It took way longer than planned, but I am finally on the sandy beaches of Fiji. I have to tell you, it was all worth it in the end.
My adventure started on Wednesday, March 16 with dinner at BCD Tofu for Sally and her friend, who was visiting from Vancouver. Sally still has school right now so she won’t be coming with me. When I get home, she’ll be on spring break and we’ll be going on a trip then.
I got to the LAX airport at 7pm and found the business class check in completely empty. I was able to check in and go through security in about 15 minutes (the TSA at LAX has a separate line for business class). Once inside the airport, I headed for the Fiji Airline VIP lounge, where I was able to grab a cup a noodle and a Miller.
The Fiji lounge was OK as far as airport lounges go. If you’re wondering about the cup of noodle, it’s a very popular thing among Asian airport lounges. I hung out in the VIP lounge until 30 minutes before the flight check in.
I boarded the flight at 11pm and was getting ready for the 11 hour flight. I was looking forward to reclining the seat into a bed, going to sleep and waking up when the plane lands at 6am Fiji time.
Then the pilot comes over the PA and said there was some tech issue with the jet and we’ll be delayed taking off.
Thirty minutes later, he came on again saying they’re still working on it and are talking to Airbus tech support. A picture of the pilot talking to someone in a call center in India popped into my head.
An hour later, they’re still working on it, and then the flight got canceled because they ran up against the maximum number of hours a crew can work on a plane. They rescheduled the flight for 3pm the next day.
This was the point where I discovered the advantages of flying business class. We were the first to get off the plane and the airline put me up at the Four Points Hotel LAX for the night and even gave me $30 for breakfast the next morning.
Thirty dollar doesn’t get you much of a breakfast at the Four Points LAX. Good thing I didn’t have to pay for it.
It’s Fiji Time!
This is my second trip to Fiji. On my first trip, I discovered the concept of “Fiji Time.” What it basically means is things are more relax there. If someone say it will take 15 minutes, it really means 30 minutes. Therefore, I should not have been surprised that when Fiji airline said we’ll get back under way at 3pm, they really meant 5pm. That did allowed me more time to hang out at the VIP lounge and enjoy more cups of noodles.
Flying to Fiji at 5pm LA time messed up my original plan of sleeping on the plane. Instead of landing at 6am in the morning, the flight would land at midnight. If I were to sleep on the plane, I wouldn’t be able to sleep when I get to the hotel. Therefore, I decided to stay awake for the entire flight, and took advantage of the plane’s entertainment system.
I finally landed in Fiji at midnight Fiji time on March 19. This trip started on March 16, so it ranks way up there for longest trip ever.
The Fiji airport is in the middle of nowhere. The drive from airpot to hotel took a full hour. I didn’t get to my room at the Shangri-La Fijian Resort and Spa until 2am in the morning.
The Shangri-La is a really nice resort. I got an ocean view room with a patio. This was what I woke up to in the morning.