pm, except it wasn't a plane, it was a bus driving us to the plane, and I swear it took so long to get there I thought we were actually driving to Australia (though perhaps a ferry would take us over the troublesome water bit).
We finally boarded the actual plane at about 11.15pm, and then sat there for quite a while, during which time I delightedly (and deliriously) examined my Business Class box of goodies, which included cosmetics, toothbrush, eye mask, and some rather fashion-forward candy striped socks.
At 12.15pm we finally took off. I tossed back my complimentary champagne, donned my candy striped socks, converted my enormous seat into a flat bed, slipped on my eye mask, and cuddled under my doona like the Business Class princess I was.
I slept soundly for a bit, then stumbled out in a confused haze to go to the toilet (which was spacious and smelled like roses).
'Can you sell me the dime?' I slurred to the nearest flight attendant.
He looked at his watch. 'It's 2.20am,' he told me.
'Oh, tho we've been in de air for doo hours?' I asked.
'No,' he said carefully, clearly making a mental note not to serve me more alcohol. 'We've been in the air for nine hours.'
And suddenly, I was wide awake and happy as Larry****.
I spent the rest of the flight watching movies (Morning Glory, which was hilarious, and Black Swan, which most definitely was not), eating every course of the magnificent breakfast, and generally feeling delighted.
And we landed in Sydney, where we caught a cab back home to a beautiful Welcome Home sign from my kids, and real life began once more.
And it isn't Business Class. But it's mine.
*using '30th' in the sense of '50th'.
**'crash' as in 'sleep'; not crash as in 'plane crash', I would never have a need for that.
***okay, so perhaps not that bad, but I was exhausted and hungover and really cranky, and it felt very long.
****or at least, happy as my husband, who looked pretty damn comfortable in his flat bed.