Finally, after months of planning, preparations and daydreaming, we were off. Lee Anne’s sister in law and niece Megan saw us off in Dallas, and we were on our way to our first stop – New Zealand. Though we had checked in through to Auckland with United at DFW, we still had to check in again and obtain new boarding passes with Air New Zealand at LAX. It seemed odd and inefficient, but not a big deal. After all, we had three hours plus to kill at LAX. After a short wait, the gentlemen behind the counter reviewed our United issued boarding passed and our passports. “And your return tickets?” he asked. “Uh…oh…well you see we’re not actually coming back.” we responded. “Well you can not go then!”, he responded in a very matter of fact way. We explained our situation to him. You see, we have a reservation that we will purchase in Auckland. And look here’s our Indian visa. Doesn’t that help? Long story short, we ended up purchasing two very overpriced, fully refundable one-way tickets from Auckland to Sydney.
The airline understood our situation, but we absolutely had to comply with the law. Dave has since coined this the “hippy law.” Apparently, Kiwis have enough backpacking, hippies picking grapes and base jumping off of tall building. All told the ordeal cost us $150 service fee for issuing and then refunding tickets we don’t need and about an hour at LAX. There’s nothing else to do there anyway.