Coming into this trip there was a certain level of trepidation because of the industrial action that Jetstar’s been going through of late. Pay disagreements with the pilots and ground staff led to threats of flight delays or cancellations, then loads of flights cancelled for the day we left. Thankfully, we were one of the flights unaffected - Brisbane to Cairns early in the morning. Others on the same route, but later in the day were cancelled, so we got off easy.
As we were boarding in Brisbane, we were moved to the front of the plane due to my height by the tall guy checking my ticket. Ththere’s a little more room up the front and thankfully we had a space between us in the row. The leg room was fine, which is more than I can say for previous flights on Jetstar fun-buses.
Arrival into Cairns was fine; a little bit of tropical rain helped keep the temperature down for the walk between terminals. While checking in, my height kicked in again and we were moved to the exit row; I don’t normally like it, but on Jetstar any extra space is great.
Leaving wasn’t so easy. We were due to leave at 1220. At 1200 there was an announcement in Japanese with clear keywords of “Ju-Go” and “Kansai” which made my ears perk up. I figured it was an announcement for a Japanese passenger, as it was clear that English speakers were definitely in the minority for this leg. Nope - about fifteen minutes later, it was announced that “due to engineering” QF15 to Kansai would be delayed an hour.
An hour later, same thing again, Japanese announcement, big delay, English announcement. More delays. “We haven’t identified the cause, at least another hour.” 3PM, maybe?
Given the flight’s about seven hours and our bookings are for the 19th, I sent a message to our hotel to make sure it’s OK. Thankfully it’s a capsule hotel in a train station complex, so they’re open 24⁄7 and we can check in any time until 4AM. Slight relaxation ensues. Chocolates are purchased.
3PM came and went, then finally “the cause of the fault has been identified and the airplane is now serviceable”. Reassuring, yeah? We’re boarding in 45 minutes … or so. 1628, only four hours late, and we’re on the plane and on the way. Estimated flight time is just under seven hours. If we get lucky and sprint through baggage pickup, customs and everything else, we might just make the last train into the CBD. If we don’t make that, a much longer bus ride is in our future.
Y’know what? This has been a bit of a negative post to start the trip.
I’M FINALLY GOING TO JAPAN. WHO CARES ABOUT DELAYS! WOO!