Two weeks ago, it was decided that I need to make [another] business trip to Europe. This is my third long haul this year, lucky I like flying!
It was going to be a quick trip, with a day spent in Southampton at the boat show, and 5 days in France. I chose to go via Brisbane mainly to have a flight on an A333, but also to catch QF 9 which originated from MEL
and is the first QF flight to land at LHR
747-438 Reg: VH
Depart time, scheduled 08:30 Actual 08:55
Arrival time, scheduled 10:00 Actual 10:18
After a very early wake up, the taxi arrived right on schedule [06:00, internet taxi bookings seem to work very well!] to deliver me to the international airport. Although I was going to Brisbane, I wanted to take an international flight for a couple of reasons. Firstly I had an upgrade credit to be used, and could see this would be a 2 class skybed 747, so this was a good opportunity to travel on one, and secondly because I flying onwards to Singapore and London, I couldn’t be bothered transferring form the domestic terminal to the international terminal.
There was an almost ½ delay due to connecting passengers being held up on late flights, but being in a business class seat makes it all the more bearable!
Flight itself was uneventful, breakfast was a continental breakfast, but I was more interested in the view, as it was a very clear day. Good thing I was not interested in the movies and a short flight, as the screen kept turning itself off. I feel sorry for the next people on this plane as it continues on to AKL
View from the Qantas lounge
Skybeds at the pointy end
A different view of the tug
View of Brisbane city
Business Class on 2 class 747
Our A 333 being pushed back literally
Hope my bag is not in there
A330-313 Reg: VH
Depart time, scheduled 13:55, actual 13:58
Arrival time, scheduled 19:50, actual 19:46
After 3 hours of waiting and eating in the Qantas Club lounge, I thought I would go to the gate and get some photos of QPE before the boarding rush. While I was watching the baggage handlers had a slight problem with one of the containers slipping off the trailer prior to loading. It was very comical watching them trying to right the container, and get it back onto the trailer.
This is the first Qantas flight I have been on with the ‘new’ AVOD. After hearing many horror stories, I was not expecting too much, however it pleasantly surprised me with no problems at all. The choice of movies wasn’t great, all I ended up watching we ‘Herbie Reloaded’. I started ‘Monster in Law’ but got bored, so decided to read a book instead.
Somewhere over the desert
Depart time, scheduled 22:55, actual 23:30
Arrival time, scheduled 05:30, actual 05:23
The reason I am not sure what runway we took off is because as soon as boarded I took a sleeping tablet and the last thing I remember was being pushed back, and checking what time it was. The next thing I knew, we had 3 hours left on the flight. I was fairly happy with that considering I had to go to Southampton and back to London that day well.
OJS is the first 747-438 that Qantas have fitted the AVOD to, and it seemed to work well, but not as well as it did on the A333, but as I only had time to watch one movie, it wasn’t a big deal.
A 319 G-EUPA
Depart time, scheduled 19:00, actual 20:20
Arrival time, scheduled, 21:30, actual 22:13
After the debacle of getting to and from Southampton yesterday [track work on all lines – 5 hours from Hatch End to Southampton!], I had hoped I would not see any more delays, but no I was wrong. Initially when I booked the trip, I had planned to go to Southampton again for the day, but canned that idea thinking rest would be a better idea. After making this decision I changed my flight from LHR
from the 20:10 flight to the 19:00 flight. When it came to boarding the flight, it was already 15 minutes past the scheduled push back time, then worse, BA
double booked a seat, and it took them another 45 minutes to resolve. We ended up leaving the gate 1 hour late, then spent the next 20 minutes waiting in line to take off.
The flight itself was uneventful, and short, and I was lucky with my bag being 2nd onto the claim area, so I was able to get to the hotel in quick time.
A 319 F GRXC
Depart time scheduled, 09:10, actual 09:04
Arrival time, scheduled 10:15, actual 10:00
I was afraid that my luck would continue, but arrival to the check in seemed promising, and I got the asked for window seat. I was surprised that for a Monday morning the flight was very light, in fact only those who were travelling with company sat next to anyone, in fact the closest person to me was the person on the opposite window seat. Pushback was early and we had pretty much a direct taxi to the runway. A few minutes after takeoff we had a great view of where I had been only a few months previously, Le Bourget.
Depart time scheduled, 19:05, actual 19:05
Arrival time scheduled, 20:10, actual 19:55
I arrived at Nantes Atlantique well before 5pm as I had expected a longer drive, and to get lost on the way, but it was well sign posted so I didn’t have the problems encountered during the previous 4 days. Surprisingly Air France were able to check my bags all the way to Sydney, but me only to CDG
, and I would have to check in again there. No problem as I had plenty of time to kill at CDG
Depart time scheduled, 23:15, actual 23:45
Arrival time scheduled 17:40, actual 18:20
This is not my usual timing for a long haul back home, I much prefer QF 32 from London, as it arrives into Sydney in the evening. I find it better as I sleep as much as possible in the 1st sector to SIN
, and stay awake to SYD
, arriving good and tired, and the perfect time to go straight to sleep, and miss all jet lag.
The main reason for choosing this flight was so that I could get a ride on a 773ER, but also I knew this would be a hard trip and I wanted to get home as soon as I could. Work commitments would not let me get to London to meet QF 32 without a long layover either.
Check in [again] was no problem without luggage, but it seemed the person forgot to note something as I was held up on boarding because they needed to see my luggage tag.
It was a very full plane, and most people seemed to be concerned that it would leave without them. They need not have worried, push back was over ½ late. As it was my first flight on a 773ER, I was interested what take off would be like, well it was very long and deliberate, very much like a heavy 747.
Quite tired from a very long week, with lots of work and little sleep, I thought I would try and get some sleep, but then decided to try the Air France food. It was cold chicken and fish. The menu suggested it was either or, but for some reason I has handed both. Chicken was cold [meant to be], and not too bad, I only ate a bit of the fish, being so tired kills the appetite!
Unfortunately the person next to me had no idea of personal space and kept leaning into me trying to look at something forward, and spreading his elbows. In all I probably got 6 hours of sleep, just tolerable and enough to keep me going.
View from the location seen below
Docks of Singapore
Descent into Singapore
My next plane [VH-OJA]
Depart time, scheduled 20:00, actual??
Arrival time, scheduled 05:20, actual 05:15
On arrival in Singapore, I received an SMS from my girlfriend asking what flight I was on, concerned I was on a LHR
originating flight, as they had all been delayed over 3 hours, luckily QF 6 originates in Frankfurt and it was on time. Being late into Singapore, meant that I only had just over one hour to get to the Qantas lounge for a shower.
Boarding was unusual for Singapore in that we queued outside the gate and walked through the waiting room straight onto the plans, not good or bad, just different. 26K means a very good seat in the front of economy, good leg room and easy to sleep.
As with leaving Singapore on the outward trip, I took a sleeping tablet, and promptly went to sleep thus missing everything until 1 ¾ hours to go to Sydney.
Landing was direct into Sydney, probably helped by the lack of the usual LHR
originating traffic. My bags came off reasonably quickly, and thankfully, and I was out before 6 am and home for a sleep ½ hour later.
Thanks for reading