Back to the Land of the Long White Cloud
Trip Start May 18, 2003
272Trip End Ongoing
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Coming back to my old flat and seeing familiar faces again is very comforting. After camping along the West Coast of Australia and sleeping in random boats, buses, tents and hostels on the East Coast there is nothing quite as luxurious as having a comfortable familiar bedroom again. Even if I have to remind the cats that they no longer have exclusive rights to it!
The flight from Brisbane to Auckland went without a hitch, except for a bit of an unexpected obstacle with Visas
The staff at QANTAS Customer Services seemed to be familiar with this situation. "We get this all the time" was the line they kept using. The best work around they could offer was to sell me a ticket, which I could then refund tomorrow from New Zealand; minus the $55 administration fee of course.
At first they insisted that I had to buy a one way ticket from New Zealand to where my passport was issued, i.e. the UK. This was going to cost over $3300. When I suggested that a flight to somewhere like Singapore (where I did not require a VISA) would be cheaper they reluctantly consulted their Visa Regulations manual to see if I knew what I was talking about. After that they also had to check with their supervisor, naturally.
So I managed to board the plane eventually with thirty minutes to spare, albeit $1166 lighter on my wallet with a one way ticket to Singapore that I'm hoping I can refund tomorrow. On arrival at New Zealand Immigration they did in fact ask to see an onward ticket; so the whole exercise was not pointless in the end.
Morals of this story:
1) Always check the immigration requirements of your destination country.
2) Always have the means to buy yourself a plane ticket, you never know when you might need to.
3) Unless you have more money then sense, don't believe everything they tell you at airport customer service desks.