I have three short (less than two minute videos) and forty plus photos throughout and four A.net database photos as well. I have only included the one flight in this report (for the aircraft type) and used my iPad for the photos and videos.
I got to the airport in plenty of time, as per the usual routine. I hadn’t flown a few days before Christmas for a few years, and I was surprised how quiet it was at the airport check-in! I think this is due to the way the airport is designed and how streamlined the processes are.
Every time I visit this airport it is in some stage of evolvement. The Canberra (International) Airport is a brand new terminal and precinct and compared to a few years ago when it was a bottleneck of lines and waiting especially at peak travel times.
It is a pleasure to visit and use nowadays, as it is so spacious (partly due to the lack of people) and very easy to move about in, and has a lot of natural lighting. No snaking queues and no ‘..how long is this going to take feeling and experiences’ at all! I am proud to have this as my local!
I love the artworks, and the piano! I believe this airport is used for functions that are held at the airport precinct during the year. Loved the Christmas decorations, and didn’t notice the snowflake design until later when I was looking at the photos.
One more note on the airport, understandably it has been built for anticipation of a greater capacity into the future, and the flights ‘they will come’ it is said, but this is a plush regional ... and I say, for now … enjoy the time!
So, I had no problems of a queue anywhere at check-in and did my usual walking straight up to a spare kiosk. The staff at self-check in are always very helpful, and come over at the slightest hesitation.
I had received a new Q-Tag (checked in baggage (RFID) e-tag) as a gift a few months ago, and no longer had the packaging for it or recall the explanation of how it works! I therefore went with the familiar and printed out a paper tag.
Then a Qantas staff member came over and said I had a Q-Tag and I didn’t need the paper one, and corrected it all for me and then showed me how to check my bag in at the bag drop and answered my questions about how it works. As mentioned, I am very impressed with CBR check in staff on numerous occasions not just this as a one-off standard of service.
I was very pleased to see the 717 for my flight was VH-YQW, the ‘Tassie Devil’ livery, which although not flying to the state of Tasmania, is my home state, and my first time flying on this aircraft, as well as the 717!
Photo © Alexander Watts
Photo © Steven Austen
Photo © John Richard Thomson
Photo © Victor J Pody
Cleaning the windows..
Boarding was five minutes behind schedule due to the incoming flight. My seat was 20A, just forward of the engine on the/this QantasLink 717.
I also noticed that there is no B in the seat Configuration, just A C and D E F.
I didn’t realise how far back I would be, and I then considered, did I choose this seat?! I wasn’t sure how noisy it was going to be. I thought, other than the fact that I’ve never been this close in view to a jet engine when it has been running, I thought.. it will be interesting, and one hour flights allow for a try and see!
It actually wasn’t too bad once used to it and we got going. If on a flight for more than two hours I would not choose to sit down the back. I cannot recall in the 727 days how this experience was or how far back I was in the cabin on those flights. I wished now I had better memory for this or had kept trip records!
I have since discovered there are website reviews dedicated to seating configurations for different aircraft and different airlines. Very informative, especially too when comparing other airlines of the same aircraft type.
After taking my seat, I studied the safety card, which I always allocate about 60-90 seconds to.
I am not that tall, and so fit into economy quite well. I have only had experiences on another airline I have flown on in the last fifteen years, where the further back you sat the narrower the seat pitch got! I believe this does not equate to fare paid?
This aircraft seating was generous. I was going to include a photo, but you get the idea; my knees were not going to touch the seat in front at all, there was at least 8 inches/20 cm.
The seats were comfortable, although the cabin was not clean; the seats were stained, there were dirty fingerprints on the overhead lockers, and I had sugar granules on my fold-down tray.
This was not QantasLink usual standard based on my many previous flights (on other aircraft on other sectors) – but it was a busy peak travel time of year, the flight was full, and it is nice to think that this aircraft was making a lot of $ for QantasLink too.
For such a short flight, about 50 minutes, it does not really matter to me. What is more important is that the weather was good and the flight was pretty much on time.
Take off video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY-QvrgJuZo
First time flying with my iPad, and I had time to listen to two songs. By tradition, I took a headset when boarding, and they were also giving them out, but when I went to use it I couldn’t see anywhere to plug it in, not noticing until later that there were portable devices in the seat pocket.
Anyway, so I gave up on that idea, and as mentioned had my own music and device anyway. I’ve since done some swotting up on IFE and research on the Internet, and I am not so behind and naïve about what and how IFE is available on Australia’s major carriers now!
When it came time for refreshments, I always ask for tea with milk if it is being served. Being such a short flight, and sitting down the back, this can be a very quick move to eat and drink, before everything is stowed away for landing.
The only issue with the catering for me on this flight, was I asked for tea with milk, and I got tea… but no milk. By the time I looked up again, all the crew were way down the front, so I didn’t bother and drank it as it was, as mentioned, time is of the essence.
Approach video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCwNj97IuUI
Didn’t get a landing video on this trip..
Taxi in video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y39QGLnQ10M
Last days of the Qantas 763’s in service..
I would fly on this aircraft again for sure, as well as for a longer flight. I would take the same seat allocation area, if I had to. Next time if I actively chose seat allocation though, it would be in the middle or towards the front, for the different perspective, but also for the noise factor, for when talking to people mostly, and secondly for audio comfort.
I did find even the cabin crew had trouble hearing the pax and I probably wouldn’t have been able to talk to my fellow pax next to me without nearly yelling.
For the experience, if you don’t need to talk to the person next to you, and you listen to IFE or have your own music device, I would recommend getting on a 717 flight towards the rear of the aircraft, for the experience, and not to be put off by it, particularly if the fare is very reasonable. However, if seated further back than where I was, you won’t have a view outside obviously.
The flight was smooth, and one thing about sitting down the back is there wasn’t that sway movement that I have experienced on other aircraft, that was a positive thing, at least on this flight anyway.
Thanks for dropping by and reading the report and/or looking at the photographs and video. I am glad I have got this up on A.net and want to thank the members who helped me on the forums with the compiling and encouraged me, to getting it done. I have two more planned for this year so didn’t want this one to run into the next one either, which motivated me as well!
Any questions I will try to answer. If there are any questions about the airport, aircraft or airline that I can’t answer, I am sure other A.net members can.