CXtra
Topic Author
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:25 pm

Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:58 am

Background

This leg is the first of a RTW trip I'm taking this June/July. Some sectors are paid for, some are awards. The trip breakdown..

SYD-HKG QF Economy (Award)
HKG-LAX CX Business (Award)
LAX-AUS AA Economy (Paid)
AUS-IAD-LHR UA Business (Upgrade)
LGW-GCI-LGW GR Economy (Paid)
LHR-HKG-SYD CX Business (Paid)

The SYD/HKG sector was booked around two months prior to departure through Qantas' online award bookings.

Trip Data

Route - SYD-HKG
Flight - QF 127
Date - 26/06/06
Departure at 10.45
Arrival at 17.45
Aircraft - Boeing 747-4H6
Registration - VH-OEC
Class - Economy
Seat - 58K
Flight time - 9h


Airport


Arrived at SYD on the Airport train around two hours prior to departure.The station is generally very spacious and efficient. Proceeded to the QF Check-in zone. Counters are grouped by class, not flight, apart from flights to the USA, which demand a seperate zone because of heightened security measures. The area was busy, but not crowded, at this time with QF flights departing to PEK, JNB, LAX-JFK, AKL and HKG. Check-in at the Qantas Club area was rather slow; more people appeared to be here than in the Economy line. However, the agent was super-efficient and must have processed us in less than a minute. Made our way through security to the airside Qantas club.

Maybe I'm spoiled, but I found it less than impressive. The chairs were stained and losing fabric and the food, although fine, was not replenished in the entire time I was in the lounge (over an hour). Bathrooms, though, were very good. QF need to figure out what they're doing with announcements because they're really quite intrusive. The volume is way too high and a lot of the time, the agents haven't yet decided what to say when they come on the PA. A better system, I think, would be to have more screens to show boarding information and the PA reserved for paging passengers. Another small point: the music - I found it rather unsettling. QF should follow CX at the Wing and Pier in HKG and have no general music, but instead provide noise-cancelling headphones with audio-on-demand, as they have in Business and First Class.

In summary, QF have a decent lounge product that is losing its shine. They need to modify little details, improve the service and refurbish the seating.

Anyway, it was on to Gate 37 for boarding where Echo Charlie was ready and waiting, with most pax boarded. The gate agent informed us we were to move seats (10 rows back) but as it was an exit row, this wasn't a problem. It took a long time to board last remaining pax, most of whom were connecting.

Onboard

Crew were fairly friendly, though seemed to be more focused on carrying out tasks in the galley than welcoming passengers. They were a mix of Cantonese/Mandarin speakers, 1 Japanese, and a few Australians - most of whom were older. Our exit row seats provided plenty of space and as an economy class, there wasn't really much wrong with it. I found it difficult to watch the movie selection without noise-cancelling headsets, but you're never going to get them in Econ. so there's no point complaining.

Lunch was served fairly soon after departing SYD. It consisted of:

Green Leaf Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Choice of:
Mediterranean Style Chicken with Sliced Potatoes and Steamed Vegetables
or
Chinese Barbecue Pork with Hoisin Sauce and Fried Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Coffee, Tea, Jasmine tea

Ice cream
(fruit ice made in Italy!!)


I chose the pork which was fine, though I couldn't have told you it was either barbecue, hoisin, or fried rice! It would be nice if QF could provide magnums like SQ. Salad was fresh enough.

Small bottles of QF brand water were handed out which was welcome. FA's maintained a presence in the cabin as I watched Match Point (Scarlett Johannsen, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) on Q entertainment. I then flicked through the radio channels as I read. There was some turbulence and the FA's were forced to sit down a couple of times. Soon, a refreshment was served:

Stir Fried Hokkien Noodles and Asian Greens

Pineapple and Rockmelon with Mango Juice

Coffee, Tea, Jasmine tea


The fruit was nice and and the noodles hot, but very glutinous.

Approach into Chek Lap Kok followed shortly after. Two of the crew were sitting facing us. They were SYD based and would be spending 1 night and day in HKG before returning the next day. He was a fan of Miles Davis!

Landing was smooth and QF crew said goodbye. Immigration and baggage reclaim was quick, even though the flight was full. It was then onto the very comfortable Airport Limousine coach for the transfer to HK island for three days.

Conclusion

QF have a solid economy class product. With improved food and entertainment (the latter of which will be true soon) there is no reason why people should choose carriers such as SQ and CX ahead of Qantas. I think that there is basically not a great difference between them. Personally, I would choose an Asian airline before QF because their service (particularly telephone) is more consistent.

All feedback is appreciated; my apologies for the lack of pictures. Happy flying  Smile
Cathay Pacific, Now you're really flying
 
Delta732FF
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2005 5:14 am

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:34 pm

Nice report. Thanks for sharing.
 
cx777fan
Posts: 285
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2005 5:22 pm

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:34 pm

Good start to what sounds like an exciting trip! You were luck to be shifted to an exit row seat. I've found Y in QF particularly tight. I'm assuming they gave you those seats based on some sort of FF status or Club membership?

Interested in you choice of airport transport - I'd never think to get the train in Sydney (roughly the same price for 2 people to travel by cab from my place in the inner east than the 2 train fares!). On the other hand, always use the train in HKG for the price, convenience and easy taxi connections in Kowloon or central.
 
CXtra
Topic Author
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:25 pm

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:22 pm

Quoting CX777Fan (Reply 2):
I'm assuming they gave you those seats based on some sort of FF status or Club membership?

Well, I'm not too sure about that because we requested row 41 but got changed to 48 because of change in 744 type. Then arrived at the gate fairly late on and were asked to be moved. I'm guessing that whoever was seated in the emergency exit initially was judged unable to operate it.

Quoting CX777Fan (Reply 2):
nterested in you choice of airport transport - I'd never think to get the train in Sydney

hmm, but I live the other side of the bridge so ferry then train is usually cheaper.
Cathay Pacific, Now you're really flying
 
ba747yyz
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:55 pm

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:14 am

Good start, I look forward to reading the rest of them.
 
airnewzealand
Posts: 2310
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:27 pm

Hey Mate,

Very weird...Ice Creams should of been served on this trip, aswell as a bar service.

We used to serve magnums but now serve Tropical Fruit ice creams!!!

Cheers

Glad you enjoyed the service!!! We do try hard with 14 flight attendants of which 6 operate economy!!
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6808
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Thu Jul 06, 2006 9:51 am

Nice report, very deatailed. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip
 
deltagator
Posts: 6170
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 9:56 am

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:00 am

I think your conclusion is pretty accurate. I just did LAX-BNE-LAX on QF back in Steerage and it was a solid product. I think all longhaul Y flights are bad just based on the poor pitch and semi-edible mass-produced food but the cabin crews make or break it. In the case of QF they went above and beyond what I have seen American carriers do. I won't say my 14 hours in a sardine can was completely enjoyable but the crew made it bearable and did it with a smile the whole way.

Quoting Airnewzealand (Reply 5):
We do try hard with 14 flight attendants of which 6 operate economy!!

Only 6 in Steerage? Seemed like more but you would know the truth.
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
pilotdude09
Posts: 1335
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:35 am

RE: Qantas Economy: SYD-HKG (inc QF Club)

Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:42 am

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 7):
poor pitch and semi-edible mass-produced food

31 inches!!! eek thats pretty bad when your stuck on the plane more than 8 hours!!

Great report CXtra, a shame about the QF club, sound although it needs some improving especially for the price QF like to charge.

Cheers
Qantas, Still calling Australia Home.........

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