Oh joy, while a partner to United, and Air Canada – they are not a partner to the European members of Star Alliance (read Lufthansa which has been my frequent flyer affliction for decades). Especially since flying cattle car, I really don’t like losing any miles….
[Detour here – all countries but three have adopted the metric system. Turkish Airways is still Miles & Smiles, Lufthansa is still Miles & More…. Most of the other countries just call them frequent flyer programs under various names…. A number of otherwise purely metric countries still use air miles when discussing carbon offset]
The Gold Coast airport – OOL which I think might just be derived from Coolangatta – is most definitely a regional airport. It is a long, flat building with two wings spreading out from the mandatory central food and shop area. The waiting areas are rather confusing due to the design – rather than check-in podiums inside the terminal area – there is an outer glassed in area which is sectioned off. When it was opened at “boarding time” there were the usual poles and ropes to provide orderly lines of people. Two lanes – priority and the rest of us. And then we stood, and stood and hung out some more just because. The plane are on the tarmac, the boarding ramps are portable structures which means that there are challenges in getting non-ambulatory passengers on & off the plane.
Also of note, in spite all of VA’s warnings about 7kg limit for carryon luggage – there was the full complement of roller bags, backpacks, shopping bags etc. The flight was a bit on the rough side. There were maybe about five of us on this full flight wearing masks.
Arriving in Adelaide – if you disembarked from the front of the plane – it was out through a jet way and through the terminal followed by the usual escalator to the lower level and baggage claim. If you were in the back and chose to escape early, it was down a set of outside portable stairs, across the tarmac and directly into the terminal near baggage claim.
The final challenge of the day wasn’t reclaiming luggage – it was trying to make contact with Helen who was picking me up. She has an android phone; mine is an iPhone. There is free wifi in the terminal but SMS don’t go over wifi. Email is effective only if read. Solution? iMessage Jill who could get an SMS to Helen. She, of course was stuck somewhere back in the approach line….. Meet a terminal while has a combined pick-up/drop off area which includes ride share…. Did I mention that this is Adelaide? Population 1.3M plus with a significant use of Uber? Chaos – complete chaos in an area that might be considered three lanes wide in a squeak.
We managed to connect and the rest of the day (what was left of if) was wonderful.