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Topic: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: themit9
Posted 2013-02-01 13:01:22 and read 10928 times.

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Welcome to my 6th Trip Report on A.NET. The MEL-SYD route (and vice-versa) has a huge level of coverage on this site, mainly due to it being the world’s second busiest route by aircraft moments. Based on this I had to think before deciding to write a report. In the end I decided to, mainly because this would be my:

  • First time flying a VH registered aircraft on an RPT flight since 2009 (although I did fly a VH registered 172 just before this flight)

  • First time flying QF since 2007

  • First time flying QF Business since 2001



As you can see, I am hoping to provide a fresh set of eyes in this report as I am more used to international flights. I’m looking forward to seeing how QF compares to the Asian carriers and Asian short haul flights on this 1hr25min hop. Also, there’s still not a great deal on the very latest state of affairs in the Business cabin with Virgin stepping up and QF working to be more competitive. Hopefully I can provide a fresh look for you, the reader.

Background

A friend had to travel to Sydney to pick up a new car. I was asked to come along to help out with the driving duties to get the car back to Victoria. This meant a flight to Sydney to collect the vehicle, a leg I would normally drive. Opportunities like this don’t pop up very often, which is why I wasn’t surprised to be virtually holding a QF Business eTicket for QF 438 to SYD on the classic 767.

Choices

I could either sit around at home waiting for my 2pm departure, or head to Tullamarine and work in the surrounds of the Qantas Business Lounge. So, naturally, I decided to leave home at 8am and proceed to Tullamarine. As we would be driving back the following day I parked in the long term outdoor car park where I would be able to pick up my car on the way through. The car park is a great service as there is an easy to bus to take you to the terminal and plenty of car spaces. Leaving the carpark, and it's a short drive back to the freeway.

Here comes the bus

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After a short run I was kerbside at the Qantas Terminal

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Scenes of the terminal

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I’m someone that likes the human touch on check in and always take this over online- isn’t that what we pay for? Well not with Qantas as it’s only by touch screen now. On the plus side there’s no lines for check in for those not traveling premium.

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When booking the flight was being operated by a 1-2-2 configured 767 which was ideal for me, so I snapped up 1A- a window seat by myself. So I was a bit disappointed to see this:

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Anyway, I soon had a boarding pass on thin, flimsy paper. Still better than the supermarket-style boarding passes of the low cost operators.

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At security I was pleased to see a premium line (Asian airports take note), but interestingly nobody was enforcing it.

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19 minutes after parking my car, I found myself at the lounge.

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I haven’t flown QF J since 2001 so I was keen to see how it all worked. At the top of the escalator, you are treated to a great tarmac view

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The lounge is setup with the Qantas Club on the outside and the business lounge as the inner sanctum- similar to how SQ does The Private Room. I showed my boarding pass to the first lounge dragon who was quite friendly.

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Then the business lounge is through an elegant opaque sliding door at the back of the complex

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I dropped my bags and was enjoying the views- some of the highlights being plenty of QF aircraft, SQ and EK A380, Vietnam Airlines and Philippine Airlines.
The mobile-free zone with comfortable seats and ottomans pointed towards the tarmac

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The lounge is nicely decorated- it appears minimalist and modern and the floor to ceiling tarmac views give a great ambiance

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At the time I was there, there was a breakfast selection.

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This was a little lacking in choice- there were cereals, greek yogurt with nuts and bircher museli alo g with fruit. The only ‘hot option’ were pancakes dispensed by machine…a savoury offering would have been nice like some simple eggs

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Business centre

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Seated in front of the action with orange juice and a selection from the continental breakfast offering. Some nice new age music being piped in really added to the atmosphere.

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VH-ZXE

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Mild congestion at the Jetstar finger

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Air New Zealand arriving

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The bathrooms were a standard offering, a few amenities would have been nice

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Coffee machine

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Sweet offerings were a nice touch

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Further seating area

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Once lunch rolled around, QF stepped things up a notch with a nice antipasto selection, some soup/chowder and a chicken dish. There was also a cheese selection. This was a big step up from breakfast and QF redeemed itself here.

Antipasto while working

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Chicken

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Other offerings

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And self-serve alcohol was available (not in the mornings)

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You can probably tell from the vast number of pictures that I had camped out at the lounge for quite a few hours, 35 minutes before departure at 1:25pm it was time to walk up to the last gate- number 11.

EK and TG

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QF 737 with the ‘Dreaming’ livery

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And the ride to SYD,VH-OGM interestingly named ‘Bundaberg’ which was some metres underwater due to floods at the time

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I had shown up at a perfect time as it was now boarding. Passengers needing assistance were asked to board first.

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Premium lane

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I was the first person after those needing assistance to head down the jetway

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THE FLIGHT



Date: 30 January 2013
Flight: QF 438
Route: MEL (YMML) – SYD (YSSY)
Aircraft: Boeing 767-338ER
Registration: VH-OGM


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Photo © Ken Chen
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Photo © John Richard Thomson


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Photo © Phil Vabre
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Photo © Quinn Savit



Quick facts: This aircraft’s first flight was on 21/08/1992. The aircraft is 20.4 years old.
Scheduled / Actual Departure (gate): 2:00pm / 1:59pm UTC + 11
Scheduled/ Action Arrive (gate): 3:25pm / 3:15pm UTC + 11
Flight Time (gate to gate) / Scheduled: 1h16m / 1h25m

===================================

“Good afternoon Mr. Themit9, your seat is in the first row on your right”

A good first impression from a cheery female flight attendant, add a name to the greeting and you win me over. This aircraft was built in 1992, so I wasn’t expecting much, but turning the corner, what hit me was a bright, modern and very smart cabin. I knew Qantas was updating its seats (re-covering the ‘Millennium’ design seat with leather) but wasn’t sure how far they had got or what it would look like. I was impressed that an old aircraft looked so bright, fresh and modern. Another big tick to Qantas.

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I sat in 1A and was impressed by the space and width.

View from the seat

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The QF feature wall looked great

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The giveaway that this was an old aircraft was in the square windows, really old-style overhead bins and the passenger service units. This aircraft was equipped with QStreaming, meaning an iPad was supplied.

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Would be interesting to see how the security technology works to prevent the iPad from being removed.

Leg room shot

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A little while after being seated (not like 30 seconds with MH), a welcome drink of strawberry and apple juice or water was offered

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Unfortunately I had wound up with a seatmate who was pretty standoffish (was hoping for an empty seat) but you don’t fly to make friends. He was pretty quick at flagging down a cabin crew member to get me to stop using my camera as soon as the seatbelt sign was on. Fair enough, this isn’t strictly allowed, but you can talk directly to me without using staff. This is why you won’t see any photos taken when they shouldn’t be…

Is it really necessary to warn about drowsiness from the relax program? Hopefully this an attempt at humour.

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We soon pushed back, a few minutes early and the safety video was shown….very tacky with Australian cricket stars and apparently humorous jokes thrown in. Much prefer the new MH video, and the EK, SQ and TG videos that just lay it on the line. By the time the video finished we had completed the short taxi to Runway 27. After a brief hold we powered up on the taxiway and lifted into off into the air. We passed over Calder Park Raceway and Melton with Bacchus Marsh in the distance before some right turns that got us following the Hume Highway- the road I would be driving on the following day.

Clear day

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It was time to take QStreaming for a test drive, and it was interesting. They had some how locked it down to keep you in the web browser. Querying any web address would redirect to QStreaming. It was sometimes a little slow and sluggish but OK. I would prefer something mounted to the seat though, although I believe this can be done with some type of clip to hold the iPad, just not on the bulkhead seats.

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A friendly warning about what may happen should you attempt to remove one

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It thought there was an announcement being made so I couldn’t do anything- that was soon fixed be rebooting the iPad

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We were offered newspapers, then a hot towel service

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And the cabin crew started the meal service. “Mr. Themit9, will you be joining us for afternoon tea? I have a Ploughman’s lunch, or a duck salad”

I went with the Ploughman’s lunch. I was offered a beverage- and went with white wine. I was told about where the wine was from and all sorts of facts that meant nothing to me, but were impressive anyway. I was then shown the bottle for my approval (the only reason I would turn it down would be if the label was visually unattractive). The crew were excellent and it was great to see them showing off and walking through wine. Outstanding service on a one hour flight. I was told that the Carolyn (the CSM) would soon be by with some hot bread.

Afternoon tea

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A little while passed and there was a basic selection of bread rolls. Not sure how bread baskets work (don’t they just put the whole box/package in the oven, so adding more types is no extra work) but offering some more interesting bread would be good. It was also cold unlike the Asian airlines.
The Ploughman’s Lunch was traditional and well done- but admittedly hard to stuff up (never had a bad pickled onion). The portion was perfect for a flight of this length. The wine was also great- a real pleasure to drink and obviously matched with the meal. 10/10.

Passing Albury/Wodonga- no Airshow but how many other twin cities are there in the area with a river and dual carriageway going through?

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To round out the meal, some coffee. It was a great feature that they offer you the milk jug and you can decide how much milk you want as I hate milky coffee.

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And the tray was cleared leaving my wine

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An airshow just as the flight was drawing to an end.

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A word on the crew- full marks. Every airline can’t be the same so don’t copy SQ. QF has their own brand and it works- down to earth staff. It was also interesting how Australian the service was…on what Asian airline would you hear “I’ll just go and get you some more water darl” and the like. Also, on Asian airlines it’s rare to see crew over about 35, but these crew were a little older and more experienced. This crew would give some of the MH regional crew a run for their money in how they were able to be impressive in the 1 hour window. Plus being called by name on a lot of encounters is a plus. Drink refills were offered right up until descent and the whole service was prompt and accurate. Well done Qantas.

Thanks to my friendly seatmate, the photos stop here for now but we started a descent. The clouds were thick at this point after a clear flight, we descended through them and things began to get choppy. Looking out the window, it became clear that we were arriving from the west which meant an approach to Runway 25. We even flew right over Bankstown airport and got a great view of the western suburbs of Sydney (would love a home right there under the flightpath but understand it’s not for everyone/most people). As predicted we touched down on Runway 25 quite early.

We pulled into Gate 3 at Terminal 3 ten minutes early.



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The Asian airlines would close the divide between Business and Economy here to allow premium passengers to leave first but QF didn’t do that and it was a free for all.

One last look at a beautifully appointed cabin

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I thanked the crew and arrived in Terminal 3

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Domestic flights are easy and I was kerbside at the private pickup ready to be collected a few minutes later.

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IMPRESSIONS OF QF 438

Check-in: Miss the human touch but the machine made life easy.
Departure: Simple, organised and plenty of premium lines to speed through everything. Everything was exactly on time, couldn’t fault the whole thing.
Lounge: Lacking a bit at breakfast but more than redeemed at lunch. A really nice setup for a domestic lounge.
Onboard: The hard product rivalled my experiences with MH (old A333 and new 738) and SQ (old 772). And don’t even talk about Euro-style Economy-Business. For a 20+ year old aircraft the setup was new and fresh. The crew were outstanding.
Food and Beverages: Menus lacking which was a shame, but the Ploughman’s Lunch was great and I loved the wine.
Arrival: Letting J passengers leave first would be nice, otherwise not much involved here except physical walking which is out of the control of Qantas.

After not flying QF Business or even QF for some time it was a pleasure to return and I think that QF absolutely nailed this flight. Plus the near-full J section in the middle of the day on Wednesday showed that QF must do a roaring trade between MEL and SYD.

Is the flight worth it though? Flying J on QF is very expensive, especially in comparison to what you could get in Asia for your dollar. Look at flying Emirates in First Class on the A380 for less than the cost of an hour of QF Business, and enjoy a shower at 39.000 feet while you’re at it. If looking to do J on this sector in the future I’d probably go with DJ on airfare alone. Y on QF or even JQ/DJ is possible but I’m more content with driving if it suits.

Thanks for reading

If you've made it to here, thanks for reading. Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Constructive feedback welcome.

Video

You’ve read the report, now watch on the flight YouTube



My previous reports on A.NET

Returning Home With MH Business HKG-KUL-MEL (3/3) (by themit9 Dec 17 2012 in Trip Reports)
Poor Man’s First- EK A380 First HKG-BKK-HKG (2/3) (by themit9 Dec 10 2012 in Trip Reports)
To Asia’s Vegas With MH Business MEL-KUL-HKG (1/3) (by themit9 Dec 5 2012 in Trip Reports)
SQ Vs MH | MEL – SIN – BKK – KUL – MEL In C Part 2 (by themit9 Apr 13 2012 in Trip Reports)
SQ Vs MH | MEL – SIN – BKK – KUL – MEL In C Part 1 (by themit9 Apr 8 2012 in Trip Reports)

Travel Blog

I'll be posting non-aviation articles about this trip to the blog, plus you can read other aviation-related posts. With multiple posts each week stay tuned to:

http://mdtravelblog.com

[Edited 2013-02-01 13:06:25]

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: AR385
Posted 2013-02-01 13:53:29 and read 10783 times.

Excellent report and great pictures.

Quoting themit9 (Thread starter):
Based on this I had to think before deciding to write a report. In the end I decided to

THERE ARE NEVER too many reports on a route.   Personally it´s my way of "travelling."

Quoting themit9 (Thread starter):
VH-ZXE

Is that an RB-211 767? The engines look the part.

Quoting themit9 (Thread starter):
He was pretty quick at flagging down a cabin crew member to get me to stop using my camera as soon as the seatbelt sign was on. Fair enough, this isn’t strictly allowed, but you can talk directly to me without using staff. This is why you won’t see any photos taken when they shouldn’t be…

Creep...

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: themit9
Posted 2013-02-02 02:26:40 and read 9957 times.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 1):
Excellent report and great pictures.

Hi AR385,

Thanks for reading and commenting- and for taking an interest on a well-published route.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 1):
Is that an RB-211 767? The engines look the part.

Great observation, spot on. This 767 was an ex-BA aircraft previously known as G-BNWK. This site has some details: http://www.aussieairliners.org/b-767/vh-zxe/vhzxe.html

Quoting AR385 (Reply 1):
Creep...

To be fair he probably thought the same of me...will try sitting further back next time to avoid such types.

Thanks again AR385,
themit9

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: pugsley
Posted 2013-02-02 04:42:24 and read 9804 times.

What a shame the guy next to you told on you. If you just had a camera (I.E. not a camera phone / smartphone etc...) that is absolutely permitted to be used at all stages of flight, so no need to put it away for take off and landing.

Great to hear the crew used your name on so many occasions, very impressive.

It's hard to compare QF domestic flights with the likes of MH, SQ etc... As QF operates under CASA rules, they have different restrictions on what crew do. And then for operational requirements, QF crew have multi responsibilities. Such as the comment about the pre take off juice/water offer taking some time to deliver, one of the cabin crew who are in the terminal to board customers, is also responsible to prepare the business cabin for departure, including offering juice and water before take off, hence the delay. Then on arrival, crew are restricted to stay by their door (this rule may not apply for the likes of MH, SQ etc...) On the 767GE, there are three crew seated at the forward door, so on arrival, two need to stay by their door, and the third is required to enter the terminal to open the aero bridge door, and monitor this door to ensure no security breaches and assist customers, as a result for safety, crew are unable to close the curtains and ensure Business class exit first. Hope that explains why this may have been the case for you.

I just got to fly on the qStreaming aircraft myself, it's very impressive, and the cabin looks really nice with the new covers. I was also very impressed.

Great quality report, hope to see some more from you.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: gabrielchew
Posted 2013-02-02 11:34:54 and read 9414 times.

Nice report. The QF seats look great. I'm surprised there is no computer free option for C class check in.

Quoting themit9 (Thread starter):
He was pretty quick at flagging down a cabin crew member to get me to stop using my camera as soon as the seatbelt sign was on. Fair enough, this isn’t strictly allowed, but you can talk directly to me without using staff.

Oh dear. Clearly he was too shy to talk to you.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: Kanga75
Posted 2013-02-02 15:50:15 and read 9254 times.

+1 on the excellent and informative trip report themit9, despite being a veteran of old in Domestic QF J, even I learnt some new things (I see they've updated the lounge coffee machines, and it was good to see what QStreaming was like - but disappointed no longer a real human option for check-in!)

Bet you seat neighbour was a QFF upgrade from Y too (bloody rude). Very easy to upgrade to J on QF if J load low, a little too easy some might say!

I agree with you that QF J overpriced, I only used to fly QF J for QFF status reasons, and its easy to be underwhelmed given the variability and lack of long haul J elements. The QF Business Lounge has improved things, but it ain't that special (more like the Qantas Pub of old, before it went downmarket).

Good that you had a friendly cabin crew, so often they make the biggest difference, although surprised no-one stood between J and Y pax when deplaning. VA do this all the time (no-one likes to be stampeded by the Y horde), and I'm sure QF did this in the past (unless my memory fails me).

MEL-SYD is the busiest domestic route in Australia, so you'd hope both VA and QF set high standards on this sector. QF especially, since it's J fares are consistently higher ($1311), whereas a J MEL-SYD rtn on VA can be had for as little as $858 (VA has more variable pricing on this sector, with fares from $858 to $1452 for J).

Still, better competition for domestic J than a monopoly, as we can only benefit from a two-horse race!

[Edited 2013-02-02 16:15:11]

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: caleb1
Posted 2013-02-02 17:46:59 and read 9150 times.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but on UAL's SYD-MEL flights, they offer J pax just a hot sandwich wrapped in tin foil with something to drink. That's it.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: Kanga75
Posted 2013-02-02 18:45:27 and read 9084 times.

This report is for MEL/YMML(Australia)-SYD/YSSY sector, not Melbourne MLB(USA,FL) - Sydney YQY(Canada) which I think Caleb1's post seems to refer to

[Edited 2013-02-02 18:52:42]

[Edited 2013-02-02 18:54:06]

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: themit9
Posted 2013-02-02 19:28:12 and read 9042 times.

Quoting pugsley (Reply 3):
Great quality report, hope to see some more from you.

Hi there Pugsley, thanks for taking the time to comment and for your feedback.

Quoting pugsley (Reply 3):
It's hard to compare QF domestic flights with the likes of MH, SQ etc... As QF operates under CASA rules, they have different restrictions on what crew do. And then for operational requirements, QF crew have multi responsibilities. Such as the comment about the pre take off juice/water offer taking some time to deliver, one of the cabin crew who are in the terminal to board customers, is also responsible to prepare the business cabin for departure, including offering juice and water before take off, hence the delay. Then on arrival, crew are restricted to stay by their door (this rule may not apply for the likes of MH, SQ etc...) On the 767GE, there are three crew seated at the forward door, so on arrival, two need to stay by their door, and the third is required to enter the terminal to open the aero bridge door, and monitor this door to ensure no security breaches and assist customers, as a result for safety, crew are unable to close the curtains and ensure Business class exit first. Hope that explains why this may have been the case for you.

Thanks for the insight into CASA. Obviously you can't compare a long haul service to a short haul service too heavily. These remarks aren't blaming Qantas- they are simply observations based on hopefully how an unbiased traveler may percieve the service. One such example is on SQ and MH headsets are collected long before top of descent because their aviation authorities don't allow the use of headsets for takeoff/landing, while on EK you can enjoy the inflight entertainment all the way from gate-to-gate. Regardless of why this comes around it's still more desireable to fly on EK in this regard. I can also imagine that you have more crew in J on an A330 or A380 relative to a 767 where there are more pax.

Quoting pugsley (Reply 3):

I just got to fly on the qStreaming aircraft myself, it's very impressive, and the cabin looks really nice with the new covers. I was also very impressed.

As was I, this flight was definitely up there with the best and what QF managed to deliver on a short haul flight really impressed me. Thanks again Pugsley.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 4):
Nice report. The QF seats look great. I'm surprised there is no computer free option for C class check in.

Thanks gabriel, I was also quite surprised and it seems so are other past QF regulars.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 5):
+1 on the excellent and informative trip report themit9, despite being a veteran of old in Domestic QF J, even I learnt some new things (I see they've updated the lounge coffee machines, and it was good to see what QStreaming was like - but disappointed no longer a real human option for check-in!)

Thanks Kanga75, your comments make the trip reporting process worthwhile and I'm surprised I was able to show you some new things.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 5):
Bet you seat neighbour was a QFF upgrade from Y too (bloody rude). Very easy to upgrade to J on QF if J load low, a little too easy some might say!

He definitely had some attitude, preferring to grunt and mummur on most occassions rather than talking to crew (except when saying 'HE SHOULDN'T BE USING THAT!'). Would this be a points upgrade or just an upgrade due to status? Seems to fit in with how 1B was empty when I checked in, then how I wound up with him.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 5):
I agree with you that QF J overpriced, I only used to fly QF J for QFF status reasons, and its easy to be underwhelmed given the variability and lack of long haul J elements. The QF Business Lounge has improved things, but it ain't that special (more like the Qantas Pub of old, before it went downmarket).

I only walked through the QF Club (Pub) and was a little undelwhelmed- for some reason I always thought QF Club was like getting J lounge access but this seems not to be the case with even a shop selling items right in the middle. From my point of view it's hard to justify QF over VA- the price difference is considerable. When I have a spare $900 lying around I might do a return trip with them to compare.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 5):
Good that you had a friendly cabin crew, so often they make the biggest difference, although surprised no-one stood between J and Y pax when deplaning. VA do this all the time (no-one likes to be stampeded by the Y horde), and I'm sure QF did this in the past (unless my memory fails me).

While 'the Y horde' sounds a little snobbish (I fly mostly J these days and can be guilty of that a lot), it's exactly what it feels like. As I mentioned, on MH, even on the 737, they close the curtain and a person stands on the Y side of the curtain until all the J pax have deplaned. I know this because when I used to fly J on the 772 we'd have to wait until all the F pax were off. As pugsley metioned, perhaps there are different requirements on a 767 compared to a 737, I'm not sure. You are paying 2-6x more than the Y pax so, as an airline you want to do as many 'free' things as you can to add value to your service so people justify this expense.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 5):
Still, better competition for domestic J than a monopoly, as we can only benefit from a two-horse race!

It's great to see things like the refreshed cabin that QF had to do- for too long they have enjoyed a J monopoly. Of course I'd like to see even more airlines offering J on this route but 2 is a good start...not that I believe we could sustain more than 2.

Thanks again Kanga75.

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 6):
Correct me if I'm wrong, but on UAL's SYD-MEL flights, they offer J pax just a hot sandwich wrapped in tin foil with something to drink. That's it.

Not sure, I've only flown UA Y along time ago and that was direct LAX-MEL. I think it's a bit different though when coming off the back of a long international sector- but QF was only doing cold meals not hot. I remember back in the day when MH had flight MH 133 that would travel from KUL-SYD-MEL and on this service I recall only getting cold sandwiches and perhaps a fruit plate in J on the SYD-MEL run. When it's a standalone flight I don't think you can get away with something basic, whereas on the back of a long-haul international sector everyone is still getting over the multi-course degustation of the previous flight. Thanks for commenting caleb1.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 7):
This report is for MEL/YMML(Australia)-SYD/YSSY sector, not Melbourne MLB(USA,FL) - Sydney YQY(Canada) which I think Caleb1's post seems to refer to

I think Caleb is referring to UA 839 where you get a 747 from SYD to MEL.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: caleb1
Posted 2013-02-02 20:00:14 and read 9016 times.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 7):
This report is for MEL/YMML(Australia)-SYD/YSSY sector, not Melbourne MLB(USA,FL) - Sydney YQY(Canada) which I think Caleb1's post seems to refer to



I am definitely referring to United's Australian service between Sydney and Melbourne. Perhaps I should have said C class rather than J class. Sorry for any confusion.

[Edited 2013-02-02 20:01:55]

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: Kanga75
Posted 2013-02-02 21:30:13 and read 8939 times.

Ah, that explains it (thanks themit9). Few would bother with a domestic leg on what would be a mostly international service as a stand-alone flight, at least not here in Australia - mostly because of the additional security hassles. True, you can pick up a D ticket to avoid the worst of it, but why would you bother when life much easier in the domestic terminal (especially at SYD).

Obviously a different story if you are carrying on with the same service overseas.

As for the Y herd, I'm the first to admit I'm a bit of a airline snob lol, but it rather has much to do with the pack mentality of human beings than a travel class thing. Even after all these years flying, I still scratch my head at the illogical rush of people trying to run over the top of each other to get off the plane (or on, for that matter - particularly with assigned seating), for most of them to then stand waiting at the baggage carousel for five-ten minutes. When it comes to lines and queues, some people just have brain fade.

Given my mobility is impaired these days, I'm appreciative of the the calming effect the FA blocking exit until the J cabin has safely cleared has (giving me time to escape the narrow confines of the a/c), as otherwise I would undoubtably be found under foot in the irrational race that always seems to go on - sometimes well before the door has even been cracked (and occasionally before even the a/c has come to a halt!).

Re: QFF Upgrades. Extremely rare for operational upgrades on QF, especially these days, unless you are a QFF Chairman's Lounge member (and generally, most consistent for a select few even in that elite club - my former boss was one of these guys, always scored an upgrade to F if a seat was available on international sectors, and often got a J upgrade on his personal Y travel). However, incredibly easy to score a points upgrade these days if low load in J, as even check-in terminals will prompt you for option if one available (and you have enough points). Basically you don't have to think about it as much as you used to, when you had to ask the Qantas Club desk to find you one (or have got yourself organised well beforehand).

The trouble wil points upgrades being so easy to get, is that some people become a little weird about it - more J than the full paying J pax, if you get my meaning. Strange considering it ain't a free upgrade, but some QFFers think they get offered airport check-in point upgrade option because they are "special" rather than just right time and place (only the pre-airport and Qantas desk point upgrades work that way).

Flying J domestically doesn't make you special, it just means you or your business probably has more money than sense lol (or you're working to retain your FF status, collecting tier points), given than these short hop J sectors are slightly unjustifiable by most measures  Smile

[Edited 2013-02-02 21:48:56]

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: Kanga75
Posted 2013-02-02 22:02:46 and read 8906 times.

As proof that airline travel can sometimes be a class levelling experience, I've never had a bag go missing when flying Y, but its happened to me once internationally when flying F on QF LAX-SYD and a couple of times flying J domestically (also QF).

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: AR385
Posted 2013-02-03 01:29:22 and read 8824 times.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 2):
Hi AR385,

Thanks for reading and commenting- and for taking an interest on a well-published route.

You are wecome. It´s hard work to put together a good trip report. Enjoyable, but hard work.

Quoting themit9 (Reply 2):
Great observation, spot on. This 767 was an ex-BA aircraft previously known as G-BNWK. This site has some details: http://www.aussieairliners.org/b-767/vh-zxe/vhzxe.html

For some reason I had the idea QF had gotten rid of its RR powered 767s. What´s the rationale of having two engine types on the 767 fleet?

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 10):
As for the Y herd, I'm the first to admit I'm a bit of a airline snob lol, but it rather has much to do with the pack mentality of human beings than a travel class thing. Even after all these years flying, I still scratch my head at the illogical rush of people trying to run over the top of each other to get off the plane

When you fly F on LH on a single decker, they will hold the J passengers too. That doesn´t happen on the 744 since the F is upstairs. Nice feeling though.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: palmjet
Posted 2013-02-03 05:02:19 and read 8697 times.

Thanks for your report and pics - nice to see the refurb on the 763s. They have become such stalwarts in the QF domestic fleet in the past decade or so.

Interesting to read about your experience with you seat mate. How weird, especially in Australia where most people tend to be pretty relaxed about most things.

Not sure whether QF have changed their safety cards in the seat pocket lately but when I last flew QF in 2011, I was actually very surprised to see that QF very clearly state that cameras (for personal use) are not prohibited from use at any time, so if they are still saying that, you could have waved the safety card at him and told him to zip it!

Thanks again

Palmjet

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: themit9
Posted 2013-02-04 06:15:46 and read 8265 times.

Quoting Kanga75 (Reply 11):
As proof that airline travel can sometimes be a class levelling experience, I've never had a bag go missing when flying Y, but its happened to me once internationally when flying F on QF LAX-SYD and a couple of times flying J domestically (also QF).

My only lost luggage was once with KL in J, so flying premium certainly doesn't make you immune from this. Thanks for your interesting look at QFF as well Kanga75. The increased points upgrades are a nice way for QF to earn some extra revenue but can cause obvious issues with making J a little less exclusive.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
For some reason I had the idea QF had gotten rid of its RR powered 767s. What´s the rationale of having two engine types on the 767 fleet?

None that I can see- although these were leased or perhaps still are leased. Not sure how it all came about around 13 years ago but I guess if an opportunity pops up you take it. The 767s are meant to be out of the fleet by now but the 787 delay means we still have them apparently.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 12):
When you fly F on LH on a single decker, they will hold the J passengers too. That doesn´t happen on the 744 since the F is upstairs. Nice feeling though.

When I flew on EK in F the J pax were held back whilst the F pax deplaned which is helpful in the rush to immigration. It's what one would expect.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 13):
Interesting to read about your experience with you seat mate. How weird, especially in Australia where most people tend to be pretty relaxed about most things.

Hi Palmjet, thanks for reading and commenting. Bet my seatmate was a Sydneysider...just kidding.

Quoting palmjet (Reply 13):
Not sure whether QF have changed their safety cards in the seat pocket lately but when I last flew QF in 2011, I was actually very surprised to see that QF very clearly state that cameras (for personal use) are not prohibited from use at any time, so if they are still saying that, you could have waved the safety card at him and told him to zip it!

That would have been satisfying...but unfortunately when I say camera I mean a camera built into a phone (albeit turned to flight mode) so yes, I was in the wrong.

Thanks again Palmjet.

themit9

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: Kanga75
Posted 2013-02-04 06:34:46 and read 8249 times.

Lol themit9 re: Sydneysider joke, but I think there's a little truth there. For some reason Melbournians tend to be a little less rude, on the whole, than our northern cousins (maybe we are the Canadians of Australia). Not sure why, just seems to be.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: MSS658
Posted 2013-02-06 23:44:15 and read 7839 times.

Hey

Interesting report, thanks for sharing!
QF's J product on the 767 looks comfortable, always nice to have a widebody on such a short flight

Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: themit9
Posted 2013-02-07 14:54:42 and read 7681 times.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 16):

Interesting report, thanks for sharing!
QF's J product on the 767 looks comfortable, always nice to have a widebody on such a short flight

Thanks for reading and commenting Marc.

Topic: RE: Not Another MEL-SYD Trip Report..this Time On QF J
Username: chriscunard
Posted 2013-05-17 04:25:24 and read 6058 times.

Fantastic report. It made me want to try the new 767 interior!


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