So for the past month, I flew back to Calgary while Doran stayed in Melbourne since my leave of absence was over. Then I received an offer to work in Melbourne, so I resigned and spent the next 3 weeks preparing our condo for rental and packing everything to start a new career back in Australia. This is my step-by-step guide on how you can fly from Calgary to Melbourne and visit a few awesome places in between!
Step 1: To save money, book a standby flight back to Melbourne via two connections: one in Vancouver and another in Sydney. Remember to give yourself a few days just in case you don’t get on (eg. If you are supposed to start work Oct 5th, leave Sept 30).
Step 2: Have heartfelt goodbyes and start your journey to Vancouver.
Step 3: Find out that your flight to Sydney is somehow overbooked and there isn’t another flight until the next day. Show your standby ticket to the gate person and get scolded: “Absolutely not, no staff will fly on this flight.” Thank them without showing how devastated you are and head to the nearest hotel to rest while your boyfriend tries to figure out the answer to the question at hand: “Now what?”
Step 4: Flights from Vancouver to Sydney for the next few days look overbooked as well. New plan: Go from Vancouver to LA to Honolulu, then from Honolulu to Australia. Go to sleep and be happy that there is a plan.
Step 5: Arrive in LA and head over to the connecting flight to Honolulu in the domestic terminal in LAX. Meet a really nice Delta agent who comments on how fun you are by looking at your fun carry-on and bag tags.
Step 6: Don’t get on the Honolulu flight because it’s severely overbooked. You’re 44th on the standby line. That’s last place. Talk to the Delta help desk to see what you can do, only to find out the flight has been overbooked. Your checked luggage, however; somehow has a seat and has already been put on the plane to Honolulu.
Step 7: Run to the United Airline terminal to see if you can get on their flights.
Step 8: They are completely full for the day and overbooked too, so run to the American Airlines terminal to check there.
Step 9: Be sweaty and distraught while you go back to Delta to inquire about the extent of how overbooked everything is.
Step 10: Get lucky and find out someone cancelled their flight tomorrow morning to Honolulu. Pay for a confirmed ticket and be satisfied that you have a way to get to Honolulu. Thank the Delta agents for their help and sympathy.
Step 11: Things are looking up so why not get out of the airport (it’s 5pm) and go to Disneyland to lift your spirits?
Step 12: Rent a car and get stuck in LA traffic.
Step 13: Drive up to a hotel in next to Disneyland so that you can stay as late as possible in the park. Talk to the hotel for rates and find out the park closes at 10pm tonight. It’s 8pm.
Step 14: Die a little inside and head to the only place that has Wi-Fi (McDonald’s) to lament your situation to your boyfriend on the phone and have dinner.
Step 15: Since all your toiletries are all in Honolulu already, head over to Walmart to buy some small travel stuff and an apple because dinner at McDonald’s is not filling.
Step 16: Have your Visa payment be declined at Walmart for the 15 dollar purchase. You’re already dead inside so this is nothing. Just ask to use the phone to call Visa.
Step 17: Visa has office hours? Apparently so, because they are closed. Head back to the Walmart cashier and say you don’t need those items anymore and head back to a Wi-Fi area (McDonald’s) to find a hotel.
Step 18: The cheapest hotel near the car rental place smells like marijuana, but be glad you have a place to sleep and collect call Visa again. Don’t forget about the LA traffic.
Step 19: Find out your card was fine and realise you could have used your Visa debit card. Again, no worries, you’re already dead inside.
Step 20: Wake up and head to Honolulu.
Step 21: Make the best of the situation and utilize the 18 hour layover in Honolulu to have a mini vacation. Reminisce about your last couple of times here. Eat an Acai Bowl, walk along the beach in Waikiki. Eat the best Japanese curry of all time (Coco Curry House) and enjoy your time at the Ala Moana mall.
Step 22: Wake up and head to the airport. Pray you get a seat from Honolulu to Melbourne.
Step 23: You have a seat and you’re on your way home, but just before you land, have the 10 hour flight be meal-less because apparently you have to pay extra for a meal. And be ignored by the flight attendants when the drinks cart rolls by. Watch other people eat.
Step 24: Arrive in Melbourne 16 hours before your first day of work on Oct 4.