Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Lows And The Highs....

BA 747 from JNB to LHR.  Big birdie...

CruisingAltitude has discovered the key to mileage run happiness.  Currently, it's comprised of a BA WT+ Bulkhead seat, Bose headphones, nice single malt, and a cup of ice.  

Okay, that needs some explaining....or....we'll not really, but I'm going to anyway.
BA still has Glenlivet 12 in
minis...come on, AA!

The next chapter in this weekend's mega mileage run has its highs and lows.  It starts with waking up, wide awake at 3:45 in the morning, Jo'Burg time, then finally getting back to sleep at 6 to wake up at 8:30 (half an hour past my alarm) to a message my meeting had been moved to half an hour earlier than expected.

The meetings were successful...though I was starting to feel the 24 hr flight time & 10hr time change with a vengeance.  I actually started to think maybe the turn around was the easier option.

And then.....it got worse.  Upon arriving back at O. R. Tambo airport, I walked toward the check in desk, only to have that sinking, sickly feeling that I was missing something.  I was.  My passport. 

Dammit.  Times infinity. 

My safety first, cunningly smart international traveler plan to lock my passport up in the safe had backfired. It was safely locked up in my hotel room 30km away at the Hilton Sandton.  

Luckily, I was early enough to handle the s#%t out of this dilemma.  I hopped on the Gautrain (which, by the way, I recommend taking...and while I'm on the subject, I'd like to just say that my current homecity of LA should be ashamed.  Their public transport system has officially been surpassed by a city in Africa that was previously the most dangerous place outside of an active warzone.  Yes really.)

JNB Gautrain station 
 Annnyway..... Like I was saying, after asking a stranger to look up the hotel phone number for me, two train rides, a round trip shuttle to the station, and meeting a Delta pilot and the head of the Cape Town transport department later, I was back at JNB and ready for check in.  (No, the pilot really plays no part in this story ....but I thought it was cool)

So this brings us to check in.  Remember at this point I've had a day of being heavily let lagged, lost passport, and such.  I head to the nice BA premium line and get my boarding pass...which shows my carefully selected exit row bulkhead has been changed to row 42...something.  Cue embarrassing frequent flier breakdown.  

I'm not proud, I think I've made that blatantly clear in many of these posts.  This though...this was a new low.  I was tired, and coming down from the panic of 'Oh my God I've lost my passport and am going to live in Africa forever I don't love giraffes THAT much!!'

I must have looked like the saddest and most upset kicked puppy in the world.  I was trying ever so hard to not be 'that traveller' but I had no poker face left.  After a few minutes of 'but I picked that row a month ago' and 'is there anything else left in an exit row?' I actually had the experience of the agent looking worried and asking in heavily accented english if 'I was going to be ok?' I think the next words out of her mouth were going to be 'do you need a tissue?'

Officially. Embarrassed. 

Long story short, I sulked off through security to the Galleries First lounge (report later- small in size, but nice offerings and tom yum soup that was the first thing my stomach could handle well all day).  And prepared myself for a cramped 11 hour third long haul flight.  

Then, miracle.  When I handed my boarding pass over at the gate, it beeped.  Not that normal beep....but that beep that means something's up.  Something was up- an operational upgrade to world traveler 'plus.' Thank OneWorld status and whatever saint is in charge of travelers.  These seats come with extra space, pitch, added footrests, and marginally better food choices.

The other flyertalker on the flight got a similar upgrade, and I don't think I've seen two happier people I recent history.  I think we were near to jumping into each other's arms out of relief, actually.  He had even more reason for appreciating the extra space- as he had spent his 15hour JNB layover sleeping on and off on BA Galleries lounge chairs, recovering from a bout of food poisoning on his inbound flights!
WT+ Boarding Pass- Day. Saved.

It's all about the lows that make the highs better, am I right??  Once we hit altitude, I felt great.  Either it was the relief of a comfortable seat, or by this point I'm just addicted to artificial pressurization.
BA WT+ Seat and amenities

Well, that just about brings us current....now, for some reruns of the Big Bang Theory, a little reading, and hopefully....some sleep before arrival in LHR.


(Note- posted from DFW on the way home, so spoiler alert-Im alive.  Rest of posts to follow.)

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