Arrival to USA

Arrival To USA


Arrival to USA




Having loaded our bags from Mica into the Sunsail minibus we waited around for the ride to Raiatea’s airport, The plane was due to leave at 2:30 and we arrived to a very empty airport at about 1 pm. Apparently the check in does not open until about half an hour before departure so it was of to the bar to spend our remaining change on a couple of beers. A few people started to arrive, so we lined up at the check in to find great reluctance to take the dive tanks. It seems the airline staff were worried that the tanks had been filled with oxygen. I went through all the explanations of scuba tanks, showed that valves were open etc with the supervisor and finally its seemed that tanks would be loaded but only as cargo, at a cost of course.




Shortly after we caught the plane for the short flight to the Tahiti via Bora Bora. The view of the islands with pale blue to turquoise surrounding lagoons than the open ocean blue was stunning.  Within forty minutes we were in Tahiti picking up the luggage and “cargo”, then the bag we have left in storage. It was then about four hours before departure to LA. We still had to pick up Sasha’s missing bag from the Sydney flight. Again there was no one around for some time but eventually the baggage claim person turned up. She new which flight we were on, and had Sasha’s bag all ready for us, she had done a wonderful job from wow to go.




So, with our all up total of 11 items of baggage it was of to check in once again. After some negotiation with the check in staff I manage to convince them, supervisor involved again, to accept it all including the dive tanks, although there was some concern that they had been filled with oxygen. We went through the security and found a lounge. A short time later one of the check in staff came to see us about the dive tanks, again questioning whether they had been filled with oxygen. Again, the explanations all seemed to be accepted. We boarded when the same person came to see us about the dive tanks. Apparently the captain had decided not to load them, they would go on a separate flight and we should check at LA. Could not do much about it now, just wait and see in LA.




Arrived in LA, picked up our bags, less the dive tanks, and found the Tahitian air-baggage representative to try and found out the story. He could not understand why there was any issue in the first place, but all was checked through to Orlando and if they did not arrive there, then report. It was another four hour wait for the flight to Orlando via Dallas. We checked e-mails, and arrangements for Orlando, hire car, hotel. One small problem, the hotel booking started 28 October, and we were scheduled to arrive 28 October, but at one am, fat chance of checking in that early given check-in is usually around midday. A few frantic phone calls eventually turned up a Radisson that gave us one night on Sasha’s Radisson points We made it to Orlando just after 1 am, and no dive tanks. Reports were made, forms filled in and when the tanks arrive the airline staff would have them deliver to the hotel. Fat chance!




There was to be many more phone calls and forms to be filled out for American Airlines central baggage claim, The tanks never turned up.



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