ANA, and how they helped me revisit QF J.. | Australian Frequent Flyer
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ANA, and how they helped me revisit QF J..

BCons

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A strange set of circumstances allowed me to see what I hv been missing the last 10 years - QF J on one of the old 747's.

Once QF was my absolute first choice, with years of platinum and eventually LTG, but for reasons tedious these days I fly VA and usually their partner SQ. So that's how I was booked to return from Narita - SQ in J via SIN with the first leg a codeshare ANA 787, then a points upgrade SIN to Syd in A380 Suites, and then VA home to HBA. I had checked in comfortably on time for a 1650 departure, got my 3 BP's thru to HBA, visited the very busy but well-run ANA (Star Alliance) lounge in T1, and even started to relax after the pace of Tokyo public transport.

Right on boarding time came an announcement that the flight would be briefly delayed. Not to worry, I thought, stay in cruise mode, it wont take long and the locals will sort things out. So I walked to the distant gate and waited there. More delay, and no boarding info meant that my connection in SIN was looking in doubt, so I fronted the gate desk. ANA staff didnt say much, other than the usual 'please wait a moment', but I was aware my 'F' boarding pass got closer inspection than the others. A few minutes later I was asked to front the ANA desk to be told they didn't think they could guarantee the SIN connection (derr..) and would I instead like to fly direct to Syd direct on ANA's own scheduled evening flt.

That sounded like a plan. the only catch being ANA Syd departed from Haneda and I was airside at Narita.. No problem they said, we'll find your bag and put you on a bus if you can please just wait over there..

About an hour later, an ANA bloke took me backwards thru immigration, collected my bag, got me out thru customs (official couldn't find my original entry stamp and asked me to show where it was in my passport - I gently suggested that its your stamp sir, and I don't know what it looks like..) and eventually deposited me outside in the queue for the Haneda bus. Before he left me he said: 'so sorry, our flight is fully booked so we have now put you on a Qantas flight instead'. Now that flight left at 10pm and it was already past 7 and anyone who has done that bus transfer knows its a solid hour, so there wasn't a lot of spare time once Qantas checked me in to the last seat in business.. A middle seat in the middle, downstairs, on a 747.

Its a very long time since I flew one of these - usually upstairs - so it was something of a shock having to find where the storage wasnt, deal with close neighbours, get changed & settled. To be fair, the crew were great, that main downstairs J cabin is quite airy with sight lines to many windows, but the plane was showing its age, droopy skybed seat and all. A mattress cover was already fitted and dinner was a truncated affair which seemed to suit most pax.

But after SQ, VA or even EY, this really looked and felt like an old type of PE product, not today's expected direct-aisle J. Elsewhere on these forum pages people are commenting on QF's lack of fleet renewal (the first how many 787's went to Jetstar ?), cost of fares relative to their competition, AJ's salary & all the rest - I am perversely thankful to have a confirmation of what I left behind.
 

Mrmaxwell

Established Member
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May 18, 2007
Messages
1,151
You certainly experienced the worst QF has to offer; middle J seat on the oldest aircraft in the fleet. Sometimes great crew can make the experience better.

Regardless I always tell family and friends when looking at QF to know what aircraft they will be flying before purchasing premium cabin fares as the price points and hard product never align or give you value for money.
 

dajop

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But after SQ, VA or even EY, this really looked and felt like an old type of PE product, not today's expected direct-aisle J.
It may well feel that way, but give me an old droopy skybed over any PE product in the world, old or new, well at least at PE prices 😆.
 

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