Peter and I were well organized and packed by 9 and had a taxi booked to pick us up at 11:30 for our 2:25 pm flight. Everything was running like clockwork... so far. However, as I ran upstairs to get showered and dressed, Peter received a call from Qantas alerting us that our 2:25 pm Sydney to Hong Kong flight had been cancelled. Within half an hour, however, Peter had called our agent at Flight Centre and had been able to secure a later Air France flight from Sydney to Singapore, where we would board a connecting flight to Paris, arriving in Paris at the same time as our previous connecting flight. Thank God for flight insurance!
Sydney Airport Experience:
The lines for Qantas (who look after the Air France flights) at Sydney International Airport snaked menacingly past the cordoned areas. Thankfully, our Business Class seating, afforded us a wait of no longer than a minute. We were looked after superbly by a lady named Anne Paskalis. The first thing she noted was that Flight Centre had failed to allocate our flight points to our Frequent Flyer membership, a significant amount given we were flying Business Class. She amended this straight away. The other matter she attended to was our seating. As our earlier flight had been cancelled, the seat allocations for this Sydney-Singapore flight had pretty much been allocated to existing passengers and there were only single seats available in random rows. With a couple of phone calls, Anne was able to re-allocate the seating of a solo passenger so that Peter and I could sit together.
Macquarie Bank, take note. Had Peter and I gone to a “Self Check-In” counter, a cost cutting measure that many airports are beginning to implement, Anne would not have been able to re-arrange our seating prior to boarding the plane. And as for our Frequent Flyers points, they would certainly have gone by the wayside.I hope that face to face service NEVER gets completely phased out in the name of cost cutting!
Travel Tip: 1) Face to face service makes all the difference to travelers on international flights, so always be courteous at airport Check ins. 2) Don't be afraid to ask for upgrades or a change of seating arrangements. The check-in staff generally will do whatever they can to accommodate you. Which brings me to travel tip #1, always be courteous! 3) Arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare so that you can iron out any last minute travel "wrinkles" when they eventuate. 4) Never travel without insurance!