Hi there! This is my first trip report for High Tech Flight! Let me know how I go, how to improve and I hope you enjoy.
Being an economy flight I’ll try to keep it concise! I was flying to Melbourne from Sydney for the Formula 1 Gran Prix.
Carrier: Qantas (QF)
Flight Number: QF423
Route: Sydney (SYD) – Melbourne (MEL)
Duration: 1h 5m
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Cabin Class: Economy Class
Seat Number: 28K
After arriving at the Domestic train station, we made our way up to the Qantas terminal; about a five-minute walk. Using Qantas fantastic Q-Chip system and smart check in we were checked in in seconds. The process is super simple and just takes a tap on the reader, just like a public transport card (Opal, Oyster, Myki etc). The system can be used by all Qantas frequent flyer members who have a Q-Card.
Qantas then instantly sends you a message reading the following;
Seat No: 28K
Travel Class: Economy
We then made our way to the gates, passing through security, which took a good 5-10 minutes thanks to some negligent passengers…
We then made our way to the Qantas Club, which can be accessed by Qantas Club members (a yearly membership) and Qantas Gold and equivalent airline cardholders, while the Business lounge is reserved for business travelers and top-tier frequent flyers. Read more about the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme here, and also learn about the Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program here, or read one of Ashan’s reviews.
A quick scan of your boarding pass, in this case our Q-Cards and we were into the lounge.
The lounge is rather large with specific seating zones. Upon entry your met with a service desk, and often at the door there is someone handing out latte’s, however on this occasion there wasn’t. We took a seat at the specific dining tabled and headed to have something to eat, the food on offer consisted of the following;
There was also a barista on hand making coffees to order. I had a coffee and a traditional hand-made Qantas toastie, caught up on the news and then headed to a more comfy seat over above my gate to watch them prep our aircraft.
At this point, I logged into the wi-fi and checked up on My QView, where you can find your flight details and catch up on news.
From here I relaxed and caught up on a few things waiting for boarding.
Here are some pictures from around the lounge, click on the images for a bigger view.
We noticed that it was getting close to boarding time so headed off, we went via the service desk to pick up some hard copy boarding passes (I collect them) and headed off through the separate exit. We walked to the end of the terminal and back and by that time boarding was well underway.
I presented the gentleman my Q-Card (Boarding Pass) and was welcomed onboard and passed a small printout with my seat allocation. Interestingly, Qantas use their own cabin crew to manage the boarding of the aircraft.
After waiting a good ten minutes, I made it to the aircraft door 2 left, and showed the Cabin Service Manager Bruno my paper, and he showed us to the second aisle. We took our seats in row 28 and I was in Kilo the window seat. The aircraft by now was pretty full and we pushed back at 10:03AM.
The seat was one of Qantas new upgraded A330’s with Q Streaming. The seat was a comfortable fabric with a leather headrest. Perfect for a short or even long haul flight. Legroom was generous too.
We taxied for around 20 minutes, while Captain Peter James told us we would be making a sudden right-hand turn before flying over Wollongong and then directly to Melbourne. We lined up on runway 34R at 10:22 and at 10:23 we were powering down the runway. After 5 minutes the seatbelt sign was promptly turned off and the partition between Economy and Business was closed.
We were then allowed to use the Qantas provided iPads found in the seat pocket.
These clipped into the seatback in front which fits most other tablet devices. We were asked to charge the iPad while using it for battery health reasons.
You could watch the flight map or watch the endless options available.
We flew back over the airport to notice they had changed the runway directions!
Service began at 10:40 and consisted of a drink and snack service, I had a tea and water and the lemon yoghurt bar which was the only food available.
Since I had eaten in the lounge, and it was mid-morning I felt it was an alright meal, but I found the service slightly in personal, but again, it is a 1-hour flight and the crew do need to rush. After the meals were collected at 11AM I walked to the back of the aircraft to ask for the Pilots names and the aircraft registration and to use the lavatory, which was in an average condition. The lady I spoke to was extremely polite and kind and said she would find out and bring the info to my seat, saying she knew where I was sitting. About five minutes later she came back with the names, presenting them to me on a piece of paper marked with Qantas, saying “There you go Mr Carr”. Thanking her I was impressed! Ive never heard of a low-status flyer being addressed by name! Kudos Qantas! I then sat down to watch a TV show on the provided iPad. I used my own headphones however Qantas do provide “headsets”, as they call them.
Soon the Captain came on the PA and mentioned the fact the engines had gone quiet because we needed to slow down by 10 minutes to avoid traffic ahead and we had a planned landing time of 11:45. At 11:19 we began our descent, with the seatbelt turned off. I then turned off the iPad as you aren’t allowed to use the iPad in the holder. We were warned of not placing it back into the seatback pocket otherwise a security feature would be activated, however, my iPad slipped out of the case and it seemed there was nothing stopping me from taking it with me?
Slats and Flaps were deployed at 11:37 and the landing gear at 11:38. We landed at 11:44 9 minutes late (due to high traffic in the area from the F1). Touching down was smooth and we passed some interesting aircraft on our taxi including a Garuda Indonesia A330, which Ashan flew to Bali, read that review here.
The taxi to gate took a good ten minutes and another 15 after the seatbelt sign was switched off before we disembarked, which is disappointing, especially when you’re at the furthest gate from the exit.
Overall it was a great experience, with little to fault. Boarding was slow and the service was a little dull and the wait after landing was a bit of a pain but otherwise another awesome flight with Qantas! Stay tuned to see my next installment of the trip!