My second trip report. Yay!
First report from a few weeks back here:
LHR-BUSH: Tails On Qantas In Y & J (by marchie Dec 27 2011 in Trip Reports)?threadid=205709&searchid=205709&s=lhr-bush#ID205709
I fractured my foot a week into my holiday in the southwest region of Western Australia. I’m in my late 20’s and like running and surfing. Snap, crackle pop. Fractured a metatarsal. Holiday over. I had to look on bright side of things -thankfully, there would be no plaster.
As the days passed, I began to become a professional at one thing…hopping. That was aside form being able to pee unassisted with one leg in the air – you try it! I would hop everywhere if I couldn’t be bothered with the crutches. Hop to the loo, hop to get breakfast, hop to the car…and before I knew it, I’d hopped to the end of my holiday.
Although I have no qualms about flying economy, I became drunk on the notion that because of my incredibly “serious” injury, I MUST, repeat MUST use a chunk of QFFlyer points to upgrade all the way back to London. And like a zombie hell-bent on elevating his decrepit leg, I requested both upgrades at Qantas.com.
The day before the flight I checked the loads via the call centre and intriguingly, with a bit of sweet talking and tear jerking, I was able to check my position (according to status) in the upgrade queue for each flight – which according to the girl on the phone was surprisingly very good for Silver. QF71: 2nd with 6 available seats. QF9: 1st with 8 available seats. Hmmm. Something’s not right here? Plenty were trying for Premium Economy. Suckers!!
Over the next two days, like clockwork, 2 golden texts came through. It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned business traveller or a regular Joe, when you get an upgrade from economy to business confirmed, it feels good.
I hopped into Perth airport where the ground staff kindly assisted me with my bags. Check in was a breeze where a rather flamboyant check in agent offered me a wheelchair (I politely declined). He excitedly proclaimed that I would be travelling on the “A Three Eight Zero” out of Singapore.
I had no idea what he meant.
Pardon? Oh you mean The A Three Eighty. Right. Yes. Yes I am. Thanks.
Security was made easy for me and was done entirely sitting down!! What a revelation! You must all experience it one day! In fact I could have had a glass of whisky and a cigarette it was so relaxed. Still thorough nonetheless.
I’m boring you. To the lounge!
QF International Business lounge is a clean, well stocked (just) Mark Newson clone of the other business lounges around the country. Food offering pretty dire with not much imagination - but some nice Margaret River wine made up for it.
QF71 was an A330-300 flown by VH-QPE
We Pushed back on time but we suffered an agonizing 20 minute wait near the runway threshold to clear a never-ending swarm of props coming in from regional WA. Eventually we rolled out and made for the sky.
I ordered the Smoked Duck salad, Chinese Cabbage With Coriander & Chili as a starter: It was refrigerated within an inch of its life. Duck breast wasn’t too bad. If only the skin was crispy. I won’t even go there. I then had a Sirloin Of Beef with Potato Gratin & Asparagus. Simple, clean and good. Nice uncomplicated presentation. The meat appeared a little overdone, but when you cut into it, it was medium, and quite tender (in areas). Had a good Bloody Mary followed by a minimalist but rather elegant fruit plate. Not bad Qantas, not bad! As we crossed Indonesia, we experienced an exciting light show over Indonesia which unnerved a few passengers.
Good landing, then lots of rudder. Nice and quick gate arrival.
When we disembarked, I was greeted by a lovely although quite slight girl holding a…wheelchair. I insisted I was OK and that I could make it. She laughed at me and that it would take me half an hour or more. She was probably right. I know Changi quite well. Fearing the sweating and wrist aching, I gave in and sat down.
It’s funny because you get this Zen like calm as you glide silently past people. I felt like nudging people with my crutches: “Get out of the way silly people, coming through!!”
The Qantas Business lounge was quite busy. I managed to put the leg up and have a glass of champagne and some slightly better Singaporean fare.
Next up it was the A380 which was flown by VH-OQK.
I was pushed again right up to the door which seemed a bit over the top but they absolutely insisted. Greeted by two of the best looking Qantas crew I had ever seen. They stowed my crutches and made a fuss over me which was really kind. The plane was spotless. I had seat 11E, right at the bulkhead. Was roomy enough for the leg and when fully reclined, I fit just right. Thank goodness they're rolling this product out on the 744.
I ordered supper. I felt like something lighter so I chose the Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Cannelloni With Sage, Burnt Butter and Parmesan. A bit too simple for me – not much flavour, but still OK. I would have opted for the Chinese Five Spice Duck With Plum Sauce, Rice & Gai Lan – but I already O.D’d on duck on the previous flight. I finished with more fruit for dessert and avoided the good looking cheese plate and a Milk Chocolate, Chestnut & Blueberry Torte With Cream. My mouth is watering now as I type!
Overall the flight was excellent, used the upperdeck lounge quite a bit as it was right adjacent to me. The flight attendant even offered me a glass of “Champagne from downstairs”. She explained she’d broken her foot before and the only way was to drink through it. What a lovely girl.
Managed a 6 hour sleep considering we had an unusually long flight time of 15:30 minutes. I could hear flight attendant banter saying this was one of the longest they’ve had. For most of the flight, we were cruising at 41,000, tracking in a very northerly direction.
Managed to scoff down a pretty reasonable cooked breakfast that did what it said on the tin.
To my delight, as we were approaching London, the rather difficult and arrogant passenger to my left popped up his television to enjoy Skycam. Well I wasn’t going to stare at the bulkhead was I?
What followed was one of the softest landings in the A380 I have ever experienced. Yes they do exist! Usually they just drop her right down on the tarmac. What a pleasant end to a better than expected trip on Qantas.
Here are some photos. Of the South West as requested, and of course the flights.
Perth. Roughing it for the night staying at a mates.
P1 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
The South West:
P2 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
P3 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
P4 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
P5 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
1 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
2 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
3 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
4 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Bloody Mary, and a fellow passenger that's a doctor. Peeeerfect.
6 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Duck with Chinese Salad
7 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Steak and accidental mood lighting.
8 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Fruit. Sparse. But fresh.
9 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Aussie flora. Again!
10 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
The view from the chair!
11 by Marchie/url], on Flickr[/img]
Proper plane. proper business.
12 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
13 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Business lounge. You mean red sofa with TV and magazines.
14 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
19 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
More food. This time Pasta.
16 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
A fry up.
17.1 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
18 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
20 by Marchie, on Flickr[img]
22 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
A REAL one, in the garden a few days before my flight! Scared the £HIT out of me.
roo by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
23 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
After our arrival into LHR
25 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
Quick rest before a mid morning departure.
IMG_5471 by Marchie, on Flickr[/img]
My new ride to immigration!
26 by Marchie, on Flickr[img]
Hopefully off to Melbourne at Easter on the A380 exclusively but need to get foot sorted before then. Let me know if you’d like me to keep up with the reports. As ever you feedback is appreciated.