Hello all, finally after many years of flying & reading trip reports, I decided that its time to post my first one, so I hope you do enjoy & all comments are welcome!
A few months back, my friend & I were planning to meet up in Hong Kong, her flying in from Germany & I from New Zealand. Qantas had some Premium Economy sale fares going which included Business across the Tasman Sea in both directions, so I decided to snap up the fares. Routing was Wellington - Sydney - Hong Kong & vice versa for the return journey (which will be in part two). The few months went by relatively fast since booking in July, but the time finally came for the trip to Hong Kong. Needless to say, I was thoroughly over the moon that I would get to experience the beautiful city again, 9 years after I last had my feet on the ground there. And fly on the Queen of the skies once again, 9 years as well since the last time. I will solely focus on the flights for this trip report as I didn't take many of the accommodation to add this in.
I decided to request a class upgrade to business for probably one of my last flights on the Queen & with loads of seats still available between SYD - HKG, my chances were looking good. The day before travel, this upgrade was confirmed but only after I looked on the QF app to see this, no notification whatsoever. I couldn't decide where to sit for this sector though, in the nose section or upstairs by the emergency exit. However, I eventually settled for the nose after reading reviews of this area being quieter than other business zones on the Queen.
On the morning of departure, I got dropped off at the airport by 0500 for the days adventure
Chapter 1: Wellington - Sydney
Registration: VH-XZC (Boeing Sky Interior)
Dep: 0625 (ATD: 0628)
Arr: 0810 (ATA: 0746)
I checked in via the business line at Wellington which is separated by standing signs
A few minutes later I had boarding passes in hand & I was off through security towards the Qantas Business lounge
There's no barista made coffee here though & being a total coffee snob, I can safely say the machined coffee on offer is not that enjoyable. The not so good coffee pictured
The lounge here in Wellington is much to be desired, however sufficient enough to get you buy for the short hops across the Tasman Sea
View of my aircraft waiting to take me to Sydney
After around 45 minutes in the lounge, I headed out the doors & around the corner to the gate to head towards the aircraft.
Menus & headset were already waiting for us on the armrest. The headsets Qantas seem to use nowadays are not the best in quality which is a shame
Was offered choice of water, orange juice or champagne. I went for the orange juice
Boarding started on-time at 0555 with doors closed at 0614 & push-back followed shortly afterwards
After barreling down the runway we were in the air
I find the meal service on these Tasman flights to be very efficient & today was no different, thoroughly impressed
A delicious raspberry energiser to start the meal process off
Fix coffee & an apple / cranberry muffin followed, with scrumptious buttermilk pancakes shortly thereafter
While devouring breakfast, I watched the Incredibles 2, another fantastic film!
Most of the flight was done by this time & we were offered hot towels prior to landing, always a much desired item to receive!
In-flight & descent
Landed smoothly on runway 34R with a relative long taxi. Due to us arriving over 25 minutes ahead of schedule, our gate was still taken up so we had to wait 20 minutes on the ground for this to become free. Took a couple of photos of BA & Etihad resting after long flights
View of the apron after leaving the aircraft
Next it was off to the Qantas Business lounge in Sydney. I didn't take any photos here, (minus an actual decent cup of coffee!) due to the lounge being absolutely jam packed due to Australian school holidays & I didn't want to intrude of other persons privacy. The lounge is quite good but definitely not up to latest QF lounge standards like the London lounge. Although I am under the impression that they are to expand & upgrade the lounge at some point in the near future. There is a good selection of hot & cold food, as well as beverages on offer here at Sydney. If you feel like dining properly you can with restaurant styled meals available on request. Two barista stations making up delicious coffee as well which is always welcome after a really early start.
Shower area in the lounge. These definitely need upgrading as quite run down & dirty but do for a refresh
After over 2 hours in the lounge, I headed off to the gate 24 where my next aircraft would be waiting to take me off to Hong Kong.
Chapter 2: Sydney - Hong Kong
Dep: 1135 (ATD: 1230)
Arr: 1800 (ATA: 1746)
Headed down the air-bridge & welcomed on-board by the friendly cabin crew (or so I thought this would be the case) & turned left as I entered 1L towards my seat for the next 9 hours.
Seat prior to plonking myself on it & the room I have to stretch out in for the journey north. Large pillow, blanket & mattress topper on offer for use but due to a day flight I only used the first two items available to me
Windows to look out for the flight
Amenity kit & menu waiting on the centre console / armrest area. Headsets were the same as the first flight
Settled into seat 2A & was offered choice of water, orange juice or champagne. I went with water & orange juice as I don't drink alcohol
Final doors were closed slightly behind schedule at 1140 & push-back immediately after. We had a very long wait to depart runway 34L. No idea what the hold up as nothing really happened on the runway for quite a period of time & had masses of planes waiting to take-off before us & there were masses of planes after us as well
Next in line behind Cathay Pacific jetting off to Hong Kong also
View of the line up after us though the rain as we hurtled down the runway
And just like that, we were in the air
Flight map to start the journey off
Meal service was very long & drawn out on this flight, over a period of 3 hours from take-off in fact which I found rather odd. Service was very poor though with table cloths, dishes & drinks somewhat handed to me in a rather forceful manner & I myself had to set everything up on the table which I hadn't experienced on QF Business before. Normally the crew would walk around the aisle seat due to masses of room to do so & place everything on the table. But instead on this flight, it was passed over my seat mates table & in between the TV / divider wall. A big let down in service on this sector as crew weren't too smiley or seemed like they cared either, which was a shame as I had never experienced poor service on QF after all these years of flying them
For the meal service I went with green pea & mint soup with snow pea salad, was very good
For the mains I went for the grilled chermoula chicken with roasted sweet potato, cauliflower tabbouleh & pomegranate dressing. A great choice if I do say so!
Desert trolley coming around. I went for the rather delicious chocolate malted tart.
The rest of the flight was rather uneventful. I just watched a few films to pass the time by & before I knew it we were starting our decent into Hong Kong were hot towels were handed out to freshen up a little, again much needed
The new bridge & underwater entrance linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai & Macau
Touchdown & tarmac views
Final seat view
I was very much looking forward to this adventure to Hong Kong, flying Qantas once again & on the 747 once more, especially in business class. Overall the first section of the journey was up to the normal standard of QF in every way possible, no faults or complaints.. That's when things went a little down hill with the service out of Sydney which was a real shame. I did also select sitting in the nose section after reading loads of reviews on multiple sites saying this is the quietest business section to be in. Oh wow, this is just not true what so ever. The air condition units must have been right above this section or I don't know what was going on but they were so loud that even wearing earplugs did nothing to drown out the sound while trying to lay down for a little bit. That was rather disappointing & although I absolutely love the 747, I am thankful for modern day aircraft with incredibly quieter air con units as well as feeling more fresh at the end of the journey. Of course these little things won't put me off flying Qantas as I am a loyal QFF & already planning my next journey with them!
Thank you for taking the time reading, I hope you enjoyed my first trip report!
Part two will follow shortly