Well what can I say? Both legs of Melbourne to Sydney on a QF
767 is a much appreciated change than DJ
's 73's. I know it's a route covered many times before but it probably be the last time I'm on Qantas for a while so hope you enjoy my report, plus it had a few interesting turns I wasn't expecting, please read on to read what happened! Sorry about the photo quality!
Saturday night, a call to the grandparents and it was decided that we would go to Sydney for a few days for family reasons. This meant we were definitely flying Qantas as one of the 3 travelers is a platinum frequent flyer. Not long after, the searching for suitable flights begun. As we live quite a drive from Melbourne, 1100 was roughly the time we wanted to leave. The cheapest was scheduled for 1100 on Tuesday so it we booked. Originally we wanted to come back Thursday but there were no red-e-deal options available for the afternoon and no way did we want to drive at night so we looked at Friday morning, and the cheapest was a 0745 departure which was decided on. In all the rush I almost forgot to check the aircraft operating it. I was over the moon that both were 767 sectors, not the 73's aircraft I'm always on. Being a platinum booking we could chose seats and no way did I want to be stuck at the back. Outbound, the available seats forward of the wing were limited but I was lucky enough together a window seat. On the way back the plane looked empty so I got us as far forward as possible. As time went on, some seats opened up (for the inbound flight) right behind business and on this configuration they are separate from main economy, I jumped on them moving all 3 of us up. A quick check of the layouts on Qantas website confirmed my suspicion that wed be on the ZX
series. I'd flown on ZXE for MEL
in July so I was hoping I got anyone else but ZXE.
Despite my objections to leaving later than 0600, we left at 0623 which would bite us in about 3 hours time. The weather was not great at all and I wanted some driving practice.
Yours truly driving.
As we approached our normal break location everything seemed to be on time and we would still have time to go into the Qantas club. Getting about 10km from the turn off to the airport we get stuck in traffic, none of us have ever seen anything like it.
About 10mins from the worse traffic.
We eventually decide 15mins before OLCI closed I checked us all in (the joys of having an iPad) so at least they knew we were coming.
I think we all know what happened......
Getting closer to the airport, still packed!
Plenty of advertising on the drive in.
We arrived at 1025 (35mins before our flight departs) but due to the location of free parks (5 levels up) we got out of the car at 1032.
We sprinted (as much as you can with carry-on) and printed our tickets. It was then when I saw our flight was delayed! I love delays (outbound) and this one was most welcome. We got through security fine, I chose the empty line. Once through we headed straight to the gate. I was most interested in who we were flying.
Quick shot of the FIDS
O U T B O U N D
Depature Time (Scheduled/Actual): 1100/1134
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 1225/1255
Fare: Red-E-deal + FF
1st Flight on VH
3rd Flight on the 767
Total Flights: 29
Our ride today.
The interesting tug that wasn't for us today, it pushed back another 767 at the same time as us.
QF811 arrival from CBR
, a flight I want to take!
The airport had been closed numerous times that morning so there was a back log. Boarding started around 1105. The agents didn't seem too fussed about who boarded despite the specific boarding call. There seemed to be a steady stream of business people joining the line so after a while I joined the lined too. There was no "How are you today?" or "Thanks Bernard" like other QF
flights during anytime of ticket scanning, a bit disappointed in Qantas with that. I experienced the same when boarding. The only thing said to me was "second aisle". I wondered down and since we were sitting near J it wasn't a long walk. The other two traveling with me boarded early so I climbed over the top and settled in.
I'm sure we are...
A slight error...If you can't see it, apparently the time is close to 2am.....
It's enough for a 6ft 2 person like me...
Clearing the ground.
We pushed back at 1134 and did not have to hold very long for take off from RWY 25.
Vortex, something I don't get to see very often!
Take off with the wing vapour!
Above the clouds!
The seat belt sign was off at 1154 and the service started. Both a snack and juice were offered and I accepted both. The juice was tasty and cookie was good but a tad crumbly but the juice washed it down nicely.
And the juice joined us shortly afterwards.
Cruising above the worries of normal life...
After the rubbish was collected I noticed the cup dent was dirty...hmmm not appealing.
The magazine, which I never read.
The safety card.
After all this it was time to return to the ground. The F/O addressed us at 1219, the ETA provided was 1245 and to be at the gate by 1255, this proved to be spot on! We were also told earlier that the cabin would be prepared for landing earlier as the wx was meant to be bad, although it turned out quite smooth for me it's good to be cautious.
Descending through the those white non fluffy clouds.....
A380 on climb...
Between the layers.
Sydney....such a familiar sight for me.
The city in the distance.
From the description provided by the captain we would be landing on RWY 25, a first for me.
The apron with some nice toys.....
We landed at 1245 and took a little while to slow.
A couple of Virgin birds.....
Exiting the active.
The British on stand with the old tower in the background.
Crossing RWY 16R.
Gate number 5 for us today, you can see our reflection!
As always I'm in no rush to get off, although my companions get up straight away. They say they'll wait for me at the gate. After most people have gotten off I head up and ask if I can have a look up front. The Cabin Supervisor checked and they said come on through!
Thanks to the Crew!
I was there for a while and then for a change I said I'd leave them be as I thought they'd be boarding soon and the First officer let me out of the "airside" area. I thank him again and the gate area is empty.
Since it was empty I thought a photo was in order.
Once land side again we went to get the car but this took forever as they didnt have the car ready. Finally they gave us a different one.
Our car for the short stay.
The east apron from the ground.
Hmm I guess the traffic followed us and they were kind enough to tell us (not really)!
A NAVY helicopter.
Once we had arrived at our accommodation the rest of the day was quiet.
Between the "family" reasons of visiting I managed to squeeze in 20mins of spotting at YSBK. No movements except for a helicopter doing VLL
(Very low level) CCT's.
An old dakota I'm guessing...
A civil DC-3.
Today wasn't orginally for spotting but as it turned out it opened up so I decided on a marathon spot from the deck, because, what kind of trip to Sydney is without a spotting day? I took over 1000 photos so I'll only post the interesting ones from my point of view. The point of today was rego collecting but that could just be an excuse for my poor photography skills...all of these are taken from the deck.
When I got to the airport train line the ticket machine wouldn't take my $50 note and the "customer service" booth was "OUT OF
ORDER". I then proceeded to use my card which wasn't ideal but it worked. I caught the 0900 train in and arrived at 0923, I thought I missed both JAL and KE
departures but I was wrong!
My first time seeing a Japan registered aircraft!
Also my first photo of a Korean registered aircraft!
Beautiful! (minus the APU exhaust)
My first dual departure shot from the ground!
The first time I've seen a BA
My alarm attempted to wake me up at 0400 but I was winning until about 0410 when it was time to get up. We planned to leave early so we'd have plenty of time, we didn't want to repeat Tuesday's ordeal.
We left at 0445 for the ~20min drive assuming traffic was light. The traffic was light (thankfully) and we arrived at 0510.
Airport overview during curfew.
It was weird not hearing a horn blaring every 5 seconds!
I N B O U N D
Seat (Original): 9K
Seat (Upgrade): 3J (Swapped for 3K)
Depature Time (Scheduled/Actual): 0745/0748
Arrival Time (Scheduled/Actual): 0920/0925
Fare: Red-E-deal + FF
UPGRADED TO BUSINESS
2nd Flight on VH
4th Flight on the 767
Total Flights: 30
With the car returned we walked into the terminal, already fairly busy. Tickets in hand we headed to the main security point and 2 of us passed through with no issues. The last one through got pulled up. We had collected a few christmas presents and something caught the screeners eye. We had no idea what was in them, since we had carry on we hoped we could keep them. There were a few interesting words exchanged, nothing negative but if someone "higher up" heard it could have been very bad. With the present unwrapped and re-wrapped by the officer and cleared through we headed for the Qantas Business Club.
Waiting for our presents to be cleared.
With the platinum FF
card shown we entered and I shall document this as this was be first time to go to the Sydney lounge.
Our ride to Sydney in the background.
Our flight on the right screen.
I chose a smaller than normal breakfast but I felt quite full after this, and I thought this would be the better breakfast for the morning, but I was wrong!
Views from the lounge, no views of the RWY's though:
I left once I was satisfied. I walked through the terminal to the end so I could take my first photo of an EK
This is the new feature of the terminal, very interesting!
My first time seeing an EK
I walked back towards the gate when it was time.
Once at the gate we lined up early. Throughout the morning we heard two flights cancelled to Melbourne so we assumed that everyone would be piled onto our flight. When the flight was called we presented our tickets. The first one didnt work, neither did the second one. The agent directed us to a man holding some new tickets but he ended up coming over to us. As he flicked through some others our name came up and we had BUSINESS! What an awesome surprise! We worked out since we were on a platinum booking and they needed more economy seats they bumped us up. Now I was wasn't too fussed whether I had a window or not, because this was the first time I have ever flown in J.
The excitement is building!
"Good Morning Mr Schiffl, your seat is on the other side, 3 rows down, we are currently getting some more headsets."
My seat for today!
Nice leg room!
Pre flight drinks were served but they ran out of juice early. I asked for juice and this request was carried through. Something I noticed was that they put the younger flight attendants in J and the old ones in Y. Funnily enough one of the F/A's from our flight up was on this flight as well.
No 738 for me today!
We pushed back at 0748. The captain mentioned a "long" taxi and I knew we were off to RWY 34L.
My second ever Korean registered aircraft!
We taxied onto the runway just after a NZ
Starting our 500ft AGL turn as by the SID
, these are the Helipads I've never properly seen.
Climbing out to sea.
Once the seat belt sign was off they started the service. I chose the hot breakfast and I was still feeling full from my breakfast on the ground.
Once the breakfast tray was taken away I was offered another juice and I accepted it.
Some rubbish I found, even though it's out of sight it's still not nice to see, especially in J.
The dreaded brief from the flight deck that we were descending was sad. The service did end after my last juice was taken away, which was a little disappointing but it was a short flight. Then another message states we have been slowed down by ATC. YES! But it's only an extra 5mins and our ETA was 0920 which was spot on again.
The church, I need to go spotting here again!
Seconds from touch down!
Can someone tell me what happened here?
Once we were on stand I waited until most pax were off so I could say hi to an old friend (the plane not the crew). I asked the captain directly and he said come on up.
ZXE my old friend. Thanks to the crew!
Once my visit was finished I proceeded to leave but the door was locked. I was tempted to try my card but I wasn't sure whether it would work. Some workers walked towards the door and unlocked it. He had a suspicious look on his face but I thank him and head to meet my companions. We head out to the car.
The drive home was long but at least it was during the day!
Next year! Should be an awesome show.
Well my fellow anetters my report comes to an end. This was quite a trip for me and I hope you've enjoyed the detail.
Thanks for reading.
[Edited 2012-12-06 04:30:24]