Trip Report - QF BNE/MEL/BNE + Celebrity Pax

Not open for further replies.


Jun 20, 2002
Date: Wed, 13 August 2003 Between: BNE/MEL Rego: VH-VXN (737-800)
Airline: Qantas (QF) Flight Number: (originally) QF611, eventual QF609
STD: 8.50am QF611 ATD: 9.13pm on QF 609
Seating: 24J (Economy) originally on QF611, 11K on QF609

Prior to Check-in: As soon as I woke this morning (6.30am) and walked out to see the fog (I live only 4kms from the airport), I thought that I might be starting the day with a delayed flight. Getting to the airport at 8.25am (heavy traffic), I walked straight to the Quick Check kiosk on the ground floor.

Check-in: After inserting my FF card and seeing the flight time come up a 9.20am, I smiled wryly and took a look at the check-in queues - Y was 5 layers deep and J/QC lines were probably about 25-30 pax. I thanked the fact that I had decided to take carry-on only for this overnight trip. Being 105 in sequence to check-in, the QCheck had allocated me 24J (in Y) and when reviewing what else was available, was happy with its choice (it had correctly allocated forward aisle). Being my 2nd use of QCheck, I was finding it better than some CS staff :roll: .

Qantas Club: As I walked past Gate 22, I heard the announcement that BNE airport had just re-opened for arriving aircraft, then I fully understood the enomity of how this was going to cascade through QF's scheduling for the day. Of the 36 departing flights on the screens, 35 were delayed, many by 30 to 60 minutes. Upon entering QC, it was akin to Friday afternoon loads - full to overflowing. Finding a seat was impossible, so I parked myself at one of the high stool at the bar opposite the main seating area.

When I heard the boarding call for the delayed QF609 BNE/MEL, I thought I'd stroll up to the CS Desk to see whether there were any spare seats and whether they would transfer me (having a K class fare with no checked baggage). The CSA understood my question before I had finished and had my new BP re-printed in 20 seconds (now seated in 11K on QF609). He reminded me that it was on final call, then proceeded to make an announcement to any other available paxs with carry-on only who would like to avail themselves of the earlier departing flight. Had to grab my bags and hot foot it to Gate 20 (at the outer pod of gates, thankfully close to the QC). Sequence number was now 93.

Boarding: Only realised upon boarding that I was seated at the window, but I thought "what the, who cares...". It was nice to have a spare seat beside me and be directly over the RH engine with views.

Crew were Capt Greg Bye, F/O Lars Larssen, CSD Tony Mason and FA's in Y were Trudi, Simone, Dominic, Patrea and Jodie. Push back was at 9.02am.

Sitting at Gate 19 was QantasLink jet VH VQD (I think off to ROK, but not sure). Because of the delays, the original crew for this flight (coming off another inbound SYD flight which had been diverted to OOL) didn't show, so QF had managed to find a reserve crew. Flight load was probably 85% in Y.

Capt Bye announced that we were number 3 in sequence for takeoff on Runway 01, heading south past the Gold Coast and would be flying lower than normal to try and make up as much time as possible (this flight was meant to depart at 8.05am). He gave an estimated travel time of 1hr55mins. This was probably the best announcement I've heard to date on a domestic QF flight - clearly spoken, easy to hear (without straining) and cheerful.

Breakfast was served at 9.25am, despite changing flights Patrea had found a special meal loaded for a pax that hadn't boarded (much thanks to Ms S Dvorak) which consisted of Kellogs Just Right, a Speedibake Fruit Bun, small mandarin, Devondale 99.9% fat-free No Cholesterol Milk, Berri OJ and a Cenovis Energy (Vitamins B&C) citrus-flavoured tablet. The tray was collected at 9.50am and left me plenty of time to leaf through the Australia I had brought on board and write up my notes for this report. Hit first turbulence at 10.45am as we closed in on MEL (Capt had commented it was overcast in MEL when leaving BNE, so understandable). Was intriguing to then see out my window, 2 other aircraft one tracking slightly lower and to the right and the other higher.

Capt came back on over the PA to announce that we were descending, landing to the west on Runway 27 and expected to arrive at 11.20am (approximately the STA of my original flight).

Cabin crew were excellent, checking numerous connections for paxs (including advising them of gates) and acted very professionally. Landed at 11.12am and parked at Gate 2, sliding past VH OJO and VH OJT at other Gates.

Walked straight out of the terminal onto the 11.30am Skybus City Service ($13) and when looking back at the taxi rank, thought I'd probably saved $40 and 10-20 minute. Got to Spencer Street Terminus at 11.50am and hopped across to the waiting taxi rank and headed to 101 Collins Street for a day and a half of meetings. The fare was around $15, so I saved myself $$ and time by choosing this option.

Date: 14 August 2003 Between: MEL/BNE Seat - 13D, Economy
Airline: Qantas (QF) Flight Number: QF626 Plane Rego: VH-VYH (737-800)
STD: 4.05pm ATD: 4.05pm

After finishing my client meetings, I opted to do the taxi to Spencer Street Station and the Skybus to Dom Terminal again - made it to the airport in 25 minutes, arriving at 3.25pm. I was booked on QF630 at 6.35pm and hoped to get an earlier flight (plus brownie points with my fiancee, this being my final trip before our wedding on 30 August).

Check-in/Qantas Club: Went straight to QC, showed my Plat Card at Reception then lined up at the CS desk. 4 people were ahead of me, but with 4 CSA's behind the desk, so only took a couple of minutes. Tanya listened to my story and looked at the loads on the 4.05pm service (I'd already phoned QF Res an hour before and knew there were plenty of seats available). She handed me my BP for the desired flight. I decided to wander around the MEL QC lounge as I hadn't walked around all of it before - usually insufficient time before boarding. Bumped into Matthew Hayden (opening batsman of the Australian Cricket Team), on his way back from playing overseas.

Boarding: I didn't note what Gate we used, but boarding was on time. Crew were Capt Chris Newnham, F/O Mike ??, CSD Cherie, F/A's in Y - Stewart, Mark, Simone and Christine.

I had lucked it in again, another favourite 737-800 with an over-wing exit seat. The leg room at this row is enormous and I noted that 4 of us were all over 6' tall. Saw Matt Hayden sit down in 10B and that gave some paxs around him a bit of a thrill.

On-board: Push back was at 4pm and we must have been number 1 in sequence on our runway as we took off at exactly 4.05pm. Capt announced that we were climbing through 22K feet on our way to cruising altitude of 42K. The flight path took us over Wagga Wagga, Casino, Gold Coast and into Brisbane with an ETA of 6pm. Cherie then announced that the IFE was unserviceable so there were some unhappy paxs on board (what, like missing a repeat episode of Kath and Kim really matters??). At least it was a post 4pm departure, so serving free beer and wine headed off too many complaints. I spoke to Cherie on her way past and it seemed that it had been u/s since the AM flights (screens weren't even coming down). She then came down with the daily papers and I scored the last Age.

Snack Service commenced at 4.25pm with Santos Fruit & Nuts, Temptation Bakeries Apricot & Almond Slice, Water and I asked for a mini bottle of Lindeman's Bin 50 Shiraz 2002. Trays collected at 4.50pm. Fairly quiet and uneventful balance of the flight, landing at BNE on time and taxiing to the Gate 24.
Not open for further replies.