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MEL-SYD-MEL - DJ B77W - Special Flight  
User currently offlineAeroplaneFreak From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 542 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 8774 times:
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Yesterday when Virgin Australia announced that they would be putting a Boeing 777-300ER on a Sydney to Melbourne leg, it was impossible to resist. So I used some of my Velocity points to book a return trip.

I booked the earliest flight up to Sydney, which was DJ803, leaving Melbourne at 06:00. I checked in online the night before, and selected seat 7F.

I arrived at Melbourne Airport around 05:10. I had a quick snack in the lounge, before I proceeded through security. DJ803 was leaving from Gate 3, and I was one of the first to board. We had a slight delay, but soon we were rolling down RWY16.


Virgin Australia - Boeing 737-700 - VH-VBL (Melbourne Airport)


Virgin Australia - Boeing 737-800 - VH-BZG (Melbourne Airport)

Date: 1st November 2011
Route: Melbourne to Sydney
Airline: Virgin Australia
Flight Number: DJ803
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 (VH-VUL)
Class/Seat: Economy - 7F
Distance: 705km
Departure Gate: T3 – Gate 3
SCH/ACT Departure: 06:15am / 06:10am
SCH/ACT Arrival: 07:25am / 07:30am
Arrival Gate: T2 – Gate 32

The flight was uneventful, and went by very quickly. Soon we were touching down on RWY16R at Sydney Airport. We arrived at Gate 32.


Virgin Australia - Boeing 737-800 - VH-VUL (Inflight) by Oliver Gigacz, on Flickr

After disembarking I went immediately to the check in counters, and checked in for DJ9502, the B77W flight to Melbourne. I had preselected seat 11K in premium economy, and was pleased to see it written on my boarding pass.


My Ticket For DJ9502 - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)

I then went straight to the lounge and found myself a nice seat looking onto the apron.

At first glance I saw my first Virgin Australia ATR-72, and Emirates' brand new A380 (A6-EDP). I also managed to get a few regos I had yet to record.

I left the lounge around 09:15, and walked down to Gate 41. As soon as I got to the gate I noticed five buses ready to take us to our Boeing 777-300ER, which was being operated by VH-VPE. The staff were all trying to get things sorted for this very unusual flight, and they had a few hiccups with their system software.

Busses Await To Take Us To Our Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)

Date: 1st November 2011
Route: Sydney to Melbourne
Airline: Virgin Australia (Operated by V Australia)
Flight Number: DJ9502
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER (VH-VPE)
Seat: Premium Economy - 11A
Distance: 705km
Departure Gate: T2 – Gate 41
SCH/ACT Departure: 10:30am / 10:42am
SCH/ACT Arrival: 12:00pm / 12:07pm
Arrival Gate: T3 – Gate 12

Soon I was on walking onto Bus #1. It was only then that I realized that this flight was NOT going to be packed. It looked like there was only 100 people lining up, and in the end they got everybody quite comfortably into just two buses.


People Waiting To Get On The Ferry Bus (Sydney Airport)


Busses Await To Take Us To Our Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)

We were soon moving across the tarmac, getting very close to a QantasLink Dash 8 DHC-200 and a Qantas B747-400. We had to wait around five minutes for a Qantas B767-300 to taxi, but then it was a wide open road and VH-VPE was getting bigger and bigger.

Virgin Australia Pier - Terminal 2


Qantas Airways - Boeing 767-300ER - VH-OGL (Sydney Airport)


Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)

The bus stopped right in front of the stairs and before I knew it, I was sitting in seat 11K with plenty of legroom. It took just five minutes to get everyone on-board and, of the 40 seats in Premium Economy, only 8 people, including myself, we're being seated there. In fact I had the entire row 11 to myself.


Boarding - Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)


Premium Economy - Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)


Premium Economy Legroom - Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)


Premium Economy AVOD - Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)


Premium Economy - Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)

We had to wait for around 10 aircraft to either take off or land, so we were on the ground for a good twenty minutes. Finally after Virgin Australia E190 cleared the runway, we were roaring down 16R, with some great wing flex.


Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Sydney Airport)


Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Inflight)


Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Inflight)

The self-serve bar was not in use for this flight, but they did offer us complimentary cheese and biscuits and bottled water.


Snack - Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Inflight)

This was the first time on a Boeing 777 for me, and with basically no one around it was very peaceful and enjoyable.

We were soon descending into Melbourne. We landed on RWY16 and taxied to Gate 12 at Virgin Australia's T3. This was the first time in a while (if not the first time ever) that a B777 had parked at this gate. The aerobridge was not used, as it is currently in u/s.


Virgin Australia - Boeing 777-300ER - VH-VPE (Melbourne Airport)

Overall I think the Boeing 777-300ER is an amazing aircraft, with a great inflight product. I am very grateful for Virgin for putting this aircraft on a domestic leg.

More photos can be seen here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/aviationphotos/sets/72157628024799134/

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinejetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2227 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 8722 times:

That was a nice loss for VBA shareholders


Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlineShnoob940 From Australia, joined Sep 2008, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 8408 times:

Great report, good to see at least one A.netter was on the flight, when I saw the report I thought hopefully there will be a trip report on A.net, and here we are  

gibbo



A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A388 733 734 735 737 738 739 743 744 762 763 773 788 E170 E190 Q400
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

Hi

Nice trip report, thanks for sharing! Looks like the cabin has been well-used already on the 77W

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2994 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6494 times:

What an anti-climax! Wish I could have been there though!

User currently offlineAeroplaneFreak From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 542 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5575 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Here are the videos...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-sy3Xnspyg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pCTz9RKzd4


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