Part One: Transit in Santiago, Chile
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Flight 043 was late to depart Sydney. There had been a fire alarm
incident at the Qantas Catering Division and this had led to a delay
in getting the in-flight meals on board the plane. When the plane
to Auckland finally left Sydney 2 hours late, I started to think
that I might miss my onward connection to Santiago de Chile.
I voiced my concern to cabin crew who confirmed that, indeed, there
was a problem. It seemed my flight out of Auckland would be leaving
15 minutes before this flight touched the ground.
the plane descended into New Zealand airspace, five other passengers
and myself were strategically moved to First Class. Apparently the
departure of our onward carrier Lan Chile flight 321 was being held
up so we could board. This was the good news. The bad news was that
since there was no time to transfer them, our checked luggage would
continue on to Los Angeles.
The cabin door opened, and on cue we leapt out, sprinted to our
next boarding gate, and ran down the 'tunnel' to our waiting plane.
The cabin door slammed behind us, and suddenly we were off again.
My two-minute sojourn in New Zealand was over, and I was left to
wonder at the consequences of having no clothes for the duration
of my tour. At least I would have plenty of time to think about
it. Our trans-Pacific flight would touch down in Santiago de
Chile after a tedious 12 hour flight.
it was still day two, at least according to the calendar. Although
night had fallen in Australia, it remained daylight for the rest
of the flight. My body clock was trying to tell me otherwise. Towards
the end of the very long flight, cabin staff happily informed me
that my luggage had actually been taken off in Auckland, and it
would join me in Santiago de Chile on Monday morning. Oops
– another drama – I would be flying out of Chile on
the Sunday morning.
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