Friday 22 May 2009
Highlights: Qantas First Class Lounge (Melbourne), Free upgrade to Premium Economy.
I got to enjoy both the QANTAS First Class and Business Class Lounges, courtesy of my Qantas Platinum membership. I enjoyed the view of the airport as I contemplate the trip ahead. I shared the lounge experience with my mother who will be with me for the USA part of this trip. Mum actually preferred Business Lounge with self serve options over the waiter service in First Class Lounge.
The trip started well with getting a free upgrade to Premium Economy for my flight to Los Angeles which will make the lengthy drive from Los Angels to San Francisco a bit easier.
So the flight left Melbourne at 10.15 am local time. My mum (Helen) who is with my for the USA part of this trip ended up getting an aisle seat back in economy so a very good start indeed for both of us.
The flight was very good as well (for a 13 hour flight!). I enjoyed watching a few movies:
- Frost / Nixon (excellent)
Marley & Me (funny at times …. I must admit to a few tears up a little at the end)
The Day The Earth Stood Still (Keanu Reeves playing an alien with limited understanding of emotions makes sense -:) not great but watchable).
Mall Cop (very weak)
I also watched some Family Guy episodes.
The extra room in Premium Economy was good but given it was the middle of the day back home I didn’t really sleep, maybe getting about 60 minutes sleep maximum.
After some problems at customs (I hate the finger printing and mug shot they do these days) and a shock about the car rental, charged double the price once compulsory insurance is added (I hate not advertising the full price practises) we headed off to San Francisco.
The drive started around 9.15 am local USA time (still on the Friday due to time zone changes) and finished at 5.05 pm. So just short of 8 hours, back home it was 10 am in the morning so I’d basically stay up 28 odd hours with the last 8 of then driving! The good thing was it forced me to get over the jetlag. We eventually went to sleep around 9 pm local time (32 hours awake).
BTW the price of food in USA is about the same as in Australia i.e. value meal would cost $6.95 AUD will cost $6.95 USD but unfortunately the currency conversion kills you. To have the same purchasing power our dollar should be at about $0.98 cents US (like it was in September last year), the fact they keep printing more money says our dollar should go up, we’ll see.