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Ryanair01
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21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:00 pm

An old note book and some photo prints turned up as I rummaged through old boxes recently. From it I can piece together this simple trip report from a flight 21 years ago.

Before reading on, please remember digital photography was not yet a thing, so the pictures are from a disposable camera and old faded prints. Trip reports didn’t exist either, so this is all somewhat cobbled together with the help of some Youtube links which I hope you click on. None the less I hope it gives you a sense of my journey.

Personally it was a special flight, because it was the first I ever paid for, having only ever travelled with family before.

At 17 years of age I took a trip from Sydney to Brisbane to stay with family friends. It seems hard to imagine that mobile phones were still not standard, the internet was just a novelty and Australia only had two airline groups one of whom had an uncertain future with crippling ownership issues - oh wait some things don’t change!

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Because the internet wasn’t really a thing yet, I’d visited Ansett’s Martin Place sales office to buy my ticket. I’d never been on an A320 before and wanted to fly on one. The lady explained Ansett flights were not operated by set aircraft types and changed depending how busy a service was. However she’d chosen me a service that was more often than not an A320 and had her fingers crossed. Sensing I was a bit of nut she kindly went off and got me a load of sales brochures with information about Ansett’s 747 “Spaceships”, a random act of kindness I didn’t ask for. I wonder what they thought of me!

My flight was late morning, but I arrived at around 9am to watch the planes. The old green and yellow Airport Express bus had shuttled me from Eddy Avenue outside of Central Station, because the rail link did not yet exist. Ansett’s Terminal had received the second pier, but as you can tell from this picture, the upper departures level had not yet been built.

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Check in was downstairs opposite today’s subway to the railway station and a travellator took passengers up to the security checkpoint where the gate exit is today. This advert gives you the basic idea.

https://youtu.be/0xqtIJygbJE

I went to check in and the agent was insistent I had to catch the next flight. I was quite forcefully waved off to the service counter where a man re-ticketed me. He told me to head directly to the gate and get a boarding pass there. I was not happy.

Luckily VH-HYK awaited me, a 1991 build A320 which still flies in Russia.

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I later discovered the baggage handers were about to walk out, which subsequently grounded all flights. This was pretty standard at the time.

During boarding Ansett’s Enya welcome video played, set to a mixture of Australian scenery and close ups of smiling people. At the time it seemed very classy.

https://youtu.be/8kUjfWkEZ3A

Whilst HYK’s exterior had been rebranded, the cabin was as delivered. To me it already felt a little dated, but that is just a personal thing.

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One thing to note is just how padded the seats were, with extra cushions attached to the backs. It made for a really comfortable seat.

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You can just make out the old style cathode ray TV monitors in the aisle. As we taxied off this safety video played.

https://youtu.be/4Lxk0r1TdrM

Inflight Ansett’s Sky Show News was shown. This was a half hour bulletin made especially by Channel 7 for Ansett flights in the morning and evening. It was beamed by satellite to the terminals and copied to VHS tape! Following the news, sports and weather an episode of Channel 7’s “The Great Outdoors” was shown, a travel show focusing on domestic destinations.

According to my note book a tray with an orange, cheese and crackers and a cup cake was served; followed by two rounds of coffee. It sounds something like this.

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After one hour and three minutes the landing was uneventful. With no rail link yet built, I just made the Coachtrans shuttle to Roma St Transit Centre, before connecting onto a local train.

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Verdict:

I seem to remember the flight cost me about $230 return, which was a rock bottom special limited availability bargain price at the time. Such an unusually cheap fare actually caused me to travel. That translates to $380 now, so many times more than the $158 return I just paid with Tiger.

I can’t imagine paying $200 for a coffee, an orange, some crackers and a cupcake. So I guess in that sense things have got better for cheapskates like me.

None the less do I miss Ansett?
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bgboiflyer
Posts: 163
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:15 pm

Wow that's a throwback. Unfortunately your bird is scrapped, as per airfleets and planespotters. What they served you onboard now seems pretty insane compared to current standards. Too bad we don't see this anymore around
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:29 pm

Great report there - I did check out the videos, very interesting! I wonder how much Enya earned from that :)

The seats look fantastic really. I remember seeing some kind of brochure when the A320s were delivered to Ansett, saying the vibe they were going for was Orient Express elegance throughout the cabin. I wish I still had that, the seats looked gorgeous.

Meals have certainly come a long way since an orange and some crackers. Really nice to see the report - so glad you got a cabin pic, I love those! Cheers!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Ryanair01
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:18 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
Great report there - I did check out the videos, very interesting! I wonder how much Enya earned from that :)

The seats look fantastic really. I remember seeing some kind of brochure when the A320s were delivered to Ansett, saying the vibe they were going for was Orient Express elegance throughout the cabin. I wish I still had that, the seats looked gorgeous.

Meals have certainly come a long way since an orange and some crackers. Really nice to see the report - so glad you got a cabin pic, I love those! Cheers!


Thank you. I think this shows the cabin design that Ansett had on both the Airbuses and 737-300s.

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I think originally they had a three class cabin. First had US style 2x2 seats, Business had Euro-business convertible seats and Economy those I pictured. Certainly on the 737 First and Business had lovely dark navy blue velour seat covers with walnut and gold plated (style!) side tables. I got to fly Business Class in 1990 on the 737 I remember those details distinctly.

bgboiflyer wrote:
Wow that's a throwback. Unfortunately your bird is scrapped, as per airfleets and planespotters. What they served you onboard now seems pretty insane compared to current standards. Too bad we don't see this anymore around


That's a shame about the aircraft. Regarding the meal. It was the first time I'd not had a full hot meal. I'd been on Ansett for short hour flights quite a few times before and usually it was either Quiche Lorraine with Potato Salad or Steak and New Potatoes. It's strange the things you remember!
 
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allrite
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:27 am

This post has brought back some real memories! The boarding video was a great find. I loved the Enya ads for Ansett, they really made me want to fly high above the world. The only thing that came close were Jetstar's "Let's Fly Away" tracked adverts, although the visuals in those were never as good.

When flying down to Sydney (then Canberra) from Rockhampton we used to have a four hour plus stop in Brisbane. That was enough time to catch that Coachtrans bus to Roma Street and explore the mall or Southbank before heading back.

I do remember having more substantial meals on the jets. Seem to recall scrambled eggs and bacon on an Ansett flight out of Rocky. But it's all so long ago now!

Thanks so much for sharing. It's been months since I've last read a trip report and this was a great re-introduction.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
Kent350787
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:42 am

Another one with memories of that period, although my only AN A320 flight was ASP-SYD around 2000. I'd completely forgotten that footbridge from the carpark also.
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
brucetiki
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:55 am

Great TR of a classic - how different SYD and BNE look these days.
The early bird catches the worm, the late bird will be featured on a You Tube video
 
345tas
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:43 pm

Wow amazing to see an Ansett trip report, thanks! Those seats look amazing.

My first ever flight was with Ansett LST-MEL (so it maybe have in fact been on Kendall) but I remember we were served curried sausages. That is literally my only memory of the flight.

The Enya video is beautiful actually, for some reason makes Australia seem kinder and more appealing than it is now but that's probably unfounded nostalgia.
 
TN486
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:34 pm

^^Thank you for the memories. Although I was a TAA man myself, it reminded me of my first AN flight, MEL - BNE - HMI. A superb flight, spent some time on the flight deck, and abruptly at one stage the mood changed, pilots became very task conscious. Made me wonder. After leaving the aircraft at HMI, QF had arrived before us, and a QF captain was running around looking for the AN guys. QF captain was looking very "sorrowful". Made me think about the mood change in the cockpit.
I also loved the enya videos, aussie at its best. That skyrail in sydney is history, and aint the aussie landscape pics beut. Aghh, the best country in the world mate.
remember the t shirt "I own an airline"on the front - "qantas" on the back
 
Ryanair01
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Posts: 485
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:15 pm

A small addendum to the original post, as I found a whole lot of other things I saved from that flight.

The fare was actually $385 return (which is a whooping $640 today), over four times the price of my most recent trip on this route.

I'm not sure if these interest anyone, but hopefully this is a nice insight into flying in the old days.

The ticket, ticket folder and return boarding pass.
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The sales office also very kindly gave me a lounge club application, maybe it planted my love of lounges? Who knows. I do love that "mobile phone hire" is one of the key benefits :)

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I also hadn't realised how spacious the configuration was, 134 seats on an A320 and 106 seats on the 737!
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I also kept the inflight magazine. Ansett had just launched BusinessFirst, moving away from three class shorthaul alongside their new Global Rewards Programme.
Image
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It also had full details of Air Show TV (Main Screen) and Audio Entertainment.
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TN486 wrote:
^^Thank you for the memories. Although I was a TAA man myself, it reminded me of my first AN flight, MEL - BNE - HMI. A superb flight, spent some time on the flight deck, and abruptly at one stage the mood changed, pilots became very task conscious. Made me wonder. After leaving the aircraft at HMI, QF had arrived before us, and a QF captain was running around looking for the AN guys. QF captain was looking very "sorrowful". Made me think about the mood change in the cockpit.
I also loved the enya videos, aussie at its best. That skyrail in sydney is history, and aint the aussie landscape pics beut. Aghh, the best country in the world mate.

I never got to fly TAA, but a family friend hostesses gave a me a cutlery set from them, which I think my mum still has in daily use.

345tas wrote:
Wow amazing to see an Ansett trip report, thanks! Those seats look amazing.

My first ever flight was with Ansett LST-MEL (so it maybe have in fact been on Kendall) but I remember we were served curried sausages. That is literally my only memory of the flight.

The Enya video is beautiful actually, for some reason makes Australia seem kinder and more appealing than it is now but that's probably unfounded nostalgia.


Having lived overseas now for a long time now, the Enya video does remind me of a much more chilled version of Australia, which I think is largely gone.

brucetiki wrote:
Great TR of a classic - how different SYD and BNE look these days.


You'd struggle to recognise them from those days, although I think the Brisbane picture may actually be the International terminal which was pretty new then. I think I might have got off to take a look or something like that.

Kent350787 wrote:
Another one with memories of that period, although my only AN A320 flight was ASP-SYD around 2000. I'd completely forgotten that footbridge from the carpark also.


I nearly got run over almost exactly there about a month ago. I guess they had the right idea then!

allrite wrote:
This post has brought back some real memories! The boarding video was a great find. I loved the Enya ads for Ansett, they really made me want to fly high above the world. The only thing that came close were Jetstar's "Let's Fly Away" tracked adverts, although the visuals in those were never as good.

When flying down to Sydney (then Canberra) from Rockhampton we used to have a four hour plus stop in Brisbane. That was enough time to catch that Coachtrans bus to Roma Street and explore the mall or Southbank before heading back.

I do remember having more substantial meals on the jets. Seem to recall scrambled eggs and bacon on an Ansett flight out of Rocky. But it's all so long ago now!

Thanks so much for sharing. It's been months since I've last read a trip report and this was a great re-introduction.


I'm glad! I think the Enya campaign had a touch of class and to me felt quite aspirational. Having grown up in Brisbane, 4 hours for a look around sounds about right :lol:
 
directorguy
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:07 pm

Lovely! Thanks for sharing. Amazing how 1997 is another planet and that enough time has passed for cultural shifts in advertising, fashion and of course aviation have become discernible. Can't believe I'm old enough to say stuff like that lol.
Great job mate!
 
ExLibris76
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:23 am

This is fantastic! Never got the chance to fly Ansett or Australian Airlines (pre QANTAS merger) so these retro reports help fill in the gap, so to speak. That refreshment is still better than what I'm routinely offered when flying economy in QANTAS and Virgin on my regular trips back to Australia these days. 1997 doesn't seem that long ago, but it really is. Both the domestic terminal and Roma Street Transit Centre have been upgraded somewhat. I laughed out loud when I saw your ticket date MAY 16 as I can recall when and where I was at the time: I was living in Brisbane then and about to start uni in July and that particular week was 21st birthday. It being Friday, I would have been hanging out in the Queen Street Mall. :)
Courtesy costs you nothing.
 
VapourTrails
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Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:54 am

Ryanair01 wrote:
A small addendum to the original post, as I found a whole lot of other things I saved from that flight.


Hi Ryanair01, thank you for putting up this retro trip report. It was a nostalgic read.

Ansett.. the Shine song still gets me emotionally, even today.

Yes, I remember the catering in those days for sure!

I am not sure though if I still have any of my Ansett memorabilia now. Sad if I don’t. Thanks for sharing yours here. :thumbsup:

My last flight with Ansett was on an A320 in 2001 it must have been, between Melbourne and Canberra. My first flight was between Devonport and Melbourne way back when, routes that I still frequent these days.

Cheers. =
 
9w748capt
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:27 am

Re: 21 years ago - Ansett A320 Sydney to Brisbane

Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:11 pm

What a blast from the past! Thank you for sharing. Love these nostalgic TRs. Travel is such a commodity now, sometimes the "specialness" of it gets lost - just my 2c.

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