This week’s trip report is light on words but heavy on detail, thanks to our member having taken the time to video his experience and post the content for us to enjoy. Featuring a journey to South Africa, they were lucky enough to be travelling in Premium Economy. The path the aircraft took, travelling over Antartica, also resulted in some stunning scenery most don’t get to see without taking one of those special charters we often see around Christmas time.

Being such a long flight, the videos soon brought back memories for our readers, both good and bad.

Your TR brought back lots of memories, but when we went there was no Premium Economy and as we were travelling with relatives we were in Economy. It was a loooooong flight! I know there was one meal and a “snack bag” with an apple and some lollies or similar – pretty poor pickings. I reckon PE would make it a lot better! I remember the excitement of seeing Antarctica and the feeling of being a million miles from anywhere.

Greatly enjoyed the videos – thanks. I don’t recall ever flying across Antarctica when I flew to Johannesburg, but that was about 15 years ago, the last time.

Fortunately for our trip reporter, it seems things have changed over the years for the better. While the aircraft may be the same, the meal service has improved with the introduction of Premium Economy to the offerings. No doubt having something to look at outside the window also helped to make time fly.

Yeah we had two decent meals and one or two snacks. Seeing Antarctica was almost a highlight for the whole trip. It was amazing to think that you were flying upside-down underneath the world. You do feel very isolated too, and I must admit I felt a lot more comfortable being in a trusty old 747 (rather than a newer A380 or even a 787) considering the nearest airports were essentially Melbourne or Durban (not sure if the latter is 747-friendly).

It’s worth pointing out to those thinking about booking this flight that views of Antartica are by no means guaranteed. Airlines like Qantas invest heavily in planning resources for flights that take advantage of the route that offers the best economics when it comes to fuel and flight time. For Sydney to South Africa, the route flown can vary widely from day to day. Sometimes on departure the aircraft will head south, making Antarctic views a possibility. Other days, it will head in the direction of Perth, well away from the cold south. Sites like flightaware.com can give you a good historical guide to the routes flown by most flights in recent times, just key in the flight number.

Have you taken the long trip with Qantas to South Africa, or are thinking of doing one soon, why not head over to our trip report of the week for a visual feast HERE.

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