John Mellion had a famous dislike of Melbourne, this was his right as a Sydneyophile. I personally think Sydney is one of Australia's greatest dung heaps, and try to avoid it at all costs. Funnily enough though the Airlines insist on sending me, and a lot of other's there at great expense both to myself and them. My friend and I where going to the Cook Islands which only has one direct flight a week, from you guessed it, "Sydney". That's why I found myself driving into the second worst airport in the world on a chilly Saturday night. I'd done the homework and decided to park at the Blue Emu carpark. Book online $99, expensive but cheaper than the other options. We park at the far end, and hop on the free shuttle bus to the domestic terminal. There we find the only way to get to the international terminal is a $5.50 five minute ride on another shuttle. After a ten minute wait,I fork out more of my hard earned and end up with a pocket full of shrapnel to take out of the country. Running Parking cost total $121.00.
Hey, in 6 hours we will be sitting on a beach, soaking up the sun rather than standing here in the rain. We are 2 hours early, so we amble in and check the flights screen to find out what counter to go to. My eyes wander down the screen. 19.35, Check, Rarotonga, Check, Cancelled, Chec_ _ _ _ WTF. FF to the counter where a frazzled Air New Zealand lady tells us it's cancelled due to bad weather and points us to a long line. We get to the counter, get told it's cancelled due to maintenance issues. Why didn't you ring us? We tried came the answer but somehow managed to miss the two hundred people at the counter. As for the poor suckers that came from Sydney they get to go home and wait, at least there going to put us up for the night, The bad news is the next fight is tomorrow arvo, and it goes via New Zealand. Be out front for the bus ride to the hotel in half an hour. We get 30 dollars in vouchers to spend on a meal while we wait. Two beers thanks, sorry you can only buy food and drink. But beer is both food and drink I plead. No good. I settle for a latte, and a muffin.
Out front, we wait with the mob in the cold for the bus. The mood is ugly, it's cold wet and where meant to be on our way to a tropical island. If the New Zealand rugby team walked past I think the pensioners would have ripped them to bits. The bus is meant to be there at 9.20 to take us five minutes to the hotel. 9.30, 940. 9.50. The bus rocks up, we wait, 10.00. 10.10, the mob is about to head inside and rip the Kiwi's to bits. 10.20, I go inside, a bloke is pointing out to the frazzled lady the bus could have driven to the hotel 6 times by now. It's going shortly she says. 'Get your act together', he storms off. The bus driver sensibly has been hiding, finally he starts the bus. The idea of spending 20 hours at an airport hotel is not growing on us. Fortunately everything we have been told so far has been wrong, and so is the location of the hotel. We find ourselves at the Menzies a classic hotel in the heart of Sydney just around the corner from the Coat hanger. We check in and get a $100 room credit, which we head off to the piano bar to drink. Later on I wander out and take a few pics of the harbour. Big breakie, in the morning, and a bit more of a lie in until checkout. We wander down the rocks and check out the market. After lunch we jump a cab and head back to the airport. I check the screen, It's going and on time. I hand over my taxi receipt and get informed I need to ring customer service tomorrow then fill out a form which they don't have. Did you know I'm meant to be on a beach in a foreign country sipping Pina colada's by then, actually I'm meant to be there now. I get the costomer service number.
A week later. Sydney. It's still bloody raining. After a bit of searching we are at the eleven dollar shuttle stop. I check the schedule. It stops at 9.50. It's ten. We walk back to the other end of the terminal and catch a taxi. $17.10 plus a $4.00 fee for getting a taxi from the airport to the airport. If a virus started killing investment bankers I doubt anyone would bother to look for a cure.