Friday, February 4, 2011

Sydney to LAX on an A380...

Day 1 - Feb 3rd

Three years in the planning and the day finally arrives....

Locked the door to Hoddle Place behind us at about 11am and headed for the airport. To our delight, the three of us were upgraded to business class at check-in, so no nervous wait at the gate to see if there are enough seats. We have always managed to get an upgrade (touch wood for the trip home next month), but it is usually a sweat until 10 mins before the plane is due to leave.

Tarrant made the trip to the airport with us to farewell Casey. He caught a train home and I guess just waited for Casey to call when she landed. He wasn't disappointed, as soon as she had a signal, the call was made. Thank goodness for the nifty iPhone app viber otherwise they would have run up a hefty bill already.

Diane and Casey did a small amount of duty free shopping, but with the dollar being as strong as it is, most things are just as cheap here in the USA.

I took a pic as we walked down the corridor to board....

By 15:00 we were comfortably settled into our seats and the first impressions of the A380

So much room!!!!

Impossible to touch the seat in front, even with your legs outstretched. There were a group of about 10 guys on the plane travelling to a conference who made right royal pests of themselves and copped an official warning to pull their heads in. But they were able to drink in groups by actually standing in front of their mates and still having room to the seat in front.

Another great gauge of just how much space there was, is when your neighbours seat/bed is down in a completely flat state, there is still enough room to squeeze past the end of the bed without the need to climb over them.

The entertainment package is also seriously impressive. HUGE selection of movies both new and old, plus TV shows, sitcoms, heaps of music selections, games etc etc.

Yep I'm sold, I'm not sure I even want to go back to flying in 747' I'm sure Seinfeld fans will remember the episode when Jerry takes the one and only first class seat and leaves Elaine in coach "I can't go back, I won't go back!!!"

Immigration was the usual nightmare. A Japan Airlines plane just beat us in, so we had a plane full of Japs trying to get thru immigration with all the language barriers etc to slow the process down to a crawl. I'm really not sure why we paid $14 per person to register for the ESTA thingy? I was under the obviously false impression that it would make things quicker, but it was the usual fingerprint scan on both hands and picture taken, so it appears this new regulation to register with ESTA is just a money grab. The process was identical to the past 3 times I've gone thru immigration at LAX.

And to the Rats and extended family, don't load the kids up with too much carry on luggage on Saturday. The walk to immigration from the special gate the A380 needs to pull into (it has dual upper and lower walkways) is very very lengthy.

We checked into our hotel (Hilton LAX) around midday and had a few hours sleep. Got a cheap shuttle to Manhattan Village Mall which is just a few blocks back from Manhattan Beach. A great burger meal at a local chain called Islands(similar to a Hogs Breath type setup).

Relaxing in our room now and hopefully get a good nights sleep. It will be another big shopping day for the girls tomorrow when we go to a big mall nearby. I may grab a pair of walking boots, but I doubt I'll be making any big purchases given I have decided it's time for new ski boots which I am buying at Big White.

That's all for now, the trip has finally started and my aim is to update the blog daily, although there will be times, particularly when on the train, it will be impossible for me to get a connection. I'm currently on a dodgy unsecured connection here in LA, so think yourself lucky you even got the Day 1



  1. Hey Bob, I doubt the A380 will have that much room down in cattle class. Enjoy the serenity you have now cause in 24 hours the noisy kids arrive. Hehehe!!!

  2. Hi Brenda, I see you are using the "stay up to the wee, wee hours so I'm so tired I have to sleep on the plane" trick...

    And thx for the reminder *Note to self: earplugs at chemist*