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Australia: A Screener's Quick Trip SYD-BNE-SYD-BNE

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 8:08 pm
by glennstewart
Hi All,

Been a while since I've written a trip report, so I'll summarise the past two flights I've been on. Only short haul unfortunately, but enjoyed them nevertheless.

Knowing I had to go up to Brisbane two weekends in a row, I did something I've never done before. I booked:

SYD-BNE: 27 SEP 03 QF 504
BNE-SYD: 07 OCT 03 QF 559

BNE-SYD: 28 SEP 03 QF 553
SYD-BNE: 04 OCT 03 QF 025

So I completed the first two legs of the returns, before completing both returns the following week. Weird, but travelling with my partner on the first couple and not on the second couple - so far easier.

Wonder if there is any rule against this?


27 SEP 03, 7:05am

767-238/ER VH-EAL - "City of Geelong"

Seat 40K, Seq 44

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Photo © Glenn Stewart

Intentionally booked a 762 leg knowing that they're still on the way out. Thankfully I ended up getting Geelong, which is probably likely to leave the Australian skies this month.

Sorry, I don't have my boarding passes on me at the moment, but ended up sitting over the wing (doh!).

I don't think I've been on a 762 for quite sometime, and it was far better than I'd been led to believe (far better than VH-NLH for example - then again, anything would be).
I did however notice the many strange noises not normally noted on the 763's in the fleet. The gears, flaps etc are far noisier on the 762. You get to hear and feel every little flip of a switch.
Seat interiors are quite standard for the mid-80's. The blue coloured, alternate seat patchwork is noticeable, with about 5-6 patterns being present and random around the cabin. Headrests are quite ordinary - standard blue headrest cloth, that wouldn't look out of place around ones neck in a dentist surgery.
The cabin interior was far more sturdy than I would have expected upon hitting the tarmac in Brisbane. I saw far more movement from VH-NLH/G-BNLH in flight than this old beast.

While in Brisbane, spotted VH-VOO of Pacific Blue, sitting on tarmac with winglets attached (not yet with the lady decal). Drove my partner's family crazy by demanding a picture whilst passing by  Smile
I was to be banned from going anywhere near the airport after this... (what's new)

28 SEP 03, 7:10pm

767-238/ER VH-EAL - "City of Geelong"

Seat 38D, Seq: 33

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Photo © Glenn Stewart

Heading back ended up getting onboard Geelong again... Damn
Would have liked a variation, but you take what you can get.

Got to airport 3 hours early but still couldn’t get a window seat. That’s the problem with 767’s – Qantas locked the window seats for the couples travelling.


04 OCT 03, 8:10am

747-438 VH-OJH "City of Bangkok"

Seat 39K, Seq: 73

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Photo © Timothy Keeney
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Photo © Colin K. Work

Parked at Link Rd early so that I could check in early. The flight was to be a SYD-BNE-AKL-LAX, so I would be competing with the early risers in Auckland for seats.
Arrived 3 hours and 5 minutes early, so went up to the desk knowing that the flight would be locked (typical Intl rule for Qantas flights out of Sydney). The attendant locked my seat anyway. I decided on the right hand side because ATIS showed departures were 34L/R hence the city view would be on right. Within 30 minutes ATIS changed and screwed the plans royally. (Yes, particular about the Sydney end of the flight... can't ever get sick of Sydney views).
Despite getting there early, it’s obvious that either some people in Brisbane or Auckland beat me to my pick of seats – sequence 33.

Went through customs early. Piece of cake at 7:30am in the morning. Nearly no one in the normal queues, let alone the Domestic express queue. Took the time to take gate shots although I know none of them are good enough for acceptance.

I wasn't happy when I noted I was to board VH-OJH "City of Bangkok.... I mean Darwin" for the second time. I don't often have a chance to travel on 747's, but from the Qantas fleet I've only travelled on VH-OJH (twice), VH-NLH and one of the SP's.

You can certainly see where Qantas repaired the damage to the nose section, although the workman ship seems to be acceptable. You wouldn't see it unless you were looking for the Bangkok golf course scars.

Boarding was at 8:10am, with push-back probably at 8:40am. Catering problems were to delay this by 30 minutes, and in the end the total delay was to have me landing in Brisbane well after 11am.

I had an inkling, but it was to end up being the case. A Korean couple had ended up sitting near the window despite getting up well before the crack of dawn to ensure a window seat. I kindly asked them to moved to their allocations... but the window seat was going to end up being a crock anyway. My seat was at the head of the wing where a no-window section was. I had to share the window with the seat in front which barely allow and vision at all. Thankfully I was to be amused by the PTV system anyway.

The interior is dramatically improved over the interior I remember from last time. The seats have the random patchwork as per the 762, but a darker blue and the headrest covered are deep red covering the wing style found in the 738's.

The PTV system is fantastic. I can only compare the system to that on Cathay. The Airbus system in Cathay was a well ahead of that found on their 747's, but the Qantas system left both in their dust.

The remote found in the chair simply clicks out and held to the chair by a retractable cord. If you pull all the way, it locks to remove tension on the cord. A second tug pulls the cord back much the same way as the power cord of a vacuum cleaner.

The remote is for radio, TV and when held sideways acts as a game controller for their 8 game selection. Flip it over and it's a phone with a swipe card on one side for sending the no-doubt expensive charge to your credit card. The channels are divided into radio (which may be used while playing games) and TV. The movie/TV channels are the “start at once” type, but navigation of these is easy with a summary of movie name, channel and duration types at the top while flicking between channels. There are 12 channels in economy, which are broadcast in two languages simultaneously (generally French).
Although the interior is quite good, I couldn’t help but notice how much space the galley ahead of me took. Don’t remember seeing the equivalent in the Cathay 747, but I could be wrong.
Qantas seat configuration
The interior felt comfortable enough, but the guy behind me kept knocking the back of my seat. Checking back on him, I realised that although he was about the same size as me, he either got unlucky with seating, or his legs were abnormally long.


06 OCT 03, 8:40pm

737-838 VH-VXJ "Coober Pedy”

Seat 3D, Seq: 163

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Photo © Glenn Stewart
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Photo © Matthew Huppatz

It’s not common, but sometimes Qantas can be quite fair. I called earlier in the day because my Mother was flying on the same flight with a separate booking. I was travelling with my girlfriend. I asked Qantas to combine the three so that we could all sit together. On a 737, the guaranteed a window for one of us.
I never get there late, but didn’t really care on this day. When I did get there I asked to make sure we were still sitting as a group. The attendant said – we actually I have upgraded you both. So unless you want to go back to economy, you’ll have to sit alone as a couple.

Oh well Mum….
The seats in this intended-for-American-Airlines 737-838 aren’t as nice as those that they’re installing in 747-400’s and A330-300’s (when they join fleet), but they’re nice. Good enough for the 1:30 to Sydney.
The 2 stewardesses hurried between the 12 seats offering us Wine top ups no less than every 2 minutes. I swear I could have been drunk and not known about it, if I didn’t have to drive the minute I got back.

Anyway, I hope you like my short trip report,


Glenn Stewart

RE: Australia: A Screener's Quick Trip SYD-BNE-SYD-BNE

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:13 pm
by Springbokheavy
Interesting read. Just a quick question. In the part that you say what you booked it seems as if you can travel in time when did you achieve this skill? I knew you were psychic and everything but that is amazing  Smile

Cheers - Marius

RE: Australia: A Screener's Quick Trip SYD-BNE-SYD-BNE

Posted: Wed Oct 15, 2003 9:23 pm
by glennstewart
2 people on one return flight
1 on the other....

Easiest way to book.

Don't know if IATA would agree


RE: Australia: A Screener's Quick Trip SYD-BNE-SYD-BNE

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 5:16 am
Hi Glennstewart,
interesting report.
Hope to be in Australia next time (Now I make plans for).
Regards,Markus (FLIEGER67)

RE: Australia: A Screener's Quick Trip SYD-BNE-SYD-BNE

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 7:09 pm
by parisien
I noticed on the seating plan for QF there are seats indicated in the legend as "these seats allocated last". why is that ?

RE: Australia: A Screener's Quick Trip SYD-BNE-SYD-BNE

Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:40 pm
by glennstewart
Hi Parisien,

Not sure! Thanks for being observant.
I'll have to look into that.