Day 36

Home at Last!

Sat 7 Jan  We arrived in China at 5:30am and things seemed to be more organised.  We were lined up according to our destination.  Once again it took about 20 min to process each booking and some passengers were very unhappy – we guessed they were not being put on the next flight in 2 hours.  Included in this was the same group of backpackers.  Even the counter staff seemed to be arguing with each other.  An official was taking photos of all the passengers – maybe they would deal with the trouble makers later!

Eventually we made it to the front of the queue and got our boarding passes despite a long interruption by another angry passenger arguing with our processing officer.  We were taken to the head of the immigration line as the plane was already boarding.  A number of people from our original flight had been upgraded to business class and were looking pretty pleased!  We had all been allocated separate seats in various locations.  Michael and Chris both had a spare seat next to them and I had 2.  As more passengers got on I waited for the inevitable – someone next to me.  When the plane began to reverse out and I still had 3 seats all to myself, I couldn’t believe it!  Needless to say I had a great flight – lying down sleeping all the way.  I woke up briefly a few times to find I had missed another meal.

We landed in Sydney at 9:30pm, but the drama was not over.  Not one of our 5 pieces of luggage was on the carousel!  There were about 20 other passengers without luggage – probably all were from our original flight.  So – we had to give our details and rebook our hotel that we should have been at the previous night.  We stayed at the Formula One, close to the domestic terminal and were pleased to discover a McDonalds next door – quite sick of airline food plus I hadn’t eaten for 10 hours.  So, another night and day in the same clothes!  The other issue was that we were wearing winter clothes and we were in Australia in the middle of summer!

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