Would you pick the taxi or the hotel?
Before the report two things to explain....
1. Sydney has a curfew between 11pm and 6am
2. Sydney doesn't get snow
Going to keep this short and sweet, so light on the aircraft details. No pics at this stage until I open, edit and upload them.
Saturday, 4 September 2004
Flight: QF25 (8:30:00 AM)
Miles: 468 (approx 1 hour, 10 mins)
Aircraft: B747-438 (VH-OJI)
Excellent flight. My first flight in the nose of a 747. We taxied for a Rwy 34L departure (hence the choice for 1K to view city). Sitting that far up in the nose, the side windows are angled to a degree where turning while on ground, the aircraft seems to travel sideways.
Watched a bit of "Suddenly 30" on the PTV on the way up, but naturally started descent only 40 minutes into movie (they start them quicker than I remember on my last QF25).
As per usual, the hot breakfast hit the spot!
Qantas crew were very happy to have me up on the flight deck for photos upon landing. I'll be sure to show those sometime.
Sunday, 5 September 2004
Flight QF559 (9:00:00 PM)
Miles: 468 (Approx 1 hour, 30 mins)
Aircraft: B737-476 (VH-TJK)
There was a lot of chaos in Brisbane. Most of the flights were delayed to Sydney. I should have checked the YSSY ATIS before boarding, but I didn't. I'd say about 4 Sydney flights all left about the same time, some delayed over an hour.... mine was delayed 20 minutes.
All flights appeared to be full. The flight I was on had no seats free whatsoever.
4A was a coverted business seat (can be changed into a business seat with minor modifications). The people in 4B and 4C
were to later be the biggest complainers on the flight.
Food on this flight was dissapointing. Saw the new bag-napkins for the flight time. The food was simply cheese sticks and cashews. The bag-napkin seems like a good idea (the napkin is double layered and an opening in one side is intended for waste). That said, half the people didn't know how to use the napkin and the flight crew wasted time showing people because there were no trays; people started handing the flight attendants bits of stray rubbish.
Flight went as per usual, and I didn't think anything was going wrong until about 10:40pm when we still hadn't decended for Sydney.
The Captain's PA soon after let us know bluntly:
"...got some bad news. We're not landing in Sydney. We'll be diverted to Canberra instead due to ice covering on Sydney runways. The airport has closed"
Miles: 956 (Approx 1 hour, 50 mins)
We landed in Canberra as if heavy around 11:20pm. With reverse thrust, we came to a halt on the wet runway near the very end. Taxiing back, I noticed that there were about 12 737's on the tarmac which was abnormal. All aircraft were Sydney diversions. No wide bodies were diverted to Canberra with most being diverted to BNE
We remained on the tarmac due to the fact that there were only 2 Qantas ground crew unloading all aircraft (more were being paged in).
The Captain gave the okay for all of us to use mobile phones; everyone raced to call loved ones... I raced to call the Sydney ATIS phone line. Damn....
Phone a few friends. Learned that the domestic terminal was clogged with traffic trying to get around terminal. Learned that Ops were sticking to their Patrols and driving around no faster than 40km/h.
We learned that the curfew had been extended to midnight, but that wasn't going to help us. The crew were very professional in answering questions and calming everyone down.
We finally got onto tarmac at around 12:20am and were led into terminal - not before getting flightdeck photos
Around 12:50pm, Qantas staff started organising passengers into different hotels. I was nowhere near the start of the line, but we were all served very, very quickly. I was sent with Cabcharge to the Hyatt.
Meanwhile, Virgin Blue was only just getting their passengers off aircraft that had been on the tarmac far longer. All Virgin Blue passengers were asked to share taxi's (no less than 4 people), and maximise space with luggage. These taxi's then took passengers to Sydney.
I slept in a made my way to the airport. Qantas staff were quick to let me choose any aircraft I wanted and apologised for any inconvenience.
Many of the aircraft earlier in the morning were delayed. It seems as if most of the aircraft were quickly returned to Sydney for morning flights, but I can't confirm this. There were certainly a lack of aircraft at Canberra; most flights arrived late and hence went out late.
The flight I chose was to leave on time thankfully.
Monday, 6 September 2004
Flight: QF1420 (12:40:00 PM)
CBR-SYD (Canberra to Sydney)
Miles: 236 (Approx 55 mins)
Aircraft: DHC-8-315 (VH-TQZ)
Very quick efficient flight. The flight attendant had a slight cold, but she managed to be very quick to do her job perfectly. We departed straight out from Rwy 35 without delay landing on Rwy 34L. This cut a lot off the flight time taking about 40 mins.
Food on this flight was a sandwich. Quite nice, but simple.
The pilots had a sense of humour and were very happy to have me up for photos despite the fact that landing at T3
meant that the 2 mins I spent in cockpit were 2 minutes everyone was waiting on the tarmac bus for me.
Anyway... all in all, a bit of an adventure compared to the normal, run of the mill SYD
Respected users.... If my replies are useful, then by all means...