I don't know whether it's Qantas or the unions to blame, probably both... but I don't really like how Qantas dealt with the situation. On their website, via an sms from Qantas, via the media... I was told to phone customer service, that they would organise accommodation, meals, transfers and flights for passengers between flights. They didn't say that they'd reimburse us if we organised it ourselves, so I was hesitant to book another night at the city hotel I was at. This would have been fine if I could actually get through to customer service.
On Sunday morning, I spent 2 hours and 45 minutes on hold, before being disconnected. Luckily I have family in Melbourne, so I went out into the suburbs to stay with them. That night, I spent another 2 hours and 30 minutes on hold, before deciding I had wasted enough of my life listening to Qantas hold music. I logged onto the internet and booked an expensive flight home with Virgin (I was lucky to log on right after Virgin had released new seats), and am back in Canberra now, only 1.5 days late.
Source: ABC News
I can deal with the flight cancellations, the grounding etc... what really annoys me is that I wasted 5.25 hours on hold to Qantas because I was told to do so, and even then didn't get to talk to anyone or get any help. OK, *rant over*.
Despite the stress of trying to organise a new fight, and taking a bus out to the suburbs and back to the airport (which made me feel sick), I had a lovely weekend. Melbourne is such a vibrant, colourful city. It is SO alive, especially compared to Canberra.
My girlfriend and I spent the weekend eating and shopping mainly, with some cocktail drinking thrown in too. Here is a rundown of the weekend (excluding shopping purchases which warrants a separate post!):
(1) Friday AM - brunch at Sette Bello, Hardware Lane. Chilled atmosphere, great coffee [They use Genovese beans, which I love], simple but yummy food. I had the vegetarian breakfast pizza:
(2) Friday PM: Some Jennifer Hawkins spotting, and then dinner at an Italian restaurant on Lygon Street.
(3) Saturday morning - brunch at cafe (McIvers Coffee and Tea Merchants) outside Vic Markets. People watching and relaxation, followed by a stroll through the markets.
(4) PM - Lunch/arvo tea/coffee at Thousand Pound Bend, a quirky inner city spot with great decor if you like vintage:
(5) PMPM - Cheap and cheerful cocktails at the quirky and cosy Prudence Bar in North Melbourne:
(6) Sunday AM - brunch at the Auction Rooms, North Melbourne. Delicious food, great service, great prices... I found the coffee to be a bit weak.
(7) Shopping shopping shopping, to come in the next post. Isn't this inner city, inner mall free for all community herb garden a wonderful idea? (inside Melbourne Central):