Today is the last leg of my trip home and something like back to the future. I leave South Korea at 11:40 am on Tuesday and arrive at Chicago, Illinois at 9:00 am on Tuesday. The flight was about 13 hours. I had the same good service I had on other Korean Air flights. I left at -9F from Chicago and returned to -9F. In between my ranged from a high of 95F in Cairns, to a cool 70F in Queensland, to 40F in Inchon. These were all daytime temperatures.
I returned home and began the process of unpacking and preparing for work which began the next day.
This is the first day of my three-day trek back to Illinois. Today I flew from Queenstown, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. The flight was several hours and about 1,200 miles. When I got to Sydney about 3:30 pm, I checked into my hotel at the airport then took a subway downtown. The car I road in looked new. Parts of the subway system looked new and other parts looked like vintage 1940’s, but always clean. Today was Australia Day. I first stopped at Cockle Bay (Darling Harbor) where there would be fireworks after sundown. I walked around the crowd, had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and listed to some music before leaving for Sydney Cove (Sydney Harbor) to see the famous Sydney Opera House and bridge crossing the bay. It was fun and I wish I had more time to stay to enjoy all of the festivities. I took the subway back to my hotel for an early night.
The flight to Cairns was uneventful. I flew on Virgin Australia which was more like the US airlines. When I arrived at the Cairns airport, I took a shuttle bus to the hotel. It seemed exceptionally hot. My room was upgraded to a corner with a patio on one side and large window on the other. The bathroom had a jacuzzi tub with a glass wall on two sides, one opening to the bedroom and the other to a shower area – interesting. The room was great, but hot. I asked them to check it out and was told that the air conditioner for the entire hotel was down. Lucky me. I stayed awake as long as I could with the door open in the hall way and the patio door to create a breeze, but when I went to sleep I closed the hall door.
When I checked into my room, I changed in to summer clothes and walked around town. I found a Woolworth department store that contained a shopping market where I bought bottled water and some tings for breakfast. I got the lay of the land so to speak. When I got back to the hotel, I checked in at the travel desk and changed my itinerary. My first adventure will be the Great Barrier Reef.
At about noon central time, Korean Air Flight 38 left Chicago, Illinois and I left the Arctic Vortex covering Canada and most of North America. The temperature was 9 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. That was a warm up from the -13 degrees and -38 degree windchill from a few days ago.
This is my first international flight (economy) on a non US airline and it was so much better. Let me count the ways.
Plenty of leg room.
Nice size media device with lots of entertainment options, each seat
Garment hanger, each seat.
SUB part, each seat.
Complimentary head phones, pillow, blanket, tooth paste and brush and slippers.
Wine, soft drinks, two meals and snacks provided.
I had to fly first or business lass on US airlines to get that kind of service.
About five hours into the flight we left Canadian air space and crossed into Alaska. Next up is the International Date Line. We crossed it about six hours and 45 minutes into the flight. From here we entered Russian air space coming across the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. Then we followed the Russian coast line along the Pacific to South Korea. To avoid North Korea, we swung out into the ocean coming into South Korea.
We took off on time on the second leg of the trip, a nine hour flight from Inchon, South Korea to Brisbane, Australia. This flight was equivalent to the red eye from our east to west coast. This flight turned into day 3.