mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:46 am

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

Flight: QF162
Aircraft: 737-800
Registration: VH-XZC (Boeing Sky Interior)
Class: Business
Seat: 2A
Dep: 0625 (ATD: 0628)
Arr: 0810 (ATA: 0746)

I checked in via the business line at Wellington which is separated by standing signs

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A few minutes later I had boarding passes in hand & I was off through security towards the Qantas Business lounge

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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

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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

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After around 45 minutes in the lounge, I headed out the doors & around the corner to the gate to head towards the aircraft.

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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

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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

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After barreling down the runway we were in the air

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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

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Fix coffee & an apple / cranberry muffin followed, with scrumptious buttermilk pancakes shortly thereafter

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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

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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

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View of the apron after leaving the aircraft

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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.

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Shower area in the lounge. These definitely need upgrading as quite run down & dirty but do for a refresh

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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

Flight: QF127
Aircraft: 747-400
Registration: VH-OEH
Class: Business
Seat: 2A
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

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Windows to look out for the flight

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Amenity kit & menu waiting on the centre console / armrest area. Headsets were the same as the first flight

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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

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Next in line behind Cathay Pacific jetting off to Hong Kong also

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View of the line up after us though the rain as we hurtled down the runway

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And just like that, we were in the air

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Flight map to start the journey off

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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

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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!

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Desert trolley coming around. I went for the rather delicious chocolate malted tart.

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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

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The new bridge & underwater entrance linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai & Macau

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Touchdown & tarmac views

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Final seat view

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Conclusion:

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
 
smi0006
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:45 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:51 am

Thanks for putting together that report - really disappointing the service let QF down!

Catering looks great however- impressive no tray was offered on the 737 that’s impressive and ours most other carriers meals to shame on a narrow body!
 
AA737-823
Posts: 5354
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:13 am

I had an interesting couple of experiences on Qantas this week, myself.
1. A380, SIN-SYD. Grouchy and just plain unpleasant Cabin Crew took TWO HOURS to do an economy meal service, which consisted of a drink, a single plastic container of food, and a dessert-in-a-cup.
2. 747, SYD-LAX. FANTASTIC crew bounced around a nearly empty cabin (after an 8 hours delay due to a tail swap) handing out things and food as if they loved their jobs! The meal was similarly lackluster, but did at least taste good, if it was lacking in fanciness. I mean, in comparison, Air China had a far more elaborate meal... both in economy.

So, as this was my first experience with Qantas, I'm not really sure what to make of them. To me, SO MUCH rides on the cabin crew. I can overlook a subpar hard product or soft product if I'm treated well by happy employees. And, likewise, the nicest seat in the world struggles to overcome the feeling of having been snapped at by a skywitch/skywarlock!
 
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AirCbp
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 9:08 pm

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:25 pm

Thank you and congratulations for this very nice trip report. I took the same early morning Qantas flight WLG-SYD six months ago with my family and loved it, from the remarkable architecture of Wellington Airport to the quiet flight and the views of the little islands and bays off the north coast of South Island. Nice!
 
QueenoftheSkies
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:48 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:50 am

Did you expect the crew to put a bib on you and feed you? I mean seriously....
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:36 pm

QueenoftheSkies wrote:
Did you expect the crew to put a bib on you and feed you? I mean seriously....


Of course I don't and I wouldn't want that, who would. What I am getting at is, I have flown Business and PE many times before with this flight being the first time I have been handed everything to me over my seat mate and I myself having to set everything up from table cloth to even having to hand back my dirty dishes etc to the crew. 1st world problems I know but it interrupted my seat mate being able to eat every time and I'm sure he didn't care for it considering we didn't know one another. Service was a stark comparison to every other Business or PE flight I've flown before. It's never happened before on QF, that's all I'm saying.
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:39 pm

AirCbp wrote:
Thank you and congratulations for this very nice trip report. I took the same early morning Qantas flight WLG-SYD six months ago with my family and loved it, from the remarkable architecture of Wellington Airport to the quiet flight and the views of the little islands and bays off the north coast of South Island. Nice!


Thank you, much appreciated for your reply! I love the flights across the Tasman, crew make the flights so personal and seem to have an extra caring attitude as well which is a nice start or end to a journey which ever way you're flying. Definitely some awesome architecture in Wellington and I believe it's only going to get better over the next year or so as well! I do enjoy flying over the top of the South Island, scenery is stunning. Glad you enjoyed your experience on QF a few months ago as well!
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:58 pm

smi0006 wrote:
Thanks for putting together that report - really disappointing the service let QF down!

Catering looks great however- impressive no tray was offered on the 737 that’s impressive and ours most other carriers meals to shame on a narrow body!


It was disappointing, considering I have never once had a disappointing flight with QF and I fly them long-haul at least twice yearly if not more. Catering was pretty decent considering circumstances of the long-haul flight but I must say I much prefer the catering on the 737. Individually given to you on a tray in business which is always welcomed and a more personal experience. Qantas has changed the catering in economy class over the last couple of years so you are given one slightly bigger meal on a tiny tray and then you basically just have a bread roll you have to place somewhere on your dish (or it sits on the tray table) and then desert (usually ice cream) is given once the meal tray is taken away. Some may like it that way, some may hate it though but it does do-away with he usual standard tray found on most airlines.
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:04 pm

AA737-823 wrote:
I had an interesting couple of experiences on Qantas this week, myself.
1. A380, SIN-SYD. Grouchy and just plain unpleasant Cabin Crew took TWO HOURS to do an economy meal service, which consisted of a drink, a single plastic container of food, and a dessert-in-a-cup.
2. 747, SYD-LAX. FANTASTIC crew bounced around a nearly empty cabin (after an 8 hours delay due to a tail swap) handing out things and food as if they loved their jobs! The meal was similarly lackluster, but did at least taste good, if it was lacking in fanciness. I mean, in comparison, Air China had a far more elaborate meal... both in economy.

So, as this was my first experience with Qantas, I'm not really sure what to make of them. To me, SO MUCH rides on the cabin crew. I can overlook a subpar hard product or soft product if I'm treated well by happy employees. And, likewise, the nicest seat in the world struggles to overcome the feeling of having been snapped at by a skywitch/skywarlock!


Thanks for the reply! That does sound like a couple of interesting flights on Qantas you had! I do feel that QF having changed the meal service in economy over the last couple of years have gone down in standard a little bit which is maybe why you found Air China had more elaborate meals in economy.

I tend to agree with you though that a subpar hard/soft product can easily be made up for with awesome and cheery cabin- crew as after all they are humans and you can interact with them. No matter how good a seat or meal is, it cant interact back with you, can put the comfort scale up a lot but if the cabin crew look or sound like they hate their jobs, it's a bit of a let down. And I understand everyone takes things a different way and I've spent many years in face-to-face customer and nothing but a cheery attitude works and if you don't have it, shouldn't be in that industry.
 
767747
Posts: 2185
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:37 am

The food looks great - Wow, what an impressive looking menu/meal on the 737 flight.
I love to fly!
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: WLG-HKG & a trip on the Queen in business with Qantas (Part 1)

Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:52 am

767747 wrote:
The food looks great - Wow, what an impressive looking menu/meal on the 737 flight.


Very impressed by the catering on the 737 these days, not only awesome choices to choose from, they always taste delicious!

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