Trip report 10/11/2001
CBR-SYD-MEL-ADL on Qantas (who else but me would fly this route when i could have done CBR-ADL direct...)
CBR-SYD, QF 560, 737-400, VH-TJU, Seat 21F window, PB: 0625 TO: 0632 LA: 0657 Rwy 34L FT: 25mins
Got to the airport about 5:30am – I have masochistic friends who offered to take me which saved me a $20 taxi fare (thanks Dennis…). I was surprised to see that the QF check-in had no yet opened despite a reasonable queue and the scheduled departure of the first flight of the day at 0620 (my flight). However it soon opened and I had no trouble checking in, despite my 45-odd kg of baggage (going home after a year at uni…). The one problem was my inability to get a window seat on the SYD-MEL sector of my journey, despite the fact that I obviously checked in earlier than a great number of the pax. It annoys me how these days there are so many pre-allocated seats when “normal” people like me (low-level FF) can’t have allocation pre-checkin at all.
Boarding was on schedule and as with most flights around Australia at present, the plane was almost full. Operating a/c was VH-TJU (a change from TJE which had been scheduled a day previously) which looked as if it had just emerged from the paintshop – nice for a change as the QF 737s are often rather grubby.
Flight time was really short so despite the promised breakfast we got a muffin and some of that pressurised OJ. Being still a little unstable on my feet after last night’s festivities, I wolfed it down, which certainly aided my uneasy stomach!
Landing was on 34L and was surprisingly long – flaps (I always forget the normal term, even though Brad has already told me a few times before) weren’t deployed until late in the landing. We then taxied across to the QF domestic terminal, spying the usual internationals (though I had never seen 2 SQ 744s at the same time at SYD – have I just missed it or was one of them the ill-fated a/c from a few days back?). Also Asiana, Egyptair, the AC chartered 767 etc etc.
At the domestic terminal, OJB was in for domestic work – great to see this lovely aircraft up close once again, as well as VH-NOA, one of the white AWAS 767-300s, just departing for Adelaide.
As we had arrived early we had to wait 5 mins for the QF personnel to arrive at the gate (also a gate change which saw us at Gate 1) but we soon deplaned and entered the terminal.
There I had a 30 min wait until my next flight boarded – a 767-338 to MEL.
SYD-MEL, QF 415, 767-300, VH-OGD, Seat 29K window, PB: 0814 TO: 0836 Rwy 25 LA: 0937 Rwy 27, FT: 1hr01
As I had been told, I was on another 767-338, despite my hopes for a plane change to get a 767-336 (I need that safety card!). Oh well… I had not been on OGD to my knowledge so it still added to my repertoire. I managed to score a window after smiling nicely at the gate agent – it’s amazing – I can never get it at check-in but have never failed to get one at the gate. No-shows I suppose.
Because of some late international connecting passengers, we pushed back late and waited even longer to take-off due to the somewhat stupid runway configuration in operation (though in fairness I should leave such judgement to people who know a bit about it…). On that – I have never yet been through SYD with cross runway operations. All landings were on 34L & R whilst all takeoffs were on 25 – first time I can remember taking off on this runway. It created problems with planes queuing to cross the operational 25 after landing and of course preventing seamless Takeoffs and landings that are possible on parallel runway ops. Oh well, after about 4 planes had left we lined up behind Thai 744 (TGA) for departure and were soon airborne.
It was interesting that we did not maintain a steady climb. The engines soon toned down after takeoff and we flew for about 10 mins at 5000ft (thanks to the in-cabin displays) which seemed particularly silly as we were crossing SYD metropolitan areas – on election day what is more!!!!. No doubt there was an ATC reason – perhaps something to do with cross-runway ops????
However we climbed to cruising altitude soon thereafter and received breakfast. This time it wasn’t much better – a tub of cereal (I hate cereal!)… Oh well, I had another drink of orange juice. Watched Frasier on the main cabin screen and we were soon on descent into MEL, which kindly provided us with a few bumps due to heavy cloud cover. On landing, I spied the newly painted yellow Freedom Air 733 take-off for somewhere in NZ no doubt as well as the hybrid Virgin 733 – acquired from AN. Furthermore, there was a Russian Il86 parked off the International terminal as well as the AF 744 chartered for the French soccer (football to you Europeans) team.
We pulled in to the new finger of the QF terminal – which was my first inside look at the extension. Nothing special. However as I was late, I had to run to the end of the other finger to catch my connecting flight to ADL, which I noted on taxing in was to be 767-300 VH-OGU. Another OG.. series. My 6th for this year… I’m becoming sick oh them (this year alone I have flown OGB, OGC, OGD, OGL, OGU, OGV)!!!!!
MEL-ADL, QF 687, 767-300, VH-OGU, Seat 40A window, PB: 1021 TO: 1027 Rwy 27 LA: 1059 (30 min time diff.) Rwy 23, FT: 1hr 02.
Another full flight, another 767-338. However it was exciting for me to fly a domestic 767-300 into little old ADL. They sure look huge sitting out on the tarmac alongside a 733 and the odd regional turboprop. If one can say there are any positives after the AN collapse, one must be the advent of domestic widebodies into ADL. We now get 4-5 a day – a mix of 763 and 762s…
Flight was uneventful except for the idiot in the row in front who had a leaky bottle of lysterine (sp?) in his handluggage which proceeded to leak through the overhead bin and drip on my neighbour as well as people a few rows back. Before we knew the cause there was quite a measure of concern amongst the flight attendants. Not to mention my stinky hands (stop the dripping) and my neighbours wet novel… Oh well, just one of those things.
Due to moderate winds, landing in ADL was reasonably heavy after the gorgeous approach that is typical of Rwy 23 ops (I recommend anyone flying into ADL to request a LHS window as it is odds-on a 23 approach with a lovely view of the Adelaide hills followed by a final approach over the city.
Once in the terminal and once again under the authority of my parents (I now know why I moved out of home – even though I love them to death), I discovered that only 1 of my 2 bags had made the quick connection in MEL. The first time I have had bag problems domestically in Australia, and it wasn’t really their fault – I was amazed one made it at all. It shows the quality of the baggage handling here downunder. Just as I write this I got a call informing me of delivery within 2 hours. Not bad.