Goodbye HX - a short tale of woe | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Goodbye HX - a short tale of woe

Ausbt

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Apr 21, 2012
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Arrived back from Japan over the weekend, but not the way I wanted. I made a litany of errors on this trip, commencing with some minor and inconsequential things that I put down to some changed circumstances in life, that you usually spell D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Anyway, there was only one really critical error, and that occurred on the blackest of black ski runs at Myoko Kogen ski resort. The lessons learned from the errors that happened after that aren't probably going to help anyone too much, but you never know.

There were actually some famous last words that came out of my mouth before I tore through my ACL & MCL and was basketed off the hill by patrol. I doubt I'll be saying that exact phrase again. Getting a taxi to hospital (with no money - the Japanese cash economy really caught me out repeatedly this trip, despite it being my 7th), MRIs and language issues, packing up my gear mostly solo, these were just minor inconveniences compared with the hassle to dealing with insurers and airlines. I just wasn't really able to think clearly and rationally.

  • Impending ski trip to Colorado - cancelled
  • US-based job offer within my current firm that I've waited on for two years - delayed a while
  • Getting 'home' and packing the house up and finding somewhere to live - ahhhhh
I was due to fly HX NRT-HKG and VA HKG-SYD in two days time, VA codeshare. I'd already had a $925 UpgradeMe bid accepted prior to the accident on the second leg (irony? I only had one functional leg left). My leg was strapped at 30 degrees and no way was it going to fit into the Y seat of HX. First mistake: not putting the arrangements into the hands of my insurer to handle. Oh no, I'll just deal with HX myself, I'm an expert at this. Naturally they couldn't help at all, speak to Virgin this is their flight. VA of course were their usual helpful selves, but have no visibility over HX's cabins and loads. It was difficult enough for them to price up the upgrade - that will be $2,200 please. More conversations with insurers who then advised me "you will need to seek medical clearance to fly and recommendation of a J upgrade for us to consider it". A lot of stressful time running (actually crutching) around Tokyo but job done.

So, next day I arrive to checking at HX. The staff review my ticket and say "sorry". Ummm, what? "This is not a valid ticket, you need to speak to Virgin". I didn't hesitate. This resulted in a 48 minute conversation between VA & HX on my mobile phone about the validity of the ticket. HX wanted VA to 'release' the ticket. VA respond with WTF are you talking about. Eventually VA reticketed it again. When I say eventually, I mean the plane was boarding at that time and I'm still at check-in, thankfully in a wheelchair rather than crutches. I couldn't help noticing a sign on the counter "Upgrade to business for Y42,000 (AUD$565)". Oh dear.

So, let's rush to the plane. Express lanes everywhere of course. I'm probably the last to board, well definitely. Here's a pic of the HX J cabin after they had closed the doors:

A quiet flight.jpg


That's right, I was the sole occupant of the J cabin, not a single other passenger. Later I took a look at Y. Also 1/3rd full and mountains of rows to choose from that could have accommodated my leg. At no cost at all. Naturally I'm hoping the insurer reimburses most of that, but we will see I guess.

So was there another mistake here? Oh yeah, Expert Flyer. When you suffer an accident you are just not thinking straight. You are just trying to deal with the next thing on your list. Anyway, the crew were attentive I guess, the champagne was flowing. A good thing to, as there was absolutely no AVOD at all on this flight, just as there wasn't coming up. HX and cutbacks, huh? Hey, I should be thankful they were actually running the plane at all!

On VA82 I slept like a baby, I'm sure I got a solid 6 hours, didn't even need the AVOD at all. Well, I'm sure we are all looking forward to VA flying to HND. On a bright note, this was the flight on which I remade Platinum again, 6 months prior to review. Probably a good thing, I'm not doing much flying for a while now. I need to rest that leg and get it ski-worthy again ;)

Any final mistakes? Why of course. I suddenly remember my car, parked at the airport, convenient as I'm loaded up with a pair of skis I won't be using again. It's a manual. Ahhhhhmmmm...

Definitely not fitting into a Y seat (well, unless there is hardly anyone in Y)
Leg1.jpg
 

Stealthflyer

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I’m glad you got those J upgrades in the end. Best wishes for your recovery!
 

AustraliaPoochie

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Feb 9, 2014
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At least too they are holding your job for you.
There is still at the least an income stream.
And you have travel insurance, lucky.
I have work injured myself in the past, granted your injury wasn't in the line of a job, so no workers comp, but still, $$$ later on, as in normal income.
Yes, ooh, the pain.
OT: mine was an op to remove a sewing pin I was bending, found that sewing pin (while waitng for time waiting to start work), to see if it would break, guess what, yep, it broke didn't it, so off to a GP, he said it (skin), was going brown, but couldn't find it after cutting skin, so off to A&E later on, a whole day from morning to mid afternoon, they found it and took it out, and another time, me breaking calf from closing a window inapt at work, window broke, there I was bleeding, blood dripping down arm, running around like a headless chook, ... yep, 4 hours in triage, plus stitches.
Anyways, best of recovery to you, and sad about the d***orce.
 

henleybeach

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Chin up and all the best for recovery. I’ve had 2 ACL reconstructions so I know your pain. The rehab is the pain!
 

QF WP

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Thank you for sharing the story ausbt - parts will resonate with many readers.

Imagine if you’d done that on the inaugural QF/EK trip in 2013 that we did (IIRC). You’d have been fine in QF J.

Some valuable lessons there, a great read and pics. Best wishes for that reimbursement through your insurer.
 
Last edited:

maia200

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Thank you for sharing. It was an experience and certainly informative - good idea to talk to insurance first! Hope you get better soon.
 

rbjhan

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Sep 16, 2016
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Myoko Kogen, I'll be there in 12 days!
Not skiing though, I'm going for the hotel. Oh and maybe some snowshoeing...TBC

Speedy recovery!
 

Ausbt

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Apr 21, 2012
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Myoko Kogen, I'll be there in 12 days!
Not skiing though, I'm going for the hotel. Oh and maybe some snowshoeing...TBC
You will have a great time, it's a lovely area and the little main street of Akakura has some great eateries and bars. It's hard to beat soaking in an Onsen (preferably outdoor) and just looking out on the mountains and snow. If you want to visit the Snow Monkeys, it's very easy to get the local train back to Nagano and then grab the local bus to the monkey park, from recollection bus 23. Have fun!
 

Ausbt

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Apr 21, 2012
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I found it refreshing that Ausbt managed to relate his tale of woe with good humour
Thank you Happy! Well look I'm hoping that by being positive it helps me recover quicker. Here's one for the Swannies fans: when I was at the Ortho the other day, Buddy Franklin was sitting opposite me in the waiting room. Buddy only had a few pieces of tape on his knee - surely this is a great sign for the season! :D
 

rbjhan

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You will have a great time, it's a lovely area and the little main street of Akakura has some great eateries and bars. It's hard to beat soaking in an Onsen (preferably outdoor) and just looking out on the mountains and snow. If you want to visit the Snow Monkeys, it's very easy to get the local train back to Nagano and then grab the local bus to the monkey park, from recollection bus 23. Have fun!
Oh yes I have been there before.
Guess you missed my TR for that

Liked the hotel so much that I'm going back this year :cool:
 

kookaburra75

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Oh yes I have been there before.
Guess you missed my TR for that

Well good luck to you....

This is also why I don't Ski.
Liked the hotel so much that I'm going back this year :cool:
I agree on both counts - running the hotel and not skiing.

Rest up ausbt
 

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