Then problems, big problems. When I went to check I was asked if I had a visa or esta to the USA. I said no, I was not staying in the Unites States, I was just transiting there. The reply was 'Sorry, It doesn't matter, you STILL need a visa or an esta. We cannot process your outward journey unless you do that!' So across to a service desk and the long process of getting an esta to transit in the States. The Computer at the service desk hardly worked, every time I pressed extra hard the same letter would come up twice. A lot of Hail Mary's! It cost me $14 US. The payment also had to be done on the Computer, which also was difficult. Then back to the Air France desk. It did not come up on their screen. A lot more Hail Mary's! I was now desperate, both in terms of time, and the fact that I might be stuck here. Finally it came through. Through customs and into the Departure Lounge. I had made it.
The plane took off an hour late. I am told it is a 12 hour flight. I watched the Steve Jobs movie. OK. Any movie, not great. A long time in a plane.
Finally arrived in Los Angeles with a bumpy touch down. I had thought that being 'in transit' would be a simple business of joining other passengers who had been through custom formalities and were waiting for their plane to leave and that my small pack was being sent to the Air New Zealand plane and that I would not see it until Auckland. Dreams are free! I still had to go through customs and immigration like everyone else, pick up my baggage from the carousal, then take the pack to a service desk where it was then sent to the airline. The strange thing in all of this was that it never actually went through a scanner. At immigration I was fingerprinted and photographed, along with everyone else. I finished up in the arrivals exit along with everyone else. In fact, at least in terms of where the Air New Zealand terminal is, there really is no Transit Lounge as such. The whole business really was quite time consuming and tiring. It kind of puts one off in 'transiting' through the States.
Los Angeles is 9 hours behind Spain and France and 21 hours behind New Zealand. I had arrived here 1.30 pm Los Angeles time and leave 9.15 pm Los Angeles time, arriving in Auckland 7am New Zealand time.
This will be my last communication.
Hope you have enjoyed reading this.