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Part 2: Aussie Flying With QF And JQ! (pics!)  
User currently offlineYul2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 20
Posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8409 times:

Part 2: Aussie Flying with QF and JQ!

Introduction
Well, this is Part 2 of 3 parts of a long trip to Australia. You might get confused, but this trip report actually comes in the middle of Part 1: Aussie Trip with Garuda, which is my trip to and from Australia. I took 3 internal domestic flights during my stay.
I won’t detail too much here just because these are short 1 hour domestic flights. Nonetheless, the pics are cool.

So just to recap, I arrived in Sydney on a beautiful Saturday morning on November 27th. I stayed there for a whole week, and met loads of fun people. I loved Bondi beach, I actually went there 3 times (although I know locals don’t like it as much).

My next stop was Melbourne! I was looking forward to Melbourne as most people told me it was an close replica of Montreal. So I was gonna go check that out for myself!


Sunday, December 5th, 2004
Route: SYD-MEL
Flight #: Qantas QF002
Equipment: B747-400
Registration: VH-OJM
Flight time: 1:20
Departure Time: 9:30am
Arrival Time: 10:50am



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Photo © Martin Aves


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Photo © Jay Piboontum




I woke up at 6am, showered, quietly took my backpack and suitcase, and headed down to check-out from my hostel.

It was a short 2 minute walk to central station where I bought a one-way train ticket to the airport for 12$ (for a 10 minute train ride, that’s called stealing money from your clients, not making profit). I also stored my suitcase in a locker (for 8$/day… again, no comment), as all I needed was my backpack for the upcoming week.

Train


I specifically chose QF002 because it’s a B744, and I very rarely travel on them. It was also at a cheap price of 76$ AUD (Red e-deal, tax incl). The flight comes in from London and Bangkok and continues on to Melbourne. Therefore, it departs from the International terminal.

Check-in
Qantas had a long queue for this morning. I was looking at the self-service check-in kiosks. I asked one of their floor agents.
“We only have those in our domestic terminal, sorry darling. But since you don’t have any bags on you, I’ll make you go first in line.”

How nice if her! 5/5 for this generous act! I wanted a window seat, but the agent told me that it was a full flight coming in from BKK and that all windows are taken already. My seat number: 75D. Boy, that seems really far back. She put an orange sticker on my boarding pass with huge “D” on it for Domestic. She told me that would allow me to bypass immigration.

Indeed, the immigration officer just checked to ID, and off I went exploring SYD international!

Asiana B777 coming in from Seoul


Emirates A345 on its way to AKL


Garuda A333 coming in from Bali


Aerolineas Argentinas A343


OJM, my bird to MEL


Boarding

Right before boarding, I asked the gate agent if any window seats were available.
“Full flight!” he replied. Ok, thanks.

I angrily made my way down the boarding bridge. I hate not having my window seat. 75D was believe it or not, the last row of the plane. The seat didn’t even recline. An FA was standing there, waiting for everyone to settle in. No one was sitting next to me yet in 75E. But I noticed that 72A and B were still vacant. I told the FA that, once the doors closed, if I can move to these 2 seats. No problem he said.

“You’re coming from Bangkok?”
“No, I just boarded.” He obviously noticed from my accent that I wasn’t Australian
“Had fun in Sydney?”
“Oh yeah, I had an amazing 8 days here.”
“What d’you see?
I told him my activities and it was obvious from his comments that he was hitting on me, which I found pretty funny.

Then this Asian woman runs towards us and settles down next to me looking quite exhausted.
“No one told me this flight departs from the international terminal!”
“Well”, I told her, “it’s clearly written that Qantas flights QF001 to QF399 operate from the international terminal”. And I pointed out that comment on her ticket.
She looked at me with sad eyes. I felt bad, but hey, open your eyes lady.

Anyways, doors closed and I moved to 72AB. Two empty seats to myself! I guess the flight wasn’t 100% full. Are the gate agents that lazy??

Flight
Safety demo started and we started our long taxi to the runway. We were #1 for take-off.







The crew told us that they would switch on the entertainment system (we had PTVs!!) but warned us that they will have to switch them off in 1 hour.

We were served continental breakfast (cereal, banana, juice, and yogurt). I watched the map show.


I read my Lonely Planet “East Coast Australia” book to prepare myself for my arrival in Melbourne.

We started our descent around 10:30am.










We pulled in next to a beautiful Air New Zealand B744.


The FA who was hitting on me wished me a nice stay and proposed an area where I should look for a hostel. I thanked him and said I would take his advice, although I had already booked my hostel (you know, just to be nice)

On my way out, I took a pic of the new Qantas Biz seat….


…and First Class seat.


Arrival

We were told to keep our boarding passes to show the immigration officials that we were domestic pax.
Once I passed customs, I made my way out to the shuttle bus which took me to Spencer St. station.



Tuesday, December 7th 2004
Route: MEL-BNE
Flight #: Qantas QF614
Equipment: B737-800
Registration: VH-VXP
Flight time: 1:20
Departure Time: 11:05am
Arrival Time: 12:10pm


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Photo © Sam Chui


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Photo © Joe Corrigan




Melbourne is a beautiful city. It indeed looks like Montreal with its cafes, terraces, shopping, river, etc. I found it quieter than Sydney though, but still, I liked it.

I was excited about my next flight because
1) It’s my first winglet experience!
2) Queensland is all about sun and beaches!
3) I was gonna meet up with my friend from Montreal in Brisbane!

The bus drop me off in the domestic terminal. I showed up pretty early around 9am for my 11:05 departure flight. I tend not to fly LCCs, especially when the fares are very competitive. Both QF and Virgin were selling this flight for 118 AUD (tax incl.), so, I went for QF!

Check-in



I try to use these self-service kiosks when possible. They were available in MEL. I just slipped in my credit card, and it displayed my reservation. There was an option “Choose an earlier flight”. I tried this option hoping I would get on the 10:05 flight, but after 20 seconds of searching, it said “your fare doesn’t allow you to choose this option”. Ok well, AC gets more points for allowing anyone with any fare to fly standby on earlier flights.
The computer displayed a seat map and I chose 4F, a bulkhead window seat.

It looked as if there was more action in the international side judging by the number of aircrafts parked at the gates. But still, I was able to get a couple of nice shots.







All three are racing for departure!


Just to show you how diverse it is in the domestic side…. not.


I called my mom back in Canada and updated her on my trip. Then I drank a good hot chocolate and read my travel book until boarding.

Boarding

I waited until there was no longer a queue. Business class looked full, whereas economy was I say 80% full.

View from my window


Flight

The moment the crew had shut the door of the aircraft, I realised that I had lost my jacket somewhere in the airport. Too bad I told myself… that gives me a reason to shop Brisbane!

Safety briefing


Runway was very close, so short taxi.

Like a rocket!






The captain made a few announcements, telling us that it’ll be a bumpy ride all the way to Brisbane because of the bad weather.
The crew served us some muffins and juice for breakfast. The crew seemed cheerful, happy to do their job.
I continued reading about Brisbane and made my little touristy plans for the day until we started are extremely bumpy descent into BNE.







Before stepping out of the plane, I asked the lead FA if I was able to chat with the pilot, or whether they were on a tight turn around.
“Tight turn around sorry. But, always ask!”
Had she not said that last sentence, I would have probably not believed her. But she sounded honest.

Arrival

BNE domestic looked as modern as MEL and SYD. Have all the Australian airports been upgraded recently?
I caught the train to Brunswick St in Fortitude Valley. I was very impressed with the facilities offered in Australian airports to get to the city. Montreal (YUL) should learn a lot from here.



Queensland!

Brisbane was adorable. Cute little city, and again, it reminded me of back home. Too bad it was raining during most of my stay. I really wanted to go to Stradbroke Island for a nice quiet time at the beach, but the weather didn’t allow it. Oh well, next time!

After 2 nights in Brissie, I took a 2 hour bus ride up to Noosa, a little town in Sunshine Coast. I had a fabulous time there for 3 days, even though it was still raining. I met fun people and the hostel I stayed at organized cool activities to keep us busy.

Next, I went back down to Surfer’s Paradise. Ok, the city itself is pretty tacky, but I really liked the beach. Clean, white sand, and huge! There was not one cloud in the sky. So I took advantage of it and sun tanned until it was time to head to Gold Coast airport (OOL).


Sunday, December 12th 2004
Route: OOL-SYD
Flight #: Jetstar Airlines JQ211
Equipment: A320
Registration: VH-JQG
Flight time: 1:20
Departure Time: 3:55pm
Arrival Time: 6:15pm



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Photo © Anthony Jackson


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Photo © Craig Murray


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Photo © Kurt Ams



Qantas stopped serving Coolangatta Airport (or Gold Coast, OOL) when they launched Jetstar. So for this sector, I had the choice between the latter and Virgin, two Australian LCCs. Again, both airlines offered the same fare (76 AUD, tax incl), so I opted for JQ, just because I think the silver and orange looks much sharper than red and blue! (haha, I really don’t have a reason for it). My initial plan was to catch a flight to SYD that would get me in 4 hours ahead of my Garuda flight to Bali, but the earliest flight came in around 7:30am, which is too risky. So that’s why I decided to go back to Sydney
The shuttle bus picked me up at 1:45pm, and went around other hostels and hotels for more people. By the time we arrived at OOL, it was half past 2.

This is a nice shot I found of Coolangatta airport, very small terminal.

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Photo © Sam Chui




Check-in

Small line up at check-in


When I reached the counter, I gave the agent my passport. She typed something up and printed some sort of a receipt, which she stapled to an information slip. That was my “boarding pass”.
“Have you ever flown Jetstar before?” she asked.
“Nope”
“Ok, well, we don’t allocate seats, but you’ll be in the 2nd group that boards the plane, the first group being pax needing assistance, etc.”

So off I went, knowing that I’m almost guaranteed a window seat. The terminal resembles a box. 1 level only, ground floor. Not jet bridges. Boarding is done by stairs.

When I got in the airport, it was nice and sunny. By the time I checked in and past security, 15 minutes had past. Apparently, that’s enough time to bring in dark clouds and a storm! The departure area has a huge window façade, and we all stared at the storm which was rocking the two planes on the ground (Jetstar B717 and Virgin B737). Then it started hailing. It stayed that way for 15 minutes, until the sun suddenly came out. 1 minute later, Virgin made its way to the runway! I guess pax had already boarded and the pilot was waiting for the storm to pass.

JQ’s flight to MEL left which emptied out the departure lounge. Next, JQ’s A320 came in from Sydney, and 10 minutes after the last pax came out, it was time to board.

Boarding
The first group had Orange passes. Not lots of them. I was in the second group (blue passes), and one of the first in line.





I boarded by the back door. That’s smart of JQ since they accelerate the boarding process this way. I sat 5 rows from the back on the left side. The FAs had basic uniforms. They basically wear black T-Shirts and pants with a stripe of orange. Looks sharp. The good thing is that the guys wear fitted T-shirt, and one the FAs was really hot and muscled… hehe, kept on staring at him.

The plane was pretty full. LOTS of 20 year olds traveling back to Sydney, and gosh were they loud. They must have spent a week partying in Gold Coast, I think they’re called “Schoolies”?

Well, at 3:55pm sharp, we were on our way to Sydney!

Flight

Safety demo was not pre-recorded. The lead FA was reciting over the PA while the others where demonstrating the procedures.
One of the FAs saw me taking a pic and told me not to use my camera during take-off and landing. I smiled and said “Ok”. But I ended up using it hehe. It was the first time I was warned not to use my camera, but it’s a stupid rule. What kind of frequencies are emitted from a digi cam?

The runway is pretty close to the terminal. Here we are holding short while DJ lands.


We backtracked to the tip of the runway, did a 180, and off we went!





View of the Gold Coast


The hot FA went around the cabin with earphones, but being on an LCC, you had to pay for them. Nonetheless, a few people bought some.

Bar service started right away. Lots of snacks and drinks, but none were complimentary. I decided to wait until I reached Sydney to eat.



Soon, we were on our way down to a cloudy SYD. Here’s a awful shot of the harbor and Opera House.








It was a long taxi back to the domestic terminal.


Arrival

The pilot’s door was open when the pax were deplaning, I took advantage of it and chatted with them. Nice folks.

As I did when I came from Singapore, got on the KST shuttle bus to my hostel.

Conclusion
Well, that was my Aussie experience! Wonderful country, wonderful people, I will be back!

Now, you can go back and read the second half of Part 1: Aussie trip with Garuda, and once that’s done, read the final episode of the trilogy Part 3: Journey Back Home: SQ/AC J Class. Enjoy!





"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGofly From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 1727 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8155 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report! And very nice pics as well. Really enjoyed reading, I'm now off to read part 3 Big grin


Living the high life on my ex-Airliners.net Moderator pension...
User currently offlineChris78cpr From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2819 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 8133 times:

Amazing reports!

Where did you find all your fares from? Online? It looks like you have ahd an awesome 5 months, cool expeiriances in life and aviaiton!

How many diff aircraft have you travelled on this trip?

Cheers, Chris



5D2/7D/1D2(soon to be a 1Dx) 17-40L/24-105L/70-200F2.8L/100-400L/24F1.4LII/50F1.2L/85F1.2LII
User currently offlineHorus From Egypt, joined Feb 2004, 5230 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 8060 times:

Fantastic trip report Yul2010!  Big thumbs up

Not only did you fly a B744 between SYD and MEL, you also found an admirer in that FA...lol  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Horus




EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
User currently offlineFlyingKangaroo From Australia, joined Apr 2004, 532 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 8039 times:

Hi there!!

Glad you enjoyed the time you spent in that great country of ours!! A great trip report!!! Excellent pics!!

flyingKangaroo



QANTAS-- The Spirit of Australia
User currently offlineYul2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7974 times:

Chris,
I found the fares on the airline's website. I opened up all three websites (Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin) and compared the prices. If u book like 2 to 3 months ahead, you'll find good deals. I looked at fares 2 weeks before my flight, and they were at least double of what I had paid. So it's worth it to plan early!

Horus,
I wish he was my type, I would have asked him out on a date Big grin

Thanks for all the other comments!



"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
User currently offlineCXoneWorld From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7913 times:

Nice report!  Big thumbs up

It's a wise choice that you have choosen the ORANGE airline...  Big grin



oneworld alliance revolves around you
User currently offlineAirWales From UK - Wales, joined Oct 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7865 times:

Great report! Looking to do similar sectors to you on a visit to oz next year so the info and details provided were great. Thanks!!

User currently offlineCOEWR2587 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 607 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 3 days ago) and read 7855 times:

Great report and nice pics. It's my dream to visit Sydney one day.


Newark Airport...My Home Away From Home
User currently offlineA330Fan1 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 856 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 7771 times:

australia looks amazing in these pics. hope i can see it one day

awesome report & photos!


User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8536 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 7486 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Very nice.

I plan to visit oz myself this year,most likely in late december/early jan. The plan includes flights on Jet Star and Virgin Blue.

Off to read your trip home now.

Rgds

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 offlineQantasflyer From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 396 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 7393 times:

Excellent report very glad that you enjoyed our terminals, our airlines and our country! Australia truly is a wonderful place and hope you plan on returning!
However QF still do operate flights between OOL - SYD twice daily.

Regards



Qantasflyer That's the spirit. The Spirit of Australia!
User currently offlineEK773 From Malta, joined Jul 2004, 235 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 7276 times:

Nice trip report... you're just missing one thing thought. Thats a pic of the hot f/a on jetstar... come on... share it! Im sure you snuck one somewhere.

User currently offlineISLIPwn From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7247 times:

Great jobbbb!!! Your trip reports are just plain awesome!! The pics are awesome as well!



User currently offlineQ330 From Australia, joined Dec 2003, 1460 posts, RR: 21
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 7202 times:

Great report!

I especially liked this photo:


For those of you who don't know Sydney, his aircraft was barely over the end of the runway when that was taken. It just shows the awesome climb performance of the 744 on such short routes when it is relatively empty.

-Q



Long live the A330!
User currently offlineB773 From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7190 times:

Cool report and pics, glad you had a good time here.

User currently offlineYUL2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 7161 times:

Qantasflyer
Thanks for the clarification!

EK773
you're just missing one thing thought. Thats a pic of the hot f/a on jetstar
I've been getting a few emails asking me for his pic!  Laugh out loud Sorry, but I really didn't have a chance to take any as he stayed in the galley. Too bad, next time though, that's another reason to fly Jetstar!

Thanks for the other comments!

Imad





"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
User currently offlineMiami1 From Australia, joined Feb 2001, 706 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6959 times:

YUL2010 -
Is this FA you admire the one on the cart in your photo? My friend is a JQ FA and saw him at sign on just today, infact...


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4755 posts, RR: 26
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6890 times:

Melbourne is a beautiful city. It indeed looks like Montreal with its cafes, terraces, shopping, river, etc. I found it quieter than Sydney ...

Yeah... I found Melbourne a little on the quiet side. I did like my trip down to St Kilda's though. Other than that, after sunset, Melbourne city reminded me of Gotham City - dark and cold... and devoid of human existence.

So off I went, knowing that I’m almost guaranteed a window seat. The terminal resembles a box. 1 level only, ground floor. Not jet bridges. Boarding is done by stairs.

Other than the international gateways, most of domestic Aussie airports look like that. But I must say that the authorities do a good job in keeping the airports (no matter how tiny) spic and span. But I noticed that pre-2000, Sydney itself, as an airport was an disgrace. But now, look at hot it has transformed! Lovely...



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineYUL2010 From Canada, joined Jun 2003, 320 posts, RR: 20
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6872 times:

Miami1,
Nope, that's not the one I'm talking about. I didn't take a photo (unfortunately) of the hot FA.

Ryan
Other than that, after sunset, Melbourne city reminded me of Gotham City - dark and cold... and devoid of human existence.
Well, I didn't spend that much time in the city to judge... I went to a bar in St Kilda one night, I thought it was pertty decent.



"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
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