After looking at the seating plans, I select 25B on QF443 and seat 1A on QF481 (previously upgraded on the MEL-PER sector), with both sectors being operated by 767's.
After showering, I give my boarding pass to the service desk staff and promptly find a quiet corner to curl up in for a few hours nap (after telling them where I was).
Awoke at 1410 for my 1500 flight, so informed staff I was awake, collected BP and made my way to the bar after checking monitors and seeing that I was departing from gate 8. After collecting drink from the bar, proceed to window, where to my sheer delight (and abject horror) I saw "Yananyi Dreaming" parked at gate 8.
Photo © Dave Faulkner
Sheer delight? I had not flown on this "dreaming" aircraft, and I had been chasing it around. Abject horror? 25B on a 737 is a very different seat compared to the 25B I had selected on a 767.
Proceed back to service desk, and get reallocated to 18D.
Anyway, enough of that.
QF 443, Sun 26 January, 2003
Boeing 737-838 VH-VXB Yananyi Dreaming
Scheduled departure was 1500, but boarding did not commence until 1455, so pushback was delayed until 1510. Nothing major to report, allocated runway was 34R, so we had to taxi.... and taxi.... and taxi even more, before we eventually got to the end of the runway. Take-off smooth and uneventful.
This aircraft has been recently reconfigured, and now has 12 J seats. The Y seats are Qantas slimline seats, fitted with the same material as the A330's (blue with a green tinge to it).
Refreshments were the usual box, this time it came with a chocolate and apricot cookie and a small packet of Kettle chips, so not too bad (better than the dreaded breadsticks).
I tried to convince the flight attendant that this was actually a 1630 departure, and it was really a Monday afternoon, but she would have none of it, and insisted that I pay for my beer! The cheek of her.
(For Third World readers - you know who you are, usually fly on AA, UA, CO, DL, etc. - Qantas provides free beer and wine in Y after 1600 on weekdays).
Entertainment was "Kath and Kim", an episode I had seen about five or six times (all on QF flights) - about time for a change, Qantas.
Flight uneventful, apart from some mild CAT on descent into Melbourne. On the ground at 1635, at the gate at 1640, 15 minutes late. Not a bad effort, considering the original aircraft had gone U/S and they had to do a switch.
QF 481, Sun 26 January, 2003
Boeing 767-336 VH-ZXG
This flight was scheduled to depart at 1810, and boarding commenced at 1750. Upon reaching my seat (1A) the flight attendant took my coat and boarding pass and hung it up for me (I was just going to leave it slumped on the empty seat next to me).
When we were all on and doors were closed, the FA came around with pre-takeoff drinks. The "wider selection" means that in addition to water there is now orange juice.
Take off smooth, can't remember which runway was used, but was uneventful.
Once in the air, the service started. Qantas have recently revamped services between Perth and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Not having previously flown on this secor in J, I have nothing to compare it with, but it was slightly below international J, which is not bad I suppose for a domestic product (albeit a four hour sector).
Pre dinner drinks orders were taken, with passengers being addressed by name (not new, had this a month or so ago on ADL-SYD on a 737). Mine was a bourbon and dry, and fortunately they were a little strong on the bourbon.
Menu's were then distributed, which makes a change from my experiences of QF J.
Dinner was as follows:
Antipasto with Balsamic Dressing
Roast Chicken with Potato Gratin, Green Beans and Mushroom Sauce
(This is what I had, it was superb).
Green Curry of Blue Eye Cod with Jasmine Rice
Salad of Beef Fillet with Asian Coleslaw and Wasabi Mayonnaise
Green Leaf Salas with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Seasonal Cheese, Dried Fruit and Water Crackers
Ice Cream with Almond Biscuits
Alas, the menu is rather bland when it comes to the wine list, merely "A variety of premium Australian sparkling, white and red wines is available today for your enjoyment. Your Flight Attendant will advise you of the selection."
I had a very pleasant chardonnay, can't recall the name off hand. I did note it, but after five or six glasses, I forgot.
Dinner was polished off with a very pleasant port and coffee, along with after dinner mints.
A further drinks order was taken prior to arrival into Perth, along with a supper consisting of chocolate fudge (which I passed on, although it looked very nice).
Arrival in Perth was 2 minutes late (I want my money back) and luggage was on the carousel when I got there (first off). All in all, an exceptional flight/s, considering it only cost me $A253 and 8000 points.
Check in is completed at the Qantas Club lounge at 2055 - a colleague is arriving on the flight from SYD at 2105 (same aircraft, in fact) and we need to conduct some negotiations in the lounge (pretty delicate negotiations they are too, things like "Who's turn is it to go to the bar?" )
Once he arrives, I leave him to it and disappear for a shower - the temperature in Perth was 36º and I was feeling it!
Some people have been saying that the PER lounge is desperately in need of an upgrade - I didn't think there was anything wrong with it. Certainly not quite there with the upgraded SYD and MEL lounges, but there are some lounges that look a lot tireder than this one does (a certain lounge located in the NSW/Queensland border springs to mind).
QF 581, Mon 27 January, 2003
Boeing 747-338 VH-EBX
This flight is a dreaded "red-eye" flight, of which Qantas has three, one each to Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. PER-SYD is a four hour flight, departing PER at 2340, arriving SYD at 0640. So, if your body clock is on PER time, you are getting in just before 4am, if it is on SYD time, you are leaving just before 3am. And with the four flight, there is little time to get any decent sleep. Best to just write the day off totally. At least it is a 747.
My original intention was to remain in steerage, as I would not be getting much sleep anyway.
A few Crownies soon changed that, and I was up at the service desk parting with 8,000 points, and receiving a new boarding pass for 11A (front row window, upper deck).
Boarding commenced at 2310 - as you would expect with a 747 - and pushback was on time at 2340. Usual drinks - juice/water - were offered, prior to the safety demonstration.
After departure, pre-supper drinks were offered (the usual, bourbon and dry) and then the supper menus were handed out. I kept mine, but dozed off before they came around, so cannot comment on how good they were.
Antipasto with Balsamic Dressing
Lamb Navabi with Chickpea Salad and Rice
Roast Salmon Fillet with Pink Eye Potatoes and Tomato Sauce
Salad of Chicken with Asparagus, Cucumber, Cherry Tomatoes and Mustard Dressing
Spiced Apple Muffin
The muffin was very nice, freshly warmed as it was.
Arrival into Sydney was early, touching down on runway 07 at 0615, disembarking at 0630.
All in all, a very cheap trip.