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Topic: A Promise Kept (Part 4): Riding The Roo To MEL
Username: dirktraveller
Posted 2012-10-19 05:23:21 and read 4368 times.

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Welcome to the last part of the trip report!

These are the previous installments of the trip report series, in case you may have missed it!

 A Promise Kept (Part 1): RBA Carry You Home (by dirktraveller Sep 25 2012 in Trip Reports)
A Promise Kept (Part 2): On GA's Busiest Route (by dirktraveller Oct 2 2012 in Trip Reports)
A Promise Kept (Part 3): 11Hrs In Singapore On VF (by dirktraveller Oct 15 2012 in Trip Reports)

The 11 hours Singapore stopover passed faster than I expected, with every moment of it enjoyable. Time check shown it was already 2030hrs, and it was time for me to get back to Changi Airport, after spending half a day with all my former colleagues back in Singapore. They were extremely surprised that I was in SIN for only 11 hours stopover, as they were assuming I was staying for few days, which I did not.

Background

The convenient Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system brought me on a 35-minutes trip from Bugis MRT station to Changi Airport. As soon as I reach the airport, I headed straight to collect my luggage in the 'Left baggage' section.

I made it to the extremely full check-in counter at around 2115, just before 2 hours prior to scheduled departure of 2330hrs. Qantas and British Airways shared their check-in counters at Changi Airport Terminal 1. Being it the hub for both airlines' Kangaroo-route, the counters were busy most times, and that night was no difference.

The recent Qantas-Emirates partnership agreement would sadly made SIN no longer the hub for the kangaroo-route. Personally, I'm interested to see Singapore's role in both Qantas/British Airways flight network in the future.

Check-in

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Long queues at Economy counter for the shared BA/QF counter

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Then, frequent-flyer members are invited to the specific counter which made cut my queuing time.

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A set of QF crew reporting for flight. Hmm.. would they be flying us to PER tonight?

Post-Immigration - The newly renovated Changi Airport Terminal 1.

The immigration process has been efficient as usual in this airport, while I spent the rest of my time waiting for the flight wandering around departure area of Terminal 1. This is my first visit to terminal 1 after it has been renovated, and I must say I love the design of Terminal 1.

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Right after immigration, a 'garden' is waiting for you.

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The beautifully decorated departure area garden.

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There is a large window enabling you to see flights taxing towards the gates.

FLIGHT DETAILS:

Flight Number : QF 72
Type of Aircraft: A330-303
Registration: VH-QPJ (msn 712, delivered 20/12/2005)
Seat Number: 41D
ETD: 2330
ETA: 0440

Boarding

The boarding gate C13 was full of passengers at that time. The secondary security check, which was just before the gate formed a line of queue. The boarding call was made at around 2245, which was at the order of Business Class, passengers with assistance, tail-end row Economy Class, then my section, the middle section economy.

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My passport and boarding passes, printed all the way until the PER-MEL sector.

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Side view of the Airbus A330 flying us tonight, VH-QPJ.

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The 7 years airframe is nicknamed "Port Stephens"

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Further view of the aircraft, took from gate C13 prior to boarding call.


Upon boarding, I found myself that 41D was actually located just behind the center toilet, which I was worried that it may provide limited recline throughout the red-eye flight, but fortunately I still found the seat comfortable.

There was a pillow, blanket, and an amenity kit provided in every seat.

After the doors were closed, the crew distributed few items which includes the Australian landing cards, and then, menu for tonight. Yes, MENU for the one-time meal service on this five hours flight to PER. I was totally impressed that QF provides menu in Economy Class! Well done QF.

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Passengers settling in to their seats.

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The row of seats I am going to be seated. I was seated on the aisle side, which is 41D.

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Amenity kits and its content

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Pillow and Blanket

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Terminal 1 exterior view from the window on 41A

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QF Inflight magazine, A330 Safety Cards, Duty free magazine, and 'Q' Inflight Entertainment Guide


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The front cover of the Economy Class menu.

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Choices of meals for tonight's flight

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Choice of beverages served on this flight.

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Safety videos featuring the Australian Olympic athletes. While the safety videos were played, the QF cabin crews were also demonstrating the safety briefing in person.
Anyone know why the video and live briefing were done in the same time? I was just curious why did they not just use the video, or doing it manually without the video?

The flight took off from Singapore at around 2345hrs, flying over the Sumatran Islands and passing Jakarta before entering Australian airspace.

IN-FLIGHT:

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Cabin view after take-off.

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My meal tray

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Meal tray with my choice of meal : Chicken curry and steamed rice

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Closer look at the chicken curry meal.

Qantas Economy Class seats on the A330s :

While some ( or maybe most) of us are familiar with the Qantas Economy Class on the Airbus A330, I would include some pictures of the seats on QF A330s to those who are wondering what it looks like.



My seat 41D. Although this seat located at the end row, I found it pretty comfortable for the flight.

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The economy class seating with decent legroom for medium built person like me.

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Seatback PTV on Economy Class

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Remote control on the A330s

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The 'Crew rest' area

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Crew seats are equipped with red blankets instead of normal Y Class blankets.

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After the meal service, the crew seats were closed with curtains, where some of the crew were resting until the approach to PER.

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The 'Q' IFE System menu

After all the trays were cleared, I choose to tune into the QF Inflight Entertainment system called 'Q'. While the system is AVOD, but I would have to say, that the system is quite outdated, and it sometimes take really long time to load. As there is still around 3 more hours before arrival into Perth, I decided to have some sleep, while the cabin light also switched off to allow passengers to rest.

QF crews would normally attend to passenger calls with a mini-flashlight, to navigate themselves on the dark cabin.

Landing into Perth

With less than an hour remaining to the flight, the cabin lights were switched on. The captain came on the PA announcing our descent into Perth Airport.

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Moving map shown that we're approaching PER

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A 3D image of our aircraft in the moving map feature.

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Parked beside an AirAsia A320.

The flight landed in PER at around 0435hrs, around 5 minutes earlier than schedule. Perth Airport immigration queues were empty during this early hours. As required by the Australian customs regulation, I must took my baggage from the international baggage claim and went through customs check before dropping my baggage again at the QF domestic transfer desk. Customs check went smoothly, so did the customs check this time. However, I was concerned with the tight connecting time between my QF 72 and the domestic connection QF 480.

Topic: RE: A Promise Kept (Part 4): Riding The Roo To MEL
Username: dirktraveller
Posted 2012-10-19 06:10:32 and read 4281 times.

Transfer at Perth Airport

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Perth Airport International Arrival

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QF Domestic transfer signage.

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QF Domestic transfer desks.


After clearing customs check, I proceeded to the QF transfer desk in which I dropped my baggage and was told to wait for a terminal-transfer bus which should come around 15 more minutes.
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Outside the International terminal of Perth Airport

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Welcome to Perth Airport!



Perth Airport ATC tower

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The way heading out of the Terminal

I headed outside to the bus stop, and waited for a good 20 minutes for the terminal-transfer bus. The bus never came to pick up the transfer passengers. Some other anxious passengers, were upset towards the QF staff members, who informed that the bus will come at 0605hrs. My QF 480 flight was due to depart at 0610hrs, with boarding time at 0550.

Along with other passengers, I was not really satisfied with QF and the way they handled the issue. They only suggested passengers to take the taxi to the domestic terminal, which I did, in order to get to the flight in time. It took around 10 minutes taxi ride from International to domestic terminal.

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Inside PER Domestic Terminal

After reaching the QF domestic terminal, passengers went through a security check, before proceeding for boarding at gate 15.

FLIGHT DETAILS:

Flight Number: QF 480
Type of Aircraft: B737-838
Registration: VH-VXK ( msn 33481, delievered 25/06/2002)
Seat Number: 18F
ETD : 0610
ETA : 1145

Boarding

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The boarding was quick and efficient, with Business Class & QF platinum Frequent Flyer members having their own lane to board.

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Our Aircraft, VH-VXK, named "Katherine"

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Economy Class seats on QF B738

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Parked nearby other QF domestic flights.

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QF Domestic terminal with Qantas logo on the building.

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Sunrise while we are taxing towards the runway for take-off, at around 0625hrs.

In-flight

Throughout the 3hours 15 minutes flight, the animated movie "Brave" was played on the overhead screen. Breakfast was served not long after take-off. As I was quite tired after the red-eye flight, I spent most of the time on this flight sleeping.

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View of Perth after take-off

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Perth CBD seen while climbing

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Lovely skies after the sunrise over Perth.

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Flew over a lake before reaching cruising altitude.

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Breakfast is served!

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Meal tray with the Bacon and egg breakfast

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Close-up with my breakfast, Bacon and Egg. It tasted nice!

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The muffin was also tasted good!

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The views while we are cruising towards Melbourne, and I was asleep for the rest of the flight.

Landing into Melbourne

I was awake when the PA about preparation for landing was made, which cabin crew was walking around making sure that everything was in place for landing. The flight landed in Melbourne at around 1150hrs.

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Views on approach to MEL

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Melbourne Airport with all the Virgin Australia flights

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Passing the International section: BI 772 and MH A333

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Parked beside a QF B734, registered VH-TJK. I flew SYD-MEL route on this aircraft back in July.

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Baggage claim at QF Domestic Terminal, Tullamarine Airport Melbourne.

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Information regarding our flight's baggage carousel.

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Outside the QF Domestic Terminal at MEL.

After leaving the baggage claim area, I took a Skybus towards the Melbourne CBD, and with my arrival into MEL, it concludes my one-week trip to SUB and CGK.

Final thoughts

From both international and domestic flights with QF, I noticed that their cabin crew members are friendly and more relaxed on doing their work, in particular with the senior-crews on the QF 72 Singapore-Perth sector. With the full load on the red-eye flight, they still made the effort to interact with passengers, which I found amazing. Their friendliness is impressive and made your 'Red kangaroo' journey towards Australia much more enjoyable.

On the other hand, I believe QF ground service should reflect on their domestic flight transfer services. As the shuttle bus may be unreliable sometimes, they should have come up with contingency plans instead of advising passengers to solve their own problems by taking a taxi. Or otherwise, they could just possibly arrange them for a less-tight connection considering the transfer-bus schedule.

Despite the drawbacks on transfer process, I find it on my first international flight with QF that they had an amazing standard with other carriers serving the Singapore-Australia route. I would not mind to have another flight with QF internationally.

Before I end, I would thank everyone that had made this trip possible, and thank you for reading my trip report(s).
Do leave a comment and see you!  

Regards,
Dirktraveller

PREVIOUS WORKS

The Fifth Freedom Business Part 3 Onboard LH (by dirktraveller Aug 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
The Fifth Freedom Business Part 2, Featuring PR (by dirktraveller Aug 11 2012 in Trip Reports)
The Fifth Freedom Business SIN-CGK-SIN Part 1: TK (by dirktraveller Aug 1 2012 in Trip Reports)
Garuda Holiday (Part 2): SIN Visit On The 738 (by dirktraveller Jul 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
Garuda Holiday (Part 2): SIN Visit On The 738 (by dirktraveller Jul 18 2012 in Trip Reports)
Garuda Holiday : GA717 MEL-CGK Nonstop (by dirktraveller Jul 16 2012 in Trip Reports)


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