Sometime in February, I decided that we would be going to Australia this summer. I have both a friend and cousins in Sydney. I nailed down timing—Julia’s spring extracurricular, the Penguin Project, has a closing night of June 24. Cheer (crossing my fingers that the new coach will allow Julia on the team) begins around August 1. With those date in mind, I bought Quantas tickets in the middle of March. Unfortunately, I bought them two weeks before a sale and paid a few hundred bucks more, proving that there is no way to insure the best price for plane tickets. There is a recommended time frame in which to buy international tickets and I was right there. I had seen a sale around Christmas but I wasn’t ready to commit. There was no way of knowing that Quantas would have another sale. I wonder if a travel agent could have done better?
I’ve done nothing but casually thumb through guide books until today and exchange a few emails with the folks in Sydney.
Today, to get started I tackled some less than exciting document work. Julia needs a new passport (hers expired on August 12). I want TSA-pre(check) status. Julia has it, done for us by someone at Southwest. Most of the time, because her tickets are marked TSA-pre, we both go to that line; however, it is not always the case and splitting up for security checks doesn’t work for us. There have been a few times, like in a very crowded London security line when I was fending off a terrible cold and Julia was feeling anxious, that I would have done anything for shorter, less involved line.
I also called airlines—Quantas and their USA partner, American Airlines—to ask for some disability concessions. I didn’t want to pay extra to choose my seats but we do need to sit together. Also, pre-boarding is also a great help. American assigned our seats and put an alert that we like to pre-board. Quantas put in a request for both but guaranteed nothing. 17+ hours apart on a plane could be a bit of respite for me but I doubt that the person placed next to Julia would feel the same.
And so it begins—9.5 weeks and counting!