For a capital city, Wellington’s airport is surprisingly small. And it is actually the simplicity of the building which made it so difficult for me to get around.
When you disembark the airport bus, you will find yourself outside of the arrivals hall. No signs in sight to indicate where the departures area is. I expect these to be segregated. After standing around looking about myself for a while, I decide to enter the arrivals building. I quickly spot the departures sign which points up the escalators, so up I go.
I am immediately confronted with duty free shops. Umm, haven’t I missed a critical step here? Gone are the helpful signs, so I wander past discounted spirits and perfumes until I find myself at a small security table. She looks as surprised as I feel when I burst out laughing. Don’t I need a ticket? She points me in the direction of a small check in area.
Wellington domestic check in. No desks, just automated machines and a small luggage belt. After trying to scan my boarding pass at all the various slots in the machine, I eventually figure out the scanner is broken. Feeling suddenly too old for new airport technology, I gather my boarding pass and throw my luggage on the belt.
ARE YOU JUST GOING TO TRUST ME THAT IT IS UNDER 23 KG? I mean it is, but are you going to trust me?! They did.
Security was right before the gate. They didn’t want me to separate my liquids, and they didn’t even watch me as I walked through the metal detector.
AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN ASK ME TO TAKE OFF MY SHOES!! At this point, as someone used to the typical North American airport experience, I am feeling uncomfortable with the fact that I had almost completed the airport experience with all my pride and civil liberties intact.
Time for the safety video. Gone are the days of air hostesses doing the exit demonstration thing – it is all on video. A rugby themed video. A ruby pun filled video. “If the cabin goes ALL BLACK, use the emergency lights as guides”, “We recommend you keep your seatbelt on for the duration of the flight, unless you need to stretch your HAMMIES.” The video ended with a streaking granny. I’M NOT EVEN MAKING THIS UP A LITTLE BIT.
Christchurch airport – on the international flights side is modern and posh. While the domestic arrivals section is like that one house on the block that brings down everyone else’s property values. Cracks with dates written in marker above them line the walls by the toilets. “Feb 22, 2011.” It’s like a growth chart for earthquakes.
My flight to Christchurch was possible one of my more eccentric plane journeys yet, despite being only an hour long. (A refreshing break after my last plane journey – more of a horror story than a journey!) Let’s see what happens on my flight outta here – onwards to Malaysia tomorrow!
What is your most eccentric airplane story? Or most epic journey horror story? Share in the comments!