QF F lounge run...the new lounges at Syd & Mel | Australian Frequent Flyer
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QF F lounge run...the new lounges at Syd & Mel

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kpc

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At OzFest 4 recently, JohnK and I discussed the possibility of doing a quick F lounge run to “inspect” the new First class lounges at Sydney and Melbourne airports…the plan would involve flying on a domestic sector of an international flight, gaining access to the F lounge using John’s newly obtained QF platinum card, and me as his guest!! Mal also was interested, so the run was hatched, and he flew down from Brisbane to join us. The following flights were chosen and bought:

QF 74 Syd 0715 to Mel 0845
QF 73 Mel 1130 to Syd 1250

IIRC, it cost me $237 with an el cheapo red e deal.

The run took place last Sunday; I got to the airport at 530 am, and met John and Mal there. We were told that outgoing immigration at Syd did not open til 6 am to our disappointment:(, but at 550 am, the immigration opened, and we went through in a flash and quickly sort out the first class lounge:mrgreen:. There were no problems with access, we were greeted warmly, and all 3 of our BPs were scanned.

I’ll let the pictures below speak for themselves but I was very impressed with the Syd lounge in many respects: great tarmac view, nice furnishings, very attentive and polite waiting staff. The sit down meal service was very nice, and we were quickly served our choice of breakfast, and champagne. The all day dining option is only served from midday (I have the menus but they already have been posted elsewhere – as far as I can gather, the Syd and Mel menus were identical).

The library was very nicely decorated (there was even a chess set), there were a number of work stations, business meeting rooms, but the spa was closed, however. The bathrooms / showers were all very modern and sleek!

Due to a delay in QF 74 departing Syd, we ended up spending about 90 minutes in the lounge. Overall, I was very impressed by the new Sydney first lounge, and it really compares favourably with some of the other lounges that I’ve visited around the world.

After a delay in arriving in Mel :evil:(late departure further delayed by a late passenger boarding at Sydney, difficulty in connecting the nose bridge to the plane door at Mel, and extra time to recheck in at Mel – what a zoo!), we spent about 55 minutes in the F lounge in Mel.

It was a much busier time of the day (compared when we were in Syd), and the lounge is about a 1/3 the size of the Syd lounge; it was very busy, and it was difficult finding a place to sit – however, when we eventually found a place, the very attentive waitress found us, and took our breakfast orders (again!). The furnishings, décor etc in Mel were similar to Syd, but overall, I thought it ranked a poor second compared to Syd.

We eventually boarded QF 73 (VH-OJC) back to Sydney, which was on a different aircraft to the one we had come down on (VH-OJD), but the crew were the same; they were a little bemused when they saw us again….this bemusement intensified when we told them what we had been up to!

Thanks to JohnK and Mal for a very enjoyable F lounge run!!

Pictures are here:
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AbsXDNi2buGLlI&notag=1
 

IainF

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Hi KPC,

Nice photos.
Hope you enjoyed the run !
Seems that SYD will be the hub then for most future flights...
They are following the A380 scheme of 1 major hub and lots of flights linking in.

Just wish we could have a slightly larger/improved 1st lounge in BNE..
Actually, just a plane with a 1st class out of BNE would also be nice.

Cheers
IainF
 

JohnK

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Very nice trip report Kevin.

The photos turned out great.

I enjoyed the day so much I may do it again once I am back from my RTW. I will hopefully be visiting the SYD F lounge next month and try out the all day menu.
 

Mal

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Great report of our trip!

A few things I'd like to add.

The staff we met at the entrance to the lounges and inside were absolutely amazing. While we didn't challenge them with anything too difficult, they were attentive, friendly and very professional. The menu is nice (although all day dining should start at 11am, not 12). The food was well prepared and very tasty.

MEL lounge is definately much smaller than SYD. We were lucky to find 3 seats together there and dining at the restaurant area was just about impossible for us. The lounge staff were pretty busy in MEL.

The staff in SYD checkin were polite and helpful - although the staffer who checked me in did a double take when she saw I was due to fly SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE that day. She muttered that it must be a mistake and was trying to work out what was wrong, until I said that that routing was correct and half explained what I was doing.

MEL Checkin was an absolute zoo, and as I've mentioned elsewhere I was not impressed with the staffer patrolling the lines and her answer when I asked her where the F checkin area was. CL members were ok though - they were 'allowed' to checkin at the First area - just not Platinums. I don't travel through MEL Intl much, so others, please monitor the situation and make complaints to Qantas if you deem relevant (I didn't get the CSA's name, and can only paraphrase her comments so it is pretty hard to complain accurately to Qantas this time. Next time I will be prepared if they pull that stunt).

We ended up checking in at a "Customer Service/No bags" desk located between economy checkin and the business/Qantas Club/Sapphire/Ruby etc area. The staff there checked us in quickly and without issue. Definately was quicker than waiting in the Business/Sapphire queue which was around 30 people deep.

Customs outbound was pretty quiet at both ends. Customs/quarantine inbound was also pretty quiet which surprised me as normally things are pretty busy. There were no checked bags, so it was quick and simple.
 

dajop

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Mal said:
MEL Checkin was an absolute zoo, and as I've mentioned elsewhere I was not impressed with the staffer patrolling the lines and her answer when I asked her where the F checkin area was. CL members were ok though - they were 'allowed' to checkin at the First area - just not Platinums. I don't travel through MEL Intl much, so others, please monitor the situation and make complaints to Qantas if you deem relevant (I didn't get the CSA's name, and can only paraphrase her comments so it is pretty hard to complain accurately to Qantas this time. Next time I will be prepared if they pull that stunt).
It is appallingly busy in the morning peak when there are two LAX flights (direct & via AKL) going at almost the same time, and some mornings an A330 to NRT and a 747 to SYD, add to the congestion. Unlike SYD, not really equipped for multiple 747 flights.

Recently I was flying to SIN on SQ and at the same time, my partner(WP) to SYD on QF (QF73?) and a colleague (WP) to LAX on QF93. We arrived at same time, I checked in instaneously of course, then went and rescued my partner from the First check (who had barely progressed in the queue) after discovering that you could check in at the service desk. My colleague (with luggage) joined us in the first lounge about 30 mins later!
 

Febs

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Great photos. Thanks for the report. :)

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

tuapekastar

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Great report(s) and pix, trio.

I seem to have inadvertently become OWE :)D) so some travel later this year will include checking out at least the MEL Flounge.
 

kpc

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JohnK said:
I enjoyed the day so much I may do it again once I am back from my RTW.
Hmmm...have to think about this - may be interested;):mrgreen: Just wish we could get later flights, not ones so early in the morning!:(

Thanks all for the positive comments!
 

serfty

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kpc said:
... Just wish we could get later flights, not ones so early in the morning!:( ...
A cost effective way of getting an evening FLounge session is to fly to NZ; keep an eye out for the regular specials and you can get to AKL for around $250, return around $200.

In the greater scheme of things these prices compare favorably with MEL/SYD at $126 e/w (although there is a current sale for $105). Ex SYD, a WP would garner 5,364 QFF points and 40 SC's.
 

drron

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serfty said:
A cost effective way of getting an evening FLounge session is to fly to NZ; keep an eye out for the regular specials and you can get to AKL for around $250, return around $200.

In the greater scheme of things these prices compare favorably with MEL/SYD at $126 e/w (although there is a current sale for $105). Ex SYD, a WP would garner 5,364 QFF points and 40 SC's.
Thanks for that.Came across this thread when trying to find out opening time of F lounge for our flight out to PVG on 28/4.
Because of you serfty we have now changed the Itin on our Global explorer trip in august.Originally we were going BNE-SYD-PPT so could not access the F lounge.So now BNE-SYD the day before and SYD-AKL in the evening so we can really have some all day dining before TN AKL-PPT.And an extra 82 miles as well!
 

JohnK

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kpc said:
We cannot view the pictures anymore as Imagestation is permanently closed. Any chance you can move them to another online home kpc?

ImageStation said:
As of February 1st, 2008 the ImageStation online service is permanently closed. We sincerely appreciate the patronage of all our friends and members. Thank you for your support.
 

serfty

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drron said:
Thanks for that...
Because of you serfty we have now changed the Itin on our Global explorer trip in august.Originally we were going BNE-SYD-PPT so could not access the F lounge.So now BNE-SYD the day before and SYD-AKL in the evening so we can really have some all day dining before TN AKL-PPT.And an extra 82 miles as well!
No problem; this is what AFF is about; sharing of tips and with information to maximize the pleasures/experience of travel. :D
 

kpc

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JohnK said:
We cannot view the pictures anymore as Imagestation is permanently closed. Any chance you can move them to another online home kpc?
No problems:) ...will do when I get home; currently in Glasgow. So far my experiences with QF long haul Y product have been very good. Will post about it when I get back...
 

kpc

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Flying Fox

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Great photos. If only my budet could stretch to F.... shame really.

I noticed that QF went the old style 'click-clack' flip-over departure boards vs the current plasma screens that everyone else seems to use. How novel. I prefer these anyway. I have always liked being in SIN when they update the huge version of these boards and you can watch all the letters spin around...... quite entertaining.
 

jamesatfish

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The following flights were chosen and bought:

QF 74 Syd 0715 to Mel 0845
QF 73 Mel 1130 to Syd 1250

IIRC, it cost me $237 with an el cheapo red e deal.
Assuming I make WP this year I was thinking of trying this trick to show my parents the Sydney F lounge before they embark on their first round-the-world trip in Business.

Unfortunately I can't seem to find these flights (or any with QF <400 flight numbers) online.

Is there a trick to booking these flights, or have the rules changed so they can only be booked as part of an international connection?
 

serfty

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Note, that post was from June last year.

These flights are not operating with the current schedule.

Note that in July QF73 is opetaing MEL-SYD on Fridays and Sundays @11:30am, So is QF187 (same days @11:50am). QF74 is operating Fridays SYD-MEL @7:15am.

There are a few others as well.
 
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jamesatfish

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Note, that post was from June last year.

These flights are not operating with the current schedule.
Bugger - that explains why I can't find them then!

Is there any other domestic flight that leaves from the Sydney international terminal that can be booked without an international connection? I did see the suggestion about flying to NZ on a cheap fare but I'd prefer not to spend 8 hours crossing the ditch twice just to get to the F lounge.
 

oz_mark

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Bugger - that explains why I can't find them then!

Is there any other domestic flight that leaves from the Sydney international terminal that can be booked without an international connection? I did see the suggestion about flying to NZ on a cheap fare but I'd prefer not to spend 8 hours crossing the ditch twice just to get to the F lounge.
theres's a few around, like qf136 on saturdays
 
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