The 22 Hour Night

It takes 22 hours to fly from Orlando to Sydney, Australia. That may sound like a long time, but Dani and I discovered that if you have the right seat, it actually isn’t too bad. The sun set as we took off, and was just rising as we landed in Sydney, twenty-two hours–and two days–later. Essentially, we chased the moon for a day, all the way across the international date line.

It’s easy to forget how much better International service is than domestic, even on the same airline. Our first class flight from Orlando to LAX was the usual tired plane, big seat, pretty mediocre food. But the flight to Sydney was a delight. Using frequent flyer miles, I booked us on Delta in their Business Elite section from Los Angeles to Sydney. The new 777-200LD planes are great, and the Business Elite section has seats that are like little rooms that fully recline into a flat bed. There are large pullout tray tables and touch screen monitors, and even a USB jack for charging stuff. Dinner was a tasty, multi-course affair with five spice seared tuna sashimi, a delicious salad, short ribs, and a 2001 Rioja.

Another plus of Business Elite is they give you fast passes for customs and immigration (a program being tested by the Australian government) so we were in and out of the airport in no time. A driver met us and took us to the Four Seasons Hotel, our home base for the next eight days. Time for a shower!