I am fairly new to this part of airliners.net, but if anyone is interested, I provide a summary of an amazing flight I took in late 1998 on Britannia Airways. It must be one of the longest through flights for a 767-300 today!
I was studying in London at the time and returning home to Brisbane for a short break - the airfare was a crazy GPB199 return because I had booked at the last minute and BY were trying to fill the aircraft.
The flight was routed Gatwick - Abu Dhabi - Batam - Brisbane and the flying times were roughly 7.5 hours per sector.
We left Gatwick very early in the morning on G-OBYA and I was very impressed with the level of service from this - my first time on a charter airline. Australians have no concept of what a charter airline is - there are no long or short haul charter carriers in the Australian market.
We were served a decent meals on all the sectors, the flight attendants were pleasant and professional and the seat pitch was not too uncomfortable - I am 185 cms tall. In fact I was more comfortable than on some of the scheduled carriers which operate in our part of the world!
At AUH, we were delayed (not because of anything Britannia had control over) so the airline bused the entire planeload of passengers (the aircraft was full) to the Hotel Intercontinental in Abu Dhabi for a buffet feast to pass the time. In all, our delay was about 3.5 hours - hardly significant when you read some of the horror stories of air travel out there!
Batam, Indonesia was our next stop. This small island, near Singapore had a brand new airport and the fees were lower than Changi - hence BY's decision to refuel there. We arrived to pelting Monsoon rains in the mid afternoon - with a lone Garuda 737-400 to keep us company.
By the time I arrived in Brisbane - I was tired but continued to be impressed with BY's service. The return flight to London was less eventful and we arrived 10 mins late - not bad for a 767 which has flown half way around the world!
OK - so I only paid GBP199 for the flight - I guess it was the best money I have ever spent.
If you are considering flying to Australia from the UK - don't be put off by some of the stories you might read about short haul charter services in Europe - it seems that they do not apply to long hauls to Australia - at least in my case!
Looking forward to reading anyone else's comments/experiences.