Travel

Sorry end to an indulgent holiday

Waiting for an age in the check-in line due to mismanagement is a test of patience.
Waiting for an age in the check-in line due to mismanagement is a test of patience. Glenn Jeffrey

IT was almost the perfect mini-break. We'd flown to Melbourne two days before New Year. We booked ourselves a lovely room in a lovely hotel right in the centre of town. And we had a simple plan: we would spend five days and five nights eating very well indeed at the best restaurants in town, with intermissions involving lying down in our flash, air-conditioned room (the mercury hit 40 degrees the day before we left) in between the furious feasting.

Our timing couldn't have been better. It turns out that, like Auckland, central Melbourne goes a bit sleepy over the Christmas period, so we were able to eat in almost every flash joint we'd heard of or read about. On our last night, over a plate of oysters, we agreed that it was a mission utterly and satisfyingly accomplished.

And then, the following morning, we caught a cab to begin our journey home.

It is true that we arrived at Melbourne's airport rather less relaxed than we had been feeling when we left the hotel. This was mainly due to the taxi driver spending the 30-minute trip shouting loudly into his cellphone while occasionally picking his nose.

However, whatever was left of the bliss brought on by five days of great food, excellent wine and some well-earned lying down was completely gone by the time we stepped aboard our Air New Zealand flight.

Our early arrival - nearly two and a half hours before flying time so we might relax and have something to eat - was completely blown by the check-in.

The first problem was major. The baggage conveyer system at the check-in desk was on the fritz, so that for up to 15 minutes at a time, the desks could not process passengers.

Fixing it or sorting an alternative didn't seem a priority so, despite there being only 20 or so people in front of us, it took nearly an hour for us to get to a desk.

But it was what happened next that really did for our good mood. Our one case was overweight by a few kilos and we had one extra item (a small, light pouffe we'd bought) to check-in. Total cost, $80, which seemed excessive, but what are you going to do? Pay up, of course.

Only it wasn't that simple. This bit of highway robbery came with a sadistic twist. The money couldn't be paid at the Air NZ desk. No, I had to walk to the domestic terminal next door, queue again at the Qantas counter, get a receipt then walk back to Air NZ (though this time go straight to the desk) before they'd give me my boarding pass.

This took more than 15 minutes and, after quickly buying something to eat, we only just made the opening of the gate.

After all that, we felt like a drink. Pity it took 90 minutes into a three-and-half-hour flight to get the staff to sell us a glass of wine.

>> Read more travel stories.

Topics:  airport, melbourne, new zealand, travel, travelling


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Cooroy's Elm St a traffic nightmare

HORROR: This is possibly Noosa's worst intersection for choking traffic - the intersection of Elm and Myall streets.

Mayor says Elm and Myall street junction worst intersection in Noosa

Noosa came alive with music and magic on the weekend

Trumpeters from the band Bullhorn.

Two events on Saturday attracted thousands of people

Kin Kin is on the road to a driven prosperity

ROAD AHEAD: The Kin Kin General Store cashes in.

Kin Kin on the road to better times

Latest deals and offers

Cooroy's Elm St a traffic nightmare

THE worst intersection in Noosa - the junction of Elm and Myall streets is already three times above its traffic capacity, Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington says.

Kin Kin is on the road to a driven prosperity

ROAD AHEAD: The Kin Kin General Store cashes in.

Kin Kin on the road to better times

Noosa to welcome charity cyclists on Thursday

READY SET GO: The cyclists kicked off their 700km charity ride from Coffs Harbour to Noosa on the weekend.

25 charity cyclists will finish a 700km in Noosa on Thursday

Dancing for dog rescue goes bush

SECOND CHANCE: Nicole Mecklem with Lunar,   Greg Molyneux,  Glen Elmes and Bron Innes with Poppy.

Eumundi Rotary helps four-legged folk in need

Noosa came alive with music and magic on the weekend

Trumpeters from the band Bullhorn.

Two events on Saturday attracted thousands of people

Stroke victim finally says thank you to ambos that saved him

SHOW OF GRATITUDE: Michael Shaw (centre), with his wife Christina (second from left), thanks ambulance officers Lee Wallis (far left), Annette Morris and Gary Lewis.

Noosaville man says thank you to ambulance officers

Community information session supports melanoma patients

Information session for melanoma patients, survivors and carers

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Noosa came alive with music and magic on the weekend

Trumpeters from the band Bullhorn.

Two events on Saturday attracted thousands of people

Sunshine tipped for Noosa Show

Volunteers, sponsors, competitors and organisers are getting excited for the Noosa Show.

The Noosa Country Show is almost here

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Kawana House office building sells for $10 million

EXCITING TIMES: Tony Justo and Darren Collins from CBRE at Kawana House, Innovation Way, Birtinya.

Office development pulls high sale price

Forum to test the state of Coast property market

USC's Dr Steven Boyd will host State of the Market forum.

Self-regulation and tighter funding guidelines will cushion the glut

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

Don't fence us in: Boomers keep housing options open

White Picket Fence

No one-size-fits all solution for retiree housing, expert says

Why 93-year-old 'bachelor' Paul prefers to keep his pad

Paul Pariscos.  Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

Paul Pariscos calls his unit at Maroochydore a bachelor pad