New Zealand work trip: A rough start so far

I’ve had a very odd start to my two week work trip. Depending how far back you review I’ve:

  • Made the rest of my family grumpy because I’m getting to return to NZ before them, and they are the ones wanting to return
  • Booked my tickets through the work Orbitz account, which by itself was not bad, I choice the lowest cost flights*, but:
    • I had US internal flights using American Airlines, thus I will not get any Air New Zealand Air Dollars (like miles), and could only ticket to L.A in Peoria,  then in L.A. ticket the last legs, it’s always nicer to ticket in the quieter airports
    • I flew to L.A. from Peoria via Chicago which is 1 + 4 hours of flying verse 2 + 2 via Denver
    • I was travelling to New Zealand via L.A. I have decided I prefer San Francisco, which is luckily my return route
    • I booked the international leg tickets under the United Airlines code-share (it’s Air NZ flight), thus could not use my free Air NZ class upgrade to travel premium economy (which looks so much nicer) and I’m not sure I’ll get the same value of Air Dollars (edit: same value earned)
    • I travelled to Christchurch from Auckland via an domestic flight NZ501 instead of the international NZ303. The later is way simpler and I had to re-ticket again in Auckland for some odd reason
  • But all those issues aside, I’m here
  • The travel was made hectic by finding out just after landing in Chicago that there had been an earthquake in Christchurch. Making contact with family in NZ and US used all my spare time between flights
    • This was due to Michaela and I only having cell phones in the US. Mine is a work phone so has a toll bar, and Michaela’s is a new Verizon account and therefore she is not allowed to make tolls calls on it for the first year. WTF! we already had to pay $400USD bond for the first year to open the account
  • Now I’m here in Christchurch there are water/sewer problems, thus staying at my mother’s was not going to work, but luckily my brothers farm is self contained or just well stocked, so I am going to stay the night out there. Really weird seeing all the old brick buildings with toppled walls

So lots of lessons to learn for the next time I book tickets for a trip. Next time I’ll check the price differences of some of these options…

* actually I could have travelled via Australia to get to Christchurch, but that would have made four more hours of air travel, just for $150 USD return.