Ryanair01
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Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:52 pm

Osaka Kansai - Brisbane - Sydney
AN882
747-400
VH-ANA
Del Aug 1999
First flew 1989 for SQ as 9V-SMB


Ansett 747-400 VH-ANA at Osaka


As a Star Alliance partner, ANA issued my Ansett boarding pass in London. That saved a job upon arrival in Kansai.

Boarding Pass
Image

They allocated me 33H, an aisle seat three rows into economy. I appreciated that because it would ensure an easy transit in Brisbane ahead of the main cabin queue.

Seat map and location
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I recall my flight connection was six hours. In those days, Kansai airside had very few facilities. So it was a long and boring wait. Eventually I watched my flight land, it was a strangely nice feeling of home to see an Ansett tail.

Flight landing
Image

I decided to walk rather than take the transit. As I headed off the Ansett cabin crew barged their way through the middle of several tourist groups, sending people flying. I thought this created a terrible impression. Once onboard their manners seemed to have returned.

The cabin was nicely appointed, using an updated version of Singapore Airlines interior.

Ansett 747-400 economy view


Ansett 747-400 main deck


Ansett 747-400 leg room


Interior decor was designed to reflect Australia’s natural landscape, using earthy tones. Bulkheads took inspiration from Aboriginal Art. I think the result was uniquely Australian, without being cringeworthy (I’m looking at you Qantas). It was certainly a nice change from the blue and white used by almost every other airline.

Seat pockets were stuffed with two magazines, a detailed entertainment guide and duty free catalogue.

Ansett Panorama
Image

Unlike today’s video on demand, in 2000 PTVs showed looped tapes. Ansett offered 10 movie choices (7 new release), plus another 7 sports, entertainment and news channels. From what I recall that was competitive for the era.

There was a selection of Nintendo Games too, plus every seat had a satellite phone.

Entertainment Guide
Image

PTV Guide
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Phone and Video Guide
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Entertainment and Nintendo Games selection
Image
Image

The Japanese were very keen to pick up duty-free bargains. There was a comprehensive onboard shop.

Duty Free Magazine
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Branded goods
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I wasn’t exactly sure why Ansett had two inflight magazines. Vive seemed to be trying very hard.

Vive Magazine
Image

The blurb below tried to explain, but it made no sense to me.

Vive blurb
Image

I don’t recall any amenity kits or menus. However, I think three main meal options were offered. My notes fail to mention catering, except I remember thinking the portions were smaller than ANA who I’d just stepped off.

Service was efficient but slightly aloof. Generally, our crew stayed inside the galley and were nowhere to be seen. I noticed they were quick responding to call buttons though. I mostly played Nintendo but also caught some CNN, Friends and Oprah to pass time until landing.

In what seemed very little time we were preparing to land in Brisbane. We took an unusual approach, flying quite low over Redcliffe Jetty where I’ve got many nice childhood memories.

As I’d been allocated a forward seat, passing through transit security was straight forward. I stopped for a coffee before re-boarding. The same crew operated this sector to Sydney and carried out a quick tea and coffee service.

Landing in Sydney was straight forward and we docked at Gate 51.


Sydney - Brisbane
AN108
767-300
VH-BZF
Del Apr 1996
Not taken up by Continental Airlines.


Ansett 767-300 Torch Relay


This ended up becoming a surprisingly eventful flight. Whilst in Sydney I felt guilty for not visiting friends and relatives in Brisbane. So I ended up deciding to visit. Not having reliable internet access I visited Ansett’s Martin Place office to buy a ticket.

E-ticket - checkin closes 15 minutes before departure
Image

Ansett was pioneering a strange fangled new concept, the E-ticket. Along with automated check-in machines, Ansett was ahead of the times.

My fare cost $481 return, which is just under $800 in today’s money. In hindsight at those fares, it’s no wonder the Impulse and Virgin Blue price war would soon strike.

The staff signed me up to Ansett's Frequent Flier Scheme. Unfortunately, they never gave me any points for my Osaka flights.

Global Rewards Card
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Global Rewards Statement
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Ansett’s & Qantas’ Sydney terminals had only just been rebuilt. It was my first visit since, so I went exploring. Unfortunately, that nearly caused me to miss my flight! Thankfully I was able to check in at the gate at the very last moment. Check-in closed 15 minutes before doors close, can you believe it!

I was allocated Seat 22C, about halfway through economy.

Seat map 22C
Image

VH-BZF was acquired for international routes, so it was completely non-standard when on domestic operations. For example, I picked up headsets at the gate to find they had different sockets. VH-BZF uniquely sported a Continental Airlines interior, as it was not taken up by them. A titbit of trivia for you, this aircraft delivered the Olympic flame from Athens to Australia for the 2000 Games.

We pushed back on time before stopping. The American Captain came on with a somewhat southern drawl to say, “Evening folks, builders have drilled through air traffic control’s radio wires and back up radio wires. We still have our company frequency but will be here for quite a while until air traffic control is restored”. We sat for probably an hour until landings commenced. Once a few landings cleared we took off. Take off was quite exciting for a 767 with the brakes on, power was set, engines fully spooled and then brakes released. It was impressive to see a big plane like this shoot off.

Some type of hot chicken dinner was hastily served. Don’t forget this sector is only an hour in the air. I recall wine and beer was available but had to be paid for. I opted for a diet coke instead. After the meal tea and coffee was served. I still have the coffee cup!

Coffee cup
Image
Image

It’s not a good sign when road warriors start to scream on landing. Overhead bins flying open with their contents dropping out isn’t great either. Both happened on landing in Brisbane.

We came in fast before bouncing back into the air. A second firmer touch down occurred immediately with reverse thrust activated. All the passengers got violently thrown around, which is when people started to look nervous. Around the same time, everything began to shake and shudder in a way I’ve not experienced before or since. Indeed the brakes groaned.

A combination of this saw the overheads flung open and items fall out on top passengers. Several seconds after touch down our plane veered left, which is when people started to scream. It seems the pilot had taken the first speed exit, despite a late and fast touch down. I appreciate it might not be believable but reverse thrust was going whilst we were on a taxiway. Absolutely.

Noticeably the crew made no announcements and passengers gladly shuffled off. I noticed a long line of aircraft landing, so I guess our pilots were asked to vacate quickly.

Brisbane - Sydney
AN123
737-300


It was early Saturday morning and the terminal was busy with people heading to Sydney’s Mardi Gras. The flight was 100% full. I had been allocated seat 19C down the very back.

Seat map 19C
Image

Across the field, three red 737s could be seen. They belonged to a strange new airline about to start up called Virgin Blue, roughly based on Belgium’s Virgin Express. I made a mental note that if they charged less than $481, the next time I’d be flying them. How right I was…..

Ansett’s 737s had been nicely refurbished with long haul seats, which included adjustable headrests.

Ansett 737-300 economy view roughly from my row


Ansett 737-300 economy with wings


Unfortunately, mine didn’t want to adjust and dug uncomfortably into my neck. So although a nice specification, for me it was uncomfortable.

After takeoff breakfast was served. Ansett made a big deal out of having hot breakfasts. It seems that was weekdays only as my flight didn’t even have coffee or tea. I had an orange juice and a Lady Finger Banana, which was green. It was so green I took a bite and gave up. For the money, I thought it was lousy.

The 737 had drop-down TV monitors in the aisle. I seem to recall watching a news programme, which on such a short flight was adequate. During boarding Enya had been dismissed by this stage, replaced by music videos. It had a kind of VH1 feel, from when VH1 played music.

In theory nice contemporary music, a refurbished cabin with long haul seats, a healthy breakfast and up to date TV news should have been quite nice. Somehow it just didn’t come together. For a 20-year-old student, the fare cost so much that it just upset me.

Upon landing in Sydney we taxied to one of the gates today used by Jetstar. From there it got worse. Whilst heading to the baggage claim some guys from my flight started shouting homophobic abuse at a gay couple for the entire walk. Having been flying Ansett my whole life, that was the sad end to my last domestic flight with them.


Sydney - Osaka Kansai
AN883
747-400
VH-ANA
Del Aug 1999
First flew 1989 for SQ as 9V-SMB


VH-ANA taking off from Sydney


My uncle took me on the back of his Harley Davidson to Sydney Airport. As I had a rollercase that must have looked hilarious. I wish I had pictures!

It was deja vu as I was allocated the same seat on the same aircraft.

Boarding Pass
Image

Most passengers were returning Japanese tourists, who snoozed the whole way. I remember we flew over the Barrier Reef and near Guam. Views would have been nice, but alas it wasn't to be.

This crew were friendly. Again though, apart from meals they were nowhere to be seen. This was quite a contrast to Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and Singapore who I'd recently flown. Those crews were much more present in the cabin, checking on passengers and keeping people hydrated. Ansett did not do this. However once again, when called they were perky and happy to help.

Again, I spent much of the flight playing Nintendo games and the time flew past.

Cabin in-flight
Image

We landed at Kansai Airport and docked at the pier's far end. Kansai's pier is the world's longest at 1.7km (just over 1 mile) long and at one end you can't see the other. That's because of an optical illusion.

Arrival at Kansai
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My ticket included a free overnight hotel room and meals. ANA had detailed information instructing passengers what to do.

My room was on the 33rd floor and I could see across Osaka Bay.

Stopover Guide
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Meal Coupons
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Accommodation Guide
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The next morning I figured out there was time for a ride on the Bullet Train. So I caught the airport shuttle into Osaka and then changed to a bullet train. Because I had very little time I only rode it to Kobe, around 15 minutes away.

Bullet Train at Kobe
Image

Heading straight back to Kansai Airport, I was excited to be flying a 747-200 for my flight to London.

747 Classics had nearly vanished on Europe to Far East Asia flights by 2000. ANA’s 747-200s were late build, delivered in 1986 for transpacific service to Washington DC. So by 2000 they were not too old, although the cabins hadn’t been fitted with PTV screens.

ANA 747-200 In flight
Image

I mostly slept, but remember the crew had camping stalls they sat on facing their cabin zone.

ANA 747-200 London Heathrow
Image

Ansett in 2000: Two Great Airlines, One Great Team


By 2000 Ansett had been fully acquired by Air New Zealand and around my trip CEO Rod Eddington quit to run BA. He later said had NZ not bought Ansett they would have survived. Other executives were leaving too, including some chap called Alan Joyce. Whatever happened to him?

Under Eddington Ansett had invested in refurbished cabins, terminals, new technology and marketing.

Go Your Own Way Advertising
https://youtu.be/3gCjYs89mM8
https://youtu.be/NAoFm1tV2x0

Whilst it was clear Ansett was having a tough time, no one expected them to be out of business one year later.

As a footnote.... Who remembers the TV series Airline, which followed Luton Airport based easyjet staff? In August 2001 I was walking across London Luton's tarmac with Jane, the easyjet supervisor featured in Airline. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this at the Britannia hangar



Talk about an aircraft being out of place! VH-BZI would end up being the last aircraft delivered to Ansett. It had been flown by a Dutch airline called Cityjet and was on a delivery flight to Ansett. It would never enter service with Ansett despite making it to Melbourne. This photo was taken on September 12, the day Ansett shut down.

Have you got any Ansett memories to share?
 
An767
Posts: 254
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:21 am

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:29 am

Nice report, reminds me of my AN flight to Hong Kong, Great airline sadly missed
AN767
If its got wings put me on it. If it floats on water take it away
 
TheEuphorian
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:35 am

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:45 am

images are broken
 
345tas
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:05 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:02 pm

Thank you so so much for this report. It's terrific to get such a detailed report from almost 20 years ago on an airline I can barely remember.

I hope you enjoyed watching "CNN.dot.com." Hehe. Although in other respects the experience looked surprisingly modern.

The only time I flew with Ansett (from Launceston to Coolangatta return) the only thing I remember is being allowed into the cockpit mid-flight(!) with a group of other kids. The pilot joked that when they saw a Qantas plane the pushed the power lever forward, which it turned out was not a very prophetic joke.

Then the following year we'd booked a holiday with Ansett Holidays for just a few days after they went broke, which of course all went down the gurgler.

I remember the aircraft sat in Melbourne for years afterwards, as a sad reminder.
 
Bobloblaw
Posts: 2406
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:39 am

Very nice thanks
 
Ryanair01
Topic Author
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:17 pm

An767 wrote:
Nice report, reminds me of my AN flight to Hong Kong, Great airline sadly missed
AN767


Thank you. It must have been very similar.

TheEuphorian wrote:
images are broken


Seem to be working again.

345tas wrote:
Thank you so so much for this report. It's terrific to get such a detailed report from almost 20 years ago on an airline I can barely remember.

I hope you enjoyed watching "CNN.dot.com." Hehe. Although in other respects the experience looked surprisingly modern.

The only time I flew with Ansett (from Launceston to Coolangatta return) the only thing I remember is being allowed into the cockpit mid-flight(!) with a group of other kids. The pilot joked that when they saw a Qantas plane the pushed the power lever forward, which it turned out was not a very prophetic joke.

Then the following year we'd booked a holiday with Ansett Holidays for just a few days after they went broke, which of course all went down the gurgler.

I remember the aircraft sat in Melbourne for years afterwards, as a sad reminder.


Thanks. The fleet did seem to be sat around for a long time afterwards. It was a surprisingly modern experience looking back, Ansett invested quite a bit in their product towards the end. Certainly a contrast to ANA who I flew afterwards which was a very basic (but good) product.

Bobloblaw wrote:
Very nice thanks


Thank you.
 
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ClassicLover
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:23 am

That was an excellent report and a great photo selection!

Those flight prices certainly were pretty high. I remember the lowest you could pay for Sydney to Melbourne return was something like $180 back in the 1990s in a sale. It's similar today, but of course, it's much cheaper today by comparison.

Thanks for sharing that! I only flew Ansett twice, and that was SYD-OOL-SYD on the Boeing 727. Otherwise, I always flew Qantas.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Ryanair01
Topic Author
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:36 am

ClassicLover wrote:
That was an excellent report and a great photo selection!

Those flight prices certainly were pretty high. I remember the lowest you could pay for Sydney to Melbourne return was something like $180 back in the 1990s in a sale. It's similar today, but of course, it's much cheaper today by comparison.

Thanks for sharing that! I only flew Ansett twice, and that was SYD-OOL-SYD on the Boeing 727. Otherwise, I always flew Qantas.


Thank you, pleasure. I remember when there weren't fare sales on and family finances were bad, taking the Pioneer, Firefly and Bus Australia coaches, 16 hours overnight to Brisbane or 12 to Melbourne was tough going! (How old does that make me sound? :old: ). The new entrant fare war which ultimately pushed Ansett over the edge was, in my view, inevitable at the duopoly's prices.
 
Ryanair01
Topic Author
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sat Jul 27, 2019 8:33 pm

As a postscript, I found this cabin shot AN108, my flight aboard VH-BZF a 767-300ER not taken up by Continential.

Image
 
melpax
Posts: 1898
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:13 am

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:33 am

Very cool Ansett trip report.

Though have to say, having gone through Kansei last week, there's still not many F&B outlets airside.
Essendon - Whatever it takes......
 
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Ryan h
Posts: 1692
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2001 7:11 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:53 am

A blast from the past that report. Good to read it.
South Australian Spotter
 
superjeff
Posts: 1242
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:14 am

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:53 am

Flew Ansett twice YD-ADL and ADL-MEL back in 1994. I thought they had a different feel ("Personality") from Qantas. More reserved, more formal. I thought similar to Delta in the U.S. back in the seventies. Great airline, miss 'em. And a great recollection. Thanks.
 
Ryanair01
Topic Author
Posts: 420
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:27 pm

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:35 am

melpax wrote:
Very cool Ansett trip report.

Though have to say, having gone through Kansei last week, there's still not many F&B outlets airside.


Oh wow, I've not been back to Kansai since then. It's shocking for me to think that it was almost 20 years ago.

Ryan h wrote:
A blast from the past that report. Good to read it.


Thank you

superjeff wrote:
Flew Ansett twice YD-ADL and ADL-MEL back in 1994. I thought they had a different feel ("Personality") from Qantas. More reserved, more formal. I thought similar to Delta in the U.S. back in the seventies. Great airline, miss 'em. And a great recollection. Thanks.


That's an interesting observation. I think Ansett's service could have an aloof feel. Certainly, during the late 80s and early 90s they pushed a more upmarket approach, with velour seat covers, gold plated details in the seats etc. I vividly remember landing in Brisbane on a 767 in 1990 and the crew not thanking us for flying Ansett but saying, "we appreciate your patronage of our airline".

Image
 
melpax
Posts: 1898
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:13 am

Re: Ansett Australia Osaka - Brisbane - Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney - Osaka. Year 2000

Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:34 pm

Ryanair01 wrote:
That's an interesting observation. I think Ansett's service could have an aloof feel. Certainly, during the late 80s and early 90s they pushed a more upmarket approach, with velour seat covers, gold plated details in the seats etc. I vividly remember landing in Brisbane on a 767 in 1990 and the crew not thanking us for flying Ansett but saying, "we appreciate your patronage of our airline".


Ansett certainly had an upscale image during the 80's & 90's, and most of their advertising was targeted towards the corporate crowd. Remember that AN's only real competition (TAA>Australian Airlines>QF Domestic) was government-owned until the mid 90's, and airline deregulation occurred not too long before this. Given this, airfares were expensive (a typical MEL-SYD econ fare was around $400 during this time), so air travel was mainly a thing for the well-off or for business travel, so the airlines had to cater to both markets, who were quite often the same people. The typical family holiday on the Gold Coast would mean a 2 day drive from Melbourne until the likes of Virgin & Jetstar came along.

Some Ansett ad's from the 80's & 90's

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6YvlypP7XQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xqtIJygbJE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE5RYpWMQDQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOJXQOPNWug
Essendon - Whatever it takes......

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