Trip Report - Sydney to Brisbane. QF524, Economy, Seat 53A -
Flight time: 1 hour, 5 mins
Scheduled departure time: 12:05
Actual departure time: 12:04
Scheduled arrival time: 12:35
Actual arrival time: 12:32
This was just a short trip to Brisbane for business, and also to catch up with a few friends. A few weeks earlier it seemed that this trip wouldn't happen at all, owing to the terrible floods that have devastated Queensland, New South Wales, and also Victoria and Tasmania. Locals in Brisbane have been amazed at the speed at which the Queensland capital has come back to life. So, relieved that I wouldn't have to change my plans - I headed to the airport fully intending to support the Queensland economy.
I have never used check-in on the iPhone previously because I haven't flown domestically in quite some time, so thought I'd give it a shot. The Sydney Qantas Domestic Terminal is so lovely, when the sun is shining, the entire place lights up. Very pleasant.
I headed toward one of the Bag Drop stations, having checked in on my mobile phone but was told that because I didn't have one of the new chip-enabled Q-Tags (yet!) that I'd need to go to a check-in station to print off a bag tag. Having done that, and realizing that the placing of an extremely sticky bag tag on a handle is a fine art intended only for a talented few, I proceeded back to the bag drop station.
Qantas Domestic Quick-check.
Quickcheck for chip enabled QFF Silver, Gold, and Platinum cards.
The idea is, that you scan the barcode you receive at check-in on your phone and then - bingo! Bag is away on the conveyor belt.
Sure, it looks easy!
Reality does tend to rough out the edges a bit, and after attempting to scan the barcode on my iPhone screen repeatedly, it still wouldn't register with the bag drop computer. Fortunately, the Spirit of Australia spirited in my direction, in the form of an extremely professional Qantas staff member. She said that you have to basically 'shove it in repeatedly until something happens'. God I love my national airline. Sure enough, after a few spirited thrusts, something did happen, the machine beeped and my bag was away. "The machines were designed to scan the card really, not the phone. Anyway, people using mobile checkin don't normally have bags, darling", she said. "Oh, well that makes me a little worried about what's going to happen when I try to board with it". "Oh no darling, boarding is fine! You shouldn't have a problem in the world!", she replied.
I've found that unlike other airlines, Qantas hasn't completely lost touch with the glamour of flying. This staff member was proof of that. It's also a reminder of the age old rule of thumb that when you fly: flirt. It takes you to all kinds of amazing places. I've had some flights with QF
that have been like the inside of an episode of 'Mad Men'. Moving on.
Clearing security was incredibly easy, and then I was airside.
VH-EAA, a Qantas 747-SP on display in the Qantas Domestic Terminal. I had the pleasure to fly on her a number of times. Will always be my favourite bird, even as a shell in the Mojave desert.
Some Qantas Airbi' in view from the terminal.
I strolled around the terminal for a while which was only a little busy, before I headed to Gate 5 to board. As I'd been assured, the mobile check in function worked perfectly, and a small paper receipt was printed out with seat number information. Apparently the QF
staff have been told not to handle anyone's smartphone, and let the customer scan it themselves, but because it was my first time the QF
staff gave me a helping hand. Nice.
VH-OGI, Qantas domestic warhorse, not sure how much longer she's got!
The aircraft today was 'golf india', one of QF
's domestic warhorses. Despite approaching her 20th birthday (del 8/91) she was immaculate, both inside and out.
I was greeted by the CSM at the door, who took some time studying my receipt: "they're testing me now, these things are so tiny the old eyes have to work overtime". He too was absolutely camp as christmas time, loved it.
The Captain announced a flight time of 1 hour and 5 mins. Pushback was on-time, and we taxied to runway 34L for a very swift takeoff, banking right over Sydney's eastern suburbs and northern beaches, then cruised north at FL360.
The inflight entertainment was not altogether spectacular. The screens are a little too old now, and John Travolta's face looked like it was reflecting the afterglow of a nuclear explosion it was so bleached out. An episode of mythbusters ensued. Next!
The CSM came over the PA and said that they'd received some feedback that the cabin was too cold. I was absolutely fine, as a man I welcome sub zero air conditioning. Some people.
Shortly thereafter, the cabin crew came through with a snack and drinks. One very senior cabin crew member was walking down the aisle offering fetta and spinach calzone: "spinach and fetta calzone? Spinach and fetta calzone? Oh darling LOOK at your earrings, are they Venetian glass? They look like Venetian glass? ...No? ...Spinach and fetta calzone?"
Decent seat pitch on the QF767. No complaints here.
Another crew member was following up with the drinks tray. Paul, was also hilarious. He was espousing the virtues of ginger beer to anyone who couldn't decide what they wanted. "Nectar of the gods, they say." When I asked for a Diet Coke they'd just run out of stock on the trolley, so Paul asked Miss Venetian glass: "Darling, would you be able to steal some from the galley?", "Of course, darling" she replied. She retrieved the coke, and was rewarded with a "thank you, darling". This was almost as camp as it gets with Qantas. It was brilliant.
Eventually we began our descent into Brisbane. Smooth landing, no problems, and then through the terminal to collect my bag, which was the last one to appear on the carousel.
Clearly my bag tagging skills are as bad as I first thought.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the return journey!