Getting It (Sorta) Done, Qantas Style

If you want something difficult to get done, let’s say, getting your child into a certain daycare facility or, maybe, getting to the bottom of an insurance bill, let me just offer up a suggestion — get someone at Qantas on it. No, seriously. These guys take care of difficult stuff, quickly and efficiently and very pleasantly.

This is a real Qantas employee. Doesn’t she look nice?

Let me explain: So, after three days of wining and dining and lazing our way through the Barossa Valley, we reluctantly drove back to Adelaide to board a 7 pm flight back to Sydney. We planned to fly to Sydney the night before our 10 am flight to Bangkok so that we’d have one last night in Sydney and plenty of time to get up and make our way to the airport in the morning.

You probably see where this is going already, don’t you?

Yes, there was some rain and weather in Adelaide. And yes, our 7 pm flight to Sydney got cancelled. And, of course, there were no more flights out that night. All of us on the Sydney flight were told that we’d been put up in a hotel in Adelaide, given vouchers for meals and cabs, and been rebooked on a 7 am flight the next morning.


However, a 7 am flight would not work for us since we had a 10 am connection in international, and would need to pick up our luggage, recheck it, go through security in the international terminal, and be in the boarding area about 45 minutes before the flight.

We explained this to the lovely Qantas people in the business lounge at the Adelaide airport and not only did they deal with the other 100-plus passengers (most of whom were typical, laidback Australians about the whole thing – “no worries,” — but a few of whom were THOROUGHLY disgruntled and unpleasant), but the lovely Qantas people also worked their butts off getting us on an earlier 6 am flight.

And, Lisa (that was the manager on call in the lounge that night) checked through our two largest bags on through Sydney onto Thai Airlines, so we wouldn’t have to pick them up and recheck them. Just check in at Adelaide in the morning, give them our bags and we’d see them waiting at the carousel in Bangkok.

We finally left the airport around 9 pm to hightail it to the lovely Majestic Roof Garden Hotel (no St. Regis, but it was fine) for a night of one last bottle of Barossa wine purchased at the airport gift shop as it was closing (a Turkey Flat Grenache-Shiraz-Mourvedre blend), and a pretty bad lasagna ordered from room service, before getting up at 4 am to return to the airport.

Alas, Lisa’s efforts came to naught, although we do genuinely appreciate the effort.

“What am I supposed to do without my Kerastase?”

No, our primary luggage remained in Sydney for the two days we were in Bangkok. We’re not sure who is to blame (Qantas in Adelaide for thinking they could check it through? Qantas in Sydney for not paying attention to the international connection tags? Or Thai Airlines, who let us check on our two additional carry-on bags at the departure counter in Sydney, but seemed to have an awful lot of technical difficulties doing it, which makes us wonder if they did something to override the earlier bag check-ins?)

Luckily, we’d had the foresight to repack our smaller carry-on bags while at the Majestic in Adelaide. We both packed a couple of changes of clothes, our bathing suits and a few other essentials.

Things like my full-size hair products (which I desperately need all three of, and will defend them to my dying breath) had to be clawed from my frizzy-headed grasp and placed in the full size suitcases since we weren’t sure what the Thai-TSA-equivalent rules were exactly. If they weren’t all so damn expensive (including a curl cream I have to order from Canada – yes, I am spoilt and high-maintenance), I would have risked it. As it was, I just made sure I had some spare barrettes on hand.

Our bags did eventually catch up with us in Bangkok. Unfortunately, they were actually delivered around midnight of the morning we were departing. We had them brought up around 7 am, just so we could grab some clean clothes and my beloved hair products out of them, before hauling them right back to the airport.

So, while I started this post by saying that Qantas can do just about anything, I should say, they aren’t superhuman or anything. But they really do the best they can, and they’re very pleasant about it. I can say their customer service that night was way beyond what we’ve experienced in similar situations here in the U.S.

Qantas cartoon

Now if Qantas could just find a way to let a poor girl carry on her full-sized, over-priced, difficult-to-replace hair products, I’d be their absolute biggest fan ever. I’d probably even get their logo tattooed on my ankle or something. It’s a pretty cute kangaroo.