Her is my first TR for the status run SYD-BNE-MKY-SYD in J which I decided to do around the VA J Double SC & Points Offer.
This trip consisted of a points+pay (6900 + $131) sector SYD-BNE-MKY & the return MKY-SYD was J fare - $509
I had my alarm set for 5am, so it would give me plenty of time to experience the DJ Sydney Lounge . Alarm went , and I thought “just another 5 mins” . Anyway that 5 mins turned into 45 mins & I didn’t bound out of bed until 5.45am . Quick shower , had packed the day pack the night before , left home at 6.00 & was walking into the VA Premium Entry at 6.15am . I knew there was a plus to living close to the airport.
VA Premium Entry.
First time user of this & all I can say is WOW. It was so good not having to put up with the chaos that is associated with the main entry . Collected my boarding passes , was asked if I wanted a window or aisle ….Im a window man , so was allocated 1A for the flight to BNE. A quick scan, explosives test & straight into the Lounge .
As I had snuck in the extra 45 mins sleep , my time in the Lounge was somewhat limited . I had a quick bowl of cereal & a juice, had a look around the Lounge , quite spacious , with only about a dozen PAX in there .
Flight 1 – SYD-BNE
Flt No. DJ909
Scheduled Departure: 7.00am
Actual Departure: 6.55am
Aircraft – 737-800 - VH-VUA – Refitted – Old Livery
Takeoff on: RWY 16L
No. PAX in J = 1 (me)
Scheduled Arrival: 7.30am
Actual Arrival: 7.20am
Landed on: RWY 01
Priority Boarding worked a treat and commenced at 6.35am.
I was greeted by the CSM and was told the lovely Ms K (FA) would be looking after me today. I settled myself in , was offered the Weekend Australian & asked what I would like to drink prior to takeoff . I had a glass of water which arrived with the obligatory slice of lemon in it . Breakfast No. 2 was a Luke Mangan “inspired” Vegetable Fittata , Fruit Salad , Warm Croissant , Juice , water & a coffee.
The trip was quite turbulent considering the weather we have had up & down the east coast for the last few days . The seat belt sign was only off for about 15 mins at the top of the cruise as we struggled to find a smooth cruising altitude. My coffee on the centre armrest spilt quite a bit due to the turbulence . FA was quick to notice and cleaned up, asked if I had any spilt on me , which it didn’t & promptly poured me a fresh coffee , albeit not as full as the first one . Arrived into a very wet BNE & made my way directly to the BNE Lounge.
I had about 90 mins to kill before my flight to MKY, which gave me a bit longer to really absorb what the VA Lounge has to offer. I hooked into the free wifi and proceeded to get breakfast No.3 (lucky I like my breakfast) . Had another small plate of cereal, freshly brewed latte, juice & checked out the pancakes…gotta love the pancake machine.
A good size lounge, smaller than Sydney but quite busy. Spent most of the time on the net catching up on a few AFF threads from overnight.
Flight 2 – BNE-MKY
Scheduled Departure: 8.55am
Actual Departure: 8.55am
Gate : 40
Aircraft – 737-700 - VH-VBK – Not Refitted – Old Livery
Take off on RWY 01
No. PAX in pseudo J(really PE) = 4
Scheduled Arrival: 10.25am
Actual Arrival: 10.27am
Landed on RWY 14
Priority Boarding worked a treat and commenced at 8.35am. I was greeted by Ms J (CSM) and she would be looking after me today. As I expected, no refit on this aircraft, with the old PE setup. But the upside to this was I had live2air , which I do use & IMO is a must on any trip.
I settled myself in, the Weekend Australian was waiting for me again. Decided on the OJ this time for pre takeoff drink. I was advised by Ms J that the refreshment on the way up was a warm ham & cheese croissant & was also offered anything else from the menu .My croissant came with a fruit salad & coffee. In addition I had the Luke Mangan “ Karma Juice”. Looks terrible, tastes ok.
The trip was a little turbulent out of BNE for 15-20 mins, but relatively smooth flying after that. Arrived at a slightly overcast MKY , still plenty of sun & you have to love the humidity…NOT !
A great setup for a regional lounge . Very clean, well stocked & still has a new smell about it. Very close to the Boarding gates also . Had a couple of glasses of Sauv Blanc and a bowl of potato chips , followed by a toasted ham, cheese , tomato & seeded mustard sandwich . I was very early , so there was just 2 PAX in the lounge initially , another 6 arrived in a little later closer to departure times for the BNE & SYD flights.
Flight 3 – MKY-SYD
Scheduled Departure: 13.50pm
Actual Departure: 13.59pm
Aircraft – 737-800 - VH-VOK – refitted – New Livery
Take off on RWY 14
No. PAX in J = 2
Scheduled Arrival: 17.05pm
Actual Arrival: 17.10pm
Landed on RWY 7
Priority Boarding worked a treat and commenced a little late at 13.40 pm. I was greeted by Mr M (CSM) . I settled myself in again, No Weekend Australian this time . I was offered the mocktail this time as my pre takeoff drink. I was advised by Mr M that the refreshment was a warm ham & cheese croissant ( by this time I was over ham & cheese & croissants) instead I asked for the Gorment Pie and also managed to down a couple of Fat Yaks. I was offered the digeplayer & sat back & watched the movie “The Cup”, which I just scrapped in by a few mins to finish before landing.
The trip was a little turbulent out of MKY and it felt like a very quick accent. There we quite a few turns dodging a little bit of weather. Arrived into an overcast SYD, crossing the city to line up to RWY 07 . Arrived at the Gate at 17.10pm , in my front door at home at 17.30pm .
Overall, quite a good trip . The crew on all flights were fantastic , courteous & professional . The consistency in the J product is nearly there and that’s basically referring to the 737-700 a/c that operated the BNE-MKY that wasn’t refitted. In terms of the J product I experienced on the two 737-800 sectors, it was spot on.
The lounge staff , particular in Mackay were great. Loved the Sydney Premium entry & Priority boarding works a treat .
This trip I gained 120 SC and 7635 Velocity Points. As a result , I maintained Silver again & now only 50 SC short of hitting Gold , which I will click over in a few months time with other flights I have already planned.