As a result of flight schedules, I had to fly to Cairns on Christmas Eve, and spend Christmas Day there before flying to PNG on Boxing Day. Ended up getting myself on a day trip out to the GBR on Christmas Day to go for a dive. It got me out of my hotel at least. And while the day trips go to some pretty well worn parts of the reef, a dive is a dive…
Anyway, up early to get from my hotel to the international terminal in Cairns to check in for my Air Niugini flight to Port Moresby. No priority check-in, no lounge access, no business class. I hadn’t actually realised how short the flight was until I noticed that we were flying on a Dash-8 rather than a jet. Check-in was relatively efficient. Got queried over the weight of my bag until I mentioned that it had sports equipment in (which equates to being allowed 30 kg). No excess baggage fees!
Instead of an entirely separate post on this, a brief description of the food options at Cairns international terminal (T1). Be aware that there are not a whole lot of food options at the international terminal to start with. Inside there’s a small cafe and an Eagle Boys Express (pizza). The cafe sells the regular pastries and sandwiches as well as coffee and an assortment of cold drinks. There was fruit salad containers – in theory. They’d sold out when I went through. Of all places, the newsagency store sold raw food bars. Which it turns out I am forever grateful for…
I’d put in a VGML request when booking this trip, and at the time I’d expected to get it. But when I realised just how short the flight was (around 90 minutes), I figured that we’d be lucky to just get a snack and they wouldn’t do special meal catering. But upon check-in, they actually confirmed the catering, and that I had a VGML! But I met a couple of other people in the departure lounge who were also divers and on my flight, and they suggested buying some snacks to eat when we landed in Port Moresby, because the domestic terminal there had no real options. So I bought a few of the aforementioned raw food bars for the transit.
Get on board the flight from Cairns, and get given the standard meal. Which was chicken with pasta salad. I asked for my vegetarian, thinking maybe they didn’t realise it was intended for me. But, no. The caterers didn’t load my VGML. She then offered me an icecream. And, no.
I got myself a Coke Zero and ate one of the raw food bars I bought in Cairns airport. See, this is what I mean about always having a contingency plan when flying. I was told at check-in that my VGML was on board. It wasn’t. Catering in Cairns stuffed up.
Anyway, we landed on time and then I had to rush through immigration and customs to make the connecting flight to Tufi.