Noumea – here we come, maybe?
TRIP Report: Trip: New Caledonia
- Noumea – here we come, maybe?
Check your passport validity dates
Well, Friday was an interesting day. We arrived at Sydney Airport to catch our 12:35 pm Air Calin flight to Noumea, only to discover that one of our party had an expired passport.
Needless to say, the individual concerned was extremely distressed.
The Air Cailin representative was wonderful, and rebooked them for next Tuesday, allowing for any delay in the issuing of an emergency passport. The only penalty was the change fee associated with the ticket and the appropriate credit card charges. All-up it cost AU$102.20 to change the departure date.
The member of our party could have flown from the next day, but flights were earlier (7:45 am), and we thought it prudent given the intervening weekend to allow some extra time for that passport to be renewed. Tuesday was the first day when flights left Sydney at 12:35 pm.
Department of Foreign Affairs
Thanks to the Sydney office for organising a Priority Passport to be issued the next working day (Monday). The additional fee is AU$186 – and in these circumstances, worth every cent.
Another reason to have a Travel Agent
Thanks also to our Travel Agent (no I’m not telling you who, ’cause then he’d never have time to attend to us) at Out and About Travel, who provided sagely advice and jumped onto the phone to the hotel, etc etc – proving himself to be invaluable – like we didn’t already know that.
Concierges come into their own when you have a problem
The concierge staff at Le Meridian Noumea – in particular, Louise who helped us out negotiating a reduced price on a return trip to the airport to pick up our 3rd member, and Toranne, who liaised with Air Cailin on providing a Meet and Assist service both in Sydney and Noumea.
Cross fingers that all our arrangments will fall into place. It’s nice to know that there are services and people willing to step in and help. We are looking forward to the arrival of the third member of our party.