brucetiki
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Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:58 pm

Hi everyone and welcome to my latest trip report.

The other week for my birthday, my mate decided to buy me a trip to the beautiful coastal town of Port Lincoln, on South Australia's west coast. He paid for my flights and accommodation, so I offered to pay for the hire car.

Port Lincoln is one of a handful of South Australian regional locations that has flights from both QantasLink with their Q300 and Rex with their decrepit Saab 340's. Of course, no one in their right mind would opt to fly Rex if they had the choice, so we made the easy decision to fly with Qantas.

The morning of the flight was a pretty standard affair for mid-morning at ADL. The redeye rush had passed and it wasn't overly busy.

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After a bit of banter with security, who noticed my Adelaide Crows hoodie, it was a quick pitstop for breakfast waiting for my mate to arrive from his incoming flight from SYD. While I was having breakfast, boarding had started early for the flight, which I found unusual as the flight was only about 2/3 full. Anyway my mate decided that he had to be the first on board, so boarded straight away, while I still casually made my way down towards gate 50, which is one of the two turboprop gates at ADL. There was a small boarding queue so I ducked over to the window overlooking the turboprop bays to grab a photo of the Q300 that would take us to PLO

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Being a turboprop gate downstairs we went and along a covered walkway to our plane.

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After the walk from the gate, I met up with my mate and quickly settled in to my seat - 9D, which on a Q300 is towards the back of the aircraft.

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Boarding was very efficient and the front door was closed about 10 minutes early. As the Q300 doesn't have video screens, unfortunately the iconic Qantas safety video wasn't used, and we had a generic safety announcement with the two wonderful cabin crew members doing manual demonstrations. Due to our early departure from the stand, we ended up in a queue for the runway - we actually get queues in ADL! Still we were well ahead of schedule so even with the queue we were ahead.

You can checkout the takeoff video via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkgVgsXxgIA

Once we reached our cruising altitude of around 14,000 feet, the crew came around and did a water run and a taxi booking service (as PLO is actually in North Shields, 16 kilometres from Port Lincoln itself, so taxi's have to come from Port Lincoln to meet incoming flights). This was followed by tea/coffee and a snack. The coffee was great, and the cookie provided was lovely - definitely an improvement on the protein balls Virgin offer on their mainline service. In among this I also did a quick look at the seat pocket contents. You actually get two magazines on board QantasLink flights - the mainline Qantas magazine and QantasLink exclusive Spirit. Someone had already acquired my copy of Spirit, and my mate made sure 9C would be deprived of their copy of Spirit for the day as well. IFE is BYO on board the Q300. I had the iPad with my usual stockpile of The Goldbergs episodes, but sometimes the view outside the window was perfect IFE.

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Before too long it was time to land, and being a regional airport, the cabin crew had just enough time to complete the formalities before we were pulling up to our stand, and the ramp was being lined up for our disembarkment. From the plane, it's a very quick walk along the tarmac into the terminal, and to the baggage reclaim area - which is literally the baggage cart coming up to the terminal and you pick your luggage up directly from the cart. Given the Q300 is the largest aircraft that services PLO, it's an efficient system for the airport. From there we picked up the hire car (like the taxi's, the hire car companies are only at the airport if they're expecting someone), and made our way into Port Lincoln

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So that brings to an end this trip report. I hope you enjoyed this report on QantasLink's second smallest aircraft, and I'll pop the return trip up shortly.
 
VapourTrails
Posts: 3674
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:02 am

brucetiki wrote:
Port Lincoln is one of a handful of South Australian regional locations that has flights from both QantasLink with their Q300 and Rex with their decrepit Saab 340's. Of course, no one in their right mind would opt to fly Rex if they had the choice, so we made the easy decision to fly with Qantas.


Hi, this looks like an interesting and relaxing place and an interesting small airport to visit. What is the main issue with Regional Express, do you mean the technical issues that they've been having, and their older fleet? What is the situation with them nowadays, will they upgrade? I rarely see them as they no longer frequent CBR or DPO, and haven't flown them for I am guessing, ten years now. They used to be very good.

I haven't flown on a QantasLink Q300 since 2015, but I always feel safe in their aircraft, I am talking about the hard product primarily - in the first instance. Service is very good too though IMHO. They are noisy, the Q300, but hey, it is all part of the experience. They and the -200 get my current vote for the noisiest aircraft at CBR. I can hear them taxiing from inside my house, and I do not live that near the airport. :listen:

brucetiki wrote:
From the plane, it's a very quick walk along the tarmac into the terminal, and to the baggage reclaim area - which is literally the baggage cart coming up to the terminal and you pick your luggage up directly from the cart.


DPO used to be like this, but now they have a baggage carousel! :hyper:

Always nice when someone pays for your flight eh. Look forward to hearing about the return journey and any Port Lincoln sights and tourist things that you would like to share. Haven't toured South Australia at all yet! is it much affected by the drought? The only time I 'get' to South Australia is when I tune into LiveAtc.net from ADL sometimes. :smile:


Cheers. =
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:02 am

Hi, thanks for the trip report. QantasLink as dependable as ever. I got a chuckle out of both the taxi bookings onboard and the baggage cart to collect your luggage. Armidale is the only place I've flown to like this.

Out of interest what are your issues with Rex? I've never flown them, but wouldn't mind giving them a go some time to fly the Saab 340.

I'd be very interested to see some pictures of Port Lincoln if you had some you would be willing to share? I've never been to SA so I'd be interested to learn more about the area.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
brucetiki
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:02 am

Last time I flew ADL-PLO I flew Rex. Had a gate agent who was more worried about checking his social media on his phone than actually attending to my enquiry. Not the best of starts there.

Then there was the aircraft itself. It was like stepping into a time warp with an ancient Saab 340 that had seen better days. It was...an experience. The on board service, though, from memory, was quite sound with the single cabin crew member doing a great job. At the end of the day, though, if price between QantasLink and Rex are comparable and it comes down to the choice of a recently refurbed Q300 or a Saab 340 that looks every day of it's 30+ years of age, it's an easy decision as to who to fly with.
 
baje427
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:53 am

The Q300 is a nice ride thanks for the trip report turboprop reports are pretty rare these days.
 
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allrite
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:29 am

Great report! I love how fancy the airport looks considering the dearth of services. Pity that the town of Port Lincoln lost its (freight only) rail services this year. Look forward to reading part 2.
I like artificial banana essence!
 
brucetiki
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Posts: 194
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:03 am

And now for part 2.

It was a lovely few days in Port Lincoln. Must admit I didn't really do a great deal while I was there. We spent a few hours in Tumby Bay (about 50 kilometres north of Port Lincoln), which is a beautiful part of the state. Travels to the Eyre Peninsula are beautiful just to sit back and relax - quite the opposite of a visit to a capital city where it's out and about and hustle and bustle.

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Tumby Bay pics

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After a few days of R&R, it was time to head back to the big smoke. After a pit stop at servo just outside the airport, I dropped the hire car off, and dropped the keys back at the hire car counter (which was literally a drop box as the counter was closed). I got to the airport a couple of hours before departure - necessary when departing from a capital city, but here was wayyyyyy to early. Check-in was deserted and the cafe had closed for lunch. So I wandered around and took some happy snaps for the good people here, before settling down in a part of the airport with decent phone coverage and watched a bit of You Tube. While the runway at PLO can accommodate a Boeing 737-800, the biggest aircraft that that services PLO is QantasLink's Q300. As a result, no airport security it needed. Anyone can wander around the terminal without the need of going through security.

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If larger aircraft were to utilise PLO in the future, this would be the security checkpoint (previously used when the Q400's serviced PLO).

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About an hour before departure, the check-in staff arrived, and I checked in my suitcase before continuing to wander around the terminal for a bit. Even spent a bit out in the alfresco area of the terminal overlooking the terminal. There were no scheduled flights in my time at the airport (except for mine), but there was a medical transfer taking place with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

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Right on time, the same Q300 that I flew on from ADL a few days prior arrived with a plane load of people ready to hit the Eyre Peninsula. The plane was turned over very efficiently and in no time at all boarding was called.

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It was a chock a block full flight, mostly FIFO's and business people - in fact I think I was the only leisure traveller on the flight! I was assigned seat 10D, one of the exit row seats. After the quick additional briefing, the main safety demo was done as we taxied down the runway. The plane then did a U turn and up, up and away we left Port Lincoln. Until next time!

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It was a beautiful day, and the flight was just gorgeous. The views from outside were so beautiful. The staff were outstanding, very efficient with the water and snack run and then the tea and coffee run.

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Before too long it was time to reenter suburbia and come in to land at ADL. After a smooth landing, we went around the back and parked at the gate 50 stands. As we hadn't cleared security, those transiting were given the chance to clear security through a dedicated transfer gate back up to departures. For the rest of us, it was through the QF valet car park straight into the arrivals hall to pick up our luggage.

Thanks for reading part 2. My next flight is an incredibly exciting one - a 747-400 flight from ADL-SYD next month. A 747 flight form ADL is rare, and a domestic 747 flight is rare - put the two together and we have an extremely rare flight, and quite the contrast from the Q300. I'm going from the 2nd smallest plane in QF's fleet to the 2nd largest!
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:49 am

brucetiki wrote:
It was a lovely few days in Port Lincoln. Must admit I didn't really do a great deal while I was there. We spent a few hours in Tumby Bay (about 50 kilometres north of Port Lincoln), which is a beautiful part of the state. Travels to the Eyre Peninsula are beautiful just to sit back and relax - quite the opposite of a visit to a capital city where it's out and about and hustle and bustle.

Thank you - the pictures are really good; a very enticing place to visit, and not one which I have heard that much about before. I like the old buildings too.

brucetiki wrote:
I got to the airport a couple of hours before departure - necessary when departing from a capital city, but here was wayyyyyy to early. Check-in was deserted and the cafe had closed for lunch. So I wandered around and took some happy snaps for the good people here, before settling down in a part of the airport with decent phone coverage and watched a bit of You Tube. While the runway at PLO can accommodate a Boeing 737-800, the biggest aircraft that that services PLO is QantasLink's Q300. As a result, no airport security it needed. Anyone can wander around the terminal without the need of going through security.

Such is the way of small airports - waiting for check-in to open. :profile: I was really suprised when I read that there was no security - had to investigate further, although you mention there was security. They had security back in 2012 when the Q400 flew there, but it wasn't necessary for the Q300, which is due to the MTOW. Here is one of the links I sourced out: https://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/sto ... be-costly/ Of course everything that is a regional airport for me gets compared with own experience - DPO, and this is one reason why they have security screening - the Q400. :thumbsup:

So I am assuming that even though PLO can handle a 737-800, it is not a suitable diversion airport, or at least, one with restrictions. What a nice airport though, the modern design, and suitable for the climate, and spacious too. A brand new terminal, built in 2013 - I had to check. :wink2:

I am glad you had good weather and views for the flight, and not just for the photos. It's all part of the memories of the experience.

brucetiki wrote:
My next flight is an incredibly exciting one - a 747-400 flight from ADL-SYD next month. A 747 flight form ADL is rare, and a domestic 747 flight is rare - put the two together and we have an extremely rare flight, and quite the contrast from the Q300. I'm going from the 2nd smallest plane in QF's fleet to the 2nd largest!

...and I hope you will do a Trip Report here! :smile:

Cheers. =
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Fri Nov 22, 2019 10:58 pm

Nice TR, but I'm curious as to why a café would be closed for lunch? :confused:
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
brucetiki
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:17 am

OzarkD9S wrote:
Nice TR, but I'm curious as to why a café would be closed for lunch? :confused:


There were no flights coming in/out at that time, hence they closed for lunch. They reopened about an hour or so before my flights, which for a 50 seat turboprop is ample time.
 
brucetiki
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:23 am

VapourTrails wrote:

brucetiki wrote:
My next flight is an incredibly exciting one - a 747-400 flight from ADL-SYD next month. A 747 flight form ADL is rare, and a domestic 747 flight is rare - put the two together and we have an extremely rare flight, and quite the contrast from the Q300. I'm going from the 2nd smallest plane in QF's fleet to the 2nd largest!

...and I hope you will do a Trip Report here! :smile:

Cheers. =


Of course. My flight will almost certainly be the very last 747 to depart ADL - it would be wrong of me not to do a TR on here of that :D
 
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Ryan h
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:00 am

Great report and photos. Over the years flown to PLO with both REX and Qantaslink.

I do think you are bit harsh about REX, flown with them many times.

Looking forward to your 747 trip report as I was on that flight too.
South Australian Spotter
 
VapourTrails
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:52 am

brucetiki wrote:
Of course. My flight will almost certainly be the very last 747 to depart ADL - it would be wrong of me not to do a TR on here of that.


Thanks. :smile: I watched QF736 leave on the ADL webcam, first time I viewed that webcam, and the day before, when I watched the Antarctica flight appear on FR24 35 minutes out, and then saw it parked at the gate. I also listened to LiveATC.net departure for your flight, the significance of the anniversary of my one and only QF 747 experience on that day 25 November was not lost on me.

...two A.netters on a flight, trip collaboration eh.. don't think that has ever been done here yet. :profile: ..anyway, look forward to this trip report. :smile:
 
brucetiki
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Posts: 194
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Re: Not even skipping the state - ADL-PLO on a QantasLink Q300

Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:25 am

VapourTrails wrote:
brucetiki wrote:
Of course. My flight will almost certainly be the very last 747 to depart ADL - it would be wrong of me not to do a TR on here of that.


Thanks. :smile: I watched QF736 leave on the ADL webcam, first time I viewed that webcam, and the day before, when I watched the Antarctica flight appear on FR24 35 minutes out, and then saw it parked at the gate. I also listened to LiveATC.net departure for your flight, the significance of the anniversary of my one and only QF 747 experience on that day 25 November was not lost on me.

...two A.netters on a flight, trip collaboration eh.. don't think that has ever been done here yet. :profile: ..anyway, look forward to this trip report. :smile:


A 'Compare the pair' report - two TR's of the same flight, an A.net exclusive. I like this!

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