TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 21 Posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2164 times:
This trip was a couple of months ago, so I won't go overboard. It was originally planned for mid-September, but had to be cancelled for obvious reasons, and was taken up late Jan/early Feb.
1) SYD-PER; QF518; Y Class Mon 28 Jan
The dreaded red-eye for the 3h30m leg to Sydney. Operated by a 744 doing a domestic leg, which helped.
SEATS: My wife and I were seated in the first row of Y, immediately behind the crew rests seats, making it a bit claustrophobic. We had been given H&K, with the middle seat free, but a couple of last-minute pax turned up, so it was a full flight, and we had someone between us. Don't you hate that? Seats were firm, but after about half an hour the firm backs were actually quite comfortable.
MEAL: Just the Qantas box with a ham and salad roll, OJ, cake, etc., which was OK for midnight. Nothing else the entire flight.
ENTERTAINMENT: Just the cabin screen on this a/c, and unfortunately the one we faced had projection problems. The movie was "Serendipity" (was that the ONLY movie anyone showed in January??), but it looked like it was in 3D, with 2 completely separate images, one on the screen, and one half on the screen and half on the wall. Tried to sleep instead.
CREW: Very perfunctory. Handed out the meal in a hurry, collected the boxes in a hurry, and vanished. I've heard of unobtrusive service, but this was almost invisible, even for a red-eye.
FLIGHT: Smooth and on time.
VERDICT: 2 STARS (OUT OF 5)
SYD-LAX; NZ14; Wed 30 Jan; J Class
My first flight on NZ and I was looking forward to it, as I had flown a number of the Star Alliance carriers previously.
SEATS: Standard 50-inch pitch, comfortable seats and good recline, although the footrests didn't extend upwards far enough, giving your legs a distinct downwards slops. Upper deck, second back row.
MEAL: Strange situation; the 13-hour flight left Sydney just before midday and arrived in LAX at 0615 (local times). J Class was offered lunch and breakfast, while Y received lunch and dinner, no breakfast, not even a juice. Guess this was because of the logistics of serving a Y breakast at an early hour - but as the crew had a long stretch of night-time flying, it could have been done with an early start, instead of dinner. A Y passenger I talked to on arrival said she would really have enjoyed something to eat or dring before landing. The J lunch was good, without being great: - appetiser of king prawns, mains of fillet steak or orange roughy or roasted chicken; dessert of brandy and fig ice cream or chocolate and almond torte; plus cheese, fruit, etc. Nice selection of NZ and Australian wines.
Breakfast was a continental fruit and breads selection; choice of omlette, mushroom ragout or orange brioche toast. Sounds better than it tasted, and the service wasn't too good - very rushed.
AMENITIES: Really nice amenities pack in a reusable toilet bag, and containing local conditioners, balms, etc made from natural ingredients, plus the usual toothbrush, etc. Very nice! Strangely, there were no blankets on the seats or in the lockers, and none were offered - bad oversight.
ENTERTAINMENT: More Serendipity, of course. The NZ system in J has in-seat PTVs, but they show movies in two cycles, one after the other. if all your favourites are on Cycle 1, you have to watch one, wait more than two hours for the next cycle to finish, and then catch up with something else you like. Bit of a pain, but it's OK if you like movies on both cycles (I didn't).
CREW: Bit like QF - feed 'em and vanish. This was particularly noticeable with the very late and extremely rushed breakfast service. Was VERY surprised to see that, when they fed and watered the cockpit crew, they left the door open.
FLIGHT: Has anyone ever flown SYD-LAX without bumps? It was rough from Fiji to way past Honolulu, with the worst turbulence over the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the night. But I guess it's always like that.
Arrived on time, and feeling a bit washed out - jet lag always affects me more flying west to east.
VERDICT: 3 Stars (out of 5) from me, 2 from my wife.
LAX-SYD; NZ15; Fri 8 Feb; J Class
What a difference a crew can make, as the next two flights show.
SEATS:Upper deck again, third front row. Some hoon in the front row decided he really needed the overhead bins for the first three rows, so I had to remove his bags.
FOOD: Dinner and breakfast this time. dinner appetiser of blue crab cake followed by main course selection of ginger sesame beef, or orange roughy or roasted chicken (deja vu), and dessert of ice cream or apricot pistachio bavarian creme, cheese and fruit, etc. Very nice! The two flight attendants were senior (older) men, and they were excellent. They knew the wines and recommended them (including a really nice McWilliams Barwang Cab Sauv), and a Botrytis Semillon dessert wine.
Air NZ also has a sandwich selection available overnight if you want to go to the galley and help yourself. Unfortunately, they don't tell you this, and it's only written in v-e-r-y small print at the bottom of the menu where you really don't notice it. Anyway, I managed to find out about it, and grabbed a few sangers in the middle of the night. Ate 2, and left one on the armrest while I dozed off. About an hour later, when I woke, it was like concrete. Boy that aircon msut be strong!
Breakfast was the continental selection plus omlette or waffles, bacon and syrup, or scrambled eggs (yum). really nice.
AMENITIES: Same as before, but this time blankets and nice big pillows were on the seats when we boarded.
ENTERTAINMENT: Good movies on both cycles this time, although I didn't watch too many. Most people only seemed to doze intermittently, rather than sleep, but I think it's a bit rude to have lights or screens on all night (or rather my wife does!)
CREW: Wonderful. Helpful, friendly and efficient. breakfast was leisurely, even with only the two guys serving (on the way over, it took 3 people at the run to serve us.) There was always one crew member in the cabin, while the other rested.
FLIGHT: Same bumps in the same places. Arrived to a great Sydney morning on schedule, after a pleasant 14 hours with Air New Zealand.
VERDICT: 4 STARS.
SYD-PER: QF575; 13 Feb; Y Class
We were seated in the main deck business class cabin on the 744. when QF uses the international 744 on domestic routes, it sometimes uses the First Class cabin and Upper Deck for domestic Business Class, and the main deck business class cabin for economy (usually for full-fare or club members). Irrespective of where you are seated, you get the service you booked, so although we were in J seats (with full 50-inch pitch), we still received economy meals, etc. The crew was great, attentive and friendly. Breakfast was good and hearty, and served properly, not in a box. The Cabin Service Manager came around and greeted all Club members by name during the flight and spoke to them. We had the advantage of in-seat PTVs being in international J Class seats, so caught up on more movies. Loved "Bandits" and "Riding in Cars with Boys". (But have you ever noticed that you can love a movie on a plane, but not be so impressed when you watch it later in a theatre or video?)
Landed back in Perth on time after a great trip. While in the USA, had several flights on Southwest, and, for a discount carrier was really impressed. Booked deep discount fares through the internet, and it all worked out fine. Flew into Oakland and stayed at the Holiday inn there, commuting to San Francisco by BART.
Wow, security is high at airports, on trains and in stores, as well as at places like Disneyland and the other resorts.
Hated the plastic cutlery on the flights, especially in J Class (what a snob!!), but I must say, the QF plastic in Y was better than the really cheap NZ plastic in J!
But it was great to see California again (the "Soaring Over California" ride at Disneyland's California Adventure is just awesome), and to fly QF, NZ and WN.
Thanks for perservering this far!
Ryanair!!! From Singapore, joined Mar 2002, 4652 posts, RR: 27 Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1977 times:
excellent read... u get a 5-star vote from me! I have flown QF about 4 - 5 times in my lifetime so far and they didn't really impress me all those times. Mediocre service and the disappearing act ruled those flights. All those sectors were 7+hour flights between Singapore and Sydney.
So it's good that you had a good QF flight. Even my Aussie friends don't have good things to say about QF. I wonder why? On the other hand, I found Ansett to be a outstanding carrier in terms of ground and cabin service. Flew them a lot between MEL and SYD, BNE and ROK (BAe 146s are very comfortable a/c! CRJs of Kendell are very cool too!). Unfortunately they are not around anymore, miss them terribly!
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
TG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 11 Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 1931 times:
While airlines appreciate your interest, if you ever fly on Air NZ in the future, please *please* ask the crew if you make take a safety card/whatever else you want, rather than just take it. I was very disturbed to note that you removed more than one safety card in your last trip report without telling anyone.
If you remove a safety card, don't tell the crew, and the next cleaners/crew overlooked the fact it was missing, and an emergency occurred, you could in theory be responsible for someone's death.
Sorry to be such a killjoy, but .. it's true.
And great report TNboy! What a difference a crew makes indeed!
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 21 Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 1932 times:
Thanks guys. Rated the QF SYD-PER sector 3.5 stars. When Qantas want to be good, they can be very good, but there are other times....!
Hope you are feeling chastised, Cabincrewboy! I was actually pretty good, just took the (complimentary) inflight magazine, a toothbrush, menu cards (pretty ordinary - just a single sheet) and asked for some stationery - also fairly ordinary, not as good as SQ. Couldn't fit the blanket in my case (ONLY JOKING!!!!). And you are right about the anal baggage guy, UALbrat, I wish airlines were more diligent about the carry-on rule. There's always someone who will get around it.
And another snippet: on NZ, I was ordering the desserts, and said "We'll have one of each", meaning one for me and one for my wife. The FA thought I must have meant that I wanted one of each for myself, because I got a nice little lecture on how they only had enough for one per person, SIR. I kept my cool and explained that we actually wanted one for me and one for my wife, and I wasn't being greedy. He was quite OK after that. In contrast, on an Ansett international flight one time, there were only 2 business class pax, and I was having a hard time choosing which dessert, so the FA gave me all three. Now THAT's service!
Kaitakfan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1585 posts, RR: 7 Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 1918 times:
I too was shown that stupid serendepidity movie in jan going to London and on all my flights in America. And yes everytime I fly the LAX/SFO-SYD flight there is always alot of bumps over the equator. That is the most active region on earth for thunderstorm activity! Nice job on the report once again!
a friend of mine was crewing the flight and I did take it with his permission. But c'mon once is only once!
Whilst i did mention the notion of safety cards aboard Qantas in all of my reports, this is mainly because Qantas has actually changed their safety cards since last time i have flown and from the 1st of April have prepared a special overwing exit 767 safety card for the pax seated in that seat. Have a view of my last trip report
Infact if you did know me and my stance on this issue, i actually find it abhored that people take safety cards off the airplane without asking and even worse they and profit from this. On a post in the aviation forum,
I am actually fully supportive of another member (Braniff Place) who says it sickens him how ppl take this sort of thing. Read what i said on this issue on the link above. I actually have a standing joke with TNboy about airline memrobaelia in particular the lunchboxes!
Whilst I admit to taking the lunch boxes, and playing cards, these items naturally must be given or collected by the crew and so it is only natural to ask for their permission to give them. Most just giggle and say "Of course you can have it" On my UA862/863 trip, your comment regarding the cologne was not true as this was part of an amenity kit given to me by the crew.
Finally TG992, i am actually very impressed with the quality of posts and information that you bring to all the forums you are involved in. I actually have you on my respected list. I am 100% against taking safety cards off planes without asking and more against profiteering from selling them.
That is just disgusting and i do not see the point in it.
I sincerely hope that people do not view my posts or ideas as any less now that i feel my honesty/creditibility has been questioned.
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 21 Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 1897 times:
Hey, Tim, you're one of the good guys, and I'm sure your honesty and credibility are still right up there.
However, I understand that a Qantas audit has come up with a deficit of 2 empty lunchboxes. Maybe if you replace them next time, they will say no more about it.
Keep smiling, mate.
TG992 From New Zealand, joined Jan 2001, 2910 posts, RR: 11 Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 1894 times:
I humbly grovel in apology for my heinous error. I just had the general impression that you were a safety card nicker (you know how sometimes you half read something and get the wrong impression..) and I now know that's not the case!
If you collect airline stuff, email me your address and tell me what in particular you collect!
All readers be aware: CABINCREWBOY is NOT A SAFETY CARD STEALER!
BNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3156 posts, RR: 13 Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1853 times:
Booked deep discount fares through the internet, and it all worked out fine. Flew into Oakland and stayed at the Holiday inn there, commuting to San Francisco by BART.
So how was Southwest, thinking of travelling them myself in Octobert, American Airliners will give me the points but would like to experience Southwest.
How far away time wise is Oakland away from San Franciso, was the Holiday Inn close to BART.
Most of my flights across the Pacific have been smooth except for one time that nice bit of chop near Hawaii, the whole plane was in a happy mood until we hit it and then the atsomphere just wasn't the same after that, I guess everybody realised they needed the sleep.
TNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 21 Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1854 times:
Speaking from Perth, I will tell you what I know - but I'm sure some San Franciscans or Oaklanders will have more knowledge. There were 2 Holiday Inns, one just by the airport, and the other about 3 miles away, which offered complimentary airport transfers (just pick up the phone), and complimentary BART transfers. The BART transfers were a bit spasmodic, and took second priority to airport transfers, but I walked it easily in 20 minutes - usually quicker than the combined wait and bus trip. The train service was very regular and excellent, once you get used to your ears popping as you go underwater, and the armed police everywhere. A number of downtown locations are served by the train, and we used to get off the train and straight on the cable car or bus.
Southwest was great, and at the present time, there's a big advantage in flying in and out of the smaller airports in terms of security delays, etc.
I have more info, so if you like, drop me an email, and I will answer any queries as best I can, and give you contact details for further info, without boring the pants off everyone here.
BNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3156 posts, RR: 13 Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1827 times:
Thanks Bill what you posted was enough, the LAX-OAK AA schedules are on small planes so looks like Southwest would be good idea. I have also found that motel prices in Oakland will be a little cheaper than in San Francisco, so the holiday inn may be worth looking into thanks.