Aaaaaaahhhhh I bet you are thinking, and yes you are right. If you have 20mins/Half hour please have a read:
August 1st 2000,
Arrived at London Heathrow at about 9:00am (3 hour journey from Bristol in Rush hour). Parked in the car park and had a while to take a look at the BA Maintenance Hangar where 4 sorry looking Concordes sat. Then went off to LHR's T4 via airport bus. Checked in with everything ok with BA, staff curtious and helpful.
I had a look round the Duty free shops and bought 2 pairs of Sunglasses for about £80, what a bargain! With about 10 minutes to go before boarding i went and got a coffee, and then Queued up for Boarding (on the farthest gate). We boarded G-CIVS (B747-436 DEL. Date 03/13/98) on-time and taxiied out to 9L? We were held for about 15 minutes while one of the last Concorde flights set off ahead, we were right behind it and got a look out of the window right down the window. I'd love to see the site of those Rolls Royce Snecma Olympus lighting up again.
Lifted off at 12:00pm local time with ETA at SIN (Singapore Changi Airport)expected to be around 6:00am Singapore time. In flight entertainment was good, a couple of new films, but i couldn't get to sleep because of the uncomfortable seats (and World Traveller Leg-room leads nothing to the imagination). At about 9:00pm GMT i had a trip up to the cockpit with some British kids who were moving to Singapore, and let me tell you visiting a flight deck had never been so boring. We had to answer questions like "What is our height?", i felt pretty embarrased (especially walking around in the socks supplied).
After alot of Movie watching and a little sleep we arrived at our destination, f/a's weren't as friendly as the staff at LHR but they were not rude (i had a feeling they didn't put their hearts into their job). Flight time 12hrs 30mins.
The second flight of my adventure was on 4th of August, A Qantas flight to PER (perth, WA). 9:00am flight departure. I arrived at the airport 2 hours early so i decided to get a paper and watch all the aircraft leave the gates (I remember a China Airlines and Thai B777 and a BA B747-436). We boarded on time onto VH-OGI (B767-338ER DEL. Date 08/29/91), Qantas f/a's were very helpful and handed out Newspapers and a Movie Schedule (it wasn't in the inflight magazine). Flight was on time (4hrs 55mins).The pilots were friendly too and allowed me to sit in the jumpseat on Landing in Perth, we flew right over the Centre of Perth and it was a great experience. Thanks very much QANTAS!
Flight 3 was my first Domestic flight, On the 7th August. From PER (Perth) to ASP (Alice Springs). Departure time 12:00am. Perth Domestic terminal is a great place for spotting, in a satellite shape and NON-reflective windows which gave panoramic views of the airport. The aircraft was a Qantas Airlink Bae 146-300, unknown registration. This flight too was very good, very polite, friendly crew with a good sense of humour (natural to Aussies!). We even had the pleasure of flying over Ayers Rock, which was a good photo oppertunity (if i was sitting on the other side
). We Landed at Alice Springs at about 3 hours, and had a good welcoming into a very odd airport i can tell you! We just walked straight from the tarmac, straight through some sliding doors and out some more to the road! (flight time 2hrs 55mins)
We then took a coach from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock before my flight on the 9th August to SYD (Sydney). the AYR terminal was very small and very busy, we had to resort to sitting on the floor in the departure lounge
. When we finally got to our aircraft (felt like hours, in fact only 30 minutes delayed) at 2:00pm, I got a decent shot of a Qantas Airlink 146.
The aircraft we were to board was a Qantas B737-438, and i immediately felt nervous when i saw footprints over the wing from the emergency exit to the engine. But all was ok and the f/a's made me feel safe and well looked after. I sat back with my newspaper and watched the Desert Roll by, before being replaced by Clouds and the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
We were flying the pattern over Sydney for about 30 mins, and i got a great look at it from above, all the sites and regularly ansett and Qantas 747's leaving Kingsford Smith. We eventually made a smooth Touch down at about 5:30pm (flight time 3hrs 20 mins).
After a 4 day period in Sydney, on the 13th August it was time to fly to sunny Queensland, and although it had been cloudless blue skys all the time in Sydney, it was raining. I checked in my bags and reflected on my time so far, i was half way through a great holiday in a beautiful country.
Boarding onto VH-EAO (B767-238ER DEL. Date 03/19/86) was on time. The flight crew greeted with yet another warm welcome for my flight to CNS (Cairns). Departure was on time, 1:30pm and as soon as we had cleared the clouds they began to thin, all was looking good! I had a seat behind a bulkhead so i had lots of room to stretch my legs and relax, and enjoy my flight! 3 hours later we descended into Cairns, which was a little Bumpy at times and we had tailwinds the whole Journey so i got a good look at the airport as we descended over the mountains. Touch down on Terra Firma was a little bumpy, but safe and a good end to yet another lovely flight (flight time 3 hours).
After 5 days in the Tropical paradise that is Cairns, on the 18th August it was time for my connector flight back to SYD (Sydney) before flying out ot Bangkok. The flight wasn't my first of the day, i had already had a Balloon flight (waking at 4:00am before leaving for the Atherton Tablelands) and lunch at a traditional ranch.
Once again it was VH-EAO which ensured a comfortable and enjoyable passage back to Sydney, where i arrived at 3:00pm (flight time 3 hours), before jumping on an Airport bus from Sydney Domestic to International Terminal. This was interesting as we used various Taxiways and Access roads inside the airport and i got a good close look at some aircraft. As we arrived at the International Terminal, we passed a Qantas B744 with the engine nacelle completely removed. I was later to find out it was the aircraft i would be flying on.
We were delayed 2 hours due to the engine problems, but that gave me a chance to drink some more coffee and watch aircraft leave and arrive. Finally we left Sydney at 6:30pm thanks to a very swift takeoff roll (taking up only 2/3rds of the main runway!).
The 9 hour flight upto BKK (Bangkok) was a bumpy one, and even at FL350 we still regularly entered cloud. The repaired engine seem to be operating at a higher pitch than the other 3, is this normal? We arrived at Bangkok a little later than planned, and the place was deserted! I had alot of trouble getting into the country, the landing cards were very hard to understand and customs claimed that my VISA was fake! I finally got it sorted and enjoyed my stay.
2 days later it was time for my 8th and final flight, on the 20th August from Bangkok back to London Heathrow. I can't remember the Aircraft Reg, but it was the Chelsea rose c/s. We had a dodgy meal and i got what i suspected was food poisoning, and spent most of my time in the loo
. We finally touched down at 6:00am GMT after an exhausting holiday, but i have to say i enjoyed it
Thanks for reading, if you read it. I enjoyed writing it.
Now i am off to scan my passport to show you all the stamps i got from my journey