A few months back Qantas had a fare sale offering 50% bonus miles on certain flights, some of the flights included were to LA
, so i decided to take a spotting trip to Toronto and La. Here is the report and some pics from the journey.
Flight-QF 518 Per-Syd
Seat-44A exit row
Flight Time-3hrs 30min
The red-eye from Perth to Sydney is just about the worst flight in Oz, I arrived at the domestic terminal and checked in for my flight to LAX
, i was hoping to have my luggage tagged to YYZ
, this was not possible due to SA
)">AA changing the flight numbers and i didn't have the info on hand for the agent to label my case correctly. I got my boarding passes for my flight to Sydney and onwards to LA
, this saved plenty of time and mucking about at Sydney.
after checkin was complete i sat around upstairs watching TV
and waiting for the boarding call, at 2250 the first call was made, the amount of people who don't listen and all jump into the que at once astounds me, since when did row 44 become row 34? boarding took around 25 mins and after the remaining cargo was loaded we were pushed back and made our way out for a "Brooke 2" departure off runway 21.
shortly after reaching our cruising altitude of 37000 feet our dinner was served, tonight's menu seemed rather farmiliar, Braised beef and Mashed spuds with some green's and a bottle of Red wine. i found it to be rather filling but the meat was a bit like boot leather! as per usual after dinner i decided to sleep until our descent into Sydney began. A movie was shown but i tend not to watch them anymore, i find it easier to sleep on flights than ever before!
our descent began with about 20 minutes left to run until Sydney, we landed on runway 07 and taxied to our stand at the domestic terminal. disembarking was orderly and took about 7 minutes. i had 9 hrs free to spot at Sydney with some mates and to just sit around and relax.
Flight-QF 11 Syd-Lax
Flight Time-12hrs 20min
After spending a few hours with Grant, Norbert, Micheil and Sam i decided to head through customs and to Gate 9 where QF
11 was parked for the flight to LAX
upon arriving at the gate i noticed that this flight would be extremley full and not to many spare seats would be available. boarding began at 1500 and as per usual everyone just went straight for the gate, so as you can imagine there was 300 people standing in line waiting to get on a 747. I deicided to sit and wait for the que to die down then proceeded onboard the aircraft. my seat was right adjacent to the mid galley of economy class, this proved to be a great spot!
after loading and pax onboard we proceeded to push back and taxi for a 34L departure which would take us North of Sydney then a right turn out to the Pacific Ocean and then straight up towards LA
. I was quite relieved to hear that the flight would be a rather short 12 hrs 20, almost the same as doing a run to Europe from Asia. At 1535 we proceeded to accelerate down 34L and with a roll of close to 55 seconds we slowly got airborne.
after reaching our initial height of 30000 feet a service of drinks came around along with a meal of Chicken which i opted for. meal was rather nice and light which i enjoyed with a few Gin and Tonics.
the IFE was turned on, due to a customer not being able to get his video in the German language the system was rebooted and then all hell broke loose, it took close to 4 hrs to get the system working again. The crew was at the point of turning it off altogether, thankfully they didn't.
the galley was becoming very disfunctional, mess everywhere, boxes of ice-cream spread about the place, but for all the craziness the crew was one of the best and most efficient i have seen, they even managed a chat and to keep the friendly smiles going!
I had a leftover bottle of sprite and asked the attendant if he would put a little vodka in it for me, he put nearly a whole glass in it!
which knocked me out for the rest of the flight! which was good as i still had a 6 hr layover in LA
and had been on the go already for close to 25 hours! so for the rest of the flight which was about 7 hours i managed to get some good rest!
i had a lovely couple sitting next to me who allowed me the window seat on landing so i could get some shots! managed to get some nice shots of Longbeach field and the local areas we passed through. this was one of the BEST QF
flights i've taken, and for that reason i'll keep flying them.
a little after 12 hours in the air we began our rather rapid descent into LAX
, making a series of turns then making our approach for 25R. we made our way to the SA
)">AA terminal 4 and disembarked.
customs and INS is so slow! it took close to 2 hours to get stamped and have the bags in my hand to recheckin, especially when you arrive at the same time as a full QF
flight from BNE
and a full SA
)">AA flight from NRT
I collected my bags and went to recheck for the flight to YYZ
, then grabbed a cab to Imperial Hill to kill some time!
Flight-AA 438 Lax-Yyz
Flight Time-3hrs 30min
this was to be my first time flying SA
)">AA, i arrived at the gate a little early and found a mass of people, thankfully our flight was only 50% full so i managed a row to myself! it was much needed to i might add, travelling with 2 slipped discs in your back i absolute agony.
boarding commenced a little late due to the late arrival of the plane from another destination! when formalities were complete we were quickly underway and taxied our for 25R departure over the Pacific Ocean then turning back towards the mainland, our course would take us over Nevada, St Louis, Michigan then Ontario and into Toronto.
the first thing i noticed was the amount of legroom available, it's quite a step up from most airlines i've been on! after reaching our cruise of 35000 feet i quickly fell asleep, i missed dinner, movie and anything else that may have happend, when i did awake the frienldly stewardess offered me my meal, i chose not to eat, was feeling like crap from being over tired! i opted for a nice cold juice and the stewardess was quick to oblige.
we began our descent into Toronto and to my right was a view of the fabulous skyline, the CN tower was looking awesome with it's lights on! we arrived on runway 24 a short time later, customs was very fast and efficient also.
although i can't really comment on this flight due to sleeping most of it, i found the service to be excellent and the space was great!
Flight-AA 529 Yyz-Lax
Flight Time-5hrs 30min (includes de-ice)
Arrived at T3
in Toronto at 6am to find a que of close to 150 people with only 4 counters in operation for the countless SA
)">AA flights preparing to depart! it took a good 50 minutes to get through this que! SA
)">AA needs to address this rather fast!
i got my luggage checked then proceeded to the US immigration for pre-clearance which is a great system, saves time and energy waiting around at LAX
! this took about 10 minutes and the que moved very easily.
boarding commenced at 0730 and we had another light load, once seated we began our pushback just after 8am, by now my back and leg were in immense pain from sitting down, if you've not had a slipped disc or sciatica then you don't know pain! we taxied out to the de-ice area and went through the procedure which added another 25 minutes to our ground time. was really cool to watch that happening from the window seat.
we eventually headed out for the active and were number 2 for departure to LAX
, wasn't sure of the runway in use to be honest! we climbed rather quickly after a short takeoff roll, then proceeded in a westerly direction towards LAX
, our route took us over the Grand Canyon and the Rockies in Colorado and then past Las Vegas and into LAX
for a 25L landing.
breakfast was a terrible excuse for a meal, the omelete was awful, the food was uneadable so i refused to consume it. i opted to take in the spectacular view instead!
i got some good sleep on this flight also! crew were friendly and efficient also.
Flight-QF 94 Lax-Mel
Seat-34F exit row
Flight Time-15hrs 10min
this was the flight i was least looking forward too! 15 hours in a plane is near torture and that's being diplomatic! i returned my rental car and headed to TBIT for checkin for QF
94, the que was empty so i didnt have to wait to checkin, got the seat i asked for then handed my luggage to the TSA
. i deicede to get through the sreening process asap, worst move ever! if you depart from TBIT and expect to see shops and things to do then you'll be let down, not a bloody thing there at all!
so i went to the closest bar and got talking with some guys on there way to AKL
for holidays, we started talking about how empty the terminal was, none of us could believe how bad it was! i sat around for 3 hours with not a thing to do, why QF
use this poor excuse for a terminal is beyond me?!?! they should have all the ops out of T4
boarding commenced at about 2235 for the long flight back to Melbourne, i was quick to get onboard as i was battling to stay awake, took my seat and watched the remaining pax board, after formalities were complete we commenced our push and start and made the long taxi out for 25R. we did a rolling start and the roll lasted 58 seconds before we finally managed to get airborne. from here it was pretty much settle back and sleep, i had the chicked dinner which was terrible, with some beans and god knows what else.
crew were efficient but not as friendly as that on QF11, after dinner i pulled out the mask and went to sleep, i honestly don't remember to much of this flight, i took some strong sedatives which knocked me out for a good 10 hours! i was suprised that the crew didn't hand out the eyeshade and ammenity kits?
with about 2 hours to run we were served a breakfast, i went for the the hot meal which was a tart and sausage, very yummy to i might add!
we soon began our decent for a runway 34 arrival into melbourne and landed pretty much dead on time, we then proceeded to our gate to find CX
B-HOY was still on it, which added another 10 minutes to our time onboard!
after docking i was quick to get off and head to the rather large customs que, then made my way to the baggage area to find that they had put our flight and SQ
flight on the same carousel, it took nearly 1 hr to get my bag off this stupid merry-go-round! then i had to lineup for the AQIS scan which added another 35 mins! bloody stupid if you ask me.
this was by far my longest ever nonstop, i don't recommend it to anyone, it's far to long to be stuck in a cabin with very little room to move.
Flight-QF 689 Mel-Adl
Flight Time-1 hr
this flight was running pretty late due to it's late arrival from Perth, boarding was fast and efficient, mainly full of business people going to SA
for whatever reason.
a small snack of cookies was served along with some juice, nothing much to talk about on this flight. we went up, a few minutes later we were in descent again.
Flight-QF 599 Adl-Per
finally it was time to head home, i checked in at ADL
airport and thankfully there was no que at all, made my way to the gate with a friend then proceeded to board when called. a little after 1945 we pushed and started for the 3 hr flight to Perth, once airborne a meal of Chicken (yes more chicken) and rice was served, i skipped as it tasted bland and dry, and yet again i fell dead asleep as per usual. i awoke when we had just commenced our descent, so it would be safe to assume that not much happend.
we arrived in Perth on time and taxied to a hard stand and disembarked via the stairs.
all up, a very long and exhausting 2 weeks on the road, traveling from Australia and in particular Perth can really knock you about, i won't be doing it again in a hurry i know that much!
Qantas yet again proved to be a good choice, i think i'll stick to them even though they've screwed us FF
members quite royaly!
keep an eye out for pics when i get around to editing the nearly 2000 odd shots!