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mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

A day trip of flying in QF business

Sat Jan 04, 2020 2:19 am

Happy New Year to you all! May twenty twenty bring happiness and many adventures along the way to everyone

I undertook the following adventure on the last full Sunday in November '19. As a QF Gold frequent flyer, the main reason for the trip was pretty simple, collect as many status credits towards retaining gold status for the next year. Generally, every 4 or so months, Qantas will send out promotion email to a specific number of customers and in August '19 it so happened to be a 50% status bonus that found its way into my emails. The second reason for the trip was that I hadn't flown on Qantas' latest business class product, well not the one on the 787s or refurbed A380s, the version before that which has been on the A330 for quite a few years so I decided to make use on the extra status bonus and a new business seat for me anyways

Being based in Wellington, NZ this is easier said than done as all we get is the 737 with recliner business seats, which although better than economy seats across the Tasman sea, it certainly doesn't live up to how comfortable a widebody and proper business seat is. I decided to do a routing of WLG - SYD - AKL all on the same day with a 3hr 45min transit in Sydney

My day started off on the 6.50am flight out of Wellington which these morning flights are a pain, however I decided to stay at the relatively new Rydges Hotel at Wellington Airport, literally connected with the terminal building. Views are not too bad out over the tarmac and runway but they missed an opportunity for a viewing deck on the roof for example in my opinion. Having checked in via the app the day before and only hand luggage, I walked into airport at 6am, grabbed a boarding pass from one of the kiosks and made my way through security / immigration and was in the QF business lounge all within 10minutes. I didn't take photos of the lounge here in Wellington as it has been done before

If anyone uses the lounge here in Wellington, for the morning flight it is fine as there is only the one to Sydney so you can easily grab a seat but oh gosh if you are going there for the afternoon flights, there are only two (one to Sydney and one to Melbourne), the lounge can get mobbed and is not an enjoyable place to spend time before a flight

I never took many photos of the first leg as I was more focused on doing so for the next flight

Chapter 1: Wellington - Sydney

Flight: QF162
Aircraft: 737-800
Registration: VH-VZX
Class: Business
Seat: 2A
Dep: 0650 (ATD: 0659)
Arr: 0830 (ATA: 0814)
Duration: 3:14

View of the aircraft as seen from the QF lounge

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After boarding, I made myself comfortable for the jaunt across the Tasman in seat 2a. Thankfully I had no seat mate today which makes life that much easier when you need to get in and out of your seat. Cabin crew came by to introduce themselves and offered water or champagne which I went with water

Pushback was on-time and the safety video played during this time also, before we made our way to the runway. A powerful 30second or so take-off roll and just like that we were on the way to Sydney

Views over Wellington city with the famous cake tin and yellow seats brightening up a dull photo

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Not long after take-off cabin crew passed through with arrivals cards for Australia, however as in transit back to NZ I never needed one. Shortly after this, inflight service started with a hot towel followed by breakfast. I have been on a few morning flights over the past couple of years and the breakfast options were all consistently the same and never changed, but today was different, a complete new menu perhaps inspired by the fresh meals they offer on longer journeys such as QF9 MEL - PER - LHR, which is a very good move by Qantas as the breakfast I had was light and very refreshing as you can see

I had the yoghurt with orange slices, warm banana bread and for the main I chose boiled eggs on sourdough bread with smashed avocado and toasted tomatoes along with a coffee and water. WOW the whole breakfast was as tasteful as it looks! I'm glad Qantas finally updated the menus

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The rest of the flight was uneventful and I watched a Korean film called Parasite (a very good watch I must say) to pass the time by and before I knew it, we were already on descent into Sydney

Flying in over the city we had some awesome views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the central city

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Had to wait a few minutes for our gate to be free and passed by a few heavies along the way such as SQ 777, TG 747 and EK 380

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UA vacating our gate and heading to a remote stand before its flight back to the States in a few hours

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After leaving the aircraft, I took a slow stroll to the transit desk which was completely quiet at this time of the morning for once and within a minute I was back in the departure area. I looked around the shops for an hour or so just to see if there were anything I could pick up as Christmas gifts or even get a duty free bargain for myself. Duty-free certainly doesn't seem to really offer much in the way of value whether it be clothes, accessories or electronics. I often find I can get it all cheaper here in the shops in NZ as I was proven right again on this occasion. I decided to head to the QF business lounge for a shower, a little bit more breakfast and to just relax for the next couple of hours before my flight to Auckland. I never took photos of the lounge there in Sydney as it was busy, but as I have and many others on here and elsewhere mentioned, the lounge really does need refreshing

Now onto the part for which I wanted to take this journey. After a couple of hours in the lounge I headed to the gate as boarding had already commenced. There was a very long line in economy but no one free in the business line so walked straight up and onto the jetway. As there was only one jetway attached to the aircraft, this meant you joined the same line as everyone else and where the priority boarding loses its name. Either way though we are all headed to the same destination so who am I to really complain


Chapter 2: Sydney - Auckland

Flight: QF145
Aircraft: 330-300
Registration: VH-QPI
Class: Business
Seat: 4A
Dep: 1215 (ATD: 1221)
Arr: 1725 (ATA: 1702)
Duration: 2:41

After being greeted by the lovely cabin crew, I turned left to the business cabin which was 7 rows and I headed towards seat 4a which would keep me comfortable for the flight to Auckland. Already feeling a lot more content on a widebody even for a few hours flight I was thoroughly looking forward to seeing if it was a seat I would want to spend longer in. With basically an overhead storage compartment for every passenger, my hand luggage looked a little lonely up there but it is great there is so much room for each individual

My seat just after boarding

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At the seat was a bottle of still water in the corner of the console, headphones hanging on the hook and a menu placed on the side as well as places to charge your electronics device which came in handy as my phone needed a bit of a boost as it would be a while before I got back to Wellington

A view of the inflight entertainment screen after taking a seat as well as my stretching to show how much room there is. Granted though I am only 5'9 but wouldn't think someone at 6ft would have much an issue of space here either

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Cabin crew came around offering champagne and sparkling water, I decided to try out the sparkling water and I would happily say I won't choose that again

Had a look at the lunch menu which I haven't had for a while as it is always either breakfast or dinner menus on flights in/out of Wellington. The lunch menu looked good with all the options and took me a while to decide what to have in the end, lad they missed my seat before takeoff when they went around asking for passengers orders

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Although the business cabin was completely full, there must not have been a full load in economy as doors were closed quite early and pushback was about five minutes ahead of schedule

Just before pushback and also halfway through pushback giving us some shots of SQ 380 and AC 777 featuring our plane wearing the new roo livery. With all the flying I have done since this livery came out, it took me ages to finally fly an aircraft with it, it is a nice refresh on the ones past

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Eventually we got to the smaller runway at Sydney and with no time to waste, we darted down the runway and shot into the air pretty quickly

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I started watching the film Pets 2 as the inflight service started with cabin crew coming around to ask for my lunch order and another one handing out hot towels which was much appreciated

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For lunch I started with the roasted red capsicum and tomato soup with croutons as well as salad and bread. The soup was very tasteful indeed, could happily go for another as I write this actually

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For the main course I went with spinach and ricotta lasagne with roasted tomato sauce, green beans and mint, parmesan and pistachio pesto and that was absolutely fantastic!

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With the meal I had water and apple juice and to finish I had a couple of cups of coffee as I was starting to get tired from the already long day

I started watching another film, cannot remember the name of it for the life of me but only managed about 30mins due to running out of flight time

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Before I knew it, it was time to put the seat back upright and get ready for landing

On descent into Auckland

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Taxiing to the international terminal passing NZ and EK

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Conclusion:

Overall it was an enjoyable trip for the couple of specific reasons I did it. The service and food were excellent on both flights, there wasn't anything I could fault at all. As for flying a widebody on a shorter international flight, it definitely is far more comfortable compared to the narrowbody that is for sure. Price wise it is actually cheaper to fly in/out of AKL due to the amount of flights per day they have to Australia but as for paying the same price for the recliner business seat on the 737 out of Wellington for example, I no longer actually find it to be worth it. The hard product is miles apart compared to what you can get on a widebody and therefore I will certainly choose to fly via Auckland in future to grab a widebody aircraft and would also happily fly on greater distances in this seat as well

Anyway, thank you for reading and have a great twenty twenty
 
n2dru
Posts: 192
Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 am

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:03 am

Great read....that second movie looks like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood btw..lol
 
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vhtje
Posts: 1199
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:57 pm

Great trip report; thank you. I agree the food on QF looks fantastic.

Whatever happened to the single aviation market between Australia and New Zealand, that was going to promise passport-free travel between the two nations? So that Qantas could use its domestic terminal instead of the International terminal? Has that idea been completely cancelled and forgotten?
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:36 am

n2dru wrote:
Great read....that second movie looks like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood btw..lol


Glad you enjoyed it. You are correct having seen the ad on the movie channel promoting its release just now haha was a good movie from what I got to watch of it anyways
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:43 am

vhtje wrote:
Great trip report; thank you. I agree the food on QF looks fantastic.

Whatever happened to the single aviation market between Australia and New Zealand, that was going to promise passport-free travel between the two nations? So that Qantas could use its domestic terminal instead of the International terminal? Has that idea been completely cancelled and forgotten?


Thank you for the taking the time to read it, much appreciated. The food definitely looks fantastic and so far the taste has always just been as good as the food looks

I actually never knew that was going to happen in all honesty so I'd probably say forgotten. It was probably one of those fleeting ideas that a new prime minister for example talked about but that's as far as it went. I certainly don't ever see it happening as unless there were only Australian or New Zealand passport holders on the plane, it would become too hard to manage passports from other nationalities, well that's how they would see it due to visas and the like
 
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vhtje
Posts: 1199
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:58 am

mrkerr7474 wrote:
vhtje wrote:
Great trip report; thank you. I agree the food on QF looks fantastic.

Whatever happened to the single aviation market between Australia and New Zealand, that was going to promise passport-free travel between the two nations? So that Qantas could use its domestic terminal instead of the International terminal? Has that idea been completely cancelled and forgotten?


Thank you for the taking the time to read it, much appreciated. The food definitely looks fantastic and so far the taste has always just been as good as the food looks

I actually never knew that was going to happen in all honesty so I'd probably say forgotten. It was probably one of those fleeting ideas that a new prime minister for example talked about but that's as far as it went. I certainly don't ever see it happening as unless there were only Australian or New Zealand passport holders on the plane, it would become too hard to manage passports from other nationalities, well that's how they would see it due to visas and the like


The idea was that there was going to be a common border containing Australia and New Zealand. As you know, Australians and New Zealanders already have unrestricted access to each other's country (except in a few exceptions, e.g. criminals with long records); other nationals would get a 'Tasman' visa which allowed entries to both countries: in other words, once you had entered Australia, you could enter New Zealand, and vice-versa.

This has more on it: https://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2016/11/07/20-years-since-common-australia-new-zealand-border-no-brainer/
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
zkncj
Posts: 3875
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:57 pm

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:31 am

vhtje wrote:
mrkerr7474 wrote:
vhtje wrote:
Great trip report; thank you. I agree the food on QF looks fantastic.

Whatever happened to the single aviation market between Australia and New Zealand, that was going to promise passport-free travel between the two nations? So that Qantas could use its domestic terminal instead of the International terminal? Has that idea been completely cancelled and forgotten?


Thank you for the taking the time to read it, much appreciated. The food definitely looks fantastic and so far the taste has always just been as good as the food looks

I actually never knew that was going to happen in all honesty so I'd probably say forgotten. It was probably one of those fleeting ideas that a new prime minister for example talked about but that's as far as it went. I certainly don't ever see it happening as unless there were only Australian or New Zealand passport holders on the plane, it would become too hard to manage passports from other nationalities, well that's how they would see it due to visas and the like


The idea was that there was going to be a common border containing Australia and New Zealand. As you know, Australians and New Zealanders already have unrestricted access to each other's country (except in a few exceptions, e.g. criminals with long records); other nationals would get a 'Tasman' visa which allowed entries to both countries: in other words, once you had entered Australia, you could enter New Zealand, and vice-versa.

This has more on it: https://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2016/11/07/20-years-since-common-australia-new-zealand-border-no-brainer/


About the same change you have seeing the USA and Canada having open boarders, Both New Zealand and Australia like there over complicated arrival producers and neither want to let go of that.

They might miss an dodgey apple coming in from Australia, thus not being able to issue an $400NZD fine for an apple....
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:53 am

vhtje wrote:
mrkerr7474 wrote:
vhtje wrote:
Great trip report; thank you. I agree the food on QF looks fantastic.

Whatever happened to the single aviation market between Australia and New Zealand, that was going to promise passport-free travel between the two nations? So that Qantas could use its domestic terminal instead of the International terminal? Has that idea been completely cancelled and forgotten?


Thank you for the taking the time to read it, much appreciated. The food definitely looks fantastic and so far the taste has always just been as good as the food looks

I actually never knew that was going to happen in all honesty so I'd probably say forgotten. It was probably one of those fleeting ideas that a new prime minister for example talked about but that's as far as it went. I certainly don't ever see it happening as unless there were only Australian or New Zealand passport holders on the plane, it would become too hard to manage passports from other nationalities, well that's how they would see it due to visas and the like


The idea was that there was going to be a common border containing Australia and New Zealand. As you know, Australians and New Zealanders already have unrestricted access to each other's country (except in a few exceptions, e.g. criminals with long records); other nationals would get a 'Tasman' visa which allowed entries to both countries: in other words, once you had entered Australia, you could enter New Zealand, and vice-versa.

This has more on it: https://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2016/11/07/20-years-since-common-australia-new-zealand-border-no-brainer/


Thank you for sending that through to me, interesting read. It would made sense I think having a common border, a bit like the EU in that sense and maybe one day it will come up again and they will look at pursuing that option once more
 
mrkerr7474
Topic Author
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:55 am

Re: A day trip of flying in QF business

Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:55 am

zkncj wrote:
vhtje wrote:
mrkerr7474 wrote:

Thank you for the taking the time to read it, much appreciated. The food definitely looks fantastic and so far the taste has always just been as good as the food looks

I actually never knew that was going to happen in all honesty so I'd probably say forgotten. It was probably one of those fleeting ideas that a new prime minister for example talked about but that's as far as it went. I certainly don't ever see it happening as unless there were only Australian or New Zealand passport holders on the plane, it would become too hard to manage passports from other nationalities, well that's how they would see it due to visas and the like


The idea was that there was going to be a common border containing Australia and New Zealand. As you know, Australians and New Zealanders already have unrestricted access to each other's country (except in a few exceptions, e.g. criminals with long records); other nationals would get a 'Tasman' visa which allowed entries to both countries: in other words, once you had entered Australia, you could enter New Zealand, and vice-versa.

This has more on it: https://blogs.crikey.com.au/planetalking/2016/11/07/20-years-since-common-australia-new-zealand-border-no-brainer/


About the same change you have seeing the USA and Canada having open boarders, Both New Zealand and Australia like there over complicated arrival producers and neither want to let go of that.

They might miss an dodgey apple coming in from Australia, thus not being able to issue an $400NZD fine for an apple....


Totally see where you are coming from with that, both countries are all about protecting anything and everything (which isn't a bad thing) and that is a big sticking point as folk would bring all sorts of different items. Maybe there would still be someway around it but probably harder to look at doing that, than keeping things the way they are

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