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Mission A340: Aerolineas Argentinas A342 AKL-SYD  
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 31298 times:

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THuB27EwPxI/AAAAAAAAFBU/h_WA1pptiws/s800/IMG_1803edittitle.jpg

Mission A340: Aerolineas Argentinas A342 AKL-SYD


Introduction

Auckland has been known to attract A340s from various airlines over the past decade. Aerolineas Argentinas fly the A340-200, Cathay Pacific, Lan Chile and Air Tahiti Nui operate the A340-300, Emirates bring the A340-500 and Thai used to operate both the A340-500 and A340-600 to AKL before switching them for the 777-200. Earlier this year, Emirates announced that it would discontinue the A345 services to New Zealand in favour of the 777-300ER which was now capable of flying unrestricted from Dubai to the East Coast of Australia. The increased capacity over the A345 means that Emirates will be benefitting much more from the restricted trans-Tasman crossings. I’d never been on an A345 before and it was a great opportunity to try it out or face having to fly half way around the world just to travel in one. Motivated by fellow A.Net Trip Reporter Globetraveller to jump on an A345, I was off to find a way to catch this wonderful plane before it left the shores of New Zealand after 7 glorious years of service.

What better way to make a trip report about the A340-500 by also flying another A340 on the same trip!? It was definitely a plan. The way I had planned it took me to Sydney on either a LAN A340-300 or an Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200. Knowing how rare the A340-200 was, it was quite clear from the beginning that it’d be the preferred option (not only that but it departed at a more humane time) and so I went through with it.

Hi everyone and welcome to my 15th trip report. This will cover the flight from Auckland to Sydney on an Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200.

Aerolineas Argentinas is the flag carrier of Argentina. They operate A340-200s 3x weekly from Buenos Aires, EZE-AKL-SYD. They also have long haul services to MIA, MAD, BCN and FCO. Down in NZ/Aus, they are renowned for their lengthy delays and even cancellations for no reason on this flight. However this was not going to stop me from trying them out!

Booking a flight with Aerolineas Argentinas does not follow conventional ways of the 21st Century. Their website is only for reservations so once you get the quotation, you have to head into their office in town to pay. While I was booking, an unbelievably cheap price of NZ$131 flicked over the screen and I immediately processed my details to capture this extremely cheap fare. I was able to choose my own seat as well which was excellent. I went into town to pay and it was very quick. I soon found myself in the possession of a printed e-ticket on actual plane tickets – ones which I haven’t seen in years!

Ticket Cover
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRI208bWI/AAAAAAAAE70/PqSfsA24ejw/s800/IMG_1699edit.jpg

Ticket



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
53 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 31519 times:

Here’s the GPS tracking of my flight:
AKL
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR1tI2INI/AAAAAAAAE_k/ZFz9GbQyr1I/s800/GPSAKLSYD1.jpg

Flight
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR0K3tUpI/AAAAAAAAE_c/magJi0yP2kM/s800/GPSAKLSYD3.jpg

SYD
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR29T-xJI/AAAAAAAAE_o/GhYu21xy_Wc/s800/GPSAKLSYD2.jpg

Also viewed here:
http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=995951


I was up early on the morning of the flight, ready to head across the Tasman once again. My mum kindly drove me to the airport at 7am. There wasn’t much traffic at this time of the day and the sun cast a fairly faint light over the dawn sky. Straight into the check-in line I went and waited 5 minutes to be served, at the Business Class counter which was vacant at the time. Air New Zealand performs the ground work for AR and the agent checking people in at the Business Class acted professionally. The queue was constantly building after I had checked in. I decided to do some spotting from the observation deck after checking in.


Check In Counters
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRKHPndlI/AAAAAAAAE74/6e6YoBp4e4s/s800/IMG_1705edit.jpg

Boarding Pass
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRKzYzVaI/AAAAAAAAE78/e-R4VH1knvs/s800/IMG_1706edit.jpg

5 Counters Open For AR
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRLhjh3TI/AAAAAAAAE8A/9ykC-jYcKWY/s800/IMG_1707edit.jpg

FIDS
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRMc3FxII/AAAAAAAAE8E/P7qfVL3JAy0/s800/IMG_1708edit.jpg

Upstairs
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRNEAOdDI/AAAAAAAAE8I/g9nxLRumXZk/s800/IMG_1709edit.jpg

http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRNysczHI/AAAAAAAAE8M/AKj-QuZNuY4/s800/IMG_1710edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRPYxNXhI/AAAAAAAAE8Q/z-xk3OLxsjI/s800/IMG_1711edit.jpg

Escalators To The Observation Deck
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRQHDQiJI/AAAAAAAAE8Y/F02dgpbwpwc/s800/IMG_1712edit.jpg

NZ 772, Not Much Else!
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The heavies that come in from North America tend to use the gates at the far end of the pier, even when arriving. There aren’t any good opportunities to take photos of them while they’re down there unless you’re on the apron. After seeing no planes take off or land, I passed through customs. There wasn’t much of a queue here either. At the x-ray, some AvSec officer thought there was something wrong with my camera bag. This has never happened to me before so I don’t know what he saw. I was instructed to go and open it up to realise that he had mistaken something for a bit of plastic/cardboard inside the camera bag. I was soon on my way. Auckland is a great airport to visit during off-peak hours as it’s so quick to process through to airside or vice versa.

Straight After Immigration/Security, You’ll Be Flooded With Duty Free Shops Here
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Jean Batten’s Plane Has Now Been Moved To The Arrivals Hall
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http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRTpkUkCI/AAAAAAAAE8o/nVSNuWc6MPk/s800/IMG_1724edit.jpg

The Maze Continues Through The Shops
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRUWRzhhI/AAAAAAAAE8s/AF1voatgRAQ/s800/IMG_1725edit.jpg

And You Finally Reach The Foot Of The Pier
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRVxcY1nI/AAAAAAAAE80/ZSMM5E8tGY8/s800/IMG_1729edit.jpg

I guess Auckland’s duty free area after customs isn’t too bad when compared alongside Melbourne and Sydney. They’re sane enough to leave a corridor open for people to freely walk through to the gate but by looking at the designs, it does seem quite tempting to go into the shop itself.

Up Close And Personal With NZ’s First 772, Off To NRT Today
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http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRXIsFQjI/AAAAAAAAE88/3sFlcJB2OI8/s800/IMG_1733edit.jpg

Empty Terminal!
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Looking Towards The End Of The Pier
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You Know Where You Are When You See This Many Korus On Widebodies!
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRZ-_BglI/AAAAAAAAE9M/XA-82DrQrCQ/s800/IMG_1738edit.jpg

FIDS
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRa3CqLyI/AAAAAAAAE9Q/m_y0BoZGYXo/s800/IMG_1740edit.jpg

My Ride Today
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRWqlzI5I/AAAAAAAAE84/4adhfAJbnNw/s800/IMG_1731edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRX7E-XGI/AAAAAAAAE9A/bmWSED8sAZY/s800/IMG_1735edit.jpg

I decided to pre-clear myself for Australian Immigration to save me a minute upon arrival in Sydney. It’s a great invention and I’m glad I do have a chipped passport.

Very Useful!


It was still really early and I decided to go down and wait by the gate so that if I drifted back to sleep, someone would notice!

Gate 3
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRc0I1xOI/AAAAAAAAE9Y/Zbz8DmP1SvM/s800/IMG_1743edit.jpg

At 7:40, there was a message over the PA that they were waiting for the plane to be refueled before boarding started but they’d take families with young kids and Business Class passengers first. So a queue was formed 40 minutes before actual boarding was made with all these eager passengers willing to get to their seat. I wonder if this is psychological and it makes the person feel as though they’d get to the destination faster or something. Anyway, it beats me as to why you’d want to stand up and wait in the queue like that! It’s not like there aren’t enough seats for everyone either..

While Waiting For My Plane To Board..
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRdulR6vI/AAAAAAAAE9c/3Qip9Ubyuok/s800/IMG_1744edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtReR7Y-jI/AAAAAAAAE9g/-s-W33towyA/s800/IMG_1745edit.jpg

The Queue 5 Minutes Before Boarding
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtReynJymI/AAAAAAAAE9k/JYdwuu0keMQ/s800/IMG_1749edit.jpg



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 31498 times:

Flight Information

9 April 2010
Routing: Auckland – Sydney (AKL-SYD)
Airline: Aerolineas Argentinas
Flight: AR1182
Scheduled Time of Departure: 0825hrs (GMT+12)
Actual Departure: 0834hrs (pushback), 0850hrs (rotate) (GMT+12)
Scheduled Time of Arrival: 1015hrs (GMT+10)
Touchdown: 0949hrs (GMT+10)
Flight time: 3hr 15 min
Aircraft: Airbus A340-211
Registration: LV-ZPX
Seat: 17H


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Photo © Scott Lindsell
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Photo © Sam Chui


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Photo © Tom Turner
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Photo © Jonathan Rankin


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Photo © Nicholas Young
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Photo © Jonathan Rankin



This Airbus A340-211 first flew on the 5th December 1994 as the 80th A330/340 frame and the 20th A340-200 frame. It was delivered on lease to Cathay Pacific (VR-HMT) in February 1995 as preparation for the A340-300s they were going to receive. It was then taken up by Philippine Airlines (F-OHPH) in 1997 before being sold to Aerolineas Argentinas in July 1999.


View Large View Medium
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Photo © AirNikon Collection-Pima Air and Space Museum
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Photo © JetPix



It operates the EZE-AKL-SYD route and also EZE-BCN, FCO and MIA routes in a layout of 32 Business and 217 Economy seats.

Even though everyone was already in the queue, there wasn’t a long wait until my turn to board. Down under, it’s generally the stub that gets ripped off and is retained by the gate agent so you keep the bigger portion of the boarding pass however this was the first time departing AKL that they’ve handed me back only the stub! Anyway, I took what was given back to me and headed down the jet way.


http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRfq3nXmI/AAAAAAAAE9o/UPQwhYa6zEk/s800/IMG_1750edit.jpg

Business Class
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRgaBSAHI/AAAAAAAAE9s/aVRvDhI9-aI/s800/IMG_1751edit.jpg

Economy Class
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRhICiajI/AAAAAAAAE9w/5QVeCZZo4Ak/s800/IMG_1752edit.jpg

I don’t remember being greeted too warmly but either way, I was politely guided to the far aisle. The Business Class seats looked quite nice but the seats were very old, especially for long haul standards these days. After passing through Business, I reached the Economy Class section I was going to be in for the next few hours. The cabin was reminiscent of the Air New Zealand 767 cabin of yesteryear – one projector on the bulkhead and CRT screens scattered down the cabin; ie no PTVs. However instead of them being in the aisles, AR decided it was better if they put them in the middle of the centre block, as seen in the picture above! Just imagine getting up in the middle of the night and banging your head on one of those..

I thought the seat had plenty of legroom which compensated for what seemed like narrow seats. My one complaint about the seat was the headrest. It wasn’t very comfortable as it sat too low and the ‘wings’ didn’t hold in place. There was also a footrest which seemed broken so I didn’t use it. Interestingly enough, there was no air vent above the seat.

Legroom


My seat, 17K, was quite close to the front of the cabin. It was a seat without a window but I had use of the window perpendicular to me and that sufficed. Unfortunately, it had a massive gouge and a lot of other tiny scratches on the outside surface which made good photos pretty hard to take. The size of the window was good and measured by my Nokia E63, I judge it to be slightly bigger than the A380 window – the picture of the A380 can be seen in an earlier trip report (Joyrides Down Under Part 2). The best thing about these windows over the A380 one is that there is hardly any gap between the outer and inner layer meaning it is much more photo friendly.

Legroom
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRi5MUPkI/AAAAAAAAE-A/5SwYMegGLuQ/s800/IMG_1755edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRkon3pZI/AAAAAAAAE-M/-1awhC81Ftk/s800/IMG_1758edit.jpg

No Window!
View
Size Of Window


Everyone was on board in rather quick time as we pushed back about 15 minutes after boarding. The safety demo was completed without the flight attendants paying too much attention to anything. Lights were dimmed and we took off 16 minutes after pushing back.

Pushback
Taxi To 05R


Well, what is there to say about an A340 takeoff? The power of the engines sometimes makes you wonder if you’re even going to get off the ground, hence the word ‘hairdryers’ is a colloquial term for the CFM 56 engines on the A340-200/300 used every now and then on A.Net. Not only that, but they look pretty small in comparison to the fuselage from a distance. Needless to say, the imminent climb out of Auckland after a long takeoff run was at a very shallow attitude and I was thinking to myself that I probably haven’t experienced such a shallow climb over Auckland before. The 737s shoot straight up in comparison. Nevertheless, we were off the ground and soon after takeoff, we turned around to head for Sydney. The view of Auckland City from the starboard side of the plane would have been nice if the sun wasn’t so harsh.

V2 must be somewhere this far off the ground  WinkContinuation Of The Climb
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRomUmKpI/AAAAAAAAE-k/3xEhp5FFdOw/s800/IMG_1768edit.jpg

Angle Of Attack Is Still About The Same
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRpFNupuI/AAAAAAAAE-o/tOQzCtFsiGY/s800/IMG_1769edit.jpg

Good Idea! Turn To The West!
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRqPhmFVI/AAAAAAAAE-s/6Djs01G0Y1Q/s800/IMG_1770edit.jpg

Rangitoto Island Above Engine #3
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRq5XyZAI/AAAAAAAAE-w/T6NlkVuqIEY/s800/IMG_1773edit.jpg

Auckland City
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRrQlpiAI/AAAAAAAAE-0/5LbAt7pQxXk/s800/IMG_1778edit.jpg

That Whole Coast Up To The Inlet Is Muriwai Beach
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRr67DomI/AAAAAAAAE-4/wOgpck2SyDk/s800/IMG_1782edit.jpg


Is there anything I can say about Aerolineas Argentinas entertainment? Well, for starters, I’ve already mentioned that Economy Class has no PTVs. Instead they have a projector on the bulkhead and CRTs permanently dropped down in the middle. Can you guess what movie/programme was showing? How about none! I’m truly grateful they had the Airshow function on for the entire flight. That plus an iPod is definitely sufficient for my inflight entertainment needs. Headphones were in the front seat but I never thought about trying it out as audio isn’t generally that great on planes without any other selection. But I’d imagine the majority of them would be in Spanish anyway.

Control Panel
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRsX4XrjI/AAAAAAAAE-8/HvqxZ6ELR2E/s800/IMG_1787edit.jpg

Over The Tasman
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRtPKHiiI/AAAAAAAAE_A/rE-U8_c5ugc/s800/IMG_1789edit.jpg

The meals were next to arrive. They had a very strange way of serving the meals and they actually served the meals over the seat in front rather than along the row. It was quite strange to see a meal appearing from above the person sitting in 16H rather than directly from the aisle! I had no idea what to expect and to be honest, I didn’t think we’d get served anything to begin with. So it was a surprise that we were given something. What we got on our tray was a ham and cheese sandwich and a dessert comprising of biscuit layers with dulce de leche in between the layers. The ham and cheese sandwich was ordinary but enjoyable as I was quite hungry by that stage. The dessert was a complete sugar hit.. There was more dulce de leche than biscuit and it simply oozed out, making it difficult to eat without getting sticky fingers. It was very nice however and the Colombian seat mate of mine told me what it was and how it is made etc. The drinks cart rolled through immediately after the meal trolley and I had a Coke, poured into the cup from a big bottle made in Argentina. A well travelled beverage!

Snack
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRuS3ynCI/AAAAAAAAE_I/iTwer5QpWmE/s800/IMG_1796edit.jpg

Dulce De Leche
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRvIqU6cI/AAAAAAAAE_M/A01T7tx9dZI/s800/IMG_1800edit.jpg

By now, there was nothing to see but cloud below. We were also passing through high cloud at cruising altitude of 37,000ft. After the tray tables were collected again, I took my chance to take pictures around the cabin. It seemed quite small in comparison to the wanders around the A380 and there were only 2 cabins to explore. The lavatory seemed ok but quite basic.

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRvrA6WpI/AAAAAAAAE_Q/EQGvJ9EJQr0/s800/IMG_1801edit.jpg

Front Economy Cabin
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRxR2jUiI/AAAAAAAAE_U/eqRieNGC8F4/s800/IMG_1803edit.jpg

Rear Economy Cabin
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtRyzKkfKI/AAAAAAAAE_Y/XAJerJtUJ6s/s800/IMG_1806edit.jpg

Lavatory
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR5ZIYW1I/AAAAAAAAE_w/oCXzjWwImLY/s800/IMG_1809edit.jpg


I was soon back in my seat as there was nothing else to see. The cabin lights were dimmed after I got back, probably allowing people who had continued from EZE to get some more rest before arriving into SYD at 10am. The flight was a little bit bumpy but nothing unbearable. It was a very quiet flight, nearly comparable to the A380.

The Sun Was Still Bright!


We weren’t too far away from Sydney when we the pilots came across over the PA, notifying that we were beginning descent. His English wasn’t very good but it was still understandable. The announcement was also made in Spanish first, obviously. The cabin crew passed through the cabin for the final check. They had their own rather unique way of getting passengers to have their seat back in the upright position and tray tables stowed away. People who were still sleeping got their recline button pushed by the flight attendant and the flight attendant also pushed the seat back to the upright position! I thought this was funny from my point of view but I can imagine what it’d be like being a passenger being rudely awoken by your chair being pushed up! I must say it wasn’t very professional but it certainly did the job!

We were heading straight for the airport and we suddenly took a turn to the north – take a look at the GPS map above. I guess that seeing it’s a big airport, there needs to be some sort of pattern? As in Auckland, they make their way towards the approach mark instead of having to do extra manoeuvres to line up with the runway. Approach was slow as well and we made our way onto 16R with ease. I was on the wrong side of the plane to get a nice view of the city centre on approach but glare would have been a problem anyway.

Strange Turn To The North
Over North Sydney
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR7G2ynHI/AAAAAAAAE_8/HbIC-anwkLQ/s800/IMG_1819edit.jpg

Parramatta River
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR7oC64SI/AAAAAAAAFAA/p9bvoerlZw8/s800/IMG_1822edit.jpg

http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR8N1YuhI/AAAAAAAAFAE/e6xYe20lpdY/s800/IMG_1824edit.jpg

Over Qantas Drive
”30, 20.. Retard! Retard!”  Wink

I’ve always been intrigued by the reverse thrusters used in these A340 CFMs which have 4 bits that stick out.. On our taxi towards the terminal, we held short of Runway 7/25 for some reason and didn’t get going for a couple of minutes.

SYD Day Stay Hotel
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR-rE-wJI/AAAAAAAAFAY/fUfUJBHhU2A/s800/IMG_1837edit.jpg

City In The Background
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR_J2lXLI/AAAAAAAAFAc/QfzUOTUNwpE/s800/IMG_1844edit.jpg

Another FRA-esque Attempt
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtR_mraDSI/AAAAAAAAFAg/jxxv93Jhh18/s800/IMG_1848edit.jpg

The ‘eager to disembark’ crowd were quickly into the aisle as soon as we had come to a stop at the gate. The aisle was cleared within 5 minutes and I headed for the exit. I said ‘Muchas gracias’ in my extremely limited Spanish vocab to one of the flight attendants on the way out.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtSBLme__I/AAAAAAAAFAk/A8HgD0HugdU/s800/IMG_1850edit.jpg

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtSCYDUF5I/AAAAAAAAFAo/jSwtZrELORo/s800/IMG_1852edit.jpg

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtSDG6uAPI/AAAAAAAAFAs/7Zct_SAby1I/s800/IMG_1854edit.jpg

SYD FIDS
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtSEA4_iDI/AAAAAAAAFAw/8pyvkhdQ-eo/s800/IMG_1858edit.jpg

At Least Upon Arrival, They Give You Space To Walk!
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/THtSE29uo5I/AAAAAAAAFA0/N4ThnQfN_jw/s800/IMG_1859edit.jpg

Immigration took all of 30 seconds using the Smart Gate system but my bag seemed to take an age to process. I finally removed it from the carousel and headed for Quarantine. One officer sent me down a certain path but another Asian officer told me to use the path which was the direct route out. I think there were a few flights from Asia arriving at that time but the second guy probably saw I wasn’t from one of those flights. It saved me a lot of time too! I was back in Australia again and headed for the train into the city.

Conclusion

The A340-200 is a rare plane. It feels good to know that I’ve flown on one now as they’re getting old. It was one quite interesting experience to say the least. I’m not too sure if I’d fly them again on this sector (no airpoints, at least one more airline to go and lack of frequency) but it was definitely worth the amount paid, that’s for sure and there’s no way I’m complaining about it. My previous flight on an A340(-300) was 5 years ago but there are similarities that I remember between that plane and this one (and so there should be!) such as noise levels etc.

That wraps up the first part of this series. Later on, there will be a report on the flight home from MEL on EK’s A340-500 so keep your eyes open for that one! Comments are very welcome and much appreciated.

Regards,
Nicholas

Camera Equipment:
Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

http://www.flickr.com/photos/anz787900/


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)
Joyrides Down Under Part 3: East Coast Adventure (by NZ107 Feb 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 4: Int'l On Domestic (by NZ107 Feb 23 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 5: Capital Stopover (by NZ107 Apr 6 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 6: Homebound On EK A380 (by NZ107 Jun 27 2010 in Trip Reports)
Joyrides Down Under Part 7: The DUD Diversion (by NZ107 Jul 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
A Touch Of Nostalgia - Jumpseating The CV580 (by NZ107 Aug 6 2010 in Trip Reports)

[Edited 2010-09-01 03:38:24]


It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineBNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3183 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 31201 times:

Thanks for the trip report; will have to try and get myself a flight on the AR A340-200 in the near future, thanks for the report.

8:30am is definitely a better departure time than the LAN A340-300 which departs Auckland at 5:50am.   



Why fly non stop when you can connect
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 31142 times:

Hi Nicholas,

what a nice surprise to find the long-awaited AR A342 report! As usual you managed to deliver a high-quality report with many great pictures. Now I know what to expect on that carrier in a few weeks.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Down in NZ/Aus, they are renowned for their lengthy delays and even cancellations for no reason on this flight.

Is it really that bad? Have you heard how they handle cancellations?

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):

Booking a flight with Aerolineas Argentinas does not follow conventional ways of the 21st Century. Their website is only for reservations so once you get the quotation, you have to head into their office in town to pay. While I was booking, an unbelievably cheap price of NZ$131 flicked over the screen and I immediately processed my details to capture this extremely cheap fare. I was able to choose my own seat as well which was excellent. I went into town to pay and it was very quick. I soon found myself in the possession of a printed e-ticket on actual plane tickets – ones which I haven’t seen in years!

Yes, my friend Satchmo had to pick up his ticket, too - but that was some years ago. I booked the flight on Travelocity and believe it or not - I got an electronic ticket! However, I won't tell anyone how much I had to pay...it seems SYD-AKL is much more expensive than AKL-SYD.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
It operates the EZE-AKL-SYD route and also EZE-BCN, FCO and MIA routes in a layout of 32 Business and 217 Economy seats.

Where do they send the A343s to? I really hope that AKL and SYD get the A342 ONLY!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
However instead of them being in the aisles, AR decided it was better if they put them in the middle of the centre block, as seen in the picture above! Just imagine getting up in the middle of the night and banging your head on one of those..

Very odd...

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Well, what is there to say about an A340 takeoff? The power of the engines sometimes makes you wonder if you’re even going to get off the ground, hence the word ‘hairdryers’ is a colloquial term for the CFM 56 engines on the A340-200/300 used every now and then on A.Net. Not only that, but they look pretty small in comparison to the fuselage from a distance. Needless to say, the imminent climb out of Auckland after a long takeoff run was at a very shallow attitude and I was thinking to myself that I probably haven’t experienced such a shallow climb over Auckland before.

Interesting to hear that it didn't climb faster on that relatively short flight.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
How about none! I’m truly grateful they had the Airshow function on for the entire flight.

That's all I need.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
The A340-200 is a rare plane. It feels good to know that I’ve flown on one now as they’re getting old. It was one quite interesting experience to say the least.

Their days are numbered, no doubts.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinepugsley From Australia, joined Jan 2010, 187 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 30644 times:

What a great trip report, thank you so much for sharing this experience. I am very Jealous.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
So a queue was formed 40 minutes before actual boarding was made with all these eager passengers willing to get to their seat.

I was in Argentina earlier this year, and that is all Argentinians do. They queue for everything. They que to get into cafe's, they que to get into restraunts, they que at the bus stations, they que at the airport. To the argentinians, they have nothing else to do so they just wait in line until it is their turn. I must say, after one month in argentina, i had no problem joining a que to wait for anything. They are just a laid back country. All i can say is at least they do queue, and not push and shove like some other countries.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The cabin was reminiscent of the Air New Zealand 767 cabin of yesteryear – one projector on the bulkhead and CRT screens scattered down the cabin; ie no PTVs. However instead of them being in the aisles, AR decided it was better if they put them in the middle of the centre block, as seen in the picture above!

I'm by no means an expert, but i think this is common practice on airbus widebodies. The new QF A332's (that do not have the AVOD seats that are progressivly being transfered to JQ) have drop down screens along the center of the cabin only.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
So it was a surprise that we were given something. What we got on our tray was a ham and cheese sandwich and a dessert comprising of biscuit layers with dulce de leche in between the layers. The ham and cheese sandwich was ordinary but enjoyable as I was quite hungry by that stage. The dessert was a complete sugar hit.. There was more dulce de leche than biscuit and it simply oozed out, making it difficult to eat without getting sticky fingers.

This is almost identical to what i got served on LAN earlier this year when i flew AKL-SYD, Lan served a sandwich same as you had, a roll with jam and some fruit and a yoghurt with tea and coffe available. However, I would much prefered to have had your meal. That desert looks amazing. I'm going back to argentina next year, and i can not wait to eat more deserts like the one you were served. Just beautiful.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
They had their own rather unique way of getting passengers to have their seat back in the upright position and tray tables stowed away. People who were still sleeping got their recline button pushed by the flight attendant and the flight attendant also pushed the seat back to the upright position!

I must say, i am a guilty of doing this. Sometimes people do just not wake up, so its just easier to do it your self...


Well, my wife will probably never let me fly aerolinias, so it was great to read this report. While the cabin looks dated, it does not look bad, the seat covers are nice and it looks pleasant. Althought, I read today that aerolineas are looking at flying A346's Direct EZE-SYD starting next year, so the Aerolineas A340 may soon be the next airline to leave AKL, you may have also done this just in time. But who knows if this will actually come to fruition.

Look forward to your return trip report, Great work,
Cheers.



A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A388, BAe146, B717, B733, B734, B735, B73G, B73H, B743, B744, B762, B763, B772, B773
User currently offlineglobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 928 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 30146 times:

Excellent report. I am making the same trek in a few weeks but decided on the EK A380 (my forst 388 experience).


Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6568 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 29966 times:

Excellent report with fantastic pictures, Ncholas! Nice to get a 342 and a for a very low price as well. I know the feeling tking off in a 342/3; it's very, very slow.

Looking forward to your next report!

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 29417 times:

Quoting BNE (Reply 3):
Thanks for the trip report; will have to try and get myself a flight on the AR A340-200 in the near future, thanks for the report.

8:30am is definitely a better departure time than the LAN A340-300 which departs Auckland at 5:50am

Thanks for commenting, BNE! Yes, you do need to get on this flight sometime.

5:50am is super crazy! It's still tempting though as fares are generally cheap as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
what a nice surprise to find the long-awaited AR A342 report! As usual you managed to deliver a high-quality report with many great pictures. Now I know what to expect on that carrier in a few weeks.

Hi PH,

Thanks a lot for your comments! It was great to finally be able to post this report. I wonder how much things will change considering that food would probably be from Sydney. And I guess it also gives you an opportunity to test out the audio which I skipped!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Is it really that bad? Have you heard how they handle cancellations?

There are tonnes of stories from other A.Net members who actually work in the profession, some of them being gate agents. NZ does the ground service for AR.

First of all, they have strikes which have suspended/cancelled flights for at least a week this year.
Take a read through this: AR A340 Grounded In AKL Since 21st Jan (by Hardiwv Jan 23 2010 in Civil Aviation)
I can't actually find the local news clip about this but it mentioned stranded passengers IIRC.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Yes, my friend Satchmo had to pick up his ticket, too - but that was some years ago. I booked the flight on Travelocity and believe it or not - I got an electronic ticket! However, I won't tell anyone how much I had to pay...it seems SYD-AKL is much more expensive than AKL-SYD.

Right, yeah I went through their website as I was sure I could get the cheapest price ($231 was also flashing up but after trying again and again, $131 randomly appeared a few times..). It's strange how flights leaving Australia are always more expensive than when leaving NZ.. You buy a return ticket from NZ and it's usually cheaper than buying a return ticket from Australia.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Where do they send the A343s to? I really hope that AKL and SYD get the A342 ONLY!

I haven't seen any other variant of A340 in AKL from AR, so rest assured that this bird is fixed on this route. I have no idea where they send the A343 to but it looks like the A343 goes to BCN, FCO and MIA and the 744 obviously goes to MAD.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 4):
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
How about none! I’m truly grateful they had the Airshow function on for the entire flight.

That's all I need.

Although it's the old version, it still does the trick!

Quoting pugsley (Reply 5):
What a great trip report, thank you so much for sharing this experience. I am very Jealous.

Hi Pugsley,

Thanks for your comments! It was my pleasure writing this TR.

Quoting pugsley (Reply 5):
I was in Argentina earlier this year, and that is all Argentinians do. They queue for everything. They que to get into cafe's, they que to get into restraunts, they que at the bus stations, they que at the airport. To the argentinians, they have nothing else to do so they just wait in line until it is their turn. I must say, after one month in argentina, i had no problem joining a que to wait for anything. They are just a laid back country. All i can say is at least they do queue, and not push and shove like some other countries.

I must admit that there were quite a lot of Kiwis on the flight, taking one of the cheapest options over the ditch. And a lot of these people were also in the long snake which in the picture stretches for a while! Oh well, suit themselves, I'm much happier waiting around while still being seated!

Quoting pugsley (Reply 5):
I'm by no means an expert, but i think this is common practice on airbus widebodies. The new QF A332's (that do not have the AVOD seats that are progressivly being transfered to JQ) have drop down screens along the center of the cabin only.

Oh, but the A332s don't have CRTs. They have TFT/LCD displays which come down when the FA pushes a button and can be easily retracted. But on AR, they have old style TV screens fixed in the centre!

Here's what you were talking about (taken on a previous flight of mine, Joyrides Down Under Part 4):
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S4ILvZJpauI/AAAAAAAAD9g/0Q4YUcfirsc/s800/IMG_6723edit.jpg

They may still only have these too but compare these pictures with the cabin shots above and you'll see these MASSIVE boxes just hanging from the ceiling!

Quoting pugsley (Reply 5):
This is almost identical to what i got served on LAN earlier this year when i flew AKL-SYD, Lan served a sandwich same as you had, a roll with jam and some fruit and a yoghurt with tea and coffe available. However, I would much prefered to have had your meal. That desert looks amazing. I'm going back to argentina next year, and i can not wait to eat more deserts like the one you were served. Just beautiful.

How interesting. I'd definitely like to try out LA sometime. Who knows when I'll get a chance to but maybe when another airline announces a new route to AKL.

Quoting pugsley (Reply 5):
I must say, i am a guilty of doing this. Sometimes people do just not wake up, so its just easier to do it your self...

Oh, I forgot to add that I think I remember them doing it to EVERYONE who still had their seats reclined. They reached over everyone to hold the button and jerk the seat up. So I was quick to put my seat into an upright position  . Maybe a language barrier could be a reason behind doing that..

Quoting pugsley (Reply 5):
Well, my wife will probably never let me fly aerolinias, so it was great to read this report. While the cabin looks dated, it does not look bad, the seat covers are nice and it looks pleasant. Althought, I read today that aerolineas are looking at flying A346's Direct EZE-SYD starting next year, so the Aerolineas A340 may soon be the next airline to leave AKL, you may have also done this just in time. But who knows if this will actually come to fruition.

Yeah, it wasn't too bad inside. It felt better than some of the JQ cabins I've been in.. Interesting. It'll be missed by spotters in AKL but other than that, I think it has probably caused more problems than anything else.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 6):
Excellent report. I am making the same trek in a few weeks but decided on the EK A380 (my forst 388 experience).

Thanks for commenting Globalflyer! Fair enough, it's one way to get a taste of the A380. I'm quite over the EK A380 on AKL-SYD but that's just me and probably because I've had 3 goes at it, writing a TR for each one. It would have been a toss up if I were in your situation as the A342 is much more rare than the A380.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Excellent report with fantastic pictures, Ncholas! Nice to get a 342 and a for a very low price as well. I know the feeling tking off in a 342/3; it's very, very slow.

Looking forward to your next report!

Thanks for your comments, The777Man! Photos are my strong point, I'm just disappointed that the window was in such bad condition and the lighting wasn't in my favour either. Oh well, it adds to my A342/3 experience.. I can't remember what kind of angle I climbed in for my first A343 flight - I was in 1A looking back at the engines for the entire ascent!


Thanks again guys!

Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26988 posts, RR: 57
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 28890 times:

Great report nice to get an A340 on that route. Nice pics of AKL also.

OA260


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 28537 times:

Hi Nicholas,

Finally the long awaited AR A342 trip report! As always, very nicely written and well-detailed from the start until the finish. All accompanied with the super-quality pictures to enliven the whole experience. Great job!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I went into town to pay and it was very quick. I soon found myself in the possession of a printed e-ticket on actual plane tickets – ones which I haven’t seen in years!

Nice memorabilia for sure. Something you would have not got if the booking engine had allowed the on-line payment and sent your e-ticket right away.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
They had their own rather unique way of getting passengers to have their seat back in the upright position and tray tables stowed away. People who were still sleeping got their recline button pushed by the flight attendant and the flight attendant also pushed the seat back to the upright position! I thought this was funny from my point of view but I can imagine what it’d be like being a passenger being rudely awoken by your chair being pushed up! I must say it wasn’t very professional but it certainly did the job!

Well, the attendant should have tried to awaken the passengers before. However, this action would not be unbecoming for some inconsiderate passengers who are maintaining their seat-back reclined during the meal service for instance.

Thanks for sharing this lovely journey from Down Under.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlinedcajet From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 432 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 28091 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
However instead of them being in the aisles, AR decided it was better if they put them in the middle of the centre block, as seen in the picture above! Just imagine getting up in the middle of the night and banging your head on one of those..

That is the way Airbus widebody planes of that vintage (mid 90s) came off the Toulousse factory, before PTVs in coach became "de rigeur" over the last 10 years.

Regards



"Unattended children will be given espresso and a free kitten"
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 27872 times:

Hello Nicholas, great report!


So it seems that there's quite a variety of exotic airlines with interesting types to choose from, between AKL and SYD. I wish it was the same here in Europe.

AR seem like and interesting airline, and the A340-200 is indeed a rare and interesting type. To be honest I don't like the looks of it very much, looks like a crippled A343.  

Your flight on AR seemed pretty okay, food looked rather generous for a flight of that duration. The crew however didn't seem very nice to me. I suppose that the crews on pretty much all South American, Spanish and Portugueese airlines are rude, guess it has to do with the culture.

The pics were great as usual!  

Thanks for sharing
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 27681 times:

Quoting oa260 (Reply 9):
Great report nice to get an A340 on that route. Nice pics of AKL also.

Thanks for your comments OA260! Yes it was nice to jump on an A340 for this leg.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Finally the long awaited AR A342 trip report! As always, very nicely written and well-detailed from the start until the finish. All accompanied with the super-quality pictures to enliven the whole experience. Great job!

Hi Suryo,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad you enjoyed. I finally made time to write it..

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):
Nice memorabilia for sure. Something you would have not got if the booking engine had allowed the on-line payment and sent your e-ticket right away.

Indeed, however if I lived anywhere else in New Zealand, it may have become an issue and I would have had to use Expedia or something, plus the fare would have probably been quite expensive in comparison to what I was able to snatch.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 10):

Well, the attendant should have tried to awaken the passengers before. However, this action would not be unbecoming for some inconsiderate passengers who are maintaining their seat-back reclined during the meal service for instance.

You're right, you can't really expect to get much sleep on the AKL-SYD route either. Oh, I actually think they did the same procedure as they were serving meals if I think again!

Quoting dcajet (Reply 11):
That is the way Airbus widebody planes of that vintage (mid 90s) came off the Toulousse factory, before PTVs in coach became "de rigeur" over the last 10 years.

Very interesting, thanks for the information. I think Boeing was more clever putting it in the aisles - imagine if you were trying to sleep and you had this big CRT monitor in your face. Also it looks as though the cabin is smaller with these big things dropping down from the middle.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12):
So it seems that there's quite a variety of exotic airlines with interesting types to choose from, between AKL and SYD. I wish it was the same here in Europe.

Hi Jonas,

Thanks for your comments! There is quite a variety (used to be far greater) between AKL and SYD. Currently: NZ: A320, 763, 772; QF: A332, 738; EK: A380; LA: A343; AR: A342; DJ: 738; JQ: A320. I hope I haven't missed any out! Previously we've had: TG: 747; TN: A342/3; QF: 762, 743/4; NZ: 762, 744.. And that's all I can recall from memory/since I've been going to the airport.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12):
To be honest I don't like the looks of it very much, looks like a crippled A343

Haha. Regardless, anything looks better than the A380!  
Quoting LH4116 (Reply 12):
Your flight on AR seemed pretty okay, food looked rather generous for a flight of that duration. The crew however didn't seem very nice to me. I suppose that the crews on pretty much all South American, Spanish and Portugueese airlines are rude, guess it has to do with the culture.

I certainly can't complain for the price I paid. It's hard to put a perspective on what can be deemed 'generous meal servings' when you have EK, NZ and QF all serving proper meals on this sector because those can actually be classified as generous if you compare it to other 3.5 hr flights around the world.

I'd have to fly on another Spanish/Latin American airline before I could come to some sort of conclusion but after reading your TR on TAP, you could be right.


Regards,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineairpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 952 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 27507 times:

Hi Nicholas

Congratulations on making good progress on clearing your backlog of reports!   And what an excellent treat this is mission of yours is. Thanks for this very enjoyable report.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Knowing how rare the A340-200 was, it was quite clear from the beginning that it’d be the preferred option

Excellent choice. The A432 is rare anyway but in these parts, also this airline. Good to see the AKL-SYD route having interesting alternatives like AR and LA.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
went into town to pay and it was very quick. I soon found myself in the possession of a printed e-ticket on actual plane tickets – ones which I haven’t seen in years!

Fantastic! Treasure them. They'll be framed as display items one day.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
CRT screens scattered down the cabin; ie no PTVs. However instead of them being in the aisles, AR decided it was better if they put them in the middle of the centre block, as seen in the picture above! Just imagine getting up in the middle of the night and banging your head on one of those..

I think these used to be quite standard on the A330/340s - I'm sure I've seen them on MH, TG and maybe CX too in the early days.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
Can you guess what movie/programme was showing? How about none! I’m truly grateful they had the Airshow function on for the entire flight.

You're lucky you had the Airshow. But what a contrast to your EK flights!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 2):
What we got on our tray was a ham and cheese sandwich and a dessert comprising of biscuit layers with dulce de leche in between the layers.

That's a pretty weak offering for a breakfast, isn't it?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 1):
We were heading straight for the airport and we suddenly took a turn to the north – take a look at the GPS map above. I guess that seeing it’s a big airport, there needs to be some sort of pattern?

That's quite a detour. It's standard I presume?

Thanks again for this great report and look forward to the return.  

Cheers,
airpearl


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8542 posts, RR: 54
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 27378 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Nicholas,

Knowing you have flowen this machine I've eagrly been awaiting yout TR  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
This will cover the flight from Auckland to Sydney on an Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200.

- Thank goodness they never subbed a -300!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I soon found myself in the possession of a printed e-ticket on actual plane tickets %u2013 ones which I haven%u2019t seen in years!

- Wow, I remember those, ah the good old days along with colour on boarding passes!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
The Business Class seats looked quite nice but the seats were very old, especially for long haul standards these days

- Whist they look in pretty good shape I'd not want to do a long haul flight in them, too spoilt these days.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
They had a very strange way of serving the meals and they actually served the meals over the seat in front rather than along the row. It was quite strange to see a meal appearing from above the person sitting in 16H rather than directly from the aisle!

- How odd, never seen that typr of serving before.

All being well I'll get on a SAA A340-200 by year end, from Feb next year they are being replaced by the A330-200 on the route to LHR.

Looking forward to your -500 ride.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineAeroflot001 From Argentina, joined Oct 2009, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 27364 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
So a queue was formed 40 minutes before actual boarding was made with all these eager passengers willing to get to their seat.

Yea as much as I love Argentineans one thing they suck at is waiting, especially for airplanes  

Happens all the time at MIA "Ladies and Gentleman we would like to welcome you onboard American flight 909 nonstop to Buenos Aires at this time wed like to welcome onboard our First Class... Eeveryone is up and there is a huge mob at the door blocking the passage and usually the AAgents dont really seem to fend them of however they dont let them board either.

Anyhow a great trip report on this somewhat unique route.

Gracias!


User currently offlineZK-NBT From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 5331 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 27146 times:

Cool report!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 8):
I haven't seen any other variant of A340 in AKL from AR, so rest assured that this bird is fixed on this route.

The 343s have been to AKL a handful of times! I've not been spotting though at the times they have come in and there isn't any photos online that I'm aware of.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 26724 times:

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
Congratulations on making good progress on clearing your backlog of reports! And what an excellent treat this is mission of yours is. Thanks for this very enjoyable report.

Hi Airpearl,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad you enjoyed.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):

Excellent choice. The A432 is rare anyway but in these parts, also this airline. Good to see the AKL-SYD route having interesting alternatives like AR and LA.

It's great having such a variety.. A few years ago, there would have been no way on earth I'd come to think on flying these airlines! Since then, times have changed! The inner 'joyrider' has got his way  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
Fantastic! Treasure them. They'll be framed as display items one day.

I reckon that'll be the last one of those I'll ever get. Stored at the moment with all my other boarding passes etc and in a safe place!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
I think these used to be quite standard on the A330/340s - I'm sure I've seen them on MH, TG and maybe CX too in the early days.

True, I've just never flown such an old Airbus before. I had a look on A.Net for pictures and sure enough, the widebodies had these. Yes, definitely CX as this bird first flew with them  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
You're lucky you had the Airshow. But what a contrast to your EK flights!

Most definitely. I think taking a flight on DJ or JQ to Sydney would be the ultimate contrast to EK but this will suffice as a blast from the past!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
That's a pretty weak offering for a breakfast, isn't it?

It all comes down to who you compare AR with. Their airfares (along with LA's) are generally consistently cheaper than any of the other full service airlines and actually more inline with the LCCs. Considering this, I'm not too disappointed with their offering but once you start comparing it to what you would receive on EK, NZ and QF, you'd consider this meal as insufficient and weak.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 14):
That's quite a detour. It's standard I presume?

Taken from my Joyrides Part 2 EK A380 flight:
http://lh4.ggpht.com/_cYYIjMZbEQA/S0W6hCkWvuI/AAAAAAAADW0/LUEjwwV6z_E/s800/IMG_5246edit.jpg

I have no explanation for these funny deviations whatsoever!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
Knowing you have flowen this machine I've eagrly been awaiting yout TR

Hi Mark,

I think a whole lot of people on the forum have been! Hope it wasn't too bad   Thanks for your comments!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
- Thank goodness they never subbed a -300!

Haha, I have no idea how often they come to AKL but it would be more of a prediction on my part that either the plane would be delayed/cancelled or even be on time than be switched for a -300!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
Wow, I remember those, ah the good old days along with colour on boarding passes!

And look what we've got now.. Supermarket dockets, flimsy as pieces of paper.. Man I miss the days of always getting big boarding passes - the ones with the magnetic strip at the back of them.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
Whist they look in pretty good shape I'd not want to do a long haul flight in them, too spoilt these days.

You sure are! Judging by these seats, they look just as comfortable as the Business Class seats I have sitting next to me right now.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 15):
All being well I'll get on a SAA A340-200 by year end, from Feb next year they are being replaced by the A330-200 on the route to LHR.

Looking forward to reading this one!

Quoting Aeroflot001 (Reply 16):
Yea as much as I love Argentineans one thing they suck at is waiting, especially for airplanes

Happens all the time at MIA "Ladies and Gentleman we would like to welcome you onboard American flight 909 nonstop to Buenos Aires at this time wed like to welcome onboard our First Class... Eeveryone is up and there is a huge mob at the door blocking the passage and usually the AAgents dont really seem to fend them of however they dont let them board either.

Anyhow a great trip report on this somewhat unique route.

Thanks for your comments Aeroflot001! It's pretty funny, all the locals joined the scrum to get onboard. No wonder they don't bother calling up everyone else after they call for 'families with young kids and others who need assistance'.. They're already there!

Quoting ZK-NBT (Reply 17):
The 343s have been to AKL a handful of times! I've not been spotting though at the times they have come in and there isn't any photos online that I'm aware of.

Thanks for commenting ZK-NBT! Indeed, I've never seen one myself and it doesn't seem too common. I wonder if they'll send a 744 here for the RWC.


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2472 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 26516 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 13):
I would have had to use Expedia or something, plus the fare would have probably been quite expensive in comparison to what I was able to snatch.

I think you are right. Just done some researching and the cheapest I can find is EUR 125.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 13):
Oh, I actually think they did the same procedure as they were serving meals if I think again!

Good to know they were consistent. 

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 26256 times:

Nicholas,

An excellent TR, that i was losing some sleep waiting for it   And it was well worth the wait!!!

I LOVE the A342, and i would love to fly this airline but it is not so easy to get a hold of in my part of the world. However, Royal Jordanian's was a great treat!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Auckland has been known to attract A340s from various airlines over the past decade. Aerolineas Argentinas fly the A340-200, Cathay Pacific, Lan Chile and Air Tahiti Nui operate the A340-300, Emirates bring the A340-500 and Thai used to operate both the A340-500

Never thought of that before. That's a reason in its own to get me there!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
This will cover the flight from Auckland to Sydney on an Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200.

YaY! Finally!!!  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
My Ride Today

The A342 looks a little out of balance, similar to the A380.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
However instead of them being in the aisles, AR decided it was better if they put them in the middle of the centre block, as seen in the picture above! Just imagine getting up in the middle of the night and banging your head on one of those..

That is quite common with the older Airbus widebodies. And i have seen many bang their heads on one of those!  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Legroom

This is excellent legroom! These older 'off-beat' airlines always seem to offer great legroom i must say!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Well, what is there to say about an A340 takeoff? The power of the engines sometimes makes you wonder if you’re even going to get off the ground, hence the word ‘hairdryers’ is a colloquial term for the CFM 56 engines on the A340-200/300 used every now and then on A.Net. Not only that, but they look pretty small in comparison to the fuselage from a distance. Needless to say, the imminent climb out of Auckland after a long takeoff run was at a very shallow attitude and I was thinking to myself that I probably haven’t experienced such a shallow climb over Auckland before.

I know a lot of people hate this about the A340, but i kinda like it. Especially in fully loaded A345! Gosh that thing never leaves the ground!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
It was quite strange to see a meal appearing from above the person sitting in 16H rather than directly from the aisle!

LOL. Haven't seen that happen before. Very strange indeed.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Dulce De Leche

Looks very tasty! Though the rest of the meal didn't.

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I said ‘Muchas gracias’ in my extremely limited Spanish vocab to one of the flight attendants on the way out.

LOL!


Thanks a lot for sharing this with Nicholas! Glad you managed to pull it together   ...

Looking forward to the A345 now! hehe


Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 26058 times:

Quoting akhmad (Reply 19):
Good to know they were consistent.

Haha, yeah!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
An excellent TR, that i was losing some sleep waiting for it And it was well worth the wait!!!

Hi Roni,

Thanks a lot for your comments! Glad it was worth the wait   LOL I couldn't imagine someone losing sleep over my reports  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
I LOVE the A342, and i would love to fly this airline but it is not so easy to get a hold of in my part of the world. However, Royal Jordanian's was a great treat!

What route did you manage to fly on RJ? From what Mark posted above, he'll be on the SAA one before they sub it out of the LHR-JNB route. Seems like options are running out quickly to be able to get back on one of them. Their days are certainly numbered.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):

Never thought of that before. That's a reason in its own to get me there!

Picking the right day to be at the airport is another thing. If you're at the airport early enough, you might see the same plane passing through again as it comes back from Sydney!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
The A342 looks a little out of balance, similar to the A380.

In the same way the A345 does too.. At least with the A345, the engine size is a little more comparable to the A380 and much better looking than the A342.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
And i have seen many bang their heads on one of those!

That's gotta hurt!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
This is excellent legroom! These older 'off-beat' airlines always seem to offer great legroom i must say!

What they don't provide in service/IFE is balanced with more than sufficient legroom. I like to see it as some kind of trade-off anyway  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
I know a lot of people hate this about the A340, but i kinda like it. Especially in fully loaded A345! Gosh that thing never leaves the ground!

Yet it simply floats off the ground in a similar style to the A380. It's wonderful and gives a different feeling to the force of the 777.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
Looks very tasty! Though the rest of the meal didn't

It wasn't too bad. Bread might have been a little on the dry side but at least it was edible!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 20):
Glad you managed to pull it together ...

Looking forward to the A345 now! hehe

Don't remind me I have another few TRs to do! Not sure if I'll manage to get it up before November but I could get lucky. Please don't lose sleep over waiting for this report  
I really wish I was able to complete it now, especially a little while before they remove the A345 from all East Coast Australia/NZ services (last one being 31 Dec EK434 DXB-BNE-AKL).


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineronerone From Jordan, joined Aug 2004, 1663 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 26013 times:

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 21):
What route did you manage to fly on RJ?

AMM-DXB (Trip Report)

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 21):
In the same way the A345 does too

You think so? I found the A343/A345/A346 all to be reasonably balanced  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 21):
Don't remind me I have another few TRs to do!

You know what? i am actually so happy that i have officially cleared my backlog! Anything i have not done is now officially un-TR-able  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 21):
Please don't lose sleep over waiting for this report

LOL. I will try my best not to!


Cheers,
Roni



A Stop Away From One-Stop, Is Non-Stop : Airbus A340-500
User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6430 posts, RR: 38
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 25766 times:

Quoting ronerone (Reply 22):
You think so? I found the A343/A345/A346 all to be reasonably balanced

Back in the day when the A345 was still brand new, I ventured out to the airport quite often and it used to come into Gate 2 at AKL (still did this year too). From the position I was in, it seemed as though they were quite similar:


MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Nicholas Young
MyAviation.net photo:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photo © Nicholas Young



So I guess I've maintained that thought all along. I still think the A343 needs bigger engines and that's where the A345 comes into it.. I think I'd like it to be a touch longer because the A346 is a bit too long. Just my opinion! But the A345 is the better looking one out of them all.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 22):
You know what? i am actually so happy that i have officially cleared my backlog! Anything i have not done is now officially un-TR-able

Is that because you haven't been flying enough for your liking?  
Maybe 2 more for me to go on my backlog but there are no upcoming flights planned for me until at least January!


Cheers,
Nicholas



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1413 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 25685 times:

Hi Nicholas,

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I decided to pre-clear myself for Australian Immigration to save me a minute upon arrival in Sydney. It’s a great invention and I’m glad I do have a chipped passport.

A nice invention indeed!

Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
Anyway, it beats me as to why you’d want to stand up and wait in the queue like that! It’s not like there aren’t enough seats for everyone either..

Oh that behavior of people I can't understand as well, just relax and sit down seems to be difficult for them  
Quoting NZ107 (Thread starter):
I must say it wasn’t very professional but it certainly did the job!

Haha, a truly great way for you to observe, however from a customer perspective not really the way you'd want to be woken up.

Thanks for sharing this excellent trip-report!



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
25 Post contains images abrelosojos : Good to see you on a roll with TR-writing . Excellent as always! Your AR experience seems consistent with others - I personally, have had good experie
26 globetraveller : Hey Nicholas, Thank you for another excellent trip report. I really like the Google Maps GPS tracking you did over AKL and SYD - impressive detail. As
27 Post contains images NZ107 : Thanks for your comments Severnaya! Makes me wonder if half the passengers suffer from ADHD Indeed. I probably wouldn't sleep that much on a morning
28 767747 : Great report, Nicholas! Nice to read about about an interesting airline which you don't hear much about! Looks like you had a decent flight with them
29 FLIEGER67 : Hey, Nicholas, what a nice Saturday morning read. Great catch that AR A342, the airline and the machine not that easy to do these days. Also really we
30 NZ107 : Hi Matthew, Thanks for your commenting! That's what this forum is all about! It's great to get perspectives of airlines from far-fetched lands and it
31 Post contains images abrelosojos : = . = Part of it is "cultural". A lot of people have had negative "un-caring" attitudes on IB, AR, etc. For me, AR has always been really really good
32 777ER : Nice report. Being in WLG certainly has its disadvantages considering what exotic flights depart from AKL in the early morning. Certainly wish NZs fli
33 airbuseric : Hi, Nicholas, finally my turn to reply. Didn't have the time to do so earlier. And I also must admit, it's great work again. Of course the pictures as
34 Post contains images NZ107 : Very interesting. I guess a language barrier plays some role in this too, a lot of the passengers seemed as though they were from New Zealand, thus n
35 Post contains images PlaneHunter : I guess I will stick to my MP3 player... Come on, you could have written something more positive. It seems I should have a plan B... Be careful, you
36 Marambio : Hello Nicholas, Nice trip report. I flew EZE-AKL-SYD and back in 2006 and my experience was quite similar to yours. Regarding the TV sets' location, t
37 NZ107 : Hi again PH, Yep, don't forget that or you'll either be resting, staring at the airshow or wandering around the cabin aimlessly (which is quite small
38 PlaneHunter : Tiger is in my itinerary, too. Another carrier known for delays and cancellations? PH
39 NZ107 : Very much so. The worst out of all the carriers in this region. I've given up on even wanting to try them and my experience with them is enough to go
40 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Great. Well, I'll leave BNE on Tiger on 8 October and need to catch the AR flight two days later. I could still try to get a QF or DJ flight - or a t
41 NZ107 : And I wouldn't be choosing DJ either after their check-in fiasco over the weekend! I guess Qantas remains the most reliable airline in Australia and
42 vhsmm : Great trip report. I flew on this flight from AKL to SYD in J class a couple of years ago. I don't remember much of the flight, as I was returning fro
43 ZKCIF : Having traveled a lot in South America including AR I found the FA were doing it as an act of friendliness: this might be a chance to let you sleep f
44 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Hi Nicholas, just had a look at your pictures again - interesting to see how different the seat design is on LV-ZPO and LV-ZPX. Ah, sounds familiar...
45 NZ107 : Hi PH, Indeed it is.. Which makes me wonder if the photographer in the A.Net database actually got the registration wrong for one of the cabin picture
46 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Good question... Well, don't expect that anytime soon...hopefully it will be online before 2011. PH
47 mainMAN : Cheers NZ107 for an interesting report. I too booked AR between ALK and SYD last year, just for the novelty factor, but never completed the purchase a
48 Post contains images NZ107 : Sounds like quite some backlog Thanks for your comments, mainMAN! Indeed, it wouldn't have been nice to end up having either a massive delay or even
49 MSS658 : Nice trip report! It's fun to read a trip report from a rather exotic (at least in Europe or Australia) airline on a rare aircraft type.
50 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Yes, probably a wise decision. My recent AR flight between SYD and AKL was almost two hours late. But my final destination was AKL on that day, so I
51 Avianca : very intersting report, AR is basically the only main carrier in SouthAmerica wich is still not used... still as I have a flight booked in 4 weeks. we
52 NZ107 : Thanks, MSS658! It was a pleasure writing it. Thanks for your comments Avianca! Good to know that your experience on AR will be a new one! That's pre
53 PlaneHunter : That sounds quite bad. Yes, exactly my thought. PH
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