MEL (Melbourne, Asutralia)-ADL (Adelaide)
16th August, QF683, 737-400, VH-TJM, Economy class
Departure: 1140 (on time)
Arrival: 1215 (5 mins early, ADL 30 mins behind MEL) flight time 1hr05mins
Photo © Brendan Vanderwerf
I arrived at the airport 1 hour before my flight. The queues at the counters were of a medium size and since I travel lite (only hand baggage) I was asked whether I would like to use Qantas Quick Check facility which allowed you to view or change seat assignment and print your boarding pass without the need to talk to any check-in staff. I declined the offer and proceed to the check-in counter and was greeted by a friendly agent. After checking my e-ticket, photo id and Frequent Flyer card details I was assigned the window seats 14F to Adelaide and 7A to Perth. I proceeded through security without any problems (but saw people removing shoes and belts to be put through scanner). Having arrived at the CityFlyer gate and picked up my free newspaper I saw my aircraft arriving at thje gate from Canberra and the passengers deplaning. Only one member of the cabin crew came out and greeted the departing passengers. The boarding commenced with about 15mins to departure time.
The aircraft was configured in an all economy layout, with 3 seats on either side of the single aisle. The boarding was completed in about 10 mins and the doors closed with no spare seats onboard. The captain’s welcome message was heard over the intercom. Then the TV screens extended from the roof and the safety video along with cabin crew demos began. By the time the video had finished we were pushed back ready to taxi. The 734 roared down the middle of runway 27 and 30 seconds later we were airborne on our way to ADL. As the aircraft climbed to its cruise altitude of 28,000 feet the TV screens extended once again for inflight entertainment, which included, “Frasier” plus a short film of about 6 mins duration (visit below link). http://www.qantas.com.au/info/flying/inTheAir/entertainment/main/domestic/index
By this time the cabin crew had rolled out the meal tray for brunch (or morning snack as it is called). The snack included an Almond Slice, a mandarin, water plus your choice of coffee or tea. Gone are the days of inflight peanuts; however a few passengers requested peanuts instead of the morning snack and the staff were more than happy to oblige. As the end of “Frasier” neared we began our approach into Adelaide. After a several minutes into the descent the first inflight program finished and the short film began and once this had finished the screens were folded up and the cabin crew were asked to take their seats for the landing. We flew over the Great Australian bite (the body of water between Victoria and Adelaide) all the while descending to about 3000 or 2000 feet over the water. After about 2mins we touched down at a sunny Adelaide and I saw a Singapore 777 awaiting its turn to use the runway. We quickly pulled off to the taxiway and headed towards the domestic terminal where the air stairs were trucked into position awaiting our arrival.
16th August, QF595, 737-400, VH-TJG, Economy class
Departure:1435 Scheduled: 1425
Arrival: 1620 Scheduled: 1610(10 mins late, PER 90mins behind ADL) f.time 3hr15mins
Photo © Steven Schueler
The first thing you notice at Adelaide is that both Qantas and Virgin Blue share the same terminal and so on one side of the hall way is Qantas and the other side Virgin Blue separated by a few feet. I think this is what we need at more airports. After two hours lay over in Adelaide I boarded flight QF595 to Perth. The aircraft this time had three rows of business class seats. There were two seats on either side of the single aisle and separated only by a little sign attached to the ceiling “Business class passengers only beyond this point. Except in emergencies”, there were no curtains or anything else to separate the business and the economy classes. I took my seat in the economy class which had once again three seats on either side with a single aisle in between. This time however there were spare seats in the aircraft. Once again the captain’s welcome message was played and I was surprised to hear the same voice and the same two names being mentioned as pilot and co_pilot on the flight. The monitors were once again lowered for safety demonstrations and after a short taxi we were airborne for the 3hr15min flight. On this leg the inflight entertainment included a video on how to prevent DVT during the flight, the movie “In Laws” starring Michael Douglas followed by a short film. http://www.qantas.com.au/info/flying/inTheAir/entertainment/main/domestic/index
Once we reached our cruising altitude of 30,000 feet the cabin crew had begun serving afternoon snack which included, a sandwich style roll accompanied by biscuits, cheese a chocolate bar and soft drinks plus coffee or tea. We entered mailand Australia after about 2hrs and flew for another 45 mins before descending into Perth and a short while later we landed. As we taxied towards the terminal (yeap you guessed it) awaiting takeoff was another Singapore 777 with a MAS 777 parked at the International terminal.
17th August, QF802, A330-200, VH-BC, Economy class
Departure:1155 Scheduled: 1145
Arrival: 1705Scheduled: 1720 (10mins early, PER 2hrs behind MEL) f.time 2hr55mins
Photo © TTT
I was already informed by a Qantas agent two days before my departure from Melbourne that the flight from Perth would be delayed by 10mins. So I turned up at the airport and after completing check in formalities, I proceed to security where I was asked whether I had any sharp objects in my bag and whether apart from my belt whether I had metal studs etc. on my shoes and having said no to all above questions I proceeded to the boarding gate. The flight from MEL scheduled to arrive at 1045am arrived at 1100am by 1115 all passengers were off the aircraft and once again the cabin crew/pilots stayed onboard. Boarding commenced at 1135am using the new dual jet boarding gates at many Australian airports used only for QF A330s business class use jetway1 and economy class use jetway2. All seats onboard in economy class were occupied and all were onboard with the exception of 1 passenger. At this point the Captain came over the intercom and informed all passengers that the staff were looking for the missing passenger and the flight time due to strong tail winds would be only 2hr55mins (normally up to 4hrs) so the delay will not affect the flight. Meanwhile a ground vehicle was stuck and a few ground crew were trying everything to move it away from the aircraft.
The passenger having been found and the ground vehicle having been moved away the aircraft pushed back and the TV screens extended out from the ceiling every few rows and the safety demos began. At their conclusion the screens were folded up and all were seated in preparation for the flight. We taxied to runway 21 at Perth and entered the runway halfway and rolled for about 30 to 40 seconds before becoming airborne. We climbed to our cruising altitude of 39000 feet and once we levelled off the TV screens were dropped down and the inflight entertainment in the form of X-Men2 was shown and the cabin crew were also handing out lunch menus which included Fresh Salad and either Pasta and Bologanise or Chicken with mushroom, mashed potatoes and bread roll with a chocolate biscuit and your choice of soft drink, alcoholic beverages and coffee or tea. As the movie continued the cabin crew brought out lunch, I ordered the Chicken lunch and was astonished to find metal butter knife with a metal fork (went against everything I had read on these forums). Once all the lunch trays had been collected, the cabin crew once again passed through the cabin this time to begin serving ice cream cones to everyone. At this time we had begun our descent and the TV screens now displayed flight info such as current altitude, time at destination and time at origin etc. Melbourne was experiencing 50kph winds during our descent. Well into our descent the cabin crew served mints to everyone on board. Two interesting things I noted during descent were: 1. the flaps being extended a fraction 1 degree or so, to begin our descent from 39,000 feet and the flaps remained in this position until time came to extended them into landing position. The second was the spoilers being opened up in midair in which point the plane tended to slow down dramatically and lose altitude and soon the spoilers were closed and we continued our normal descent. Passing through a few clouds the plane started shaking as we made our way towards Port Philip bay and Melbourne city (for my U.S. friends this is called downtown). As we began our approach to the runway the plane was buffeted by heavy winds from the left and lots of correction had to be done by the pilots to maintain the aircraft’s heading. A few moments later we touched down on runway 34 and pulled off to the taxiway in a shorter distance than some previous aircraft I’ve been on previously. We headed to one of two A330 enabled gates with the dual bridges and I walked all the way to the front of the aircraft through the business class and deplaned using the business class airbridge.
All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable trip, with excellent in-flight service. I can't wait to fly the above route again.