• Sorry to hear that, but I have had mostly cheerful people at the Australian borders; some neutral, but no rude ones.

  • That happened to me once and I had to wait a whole year until I went back to the US. On the way home we had difficulty finding a TSA agent at the Departures level who had a spare set of keys but one made the effort to go down and get a set. He then locked the TSA lock in my Samsonite hard side.

  • After all these years, you'd think the airlines could interoperate better in this manner. There are many such examples, but while demand outstrips supply, things won't change much.

  • Why could Qantas give me boarding passes for the AA segment from DFW to MIA, but on the homeward leg AA could only do it for the MIA-DFW leg? At least they checked my bag all the way to MEL.

  • Get a Twitter account and mention the incident to @VirginAustralia, (although I am surprised that there are no tweets from them since 13 January).

  • I often travel to the US with a half-empty hard-sided suitcase where the clothes can end up creased, so I use the clear, zipped pillowcase bags which are just the right size for a week's worth of clothes. The clear bag also allows me to hunt for an item without opening up the zip completely.