This is my first TR, hope you enjoy it. I didn't include photos from the observation deck at YSSY which I'm sure you can find in the db. Also, how do you display photos from other websites instead of uploading them to my profile?
The purpose of this trip was a holiday and there are a few days in between flights.
Note all check-in's were done online via the website and all tickets were bought through Virgin Australia's website.
I left home at 0450. Got down to the main train station. The v/line serviceman wasn't too happy, he implied for me to take my baggage on without checking it through but I made him do it anyway. Train departed 0533 with no problems. I had a seat spare until Geelong.
Upon arrival at Southern Cross Station I proceeded to the skybus stop. Skybus is quite overpriced for its service but cheaper than a taxi. It was quite full but we had the bigger bus so it wasn't too bad. Got to YMML right on 20mins as advertised.
From where you are dropped off, you need to go upstairs to get to the DJ counters. The only self service sections available is the check-in through the kiosks. You still need to do the bag drop through the counters unlike QF. There was a 12min wait until my bag was put through. The lady was professional but no personal conversation. For me, it was the first time from memory checking in bags with DJ and I was unsure where to go once finished with my bag. I ended up ducking through a few lines. Security was busy but I think only 5min wait. Once through I sat myself at the end near gate 11 for spotting.
Our aircraft ended up being slightly delayed but there was no announcement made. From booking I thought I booked the E190 service but even when checking in online I failed to notice.
Boarding started approx 1125, i finally got to board through the front. No pax in J today as far as I knew. Estimate 75-80% in Y. The F/A greeting me got my name wrong twice, I corrected her and she was apologetic. I don't blame them, the second try was something out of this world. I had the 2 seats next to me free, an extra bonus.
|View out the window, looking at VUM and XFD just behind!|
Push back was at 1145 so a bit late, this is my second flight with them out of MEL and the first one was also late. Off to runway 27, we held for a Dash-8 and JQ A320.
|Going past a giant!|
|Lining up RWY 27|
Take off was smooth. Seat belt sign was off at 1207 and the inflight service started 1210. Tea coffee, cheese and crackers offered and I accepted them as they were free which I received at 1220. The F/A was friendly. They started service from the back of the aircraft which was a little different.
|My cheese and crackers with juice.|
|My rubbish and 2 free seats!|
TOD approx 1229, few mins before decent, the FO addressed us. Revised time at the gate 1250. Clean up started 1232. My rubbish was collected at 1234 as they started from the front. Seat belt sign on at 1235.
We landed at 1248. Waited until last to visit flight deck. This was denied as you can't "do it these days". I laughed at her (on the inside)
Aircraft: ATR72-500 (Operated by Skywest)
Arrived at the airport 0801 and proceeded to the self check-in. Out of the 4 only 2 were working. I tried to scan my itinerary but nothing worked, then proceeded to try my velocity card which didn't work, after all of this I had to type it in manually it still wouldn't let me print the boarding pass so had to go to the check in desk. Big load of tourists who we passed in the car on the way just snuck in, there was a 12min wait, not a 2 min. Agent was very helpful. She offered me seats with extra leg room for free (you pay extra in their website). She then informed me that they were exit rows so I kindly declined it due to not being able to have my bag with me. Off went my bag and went to security.
It took 3 mins to Get through security and was airside at 0816. While I was walking past all of the QF gates, I felt sort of guilty, I had flown with them for years, but it was time for a change. Proceeded to DJ gates. Found a seat with probably the best view and what gate I was departing from. Sitting upstairs, the Terminal was very warm, unless that was just me, the area was about 50% full. I decided to Track the flight online but it was on flight aware so no rego was available, I was hoping for FVH.....the anticipation grew.
|View from my seat airside.|
|2nd view, not the greatest.|
Finally I saw FVH, my favourite ATR, due to seeing it the same day I saw Air Force 1.
Photo © Bernard Schiffl
They got my name right when boarding....well almost, bumped head when entering so felt clumsy and embarrassed, it was smaller than I expected.
|The prop from 4F|
Not sure what time we departed. Take off from RWY35 was painful for the ears, I was sitting right next to the prop, I've never experienced anything like it. This was the case for about 30secs until climb power was set. Once signaled the FAs started service. The seat belt sign was off 0955. Snack and juice were offered and accepted and the F/A was very friendly. Snack tasty but not filling, the juice was also quite tasty.
|Food with the tasty juice.....plus my lens cap :P|
|Leg room is good as long as you don't have a bag (you can see mine to the left), much better than the 73.|
We had a good landing onto 34R at 1015 and taxied to the bay. I Asked to have a look up front, they rang the captain and he said yes. Had a small personal conversation with the FA while she took me up to the front, very nice person, makes the flying experience a whole lot better. You have to go through the baggage compartment to get to the flight deck. Had a great chat with the crew. Adam was the FO and Alan was captain, who escorted me back to terminal (THANKS TO THE CREW OF DJ639).
|The pointy end of FVH.|
I proceeded to baggage claim. Didn't take too long and then proceeded to train station. 9min wait for train then off to the observation deck. It was busy but good. Train arrived on time 1406 to take me west. Train delays caused havoc for me, ended up missing the bus and due to the timetable I had to wait for 2 hours. I eventually got to my accommodation.
(No photos for this leg)
Arrived at T2 at 1207. Proceeded to kiosk which once again wouldn't allow me to print a boarding pass. Lined up at check in from 1210 and at around 1225 finally got checked in. Afterwards, got to security and got through that. Then got bomb checked because I looked sus haha not. Walked around the terminal. Very full, especially in DJ. Went to JQ and sat there. Ate and then walked back to DJ. Sat at gate 31, 32 before boarding. I do want to see DJ get self bag drops and have the check in kiosks be able to print boarding passes if you have already checked in. That's something about QF that I like, I don't know if it doesn't like me or what.
1450 announcement that flight has been pushed back 15 mins.
I soon saw YFG appear and knew instantly I would experience the sky interior for the first time. We boarded at 1541. Looks like 98% Y class unsure for J. Normal SID off RWY 34R. Seat belts on for extended time, off at 1634. I felt like I was on the wrong flight, there were so many little kids screaming and crying. Aisle seat is bad due no clear view out window. I had a little kid kicking my seat which neither parent took notice of. Service started 1636. Sky interior does make a difference and with the bigger overhead bins, I felt like grabbing a few of the kids and putting them in there. For whatever reason leg room seems less compared with older a/c. Crew seem happy, not like flight 827 for my last YSSY day trip. We started to descend at 1707, with this the cabin crew started clean up and the FO giving us an ETA 1730. We landed right on 1730 on RWY 27, whoever the PF was, he made sure we knew we had landed.
Collecting my baggage took about 10mins and then the skybus was delayed and full. I arrived at Southern Cross at 1839, right when my train was leaving. I legged it to Platform 4B which was a fair way away. Luckily there was another guy running and we both just made it. It's the last train for the day to my home, a 3 hour journey. In all of my air travels, never had I experienced such a rush. Even for such an experienced domestic traveler like me it was a rookie mistake to book that flight home.
[Edited 2012-10-02 22:19:51]