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Los Angeles - Day Five: Limbo

USA | Wednesday, 7 November 2012 | Views [324]

Good evening from somewhere near LAX! 

Today has been a long, tedious day, but it is the evening here in Los Angeles and we are safe. 


Our day began with a rude 5am wake up alarm (on both our phones, so we didn't miss a plane), followed by a quick half an hour to get ready and make our way down to reception to check out before we had to be picked up by the Shuttle Company at 5.45am. 

We had enjoyed our stay at the Ramada Plaza, and were pleased by their service and their recommendations to us. We travelled around the West side of L.A this morning picking up a few more airport bound patrons along the way, eventually arriving with a full bus at LAX about 6.45am. The driver dropped us off, and we walked into the terminal with American Airlines and Qantas, for domestic depatures (going to New York.. domestic, yeah?). Well a woman who asked where we were going told us all flights to John F Kennedy airport were cancelled due to another severe weather front approaching the coast on the East side of the nation. Distressed, and not sure what to do, we stayed in line to be told by a rude, horrible American Airlines check in person that she could not help us with Qantas enquiries (even though it was a code share flight) and directed us to the Tom Bradley International Terminal to speak to a Qantas staff member. 

We grabbed our bags, and a trolly, and made our way across to the International Departure hall. It was pretty much empty, and we were the first at the Qantas desk. We, all stressed, blurted god knows what at the woman who smiled and explained Qantas was still flying as it was an International flight (Syd-L.A-JFK). We checked in, happily, and got some breakfast. 

On our way to our gate, we passed the most strict security check point ever (and only for an domestic flight!). We had to take our shoes, jumpers, scarfs and belts off, empty all pockets, be poked, prodded and scanned and then shoved off to organise all our belongings again. 

After a bit of a laugh at a lady who thought it was necessary to put one item of clothing in each tub, we made our way to gate 120 for our departure. Sections of the plane were boarded, and we were last to board as we were close to the front. It was a releif to find the plane relatively empty, and we had a whole row to our selves to stretch out for the 4.5 hour flight. 

As we buckled up, after a morning of stress and uneasyness, an announcement from the Pilot came over the cabin telling us, as a last minute decision due to adverse weather conditions, the plane would not fly due to safety when landing in New York, as the runway was covered in ice and 2-3inches of snow. We waited anxiously, as we were told to disembark the plane and wait for ground staff to find alternate arrangements. 

After making our way back through the airport, we were calm this time, as our safety to us as well is paramount. A potential risky landing was not really needed. We then waited for about an hour near the check in desk to be told Qantas would put us up in a room for the night, with food and transfers to the airport for a rescheduled flight tomorrow morning (Thursday 8th November, 8.45am local US time). As a group, we got on a number of courtesy vehicles and made our way to our hotel near LAX.

Arriving, thoughts were pretty average. It is a poorly designed and decorated Spanish theme hotel/motel type building, with average rooms. However, having a place to stay with a shower and a comfy bed it is ok for one night, with free food, so we are ok. Having said this, we are hoping to again be able to fly tomorrow morning ,as the weather should have passed over New York by 4am their time (we are 3 hours behind that again here in Los Angeles), and we would be arriving 12 hours after that (about 4pm). 

So from the desk in our dinky, slightly dampish windowed hotel room, we wish you good night. We are safe and well, and greatful we are not spending a day at the airport. 


Ben and Steph 

Tags: stranded

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