crdaus
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:13 am

MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Fri Jun 16, 2006 9:40 pm

Just so you don’t think I always swan around in 1st class, I am submitting this brief trip report about a recent domestic flight I had with QF. We have just had a long weekend in most of Australia, so I decided to fly to Sydney for a couple of nights. I chose the cheapest return flights I could find on QF and ended up with a 1pm out of MEL on Saturday and a 10am out of SYD on Monday. Both these flights were full which is typical of QF domestic these days.

Things started out well at MEL airport. Using a e-ticket, I checked in at one of those brilliant auto checkin booths,


Checkin is a breeze with these booths.

then proceeded through security to the QF Club lounge, where I am a member. This is a very spacious and extensive lounge, as can be seen by the photos.


Several views of the extensive Qantas Club lounge at MEL

Unfortunately, the food service was disappointing. The staff just don’t keep the stock levels up, especially during the high demand period just before lunch. Anyway, I managed to have a couple of bowls of a very pleasant asparagus soup while waiting for the boarding call.


Empty dishes at the buffet – not a good look.


At least this machine makes excellent coffee.


The lounge is very well appointed and the bathrooms are modern and clean.


One of the bathrooms.

There are even showers. The SYD lounge is similar. Generally, I have little complaint about the facilities at QF Club lounges. There is no question of the value and comfort. So attractive is the prospect of experiencing the lounge for me that I usually try to arrive at the airport at least 30 mins before boarding so as to relax.



The 737-800 awaits boarding for MEL-SYD passengers.

Although the 737-800 (pictured) had been at the departure gate for the entire time I was in the lounge (i.e. 45 minutes), boarding was still delayed due to some story about ice on the wings. MEL might have been only 6 degrees centigrade, but ice? I don’t think so. Anyway, as my only luggage was an overnight bag I decided to go to the boarding gate early but to no avail because the overhead lockers near my seat (6F) were almost full. This lack of space in the locker was exacerbated by the clutter of pillows and blankets, just what you need on a 60 minute daytime flight, I don’t think! There doesn’t seem to be any policing these days of limits to carry-on luggage, and so it’s a free for all.

The legroom on the flight was appalling. I had measured the distance from my back to the seat in front and it was 25 inches. I don’t think this is what is advertised and I will be doing further checks to prove this in the future. My knees were pressed up against the seat in front (pictured).


In 6F, with my knees pressed up against the seat in front.

This contrasts with the leg room in the 737-400 on my return flight where I had at least 2 inches to spare.


In 6F again, this time on a 737-400 with room to spare.

There is no doubt Y passengers are packed in like sardines in the 737-800s.

Being a lunch flight, I had expected something substantial but instead received a very dry roll with paper thin ham, cheese, and a couple of tired cos leaves. Oh, and a scrape of something resembling tomato sauce under the ham. The whole thing was inedible. It would have been better for QF not to have served anything than insult customers with this.


Lunch?!

Until this flight, I had imagined that QF was moving its domestic offerings up-market so as to differentiate from its low cost airline, Jetstar. Afterall, QF markets itself as a “full service” airline. However, it would appear that the only differentiation is that QF has seat allocation (and automatic transfer of luggage to OneWorld airlines, if you needed it) and Jetstar does not.

Anyway, now for landing over Botany Bay:


The weather is Sydney for arrival was unusually dismal as these landing photos attest.

The return journey was a bit better because there was more legroom and the food service was adequate considering I didn’t expect much on a flight that was leaving at 10am. The flight took off in a northerly direction on time on the rightmost NS runway and immediately banked right and headed east for several minutes. The aircraft then banked sharply to assume a SW direction, bringing it back over the coastline to track to MEL. This afforded some reasonable views of Botany Bay and the SYD airport below.


View of SYD coast as the 737-400 heads SW to MEL.


View of SYD NS runways and Botany Bay as the 737-400 heads to MEL.


Refreshment on the 737-400.

Overall, I was not impressed with QF domestic. I flew QF’s domestic competition Virgin Blue MEL-CBR today, and the 737-800 had similar poor leg room so there is no difference with QF. A pity. Ironically, my memory of the fantastic service I had experienced on QF international (see my trip reports MEL-LAX-JFK 1st Class On QF (lots Of Pics) (by Crdaus May 27 2006 in Trip Reports) and SFO-HKG-MEL 1st Class On CX And QF (43 Pics) (by Crdaus Jun 5 2006 in Trip Reports) ) was jogged, when while relaxing in the QF lounge in SYD, I noticed the 747-400 “Wunala Dreaming” being towed to the International Terminal. “Wunala Dreaming” was the aircraft that took me on that MEL-LAX leg recently. It now certainly seems like a dream.


"Wunala Dreaming” being towed to the International Terminal at SYD.
 
767747
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:31 pm

Good report! Nice pictures from both flights.
I love to fly!
 
pilotdude09
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:31 am

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
In 6F, with my knees pressed up against the seat in front.

The 737-800's are actually uncomfortable, it was bad enough PER-KTA which is 1.5-2hrs but imagine doing a SYD-PER just over 5 hours being squished in!

Good report, and nice pics
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........
 
Airbus A3XX
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 2:05 am

Quoting Crdaus (Thread starter):
The legroom on the flight was appalling. I had measured the distance from my back to the seat in front and it was 25 inches. I don’t think this is what is advertised and I will be doing further checks to prove this in the future. My knees were pressed up against the seat in front (pictured).

Just wanted to let you know that seat pitch is measured from the back of your seat to the back of the seat in front of you, not just from your back to the seat in front.
 
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alaskaqantas
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:08 am

bummer abut the legroom and the food, although on MOST american airlines you would have gotten either less or none at all  Wink
but good pictures and good report, ONCE AGAIN
~Cheers-
~~Kyle H.
to some people the sky is the limit, to aviation enthusiasts, its home!
 
luv2fly
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 3:29 am

Enjoyed your trip report thanks for sharing.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
QantasA332
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:33 am

Stop complaining, mate, you're the one who's always flying QF First.  Yeah sure

Seems you're out of touch with the tail end... that's often how it is back there.

 Wink
 
VHVXB
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:52 am

Once again Crdaus another great trip report some nice pics as well.
 
joffie
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:08 pm

You are unlucky.

Most MEL-SYD flights are operated by the 763. Perhaps you would of liked that beter?

Anyway, great report Big grin
 
Door5Right
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jun 17, 2006 9:48 pm

Nice report and pics, Mr. Crdaus, but what a dismal buffet in QF Club!
My soul is in the sky...
 
palmjet
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:21 am

Thanks for your report.

I recently flew QF domestic for the first time in 18 months (having been o/s during that time) between SYD-BNE and originally booked my flights specifically to avoid the 738s because, from memory, they had been so uncomfortable.

Unfort for me, QF downgraded the 763 flights that I had booked onto to 738s in both directions which meant both flights were packed and I have never been so squished into the seat, with my legs digging into the seat in front. Having the seat in front being reclined for most of the SYD-BNE sector made me feel literally trapped.

Last week I flew Easyjet to Rome from Gatwick and the legroom in the A319s on EZY is far superior to the sardine like conditions on QF 738s.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
KLM685
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sun Jun 18, 2006 3:33 am

Great Trip Report! I liked the pictures very much!

Congratulations
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
Delta732FF
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:56 am

Like the pictures, and nice report.
 
AJ
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:03 pm

I'm sorry that it wasn't an ideal flight for you.

Just a note about ice on the wings. It is not uncommon for inbound aircraft to ice up around the fuel tanks after arrival in Melbourne due to the cold soaked fuel in the wings being below freezing. Any moisture in the air, such as the mist in your picture, freezes on contact with the wings. It is required to be removed before flight if it forms on the upper surface.
 
crdaus
Posts: 133
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RE: MEL-SYD On QF In Y (+23 Pics)

Sat Jul 01, 2006 6:58 am

Quoting AJ (Reply 13):
I'm sorry that it wasn't an ideal flight for you.

Just a note about ice on the wings. It is not uncommon for inbound aircraft to ice up around the fuel tanks after arrival in Melbourne due to the cold soaked fuel in the wings being below freezing. Any moisture in the air, such as the mist in your picture, freezes on contact with the wings. It is required to be removed before flight if it forms on the upper surface.

Thank you for the explanation. I have learned something. Actually, my faith in QF domestic has been somewhat restored because the alternative Virgin Blue is worse. Also, a cabin crew friend of mine tells me that you can now get the emergency exit seats, with the additional legroom, allocated when checking in via the internet subject to a visual check at the checkin, so I will try this next time.

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