It was day 6 of 7 for South Australia’s COVID-19 lockdown, all international flights into Adelaide had been cancelled. Luckily Singapore Airlines flew an empty A350-900 into Adelaide so approximately 20 passengers could fly out.
This was it. The moment we have been thinking of daily for the past nine months. Was this really happening? Our 0.5 tonne of airfreight had already left a few days ago. Our suitcases were packed. We felt ready, well as ready as we’ll ever be. The family was about to set off on our biggest challenge and adventure since Liam built the millennium falcon out of Lego. We would be lying if we said we were not a little anxious, but we were full of excitement and ready to step out of the safety of Adelaide.
The airport transfer arrived at Hotel Fensom aka ‘the parent’s house’ at 06:30. It was a final farewell to Alison and David. We had already done a virtual farewell with Soph’s family, Liv, John and Xavier due to the SA lockdown. Eloise sensed something was up, running around the house full of energy “Dave Dave Dave!!!”. The suitcases were loaded into the van and we were off.
After a lengthy process to verify Australian Border Force Security permission to leave the country we were through the check-in process. Eloise quickly destroyed a muffin and then rode her suitcase the whole way down to the new international departure gates. There were approximately 50 other people inside the airport. Unsettling for a Monday morning.
This was the first time any of us had been on a commercial aircraft since the pandemic began. Eloise had flown to Sydney before, but this was Eloise’s and Lachlan’s first overseas flight.
We were off to Singapore!
Eloise instantly became a hit with all the flight attendants and was drowning in gifts and presents. When she wasn’t playing with her new toys or covering the cabin in Frozen 2 stickers she was partying with the flight attendants at the back. Lachlan slept 90% of the way, he must have loved the noise and vibrations from the jet engines. We had to wear masks the whole flight but honestly, after a couple of hours you forgot you had them on. Eloise copies everything her mum does, essentially is a mini Sophie. Although she didn’t have to wear a mask she didn’t want to be left out and thought it was hilarious putting her own mask on and off. During the flight there was one final watch of a Harry Potter and we were ready to tackle the UK.
Seven hours later we had landed in Singapore. Both the children had been fantastic, Eloise was a bit disappointed they would not let her fly the aircraft but pretty much checked out every other part of it.
One of the world’s busiest airports was only slightly busier than Adelaide’s. Very different from when I was here in 2013, sadly no FIFA store or butterfly terminal today. We thought it might be a little busy due to people flying through to the Olympics. We were given a green wrist band which confusingly meant we came from a non-COVID-19 safe location, thanks Gladys. This meant we were driven from the aircraft straight to our hotel room, where we had to stay until the next flight. Luckily enough it was fairly comfortable and they had even given Eloise a double bed which was a good laugh.
UK here we come!