I was given the opportunity to go to SYD to see the arrival of Qantas' first A380 and attend an arrival ceremony held by Qantas. To do this meant travelling from Canberra to Sydney and although it's a short trip, I was simply too lazy to drive. Now where does losing my virginity come into it you ask? well.. for the first time, I broke with my usual "I only fly Qantas" stance and flew Virgin Blue.
I checked in online for this flight the night before. Which was simple and easy. I got a window seat, 9A. Once arriving at the airport I headed straight through security as I was fly on a fare which allowed me to have hand luggage only, other wise an $8 charge would be applied, $20 if it wasn't done at the time of booking
Virgin fly from what is now the common user terminal. Last time I was on this side of the terminal, it was all Ansett. It had most certainly changed. After grabbing a bottle of water and taking a seat, I grabbed a pic of an EMB190
Boarding was called, on time and done quickly without a fuss. The first thing I noticed on board was how soft and comfy the seat was. We left the gate on time and taxiing out to the runway is always quick at Canberra. I spent most of the flight talking to the person in the seat next to me. Food and Drink orders were taken shortly after take off and promptly delivered to passengers seats. I order an egg and lettuce sandwich. It was quite tasty. I grabbed a couple of pics of the wing and Engine.
Before I knew it, we had begun our decent into SYD. Things began to get rocky during decent. We went past SYD and out to sea then turned back to land from the east, on the East-West runway. Most arrivals and departures were using this runway due to wind. Taxi to the gate was quick.
Overall, my first experience with Virgin Blue was very good.
Here are some pics of the first Qantas A380 from the arrival ceremony.
Here comes the A380
Into the hangar
Delivery crew greeted by Qantas dignitaries
After attending the ceremony, it was time to return home. This time I was flying Qantas, so I quickly popped over to the terminal and checked in then went and loitered for a while before returning to the airport.
The aircraft for this flight was delayed arriving from Brisbane, which meant a delay of around 30 minutes. The aircraft was turned around fairly quickly and boarding commenced as soon as possible. While waiting, I took some pictures of other aircraft and the crews in action.
The crew for this flight, could have been better once I entered the aircraft and showed the FA my boarding pass instead of the usual "Row 21 on your right sir" it was a "Yeah, that's fine". I headed for my seat and noticed that this aircraft had been fitted with the new fabrics, I also noticed that a member of the crew had left the jacket strewn over the seat a few rows in front of me.
Boarding was done fairly quickly. I plugged in my headphones and browsed through the Australian Way magazine Qantas provides. After a while, began to wonder why we hadn't pushed back yet only for the Captain to come over the PA and say we were waiting for aircraft behind us to move. once we pushed back, we headed south right down to 34L and then took off to the North.
We headed out to sea and began going south. A snack was handed out which consisted of an apple muffin cake type thing and a drink.
The cabin was prepared for landing with all service items being collected by the crew. Approach was from the south and was very smooth in comparison to the day before. Disembarking was quick and with no baggage to collect I could walk straight out the front door.
Overall, I think the crew could have shown some more enthusiasm. Having flown these short Qantas flights plenty of times, I know that they can be a lot better.