Off to DjangoCon

I’m sitting here in the Qantas Pub, er, Club, lamenting the lack of cheese, and waiting for my flight to the US for DjangoCon.

And now I’m sitting here in Honolulu, waiting for my flight to Portland. The flight from Sydney was delayed about 40 minutes due to thunderstorms on the ground, and we continued to see lightning in the distance for some time after we took off.

The flight was quite full, including Starclass up the front where I was. Next to me was Celeste, proprietor of the Clyvemore Apartment in Ballarat, and we chatted into the night. I eventually managed to get a few hours’ sleep, until I was woken up (despite wearing earplugs and noise-cancelling headphones) by the extremely inconsiderate loudmouth a few rows up who insisted on talking at full volume while standing in the aisle at what was about 4 am Honolulu time. He’d also woken most of the rest of the cabin, a few of whom tried to shush him, but he carried on yakking. I eventually pressed my call button, and asked the flight attendant to deal with him, and he stopped. It’s just a shame he wasn’t reported for congregating, which is against TSA regulations.

I couldn’t get back to sleep after the loudmouth incident, but apart from that, the rest of the flight went without incident. After immigration, baggage claim, customs, agricultural inspection, and dropping my bag off for the next flight, my next item of business was to add credit to my US pay-as-you-go credit card. When I was in the US in June, I added credit at an AT&T store, which worked fine. I’d attempted adding credit on the web, but they wouldn’t accept a non-US address for a credit card. Not surprisingly, when I called their automated service line, I had the same problem of not being able to add credit; I was transferred to one customer service agent, and he tried twice before giving up and transferring me to a specialist, who also tried once before approving it anyway — I must have sounded convincing. Here’s the take-away lesson for US businesses: some of your customers don’t live in the US, so learn to deal with it!

After that rigmarole, I checked my predicted flight arrival on FlightCaster, a new-ish service which uses “algorithms” to predict when flights will arrive. My flight now shows as possibly delayed, because the incoming plane (from Manila) has been delayed by about 50 minutes. It’ll be interesting to see whether FlightCaster’s prediction is correct.

In the meantime, I have Hawaiian shirts to purchase!

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