Hello, Firstly i am sorry that i took so long in getting around to posting this report. It is of a trip of mine to last years Avalon Airshow which is a bi-annual event held at Melbourne's Avalon airport. The trip was enjoyable despite the saturday public display being a wash out due to rain- a multiple year drought was broken on the day of the airshow if i remember correcttly!!
Due to the trip being so long ago, my memory is fading, so this report will mainly highlight the photos i took on my camera. I flew from CHC-AKL to connect with my EK service, with the reverse happening on the return (AKL-CHC), however, i have not covered these as excellent domestic NZ trip reports already exist on a-net.
12 March 2009
I arrived at the EK AKL lounge around 2 hours before boarding which gave me plenty of time to look around. I was instantly amazed at the high quality of the lounge when i entered. It was much larger than i expected, although i suppose it has to be with 3 widebodies leaving to Australia within an hour of each other (inc a a380 to SYD). The lounge is my favourite in AKL, being much more elegent than NZ's and also having excellent food, as opposed to NZ's 'light' offerings. I havn't been to the QF AKL lounge however, so can't compare that. Some people may prefer the NZ lounge, but i favour the luxurious EK feel over the 'casual beach look' NZ offering. Here are some pictures of my food in the lounge:
A ceasar salad:
Some Fruit, i was too full to have an extensive desert:
Some photos from my earlier flight from CHC-AKL
Airport scene, busy mid afternoon short / midhaul rush:
It was now time to board the airframe, but i decided to take a walk around the terminal first:
East side line up:
EK 345 to Brisbane and 380 to SYD:
My 345 prior to boarding:
I was greated at the door by a most friendly crew who pointed me left in to the small front J cabin of 2 rows directly behind first class. The seat ws most comfortable, although far from lie flat.
The Rolls Royce Trents then fired up and we were off on a slow, quiet roll and rotated most gently. The crew then sprung into action and served an excellent meal, excellent for a 4hr flight!
Good sized IFE:
The flight was most enjoyable, and the landing into MEL was as smooth as silk. I was greeted by my complementary car which i rode out to my destination in Berwick (60 miles), which made the most of the free service.
The next night i went to the friday night airshow display, and just as well as saturday was a wash out with rain. Here are some pictures i took of the planes at the show:
16 Mar 2009
The airshow was excellent, and i hope to make it back next year.
Soon enougfh it was time for my flight home. I was up before 5am and greeted my my EK appointed driver to take me to the airport. I left plently of time for the airport, but was dissapointed to discover that customs didnt open until 2 hours before my flight as it was one of the 1st internationals of the day!! so i had to wait half an hour or so until i could proceed to the lounge. When i got to the lounge i was horrified to discover that my camera batteries were out! I managed to get a couple of pics on the plane, but only one of the lounge. The breakfast in the lounge was AMAZING, the best cooked breakfast i have ever had, wish my camera was working! As i ate i looked straight into the upperdeck of a QF 744 which had just arrived from SIngapore, and watched the passengers as they waited for their seat belt sign to turn off. The lounge is the best located business class lounge in MEL, upstairs by the QF first lounge looking out over the airport. The QF J class, NZ koru, SQ lounge etc are all downstairs offering inferrior views.
The lounge: look at the small row of lights through the glass. This is the upper deck of a QF 744!
I then boarded the airbus and enjoyed a slow takeoff. This time i was in 10F which is in the larger rear business cabin. I had the seat next to me free, but this was the only spare in J! I think i prefer the small front J cabin though (rows 6&7) Lucky for me the crew got the takeoff calculation right, unlike a few days later when the 345 leaving MEL overran the runway and just made the airport fence.
The crew then offered a brunch. I selected the salmon.
Overall, my EK J trip was most enjoyable witht the EK lounges being a real highlight, i hope to make the trip again all going well.
I enjoyed the 345, i have heard that the AKL-MEL route will soon becoe a 777 and the CHC-SYD is now a 777, does anyone know where these free 345's will be used? will EK keep them? I hope they do, as they offer a much quieter ride than the 777 (although i also like the 777) and the 2-2-2 J seating is great compared to many airlines 2-3-2 777 J seating.
Here is a link to a video i made of the trip inc airshow video:
Thanks for reading,