QF 8: DFW-BNE-SYD
Schedule departure from DFW: 10:00pm
Actual departure 12:20am
After several months of waiting and anticipation, it was time to go to DFW and fly to Sydney. This would be my first time on Qantas and to Australia. I checked in a few hours before flight time and wandered the international concourse for a bit. The 747-400 was visible in a parking stand not too far from the assigned gate. I watched as it was towed to the gate. As it got dark and boarding time approached, I noticed that it was half an hour to boarding, nothing had happened yet. There was one passenger in a wheelchair waiting to board, but no activity. Then, an announcement was made that the plane was too hot after sitting out in 100F+ weather, and the pilot had to run the engines to cool it down to an acceptable level. They estimated another 20 minutes, yet advised that business class passengers could return to the lounge. This, and the fact that they seated the wheelchair passenger in the waiting area was a clue that 20 minutes was not likely. After 40 minutes, the staff begain circulating through the gate area informing passengers that it would probably only be another 20 minutes. One guy near me challenged a staff member stating that he did not believe her, because 20 minute increments seemed to come and go. I silently wondered about the heat problem myself, but pondered how June had been an especially hot month with several 100F+ days. Yet, the flight had been on time for the most part for June. I wondered how flights prior to this one had avoided the delay. Finally, around midnight, the plane was boarded. I noticed that the coach section was completely full. This was contrary to the rumor that several seats (up to 50?) were being blocked in order to ensure that the plane would have enough fuel to reach Brisbane. After running the engine to cool the plane to an acceptable level, it was necessary to refuel. I had aisle seat 67D to ensure I would have no problem getting up on the 15 hour flight. Normally, I like the window, but did not relish the idea of having to awaken two strangers to get out to the aisle. Pushback occurred at 12:20am and takeoff followed at 12:30. Not long after takeoff, the first meal was served. After that, most people attempted to sleep for a while. A snack bag with water, chocolates, chips, and a cookie was passed out shortly after the meal. The route itself went over El Paso, down to Mexico, entering the Pacific over the Baja peninsula, and then continuing well south of Hawaii. It did not appear that any major island groups were near until the plane reached an area close to Fiji and then New Caledonia. A breakfast was served about three hours from Brisbane. Upon arrival to BNE, all passengers had to exit the aircraft with all carry on luggage, even those continuing on to Sydney.
July 4, 2011
The arrival time to Brisbane was 7:00am, 2 hours after the scheduled arrival time. Upon deplaning, I discovered it was not as simple a matter as getting back to the gate and waiting to continue on the last leg. A trip through security was required. This posed a problem for me, because I still had water in my Nalgene bottle from the long flight. I either had to find a place to dump it out or discard it. Since the bottles are not cheap, I finally dumped my dangerous water down the restroom sink and reassembled the small bag of liquids. After clearing security, I finally made my way back to the gate. Many of the passengers had connections in Brisbane, and according to the flight crew, were already rebooked from the flights they had missed. I did happen to see the immigration area, and noted that the lines were very long there. In hindsight, I can now say that a DFW-LAX-SYD routing might be preferred to this one IF both flights were in and out of Terminal 4 in LAX. It would avoid the security issue, and the hot plane issue. Another passentger was fairly upset at security, because she had bought some duty free wine, and had no idea that she would have to go through security. She stated that the flight was advertised and sold as a “direct flight” from DFW to SYD with one stop. I felt she had a valid point, but do not know how her situation was resolved.
Back at the gate, the departure time was set for 8:05, but we did not take off until 8:30am. The last leg had several open seats, so I moved to the window after ensuring that everyone had boarded. Flying time was at an hour and 10 minutes. I was really surprised that a breakfast was served on this flight. To all of you Aussies, if you fly any domestic routes within the US, you will see why I was surprised by this. The scenic flight crossed over the Great Dividing Range, and descended just to the north of Sydney harbor. I was fortunate to be on the side of the airplane where the city could be seen, along with its most famous landmarks. The airport also came into view. We continued south before turning back up the coast for the final approach, which offered a good view of Botany Bay. Immigration and customs was not crowded at all. The bag also appeared in a timely fashion. Therefore it did not take long to find the train station and enter the city.
July 8, 2011
Skd departure from SYD: 1:25pm
Actual takeoff: 2:23pm
After a fairly short holiday, I had to make my way back to the airport and prepare for the nonstop to DFW. The train was the preferred mode of transportation to the international terminal. The check in line served two flights, and it was not that long. I decided to go to the observation area and spot some planes for a while. This offered a good sampling of carriers from four continents. After that, I went to the duty free area and then ate lunch at the McDonalds. After taking a few photos, I went towards the gate. As I neared the gate, I saw an area of seats that looked like it was overflowing. Just ahead were gates 8 (QF 11 to LAX) and 9 (QF 7 to DFW). I was hoping that those gates were not as crowded, but it turned out that the area beyond was roped off, and the area I saw was actually the waiting area for both flights. So, I stood for a little while near the “holding tank.” The passageway was opened up for those going to LAX, and this seemed to relieve the congestion. As our boarding time approached, I noticed that DFW passengers were still not being allowed past the checkpoint to the gate. It was announced that a security sweep was being made, and a short delay would occur. Again, I though silently to myself about the fairly decent SYD-DFW on time performance for flight 7 and pondered how the previous flights managed to avoid this delay. After all, the aircraft had been at that gate for at least a couple of hours (I had seen it from the observation deck). We did board and push back about 40 minutes late. Despite this, the pilot informed us the return flight would be a short 14 hours that would actually get us in close to on time. Ultimately this did turn out to be the case as we arrived at 2pm whith a scheduled arrival of 1:50pm. Again, I had an aisle seat 71D, and coach was once again completely full. The route took us not far from the north island of New Zealand and then to the south of Fiji. I would venture to say that we were not incredibly far from Tahiti at one point. Hawaii remained very far to the north. Landfall occurred at the Baja peninsula of Mexico, and entry into the US occurred a little to the east of El Paso. If I had a window seat on the left, Guadalupe Peak, the highest in Texas, would have been plainly visible. The landing was to the south, so it would have offered the viewers at Founders Plaza a good sight. Two meals were also served on this flight in addition to the snack bag. Some people slept quite a bit, and I was surprised that the person next to me never did get up, unless she did it really quickly while I was in the lavatory. In DFW, immigration was a little congested since KLM had landed prior to us. We did get in just ahead of Lufthansa from Frankfurt. Customs was quick, and I had to wait a little while for the bag.
I would say that Qantas has good service. The on-time performance on this particular trip was not good, but they did get me and my luggage from point A to B. As for the routing, if I had to do it again, might try DFW-LAX-??? next time on the westbound, but would of course keep the nonstop eastbound on the return. Many would probably benefit from the direct flight to DFW, because it could avoid a double connection to several cities. On the westbound, it would really depend on both your origin and destination. Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing Australia and would not mind returning some day.
It's really nice that you enjoyed trip on Qantas. I'd fly Qantas again anyday, I just wish the crew were a little more friendlier,not that they aren't or maybe I'm just used to service from the heart like on MH!!
flightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 862 posts, RR: 4 Reply 2, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11351 times:
Quoting nonrevman (Thread starter): Flying time was at an hour and 10 minutes. I was really surprised that a breakfast was served on this flight. To all of you Aussies, if you fly any domestic routes within the US, you will see why I was surprised by this.
I forgot to say, how ashamed we are to indicate surprise at an issue like this!! Yes North American carriers are sad that you have to buy your own meals, and here on a 70 minute flight you get breakfast!!
AA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5383 posts, RR: 11 Reply 3, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10525 times:
Quoting nonrevman (Thread starter): June had been an especially hot month with several 100F+ days. Yet, the flight had been on time for the most part for June. I wondered how flights prior to this one had avoide
In this situation, I'm going to say that there was possibly a problem with the APU pneumatic system, which prevented the APU and packs from being able to cool the plane sufficiently.
OR, it's simply because it's been BLISTERING in DFW lately... all of my family lives there, and they're complaining about it pretty steadily!
Quoting nonrevman (Thread starter): This was contrary to the rumor that several seats (up to 50?) were being blocked in order to ensure that the plane would have enough fuel to reach Brisbane.
...which means that they chose to leave bags behind, or had a light freight load, and weren't in a situation to bump people.
Quoting nonrevman (Thread starter): It was announced that a security sweep was being made, and a short delay would occur. Again, I though silently to myself about the fairly decent SYD-DFW on time performance for flight 7 and pondered how the previous flights managed to avoid this delay.
Something happened that triggered a delay in the security sweep. Perhaps it was a mechanical repair, perhaps a catering snafu, but whatever it was, it pushed the sweep back to that point.
These things happen a lot. It's frustrating, but you're pretty much helpless when it strikes you.
Palmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1053 posts, RR: 16 Reply 4, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10522 times:
Thanks very much for your report!
Quote: Upon deplaning, I discovered it was not as simple a matter as getting back to the gate and waiting to continue on the last leg. A trip through security was required. This posed a problem for me, because I still had water in my Nalgene bottle from the long flight. I either had to find a place to dump it out or discard it
I am sure you would find exactly the same approach in the US.
Over the past few years when I have travelled Air New Zealand from London to Australia - flights that stopped in LAX (even if the same flight number all the way through LHR - AKL) required all passengers to not only clear security again but also be processed as if they were arriving passengers - all of this just for passengers in transit from London to New Zealand! The concent of being "in transit" seems lost.
Likewise, when the AC flight used to stop in HNL between SYD and YVR - all transit passengers had to clear security again in HNL.
I would be interested to know whether currently, the QF flight that is routed to AKL - LAX - JFK requires security checks to be done in LAX - even though the flight is a direct flight to JFK with just a stop in LAX?
The liquid ban has complicated things but during my last visit home from London, passengers were told at check in not to purchase liquid duty free items in London if they were in transit through Singapore to a final destination because the items would never make it through the gate security in SIN if these were over 100mls. Other Asian airports might have similar restrictions. Perhaps the check in staff at DFW should be alerting customers to this?
nonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1289 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10076 times:
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 1): Do they not have that hot chocolate with marshmallows hmmm! You did not indicate that on both sectors. I do hope they have not stopped that.
I do remember the flight attendants coming through the aisle offering hot chocolate or tea, but I think I was half asleep at that time. On the flight to BNE, the cabin stayed very warm for a good part of the flight, so I doubt there were many who wanted the hot chocolate. It is possible that they also offered it on SYD-DFW, but I was probably asleep
Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3): n this situation, I'm going to say that there was possibly a problem with the APU pneumatic system, which prevented the APU and packs from being able to cool the plane sufficiently.
This is likely to be the culprit, especially since they had to run the engines to cool the plane. The temperatures topped out at 100 that day, which unfortunately is not unusual for us. Whatever QF had been using to cool the plane this summer was either not available or was not implemented in time for the flight that evening. They should pull all of the shades down as soon as possible after arrival. I remember AA requesting passengers to do this on a hot day in El Paso.
Quoting Palmjet (Reply 4): I would be interested to know whether currently, the QF flight that is routed to AKL - LAX - JFK requires security checks to be done in LAX - even though the flight is a direct flight to JFK with just a stop in LAX?
I was thinking about that particular route too. Even if everyone had to deplane after flying JFK-LAX, I would think everyone would simply wait in the terminal without having to be rescreened. Since the longest flight is still ahead of you, likely people would want to get out and stretch at this stop. As for the duty free--agreed that there should be some kind of warning about purchasing liquids, gels, etc. It appears that the only option for getting that stuff would be to do it if your final destination was the next stop.
FlyLonghaul From Australia, joined Feb 2010, 108 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 9411 times:
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 1):
Do they not have that hot chocolate with marshmallows hmmm! You did not indicate that on both sectors. I do hope they have not stopped that
Flew QF31 3 weeks ago and they are still serving it... I got some both legs of the trip. I must say it is absolutely delicious!!
Nice Report. I'd love to try this flight sometime. I was going to give it a go with the launch specials they had, when I was planning a trip to Vegas earlier this year, but sadly didn't make it. I'd definitely like to be able to say I had flown the worlds longest 747 route. Although I am a little addicted to the 380 product now
flightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 862 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 9246 times:
Another unique feature like the hot chocolate (which I believe is a great sleep inducer with with some light turbulence thrown in lol), is the large transparent bowl of apples, that are done with a walk through the cabin, usually as a snack when the lights have all been turned off. The FAs wear a small light clipped to the blouse or tie for the males, and it's quite nice to see them do that! I hope Qantas never stops that hot chocolate run!! ZZZzzzzzzzzz!!!
airnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2538 posts, RR: 6 Reply 10, posted (1 year 11 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8798 times:
In regards to the delay i can tell you now it was indeed due to the hot cabin (The APU was not turned on by ground staff with sufficient time in DFW). It is a CASA and Occupational Health and Safety Risk that the temperature must be under 28 degrees before any boarding can be done with passengers. Because the aircraft is registered under Australia, these practices have to be followed. I can say to you, i know it would of been unfortunate sitting in the terminal, but you are much better off there than in a stifling hot cabin...we would of had more passenger complaints.
In regards to service...
Yes Hot Chocolate and peppermint tea is still done (It is a Qantas signature in the main cabin) and Apples are also still done.
In regards to friendliness...it all depends on the crew member. We are an engaging lot if you talk to us. We tend to see though on these flights pax want to sleep not socialise especially ex-LAX so we let them be.
I didn't take a takeoff video, but I can tell you right now, on a full flight it's really long. We tookoff to the north and we left the ground well after the east/west runway intersects with 34L. I thought we were going to overrun it!