Smooth flight out of Wellington at noon heading to Auckland – though a little late leaving not a good start. AirNZ flight to connect with Emirates in Auckland. 2.5 hours in Auckland International Airport to check out the duty free and not do much else. Had to check in for the Emirates flights here – but the luggage was already tagged through to Cork – yeah right! I’m flying solo as my partner has to b et work until Good Friday (and has less leave than me). He’d pulled an all nighter so I had to wake him to get me to the airport on time.
Flying Emirates for the first time – they fly primarily to Australia but heavily discount the Auckland/Australia leg just to fill the planes. I’ve never stopped over in the MIddle East before so I am looking forward to that on the way back and I like how it will break up that killer 12 hour Europe-Asia long haul leg. On the way over its a milk run flight with only abut an hour on the ground in Brisbane, Singapore, Dubai and 2.5 hours to sprint between Heathrow terminals to make the Air Lingus flight to Cork. Leaving Auckland at 5:45pm we leave Singapore at 6:45pm and Dubai at noon so I am hoping to sleep the Singapore – Dubai leg.
Emirates stewardesses are in flash 50’s style pill box hats and mini-veils – their skirts are shorter than Air NZ’s hosties. They were generous on the checkin weight as I have a bag of stuff for the kids in Ireland – 21.5kg to be exact. The extra bag will come in handy though because we will leave it in Asia with the winter clothes we won’t need in Malaysia – packing for two distinct climates its a good idea to have a third bag to leave a hotel and collect at the end of the trip.
Plane was 1/2 to 1 hour late leaving Brisbane and we never caught up the time. Only then had about 1/2 hour on the ground at Singapore’s Changi airport – still one my favourite airports in the world – free email can’t argue with that in the middle of the night. Nice inboard flight entertainment system though – especially if you need to improve your Tetris score!
With only 20 minutes on the ground in Dubai -I didn’t see much of the super-modern airport as I was sprinting for the gate (and another security check). I would have made it (just) but the flight was delayed 1 hour anyways. It was at this point that my bag didn’t sprint fast enough and didn’t make the connection – but I would discover that much later.
Arriving in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 – was a mess I had an hour to navigate the renovation mess, find the transit route, catch a bus, do security, check in, hike 15 minutes to the Air Lingus gate (why are they always the furthest away?) Did it in 50 minutes but I wouldn’t recommend it! The flight was on last call – but was late again as well. The luggage took another day to get to Cork – but was delivered to my door – by a taxi driver who called me for directions! Finally arrived Cork at 4:30 pm 4 April – which happens to be my birthday so I did get a birthday cake!