Traveling weekly for work for more or less the past three months, the DTW airport has become part of my weekly commute. The convenience of a frequent flyer finds me parking in the same location and checking through and boarding the plane with little or no difficulty. Arriving at DTW airport on Thursday at 1:30pm in the afternoon with 2 hours before my flight to LAX was more than overkill, but I had my mother with me and it was an international destination, so we were going to follow the rules. Well, well…. no way around it, it turned out to be a NIGHTMARE.

As per my last post, my mother became back up for my husband. All went more or less well when I canceled John’s ticket and booked my mother on a VERY expensive ticket with a 7 day advance purchase. I had all of our paperwork printed out and I went to great lengths to have everything “just in case”. Well, thank goodness… to cut to the chase, the counter agent, Sybil, determined that when I canceled John’s reservation off of our ticket, the agent on the phone had canceled John’s reservation but MY ticket number. Apparently one has both a reservation as well as a ticket which is separate so everything was transparant to me as I changed seats and reconfirmed everything. The only red flag was when I could not check in online. No worries I thought. Oh was I wrong!

After an hour and 15 minutes at the counter with the Northwest agent speaking with 4 separate people on the phone before getting the “right” supervisor from Global Customer Support on the phone, we were sorted out. The Delta/NWA merger has been a nightmare for so many as I have come to find out. For me personally, it was the Northwest supervisor transferring us to Delta and then vice versa / meanwhile pointing fingers at eachother all the time. I was fortunate that Sybil was a 25 year veteran with Northwest and was able to get my bag put through and hold my seat for me and keep my upgrade while the whole situation was being delt with. I normally don’t send letters, but there is a big one coming from me to their management. In the end, we were literally running through the airport like OJ Simpson in the old Hertz commercials to Gate 74 — the furthest gate imaginable from the terminal entrance. We took the tram, of course, but we were 5 minutes shy of missing the flight.

While downing a large adult beverage I was able to calm down and call John before we left. I told him that “it was all his fault” as a good wife would in this situation. And as a good husband, he agreed. So we were off to LAX and the rest was uneventful on our journey to LA. Once in LA, I checked to make sure that my bag had made it on the plane (and fortunately they confirmed that it did / 99 percent for sure, of course) and we just hung out in the terminal lounge for the next 4 hours before our Sydney connection.

The flight to Sydney was, no other way to say it, LONG. 15 hours long. Mum and I both got a few hours of sleep after a pretty good meal on board and just distracted ourselves with a book and a few movies. I caught up on Entourage for 3 episodes as I haven’t seen one of my favorite shows since we canceled HBO at home. So that was a nice treat.

Once landing at SYD we had a really easy way through Customs, collected our bags, spoke with a customs official and wisked through (with all of our bags, thankfully) to the welcome arms of my cousin Ian and his wife, Jenny. It was a long journey, but we made it!

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