Flying Home from Australia

It’s been a while but I wanted to finish off documenting our trip before I totally forgot the airport adventures.

We left the house about 7:30am and drove into the Brisbane airport. We made the decision not to check in our bags since we knew we had a tight connection in LA. We figured not checking bags would help us zip through customs a bit faster. So for five of us traveling this equals, two very small carry-on suitcases, a backpack for Ty, myself, and the kids, my mom had a larger (more US size) carry on suitcase and a small roller bag that fits under the seat. Oh and the stroller, which is a very light Mountain Buggy Nano. 

We got through security and customs with minimal fuss, L of course needed to go to the bathroom immediately upon us entering the security line. So I manage to rush through with him only to be told there are no bathrooms until we get through customs. We had to wait until Ty, R and my mom got through security. I was able to get our passports and then L, R and I zipped through the personnel side of customs. Ty and my mom had to go through the automated customs and it actually took longer. As a side note, the bathroom situation in the Brisbane Airport is abysmal!! There was one public restroom across the entire airport from customs. Then we went to our gate to start boarding, there was one, two stall ladies restroom for approximately 6 international gates! It was time consuming to say the least.

We finally make it on board our flight, after about an hour delay. Which does not make us at all comfortable for our hour connection in LA. But we settle in, our family is an entire middle four seats, while my mom is a few rows ahead of us. We leave around 12:30 pm for a 12.5 hour flight. We slept so well on the flight down but it was a night flight for us. This one was much harder to get the kids settled down for. I didn’t even attempt to get them to turn off the electronics till about 7pm.

I personally never got any sleep on this flight. The guy behind me was whining to the flight attendants when I had my seat back. The flight attendant refused to do anything because it wasn’t a meal time and I was “attempting” to sleep. So he passive aggressively pushed and shoved on my seat intermittently throughout the flight. Travel is always interesting…

We landed in LA and knew we had to run, because we made up a bit of time in the air but not much. So I strapped L onto my back in the carrier, we put R in the stroller and we ran for customs. Thank goodness Ty signed us up for some sort of fast pass thing, so we had electronically cleared customs ahead of time. Without having to stop and get bags we were doing ok. But got through customs with about 20 minutes till our flight left. Being LA you of course have to transfer from the International Terminal to the Domestic one. We never seem to have enough time to actually wait for the shuttle either, since its from Terminal 2 to 6 (I think, it’s usually a bit of blur). So we grabbed a spare luggage cart, threw our suitcases on it, and Ty took off running for the Alaska Airlines counter. I still had L strapped to my back (40 pounds there), and was pushing R in the stroller, while trying to keep Ty in sight ahead of me and my mom in sight behind me. We were still hoping to drop off our bags at the ticket counter.

We got to the ticket counter and found one man in front of us, but he had 6 giant bags he was trying to check, two carry on’s and a small dog!! He seemed in no hurry. We finally after a frustratingly long wait make it to the counter and they start chatting with us about our tight connection, asking which alternative flights we want. When it hits us, they’re not checking our bags, they want to transfer us. With a frantic yell, of we want to make this flight!  I told our group to run for security! We grabbed all the suitcases we could made a dash for the escalators. Thankfully security allowed us into the priority line, and we somehow managed to get through security very quickly. Except for the fact my mom’s suitcase got flagged. I verified the gate number with Ty, said I’m taking the kids and off I was running through the LA terminals, pushing R in the stroller, gasping for breath and with L still strapped on my back. I was a sight to behold for sure, by the looks and exclamations I received. We made it to the terminal as the last few passengers were boarding. We were able to check our luggage all the way through to Anchorage, at that point, and we dragged ourselves onto the plane, the very last passengers. I flopped into my seat a sweaty mess, but we made it!

The flight to LA was uneventful until the very end. We’re standing in our row, waiting for the doors to open and L looks at me and says, “I’m going to frow up” It’s go time! That kid doesn’t mess around, he gives you a warning but you’d better believe him when he says it. Thank goodness for airsickness bags! He threw up twice, we had to immediately disembark, and I informed the poor flight attendants about what awaited their clean up crew in row six.

We had an hour in Seattle and were able to check out the new Alaska Airlines lounge in Concourse C. L of course passed out immediately in the stroller. Why is it kids are most likely to fall asleep right before you have to get on an airplane? But we were able to grab a muffin and some pancakes before jumping on our final flight to Anchorage.

Ty was able to transfer L to his seat and he stayed asleep. R watched some shows before passing out herself. I finished about 15 hours of Downton Abbey on this day of travel and my mom was enjoying the free drink that comes with the premium seats. We touched down in Anchorage, about 2:30pm local time and finished approximately 26 hours of nonstop travel.