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SYD-IAH With QF/AA. Pics/Vid And The A380  
User currently offlineFlyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 736 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21631 times:

This is my first TR, as well as these occurring from 3 weeks to 7 weeks ago so please be gentle.
But first a little background to the trip. Ever since March 08, since my mother died, I had been thinking about visiting my uncle and my cousins in Houston, as me and my mother had always talked about visiting, as well as being the first time for me to travel to the US. It was not until late April/early May when I finally decided to visit.
In early May I finally booked the tickets with a routing being SYD-LAX-DFW-LAX. I would plan to leave Sydney on November 28 and leave Houston on December 21. In late August I decided to extend my stay and alter flights so that I would be on a different aircraft type for each leg. I had hoped for the following aircraft doing SYD-IAH-IAH. It would have been 744-752-738-S80-763-380. I had also planned to fly QF149, assuming a lower load, which would allow a spare seat next to me. As things eventuated, QF 149 was cancelled, and I would be rebooked onto QF11, which was an A380. This had the effect of having to change my connecting flights through to Houston. After everything was settled, I could finally organise my affairs as, these changes happened a few weeks before departure.

Finally November 28 had arrived. I’d been waiting for this day for a long time. I thought I had everything packed, or so I thought. Just before I was about to leave, I realised I had forgotten my iPod charger inside. With that little Hiccup out of the way, my brother and father took me to the airport and got there at about 11.30am, while on the way joking about the piss off party he would be having when he got home. After paying $4 to Macquarie Airport for the privilege of using a trolley, I went inside and sat down for about 15 minutes, waiting for the queues to shorten, I went into the line to check-in. While there QF ground staff were handing out the green I94-W forms, as well as the forms requesting the address of stay in the US, which I was told to hand in at check-in. I’ve forgotten what it’s called I had just filling mine in when I was called to the counter. There was no problem at all, and all my bags were tagged through to IAH. Because I had given the details online, they did not need it on paper again, although when I handed it in, the ground person checking me said “Aren’t you cute”.

With check-in done and about 3 hours before departure, I thought I’d kill some time at the observation deck. I must say though, is that Macquarie Airport are not hiding the fact that they are renovating SYD. Plasterboard walls, bad lighting, no roofing in certain sections, was clearly evident. On the observation deck I took these photos.
AR A340-300, Rego LV-ZPJ
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110006.jpg
QF 747-400ER, Rego VH-OEJ
It had just left gate 8 as QF11 for LAX and JFK.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110007.jpg
Sydney skyline in the distance
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110008.jpg
Some shots of VH-OQA, my ride to LAX, being towed to gate 9 to be prepared for departure. During this time, runway ops changed from 16L/16R to 34L/34R.

http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110009.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110010.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110011.jpg


After 1 and a half hours of spotting, I went to McDonalds to get something to eat before going through customs. It took me 15 minutes to get through customs which isn’t too bad, considering the amount of booths open. After clearing customs, it was time for the PITA (Pain in the Ass) task of going through security. Considering what occurs there, the whole area looked like an enormous health hazard. Uneven surfaces, poor lighting and exposed wiring were everywhere. It was pretty much like the departure hall, except there were more people and it was in a smaller environment. You would think that, they would be able to find a way to minimise the impact on passengers, but that appears to have been ignored. After going through security, I made my way to gate 9 for boarding. After a while, boredom had set it in so I made my way to a newsagency and bought a magazine

QF11, SYD-LAX
A380, VH-OQA
Scheduled Departure:3.05pm
Actual Departure: 3.20pm
Scheduled Arrival: 9.50am
Actual Arrival:9.45am
Boarding was to commence at 2.20pm, but in actual fact, it was just to allow us to leave the holding area and go to t gate for boarding. They finally started boarding at about 2.30pm, for an estimated on-time departure of 3.05pm.
Here is a picture of my boarding pass, showing seat 77A
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/QF11Boarding.jpg
For those who don’t know, this is the last row of seats in the green section of the A380.And I must say, those photos which caused a lot of controversy about this section, really did not do it justice. It is better in person, and quite easy on the eyes. Another thing that was easy on the eyes, was a female flight attendant asking people in the aerobridge if they were in business or economy. I’m not going to forget that face anytime soon.

Here is a shot from 77A, looking outside the window. I was lucky as well because there was no one next to me, so I could lift the armrest and lie down a bit, as well as having somewhere else to put my stuff. As you can see, the weather isn’t looking that great
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110012.jpg
We pushed back at 3.20pm, 15 minutes late, but the captain named Peter Appleton, assured us that we would get to LAX on time. He also mentioned our arrival into LAX, which would be Santa Catalina-Seal Beach and then vectors for the airport. During this time we were making our way to 34L via A and A6. He also gave us some other info, like our TOW of 540, 140 tonnes of fuel, with about 18 tonnes on landing, as well a take-off speed of about 170MPH. One thing I noticed was that, flap movements was relatively louder than I had expected, compared to other planes/flights I have been on. Anybody noticed that as well?
We had a rolling take-off at 3.42pm. Here are a few departure shots.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110013.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110014.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110015.jpg
In this shot I can see the area where I live
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110016.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110017.jpg
Some beaches below
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110018.jpg
Our departure was relatively normal, with a runway heading take off until reaching the Parramatta river, where we made a right turn and towards Sydney heads, then as shown by the picture below. Apparently we were being vectored around some storms.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110019.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110020.jpg

Eventually we reached our initial cruising altitude of 35000ft. During this time the cabin crew handed out menus, as well as doing a drinks run. From the time I sat in my seta to reaching our cruise level, I had already become intimately acquainted with on board IFE. In a few words, it was AWESOME. A person really is spoilt for choice on board the A380, with all the games, music and radio programs onboard. But my personal favourite is the tail-cam. It’s quite a weird feeling (in a good way) watching your own plane take off. The only thing which could have made the IFE better would have been the ability to listen to ATC, just like UA. During the flight I watched, a few episodes of House, Family Guy, Top Gear and the new Harold and Kumar movie. On this particular flight, the IFE had to be reset a few times.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110021.jpg
A few cruise shots
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110022.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110023.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110024.jpg
It seemed like, every half hour, the cabin crew would do a drinks run through the cabin. Eventually, this was replaced with dinner being served.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110025.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110026.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2110027.jpg
After dinner, came the snack on Q bags, along with either hot chocolate or Peppermint tea. I have two words about what to go for, Hot Chocolate! It is awesome especially with the marshmallows
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120028.jpg
Sunrise shot over the Pacific
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120029.jpg

Nothing really eventful happened on the flight. About 5 ½ hours from LAX, we encountered some turbulence, which caused the seatbelt sign to come on. Considering how big theA380 is, it was some turbulence. The captain came over the P.A. and said we would have to climb to 39000ft from 37000ft to avoid the majority of the bumps. The breakfast that I had onboard was the hot breakfast, and that made me feel pretty bad after a few hours., which really did not help.
Speed brakes extended during descent
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120030.jpg
A shot of LA on approach
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120031.jpg
Landing and rollout pics
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120032.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120033.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/P2120034.jpg
We landed at LAX on runway 25L at 9.30am and was at gate 101 about 5 minutes later, but it did take a while for the aerobridge to be connected. The way we landed in LAX, it’s almost if they forgot the ground was hard, because it was quite a thud on landing. Mind you it did seem like we get hot by a strong guts a few seconds from landing.
Here is a flightaware shot of QF 11
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/QF11.jpg

I have heard different things about what to expect at LAX and TBIT, which made things interesting. The walk from the plane to customs wasn’t bad, but TBIT seemed to have the same problem as Sydney, with that being not really trying to hide the fact that renovations were occurring. Going through Customs and quarantine was not a problem. The lines for both, was nowhere near as bad as I had heard, or maybe I was just lucky. I actually spent more time waiting in the connections line waiting to drop off my bags, than in customs/immigration. As soon as I walked out of TBIT to go to T4, there was this woman saying “Do you remember me baby?”, to which I replied” Off course not, it’s my first time here”.
When I got to T4, I decided that I would go straight to the gate. But that meant going through the TSA. And to be honest, it was not to bad an experience, just more a little annoying and inconvenient. The person in charge of the screening area was colourful character, who seemed to be singing instructions to the passengers.
BTW, I was starting to feel tired, so there are no photos for the next 2 flights, just my recollections and notes that I took. This would also be my first taste of US airlines.

November 28
AA2448, LAX-DFW
767-300
Scheduled Departure: 1.40pm
Actual Departure:1.40pm
Scheduled Arrival: 6.45pm
Actual Arrival: 6.55pm

Most of the time there at gate 47B, I was trying to sleep, but was paranoid that I would miss my flight because of it. Boarding happened on time, and I made my way to 36J. I was hoping for a spare seat next to me, but it was not to be. This flight was fully packed. We left on time with take off at 1.50pm from 25R. The captain came on and mentioned that there would be a bit of turbulence, which would clear around Phoenix and Tucson. This would also result in a lower cruise altitude of 29000ft. The onboard service was a lot better that I had expected. Or maybe it was the jetlag starting to get to me. I just had some OJ when the drinks run happened, but did not buy anything from the BOB menu.. I was served by the person who was at the door when boarding. She seemed a bit more interested in serving the drinks compared to boarding. I was struggling to stay awake. It’s not because I have a fear of sleeping on a plane, but rather I simply don’t wanna miss a thing. After a while ( the flight seemed to fly by) we landed at DFW at about 6.35pm. However an aircraft was still at our stand so we had to wait for it to leave. We eventually arrived at gate D30 at 6.55pm.
Flightaware pic of AA2448
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/AA2448.jpg

November 28
AA1300, DFW-IAH
MD-80
Scheduled Departure:7.40pm
Actual Departure:7.35pm
Scheduled Arrival: 8.50pm
Actual Arrival: 8.45pm
I was tired but also edgy that I could miss my connecting flight to IAH, because I had to change terminals, but I remembered that DFW had the Skytrain. It took me 10 minutes from deplaning from the 763 to boarding the MD-80 at gate A30. When I got there, they were paging my name, which had me worried. It turned out to be nothing. They had just changed my seat onboard, so a family could sit together, which I was fine with. We left the gate early with take off at 7.48pm from 36R. The DFW is quite an impressive sight at night I must admit. During this time, the crew managed to squeeze in a drinks run of juice and or water. Nothing of note to mention, except that it was a little turbulent on descent into Houston. We landed in Houston and arrived at gate A27 5 minutes early. Having finally arrived in Houston I could finally relax and enjoy happy family reunion for 4 weeks.
Flightaware pic of AA1300
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/AA1300.jpg


[Edited 2009-01-23 03:33:13]


Felipe Baby...... stay cool!
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 21626 times:

After a wonderful 4 weeks of a great holiday in Houston, reality had set in that I would have to go back home to SYD. I can post pics of Houston and some other stuff if you want. Just let me know. I still can’t believe I was in Houston when it started to snow.
I knew it would be a long trip home, which turned to be a lot longer than expected. Let me put it this way. I woke up Christmas morning at 9am and did not go to sleep again until 8pm at night on December 28. This is a result of a family Christmas party on Christmas day where one of my cousins was trying to get me drunk, and getting home at 2am when I have to be up at 5am for a flight at 9am.
December 26
AA511, IAH-DFW
MD-80
Scheduled Departure: 9am
Actual Departure: 9.10am
Scheduled Arrival: 10.20am
Actual Arrival: 10.45am
My uncle and his family dropped me off at the airport at 7am and we said our farewells and goodbyes, since it had been 15 years since we last met, and we wouldn’t know when we would be seeing each other again. All of this was done over breakfast. Eventually I went through TSA again and one of them cracked a joke about my Aussie accent rubbing off here. I told him that apparently I was starting to lose my Aussie accent, according to my uncle here. I made my way to gate A27 again, for my flight to DFW. The flight was late inbound which delayed boarding until 8.50am. W eventually took off from IAH at 9.25am from runway 15R. Below is a vid off just after takeoff.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=Np4qmhQFoBU
Again nothing of significance happened, except a drinks run. Having been onboard an MD-80 twice, I must say I like it a lot. Whenever thrust was varied , you would feel the change in momentum, and it would let you know when something was happening. We arrived at gate C27 at 10.45am after landing at 10.35am on runway 18R. We had to hold short of the gate because of an aircraft still occupying the stand. Below are a few decent and approach videos and pictures.
Descending into the DFW area
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=MEbukzVV1YY
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260065.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260066.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260067.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260068.jpg
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=1H93yHqnR7I
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=8zZTo6DwYT0

AA511 flightaware picture
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/AA511.jpg
December 26
AA2421,DFW-LAX
767-300
Scheduled Departure:11.20am
Actual Departure:11.20am
Scheduled Arrival: 12.45pm
Actual Arrival: 12.40pm
Once again I had to change terminal as my flight to LAX was leaving from D27. This meant another trip on the Skytrain. Here are a few pics onboard the Skytrain.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260071.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260072.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260073.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260074.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260075.jpg

Boarding had already begun by the time I had arrived, so it was straight onboard to 36A. We pushed back right on time and took off at 11.30am from runway 18l. Below are the take off videos from DFW.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=NYgyvmnojlE
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=QTE8F1iyeoE
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260078.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260079.jpg
Random in-flight pics
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260082.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260086.jpg
During the flight, I bought the Italian sandwich from the BOB menu. Most of the flight attendants were pretty good on this sector, except one. This Asian looking flight attendant, seemed grumpy, and seemed hard pressed to smile at all.
Here are a few descent and approach pics into LA. Does anybody know the airports in the pictures below?
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260092.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260094.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260095.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260096.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260097.jpg
Landing was at 12.30pm on runway 25R, and was at gate 48B 10 minutes later. Below is the LAX landing video as well as a few other pictures.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=La6RgJBciXc
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260099.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC260100.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/AA2421.jpg
Now in LA, I had 10 hours to kill some time, so I decided to go on a quick trip to Santa Monica. I won’t post pictures of it unless requested, but will move straight on to the final legs.
December 26
QF12, LAX-SYD (LAX-NAN eventually)
A380, VH-OQB
Scheduled Departure:10.30pm
Actual Departure:11.15pm
Scheduled Arrival:8.10am (In SYD)
Actual Arrival: 6.00am I think (In NAN)
Arriving back at LAX around 6pm, I went straight through the TSA to gate 101(again) where I just waited and watch the other flights leave. For this flight I was assigned seat 86K. A quick note that seat 86H and 86K do not have foot rests.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/QF12Boarding.jpg
As the time get closer to our boarding time of 9.45pm, Qantas started to page certain passengers for an important message. I happened to be one of those passengers. Apparently my AA issued boarding pass or his flight was not valid, so I had to collect another boarding pass. Oddly enough I was paged a second time, because they could not find my reservation on the system, despite me showing my e-ticket. This is where things started to get interesting. Boarding commenced late because of a BA 744, leaving the gate late, as well as a missing passenger from a Mexicana flight next to us. Our departure was delayed again because 1 passenger was missing, although checked-in. After a while, it was decided to take the passengers bag off. As they were doing this, the passenger turned up. Apparently he was at another gate trying to board another QF flight to Sydney. We eventually left the gate at 11.15pm with takeoff at 11.30pm from runway 25l. Bellow is the takeoff video.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=c9ccfZ7rnXU
For the next few hours the flight was relatively routine, with a drinks and dinner run as well as distributing the Snack bags and the hot chocolate.
A few random shots
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270126.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270130.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270131.jpg

As we were flying near Tonga, we encountered some turbulence, which resulted in the seatbelt sign coming on a few times. As we were past Tonga, the seat belt sign cam on again, but almost immediately 3 or 4 cabin attendant call buttons went off in the same area. About 30 seconds after this, a PA announcement was made requesting any Doctor on board to make themselves known. When this happened, I was starting to think that we might have to divert. About 15 minutes later cabin crew, were moving about the cabin, asking passengers to return to their seats and returning them to the upright position. We were diverting to NAN because of the sick passenger. This was shortly confirmed by the captain, who also informed us that we would be commencing a shallow descent and be dumping fuel to land below MLW.

A few random shots and theA380 dumping fuel
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270132.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270133.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270135.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270136.jpg
The A380 dumping fuel
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=L7R0_VNxQbM
Below are a few approach pictures, and on the ground in NAN
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270138.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270139.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270140.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270141.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC270142.jpg
When we landed at NAN at about 6 or 7am on runway 02, we parked on the runway. In the photo below we were parked in position 1 for about 1-2 hours. During this time cabin and ground crew were trying to find out a way of get the sick passenger of the plane, but it was logistically difficult. Big plane and small airport. You do the math. During this time the captain was mentioning that we might be on the ground for a few hours to refuel and restock. After a while the captain said that we would be delayed, because upon landing in NAN, a warning message came up which they could not get rid of even with contact with operations back in SYD. After a while we had to move to position 2 facing north in the photo below, so some aircraft could depart. During this whole time, the entire cabin crew was extremely helpful and cheerful. I walked around the rear of the cabin and started chatting with a few of them. Just asking stuff like, how long had they been with QF and other stuff like that. There was this really gorgeous looking FA who I also chatted with. She was average height, had blonde hair, wore braces and had been with QCCA for 6 and half months. She was smoking hot.
After a few more hours, the captain came on and said “Ladies and gentleman, it looks like we’ll be having a few beers together, tonight in Nadi. We have tried to fix and solve the problem but are unable to. An engineer will be flying over from Sydney as well as a replacement plane, and that hotel arrangements would be made inside the terminal. We moved to the gate in position 3.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/QF12NadiFinal.jpg
Inside the terminal, it was warm and humid. It would have been colder onboard the plane with the Air-conditioning turned off (which it was). The first thing the crew started to do was get drinks for all the passengers. It took a few hours before everybody had a hotel room. During this time some crew with the names Clayton and Filippe 9 Hope I got the names correct) were really helpful in this difficult situation. Because none of the crew had been there before, and had no QF ground staff to help. I’d like to thank the whole crew, but I don’t know all their names.
I was placed at the Hexagon hotel about 5 minutes from NAN and was told that, drinks, accommodation, transfers and food would be taken care off. Our flight back to SYD would leave NAN at 5am with transfers commencing to the airport at 2am. After getting to the hotel and checking in and putting stuff in my room, what do you think was the first thing I did? If you answered go on A.net, then give yourself a pat on the back. To kill some time I had lunch and dinner with some other passengers from our flight. One of the people i was talking to was actually sitting next to the man who fell ill. At the time they believed that the guy had had a heart attack, and therefore a divert to Nadi was required. After dinner I had a few drinks to help me sleep (It did not work). Eventually I fell asleep in my room. I woke up at 1.30am thanks to a wakeup call I had arranged, and was on my way to the airport in 10 minutes, and got there by 2am. Check in was done almost immediately, with me being given 73K, one of the few places in economy, where it’s a twin seat instead of a triplet. I must be some lucky SOB with QF. On all my QF flights with them on this trip, I have always had a spare seat next to me.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/QF8012Boarding.jpg
December 29
QF8012, NAN-SYD
747-400, VH-OJC
Scheduled Departue: 5am
Actual Departure: 5.35am
Scheduled Arrival 8.10am
Actual Arrival: 8.50am
Boarding commenced about 20 minutes late, but we were all onboard before our scheduled departure time. Our delayed departure was a result of some load sheet paperwork from Sydney which was taking it’s time. Eventually we pushed back and took off from runway 20. Below is the take off video and a few shots of the plane.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC280146.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC280148.jpg
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=b6X8B3UHPKA
There was nothing eventful throughout the flight. It was a nice and short 4 hour hop to Sydney. I did over hear an interesting conversation in front of me. Apparently the 2 passengers in the rows /seats in front of me were deadheading FAs who was travelling on QF12 the night before. Apparently they had to find their own accommodation, which they weren’t happy about. They spoke to the CSM about this who said this would be reported. Below are a few shots of Sydney on descent.
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC280153.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC280157.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC280159.jpg
http://i440.photobucket.com/albums/qq124/flyboysp/PC280160.jpg
For our approach, we ended up flying over the airport heading west, flying over Bankstown, Parramatta and Hornsby for the approach and Landing into SYD on 16R. Below are the approach and landing videos.
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=X5p9ZiqarVQ
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=8aAV_zlU_v0
We eventually arrived at gate24 via taxiway A3, A, J, Y, G and A. I had finally arrived home only 24 hours and 40 minutes late.
Overall the A380 is a definite improvement over the 744 in economy. I particularly noticed this when the seat was reclined. In the 744, when the seat in front was reclined, you noticed the lack of space, whereas on the A380, you still had the same amount of space. Having said this, economy is still economy, no matter where you are. My impressions of AA were overall fairly positive, considering what I was expecting, and would not mind flying them again domestically.
I loved my holiday and meeting my relatives again. But I also like Houston. In wasn’t what I had expected it to be. I’ll leave it at that as I don’t want to start a civil war between or resident Texans, about which city is better. I’m already planning to go back there, so there must be something good about the place.
Please feel free to comment and or ask questions.
P.S. Sorry it was long








.



Felipe Baby...... stay cool!
User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1775 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 21270 times:

What a great report.
I think you are a lucky SOB with QF. Longhaul flights and you get the seat next to you unoccupied. I wish I was as lucky as you! Big grin

I think this may be the first TR of a pax on the QF diverted A380.........

Glad you enjoyed the trip to see your rellies Big grin



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineFlyingfox27 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 423 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 21179 times:

Very good i enjoyed that, i think it was a pain to divert though, those pax who are ill really should just cancel their flight and go home rather than try and see how far they can go before becoming really poorly that they have to divert the flight for them.

Just my opinion though! Of course that throaty cough, annoying headache could be confused for something minor and nothing major happens but they should think about the trouble they may cause.


User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 21160 times:

A great first trip report Flyboysp.

I remember reading about the QF A380 diversion to NAN here on Airliners.net. It is always great to get a first hand account of the things we discuss on these forums.

Thank you for all your efforts. Your report was a thoroughly enjoyable read!

Globetraveller


User currently offline797 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 28
Reply 5, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 20918 times:



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 2):
I think you are a lucky SOB with QF

I second you on that!!! You couldn't have been any luckier, IMHO... as well as the spotters and ground staff in NAN... seriously, it would be like an A380 landing in CCS all of the sudden!

Now, how was the hotel? Did the passengers get really pissed off?

What happened to the 380? Did they fly it back before you departed or it stayed there?

Thanks for an awesome and lucky TR!

Enrique



Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8430 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 20803 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Quite a trip, not only flying on 2 of the 3 Qantas 388's but a medical diversion and overnight stay, amazing!

Best Wishes

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333,342
User currently offlineElevate From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 20578 times:

I can only repeat was has already been said, a fantastic, well written report!

Seeing A380 trip reports is still a novelty... It's quite strange to see something so big that has encountered so many problems and delays, in the air!


Sam


User currently offlineELAL772 From Israel, joined Jun 2008, 158 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 20568 times:

what an amazing experience! A380 and Fiji (though it was due to someone's illness, hope he feels better!)

Last year, flying DL ATL-TLV a flight attendant came on the PA system asking for a doctor while we were flying over Iceland. While I didn't wish any of my fellow pax to fall ill, I couldn't help it, a quick trip to Reykjavik would be just perfect. But the guy felt much better after a doctor was found and so my Icelandic vacation plans were flushed away.

What were the reactions from your fellow pax? understanding?


User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2433 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 20396 times:



Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
Ever since March 08, since my mother died

I am sorry to hear that.

Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
there was this woman saying "Do you remember me baby?"

Is that a common greeting at TBIT?

Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
A few random shots

Very appealing IFE-screen.

Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
P.S. Sorry it was long

Not at all. It is truly enjoyable. Great TR!  bigthumbsup 



Friends forever
User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2179 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (5 years 3 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 20199 times:

Thank you for an excellent trip report - very interesting and informative.

I've only been on one diversion (a weather diversion to MYR, enroute TPA-CLT on US). I was happy about the diversion because it enabled me to log a new airport, and two new sectors, but I think I was the only person on the airplane who was glad to be diverted.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineFlyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 19671 times:



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 2):
I think you are a lucky SOB with QF. Longhaul flights and you get the seat next to you unoccupied. I wish I was as lucky as you!

Whou would have thought that QF longhaul would be my luck charm. I'm thinking i probably have used up all of my lucj with QF now Big grin

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 2):
Glad you enjoyed the trip to see your rellies

It was definitely a blast seeing my uncle and cousins, especially since everbody likes to drink.

Quoting Flyingfox27 (Reply 3):
Very good i enjoyed that, i think it was a pain to divert though, those pax who are ill really should just cancel their flight and go home rather than try and see how far they can go before becoming really poorly that they have to divert the flight for them.

Just my opinion though! Of course that throaty cough, annoying headache could be confused for something minor and nothing major happens but they should think about the trouble they may cause.

As things turned out, at the time it was thought he had had a heart attack, but it turns out the guy had a diabetic/stroke/ attack/seizure. Not sure exactly, but it was a diabetic something.

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 4):
A great first trip report Flyboysp.

I remember reading about the QF A380 diversion to NAN here on Airliners.net. It is always great to get a first hand account of the things we discuss on these forums.

Thanks for that. I was honestly thinking to myself, that when i got to the hotel, i wold go on A.net post saying an A380 has diverted to NAN, but was beaten to the punch.

Quoting 797 (Reply 5):
I second you on that!!! You couldn't have been any luckier, IMHO... as well as the spotters and ground staff in NAN... seriously, it would be like an A380 landing in CCS all of the sudden!

It was funny watching all the ground lining up and taking photos of the plane and themselves. It was giving everbody a laugh onboard.

Quoting 797 (Reply 5):
Now, how was the hotel? Did the passengers get really pissed off?

What happened to the 380? Did they fly it back before you departed or it stayed there?

Thanks for an awesome and lucky TR!

For our length of stay there, the hotel was pretty good. Besides the food, i spent a bit of time at the bar.

The most pissed of PAX onboard weresome Americans who did not want to wait for the flight the next day. So when we were waiting in the terminal in NAN, they made there own arrangements to get to SYD, or where ever they needed to be.

The A380 flew back during the night, because by the time was at the boarding gates at 2.45am, it was gone.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
Great report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Quite a trip, not only flying on 2 of the 3 Qantas 388's but a medical diversion and overnight stay, amazing!

I dont know how to top this one. Amything less eventful than this will be a disappointment.

Quoting Elevate (Reply 7):
I can only repeat was has already been said, a fantastic, well written report!

Thanks for the kind words

Quoting ELAL772 (Reply 8):
What were the reactions from your fellow pax? understanding?

All PAX were very understanding of the situation.You would hope so as a person's life was potentially at stake.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 9):
Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
Ever since March 08, since my mother died

I am sorry to hear that.

TThanks for that.It helps.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 9):
Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
there was this woman saying "Do you remember me baby?"


Is that a common greeting at TBIT?

I have no idea. I think she was trying to sell me, or sign me up to something.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 9):
Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
A few random shots

Very appealing IFE-screen

It's touch screen as well. Unless a person is really picky, then you are spoilt for choice.


Again, thanks for the kind words everybody



Felipe Baby...... stay cool!
User currently offlineCaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 350 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 19227 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

This looks like it might have been a great trip report, but unfortunately, none of your photos displayed on screen. In the photobucket frame, the caption read "Bandwidth Exceeded."

User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2638 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 18831 times:



Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
He also gave us some other info, like our TOW of 540, 140 tonnes of fuel, with about 18 tonnes on landing,

Wow, that's very interesting! Non stop SYD-LAX at close to MTOW, with a fuel upload of only 140 tonnes! I remember refuelling many a 744 for the SYD-LAX flight, and often, the fuel upload would exceed 170 tonnes. Sure it wasn't 240 tonnes  scratchchin  ?

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineFlyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 18789 times:



Quoting JetMech (Reply 13):
Wow, that's very interesting! Non stop SYD-LAX at close to MTOW, with a fuel upload of only 140 tonnes! I remember refuelling many a 744 for the SYD-LAX flight, and often, the fuel upload would exceed 170 tonnes. Sure it wasn't 240 tonnes ?

In my notes(which i'm struggling to understand) i've got it written down as 140/160 ton. Would the numbers make more sense if they were kilograms? I may have misheard though. Or could this be an example of the A380 fuel efficiency or the 744?



Felipe Baby...... stay cool!
User currently offlineJetMech From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 2638 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (5 years 3 months 21 hours ago) and read 17839 times:



Quoting Flyboysp (Reply 14):
140/160 ton. Would the numbers make more sense if they were kilograms?

A figure to the nearest tenth of a tonne is the usual unit that gets quoted when the pilots ask for fuel.

Quoting Flyboysp (Reply 14):
Or could this be an example of the A380 fuel efficiency or the 744?

Hmm. No doubt the A380 benefits from 20 years of technology advancement over the 744, but I'd be stunned if the Whale was that much more efficient than the Jumbo  eek  .

Regards, JetMech



JetMech split the back of his pants. He can feel the wind in his hair.
User currently offlineKBUF From United States of America, joined exactly 9 years ago today! , 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 3 months 17 hours ago) and read 17649 times:



Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 12):
This looks like it might have been a great trip report, but unfortunately, none of your photos displayed on screen. In the photobucket frame, the caption read "Bandwidth Exceeded."

They work for me...  scratchchin 



"Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence will be to win a Stanley Cup."-Terry Pegula, February 22, 2011
User currently offlineFlyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 3 months 16 hours ago) and read 17575 times:



Quoting KBUF (Reply 16):
Quoting Caleb1 (Reply 12):
This looks like it might have been a great trip report, but unfortunately, none of your photos displayed on screen. In the photobucket frame, the caption read "Bandwidth Exceeded."

They work for me...

Thw bandwidthe limit was exceeded pretty quickly, so i had to re up them



Felipe Baby...... stay cool!
User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 14038 times:

I would love to see your pictures from Santa Monica. That is if you get the chance to download them.


God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineKurt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 13239 times:

Lucky! Some of us around here would pay EXTRA to have a diversion like that. Is that the first time the A380 has visited NAN?

User currently offlineUA772IAD From Australia, joined Jul 2004, 1698 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (4 years 6 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 12373 times:

Great report. I enjoyed the pictures and the story of your journey.

Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
Ever since March 08, since my mother died, I had been thinking about visiting my uncle and my cousins in Houston, as me and my mother had always talked about visiting, as well as being the first time for me to travel to the US.

I am very sorry to hear this. My father died in August of that year... I was 21 at the time. I know what its like. The best you can do is give it time, and be there for your family.

Best regards, mate.


User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5081 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (4 years 6 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12262 times:

Great TR! Definately an experience to fly the A380 to Nadi!

User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 435 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 6 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 11696 times:



Quoting Flyboysp (Thread starter):
There was this really gorgeous looking FA who I also chatted with. She was average height, had blonde hair, wore braces and had been with QCCA for 6 and half months. She was smoking hot.

People ask me why I like to fly, and this is one of the reason I keep to myself (haa)! But seriously....

Thanks for the report, and an interesting one it was. Very well written, and a pleasure to read. And don't apologize. The longer, the better!! Interesting to see the fuel dump outside the window, even after flying 9 or 10 hours, to still have to dump fuel. I am glad you enjoyed Texas, Houston has its particular charms. And thanks for the air to ground pics of Sydney, I just left there 2 weeks ago and miss that beautiful city terribly. Thanks for the effort, I appreciate you taking the time to share with us!

Oh, almost forgot. When you changed planes in LAX, after landing from Sydney, did you have to walk outside (as in out on the sidewalk) to go back through security? Maybe I just took a wrong turn (ha)!



747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineTN486 From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 898 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 6 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 11343 times:

Mate, that was great, well written, very informative, pics terrific, especially shots of the A380 wing in its different forms. I felt as I read it, I was in the seat next to you, or at the bar with you. Thank you, I thoroughly enjoyed it.


remember the t shirt "I own an airline"on the front - "qantas" on the back
User currently offlineFlyboysp From Australia, joined Apr 2007, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 6 months 19 hours ago) and read 10798 times:



Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 18):
I would love to see your pictures from Santa Monica. That is if you get the chance to download them.

I'll put the rest up in a few days, when my net speeds up again.

Quoting UA772IAD (Reply 20):
am very sorry to hear this. My father died in August of that year... I was 21 at the time. I know what its like. The best you can do is give it time, and be there for your family.

Best regards, mate.

Thanks for the kind words.

Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 22):
I just left there 2 weeks ago and miss that beautiful city terribly. Thanks for the effort, I appreciate you taking the time to share with us

Sydney is a nice place to visit. I feel it was my duty to all on Anet to do a trip report, especially because of what was involved.

Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 22):
Oh, almost forgot. When you changed planes in LAX, after landing from Sydney, did you have to walk outside (as in out on the sidewalk) to go back through security? Maybe I just took a wrong turn (ha)!

Yeha i ahd to walk to the next terminal. After clearing customs and doing the bag drop off at TBIT, i walked out and to the right towards T4, and went upstairs to enter the terminal and clear the TSA.



Felipe Baby...... stay cool!
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3169 posts, RR: 12
Reply 25, posted (4 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 10219 times:

Hi; thanks for the trip report;

I flew on the A380 VH-OJA QF12 which departed LAX on the 28 November 2008.

The flight was fairly smooth; soon after take off the pilot went up to 36,000 feet due to some expected turbulence.  smile 

On my flight the IFE system did not need to be reset. which was also nice.  smile 


Quoting HOOB747 (Reply 22):

Oh, almost forgot. When you changed planes in LAX, after landing from Sydney, did you have to walk outside (as in out on the sidewalk) to go back through security? Maybe I just took a wrong turn (ha)!

There is a bus that does an airside transfer from Terminal 4 to TBIT, which leaves every half an hour. I think it departs near Gate 44.



Why fly non stop when you can connect
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