Well here we are. The continuation of my trip report! No need for any real further introduction... now on with the report!
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Monday July 11th, Sydney, Australia.
After the long night out with Mr. Brad Lowe, I awoke very early to prepare for my next flight, UA 863 to Melbourne. I arrived to airport roughly an hour and a half before departure time, only to find 1 person in the UAL check in line! After a brief check in at the counter, my friend and I were issued our seats right then and there. I requested the upper deck yet again and once again I was approved! I was very excited to have the upper deck yet again!! Everytime I fly international it is rare to have upper deck seating open for standby passengers, thus making this experience more enjoyable than normal!
I was given the very first row window on the port side of the upper deck on this flight. After a quick call to my girlfriend from a pay phone it was time to board the 747-400 down to Melbourne.
Right as we boarded the flight, many familiar faces began to appear to my friend and I. These flight attendants have served 2 of our previous SFO-SYD flights. Not only did we recognize them, they remembered us quite well. After talking with a few of the F/a's for a few moments I headed upstairs to take my seat. To my amazement the upper deck was just about empty! besides my friend and I, there were 4 othere people seated on the upper deck! Just before doors closed on the plane, I jumped over to the first row window on the starboard side. I knew I would get a nice view of Downtown Sydney during climb out from runway 34L.
We pushed back exactly on time for departure and taxied quickly out to 34L. without delay, even before we were lined up on the runway the 4 engines started to scream with power being added. Take off power was then quickly added and we were on our way down 34L in a flash. 22 seconds later the big 747-400 surprizingly rotated off the runway like a "space shuttle" as Mr. Murray would call it! The 747-400 quickly climbed towards the dark clouds in the sky. Sure enough I was given a great view of Sydney, and with a telephoto lense, an American flag and an Australian flag at half staff was seen from atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge in rememberance of 9/11 six months later.
After we reached cruise level, breakfast was served. Which consisted of a large asortment of fresh fruites, muffin, yogurt, and cereal. After breakfast I took my camera and headed downstairs. I took a few shots of the empty aircraft that had rougly 3 people in first class, 22 in business class and 80 in coach. As you can imagine, this flight was heaven for all standby passengers!
Not long after my walk around, our 747-400 started to head down from flight level 310. This 1 hour long flight had gone by in a flash! It almost seemed unreal to me!
Approach into Melbourne was very interesting. We approached from the east of the airport. Winds were howling at MEL up to 50kts. Our aircraft seemed very high when turning finals, as I could see the runway in the distance. On very short finals I noticed a few cars parked out by the runway fence with several people photographing our 747-400 arrival. The pilot in command continued to battle the strong winds and finally placed our bird down relatively further than normal down the runway.
After arrival we were cleared through immigrations quickly. Before we were set free the officer flipped through my passport and questioned why I come to Australia so much due to the high amount of stamps in my passport. So a quick explaination of my non reving abilities lead him to a quick smile and he responded with a "cheers and have fun mates"!
So after a day in the city of alot of drinking and walking around we headed back to the airport hilton and crashed due to an overdose of alcohol and exhuastion.
The next day we woke up a bit early to get breakfast at the airport. got to watch a few interesting arrivals such as Vietnam Airlines, and Air Maruitius (SP?). My friend and I knew that the SYD-SFO flight was getting a bit full for the ride home so we thought it would be a great idea to list as through passengers from MEL on flight 862, thus giving us a better priority for seats in SYD. This seemed to be a great plan. well... things went sour from there. And this souring trend would continue all the way until we reached SFO!
After we went back to our room at the hilton to change into our Non reving outfits, we returned to the airport 1 hour and 10 minutes before departure. To our surprize the check in line was huge!! I hadnt seen a line this bad since I was in Hong Kong last!! as standby passengers we are supposed to wait in the economy check in line. If we were to do that we could possibly miss the flight to SYD. So we jumped into the business class check in line. We were kindly welcomed by the agent even with our non reving handicap. We were checked in and sent on our way.
We made it to the gate just in time for boarding. my friend and I were then called up to get tickets. Once again I asked the agent for upper deck. Well she looked at me and then the ticket and said, "Sir I have you seated in economy row 41 seat K. the SYD-SFO flight is completely sold out in business class. Since you are a through standby, I can not give you a business class seat" So I took my seat and just shook my head in amazement! so much for our bright idea of checking in as through S/A's and going to SFO instead of LAX. So we were not allowed in Biz class that had 14 people in the cabin out of 73 seats!
So once agian this flight was staffed with familiar f/a's that have been on a few of my SFO-SYD-SFO flights. The hour or so hope up to SYD went by quickly. But I was a bit worried about the long hual up to SFO in economy. I dont fly coach long hual much. So I came up with a plan to make the flight go by quickly. I was to drink as many Victoria Bitters in the airport before the flight to get me tired so I would just sleep most of the flight. So With the new plan set, the 747 then started its set down for approach into SYD.
The approach took us way out over the Tazman sea and then back for an approach to runway 25. The touch down was like a rock! I havent felt a touch down that hard on a 747 before!
Once at the departure level of the airport, I started to throw back a few cold ones to set my plan on the right track. I know its not the smartest thing to drink heavy loads for a flight, but I didnt care. I figure if I am gonna be stuck and cramped in coach, why not make the best out of it!
Standing in line to clear the security check for United Airlines was much longer then any other time I have seen before. Thus allowing more time to drink. This one guy about my age and another girl close to my age were standing behind and we started talking. She was from London and this guy was from San Francisco. So we decided to talk with each other during the flight.
This would be the turn in making my trip home very very interesting!!
It was back to seat 41K for my and my friend took the aisle seat. Our flight pushed back 5 minutes late. We taxied out to runway 16R. Our take off roll lasted 56 seconds this time around.
Drink service came around quickly, Not being in my right mind after drinking a few beers and with my friend we were tempted to suck down a few more coldies. Well the flight attendant came up and without us saying said "you guys look like you could use a cold one, care for a VB?" now who could say no to an offer like that!?!
This trend continued. This guy came back with more VB's in his hands for all the surrounding passengers who were enjoying VB's as well. Finally after a good amount of VB's I was in the zone.
Now enter Samantha... This very attractive British girl that I had spoken with earlier in line came up to our row and hoped in the center seat. right away I could tell she was boozed up as well as 90% of the passengers in coach. Right away she started expressing how she loved our accents and loved American's. My friend Chris and I just looked at each other and just laughed. Well things started to get a bit deeper she started putting her hands through my hair and saying how beautiful I was... and of course I was just laughing in my drunken stuper thinking how funny this was. Following another drink she started kissing my neck and cheek. She was doing this stuff even after I told her I had a girlfriend I absolutely adore. She continued with her behaviour as if I never told her of my girlfriend. She progressed by kissing me on the lips. I didnt kiss her back. I figured this would be a good way of showing her I was not going to cheat on my girlfriend. But yet again she continued even after I told her I cant do anything with her.
She then proceeded to lift up my shirt and kissed my lower stomach area right as the head purser flight attendant walked by. a voice in my head was screaming "OHHH HOLY F**K this is not good!!" Being a standby, i could get in some serious crap for letting this madness go on! I told Samantha I could get in trouble by having her act like this. She couldnt care less, she was drunk and incredibly horny. She put her hand on my inner thigh and told me to follow her to the bathroom. I questioned her motives right away. and my friend was watching on with eye's wide open in shock after what he just heard. She then asked us both if we wanted to join the mile high club!! both chris and I moved our heads back in absolute shock! I couldnt believe what I was hearing! Some great looking british girl was asking us if we wanted to join the club! My friend was raring and ready to go, but I still knew better even in my drunken state of mind. Before any of us could answer the purser came back with another flight attendant and told this girl she had better return to her seat right away and she was cut off from drinking! This girl came back with an attitude and resisted the orders to return to her seat. right away chris and I told her to leave! So with that she got up and left. I then realized how bad things had got within the past 30 minutes. I was still in shock however!
I feel asleep rather quickly after she left. Not for long though. She returned about 15 minutes later. I couldnt beleive this! She was almost begging me to go to the bathroom with her. my mind was racing over this whole ordeal... was I stupid to not be going for it and joining the club? No not at all. I knew what I have with my girlfriend is far more special than any mile high club membership from some SKAG (Shank and a Hag) as one of the flight attendants had called her earlier! So once again i sent this girl back to her seat. Thinking that was the end of the madness, I was wrong. 30 minutes later I was disturbed from my sleep again. She asked again If I would meet her at the bathrooms "just to talk" as she said. This was getting crazy! I really didnt need some drunk girl bothering all these people around me during the flight. If complaints were given to the F/a's it could be my ass and my passes for it! So I told her strictly how I was not going to cheat on my girlfriend and that she should not come back to my seat! With that I set my head back and shut my eyes.
During the remainder of the flight I caught her out of the corner of my eye walking down the opposite aisle looking over at us. Now this was almost getting creepy! I have never seen a girl so desperate for action then her!
Finally the sun started to rise and breakfast was about to be served. During this sobering time, I was feeling ashamed of how things went earlier in the flight. It felt just like the next day after a party when you know you did something foolish! So I ate my breakfast of cinnamon toast quickly. I headed to the bathroom to wash up before arrival into SFO. To my shock this girl had just rounded the corner of the bathrooms right at the same time. This was just getting nuts! while waiting for a bathroom to open up she told me I need to come visit her in london and she will show me the best time possible! Yeah I bet she would just love that! All this stuff was just seeming to unreal to me! After all my years flying, never did I think I would be subjected to such a trip as this!
After 12 hours and 55 minutes of flight we finally made it to SFO. The landing was absolutely flawless on 28R! once at the gate I quickly got my belongings and we raced towards the jetway. Along the way alot of the crew members made comments to me like "hey wheres your girlfiend", "have a fun night", and "I bet you will never forget this flight". Amazing I thought! the whole damn crew was aware of what had happend. I felt as if I were soon going to be hunted down like a beast and have my passes revoked! With this new sense of fear and loathing we got the hell off the plane and walked as quickly as we could so skags would not catch up with us to try and proposition us with her filthy desires!
Customs was cleared quickly and after we checked in at the transfer desk for our phoenix flight, more crew members walked by and made comments to us again about the flight! This was now far and by on alarming to me! it seemed like a real nightmare! I tried to smile about it but, I just felt really bad about how things went on the flight.
Sitting at the gate for the phoenix flight, I started to feel a bit sick and worn out. Probably from all the drinking and jet lag. Once on the flight to Phoenix, my friend and I both were asleep not even a minute off the ground from SFO. I slept the whole way to Phoenix. And that complete's my out of this world flight home.
I Still to this day cant believe I managed to get myself into a situation like that on a flight. As a standby passenger I felt I was a bit irresponsible for what happend. But the more and more I think about it, no matter what happend on that flight or how bad it may of looked, I am still proud of myself that I stayed loyal to the girl I love. I look at this SYD-SFO flight as a real test of loyalty to my girlfriend. I think passing a test envolving, alot of alcohol, and a great looking british girl who wanted to join the mile high club, is one hell of a hard test to pass! But I am proud that I did pass!
I hope you all got a kick out of how odd my flight home was! I wonder if this is one of the first reports of its kind having a possible mile high club situation?? Anyways I would love to hear any questions or comments you all may have! Thanks for reading!