This business trip had been planned for a while, constantly being delayed due to other priorities.
Up at 4:45am and drove to Tullamarine. Dropped the car in the long stay and immediately stepped onto the courtesy bus which soon had me in the QANTAS terminal which was not nearly as busy as I expected. As I just had hand luggage of document folder and laptop used the EasyCheck booth to check-in for my flight.
For some reason the TA had missed my SA)">FF details off the booking so the booth offered me a window seat instead of my usual aisle. Quickly changed to 22D (22 is my birthday!), through security and had time for a cappuccino before boarding which was timed for 6:50.
Strolled down to Gate 7 and boarding was already under way. I was offered a newspaper from the stand but had already bought one to read with the coffee. Boarded the Cityflyer flight and settled down. Pushback was on time, but we held on the taxiway for about 10mins, letting a DJ 737NG through followed by a QANTASLINK MD-11. This allowed the cabin crew plenty of time to demonstrate the usual safety info. Then lined up on Rwy27 for departure.
A couple of minor alterations to our heading and we are tracked for ADL.
QF671 MEL-ADL Economy
Soon after departure, the Captain made his usual customary announcements – I was surprised to hear a very nice modulating Indian accent. Very multicultural, very “spirit of Australia”!
It was early morning and I didn’t really fancy watching the inflight entertainment so set about watching the cabin crew of 5 serving the flight, which was about 85% full. This was the first time I’ve seen the new uniforms close-up and I thought the full print dress a little hard on the eye – especially when worn by a full-sized FA! But the charcoal suits with either the print tie or print neckerchief looks very smart. Two sets of two FAs served the economy cabin.
Was soon enjoying my breakfast of muesli with orange juice, though skipped the muffin and orange. Perfect flying conditions, just got a little bumpy around the SA/Vic border and we were soon descending for arrival at ADL.
Straight in and a rather hard landing had us arriving at the QF terminal about 5 mins early. It had been a while since I’d flown into ADL and I’d forgotten that there are no airbridges, so down the rear stairs to disembark.
A rather uneventful flight.
I’d been offered the option to check in for my return when I’d checked-in for the outward leg, but decided against it in case I changed my flight. Incidentally, I’d also been offered the choice of booking on an earlier flight for the outbound leg – there wasn’t one!
Arrived back at ADL for the return at about 3:45 for a 4:20 departure. I was surprised that there were no EasyCheck booths but the line for economy check-in was only about 6 deep and I was soon being served. Handed over my driver’s license and was soon handed a boarding pass. Forgot to ask for a aisle but the woman had allocated one any way – nice touch of addressing me by name (must be getting old!)
Down into the cramped departures hall which is shared by all airlines: QF to the left, DJ to the right with Rex, O’Connor and whoever else fitting in wherever they can. I made my way to Gate 11 and sat waiting for the flight to be called at 4:00pm. Boarding started at 4:05pm and a quick walk to the stand had me on board via the rear stairs.
The –400 had just a cabin crew of four for the return journey. Again, they started the safety demo as soon as the push-back started and as we taxied a while to Rwy25 they had plenty of time to complete. No pausing this time, engines spooled up as we turned onto the Rwy and we were soon lifting up out over the bay before the classic LH turn over the southern suburbs and then the right hand turn for the track back to Melbourne.
QF690 ADL-MEL Economy
The crew were very attentive to the near-full crowd, the youngster opposite me had been given a goody pack (entirely sponsored by Vegemite!!) on her way in and soon received her special meal of a sandwich. This time, one crew member looked after Business Class while two brought the trolley down the economy galley and the fourth dispensed the special requests and then acted as gofer for the Eco trolley. As this Cityflyer flight was after 4pm alcoholic drinks of beer or wine were offered for free, mixed-drinks were available at $6.00 each.
This time I watched the inflight programme: some ads for QF sponsored events, an edition of Frazier and an interview with Powderfinger.
Being toward the back we were well over halfway before I received my box containing some crackers, a piece of cheese, water, “bhuja mix” and a small piece of nougat. I asked for a beer and was given a VB – which complement the bhuja mix.
As soon as the trolley completed its journey, it was back at the front of economy and packing away. The attentive fourth FA picked up all of the boxes close to the back and I finished the beer just as we were descending into MEL.
Again, no traffic delays and we were at the Terminal Gate 5 mins before schedule. Paid for the parking at the Courtsey bus waiting stand – and again stepped straight onto a bus for the ride back to the carpark.
Thanks for reading what was a very uneventful trip. Any questions will be answered as best I can.