Tanami Desert and a jaded P1 | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Tanami Desert and a jaded P1

juddles

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Hello all,

have decided to attempt a Trip Report for what is for me an unusual trip. It is a domestic thing (ie within Australia), where I am flying down to Adelaide to meet up with a friend with whom I am doing a desert driving expedition.

In advance, I write lengthy posts. If you just want short things, stay away from here😊

I think I will focus specifically on those two main areas here, being the domestic flights, and the actual desert trip. I think that both these may have some interest for fellow AFF members – and at the end of the day, if something is not of interest, you can just ignore it. But having said that, some of the most unbelievably good info I have got from this site is because someone has posted their real life experiences on some trip that interests me.

I had asked some questions in another thread on the desert part – and as is the norm, some members appeared with specific and non-commercial (ie true) opinions and advice. I love that.

Anyway, getting down to details:

  • the flight part is both simple and not so. I will be flying with QF from MCY (Sunshine Coast – Qld) to Adelaide via Sydney. Same return. I am doing this in Y, but as a P1. I hope to clearly reflect on what that is like, as an experience. There are many that aspire to high status, but I suspect in advance that the actual experience for me will be not dissimilar to just anyone who buys a Y ticket. For those that wish to try to work out the nitty gritty on the whole QF system, such as customer value etc, then I offer the following data points: Although I am P1, I got the “sh__ts” with QF over a particular matter last year, and have sworn off them. Apart from a single overseas trip six months ago that was booked before the “incident” that I had to do, I have not bought another QF ticket. I also cancelled several long-haul overseas trips in J. So I assume I am at the bottom of their value list. Due to still-held status I selected seat 4A for both flights down and both back. Let’s see what it really means to have such exorbitant status…….
  • as for the desert part, this is not relevant to some airline travel discussion, but I think I can make it fun enough for those that just enjoy a laugh. My friend and I are outfitting a Landcruiser (plus trailer) for a desert retreat in comfort. Our aim is to get to nowhere – ie the isolated places. We have invested an obscene amount in modern tech to make this fun – from endless fridge space to even a pie warmer. The probable itinerary is Adelaide – Coober Pedy – Alice – Tanami Track – Halls Creek - Kununurra – Top Springs – back down to Alice – Finke – Oodnadatta – Adelaide. But knowing my friend we may just settle near Woomera for the couple of weeks …..


This voyage starts Wed 9th October. I will attempt to update TR each day, but clearly there will also be many days without internet.

Further background is that I was born in Woomera – not many people suffered that. I also lived in Alice and Tennant Creek as a kid – this was many decades ago and this is the first time I have returned.

Beyond the silly stuff I will no doubt post, there is also the background that I think that these days so many people explore overseas when there is so much to discover in our own backyard. For every Aussie that has seen the sunset at Ayers Rock, there are 47 that have been to Bali. (yes, I just invented that stat, but I think it is probably correct)

Anyways, enjoy or ignore 😊
 

Matt_01

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@juddles I will check in to see how your travels are going. I will be travelling back to ADL on 10 Oct (in the evening) and if your are still in the Adelaide area on 11 Oct I will make time available for a beer or 2.
 

juddles

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@juddles I will check in to see how your travels are going. I will be travelling back to ADL on 10 Oct (in the evening) and if your are still in the Adelaide area on 11 Oct I will make time available for a beer or 2.
Matt_01, I arrive in ADL late 9th, and we do not get the hired trailer till the 12th (departing that night), so I will definitely be in Adelaide the 11th.
 

Matt_01

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I will send you my details via PM. I can most likely change my flights and put out a call for an ADL AFF late notice drinks for next week.
 

kookaburra75

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I'll be following along with great interest. I spent a lot of time and km's in The Kimberley and Central Australia in the 80's and early 90's as a Surveyor and haven't been back since. It will be nice to see what the places look like now as MrsK and I are planning some domestic trips over the next few years.
 

juddles

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Just some info on the flights. For those that want to have a data point on P1 booking in sale Y.

I booked these flights as a Red E-deal a while back. The fare bucket is Q. Selected 4A for both flights, which I assume is not available early to other status?? Just checked the flights via MMB and looked at seat availability: (this is about T - 40 hrs)

Sunshine Coast to Sydney:

seats MCY to SYD.png

And likewise, the Sydney to Adelaide leg:

seats SYD to ADL.png

Others would have far greater ability to understand these things, but so far I am confident I have not been bumped from my chosen seats. The seat next to me is still "available', but as it is me looking, I do not know if they are blocked to others (the notion of a "shadow")

I cannot be bothered looking via expertflyer at available seats (load factor) in J. If I get any upgrades I will advise, but on these short flights it is no big thing for me. There is a belief that P1's get on average a 1 in 10 chance of a freebie upgrade. That roughly correlates to my experiences. But these are given at the gate. I know this is knitpicking, but I would far more enjoy an upgrade on the second of two flights - just so I am not reminded on the first how crap the second will be :)

I also have a habit of respecting the person next to me and their privacy (ie I dont talk to them other than a "G'Day") but I will try to engage in conversation and find out who actually gets the chair next to me in row 4 at the last minute. Probably, as many of us suspect, that it is the late joiner with zero status.

A bonus for me on this trip is that it will be the first time I fly from MCY (Sunshine Coast) Adding yet another airport is a plus for the FF nerds amongst us :)
 

juddles

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Have done online checkin, but just for interests sake, these are the seat maps at this point (T-14hrs) :

MCY (Sunshine Coast) to SYD:


mcy syd.png


And SYD to ADL:

syd to adl.png

What is perhaps most clear here is that the MCY - SYD flight is chockers - no expectation of getting a P1 upgrade there :) But still at this stage appear to have the seat next to me vacant, despite all the next few rows suddenly filled. Some may interpret this as a shadow. Hence that concept survives in the realms of FF religion :)
 

opusman

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You got row 4 and didn't get bumped to no allocated seat because a P1/CL wanted your seat at the last minute, dunno what you're complaining about ;)
 

juddles

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You got row 4 and didn't get bumped to no allocated seat because a P1/CL wanted your seat at the last minute, dunno what you're complaining about ;)
I am certainly not complaining - but I would if a fellow P1 bumped me :) That would be EVIDENCE that Qantas has some sort of customer value matrix that they use, that could explain why another P1 was more valued than me.

Anyway, my aim in the flight side of this travel report is to try to give the most specific info and experiences I can. At this point in time the detail is that yes, as a P1 I was able to select row 4. And that I have not been bumped.

I think an interesting data point will probably arise tomorrow - as I am almost certain that the seat next to me will be filled. This will add weight to the perception that "shadows" or front row seats end up getting taken by late-arriving zero-status people. Thus destroying the benefit that could be felt from having that shadow to start with...

And to be clear - I have no sense of ownership of that seat next to me - the concept of shadows is something that I have absolutely no belief in - I think it may be something that is an unpublished benefit that QF attempt at some sort of software level, but that is equally completely overridden by the power of checkin/airport staff to ignore as they fit the last few pax into available seats......
 

opusman

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It's similar to the problem where row 1 is often filled by low-status ODU upgraders from the QP whereas a mere WP such as myself can only get row 2 :)
 

juddles

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It's similar to the problem where row 1 is often filled by low-status ODU upgraders from the QP whereas a mere WP such as myself can only get row 2 :)
opusman, If we are ever on a flight together, where I rejoice in row 1 but you, as a "mere WP", are trapped way back in row 2, I will gladly invite you to come and visit me so you can also bask in the glory of a row forward :)

But that better happen soon - my days left of P1 are exactly 82. Then I will have to suffer the reality of second row.
 

juddles

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Well, the trip has begun! :)

Currently in the SYD lounge awaiting connection to ADL.

This morning was a bit rough at Sunshine Coast (MCY) airport - this is a small place, and due to a couple of delayed Jetstar flights, it was essentially standing-room only in the departure area.

Most people think that there is no Qantas lounge in MCY, but there is a secret garden lounge probably only known to CL's and P1's. So I headed there to escape the masses.......

garden lounge.jpg
 

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