Fairbanks to Brisbane

At 10.00am on Sunday 9 June, 2013 we boarded the bus to take us to Fairbanks Airport.  A very friendly Alaskan Airline employee checked us in and with much glee informed us that he had checked our suitcases through to Brisbane. We weren’t quite sure how that was going to happen as we were gong to Sydney first and needed to go through Customs there and we were changing carriers from Alaskan Air to Air Canada domestic to Air Canada International to Qantas domestic.

We boarded an Alaskan Air 737 at 11.55am for the hour-long journey to Anchorage.  The aeroplane was very interesting because the front half was sealed off to carry cargo and the back half was for passengers.

We had a three-hour wait in Anchorage for our next flight, Air Canada A320 to Vancouver, which took 3¼ hours, arriving at 7.05pm.  On some occasions we were able to see the Inside Passage and some of the mountains and glaciers that we had seen close up from the ship.  We were surprised at how quiet it was at Vancouver Airport and also how much it reminded us of Singapore Airport, on a much smaller scale of course.  They had made an artificial stream and a giant fish tank in the centre of the eating and shopping area.

Our Air Canada flight to Sydney, a Boeing 777-200, left just after midnight for its planned 15½ hour flight to Sydney.  We were due to land in Sydney at about 8.15am on Tuesday 11 June, due to crossing the International Date Line, but about 8.00am, the pilot announced that Sydney was closed due to fog and that although we had slowed down some time ago, the fog still hadn’t cleared and we were being diverted to Brisbane to take on extra fuel and head back to Sydney.

The pilot negotiated with Customs and Immigration and the Brisbane passengers were able to be offloaded, however, our suitcases had to continue to Sydney.  We were taken along the tarmac and through all the back doors/entrances to a very quiet Immigration and Customs area, where we completed some forms for our suitcases that would be taken through Customs in Sydney and then they would be flown to Brisbane.

Katharine and our beautiful little Patrick came to the airport earlier than anticipated to collect us and by mid morning we were home.  Although we had some sleep after we left Vancouver we had been virtually on the go for about 35 hours, so we were a little tired and in need of a shower and a decent HOT cup of coffee/tea.  We enjoyed chatting to Katharine and having cuddles with Patrick and were surprised when Janet dropped in to say hello and deliver the cat.

Our suitcases were delivered to us by lunchtime on Wednesday so our holiday is now officially over.

 


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