I have written about these flights before, but they were part of a huge trip report, and being the last two flights i was too tired to write in any detail. Also, it was my first ever trip report so i was not sure what sort of content.
SYD-BKK, 18th August 2000, Qantas VH-*** B747-400. 6pm
We arrived at the terminal on the airport bus, which had taken us from the domestic terminal. I don't remember going through check-in or customs, but as it was a connection i suppose that was all done at the previous airport. The weather was wet outside, and it was quite cool.
We all went our own ways in the Sydney International Terminal, which i have to say, is one of the biggest terminals i have been in. I took time to go on the internet for 15 minutes where i emailed some of my friends. There was a shop, i can't remember if it was completely Aviation but there were alot of models there. I took a look around, and ended up rushing and Bought a Herpa AA 777.
We had to rush to our gate because i spent so long looking in the shops, but we were stopped by an announcement that said our flight was delayed an hour or so because of maintenence to engine no.4. So i went back and swapped my AA777 with a QF 744, which happened to have all of its undercarriage broken off so i swapped it again for a JAL 777, which turned out to be a JAL 747!!!
We went to get a coffee, and sat down in the restaurant watching the planes go in and out. As far as i can remember time went very quickly, and we were soon called for boarding.
By now it was Dark outside, we were called onto the aircraft in rows, 50-70, 1-20, 20-50. We were some of the last to board, and we found our seats a couple of rows behind the bulkhead. Our family of 4 were split in to 2, each with 2 seats closest to the window one behind the other. Unfortunetely the whole flight was at night, so we never saw anything, and this was our only long haul flight by the window!!!
As we waited for the cargo door to be closed, and pushback clearance to be given, a video was shown on Bangkok, our Destination. The Tv's, above the isle were quite hard to see, and you have to constantly twist your neck from the window seat to watch it, i prefer the design on the A320 where the tv's flip down from overhead of the seats.
Pushback finally arrived, and we taxied the short distance to 9R (?). We lined up, with only 2/3 of the runway ahead of us, the pilot wound up the engines and took off the brakes. We endured a very quick takeoff role, and rotation came moments before the end of the runway, and we climbed out over the water.
After my long day, i immediately tried to get some shut-eye, but was soon woken by our dinner, which i ignored. The pilot came on through the PA, and gave us some information on the route, weather etc. We were in for a bumpy ride, with Thunderstorms stretching from Brisbane all the way to hong Kong, and as far West as Durban and Singapore.
We briskly reached FL350, our cruise altitude, and most people fell asleep. No longer than 1 hour into the flight, we entered some cloud, and quite rough Turbulence. The pilot changed between altitude alot, and quite often we were skimming through the tops of the thunderstorms, sometimes the sky was clear, and it would be calm, and then we would see cloud coming, the air would get rough and we would get turbulence. This continued for the whole flight, and quite often we would receive an un-nerving bump, but not once would was the fasten you seatbelt sign lit!!!
I love the QF seats, they may look tatty, but they are really wide and comfortable, alot better than BA's IMO, but i didn't like the lack of a PTV!!!
. 8 1/2 hours into our flight we began decent into BKK, alot of this was spent in cloud, all i could see out of my window was the strobe lights reflecting off the water vapour.
The cabin lights were flicked on, and everyone awoke. I was surprised at about 3000ft we reached the cloudbase, revealing the dull lights of Bangkok, i was surprised at just how little light there was.
After spending a long time circling Bangkok, we finally started our final approach. The pilot made an excellent landing, and we were rushed off the runway as a Thai Airways 744 came charging down the runway just as we left it.
All the passengers who's journey ended in BKK got off the aircraft, including myself and my family, we got our bags and made our way into the BKK arrivals hall. I have to say, Bangkok is one of the most annoying and dis-organized airports i have ever been too, the time was 12:30am and we waited an hour at Immegration trying to get everything sorted, not only did they faf around but there seemed to be alot of shady characters walking around not doing anything!!!
We finally found our way out of the airport, after being met by an odd man, who took us to our hotel on the other side of Bangkok.
BKK-LHR, August 20th, British Airways, G-(Colum c/s) B747-400 Evening/Night!
After a very odd meal at our hotel, we made our way to BKK airport for our final flight back to the UK. After seeing some crazy motorists on the freeway we found the Airport. Chaos ensued as our Bags were X-rayed, then given a ticket, moved to another line and handed in our ticket which was stamped. Then, before checking in we had to find somewhere to pay the airport tax fee, which happened to be closed so we joined a long line at the airport help desk which was taking in all Airport tax.
We proceeded to the check-in desks, and then through security, before making our way to the departure lounge. Having no seats, we spent 1 1/2 hours looking round the same shops, at souvenirs that were not of much use. 45 minutes before departure we made our way to the gate, which took longer than expected because the travelators were going THE WRONG WAY. Our Gate happened to be the farthest away, which didn't surprise me as it seemed to happen to us every time on our trip
Our tickets were checked, and we made our way through to another depature lounge by our gate, which was full, so we had to sit on the floor. Finally our flight was called, we walked through the jetway, and into the familiar sight of a BA jumbo. Met by some very unhappy Stewardesses, and made our way to our seats, on the very last row of the 747 in the middle.
We sat down, and were very anxious to leave. Our Aircraft pushed back promptly, and we taxied to our departure runway. After holding for a couple of minutes, we lined up on the runway. the engines spooled up, and we made our way down the runway. Spending an extraordinarily long time on the ground, a few passengers became very unsettled, even me!! Finally our Jumbo Rotated, it must have been a very high T/o weight, would've been spectacular to watch those wings flex!!!!
As we climbed out of Bangkok, a few of the passengers began muttering to each other, and my parents commented on what a long takeoff roll we had. We levelled off and made out in the general direction of the uk. The f/a's came round with our dinner, which was chicken or beef, i chose the chicken, and only took a couple of bites. It didn't take very nice.
Not feeling too well, i made numerous trips to the bathroom and had difficulty sleeping, i don't think i have ever felt this bad on a flight before. The 11 hours passed that quickly, i watched on the map as we travelled over India, Russia and finally in to Europe, over Germany. After being physically ill once more, this time not making it into the bathroom
, i went and spent most of the final minutes before the fasten your seatbelt signs came on sitting beside the rear doors watching the Sun rise over Western Europe, and descent over London. It was one of the most incredible things to watch.
I was finally told to sit back in my seat, and the "fasten your seatbelt sign was switched on". Descent over London continued and everybody in the cabin began to wake up. The sun peaked out over the North Sea and shone in Beams through the aircraft. An uneventful landing in LHR ensued, and we taxied back to Heathrows terminal 4.
Getting back to the UK was a relief, but i missed Australia, and singapore (not so much Bangkok, but i still had a nice time
Comments appreciated, i think this report was more substantial!!!