Trip Report - BNE/SYD/BNE + Hotel

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Jun 20, 2002
Sorry it has taken me so long to organise these trip reports (organising a marriage will do it to you!).

Date: 17 July 2003 Between: BNE/SYD Sequence = 216
Airline: Qantas (QF) Flight Number: QF525 Plane Rego: VH-ZXG
ETD: 12.10pm ATD: 12.15pm

Check-in: Was dropped at the airport, so wandered into Check in at the Business Class line. Nobody ahead of me, so Shiraz (male CSA) had my BP ready in les than minute - given 27J (2nd row, main Y cabin) on 767/300ER (according to I was lucky to get a seat, having to invoke the Platinum Guarantee to get a full Y seat.

Qantas Club: tried for an On Departure Upgrade (ODU) but the CSA at the Service Desk smiled an advised it was a full flight. don't know why I tried for an ODU, what a waste of points. Checked out the business Centre and got online to another Bulletin Board (FlyerTalk).

Boarding: As I walked to Gate 24, it became obvious why it was a full flight - J was full of the losing State of Origin Football team and Sophie Monk (sometimes starlet). Looked around but couldn't see an empty seat in Y. Also, the plane wasn't as I thought - it had become a 767/338.

Crew were Capt Greg Menzies, F/O Steve Heath, F/A's in J - Liz (Purser) and Gina; FA's in Y - Fiona , Rachel, Kellie-Anne, Adam, Loretta & Paul. Capt announced that one aircraft ahead of us on runway, take off was to the south, tracking to the Gold Coast, Armidale and Hunter Valley down to Sydney. Flight time est 70 mins.

The negative about 27J in a 767/228 (I found out - change of aircraft suck!) that there was no window, so missed seeing which runway (but presume 01).

Lunch Service was with the new tray and began at 12.30pm. My special meal turned up: foccacia with ham, avocado & sundried tomato; water and a ripe banana - while other pax got beef with salad sandwich, water and small Mars bar. Trays cleared at 12.50pm. I chatted with FA Fiona (who I found out was getting married in October - well you notice these things being an engaged man).

Decent started at 1.08pm and F/O announced that subject to ATC, an on schedule arrival was expected at terminal 1.40pm. Actual touchdown was 1.32pm and taxied to GAte 3. Parked at Gate 2 was VH OGB and Gate 4 was VH EAQ.

Baggage Claim: was relatively swift, by the time I had collected the regos of the planes beside and got down the escalators, the bags were coming out. Collected mine and took the escalators to the train, which I boarded at 1.55pm.

HOTEL: 4 Points Darling Harbour

As this was my final stay for the 5 for 50,00 Points promotion by SPG, I was eagerly awaiting the stay. It started out badly, as Raj on Front Desk didn't know the promotion details for Internet Bookings (my rate included breakfast for 2). As always, I had the SPD Confirmation print-out, so I asked for Amanda (Duty Manager) who confirmed everything was correct for that package and finalised my check-in details. Raj disappeared...

Room 170: Well, IMHO, never ask for or accept this room. It's on the first floor (Business Centre & Meeting Rooms), but there is no numbering onthe walls to direct you. I had to ask a cleaner. It's right at the RH end of the corridor, on top of the Expressway but surprisingly little noise (good soundproofing). It's a small room, 2 single beds, marbe bathroom. large desk, view views (??) across the expressway to Darling Harbour and coughle Bay shopping and dining precinct.

Breakfast: Beautiful buffet breakfast, time to read my Fin Review and leisurely eat. Wanted to check that it hadn't been billed, so checked out manually through Front esk, where the Duty Manager Tanya took only 2 mins to ask the dutiful Question (had anything from the Mini Bar - NO!!), re-collect my CC, debit it and print out the Statement. One of the quickest exits I've had from that Front Desk. Impressed!

Date: 18 July 2003 Between: SYD/BNE Sequence = ???
Airline: Qantas (QF) Flight Number: QF530 Plane Rego: VH-YXA
ETD: 2.10pm ATD: 2.12pm

After meeting with clients in SYD this morning, late cancellation of meetings in CBR this afternoon meant that for the first time in history, I had to re-route myself back to BNE instead of CBR/BNE that night. Thankful for being Plat, I rang and spoke to Katrina (QF Res HBT, overflow from QF Prem Desk Camberwell) who firstly pushed out my dates on my SYD/CBR and CBR/BNE flights (that I had no doubt I'd take in the near future, thankfully K & H fares) and secondly created a new booking for SYD/BNE. I rang my TA in BNE who e-ticketed the booking straight away. At such late notice, the only K fare was available on 5.35pm flight, so chose H fare on the 2.10pm. Said goodbye to clients and hot-footed it to Wynard Station (thankfully, not far away on George Street where I was). Caught the train at 12.50pm and arrived at Domestic Terminal at 1.03pm (love SYD for this reason).

Check-in: Walked up and arrived at Business Class line at 1.06pm, with 3 people ahead in line. CSA Joanne was extremely efficient (I was organised with my Plat card and Drivers Licence ready), so in less than a minute had by BP for seat 6C on my flight. Took the security queue head-on 915 to 20 long) but was able to bypass as most of them were taking out laptops.

Qantas Club: Rocked up to the QC East Reception to find Maria Basile (a cousin of a good friend of mine in BNE) on duty, we recognised one another from previous meetings here and had a brief chat until other paxs arrived. Walked in and turned right, heading for the Business Centre. Grabbed some bread, feta and hommus from the servery (as I hadn't eaten); found a spare computer and logged onto FT. Boarding call was made at 1.45pm and waved to Maria as I disappeared down the escalator.

Boarding: Gate 3 had commenced boarding and had a 737-800 taking me home. Gate 4 was QF542 on Final Call to MEL (didn't get rego)

Crew were Capt Phillips, F/O Peter Stirling, F/A's in J - Sharon Parkes (Purser); FA's in Y - Katrina and Debra (in my section).

Push back was at 2pm and had a long traxi to runway, but with nobody ahead of us we took off on time. Banked left then right, had a beautiful view of northern beaches. F/O didn't give too many details other than flight time of 65 mins and scheduled early arrival by 15 mins.

Afternoon Tea service was pretty standard fare: Apricot slice with water for other paxs, mine wasn't available (due to the short notice of flight), but they had one with fruit and soy milk, so I decided to try rather than starve. Served at 1.25pm and cleared at 1.45pm. Snack Boc featured the Alison Curry design.

Laughed at the in-flight entertainment with a QF expose presented by Deborah Hutton (the ageless face of QF) with Peter Morrisey on the new uniforms (trying to justify how he charged QF mega-bucks to come up with black and white uniform ("because it had never been done before" and "everybody looks good in it").

Touched down at 3.16pm and was hard on the brakes. Arrived at Gate 23 on time and hit the baggage claim at 3.25pm. Went straight home to my fiance (to get brownie points :D :wink: )
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