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Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure  
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14574 times:

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3CIc6VNiSI/AAAAAAAADyk/qw9Sf9ovb0s/s800/IMG_6173title.jpg

Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure

On the advice from Airpearl, I have decided to change my layout a little bit to keep the TR intact and easy to read. Comments are always welcome!

Joyride
Noun: A ride in a vehicle taken solely for pleasure
Verb: A ride in a vehicle with no particular goal and just for the pleasure of it


Ok, there seems to have been a small goal to my joyrides: that of trying out new aircraft and (hopefully) new airlines.


2 International flights.
8 Australian domestic flights, 3 airlines, 4 states, 5 types.
6 New Zealand domestic flights, 3 airlines, 2 islands, 3 types.



Welcome to my next series of Trip Reports. These flights over 3 weeks, summarised above, includes flights on Air New Zealand, Emirates, Qantas, Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue and Jetstar; takes me through New South Wales, Victoria, ACT, Queensland and New Zealand while travelling on 6 different types of planes. I hope you enjoy my journey around eastern Australia and also New Zealand. At the end of the final TR, I’ll write up a comparison between the domestic carriers in both New Zealand and Australia according to my personal experience with them.

If you missed the first two trip reports of the series, here are the links:
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14629 times:

All the great trip reports by others on the Trip Reports forum over last year motivated me to take these flights for fun around Australia. Not just that but I wanted to try out planes I couldn’t do back at home. The whole itinerary for my domestic flights around Australia is as follows: SYD-OOL-MEL-SYD-MEL-SYD-MEL-CBR-SYD.

This TR will cover three legs in Economy: SYD-OOL on Virgin Blue (738), OOL-MEL on Jetstar (A321) and MEL-SYD on Qantas (738). I’ll start this TR with an overview of the pre-flight processes I experienced with the airlines.

Online booking via the respective airlines is usually the easiest way to purchase your seats. The websites of Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Blue all serve this purpose of a streamlined booking process. The one thing I hate about Australian airlines is that that every one of them add on a credit card surcharge of between $3 and $9. All of the flights were easy to book.

Qantas is by far the easiest website to use. You’d expect that coming from the full service airline. Their booking process is less cluttered as baggage is included for free but for some strange reason they charge the credit card fee “per booking”, making it cheaper to purchase a whole lot of segments at once rather than individual flight costs. I was silly enough to book both my QF flights separately as I had only planned on doing 2 days of flying. You can only choose your seats onboard QF for domestic travel when you’re at the airport which is something that they really should improve on.

Jetstar is easy to navigate and the good thing about them is that you can secure your seat immediately. They also send out (literally) hundreds of emails stating “changes to your itinerary”, when in fact there is only one change but they continue to send out messages. At least they can’t be blamed for not notifying you, as I found out later on with flying another airline.

Virgin Blue’s website is also relatively easy to navigate through but there are as many “options” as Jetstar has which can push the price of the ticket up if you go through with it; such as emergency seat exits, insurance, carbon payments etc.

Tiger Airways’ website is much more difficult to navigate through. If there aren’t any flights scheduled for the day you’re flying, the page still lists flights on the days on either side of it and I’m sure people have booked seats thinking they’re flying on the day that they entered in the search bar. The site is clogged with many extras, more than DJ and JQ. It costs $5 to reserve a seat – in this case it came to the same amount as how much the OOL lounge access cost!

The budget airlines also had a way to “pay using your local currency”. It cons many out of a couple of dollars which goes as commission to an external company and ends up costing more than if you were to pay your commission through your own bank/credit card company.

Once I had these flights booked, I couldn’t wait for November to come around.

November eventually came around and I found myself in Sydney again, ready for these exciting flights around Australia. After figuring out that a weekly train pass from the International Terminal to the city would allow for travel between the two terminals, I decided to take up the offer which saved me a lot of money getting between the city and the airport. My thanks to Allrite for checking it out for me!

There was a quick 10 minute train ride from my stop to the domestic terminal, getting me to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The domestic terminal train station is strategically located between Terminals 2 and 3 – Terminal 2 is used by Virgin Blue, Jetstar, Qantas Link, Tiger and Rex and Terminal 3 is nearly all for Qantas Cityflyer flights (flights to the main centres in Australia). Just before the intersection to turn left or right towards the respective terminals, there a few FIDS; with Qantas and Qantas Cityflyer services on different monitors and non-Qantas flights on the newer screens.

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From The Train Station
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FIDS
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Baggage Reclaim For DJ
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Signs Of The Past Still Exist – Look Closely!
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JQ Baggage Reclaim
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After checking out the arrivals area, it was time to head upstairs and check in.

Outside
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I visited the airport the day earlier to do a little bit of spotting so I tried checking in for the flight then. But you can only check in 8 hours before departure on DJ self service booths.

Taken The Day Before
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DJ Check In
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Regional Express (Rex) Check In
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JQ Check In
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Towards Security
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There’s nothing landside in these terminals, only check in counters, seating and the odd newspaper stand. I decided to head through security.

Airside Shops
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Foodcourt
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Gates Used Primarily By DJ
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DJ 737 and E170 Behind
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E170 Up Close
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DL 77L From ATL LAX
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VS A346 Laying Over For The Day
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Turns Out To Be The 738 I Travelled On
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EK 412 From DXB – Should I Be Surprised It’s An Hour Late?
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This One’s For Foxecho
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End Of The DJ Pier
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DJ 73G
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Looking Towards The QF/JQ Pier
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Looking Towards The International Terminal
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Qantas Link Dash 8-Q300
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NZ 763 From AKL
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Inbound QF A380
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Timeline Ad
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Pacific Blue Plane With VH Register
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After some wandering around the entire terminal, it was time to head back to Gate 40, where my plane was soon departing to the Gold Coast.

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Boarding Pass
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Flight Information

24 Nov 2009
Routing: Sydney – Gold Coast/Coolangatta (SYD-OOL)
Airline: Virgin Blue
Flight: DJ511
Scheduled Time of Departure: 0910hrs (GMT + 11)
Actual Departure: 0908hrs (pushback), 0920hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 0935hrs (GMT +10)
Touchdown: 1023hrs
Flight time: 1hr 15 min
Aircraft: Boeing 737-8FE
Registration: VH-VOL
Seat: 27A

Virgin Blue operates a fleet of E170, E190, 73G and 73H aircraft, totalling 68 planes. This flight was operated by a 737-800, arrived new from Boeing and registered as VH-VOL on 15 August 2003.


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Photo © Martin Eadie
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Photo © Darren Howie - Vortex Aviation Photography


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Photo © Jonathan Rankin
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Photo © Chris Van Lint



It didn’t take long before the boarding started. Boarding for Virgin Blue occurs from both the front and rear doors so if you’re seated in the back half of the plane, you have to walk outside even if the weather isn’t great. They told us that there was dual boarding but didn’t have very good instructions on where to go so I ended up walking down the airbridge and had to turn back and find the stairs onto the apron. A nice walk down the side of the plane came to a halt when one of the ground staff didn’t like me taking photos.. Oh well. Real double standards in amongst the ground crew in comparison to the following day (I was free to take photos flying the exact same airline at the same airport).

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Up the steps at the back and I was onboard only my second 737-800 flight. There, just in the door was a friendly flight attendant whom greeted me upon arrival: “Your seat is the window seat on the left, Nicholas”. Not overly formal and not too casual, a very nice start to the journey. The seats are a bit hard but they suffice for such short flights. There was enough legroom too. They claim to have between 31 and 33 inches of legroom.

Cabin
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Legroom


The cabin filled up and it was soon clear that I’d have an empty seat next to me! It was great to be able to spread out a little bit more. Live2Air, Virgin Blue’s in-air TV system, was not functioning on the flight for some strange reason so I didn’t have any air show to watch during the flight. This was inconsistent with what was said at the gate – they had told us that there would be Live2Air onboard and headsets were available at the gate.

View
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Pushback commenced and the safety demo began – Virgin Blue’s method of the safety demonstration is superbly coordinated and also uniform throughout their entire 737 fleets, including Pacific Blue. I’m quite impressed by this. That wrapped up quite quickly and we were off towards Runway 16L for takeoff. During the taxi, my seat mate’s phone rang. Nothing was done and it remained on for the entire flight. Not that it seems to matter anyway, the only detriment could have been a drained battery.

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Over The Motorway
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And Straight Onto The Runway
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Takeoff was nice and powerful as we departed towards the south before making some left hand turns over Botany Bay to end up on course for OOL.

Rotate
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Positive Rate
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Ports Of Sydney
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La Perouse And The Island Where Mission Impossible II Was Shot
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Menu
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A drink run was followed by the food run by the flight attendants. I wasn’t hungry or thirsty at that stage. I decided to save myself for the Gold Coast Lounge. All Virgin Blue and Pacific Blue 737s feature the exact same tray table. They slide backwards and forwards too easily and it can be rather annoying at times. The pilots came across the PA for an update on arrival time etc and mentioned that we were cruising at 33,000ft due to the weather being a bit bumpy higher up. The rest of the flight was uneventful

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Toilet
Cabin
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Not long after, our descent into OOL began. Once we were through the final layer of cloud, we could see the urban area of Coolangatta/Tweed Heads. It was a really nice approach over blue water and sandy beaches along the coast. We banked left and headed for Runway 16.

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Coolangatta/Tweed Heads And The Border Between NSW And Queensland. OOL Below Left Canoe
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Final
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Touchdown
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Three A330s – Two Jetstar And One Air Asia X
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Crossed The Border Back Into NSW
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Air Asia X A333 Closer Up, Pushing Back
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Disembarkation occurred from both the front and rear doors as well so it was quick to deplane. The weather was much better than in Sydney. I got back into the terminal in time to watch a couple of planes depart.

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D7 Back To KUL
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Gold Coast Airport is a nice airport, although hanging on the crowded side during the time I was in the terminal. The layout is nice and simple and just like a lot of Aussie airports, there is basically nothing landside. Quite boring if you ask me! Airside is buzzing with people. There are quite a few shops located along the seemingly narrow area opposite the gates. The layout of the airport is most unusual: There is a common screening point for all passengers through one end and those travelling internationally go through customs after they have cleared security alongside those travelling domestically. The gates are well partitioned and are confined to the northern end of the terminal. It must be noted that Qantas do not fly to Gold Coast Airport, instead it is a Jetstar hub for both domestic and international travel.

FIDS
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Customs And International Area
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Landside: Domestic Baggage Claim[b/]
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http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AG_KaHQAI/AAAAAAAADow/oyz4VhJp0ag/s800/IMG_6217edit.jpg

[b]JQ Check In

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHADFHFMI/AAAAAAAADo0/-bjGI8FBC6I/s800/IMG_6218edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHBLss2PI/AAAAAAAADo4/4Yhy1pcMJqc/s800/IMG_6219edit.jpg

International Check In
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHCKdUnHI/AAAAAAAADo8/IGNevm65ePA/s800/IMG_6220edit.jpg

Outside
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHEiHHlWI/AAAAAAAADpE/ljMmv-fIq58/s800/IMG_6222edit.jpg

Nice Cars Around
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHF4D9MSI/AAAAAAAADpI/TZqYjbZsKaI/s800/IMG_6223edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHG0PBzJI/AAAAAAAADpM/YTfGe-wHyXA/s800/IMG_6225edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHHwTHKLI/AAAAAAAADpQ/bX93MBUX2Pc/s800/IMG_6227edit.jpg

At this stage, I decided to go for a wander to the beach and beyond.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHJewM9DI/AAAAAAAADpY/rqJOAEJojZA/s800/IMG_6228edit.jpg

North Kirra Beach
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHLFb_OrI/AAAAAAAADpc/Iivl-rvfwto/s800/IMG_6232edit.jpg

Surfers’ Paradise, And Others To The North
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHL9G_sqI/AAAAAAAADpg/X3wpiLvGEJY/s800/IMG_6233edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHOYAGUeI/AAAAAAAADps/GZyrFv7xe74/s800/IMG_6241edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHMqnjhnI/AAAAAAAADpk/KpBDAQMVhxc/s800/IMG_6238edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHPXjNI3I/AAAAAAAADpw/2DnR4puSlO0/s800/IMG_6243edit.jpg

To The South
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHNvHKAZI/AAAAAAAADpo/UB_ofU5DjTE/s800/IMG_6240edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHR4GwK5I/AAAAAAAADp0/glsuIw36NK4/s800/IMG_6254edit.jpg

Gorillapod Comes In Very Handy When There’s A Tree Nearby!
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHUW5Z7TI/AAAAAAAADp4/Wa6FVDlk5Nw/s800/IMG_6262edit.jpg

Coolangatta
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHV6feWZI/AAAAAAAADp8/ui4oo2LMAxU/s800/IMG_6267edit.jpg

Border Between NSW And QLD – Is The Grass Really Greener On The Other Side? Also A Bit Of Childish Hopping Between States Occurred Here
Coastal Monument Marking The Border
Left: QLD. Right: NSW
New Zealand Is Somewhere In That Direction..
In Town Border Monument
No Reciprocal Sign..
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHfP3LcmI/AAAAAAAADqU/mlgGpDfAj10/s800/IMG_6287edit.jpg

What Is This?
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHhyVlPMI/AAAAAAAADqY/q1Wd8YiXdJI/s800/IMG_6290edit.jpg

[Edited 2010-02-11 01:32:24]


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14587 times:

Heading Back To OOL With A View Of Kirra Beach And Surfers’ Paradise Again In The Distance
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHjJO5huI/AAAAAAAADqc/RfDnU140S48/s800/IMG_6293edit.jpg

Traffic Lights Marking The Entrance To The Airport
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHkVKEXkI/AAAAAAAADqk/B8ZJcDohW-Q/s800/IMG_6295edit.jpg

I arrived back at the airport with exactly 2 hours before scheduled departure. Self service booths made life much more simple as the check in counters were deserted for some reason. The booths are identical to the ones in New Zealand and print out exactly the same type of boarding pass.

Lunch Time For JQ Agents?
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHmIgYnjI/AAAAAAAADqo/uEz0Zq_dZeg/s800/IMG_6297edit.jpg

Boarding Pass
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHnBuR8UI/AAAAAAAADqs/E8X8iBoXHN0/s800/IMG_6302edit.jpg

As I briefly noted earlier, I paid $5 as an introductory fare to enjoy and relax in the Jetstar Gold Coast Lounge. The fee is usually $10 if booked in advance or $15 if you turn up. You must be flying JQ on that day and you can only enter 2 hours before your flight (hence me making it back to OOL 2 hours before departure). It is located to the left directly after you clear security and international passengers also use this lounge.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHn5fFsmI/AAAAAAAADqw/-wIwDa2WgOA/s800/IMG_6303edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHo0LUrRI/AAAAAAAADq0/dX9GvEYV17Y/s800/IMG_6304edit.jpg

The lounge seems like a best kept secret, although I don’t know how many people would pay the $15 if they only knew about it on the day. The place was empty when I first arrived so on my first glance, it looked extremely spacious. The food offerings are no way near as lavish as a full service First or Business class lounge but ample and continuous to the point where you can fill yourself up if you enjoy eating the items available such as savoury pies, sushi, self made pancake maker, soup etc. There’s a soda fountain, (instant) espresso machine, 3 beer taps and a few bottles of wine for self service. More drinks behind the counter if necessary. It wasn’t manned – only by video camera so someone could effectively drink quite a bit. There’s also a little “movie” area. The toilets are quite basic.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHp4wUphI/AAAAAAAADq4/JtdICb0JfWw/s800/IMG_6305edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHq4jvIhI/AAAAAAAADq8/0BMvz4UZJgg/s800/IMG_6306edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHsGn6aMI/AAAAAAAADrE/UocSrqQwNWg/s800/IMG_6309edit.jpg

It was a very relaxing stay in the lounge that had free Wi-Fi which I couldn’t connect to using my phone for some reason. And sooner or later, a boarding call was made alongside the FIDS inside the lounge showing that JQ439 to MEL was boarding. Then I was on my way towards Gate 2 to my very first A321 flight.

En Route To The Gate
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHtd4CVpI/AAAAAAAADrI/TBR7XN5ZgCQ/s800/IMG_6310edit.jpg

Flight Information

24 Nov 2009
Routing: Gold Coast/Coolangatta – Melbourne Tullamarine (OOL-MEL)
Airline: Jetstar
Flight: JQ439
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1425hrs (GMT + 10)
Actual Departure: 1428hrs (pushback), 1438hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1740hrs (GMT +11)
Touchdown: 1737hrs
Flight time: 1hr 59 min
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Registration: VH-VWT
Seat: 12A


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George Canciani
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kris Mogford



Jetstar have a small fleet of six (IIRC) A321s operating a relatively small number of flights around Australia. One main route that it is mainly used for is MEL-OOL, a route that I specifically chose so I could fly on this plane. They fit over 200 into this configuration giving 30 inches of legroom.

OOL has no airbridges. Everyone boards by stairs and on a nice day it is a serene sight to walk up to the plane. Jetstar’s A321 was only boarding through 1L. I can imagine what it’d be like during a monsoon type rainfall.

It didn’t take long to climb those steps onto the A321. The FA greeted me in typical JQ fashion: “Hi there, yes, your seat is the window on the right hand side.” While we were boarding, I heard the familiar tune of “In The Summertime” by Thirsty Merc (an Australian band), one of a handful of mood songs used by the entire Jetstar fleet.

I chose the seat 12A due to the opportunity of taking nice photos of the engine out the window and I wasn’t at all disappointed when I noticed that there wasn’t a seat in front of me due to there being an emergency exit in row 11! I was then faced with a mission to store my hand luggage as I didn’t want to put it above. I resorted to stuffing it under the middle seat which was thankfully empty. It meant another flight with only one other person in the set of 3 seats! The seat itself was similar to the Virgin Blue seat but slightly more rigid. Boarding continued, a quick emergency row safety briefing was done by the FA whose jumpseat was located on the opposite side of the cabin to me. Then came the arming of the doors, a simple procedure. The rather predictable JQ recording of the safety demo rang out through the cabin.

Queue Wasn’t Too Long
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHu4MbAII/AAAAAAAADrM/aKzLM-YLQwY/s800/IMG_6311edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHwMddR4I/AAAAAAAADrQ/R8jfCPZpBzY/s800/IMG_6312edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHxvwPqdI/AAAAAAAADrU/Yg5ZXkk0E5w/s800/IMG_6313edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHyreKjbI/AAAAAAAADrY/LUGgXNQcncg/s800/IMG_6314edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AHzpH-HcI/AAAAAAAADrc/366inl2zeL8/s800/IMG_6315edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH0xhjWBI/AAAAAAAADrg/uKgSUqAbajI/s800/IMG_6319edit.jpg

Infinite Legroom
The Plane That Took Me To OOL Approaching The Gate At OOL Once Again
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH3cxSOyI/AAAAAAAADro/kANx611V4JE/s800/IMG_6323edit.jpg

Pen Is A Common Mark On JQ Planes. Tight Squeeze To Get Into The Middle Seat!


A quick taxi to the opposite end of the aerodrome to line up with Runway 16 followed. With no delay, full thrust was applied. Takeoff seemed quite quiet and before we knew it, we were airborne. Then there was this funny electric shaver-like sound coming from the front of the plane just after takeoff. Is this synonymous with the ‘barking’ sound?

Lining Up The Runway
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH5UYDYOI/AAAAAAAADrw/n2XLJYmgbC4/s800/IMG_6326edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH7YzwVpI/AAAAAAAADr0/MQ7KId8AelY/s800/IMG_6327edit.jpg

Full Thrust
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH8JHqhuI/AAAAAAAADr4/PZCxDvzj5fM/s800/IMG_6328edit.jpg

Up, Up And Away
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH9Cn2y-I/AAAAAAAADr8/tc02j2oZhx0/s800/IMG_6329edit.jpg

Goodbye Queensland!
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AH_bN5tzI/AAAAAAAADsA/_69ZAsZzyU4/s800/IMG_6330edit.jpg

Coolangatta/Tweed Heads – Where I Walked To
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AICaNSwTI/AAAAAAAADsI/QthqAxrsuiI/s800/IMG_6332edit.jpg

Heading Inland
Tray Table
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIErHqAdI/AAAAAAAADsQ/ImhqB4Nwaks/s800/IMG_6342edit.jpg

The flight itself was rather uneventful as I enjoyed my time with unlimited legroom and being on this A321. No video players were available for rental on this flight for some reason although I wouldn’t have been keen on hiring one anyway. It was cloudy for the beginning of the flight but later on through NSW it seemed to turn hazy either due to pollution or smoke. The crew did their usual run of food and drink then went back towards their galleys.

JQ’s menu doesn’t seem as thorough as DJ’s but they still offer decent snacks, not that I took up on any offers after filling myself at the lounge. JQ’s offerings for NZ domestic services is quite poor in contrast to the options available if you fly within Australia or internationally.

Menu
NZ Domestic Side
Interesting Clouds
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIFbF20aI/AAAAAAAADsU/gnmsDsko1Ik/s800/IMG_6348edit.jpg

Then We Went Above The Higher Stuff
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIGMEowZI/AAAAAAAADsY/tWHJ-pnHE4E/s800/IMG_6349edit.jpg

I waited until after service to check out the back of the long A321 cabin. And boy is it long! It makes me think that I’d enjoy flying in the 757. I took some photos from the very rear of the aircraft and a FA came up and abruptly told me to not take photos with crew in it. The crew were at the other end of the cabin and were barely visible on my photos! Some people..

Lavatory
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIHcG27wI/AAAAAAAADsc/lVVMRLPzu3M/s800/IMG_6352edit.jpg

View From Rear
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIIFOE9NI/AAAAAAAADsg/ujz2LM5QXJw/s800/IMG_6354edit.jpg

See If You Can Spot Any Cabin Crew In The Cabin Shot
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIIwDs22I/AAAAAAAADsk/XA-0Pdp95YI/s800/IMG_6357edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIJvPChqI/AAAAAAAADso/_1lGoS-9_MA/s800/IMG_6360edit.jpg

Cameras For Personal Use Unrestricted According To The Safety Card
Door
Porthole In The Emergency Exit Door
Kingfisher?
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIRcBT89I/AAAAAAAADtE/Xg3pLCjRs9Q/s800/IMG_6371edit.jpg

Barren NSW And Some Funny Shadows On The Ground
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AISFFsgWI/AAAAAAAADtI/J9y0hjq2E08/s800/IMG_6374edit.jpg

Again


And all of a sudden, after cruising at 36,000ft for over an hour and a half, we started our descent.

Heading Beneath The Clouds
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIW5CYoeI/AAAAAAAADtU/0ETcsHdkyBI/s800/IMG_6388edit.jpg

Drought + Pollution In The Distance?
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIZzvCuYI/AAAAAAAADtY/2lkUd7By9Rw/s800/IMG_6391edit.jpg

We approached from the North and landed on Runway 16, Melbourne’s main runway. After vacating the runway, we taxied past the International terminal and headed for Gate 6.

Nice Queue Of A Couple Of 744s
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIarXRyGI/AAAAAAAADtc/J7htzs5L2YQ/s800/IMG_6396edit.jpg

[b]Spoilers Up

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIbrskVvI/AAAAAAAADtg/Hx7mtv-duFs/s800/IMG_6400edit.jpg

MEL’s New International Pier To The Left; DJ Terminal To The Right
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIcreJk4I/AAAAAAAADtk/VWAQsjhbHZQ/s800/IMG_6404edit.jpg

QF A332
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIda6cDOI/AAAAAAAADto/R37gx9JLXJg/s800/IMG_6405edit.jpg

QF 744 Taking Off
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIedfrCuI/AAAAAAAADts/TrLJ7p70rPQ/s800/IMG_6409edit.jpg

Pulling Into The Terminal
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIpt4xzYI/AAAAAAAADtw/T65tSG5TUFU/s800/IMG_6411edit.jpg

Gate 6
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIqrAOBSI/AAAAAAAADt4/15NKQoBF7Jw/s800/IMG_6412edit.jpg

Last Look At Having Infinite Legroom
JQ A320 Pulling Into Adjacent Gate
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIsiHCB0I/AAAAAAAADuA/Wy7YX8tW5Z8/s800/IMG_6417edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AItQNPm-I/AAAAAAAADuE/Hk4islyRCoc/s800/IMG_6418edit.jpg




It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14584 times:

Melbourne Airport is definitely showing its age. It’s quite a big airport. The terminals are all joined together so you can seamlessly transfer from a domestic flight to an international flight without having to walk outside. Qantas and Jetstar share a terminal and their terminal is separated from the DJ terminal by the international terminal which sits in between them. Tiger has its own terminal down the road a bit.

Down The QF Pier
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIvbbeFlI/AAAAAAAADuM/86UNdi8ieg8/s800/IMG_6420edit.jpg

I Would Be Departing From This Gate Later
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIxKd6FkI/AAAAAAAADuQ/TLL3HAv4OAU/s800/IMG_6421edit.jpg

There is this funny quarantine area as you leave airside as the state of Victoria doesn’t allow fresh fruit/veges to be brought into the state. I don’t really know how they’d catch you if you did bring something through but there are honesty deposit bins for those to dump food into.

Baggage Carousel And The Quarantine Area To The Left
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIyibY-5I/AAAAAAAADuU/Zd0Lr6-Mezw/s800/IMG_6422edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AIz0RHa7I/AAAAAAAADuc/P6JCbRLYA-o/s800/IMG_6423edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI1dmfmbI/AAAAAAAADug/ESg00dXh3jA/s800/IMG_6424edit.jpg

Very Informative International FIDS With Type And Rego
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI3qohmBI/AAAAAAAADuo/5SfHSSPif9c/s800/IMG_6425edit.jpg

Close Up
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI2c7BCAI/AAAAAAAADuk/Gz2mCoCkBsc/s800/IMG_6425cropedit.jpg

Outside
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI4miNl9I/AAAAAAAADus/G5kvF_3VzaQ/s800/IMG_6427edit.jpg

The Hilton, Melbourne Airport
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI6NxlznI/AAAAAAAADuw/T6qGdNfLMPc/s800/IMG_6428edit.jpg

International Check In
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI6wRzmPI/AAAAAAAADu0/HZbHh-PxoSg/s800/IMG_6430edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI8eld00I/AAAAAAAADu4/BnwcF2g7MO4/s800/IMG_6433edit.jpg

As I wanted to try more aircraft out, I asked the QF customer service desk if I could go on the earlier flight back to Sydney because it was operated by an A333. They looked at my ticket and said no, unless I paid the fare difference. It was worth a try and I guess I’ll have many opportunities to fly the A333. I also rang up my cousin back in Sydney to see if he could print off my boarding pass to my Tiger flight early the next day. He questioned me, asking if my flight was supposed to be at 8pm and I was confused as I had booked for 8:45am flight. I went down to the Tiger terminal to see if that was correct (I had to butt in or else I would have been standing in line for at least an hour: lucky the check in agent didn’t reject me) and believe it or not, I had been bumped off my flight and rescheduled onto a flight later the following night without being notified at all. How appalling. I frantically weighed up my options – try to find a friend living in Melbourne who I could crash the night with while forfeiting a QF flight back to SYD but instead getting on the JQ A332 I had already booked for the next day, get my boarding pass and take the flight back to Sydney and either forfeit my JQ A332 flight by staying in Sydney for the day or buying another ticket to get me back to Melbourne so I could fly on the JQ A332. I got my boarding pass because I didn’t want to miss my flight if I chose to fly back to Sydney and then went on a search around the 3 remaining trustworthy airlines to see who had the best deal in flying back to MEL the following morning. The best deal was with Virgin Blue but the rep told me it would be cheaper to purchase it online so I did just that and thankfully there was a ticket cheap enough for me. All of this assuming that I wouldn’t be able to get a refund. So I booked it and soon enough, I was back on my way ready to go through with the remainder of my flights. All that time spent panicking cut into the stay in MEL that day (45 minutes of mayhem on my part) but at least things were settled in a way that at least I could trust the airlines not to bump me off. And the staff of other airlines were very sympathetic.

QF Self Service Check In
Again
Boarding Pass
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AI_-3eQ-I/AAAAAAAADvE/5QITNes46ec/s800/IMG_6436edit.jpg

Security
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJBctjMvI/AAAAAAAADvI/YRAa7gIETdE/s800/IMG_6437edit.jpg

Cityflyer Gets 2 Screens, Qantas Regional Gets One
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJC9jXMzI/AAAAAAAADvM/7KzMJnIe0xM/s800/IMG_6439edit.jpg

Food Court
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJD3RDobI/AAAAAAAADvQ/KnpFIItJnJs/s800/IMG_6440edit.jpg

Little Area At The Base Of The Pier
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJFO7gMII/AAAAAAAADvU/08IPDwxQK4Q/s800/IMG_6441edit.jpg

It was a relief to be waiting at the gate for my final flight of the day back to Sydney.


Flight Information

24 Nov 2009
Routing: Melbourne Tullamarine – Sydney Kingsford (MEL-SYD)
Airline: Qantas
Flight: QF464
Scheduled Time of Departure: 1930hrs
Actual Departure: 1930hrs (pushback), 1957hrs (rotate)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 2055hrs
Touchdown: 2058hrs
Flight time: 1hr 28 min
Aircraft: Boeing 737-838
Registration: VH-VZB
Seat: 12F


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Mark H
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ryan Hothersall




Qantas operates 38 737-800 aircraft and another 3 under Jetconnect, flying across the Tasman. The layout is 12J 156Y with Y having a seat pitch of 31”. VZB is quite a new plane, being registered with QF new from Boeing on 20 May 2008. The 737-800 runs many flights across Australia, connecting all major cities with decent frequencies.

Boarding was beginning when I got through security. I joined the queue and had my boarding pass scanned in the scanner. I handed my boarding pass to an agent just before entering the airbridge and he greeted me: “Good evening Mr Young, enjoy your flight”. I thought it was strange for this to be done outside and when I eventually got into the plane, I didn’t get greeted in the same fashion again. I guess you only really need to be greeted once. But the FAs were cheerful, pointing us to the seats.

The seat wasn’t too bad – comfortable enough and legroom sufficient for me. I was unaware until after I checked Seatguru that the row I was in – row 12 (the row in front of the emergency exit row)- has a recline lock on it for takeoff and landing, controlled by the FAs. I am certain that I like the 737 more than the A320 due to the position of the windows – the 737 window is lower and it makes it easier to both look out of and take photos from. We pushed back on time and once again I was lucky to have a vacant seat next to me.

Boarding Scanner
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJGeDXKgI/AAAAAAAADvY/doNGRgCdzsM/s800/IMG_6442edit.jpg

From My Seat
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJHvMn-tI/AAAAAAAADvc/BIHEMyHl2cA/s800/IMG_6443edit.jpg

Clean Wing
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJI3npJkI/AAAAAAAADvk/-P6sZw82cQk/s800/IMG_6445edit.jpg

Legroom
Safety Card
Taxi

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJN6OdwYI/AAAAAAAADv0/M3eR7huXvYQ/s800/IMG_6452edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJOh9RkvI/AAAAAAAADv4/hZX5O2nWGv0/s800/IMG_6453edit.jpg

This seemed like peak hour, 6pm flights arriving into MEL. Because of this, there were 5 narrowbodies awaiting takeoff in front of us: 2x DJ, 2x QF and 1x TT – 738s and an A320. I could see this but the captain told us anyway that there’d be a long wait for the queue to depart.

Two Queues Can Be Seen
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJPpWPmxI/AAAAAAAADv8/cpFudFGXvO8/s800/IMG_6454edit.jpg

Air Mauritius A343
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJQez_E3I/AAAAAAAADwA/QbabMOVT0ZQ/s800/IMG_6456edit.jpg

Crossing The Secondary Runway – Runway 27
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJRWygS6I/AAAAAAAADwE/yi4um1ni_pw/s800/IMG_6457edit.jpg

Ex-Ansett Fokker 28-4000 VH-FKJ, Now Rescue Training Demo
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJSEDyajI/AAAAAAAADwI/KitM-jFTvX4/s800/IMG_6459edit.jpg

Holding Short
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJTDX9eUI/AAAAAAAADwM/6j9LlqruRSw/s800/IMG_6461edit.jpg

The One That Got Away
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJTwxI5cI/AAAAAAAADwQ/wMqtoA4oKes/s800/IMG_6465edit.jpg

Turning Onto Runway 16
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJU8UA0hI/AAAAAAAADwU/YtBYKiZbKIk/s800/IMG_6469edit.jpg

After some wait, we turned onto the runway for departure. Thrust was applied and I was off once again for my third and final flight of the day. As we rocketed past the other holding area, I took a glimpse of the TT plane that joined the line before us. It’s good to know that the ATC respect full service airlines and sent us in front of the TT A320. And off we went, doing a handful of left hand turns and flying back over the airport headed for Sydney.

Rotate
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJVzMAICI/AAAAAAAADwY/pinvBqL0lGo/s800/IMG_6473edit.jpg

Glorious Sunset
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJWkaiECI/AAAAAAAADwc/V_629jsVfIM/s800/IMG_6476edit.jpg

Melbourne Airport From Above
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJZAaEwCI/AAAAAAAADwg/d9aC7jzZqFY/s800/IMG_6480edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJZwpNg_I/AAAAAAAADwk/ARQ8MJl1NXE/s800/IMG_6487edit.jpg

Melbourne City To The Left Of The Wing, Port Phillip Bay To The Right
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJajSkKuI/AAAAAAAADwo/38eyzZbGjso/s800/IMG_6488edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJbfp8cqI/AAAAAAAADws/0miv_8tWP78/s800/IMG_6491edit.jpg

Recline
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJc5gtEbI/AAAAAAAADww/ELqacwHx3ao/s800/IMG_6496edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJdvqa_6I/AAAAAAAADw0/UnWHim-w_JA/s800/IMG_6499edit.jpg

Not long after, dinner was served. No choices here – everyone got meatballs and pasta. I was quite hungry but it did taste quite nice. It was a little on the small side of things however. The meal is one reason why I enjoy flying with full service airlines. I also got a Coke and a red wine to accompany it – the drinks trolley closely followed the meal cart. Also on the meal tray are some cheese and crackers and also a little chocolate.

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJe4ExqxI/AAAAAAAADw4/4P1goxAgYig/s800/IMG_6501edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJgMnV1vI/AAAAAAAADw8/rjYDAodxuqE/s800/IMG_6502edit.jpg

There was a great view of the sun setting from 39,000ft but I was on the eastern side of the plane so I didn’t actually see the sun setting. Instead, I saw the sky being lit up with wonderful colours probably the best sunset I’ve ever had to accompany my inflight meal. Our routing was past Albury and Canberra but it was very cloudy and we couldn’t see anything.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJhZqQmEI/AAAAAAAADxA/HpZiqQBNERc/s800/IMG_6503edit.jpg

The Terminator – The Line Between Day And Night
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJh_tN7KI/AAAAAAAADxE/sqFeSLzzzec/s800/IMG_6510edit.jpg

Things were tidied up with plenty of time remaining before descent. When we broke through the clouds, we could see the city lights below so I was fascinated to know that we were soon to be landing on Sydney’s crosswind runway – Runway 07. And we eventually landed there. It felt unusual as I’ve never used that runway in my handful of flights in and out of Sydney so the view was certainly different. Touchdown was only a few minutes after the scheduled arrival time. A taxi to the gate past the JQ pier and right around to the other side of the QF pier next to the maintenance area took a good 10 minutes.

Approach
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJi6LuckI/AAAAAAAADxI/hy3JmeUgbgI/s800/IMG_6517edit.jpg

Taxiing Off The Runway
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJjt5ZHeI/AAAAAAAADxM/2-RWCuQNZwQ/s800/IMG_6522edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJk9EG0RI/AAAAAAAADxQ/Qf4U3NlJxKo/s800/IMG_6524edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJlqQcF_I/AAAAAAAADxU/-p3M2EiBIzE/s800/IMG_6525edit.jpg

Qantas Terminal

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJmdiua5I/AAAAAAAADxY/kFMoz6grsXg/s800/IMG_6526edit.jpg

Yananyi Dreaming
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJnT_50_I/AAAAAAAADxc/T3FyJANm-mI/s800/IMG_6529edit.jpg

Into The Gate
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJoXMvkKI/AAAAAAAADxk/AobwqZ8jmBs/s800/IMG_6534edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJpjRm6TI/AAAAAAAADxo/Cww8hhxr3eM/s800/IMG_6535edit.jpg

Emergency Exit Row – Note The Funny Arm Rest On The Wall
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJrcPxvBI/AAAAAAAADxs/RheCcMc3oAM/s800/IMG_6536edit.jpg

Back Half Of The Plane
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJtyNpY5I/AAAAAAAADxw/-Yw1hMvukug/s800/IMG_6538edit.jpg

From The Back


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJxaPXNoI/AAAAAAAADx8/hrl2noqqvhA/s800/IMG_6542edit.jpg

And so I was back in Sydney after a long day.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S3AJyZjeupI/AAAAAAAADyA/F49Ru4QYUMg/s800/IMG_6543edit.jpg

After taking this photo, a security guard approached me and I told him I was just taking a couple of photos when he said that I’d attract the attention of the Federal Police watching from the security cameras and I’d better stop before they confiscate my camera.. So (being tired and all) I did and went back landside with a whole new adventure waiting for me the following day.


Summary

I took my first flight in an A321 and loved every second of it. It could have been a different experience if I had chosen a seat that didn’t have infinite legroom. The overwhelming majority of staff were friendly and helpful which made my day better. Tiger is still a letdown. This is all done in time sequence so the Tiger story continues in my next TR. DJ was voted best Australian airline in 2009 but there is definitely nothing wrong with Qantas at all. You get a meal, drinks and baggage all for free compared to having to pay for things if you fly DJ. The lounge in OOL was definitely worth my $5, possibly my $10 if I wasn’t given the introductory offer and prepaid for it online. It isn’t too hard to make your money’s worth but you’d need a decent hour in there to do so. And you must fly on JQ on that day to be able to visit the lounge.

The following TR will include my first flight in an A330 and a glimpse through Melbourne’s international terminal.

I do hope you enjoyed my TR and congratulations on getting to the end of it – I do think it’s my longest one yet! I’m sorry about the few hiccups – the bugs are still present. Thanks for your understanding and I’m sure you would have noticed this if you have read other TRs posted this week!

Regards,
Nicholas

Acknowledgements:
www.theqantassource.com for detailed information about QF Group’s aircraft; they were kind enough to change their layout half way through me writing up my TR and subsequently cut out the JQ section.

The link to this TR’s album can be found here: http://picasaweb.google.com/bogey.nz...DOOLMELSYDPart3OfJoyridesDownUnder
Search a little deeper and you’ll find other pictures of other TRs.


Previous Trip Reports:
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 1/2: AKL-ZQN-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 1 2008 in Trip Reports)
Grabbing A Seat With Air NZ Part 2/2: AKL-NPE-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 22 2008 in Trip Reports)
Air New Zealand: NZ105 AKL-SYD Economy (by NZ107 Feb 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
A Whale Of A Time: Emirates A380 Inaugural SYD-AKL (by NZ107 Feb 15 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 1 Air NZ AKL-WLG-AKL (by NZ107 Jun 24 2009 in Trip Reports)
NZ Domestic Competition: Part 2 JQ/DJ AKL (by NZ107 Jul 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 1: Air NZ AKL-CHC-AKL (by NZ107 Dec 23 2009 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 2: EK A380 Revisited (by NZ107 Jan 8 2010 in Trip Reports)



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineBedo From Spain, joined Jul 2009, 57 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 14370 times:

Great as always!!



All three flights looked fine, but i don´t know the fares paid. The service at the QF flight seem to worth an extra money.

The DJ livery looks better for me on the Embraers, I don´t know if it's just me.


Thank you Nicholas for sharing your Joyrides with us!


Benito



bedo
User currently offlineRyan h From Australia, joined Aug 2001, 1496 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14276 times:

NZ107, Great report. One of the photos of VH-VZB you used is one of mine  .

The security guard is probably on a power trip and to me sounds like bullsh-t.



South Australian Spotter
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1194 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 13960 times:

Thanks for a great report and your pics are fab. Looks like you had some nice weather for those flights too, which always makes the pics come out much better.

Speaking of which, I was very pleased to read on the reverse of the QF safety card when I last flew domestically in Australia in 2008 that having a camera and using it at any time of the flight, was NOT a restricted electronic device (well not according to Qantas in any case)!



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2433 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 13551 times:

Hi Nicholas,

Wow, I have never seen such an extensive trip report within The Down Under before! Very well informative and nicely written! And of course, great pictures as well!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Signs Of The Past Still Exist – Look Closely!

Help me! i do not see it.  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Qantas is by far the easiest website to use. You’d expect that coming from the full service airline. Their booking process is less cluttered as baggage is included for free but for some strange reason they charge the credit card fee “per booking”, making it cheaper to purchase a whole lot of segments at once rather than individual flight costs. I was silly enough to book both my QF flights separately as I had only planned on doing 2 days of flying. You can only choose your seats onboard QF for domestic travel when you’re at the airport which is something that they really should improve on.

Jetstar is easy to navigate and the good thing about them is that you can secure your seat immediately. They also send out (literally) hundreds of emails stating “changes to your itinerary”, when in fact there is only one change but they continue to send out messages. At least they can’t be blamed for not notifying you, as I found out later on with flying another airline.

Virgin Blue’s website is also relatively easy to navigate through but there are as many “options” as Jetstar has which can push the price of the ticket up if you go through with it; such as emergency seat exits, insurance, carbon payments etc.

Tiger Airways’ website is much more difficult to navigate through. If there aren’t any flights scheduled for the day you’re flying, the page still lists flights on the days on either side of it and I’m sure people have booked seats thinking they’re flying on the day that they entered in the search bar. The site is clogged with many extras, more than DJ and JQ. It costs $5 to reserve a seat – in this case it came to the same amount as how much the OOL lounge access cost!

Thanks for this research. I am considering these airlines for our flights Down Under next year! Now i know what to expect.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Foodcourt

Krispy Kreme doughnouts! Yummy!

Great report, Nicholas! Thank you for all the efforts!

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 5018 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 13504 times:

Hey, Nicholas,

great stuff, as expected.
A real nice compilation of airlines/aircraft and airports and a very huge difference weather wise to
that long and hard winter in Germany.
Love that Goldcoast photos.
And a good reminder to my once and only time in Australia, years ago, flying into MEL with SQ from Singapore.

Btw. secured the delayed F100 and missed my connection today, report follows.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: Is there something new for the new countries?.
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 13454 times:

The Joyrider does it again  

Another fantastic TR, with perfect detail and even more perfect pictures!


From your report, i seem to have liked Jetstar more than Virgin Blue, especially after seeing this unique concept of paying for access to the facilities of an airline-branded and operated lounge!

A nice ending to this trip was the QF flight, which included a decent meal!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Signs Of The Past Still Exist – Look Closely!

Help me too! I cannot see it either  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
EK 412 From DXB – Should I Be Surprised It’s An Hour Late?

I am! It's only an hour late? That's quite on time  


Thanks a lot for sharing this, and looking forward to the A330 TR!

Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13104 times:

Hi guys,

Thanks for your comments so far!

Quoting Bedo (Reply 4):
All three flights looked fine, but i don´t know the fares paid. The service at the QF flight seem to worth an extra money.

Hi Benito,

Thanks for your comments! Fares: They're all over different sectors so it's hard to compare these particular flights. But in saying that, the SYD-MEL on DJ that is in the next TR was more expensive than both my QF flights on the same sector. Not by much but you get a meal, free baggage etc with QF. Then again, I hunted for bargains and was able to get them very early on. Looking for in a month's time, QF is the same price as DJ if you need to fly at a particular time.

Quoting Bedo (Reply 4):
The DJ livery looks better for me on the Embraers, I don´t know if it's just me.

Yes, the livery looks very sleek on the Embraers.

Quoting Ryan h (Reply 5):
One of the photos of VH-VZB you used is one of mine .

The security guard is probably on a power trip and to me sounds like bullsh-t.

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for your comments! Yep, I used one of your photos. I tend to use photos (in that slot) from people who I know or I've seen on the forums! So you could easily see more of your photos in the next reports! Yeah I didn't really want to see him go fetch a fed agent though. This was at 9pm and the whole place was deserted. All other passengers had disembarked and even the crew had headed landside. Not that a picture of the walkway is going to do anything either..

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 6):

Hi Palmjet,

Thanks for commenting! Yes, I'm glad it stayed dry for the whole trip (apart from boarding in SYD). I really hope some of the photos I took for this report will make it onto A.Net! I successfully got one from my previous TR up and it went to number 1 for 24 hours so I was happy. With regards to the camera, I'll have a whole new story on that for the second to last TR in this (what will be a very long) series! Some American thought he was better than me and thought he knew everything and said my photo taking was "annoying him" although we were 5 mins out of the airport. As I showed in those pics, JQ's person camera use policy is unrestricted.. But anyway I'll save that story for later. Hopefully I can get around to it and hopefully I'll still remember it by the time I get there!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Wow, I have never seen such an extensive trip report within The Down Under before! Very well informative and nicely written! And of course, great pictures as well!

Hi Suryo,

Glad you enjoyed! Hope The Netherlands is starting to warm up too  
I haven't written anything so long before.. So glad it's finally up on the website! I hope you (all) got through without getting too bored or something.. And flicking through it for bugs when posting it here was the hardest thing of all and it took over 25 minutes..

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Help me! i do not see it.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
Help me too! I cannot see it either

Sorry, the quality has been quite severely reduced. If you look closely at the sign to the left above the carousel, you'll see the faded out area where the words "Ansett Australia" used to be - and, well, still are.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Thanks for this research. I am considering these airlines for our flights Down Under next year! Now i know what to expect.

Not a problem! If you do need anymore help/advice that I could give you, don't hesitate to ask!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 7):
Krispy Kreme doughnouts! Yummy!

Krispy Kreme is EVERYWHERE I tell you! MEL: DJ terminal and QF terminal. SYD: One outside the domestic terminal, one inside the domestic terminal, at least 2 landside at the international terminal! You're either going to have a feast or get sick of them when you head to Aussie!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
A real nice compilation of airlines/aircraft and airports and a very huge difference weather wise to
that long and hard winter in Germany.

Hi Markus,

Thanks for your comments! Yes, I'm glad to have secured the A321 and also OOL. Australia was consistently into the 30s Celsius while I was there.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
Btw. secured the delayed F100 and missed my connection today, report follows.

Good to know about the F100, but not about the missed connection! Looking forward to reading about your experience.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
The Joyrider does it again

Another fantastic TR, with perfect detail and even more perfect pictures!

Hi Roni,

It sure took a while to get this one done! But I finally did it! Thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed! Are you still looking at getting one of those lenses I have?  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
From your report, i seem to have liked Jetstar more than Virgin Blue, especially after seeing this unique concept of paying for access to the facilities of an airline-branded and operated lounge!

A nice ending to this trip was the QF flight, which included a decent meal!

Jetstar only has one lounge and that resides at OOL. It basically replaced the Qantas Club lounge that stood (I believe) in the exact same place but now that QF have left OOL, there's not much point in keeping it open for only Qantas Club members. Similar to what they did here in AKL, WLG and CHC - All 3 areas where the Qantas Club lounges used to be are now pay per use lounges. DJ has pay per use lounges (named 'The Lounge') across Australia but they are way too expensive for someone like me who doesn't even need to use it (A$30 for single use). The meal is one enticing thing about choosing to fly Qantas domestically around Australia. I really enjoyed it! But if the price is so much better with another airline apart from TT, I would probably end up flying the other carrier(s).

Quoting ronerone (Reply 9):
EK 412 From DXB – Should I Be Surprised It’s An Hour Late?

I am! It's only an hour late? That's quite on time

Haha. I guess so.. My av photographer friend in AKL took a photo recently of the EK A380 arriving in AKL about 5-6 hours late! It's the only way to get a nice sunset photo of EK's A380 in summer down here!


Thanks again guys!

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 13080 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Haha. I guess so.. My av photographer friend in AKL took a photo recently of the EK A380 arriving in AKL about 5-6 hours late! It's the only way to get a nice sunset photo of EK's A380 in summer down here!

I really don't know why EK412 (and not even 413) is always late! The other flights, especially those using the older lower density birds now run on time with no problems (the newer higher density ones have yet to reach that curve though!).



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 13071 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 11):
I really don't know why EK412 (and not even 413) is always late! The other flights, especially those using the older lower density birds now run on time with no problems (the newer higher density ones have yet to reach that curve though!).

There isn't much excuse for 413 to be delayed.. If you think back to the previous TR, it was rather delayed on leaving AKL for some strange reason after the usual massive 5 hour layover. It doesn't stop me from flying with them! But I must say I should try out other airlines on my next Tasman crossing.. I'm catching the bug of trying as many airlines out and for that matter as many aircraft types!



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1653 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 12979 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
But I must say I should try out other airlines on my next Tasman crossing.. I'm catching the bug of trying as many airlines out and for that matter as many aircraft types!

AR's A342 comes to mind  

Other than that, UU is on my top priority as it offers a nice routing to that region, altho not necessarily a Tasman crossing!



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineBedo From Spain, joined Jul 2009, 57 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12926 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 12):
But I must say I should try out other airlines on my next Tasman crossing.. I'm catching the bug of trying as many airlines out and for that matter as many aircraft types!

AR's A342 comes to mind

Other than that, UU is on my top priority as it offers a nice routing to that region, altho not necessarily a Tasman crossing!



What about LA on that route?? They have cheap J fares to SYD. And you can fly a A340.



bedo
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2433 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 12825 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
Hope The Netherlands is starting to warm up too

Unfortunately not. We are still expecting some weather below zero!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
And flicking through it for bugs when posting it here was the hardest thing of all and it took over 25 minutes..

I have noticed many other A.netters with similar problems. I do hope these will be resolved pretty soon.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 10):
If you do need anymore help/advice that I could give you, don't hesitate to ask!

I will. Thanks.  

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4208 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12795 times:

Hey Nicholas aka Joyrider  

It seems you're following our passion since you made some great flights there down under. I must compliment you on the picture quality; these are all great! Did you use a C-PL filter to get the nice blue skies?
I'm not the biggest fan of the A321 myself, but as far as you are in front of the wings they seems comfortable to me. But 30'' legroom would've been too tight for me! And you there with short pants and summertime! I envy you. We are having one of the colder winters since a long time now, and I'm looking forward to some sunshine by now...

Regards,
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineplanehunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6654 posts, RR: 78
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 12773 times:

Hi Nicholas,

excellent report, what a pleasure to read! Good to see you got the Jetstar A321, not as easy to get as the company's A320s.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
DL 77L From ATL LAX

Great picture!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
A nice walk down the side of the plane came to a halt when one of the ground staff didn’t like me taking photos.. Oh well. Real double standards in amongst the ground crew in comparison to the following day

Yes, I remember a similar situation at HTI back in 2006. These guys should just relax and shut up...  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
“Your seat is the window seat on the left, Nicholas”.

Nice welcome!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Surfers’ Paradise, And Others To The North

Good picture, I remember well a short visit to that city in 2006. The line-up of buildings was quite impressive.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Kingfisher?

Exactly! The plane was originally intended for Kingfisher as VT-KRE.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
“Good evening Mr Young, enjoy your flight”.

Another nice welcome, really impressive!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Not long after, dinner was served. No choices here – everyone got meatballs and pasta. I was quite hungry but it did taste quite nice. It was a little on the small side of things however. The meal is one reason why I enjoy flying with full service airlines. I also got a Coke and a red wine to accompany it – the drinks trolley closely followed the meal cart. Also on the meal tray are some cheese and crackers and also a little chocolate.

That looks really good. I also enjoyed QF's high quality domestic in-flight service.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The following TR will include my first flight in an A330 and a glimpse through Melbourne’s international terminal.

Sounds very interesting, can't wait to see it!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1157 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 12629 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I took some photos from the very rear of the aircraft and a FA came up and abruptly told me to not take photos with crew in it. The crew were at the other end of the cabin and were barely visible on my photos! Some people..

Remind me never to take my camera out on Jetstar. Makes me not want to fly with them!

Excellent report with such cool pictures.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 12453 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 13):
AR's A342 comes to mind

Yes, Mark has also told me to do this one! We're both a bit skeptical about doing it now because that engine blew up on one of their A342s..

Quoting Bedo (Reply 14):

A342s are much more rare than the A343s, but yes LA do fly this route. It leaves AKL far too early for my liking..  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 15):
Unfortunately not. We are still expecting some weather below zero!

That's a shame!

And yep, I really hope it can be fixed soon. To all those who are about to post a TR, make sure the preview doesn't show a wide format.. If it does, you might want to consider putting some words in between the pictures making the page wide and that sort of solves the problem for now.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 16):
I must compliment you on the picture quality; these are all great! Did you use a C-PL filter to get the nice blue skies?

Hi Eric,

Thanks for your comments! I borrowed the lens from my friend and the diameter for the particular lens I borrowed was different to the diameter of my other 2 lenses. In other words, no CPL filter was used - only a UV Haze filter. I bought myself one of these lenses and will think about getting a CPL after it comes. The weather was just amazing and the quality of the lens probably adds to it.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 16):
I'm not the biggest fan of the A321 myself, but as far as you are in front of the wings they seems comfortable to me.

I decided to sit in front of the wing because I never usually get the opportunity to. It paid off as it offered a great view and the best seat in the house!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 16):
And you there with short pants and summertime! I envy you. We are having one of the colder winters since a long time now, and I'm looking forward to some sunshine by now...

I bet all of you up there in the Northern Hemisphere are! It'll be a while before I change back to jeans too.

Quoting planehunter (Reply 17):
excellent report, what a pleasure to read! Good to see you got the Jetstar A321, not as easy to get as the company's A320s.

Hi PH,

Glad you enjoyed! It's super hard to keep churning these things out once you've set a benchmark for yourself.. But I hope to get the next one out by the time Uni starts which seems to me like wishful thinking as there are a few photos there too. I'm extremely glad to get the A321 as it's a nice change to the JQ A320 we can get here in NZ anyway but much better.

Quoting planehunter (Reply 17):
These guys should just relax and shut up...

Yeah.. Just like some of those FAs..

Quoting planehunter (Reply 17):
Nice welcome!
Quoting planehunter (Reply 17):
Another nice welcome, really impressive!

I'm pretty sure it's standardised right throughout Australasia. JQ just say hi and point you to your seat, DJ welcome you by your first name and QF welcome you by your surname. This is all of course if you give your boarding pass to one of the FAs onboard!

Quoting planehunter (Reply 17):
Exactly! The plane was originally intended for Kingfisher as VT-KRE.

Ahh, I was wondering! Thanks for the info. I tried searching myself. But it has me guessing why they kept the seatbelts (or even the seatbelt buckles) when the seats themselves look like standard JQ seats. And sorry for not taking any pictures of the front of the seats..

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 18):
Remind me never to take my camera out on Jetstar. Makes me not want to fly with them!

Thanks for your comments Flightsimboy!

It all depends on which crew you get. There's an extremely friendly purser on the NZ domestic route and he encouraged photo taking! Not just that, he invited me to the cockpit after landing. More on that later (once again lol)!


I appreciate all of your comments about the photos being good, it really makes me feel as though it was worth editing them. But I promise that next series will be done mainly in JPG and I'll be able to get the TRs up much faster!


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 12356 times:

Hey there Nicholas,

Another excellent addition to your trip report series.

I can definitely see why it takes you so long to post all of these TRs. Great detail and some very nice pictures as well.

Especially the pictures of Sydney remind me of my trip down under a few weeks ago. Thanks again for showing me around AKL. I cannot wait for the CV trip report though!

Take care,

Globetraveller


User currently offline767ER From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 1092 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 12175 times:

Just superb. Really am enjoying your series of TRs.


Aircraft flown:F27,Viscount. EMB120, SAAB340, ATR70, 737-200.737-300,DC8, DC10,747-100,747-200,747-300,747-400, A320, A3
User currently onlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 12073 times:

Hi Nicholas

Wow, another fantastic report! Great detail and very nice pictures: I am glad A.net drove you into joyriding - it really suits you! haha Sorry it's taken me a while to get round to commenting but I am finally finding some time to sit down and enjoy it properly   Good to also see that you got most of the strange kinks out of the system, at least from where I'm reading it.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
Boarding for Virgin Blue occurs from both the front and rear doors so if you’re seated in the back half of the plane, you have to walk outside even if the weather isn’t great.

I can understand why they want to do that, to speed up boarding but it still feels strange that front half of the plane seems to have 'better' treatment than the back half. (except from a.nuts who will always prefer the tarmac option!) Some LCCs would probably have contemplated it for a money earning opportunity: Direct Access Airbridge Boarding? $5

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
A nice walk down the side of the plane came to a halt when one of the ground staff didn’t like me taking photos.. Oh well. Real double standards in amongst the ground crew in comparison to the following day (I was free to take photos flying the exact same airline at the same airport).

Yeah I find the standards even with same airline at the same airport change all the time. Unless explicitly displayed on a prominent sign, I just go ahead and snap, until I am told otherwise.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
There was enough legroom too. They claim to have between 31 and 33 inches of legroom.

That's quite okay for a 1 hour-plus flight but my memories of Virgin Blue are of a transcontinental PER-MEL a couple of years back and that's somehow memorable for not being so okay  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
D7 Back To KUL

The way they're taking, this could also be a viable trans-Tasman option for you soon?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The food offerings are no way near as lavish as a full service First or Business class lounge but ample and continuous to the point where you can fill yourself up if you enjoy eating the items available such as savoury pies, sushi, self made pancake maker, soup etc. There’s a soda fountain, (instant) espresso machine, 3 beer taps and a few bottles of wine for self service. More drinks behind the counter if necessary. It wasn’t manned – only by video camera so someone could effectively drink quite a bit. There’s also a little “movie” area. The toilets are quite basic.

That's pretty good value for $5, or even $15 if one was hungry and a bit thirsty. It'd probably cost a bit more than that at the airport's shops, and that's even without the privacy if a lounge. I wonder who the usual users of the lounge are: Star class passengers? That's quite an extravagance for a budget carrier.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Tight Squeeze To Get Into The Middle Seat!

The legroom does look very tight! Lucky you got the exit seat.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Nice Queue Of A Couple Of 744s

I presume that's a CX Cargo B744F lining up for departure in MEL? Otherwise it'll be a rare visit by an all-pax B744 replacing the usual A333s.

Look forward to your next installment.

Cheers, airpearl


User currently offlineVHSMM From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 11992 times:

Great trip report Nick

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
My thanks to Allrite for checking it out for me!

Allrite is a very helpful chap. He explained a very cheap way to get from Changi to Singapore when I flew there last year. I nearly got to be meet up with him in Singapore as we were both there at the same time, but his growing tribe needed to rest after the rigours of flying Qantas so we missed each other. I hope to meet up with him overseas sometime soon.



Flown: 727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,A300,A319,20,21,A330,A340,A380,CRJ-200,BAe146,AVRO100,Saab340B,MD82,F100,Dash8
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6338 posts, RR: 39
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 11968 times:

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 20):
Another excellent addition to your trip report series.

I can definitely see why it takes you so long to post all of these TRs. Great detail and some very nice pictures as well.

Hey GT,

Good to see you back on here. Hope that TR of yours is on its way soon! Thanks for commenting!

Quoting Globetraveller (Reply 20):
Especially the pictures of Sydney remind me of my trip down under a few weeks ago. Thanks again for showing me around AKL. I cannot wait for the CV trip report though!

I've got plenty more pictures from Sydney to come too!
Not a problem at all - I thoroughly enjoyed your company down here.. I'll take you out there any time!

Oh btw I'm also starting to plan another trip to Australia (April) to catch the EK A345 before they stop flying to NZ too. And I'll also get a chance to fly on the AR A342.. So much for the engine blowing up like I commented 5 replies ago.. So it could be an all Airbus affair and all I'd need to complete my A340 list would be the A346.

Sorry, I really don't have a clue when I'll get around to the CV flight.. I'm still way behind on this series but I'll eventually do it. I heard that another 2 A.netters went on that CV flight last week and one of them was a Swiss guy in NZ for 2 days just so that he could try it out! That's amazing. I wish I had the money.. I'll keep you posted though!

Quoting 767ER (Reply 21):
Just superb. Really am enjoying your series of TRs.

Thanks 767ER! Keep an eye out possibly next week or the week after for my next instalment.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
Wow, another fantastic report! Great detail and very nice pictures: I am glad A.net drove you into joyriding - it really suits you!

Hi Airpearl,

Thanks for your comments! You must know that it's not A.Net that drove me into joyriding, but more of the likes of you and the rest of the superb trip reporters on this site! I do this out of both interest but also because I want to repay all of you for brilliant F + J experiences - something that is at least 5-10 years away for me. I still hope I'll have the time in the future to keep churning out trip reports. It must be the Asian-ness in me saying that  

That's fine. I'd rather you found time to read it properly than to rush it and not appreciate it for what it's worth   lol
It took me a good 25 minutes fighting the system and editing my word document to get it up but it was well worth it to make it in a nice, easy to read format.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
Unless explicitly displayed on a prominent sign, I just go ahead and snap, until I am told otherwise.

That's me too!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
That's quite okay for a 1 hour-plus flight but my memories of Virgin Blue are of a transcontinental PER-MEL a couple of years back and that's somehow memorable for not being so okay

Ouch, yes, that's why I'm vowing never to fly Trans Tasman or to Perth in a LCC. I did contemplate travelling to PER for this series but it just ended up being too expensive. QF's A330 is the way to get to PER from SYD/MEL. I doubt I'd choose anything else.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
The way they're taking, this could also be a viable trans-Tasman option for you soon?

Could be! Although I don't have any need to go back to OOL but who knows, to try it out would be great fun and if the price is right, even better!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
That's pretty good value for $5, or even $15 if one was hungry and a bit thirsty. It'd probably cost a bit more than that at the airport's shops, and that's even without the privacy if a lounge. I wonder who the usual users of the lounge are: Star class passengers? That's quite an extravagance for a budget carrier.

That's true. Unlimited drinks as no one is really watching and CCTV can't tell if you're drunk  
The only Star Class passengers are those travelling internationally on JQ - Star Class doesn't exist on domestic. So I doubt it'd make costs soar. I was glad that all of the JQ international flights had left already so it was basically empty. It's a nice addition for Star Class passengers though.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
The legroom does look very tight! Lucky you got the exit seat.

I think that with the arm rest holding the tray table too, it looks much worse than it probably is. But tight, none the less.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 22):
I presume that's a CX Cargo B744F lining up for departure in MEL? Otherwise it'll be a rare visit by an all-pax B744 replacing the usual A333s.

Yes, you're right, it is a CX 744F.

Quoting VHSMM (Reply 23):
Great trip report Nick

Thanks, VHSMM! Yes, he's very helpful. It's good to know that others in this community support one another!


Thanks again everyone!

Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
25 767ER : Nicholas, AR might be like flying an LCC. I have not heard one person say anything positive about them and they are rarely on time.
26 NZ107 : Well my other option would be LA (I can afford J if I go this way!) but the A342 sounds far too rare to miss an opportunity to fly with them! And it'
27 Post contains images BNE : Thanks for the trip report. At least Qantas offered to change your flight for a fee; not so on Virgin Blue; they made an aircraft change on me and I w
28 NZ107 : Hi BNE, Thanks for your comments! Yes, at least QF offered - although I could do the same online if I really wanted to. It seems more understandable
29 Post contains images BNE : Oh right; you mean photos like this and this. Thanks very much to NZ107 for his assistance.
30 HausAufLennon : I thoroughly enjoyed this trip report, the photographs of the flights and the destinations really enhanced the overall experience. Australia is a coun
31 Econojetter : Very good job, Nicholas. I really like the headlining photo with the logos inset too. Oh yes... those reports have quite an effect on some of us. I re
32 Post contains images NZ107 : Somewhat similar, less the rain plus better quality No worries! Glad you enjoyed it. Hi HausAufLennon, Thanks for your comments! I'm glad you enjoyed
33 Post contains images LH4116 : Hi there Nicholas, great report! Really enjoyed reading it, and the pics were excellent as usual, making more, and more tempted in getting a wide-angl
34 Post contains links and images NZ107 : Hi Jonas, Thanks for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. Do buy a wide angle! I was so impressed by my friend's one that I did buy my own, arriving next
35 ba319-131 : Hi Nicholas, Thanks for posting, a very enjoyable read - congrats on your 1st A321 flight, though a usual bird in my part of the world, quite rare in
36 NZ107 : Hi Mark, Thanks for your comments! Yes, very rare in this part of the world. It was nice to finally get it! There was none really.. Maybe the fact th
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