It had to happen.
Sooner or later, on one of our short changeover schedules, we were going to miss a flight.
I had a sinking feeling at 5am when the Captain announced that we had made excellent time but that air traffic control were not going to allow us to land until 6.20am.
That was going to make our connection schedule very tight. We had less than 40 minutes to get through immigration, collect our bags, clear Australian Customs and get from Sydney’s International Terminal across to the Domestic Terminal – a ten minute bus ride – clear security again, and get to the gate for our flight to Melbourne.
Naturally, that didn’t happen.
Customs was not so bad because I declared that I was carrying medications and nuts.
I’ve discovered you get through much faster if you declare something than if you don’t, because you get sorted into different lines than everyone else. It’s worth buying a bag of peanuts or cashews at the airport just before you fly, even if you have no intention of eating them.
I made it through Customs faster than my companions, but we were never going to complete the rest of the process in time.
Virgin Australia switched us onto the next flight at no extra charge, but there was no guarantee that all of our baggage would arrive at the same time as us because my bag had already been transferred through.
As we were leaving the plane, I looked out the window and saw my shiny red suitcase on the cart. That was a very happy moment indeed.
We collected our bags for the last time, piled them up, and hoped like crazy that my brother-in-law was bringing our Jeep to collect us.