No, they didn’t pay me to leave. I didn’t cause that much trouble while I was there (I don’t think!)
But making $400 (USD) really was true! It was super easy, and it was by absolute chance.
My friends and I got to Sydney Airport three hours ahead of time for our 11:55 AM flight back to JFK. After waiting about an hour on the check-in line, we finally got up to the counter and the Qantas employee had asked us if we were willing to switch our flights. For $400 (USD – refunded to our credit cards), she wanted us to take a flight three hours later to LAX, but she didn’t know when the next flight from LAX to JFK would be. So we said no. But then she spoke to her manager and instead of that, the other option was to take a flight three hours later to DFW, and then fly into LGA instead. So we said – why not! We’ll just wait a little while longer and we’ll make a little extra cash on the side! But little did we know, that it was one of those rare situations where it was snowing in Texas. We hadn’t even bothered to check the weather there. When we got to Dallas, there was snow on the runways, and found out that all flights out from DFW had been CANCELLED. Save for one – the one that we needed. Though it was delayed for almost two hours, we still managed to fly out. In fact, our flight to LGA was the last and only flight flying out from Dallas that evening. So we were EXTREMELY lucky. Otherwise, we would have been stranded at the airport, and that $400 most definitely would not have been worth it.
So the moral of the story – always check the weather.
Aside from that whole experience, the flight from Sydney actually wasn’t as bad as the one on the way there. Maybe it was because I was able to stay asleep longer – I was probably all burnt out from the trip. Plus, there was really nothing else to do besides try and sleep. Though I did discover “The Real Housewives of Melbourne” on the plane ride back. I’m not normally a fan of these shows but it was pretty entertaining – especially when you’ve already seen all the movies you wanted to see, on the way there.
Quick tip #1 – You might already know this, but if you’re planning on buying any alcohol from duty free, if you have any stops in the U.S. on the way to your final destination, you’ll have to check the alcohol. You’ll have to pick up your luggage, go through customs, and go through security again too. But the good news is, you won’t have to go through that again at your final stop. (Had our flight from DFW to LGA not been delayed, we would have been really cutting it close.)
Quick tip #2 – not related to airports or flying but more to jetlag once you get home. You might be tempted to take a day or two off from work just to sleep and adjust to your schedule again. Not a good idea. In my opinion, the best way to adjust is to go back to work. It doesn’t sound like fun but it has to be done. This way, you’re forced to stay awake, therefore you’re forced to get used to your normal routine again. Otherwise, you would probably just sleep all day and at weird hours, so you’re really not doing yourself any favors!