BOEING 717-200 VH-VQB MCY-SYD
SCHEDULED DEP TIME: 1235
ACTUAL DEP TIME: 1255
SCHEDULED ARR TIME: 1405
ACTUAL ARR TIME: 1405
BOEING 717-200 VH-VQK SYD-MCY
SCHEDULED DEP TIME: 1905
ACTUAL DEP TIME: 1915
SCHEDULED ARR TIME: 2035
ACTUAL ARR TIME: 2045
Well after much anticipation the first day for Jetstar, Australia's new low cost airline, arrived, and with it, my day trip to SYD.
Got to the terminal at my local airport (Maroochydore/Sunshine Coast Airport) nice and early to check in. Got my boarding 'receipt' and had a look round. I went outside and some batty old woman came and sat next to me and started nattering on about it being a "really big airport" (It has about 6 flights a day for goodness sake!), shook her off and went to the end of the runway to see the Melbourne JetStar flight arrive. Unhappy to see that the plane was still in its white scheme.
Went back to the terminal in time to see the Sydney flight arrive soon after, this too was in its white scheme. Went through to the departure lounge, and I was one of the unfortunate "randoms" to be chosen for explosives testing (I made the mistake of looking at the guy as I went through, I think that's what did it). After all that I waited for a few minutes for the flight to be called, and rushed to the head of the line so I could get a good seat (Jetstar has "first come first serve" seating arrangements). I was very happy that I managed to get an emergency overwing exit seat - lots of legroom!
After a wait of about 20 minutes after our scheduled departure time, we finally started moving. Backtracked down the runway for a 36 departure heading north then east and south. Flew over Moreton Island before becoming enveloped in thick cloud, and we didn't see another thing before descent into Sydney. The flight down was pretty heavy with turbulence, and about halfway through the seatbelt lights came on for about 20 minutes. Coming into Sydney we flew south, then west over Manly, south to Botany Bay, then north for a 36L arrival.
Spent my five hours wandering around the domestic terminal, then took the train to the International and went up to the "esky bar" - an observation lounge/cafe situated on top of the airport with above average views of the northern end of the airport, and pretty good views of the Qantas domestic terminal. Airlines spotted at SYD:
: 737s, 747s, 767s, A330s.
: Dash 8s
: A330 (?)
: 2x 747-400
: A320 x 2
Being late in the day, the majority of Internationals had already departed. The weather in Sydney was pretty bad - showers and overcast weather the whole time, so photos were practically impossible.
Checked in for the return flight as soon as check in opened as well, so I had about 2 hours to kill, watched the comings and goings of the airport from the domestic terminal, then proceeded to the gate about 45 mins before boarding so I could beat all the others to a good seat. Managed to get the same seat as on the way down, which was good, lots of legroom!! It was pitch black on the way back, but the lights of Sydney shone beautifully below just after take-off from 36R. After about one hour we descended into Maroochydore for a runway 36 landing. The weather here is exactly as it was in Sydney - drizzle and showers.
JetStar really were much better than I expected. Allowing you to choose your seat really is good - and the service is a cut above Virgin Blue. Having travelled Virgin Blue I must say JetStar beats them for service hands down. Not to mention getting a couple of goodie bags, and two caps for being on the inaugural flights!! All in all a really good day.