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jrfspa320
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:18 am

F100 In Western Australia

Sun Nov 08, 2015 10:46 am

I have to confess I haven’t written a trip report in a long while, while enjoying reading lots of your trip reports. I thought id make a contribution on a slightly less reported airline and route. I also have the pictures from a number of domestic flights if anyone wants them written up.

This trip involves a return trip from Perth to Geraldton on the Fokker 100. This trip was a quick two days in Geraldton for work. I was given the choice of flying on VA or QF, while the option of VA F50 was quite appealing (never flown type), I stuck with QF as I have platinum status which would allow me to try the new business lounge in Perth and gives me greater baggage allowance.

The trip started fairly early with a 4:30am start, after the short 20 minute drive to perth airport I parked up at the short term parking and scouted out a luggage trolley. I arrived at the airport in plenty of time at 5:30am as I had quite a bit of excess luggage and I was keen to try the new lounge. The 5-8am period is the busiest time of the day and while not quite heathrow, the take off queue can be quite surprising.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/gdi0o2.jpg

QF1618 operated by network aviation.
07:00-08:00
8th October 2015
PER-GET

After loading my bags onto the trolley I lugged my way over to terminal 4 and proceeded to the manual check in desks as I had quite a bit of luggage. There was no queue, with most people using the self serve desks. There was no wait at the desk and was processed straight away, as expected I was told to pay $100 for two extra pieces of luggage. I fully expected this but still slightly annoying as think by weight is much fairer than by piece. Anyhow I had to proceed to the ticket desk to pay the $100, there was a couple of people in front of me, and was glad by this point I had left plenty of time.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/909/er9Gpo.jpg
Sunrise over the domestic terminal.

After paying my dues, security was surprisingly quick for this time of the morning (lots of frequent fliers at this time helps the processing times. I eagerly made my way to new Qantas business lounge and after being scanned it, look a look around. The lounge is a definite improvement over the regular Qantas club lounge, in a sort of horse shoe shape. The food offerings are a definite improvement with hot offerings for breakfast. After settling down, I queued up for a desperately needed coffee from the barista service. The coffee is served in a proper cup as opposed to the take away cups. One of the best things about Qantas lounges is the barista service (aussies are coffee snobs and wont drink machine coffee).
The seating was centered around tables and was clean and practical for the business traveler, but not so comfortable for lounging around. I got a helping of the hot breakfast offering and some juice. The clientele was fairly typical for Perth with multiple flights bound for the Pilbara, with plenty of FIFO guys (and girls). I have no issue with high-vis in the lounges, and find the FIFO guys generally much better behaved than some of the suit types on the east coast.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/911/GqrLPz.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/i5GriG.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/bi6nOD.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/c7q5t1.jpg
737 with the control tower in the background

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/FBIF4E.jpg
A330 while waiting on the bus

The time passed quickly and the first and final boarding call was made. I knew it would be a bus gate so made my way quickly to the gate, and was scanned through to make my way down the stairs to the waiting bus. The majority of Qantas link services are services by bus gates, which hopefully will decrease when Qantas gains access to terminal 3.

After waiting a good 10 minutes, with everyone huffing and puffing at standing in the crammed bus the final passengers turned up and we headed off in search of our Fokker 100. After a short ride we pulled up outside a network aviation Fokker 100. The pain of the bus ride is worth climbing the stairs on the tarmac and especially the gracious lines of the T tailed jet.
There was a very brief greeting at the top of the stairs and I made my way the short distance of seat 4F. One thing I have noticed is network aviation crew are nowhere near as good as welcoming frequent fliers compared to mainline or qantaslink (who in my opinion are the best at it), as no special greeting was given at any point. Also I noticed the new crew uniforms have become very similar to that of Qantas (almost the same to the untrained eye, but I guess that’s the idea).
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/ugMI7G.jpg
F100 in network colours

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/633/sl5vPr.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/909/FrYkaa.jpg

Doors were closed and a manual safety briefing was given, load seemed about 40% which isn’t great, and I think this route must be better performer for VA with 3 – 4 flights a day as opposed to QFs now 10 weekly, the Q400 was better sized for this flight before they were moved east. We were quickly pushed back and made a short taxi to the active. There was a short wait and unfortunately (and for the return), I didn’t get the 0 flaps take off I was hoping for. A short roll and we were airborne taking off towards the east, before turning south west towards Melville water and over Fremantle. Finally turning north and heading up the coast.

At this point I have to have my grumble about the seats on the Network F100s, While it’s a great aircraft to fly on, the seats are the most uncomfortable I have ever sat in, just so hard with nil cushioning, I really hope they are replaced with the same slim line seats as in the 717s which are way more comfortable, and that’s saying something!
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/ztNkAc.jpg
Busy ramp of QF 717s, 737s and A330s

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/vpmJFp.jpg
VA F100s

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/aNfCBu.jpg
Cabin Shot

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/908/MACtkf.jpg
City shot

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/dvUM3B.jpg
Perth Waters

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/911/2Qxx07.jpg
Great legroom

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/910/AV2iSZ.jpg
The Qantas fleet (the F100 is at the bottom)

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/911/vXBNcA.jpg
Hazing breaking through the cloud

The crew quickly came through with a breakfast offering of a hot quiche and drinks run, which was perfectly acceptable for the short flight time (although interestingly the same service is offered on the Pilbara flights which is unacceptable as I cant see the same breakfast offering on MEL-BNE run, let alone considering the price of flights to the Pilbara). The crew were pleasant enough but lacking the warmth of the QF and QFlink service.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/633/pOAW59.jpg

The flight followed the coastline north, and before long descent was announced with a pleasant 23 degrees and light breeze (somewhat unusual for Gero).

We landed softly on time, and made a 90 degree turn on the runway to backtrack towards the terminal. A Virgin (skywest colours) F100 had also landed slightly before us and was already parked on the apron. We pulled up on stand and were free to disembark, I love smaller airports for being able to walk across the tarmac and smell the kerosene and listen to the whine of the APUs.

Geraldton has a small but modern terminal with a single baggage belt, where my luggage arrived in no time at all. Some interesting models were on display models including various aircraft and HMAS Sydney which was sunk off the coast of Geraldton.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/633/QxSHE8.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/pfHIFh.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/3mhHFY.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/910/cnrrbr.jpg

QF1620 operated by Network Aviation
9th October 2015
18:00 - 19:15
GET-PER

After a busy two days I headed back to the airport for my flight back to Perth, I dropped the rental car keys off and made my way to check in. There was a short ten minute wait with no premium line (not that I expect one at regional airports like this), until it was my turn. After a stressful check in (I wont go into details but essentially I didn’t know that ice was not allowed in check in items, even though it was a chest esky weighing 26kg and unlikely to tip over, while the lid was sealed shut with lots of tape. Anyway there was no point in arguing in this case as she was not budging, and I had to go and tip it out outside). After that I was checked in and made my way to the one café to get a badly needed beer.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/633/Yf14fL.jpg
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/911/uQQ5SO.jpg


Boarding was shortly called and I made my way through the small security area and into the departure seating area where boarding had begun.

I enjoyed the stroll across the tarmac and climbed the stairs to the waiting F100, I settled back into the same seat 4F. This airframe seemed newer than the flight up, or at least in better condition. The doors were closed with load again around 40% for the Friday night flight back to Perth, quite a few passengers seemed to be connecting onto further destinations in Perth.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/jgBoQ1.jpg
Chariot home

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/911/33KOwT.jpg
Maybe I should I rode one of these, knowing they are about to be retired.

All the stands in Geraldton are self maneuvering, so once the engines were started we made the short way out to the active, once again backtracking along the runway. A short 40 minute flight time was announced with a cruising altitude of 26,000 ft. After a short take off role, the crew donned their aprons to commence the meal service, which was surprisingly similar to the outbound flight.

The sun was setting over the Indian Ocean which made for some nice light across the leading edge.

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/910/guuw6l.jpg
Climbing the stairs

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/ygDDTE.jpg
Old fashioned PSU

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/909/13PTNG.jpg
Last of the luggage loaded

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/911/rhiZQl.jpg
RFDS taxing out

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/q7noO2.jpg
Sun is setting on the F50

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/uhOmym.jpg
About to take off on runway 21

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/9DUqDD.jpg
Town of Geraldton

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/633/y488vb.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/mHQYfG.jpg
Quiche and cake

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/WEYo1R.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/909/Vok42l.jpg

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/905/HoCRDT.jpg

Soon enough, once the cabin was cleared, we had started our decent into Perth, and soon made a rather soft landing on the westerly runway. We taxied to the Fokker farm (maybe the new schiphol), and deplaned onto another crammed bus. The domestic arrivals process is very easy and consists of walking down some stairs to the baggage reclaim.
http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/KNf2p3.jpg
146s and props for FIFO flights

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/903/Owu3gW.jpg
passing T3

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/910/Xeq7cX.jpg
Turning off the active

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/908/qxJlVa.jpg
A blurry EK A380

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/907/AQ9gjD.jpg
SAA A346 and Scoot 789

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/910/0xALMU.jpg
737s awaiting the morning rush

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/908/wLENei.jpg
F100s on Network and Qantas colours

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/xq90/633/2TksOM.jpg
I love the T tail

Overall I was fairly happy with flights, and hopefully the major bugbear of the bussing will be alleviated once virgin moves across to terminal 1. As I mentioned I do have a couple of other trip reports (738 and 717) if anyone is interested. Thanks for reading!
 
WearyDrover
Posts: 659
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:12 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:05 pm

Hi Jonathon,

Good to see a trip report from Western Australia. It's years since I have flown from GET, so long in fact it was with Ansett WA. Lol.

Great shot of the upper reaches of the Swan River.

For the flight duration the meal looks good compared to the muesli bar offered by VA on a recent flight to EPR.

I also note that you had no problems taking photos on the ground while boarding. That's always a bonus. At some airports (Broome) they can be a bit fussy about it.

It's interesting that VA have been able to be more flexible, using a mix if F50 and F100 on this route. But with their announcing tbe sale of the F50s it'll be interesting to see if they maintain the same frequency.

Thanks for sharing.
Weary
A man may learn wisdom even from a foe - Aristophanes
 
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cougar15
Posts: 1451
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:10 pm

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:40 pm

Many thanks for sharing, did the trip myself quite a few years back in a Skywest J31. How times Change! many thanks for sharing & cheers
some you lose, others you can´t win!
 
Carfield
Posts: 2187
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:12 pm

Thanks for a great Network Aviation/QF link flight!
I really appreciate Qantas' better offering on these flights!

Carfield
 
SmokinL1011
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:43 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:02 pm

Interesting trip report, thanks. Always like seeing smaller, regional type services detailed here.

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
The clientele was fairly typical for Perth with multiple flights bound for the Pilbara, with plenty of FIFO guys (and girls). I have no issue with high-vis in the lounges, and find the FIFO guys generally much better behaved than some of the suit types on the east coast.

Having never been to Australia I'm curious what the quoted text means exactly... FIFO, the Pilbara?
 
jrfspa320
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:18 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:26 am

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 1):

Thanks for commenting - Jealous of your EK A380 flights, yes will be interesting to see what happens once VA retired the F50...

Quoting cougar15 (Reply 2):

Thanks - A J31 , now that would be interesting!

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):

Thanks for your comment!

Quoting SmokinL1011 (Reply 4):

Thanks for your comment, FIFO means Fly in Fly out, many resource projects around Australia requires workers that fly in and fly out on a roster, with Perth probably being the largest base for these operations.......with most travelling to the Pilbara which is an area of north west Australia, encompassing PHE, KTA, ZNE and more
 
VapourTrails
Posts: 3939
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2001 9:30 pm

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:54 am

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
I thought id make a contribution on a slightly less reported airline and route.

   This was an enjoyable read. Thanks for contributing. Have not been to Western Australia yet, only flown over it. Interesting how there are airlines that we just never see on the east coast.  
Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
I stuck with QF as I have platinum status which would allow me to try the new business lounge in Perth and gives me greater baggage allowance.

Good report. Based on these trip reports, I am really set on joining the lounge in the next few years.  
Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
One of the best things about Qantas lounges is the barista service (aussies are coffee snobs and wont drink machine coffee).

  I agree. I don't mind a paper cup, but it has to be proper real made coffee!

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
I have no issue with high-vis in the lounges, and find the FIFO guys generally much better behaved than some of the suit types on the east coast.

   Interesting! CBR has a lot of these..   Also military personnel, they are OK. I also have seen more emergency services personnel at CBR it seems, or maybe that just seems to coincide with my visits there. I guess in smaller airports, certain people / professions stand out more.

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
A330 while waiting on the bus.

That is an awesome shot, worth the bus ride.

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
The pain of the bus ride is worth climbing the stairs on the tarmac and especially the gracious lines of the T tailed jet.

   So you didn't get reprimanded for taking a photo airside? That is good!

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
We pulled up on stand and were free to disembark, I love smaller airports for being able to walk across the tarmac and smell the kerosene and listen to the whine of the APUs.

  

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
After a stressful check in (I wont go into details but essentially I didn’t know that ice was not allowed in check in items, even though it was a chest esky weighing 26kg and unlikely to tip over, while the lid was sealed shut with lots of tape. Anyway there was no point in arguing in this case as she was not budging, and I had to go and tip it out outside). After that I was checked in and made my way to the one café to get a badly needed beer.

It is good that you mention this, as I would have never thought about it and others can read and know what to expect.   

Quoting SmokinL1011 (Reply 4):
Having never been to Australia I'm curious what the quoted text means exactly... FIFO, the Pilbara?

I was waiting for someone to ask this question.  


Thanks again for your trip report here. regards =

[Edited 2015-11-09 21:05:13]
 
jrfspa320
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:18 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:43 am

Quoting VapourTrails (Reply 6):

Thanks for commenting. no they didn't seem to mind taking photos, although I was discreet about it.
Cheers  
 
zkncj
Posts: 4144
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 4:57 pm

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:41 pm

Great report,

Don't see what Qantas logic was purchasing F100s to replace, newer Q400s?
 
BAeRJ100
Posts: 450
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:49 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:29 am

Quoting zkncj (Reply 8):
Don't see what Qantas logic was purchasing F100s to replace, newer Q400s?

IIRC the F100s were purchased to take advantage of the mining boom, which was already headed towards the downturn by the time the entire fleet had arrived. With Network being fully owned by Qantas, they were in the advantageous position of converting from a fully charter operation to some RPT flying (ie. QantasLink brand recognition). I think it's more cost effective to have one base of 12 jets with the flexibility of both charter and RPT services as opposed to a tiny Q400 base operating only two aircraft. The F100s weren't purchased to replace the Q400s, they were purchased for charter ops and their purpose has now changed. The Q400s themselves weren't replaced, they were relocated back to the east coast (where they were originally located anyway).
B737/738/739/744ER/752/753/763/77L/77W/788/789
A223/320/321/332/333/346/359/388
MD82/MD88/717/F100/RJ85/RJ100/146-100/200/300
E175/190/CRJ700/900
 
MH017
Posts: 1475
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 4:17 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:20 pm

Thanks for sharing !!! That Fokker 100 still looks like new, both inside and out: good to see the "Dutch Lady" still operational as such  
don't throw away tomorrow !
 
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allrite
Posts: 2617
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:28 pm

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Mon Nov 23, 2015 4:04 am

Nice to see an increasing number of reports for regional WA. Never been there except for flying high above!

Quoting jrfspa320 (Thread starter):
This trip was a quick two days in Geraldton for work.

I love how you write that you are travelling for work but look like you are packing for a beach party (yes, yes, I know that Eskies can be used to store things other than beer!).  
Quoting zkncj (Reply 8):
Don't see what Qantas logic was purchasing F100s to replace, newer Q400s?

Having flown on both the Q400 and F100 between ROK and BNE I know I'd rather fly in the jet.  
I like artificial banana essence!
 
jrfspa320
Topic Author
Posts: 658
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:18 am

RE: F100 In Western Australia

Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:43 am

Quoting zkncj (Reply 8):

Thanks, I guess simplification of WA based ops.
as detailed by

Quoting BAeRJ100 (Reply 9):

 
Quoting MH017 (Reply 10):

Thanks for reading, yes they seem very well maintained!

Quoting allrite (Reply 11):

Thanks! well I quite like props so I would rather the Q! haha there was no beer in the eskies sadly!
 
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longhauler
Posts: 6488
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RE: F100 In Western Australia

Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:59 pm

This was a very entertaining report to read. Thanks for taking the time to upload it.

Perth looks like a beautiful place to visit, I'll have to add it to "the list".
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!

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