Carrier: REX Regional Express
Equipment: Saab 340B VH-ORX
Flight: ZL 5753
Origin: Brisbane (BNE), QL AU
Departure: Saturday 20 October 2007, 1055
Destination: Lismore (LSY), NS AU
Arrival: Saturday 20 October 2007, 1135
Ticket Price: $174AUD (including connecting ZL sector to SYD)
Photo © George Canciani
Regional Express had only just started operations in BNE earlier in the month to Maryborough with a Saturday ferry flight to Lismore. Being an airline I'd always wanted to try I decided to use them to Sydney for the night before continuing on to Adelaide. I had originally organised my car to be parked long term at the airport but was later offered to leave my car at friends so I after quickly popping into work to buy a couple of last minute items I dropped my car off at my friends and walked about 2 kilometres to the nearest bus stop The easiest way in was to go to the transit centre in the city before taking to airtrain to the airport albeit about 10 kilometres out of the way. I quickly took the connecting train to the airport where I made to check in within 5 minutes of check in opening. I cleared security and walked around for a half hour waiting for boarding very quiet morning saw a couple of 737s on both Qantas and Virgin Blue terminals 2 767's from Qantas arrived within a few minutes of eachover just before boarding.
My Saab 340B VH-ORX with a cousin from Macair in the background
Boarding was announced on time and I boarded the Saab through gate 29 in the Common User Satellite we had 4 pax today Myself, a couple connecting from an Emirates flight and another av. enthusiast going to Lismore and back for the day. Seats were a really comfortable Blue Leather I was seated. We left Brisbane from Runway 1 after holding short for Sunstates Dash 8 Q400 in the pink Breast cancer awareness scheme. After departure we turned south and leveled off at 9,000ft just above the cloud cover. 10 minutes into the flight we were offered a refreshment of either a couple of biscuits or soy rice crackers I opted for the biscuits. 5 minutes later we were served a mentos mint prior to landing very impressive for a 20 minute hop. after decending over mountainous terrain we lined up and landed on Runway 15 and taxied to the terminal for my brief stop in Lismore.
Welcome to Lismore
Carrier: REX Regional Express
Equipment: Saab 340B VH-ORX
Flight: ZL 333
Origin: Lismore (LSY), NS AU
Departure: Saturday 20 October 2007, 1220
Destination: Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD), NS AU
Arrival: Saturday 20 October 2007, 1440
Ticket Price: $174AUD (including connecting ZL sector from BNE)
When I deplaned i noticed by bag came of the aircraft despite it being checked through to SYD to I collect my bag and took it straight to Check In the lady behind the desk had a puzzled look on her face and asked how I obtained the Baggage tag. Trying hard not to laugh I told her I was on the flight to Brisbane and my bag was checked through to SYD
My Saab prior to boarding
Boarding was called for my flight to Sydney 20 pax on this sector no security clearance at this small regional airport. I was seated in 1A and read the Emergency Exit procedure card before take off from runway 15 to Sydney we were offered again Biscuits or Soy Rice crackers I opted for the crackers this time round. soon after we offered a mentos before landing on Runway 34R at Sydney we parked at a remote stand and was bussed to the terminal where I collected my bags and took the train to my hotel in Ryde. One thing I noticed arriving in Sydney was the lack of rubbish bins had to hold onto my rubbish until I arrived at hotel. Took the bus into the city briefly before returning to my hotel and watching a silly documentry on National geographic how the apocalypse is coming and how were all going to die from a asteroid hitting earth.
Carrier: Virgin Blue
Equipment: Boeing 737-8BK VH-VOA "Blue Belle"
Flight: DJ 402
Origin: Sydney Kingsford Smith (SYD), NS AU
Departure: Sunday 21 October 2007, 0655
Destination: Adelaide (ADL), SA AU
Arrival: Sunday 21 October 2007, 0830
Ticket Price: $99AUD
Photo © Darren Howie - Jetwash Images
After a early wake up call at 2:30am I took a cab down to the local train station to catch the very first train of the morning to the Airport Arriving at Terminal 2 I used the check in kiosk to choose my seat and get my boarding pass after clearing security I proceeded downstairs without my backpack carried away by putting away my wallet, ipod and belt back on I made a phone call home and it wasn't untill after the call I realised i didn't have my backpack not long after my sister paged to the security checkpoint (her name was on my backpack) After explaining the bag was shared between my sister and I and had her name on it I got it back. At this point in the morning there wasn't much on for breakfast so I took a few pics
Qantas Yananyi Dreaming at Terminal 3
VH-OGD in the new Qantas colours
My aircraft was Virgin Blue's very first 737-800 and going by the pictures in the database only had winglets fitted a couple of months ago. Boading was soon called and I boarded though the rear door and was greeted by name and directed to my seat. Take Off was from Runway 34L we turned left and overflew Parramatta and the Blue Mountains on our way to Adelaide I watched the routemap on Live2Air the whole way they only provided the altitude and speed in Metres and Kilometres which annoyed me slightly judging from the altitude given we flew at around FL360. After using the toilet I noticed a flight attendant playing with her phone in the rear galley. We Arrived in Adelaide from the St Vincent Gulf and past Glenelg before landing on Runway 5. I deplaned by the rear door and went into Adelaide's brand new terminal which was very bright and spacious the best terminal I've used in Australia. After collecting my bags I went out and took a cab to Central Adelaide where I brought my coach ticket to Murray Bridge 1 hour East of Adelaide where I would be staying with my grandmother. During my stay in Adelaide I visited the beach in Noalunga and Glenelg as well as walking along the Torrens before leaving Adelaide for Murray Bridge.
Ground Level of Adelaide's new terminal
Glenelg taken from Jetty
Carrier: Greyhound Australia
Service: GX 533
Origin: Murray Bridge, SA AU
Departure: Tuesday 23 October 2007, 2100
Destination: Melbourne, VC AU
Arrival: Wednesday 24 October 2007, 0630
Ticket Price: $55AUD
Deciding to take the overnight coach to Melbourne to take my itinerary more interesting. After spending a few days with my grandmother it was time to leave after getting a lift to the Intercity bus stop my coach turned up early. the coach was lightly loaded so was able to stretch out between 2 seats which were really comfortable with lots of leg room despite this i couldn't sleep because I was so excited on visiting Melbourne. he had a meal stops at both Tintinara and Horsham overnight arriving at Melbourne early in the morning.
Port Phillip Bay
The Yarra with Melbourne Skyline in background
Carrier: Virgin Blue
Equipment: Boeing 737-76N VH-VBM "Tassie Tigeress"
Flight: DJ 343
Origin: Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL), VC AU
Departure: Wednesday 24 October 2007, 2130
Destination: Brisbane (BNE), QL AU
Arrival: Wednesday 24 October 2007, 1145
Ticket Price: $99AUD + plus fee to change date of flight
Photo © Mark H
After taking the skybus to the airport I checked In with Blue Check the kiosk I used initially had run out of paper and stop processing the check in untill the final stage so I moved to s neighboring kiosk and alerted staff at bag drop about the kiosk. Word of warning if flying DJ out of Melbourne don't clear security in a hurry there is nothing past security the food I could get was the very last Sandwich. At the security check point I was selected for a random explosives detection where I was asked although sort of in general conversation about my "sister's backpack" (note to self: make sure I remove the name before traveling next). After waiting for over an hour their was some fiasco with aircraft from Sydney being late our original aircraft came from Adelaide so was not affected however 5 minutes before boarding were about 3-4 techies come up and was talking to the gate agent about a problem with the aircraft so there was a gate change with the aircraft next gate over going to Sydney was changed with ours. 15 minutes later I boarded though the front door and again was greeted by name and directed to seat upon sitting down the first thing I noticed was how much more cramped DJ's 737-700's were compared to the 737-800 I got a few days before. Our aircraft was fitted with Live2Air although it wasn't turned on for the whole flight. on pushback one of the flight attendants joked over the pa saying something along the lines of "Passengers on the left can wave at the plane next to us (Sydney Bound) after all that were the first to leave". Funny thing was that flight was properly canceled later that night as it was getting dangerously close to the curfew at Sydney. after the short taxi to Runway 27 we departed on our way home at this point I was tired and grumpy not having slept since the Tuesday afternoon. Trying to get some on the plane home the guy sitting next to me was also trying to sleep and we were having wars over the armrest. the rest of the flight was uneventful we touched down just before midnight on Runway 1. Collecting my bag i noticed a big crack in the side of my suitcase initially I didn't think much of it as it was cheap and flimsy plastic on the outside. The next day after work I opened my case to discover my cologne and aftershave had been smashed and the glass ruptured my toiletries bag and had cologne and aftershave mixed in with the rest of the luggage I suspect the ground handlers at MEL were rushed and rough with everyones bags during the aircraft change . Apart from my bags I found the crew to be very professional on both Virgin Blue sectors and will continue to use them again.
*Edited to fix a image link
[Edited 2007-11-02 07:44:51]