Mal787 From Australia, joined Jul 2007, 713 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5173 times:
Hi all, this is my first try at writing a TR so all comments welcome.
This is my trip to Europe that I try and do every 2 years .
Sat Oct 6
QF 843 Darwin Sydney
Seat 1B Buisness
After a big night out the night prior I woke with a hangover that would kill a cow , and the thought of packing and travelling to the airport (220 k from my house) almost made me say stuff it am not going. The offer of a friend to drive me made me feel a bit better so at 9.am we hit the Stuart highway to the airport arriving shortly after 11.am after a brief stop for a bacon & egg sandwich at a roadhouse on the way to settle the stomach. Arriving at the airport to discover the the counters closed untill 11.30 so straight through security after putting bags back in the car and a pint to try and get the system back to some sort of normallity. Went back down and checked in and the guy at the counter saw my flights pop on his screen and noticed I was flying on my birthday (9th ) and joked I may get an upgrade on the flight I was doing that day , I laughed and said "I wish ". got my pass said good bye to my friend who drove me up and went straight to the QF lounge for a bit of shut eye . Boarded the aircraft and being seated in the 1st row I was soon sat down, my seatmate was a middle aged guy who was a nervous wreck checking every thing around him to make sure it was not going to fall apart , drop on his head etc, during the loading of frieght he noticed a chocolate bar on top of a container being loaded and raced to the door to alert the CSM who had to ensure that the offending bar would be removed, and by the time the guy sat down the container had been loaded and another in its place with no chocolate bar, big sigh of relief . All passengers on board we closed up and departed about 10 mins late . Not much to say about the flight in general as I slept for most of it and woke up around 1hr out of Sydney, one of the male attendents saw I was awake and said Hungry? I relpied starved so he got me the salad and some cheese of the meal trays I had missed out on and water and a cup of tea. I thanked him for his attention and also praised him to the CSM at the end of the flight. Meanwile my seat mate was now a lot more relaxed and the reason was obviuos by the way he was downing Scotch on the rocks. we landed into a cold and windy Sydney and I made my way to my hotel for the next 2 nights the Hotel Ibis located around 10 minutes from both terminals , thats the only good thing about it , rooms are very small, limited menu in the resturant and typical for an airport hotel food and drink expensive.
Spent the next day in town as I do not get there often China town for lunch Darling harbour and the city , picked up a few gifts for friends I would be seeing in Glasgow.
The view of Darling Harbour from Sydney tower
Few pictures taken from the terrace of the international terminal
Mon 8th Oct
QF 187 sydney Hong Kong
Seat 24G Aisle
My ride to Hong Kong
Got to the airport early for some spotting after checking in got some shoots of aircraft we dont see in Darwin before going through security was fast and in no time I was getting duty free smokes and paying for goods to be collected on my return. Then up to the QF lounge for a bite to eat and drinks , lounge was very busy at this time as flights to Asia Europe New zealand all departing at around the same time. Boarding started at 1355 so I made my way to gate 33 to see my first A330 ride.
At the stand next to it was
getting ready to return home.
Loads of around 60% in economy ment I had 2 empty seat's between me and a guy going to China for his holidays . At first impression the aircraft was clean seat pitch was around 31/32" and was okay for me as I am not that tall , blankets pillow and headsets on the seat when we boarded. Pushback was around 10 mins late due to late passengers and we took off heading over the city and my holidays had finnay started
I like the menu cards QF give out as at the bottom there is a guide as to what time things such as meals snacks etc will be served enroute. after take off the cabin crew got up and started to get service underway the crew was 50/50 male & female drinks and nibbles first so I had a VB relishing the thought that it would be the last for 5 weeks .Meal was next mains a choice of Sweet & Sour Pork and rice or Chicken Povencal with rice & vegies I had the chicken which was tasty and size of portion was okay , also we had a mixed salad with Balsamic dressing desert was a cheescake and cheese & crackers I washed all this down with a bottle of Chardonnay followed by tea . meals cleared I chatted with my seating partner about our up comming travels watched a couple of movies had a few Bourbons and in no time the second meal service was being served cant remeber what this was , but not long after we started decent into Hong Kong ., Arrived 20 mins late customs was as always a breeze( do they ever stop people?) The flight itself was excellent my first A330 ride was very comfrtable and I did notice how quite the plane was, cabin crew excellent all through the flight fast response to call buttons service with a smile pleny of water runs throuout the flight all in all a plesent expireince .
Over night at the Novotel City Gate located close to the airport, although I was only there for a total of 8 hours this is a hotel I would reccomend rooms are excelant spacious and bright and wtih floor to cealing windows excelant views shame you cant see the airport though.
Tues 9th Oct
Ay 068 Hong Kong Helsinki
Dep 0955 30 mins late
As you enter the Departures hall
My flight at the gate
This flight has 2 first for me 1 first on Ay 2nd 1st on MD11 .
Checked in at around 8am ( note for QF guy in Darwin no upgrade and went though security no duty free as Ay give passengers a card saying if you buy and alcohol in Asia we will take it off you in Finland ,even though I was to transit to london, I had a domestic to Glasgow the same day so I gave it a miss.So no duty free just a few nik naks to take to friends and a couple of gifts for my nieces back in OZ and it was off for breakfast prior to boarding and a few snacks for the flight as I was made aware that Ay charge for snacks out side of normal meal service WTF? . Boarding commenced at around 9am later than sheduled due to late arrival of AC.Once on board I had a window seat with the middle seat empty the aislewas taken by a Finnish lady who was with her friend who had the whole centre ro to herself , more on this later. I was impressed with the size of the windows on the 11 the biggest I had seen yet seat was firm legroom was okay a blanket ahd earphones (stick em in your ear type) on the seat and a cup of water was provided as well. the cabin crew was a mix of Finnish and Asian 70% female , they came though the cabin checking bags etc prior to departure pushback was 45 mins late as we headed to Helsinki, a lomg taxi for the departure runway as we took of over the city looking down as we waited at the end all I could see was smog !! guys clean your act up , here are a few shots after takeoff
old Kai Tak can be sen here
After takeoff the crew started to get ready for lunch I with a drink & snack service first a Finnish beer and pretzels after 1 hour empties collected then another hour before lunch was served I cant recall exactly what it was but it was some sort of chicken with rice and stir fried vegies I do remember some nice brown bread so much so I asked for more, a small bottle of wine went with the meal , an Asian male attendant along with a Finnish female worked my part of the cabin, and what a difference the male was freindly smiling and willing to serve, the female was gruff in a hurry and I think wished she was not there. after the meal a movie was shown on the big screens no PTV here , the screens are plentifull and large but if you dont like the movie you have no option, and todays movie was no exception an American film about a girl who replaces her dead brother in a soccer team and ................. I have no idea total rubbish I read a book and Ipod , the next movie was a cartoon of some sort but by this time I realized IFE was not for me today. As the flight approached Bejing prior to turning towards Russia I was told by Ms Grumpy that cameras are not permitted in flights over Russia WTF I have taken heaps of pics over Russia in the past . About 4 hrs into the 10 hr trip I asked my seatmate if she would mind joining her friend in her row so I could lay down, as they had not stopped talking since getting on board, her reply was a terse "no this is my seat and I stay here " well so much for freindly Finns. So I returned to my book pushed the call button and waited for some one to answer 5 mins + still no answer so I pushed the button on the empty seat no answer cleared them both and tried again 20 minutes after the first call I got Ms Grumpy again I asked for my beer and remembering 5Euro for snacks I retrieved my snacks form carry on and ate those. weather outside was cloudy most of the way so not to much to see as we flew towards Moscow before heading to Helsinki. Around 1.5 hrs out the second meal service came around, it was a Ravioli with a rich creamy sauce along with a bread roll and a small chocolate bar tea and coffee.It was okay and this time the male attendant was doing the service with Ms Grumpy loading the trays a pleasent change . Decent started around the time we should have landed which caused me some concern as I had a connection to LHR to make I asked the male attendent to check to see if I will make it , he cam back after speaking to the CSM I assume and asked me to move to the front of the AC as I would need to be one of the first off. Thanking him I moved to the first empty seat I could find and got ready to land. from what I could see from the aisle seat it looked very grey and gloomy as we touched down at Helsinki airport. As soon as the seatbelt sign went out I jumped up and with the aid of the attendant I was fist off after buisness class and made my way to the gate for my connection to LHR. I had to run as we landed late at 15.05 my flight to LHR left at 15.25
Overall view of the flight was Finniar need to meet the services offered by other Oneworld members , charging for food is what you expect on LCC. The plane was clean and seats not to bad, food nothing special but okay , IFE I realise that the MD11 will be phased out over the next few years at least show some decent movies if people have to watch only that selection on the big screen . Cabin crew as I have said the ones in my section different as chalk & cheese, I hope Ms Grumpy was just having a bad day and is not like that all the time. I did'nt have time to look around the airport as I made my way to security emptied my pockets took off shoes and belt and still set the alarm off, result full body rub down which proved fruitless but I still had to go through again and this time no alarm !! quick stop at the smoking area got head spins from the first drag as I think I almost took in half the ciggerete in one go , went down to gate 31 and boarded the bus to our AC A320 here are a couple of apron shoots
THe weather outside was freezing as we waited on the tarmac to board, once on I took my seat 14f
Flight was pretty good we had a snack meal which was a Mederteranian chicken with steamed rice a roll and small chocolate bar tea and coffee , I ate this as I flew over parts of Europe I had never seen before . My seat mate was a Finnish guy going to London for a week and we chated about our travells and work he could not belive that I work for a gold mining company in Australia thinking gold only came from South Africa . The weather outside was turning very British as we started our decent into LHR , here is one shot over London as we headed towards LHR
The screens dropped down as we lined up and it was great to see the pilots view as we landed at a wet Heathrow at 17.30 20 minutes late and taxied to terminal one. Baggage claim took around 45 minutes welcome to LHR . I had 2 hrs to kill before my next flight to Glasgow so after checkin I went through security and made my way to the BA Terrace lounge had a bite to eat as I watched the action outside , at one point I got a Stella from the fridge and got a look of horror from a women sat opposite as I drank straight from the bottle OMG a mortal sin in the BA lounge . but by now I was over it and just stared back at her.
My Glasgow flight was boarding so I made my way to gate ?? and boarded the A320 sat down and was asleep by time we took off and was woken by the cabin crew prior to decent so no idea what happened service wise on this flight. Landed at around 20.50 , had to walk miles to baggage claim grabbed them in no time and went out to meet my friends waiting for me outside , and walked into the cold Scottish air my base for the next 4 weeks as I done short hops to Eurpoe from there
Here are a few shots from Glasgow
Oldest building in Glasgow
Cant remeber but took a shot anyway
Well thats it for my firts TR
Comments welcome I will do a TR one some of my other travells late when I have time spare
BN2 Metro, 402,404, Conquest, king air, 707,727.200, 732,733,734,735,736,738,757,762,763,742,743,744, MD11, DC9,Westwind
Andaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3826 times:
Thanks for report! It sure is a long way from Darwin to Europe on OW airliners.
I have noticed there have been quite a few Australians flying the HKG-HEL route to Europe. It seems from next winter AY will use A343 for the route.
BTW, the Great Circle maps proves that HEL is the closer to SYD than any other hub in EU, the flat map sure tells lies
DALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1796 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3816 times:
Thank you for sharing a very interesting route from down under to GLA.
It seems AY has still some room for improvement in their long haul service, paying for snacks is just crazy!
You've also shared some very neat pictures!
Keep up the good work!
Andaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3705 times:
Quoting Mal787 (Reply 11):
AY are not up to other OW carriers but they are better than some other airlines I have flown it will be interesting to see the service on the 343 from next year , at least the IFE will be better
Thanks for the feedback guys
AY's problem has been the MD11 fleet and the rapid growth in Asia, fortunately all MD11's will be gone in about two years. It seems they have chosen to compete with price in the long haul business and it shows, while their short haul flights are pretty good still, with the full service. Personally not always happy with AY at all, but I wouldn't say they are worse than all the other OW carriers, I have had worse experiences with Iberia, Malev and even with BA, flying both short and long hauls.