Stacy in Antarctica

An adventure to the frozen continent

Updated plans.

Your Flight QF416 has been cancelled, please call Qantas on 1300 659 116

Picture this,

You’ve been on hold with Qantas for 2 hours and your arm is getting tired. You can’t use the speaker phone because for some reason Qantas’ hold music is too soft to hear through it. You haven’t been sitting idle during this time, you have been frantically searching the web for alternate flights within the next 48 hours. You find flights on Expedia for Nov 1st and decide to book. Expedia refuses to let you pay for the tickets because the flight departs within 48 hours. You almost lose it for a moment.

You pull yourself together and check the airline’s website for the flights. Aerolineas Argentina lets you pick the flights and book them too. You try to pay with your credit card and for some unexplained reason your payment is declined. You almost lose it for a moment.

You pull yourself together. You’re still on the phone with Qantas so you get out your mobile phone and call your bank while you wait. They have no idea what the problem is and can’t help you. You try to call the airline but the automated message on the line tells you that their hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Its 8pm on a Sunday night. You decide to try your other credit card, which you haven’t used in years. Its declined too. You call your other bank and get put on hold due to high traffic, no doubt for other reasons associated with Qantas’ grounding. In one ear you are listening to Qantas hold music, in the other its the bank.

You still have a flight to book and time is ticking away. You have a stroke of genius and head back to Expedia to book the Aerolineas leg of your trip because it is over 48 hours away. Expedia lets you book and pay this time. You let out a relieved cheer. You book your flight from Melbourne to Auckland with no trouble, you’re finally on your way. Your bank picks up and you have nothing to talk to them about anymore. You complete your purchases with a flight from Sydney to Melbourne in December. You breathe a huge sigh of relief.

You’re still on hold with Qantas, its been 3 hours now. Your arm has gone numb. You forget why you wanted to talk to them. You hang up the phone and make yourself a cup of chai to relax after a very stressful day.

I’m still on my way to Buenos Aires, I’m just leaving a day late, thanks go to Air New Zealand, Aerolineas Argentina and Virgin Airlines. I’m actually counting my lucky stars that out of the 2 days that Aerolineas flies from Auckland to Buenos Aires each week, I was only delayed by 1 day departing and I don’t have to change my return date. All I had to do was get myself to Auckland tomorrow. I’m still disappointed I couldn’t fly Qantas because the flight times would have been much shorter, but I am more than happy to know I am leaving soon. As I was originally flying to Sydney for the first leg of my trip with Qantas, I would have no guarantee of getting there any time this week so rescheduling was completely out of the question.

I guess I have to be thankful that in all the flights I’ve taken over the past few years I have never had anything more than a flight delay inconvenience my plans. No cancellations, no missed flights and no lost baggage (touch wood). Tomorrow morning I head to the airport to fly to Auckland, 24 hours later I will arrive in Buenos Aires. I’ve organised an airport pick up through my accommodation, who have been very understanding with my travel delay. I effectively miss out on 2 days in Buenos Aires and I added that extra time for this reason, so all is not lost.

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