Trip Report – Down Under in a Flash: Los Angeles to Seattle

Seattle to Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Brisbane
Brisbane to Sydney to Canberra
Canberra to Melbourne
Qantas First Lounge Melbourne
Melbourne to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Seattle


I was off the aircraft shortly after leaving the cockpit and saying my final thanks to the crew. I was disembarking through door 1L on the lower deck (is that L1L or 1LL?) and headed through the crowds of TBIT. Apparently first class don’t get an express pass card in LAX but people connecting do. Even in Economy. well that kind of blows!

I made what felt like an endless journey through the bowels of TBIT from the newer gates all the way through to the crummie older side. The last time I had been through TBIT immigration had been October 2011 when I came over to visit for my job interviews. It hadn’t changed a bit. I was in line maybe 10-15 minutes and I wasn’t grilled nearly as much as when I head to Canada. Next thing I know I am grabbing my bags off the belt and heading to customs to try and explain exactly why I am carrying the nether regions of kangaroos in my luggage.

I did a bit of luggage jiggling once out into the terminal (change of clothes out, trip goodies in) and headed over to T3 where I could check in for my Virgin flight. I had made it through in far better time than expected (1h so far) and figured it may be a chance to get on the earlier seattle flight at 9am. I checked at the check in area and was told it was possible for $25 confirmed or free for stand by. Considering I didn’t want to have to wait around for the bags that I had paid good money for, it was going to be an extra $24 but I would be home hours earlier. What the hell!

Lots of taping and a swipe of my credit card later and I was off to security and for the first time in a week to do the dignity dance. Lines were substantial but not all that bad and in the end I made it from touchdown to lounge in just on 90 minutes. At the entrance to the Virgin Lounge I was reminded of the boarding time and advised flights were not announced and I also got my seat reassigned as I realised it was a middle seat. I had about 10 minutes in the lounge to get changed and get stuff sorted. Which was good but I was starting to feel not so good. Figured I had just eaten a bit to much at breakfast.

I headed down to the gate pretty shortly and there was a boarding call shortly after

Virgin America – VX781
Los Angeles to Seattle
Airbus A319 (N530VA)
Main Cabin Select – Seat 8F

Boarding: 0845 (Gate 38)
Push Back: 0918
Take Off Roll: 0927 (Runway 24L)
Top of Descent: 1135
Touch Down: 1205 (Runway 16R)
Shut Down: 1213 (Gate A4)

Not much to talk about this flight. I board, stashed my gear and then started to zone in and out between consciousness and sickness. We took off back out over the ocean and turned north back over LA and then I don’t really remember much. I remember ordering some lunch (that I was going to stash and eat later anyway) and a bottle of water. I remember taking a bathroom stop cause I was feeling sick as hell and the seat belt sign going on while I was in there, but then by the time I came out it had been switched off again.

Upon approach into Seattle I was just wanting to get off the flight and die, I was not in a good state. So I didn’t hang around in Seattle when we landed. It was a boring quick flight. But that is good right? I grabbed my bags and got over to the car park to get to the shuttle stands, fought with the lift a little and was soon on my way to the car park where my truck awaited and I was home about 30 minutes later. Ready to crawl into a hole and die. That was not a good sign!

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