EMD to HEL and everything in between. A Trip of firsts on QF1.

Ron Calls

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Jun 14, 2021
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33
I am only new to the AFF fraternity but have found the content and its members extremely informative and knowledgeable. So with that in mind I feel it is time for me to contribute in some small way with my first trip report. In fact this trip will also be my first time flying first class as a newly minted WP and the first time flying on QF1.

I live in Central Queensland and my home airport is Emerald (EMD) so let the TR begin. Not much to see out front but the airport has been upgraded recently adding a third gate and larger apron. 20220630_105344.jpg

They have all three check-in counters open for this afternoon's full flight.
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The Emerald Regional Lounge is small and somewhat dated. 20220630_110342.jpg

Basic snacks and pod coffee on offer here.
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View from the gate awaiting the incoming aircraft.
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Boarding time…. Todays metal is a Dash 8 Q400 VH-QOF. 99% of QF flights out of Emerald are on the Q400 although the Dash 8-300 and Alliance Fokker 100/70 make an appearance.
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My seat on today's flight is 4C
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Simple and snack on this 1hour 25minute flight.
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One thing I noticed upon landing in BNE was the lack of QF gate staff or QF staff generally within the terminal. Once through the terminal it was downstairs to baggage claim carousel number 3. There appeared to be a wait for bags… all three QF carousels full of passengers waiting for bags.
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Three regional flights on this carousel, it was the longest I can recall waiting for my bag but given it is school holidays I empathised with the ground crews, I managed to catch up with a colleague whilst I waited.
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I will spend a few days here in Brisbane with family before heading to SYD on Monday to catch QF1....
 

Ron Calls

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Joined
Jun 14, 2021
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33
So quick update. I just received a text message from Qantas that Mondays QF1 is now departing at 19:55hrs instead of the usual 15:55hrs. This has an estimated arrival in LHR as 10:35hrs on 5/7. Looks like the QF1/QF2 flights over the weekend have been heavily delayed. With that being said my 10:20am connection to Helsinki on the A350 is now out. Unfortunately they are on separate bookings. Looks like I need to make some booking changes, which means the A350 might be out, which is a real shame. Time to manage my bookings and see what's available...
 

Ron Calls

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Continuing on I headed to BNE early for the 08:10 departure to SYD in J. I arrived at about 06:15 and the security line through the premium lane took about 25 minutes. The main security line was huge and snaked the entire length of the Qantas terminal. Once in the Business Lounge it wasn't too busy and I managed to snake myself a seat near the glass with a nice outlook of the apron. Some scrambled eggs and sausages hit the spot along with a barista coffee.
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As I headed to the gate there was announcement of a late change of aircraft and new boarding gate. They were pretty much right beside each other so that wasn't too bad. The flight was late to depart and pushed back at about 08:40hrs. We then sat on the tarmac for about 20 minutes before the Captain announced there was an electrical issue and we need to go back to the gate.
So after returning to the gate, two safety demo's we were finally under way close to 10am.

I have to say the crew on this flight were extremely friendly. They bought water around for the J passengers whilst were stuck at the gate. Shortly after takeoff breakfast was served. A pretty tasty omelet with potatoes, mushrooms and bacon pieces. There was a sweet muffin on the side but I declined due to being coeliac. 20220704_095753_001.jpg

On Approach into SYD we needed to circle in a holding pattern, only the once before landing on 16L which put us in for a reasonable taxi to the gate. The CSM asked passengers with tight connections to be allowed to disembark first which was respected by most.
To make the already delayed flight even longer, we had to hold short of the gate at SYD for about 5mins because the automatic parking system hadn't been activated for the pilots.

Any who, made it to SYD and bags were relatively quick. Was pouring down rain as I exited the terminal for the T Bus stand to head over to international.
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Off to the International Terminal for check in.
 
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Ron Calls

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Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Posts
33
The wait for the T Bus was not long at all and locating the stand was extremely easy, literally straight out the doors from the baggage carousel. Once I arrived at T1, it was up the escalator to the check in counters. Row D has the business and First check in counters. First was closed, perhaps because I was so early, however the lady at the business counter was extremely friendly. I only had to hand over my passport and there were no other document checks at all.
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From here it was through the express security line which was relatively quick and easy, only about 10mins from start to duty free.

I headed to the lounge which is up the escalator at the end of the duty free section. A friendly staff member was there to great me, "First class and platinum, you got it all" he says with a smile and a handshake. I was smiling ear to ear at this, he was very accommodating. 20220704_120113.jpg

At the top of the escalator is the reception where I checked in and was offered a 20 minute Spa treatment which I accepted.
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The old style clacker board is awesome, and the large one a FRA is always fun to stand under.
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Onto some lunch, I started with a glass of Taittinger Cuvee NV as perused the menu. I decided on the Barramundi which was delicious and pavlova for dessert.
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As I finished off my pavlova the inbound QF2 arrived. I asked about the delay and as informed there are some technical issues that needed to be addressed.
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So as I wait here in the F lounge, it is not too busy and is really quite nice. The staff are wonderful, attentive and very friendly. There are some self serve areas and the main dining area for sit down meals if you prefer.
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I will post an update after the Spa treatment and let you know how that goes. Otherwise the wait begins here in the SYD F lounge.... it could be worse.
 
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Ron Calls

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Jun 14, 2021
Posts
33
It's that time... to board QF1 for LHR via SIN. Gate 9 provided the point of entry and three jet bridges provided access to the massive A380. First Class and economy are on the main deck and Business and Premium Economy is on the upper deck. Through the first door and to my seat 4A.

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The crew on this flight were awesome. Friendly and very attentive to every passenger in the full F Cabin. I was only seated a couple of minutes and I was offered a pre departure drink of Champagne and some olives and mixed nuts to snack on.
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The glass was refilled multiple times whilst we waited for boarding to be completed. We were offered PJs, slippers and an amenity kit to get changed into before take off also, which almost all passengers took advantage of.
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Here are the menus for the first part of the flight to SIN

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To start I had the roast duck salad
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Followed by the Poached Chicken for the main
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And to finish I had the flourless chocolate cake
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They were all really tasty. I was extremely full after this and managed to get a few hours sleep before Singapore. I didn't have anything more to eat on the flight into Singapore. We arrived in Singapore early morning at Gate D49 which is about a 10minute walk to the lounges. The F Lounge was closed however the Business Lounge was open and QF1 passenger were the only passengers before the 3am departure. Onto the next flight....
 

Ron Calls

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Jun 14, 2021
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33
Singapore to London saw a crew change, majority of whom appeared to be UK based cabin crew. Again they were extremely friendly and very attentive. More Champagne and coughtails to start and a couple of snacks. Another set of PJs, slippers and amenity kits were also handed out.
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After take off I had a quick look upstairs at the lounge area. It doesn't look too bad. The self serve food and drink bar was sparsely stocked so I didn't bother taking a picture of this, perhaps the flight home might be different.
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I had my seat made up ready for bed almost straight away and declined dinner as I was tired and full from all the eating prior.
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Here are the menus for the flight to London.
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I forgot to take a picture of the breakfast but it was very nice. I had a hot meal of poached eggs bacon, sausage, beans and spinach with a flat white and OJ to wash it down.

We arrived at LHR at about 10:25am and were taxiing to our stand when out of my window I spot what should have been my 10:20 to HEL on Finnair. It is what it is and the crew on both flights apologised profusely about the delayed flights. Apparently our flight was the last one of the delays and they all should be back on schedule after this flight.
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Terminal 3 at LHR has the E-gates for fast processing of arriving passengers which include Australian passport holders. There were no arrival cards to fill out and it made the process very quick and easy. Straight through to baggage and out into the arrivals hall.

I then had to wait about two hours for the Finnair Check-in counter to open so I could drop my bags and head to the lounge for a shower. Finnair use the Cathay Pacific lounge and there is both a business and first section for eligible FF. If you are at T3 and looking for a shower the showers in the Cathay lounge were amazing. Heaps of water pressure and hot water. It really hit the spot.
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First Class Cathay Lounge
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I then did a bit of lounge hoping, went through to the BA First lounge which was pretty big, with three or four separate sections. There is a Champagne bar right as you walk in. Again forgot to take pics, I will try and get a few on the way home. Finished up in the Qantas lounge whilst waiting for the flight to HEL to board.
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Not the greatest for pic, but by this time I was over tired and could barely move from this lounge. With that being said, it's off to bed now and I will continue with the TR Soon.
 

Princess Fiona

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Looks like Qantas have improved their first offering a touch in recent months. Do you have a copy of the wine list by chance?
Don’t know about QF 1 but on QF11 a couple of weeks ago they hadn’t loaded any lists.
I just asked for tastings.
 
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Don’t know about QF 1 but on QF11 a couple of weeks ago they hadn’t loaded any lists.
I just asked for tastings.
How annoying! I love perusing a wine list.

Due to fly out QF1 in F next week, hopefully they will have sorted out the delays by then.

Are First hosts still calling the day before to organise spa appts?
 

Princess Fiona

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How annoying! I love perusing a wine list.

Due to fly out QF1 in F next week, hopefully they will have sorted out the delays by then.

Are First hosts still calling the day before to organise spa appts?
Not for me. I got an email saying I could book one on the day but I completely ignored that and called up the day before.
 

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