knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 17 Posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5961 times:
Airline: QantasLink (National Jet Systems)Aircraft: Boeing B 717 Cabin: Economy Class
To: Alice Springs
Date: 18. August 2013
GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
I leave the Longitude at 09:00. Today we are travelling by multipurpose Bush vehicle to the airport. The journey takes about 15 minutes to complete.
Uluru airport is a fairly small building on one level. As you enter there are arrivals to the right and the check-in counters to the left. There are separate counters for QantasLink, Virgin and for Jetstar. The concierge at the hotel checked me in the evening before.
Well, there very simply is none. The departures area is relatively small. But then again the facility only has two gates anyway. In the departures area there is a bar and a souvenir shop selling Uluru memorabilia. But the views are good!
Boarding starts on time. I exit the building and head towards our aircraft, looking forward to the opportunity to take some photos of my aircraft before I get on board. But alas, some gentleman doing I’m not quite sure what job takes it upon himself to inform me of just how bad a safety hazard I am to the aircraft by my intention to take pictures…Fair enough, I’ll take pictures in Alice, where I’m sure they probably won’t be quite so anal.
By the way, it turns out that the gate agent scanning the boarding passes as we board is also one of the cabin crew on the flight. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before!
The cabin on this bird is in fairly good shape, although it’s quite apparent that it is well used. There are stains on the seat (Do I want to know of what?) but other than that everything seems in working order.
The engines start up and we backtrack to the end of runway 13. It’s really quite amazing just how quiet the B717 is when you’re sitting on row two. Even when the aircraft accelerates for take-off the engines are barely audible.
The meal service on this flight is probably the biggest surprise, especially considering that the flight has an expected block time of only 40 minutes. Every passenger receives a packet with two soft biscuits – dark chocolate and white chocolate with nuts – a cup of water, crackers and a slice of cheese which tastes mostly like a cheddar.
I’m just swallowing the last of the crackers and cheese and the throttles are push back and our aircraft dips its nose for the descent into Alice Springs. And shortly thereafter we land.
Like in Uluru, we have to backtrack to reach the entrance to the apron. I disembark and take a few pictures of my aircraft. As expected, nobody really seems to mind. Next stop: Adelaide.
Quoting smi0006 (Reply 1): As a note all qantas and Qantaslink flights are normally boarded by one or two crew members. A good cost saving idea, that also speeds up boarding!
I think that's a very clever idea actually and certainly helps to reduce costs. I don't think it's done anywhere in Europe, not sure about the States.
Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 2): Those are great planes to fly, I absolutely love them and really a great way to get to Alice Springs.
The B717 is a nifty little plane, pity they're not as noisy as their ancestors though.
Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 2): QF link seems OK for this hop, despite the stains on the seats.
Absolutely, in fact I though it was rather substantial for such a short flight.
Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 2): Compared to other planes the B717 with engines at the back are really quiet if you can seat up front, a total delicacy.
Not sure I like the silence. I prefer my planes the old fashioned way - very loud!
Quoting Kent350787 (Reply 3): Sorry, didn't see this TR. I wanted to try the 717 when we went out, but my wife wanted direct flights with the kids. It's an interesting drive from Yulara to Alice too.
I would have loved to travel overland to Alice. But alas, Australia is too big and too beautiful and I have only two weeks to take this trip before the semester begins. I think I'll have to come back for another visit...
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 4): I can't wait to fly the 717, I haven't had the chance yet but they are opening a 717 base in CBR later this year which is perfect for me
I was reading in the Qantas inflight magazine about that. Apparently they're also renovating the cabin on these birds, including the introduction of a Business Class.
Kent350787 From Australia, joined May 2008, 1014 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 4689 times:
Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 5): I would have loved to travel overland to Alice. But alas, Australia is too big and too beautiful and I have only two weeks to take this trip before the semester begins. I think I'll have to come back for another visit...
With Australia's only 70mph speed limits in the NT it's only 4-4.5 hours by road, pushing the margin a little. The McDonnell ranges either side of Alice are amazing too, in their own way.
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter): Every passenger receives a packet with two soft biscuits – dark chocolate and white chocolate with nuts – a cup of water, crackers and a slice of cheese which tastes mostly like a cheddar
PlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 7094 posts, RR: 76
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3958 times:
now I finally managed to read the last missing one of your series! Good idea to try QantasLink, one of the few 717 operators.
Quoting knightsofmalta (Thread starter): But alas, some gentleman doing I’m not quite sure what job takes it upon himself to inform me of just how bad a safety hazard I am to the aircraft by my intention to take pictures…Fair enough, I’ll take pictures in Alice, where I’m sure they probably won’t be quite so anal.
Very annoying. Happened to me in Hamilton Island, for example.
adamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1193 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3558 times:
Another nice and short one you made here!
Great idea to try Qantaslink and the 717, a type I still need to log after missing out on it in Hawaii back in January!
The service looks quite nice for such a short flight!
knightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3417 times:
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 13): Great idea to try Qantaslink and the 717, a type I still need to log after missing out on it in Hawaii back in January!
Oh yes, I remember reading about that, very unfortunate I must say. Well, I suppose you know what this means right? You're going to have to take a trip down under or back to Hawaii and catch one there. So much easier than flying to Helsiniki...