Heading Home - Schedule
We start our return home early on Tuesday morning driving from Cedar City to Las Vegas and then fly Las Vegas to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Tokyo and Tokyo to Perth.
Depart Cedar City by car - around 4am Tuesday 6th May 2008 (6pm Tuesday Perth time)
Depart Las Vegas - South West Airlines Flight 261, 07:20am (10:20pm Tuesday Perth time)
Arrive Los Angeles - 8:25am (11:25pm Tuesday Perth time)
Depart Los Angeles - American Airlines Flight AA169, 12:40pm Tuesday 6th May (3:40am Wednesday Perth time)
Arrive Tokyo - 4:10pm Wednesday 7th May Tokyo time (3:10pm Perth time - 12:10am Los Angeles time)
Depart Tokyo - Qantas Flight QF70 8:40pm Wednesday 7th May Tokyo time (7:40pm Perth time - 4:40am LA time)
Arrive Perth - 06:00am Thursday 8th May (3:00pm Wednesday LA time)
Tuesday 6th May, 2008
It was a really early start today. The car was mostly packed up and ready to go, so at 2:45am the alarm went and we had showers and hit the road.
The drive to Vegas was in the dark, may have been some Wal-Mart trucks out there but we didn't see any. 248 was the final tally.
Just over two hours later we saw the lights of Vegas ahead - very impressive sprawl and a half hour later we were at the airport. We unloaded the 4 suitcases from the car and Rayls looked after them whilst Gary returned the car to Alamo.
Gary caught the shuttle bus back to the airport and we then checked in at South West Airlines, one bag overweight $25 for that thanks. Our flight left on time and it took around 45 minutes to reach Los Angeles. We were off the plane quick and were soon at the luggage carousel with 4 suitcases already going around - ours. Amazing! Loaded them onto a trolley and walked the half a mile from Terminal One to Terminal Four. No problems checking in half of which was done by computer? Then it was off to the bag drop off area where our bags were weighed. All had different weights to those South West Airlines came up with and no request for extra money. That was a relief.
Then through security which may have included immigration, not sure. The security officer who checked our passports commented that old boss of his had been a Raylene - not a common name in the USA. No problems with security and we were into the terminal area with its numerous gates. We had breakfast at a Burger King and sat there for a while, there was a couple of hours to kill before our next flight.
Eventually we wandered over to our gate - gate 41. We both decided to go for wanders, whilst the other stayed with the hand luggage. As Gary decided to go for his walk he heard a request over the public address system for 'Loretta Swit and Larry King to go to gate 46B as their flight was waiting for them'. Gary was over to 46B like a shot and was pleased to see Loretta Swit making for the gate. No camera so no photo opportunity but she was in a hurry anyway. Loretta Swit played 'Hotlips' Houlihan in the TV series MASH. He doubts if he would have realised it was her if he had not of been looking out for her but it was very definitely her and looking pretty good for the age of 70. No sign of Larry King though.
Our flight left on time - a Boeing 777 captained by Mike Myers!! Kind of weird the direction you go. Going to Tokyo you would think you would just fly direct west but the flight went north and didn't turn away from the US mainland till north of San Francisco. The flight map showed we flew just south of Kodiak Island part of Alaska and we crossed the Aleutian Islands, a chain of more than 300 small volcanic islands forming an island arc and also part of Alaska.
This was a pretty average sort of flight, flown entirely in daylight and quite bumpy at times. Service was good enough but just a boring and long flight. The entertainment centre didn't work until an hour a half from Tokyo which added to the boredom. Rayls got around 3 hours sleep, Gary around half an hour.
A couple of hours out of Tokyo we crossed the international dateline and it became Wednesday.
Wednesday 7th May, 2008
Our flight landed in Tokyo a few minutes late. It was an OK flight, a bit boring.
We had a 4 hour layover in Tokyo the first half hour or so killed off by disembarking the plane and getting our boarding passes. You have to smile at the great efforts the very young Japanese airport employees make to pronounce English names. Some are pretty bad but always a lot better than we would be able to pronounce Japanese names. We were entertained by the interesting public address announcements.
We wandered around the shops for around an hour - not because we wanted to buy anything but more because we just wanted to stretch our legs and kill time.
No day room on this leg, we thought about it but with only a 4 hour layover it didn’t seem necessary.
We got to gate 88 around an hour and a half before flight time and watched a TV in the waiting an area, partly Japanese and some English.
At boarding time there were just 70 people around so our Boeing 767 was just a third full. This was nice, a bit of room to move and relax in. This flight was totally in darkness and we both managed some sleep.
Thursday 8th May, 2008
The last leg of our trip was good because of the lack of passengers and the subsequent ability to get some sleep.
The flight took just a smidge over 10 hours - the last few hours over outback Australia with the flight may showing such interesting paces like the Great Sandy Desert.
We landed at Perth Airport around 12 minutes late. We bought duty free booze for our 2 sons amd still managed to clear immigration, collect our bags and clear customs within 30 minutes of landing. Good to see Scott waiting for us and it was nice to be heading home.