I - GETTING TO THE AIRPORT II - LANDSIDE III - AIRSIDE IV - BOARDING V - FROM APRON TO THE AIR VI - CATERING - LUNCH VII - CABIN VIII - CRUISING VIEWS IX - DESCENT AND LANDING TO JETBRIDGE X - DEBOARDING XI - IMMIGRATION/LUGGAGES/CUSTOMS XII - EXITING THE AIRPORT
I - GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
Let's put it straight forward, from my hotel room to being airside : an hour. The airport is not so far, that is for sure !
We were dropped off by a cab on the wrong side of the road so that he could leave with arriving pax directly. Okay… so we had to cross the airport road, I mean, in front of the terminal, not very courteous I think. My Amex alert shows 2:03PM so pretty much early for that flight leaving at 3:20 PM.
II - LANDSIDE
Anyway, here is the terminal (no soldiers that day)
Once again, I did use self check-in kiosk to print luggages' tags. I checked-in online the previous day so we just had to get our BPs and drop our luggages. These kiosks are definitely very easy to use.
Don't even think trespassing !
We dropped our luggages at the counter, to be honest I don't remember it but I wrote down on Notes : normal staff, a bit kind, nothing special.
Security… another story.
Well, as always, because we have a lot of annoying stuff with us to pass security (computer, camera, phones, belt, jackets…), we are always making the queues long but we are as fast as anyone could be.
I passed the detector and the lady on the other side took my bag (with camera on it) and asked me to return to the other side (what for ? no idea, It is not even the method…). So did I.
When on the other side, I asked her colleague (friendly) why did her colleague asked me to do so. She asked the first lady. I did not understand what she answered but her colleague told me It is okay, my colleague told you nothing.
Right… So I went to detector again and it rang. I asked the agent if I could go straight because I did already passed it just 10 seconds before. He refused (I can understand that) but apologized because he was as well unaware of the problem.
So I had to leave once again on the conveyor my jacket. And finally I did pass the detector for the third time and I was granted access.
All that time wasted and that stress and I have still absolutely no idea why ? Completely idiotic.
Just after that I had to pass explosive powder detector, climb with treadmills and we were ?
III - AIRSIDE (never been so happy writing a title)
Our boarding lounge, plastic chairs (and news travel). You can see on the right hand side, where the light comes from, this is a small room to store boarding business and other signs for QF and JQ.
My view for the next 1h20mins Someone did forget to aspire !
The bad thing is the terminal is almost blind. You can see this VA738 from the… café which you have to pay to go in of course. Well… I should stop talking.
Back in front of our boarding gate, number 9 as you can see, no delay scheduled yet (but with QF it seems obvious)
We were called for boarding 10 minutes after scheduled boarding time. The employees told us we were going to have a 20mins delay due to the previous flight's late arrival. I'll survive.
IV - BOARDING
Because I was first in front of the counter I could take my time to shoot with my iPhone (I thought I wouldn't be able to use camera as the terminal was blind, so I was wrong).
I don't want to make a mistake about press… I think there was not, but I don't recall my blitz passing on jetbridge.
And surprise, can you guess who owns the tail above the jetbridge ?
Another one for the road
Our beast is VH-NXQ
V - FROM APRON TO THE AIR
Yep, a Philippines Airlines A320 RP-C86II
My view for the next two hours or so
Yield is about 30 to 40%, pretty comfy. A lot of 3 seats rows are available if you are tempted by sleep on this short haul.
Door was closed at 3:56 PM and we started pushback just two minutes later.
Toll 733 in the distance
Damn, missed this one with the special livery
VH-VUY, VA 738
Failed this one as well, VH-QQY, Alliance F70, this is not my day^^
Much better, from the rear (If I may say…)
Metroliners and EMB 120 for Airnorth
A QF738 lands when Philippines' A320 taxies to Rwy 11
We have to cross the runway to get to the holding point, no traffic in sight !
Now you see why I am at row 18… the sound ! The concerto should I say. When you pay a sale fare like I did, anyway, you are seated at the back, so you might as well try and enjoy it !
Positive rate of climb, gear up please !
It is our turn
When we got to our cruise level the captain did introduce himself and apologized for the delay.
He said he did not introduced himself earlier to try and gain time. He said we should land at 5:40PM instead of 5:20. He did manage to limit the delay by 16 minutes, huge improvement for a 2hr flight.
VI - CATERING - LUNCH
I think that it is a very good point to offer pax lunch on such a short flight, furthermore when it is a 3:20PM flight. And it doesn't stop there.
It was rice chicken, asian meal, with some vegetables and tasty sauce
Why the hell did I show you the ended tray ? Because it was my second meal !
This was actually the first time I ever tried to get a second meal, and I did get it with smiles.
Our male FA was very courteous and happy to help, professionnal as always. It is him who scanned our BPs at boarding inside the terminal.
I am so glad having chosen QF, you don't even imagine. Especially because food in Australia is not that abundant, and I was hungry all the time. So… this is a huge satisfaction for me.
VII - CABIN
I like these seats
Brand new safety card
Clean toilets but so noisy near to the RR engines ! Toilets are indeed only at the back
VIII - CRUISING VIEWS
Unfortunately, no flightshow and no IFE so, I can't tell you where we are
IX - DESCENT AND LANDING TO JETBRIDGE
At the beggining of the descent, I had to call the FAs for them to pick up the tray. I don't think they forgot it, it is in my mind just because they did not want to put me in a rush.
Beautiful almost-kiss landing at ASP while sun was fading over MacDonnell Range that are 800 000 000 years old.
X - DEBOARDING
Smooth deboarding as it was not a crowded flight. One of the FA was at the bottom of the stairs and waving goodbye to pax. I just asked for a last picture and said the aircraft was a beauty.
XI - IMMIGRATION/LUGGAGES/CUSTOMS
ASP is a very lovable airport, it doesn't feel like it is pared-down. It is even what we can call 'modern' design.
XII - EXITING THE AIRPORT
Exit by cab, sufficient cabs for the airport size. I ran to them as I did not want to risk DRW's experience at dawn, it can get very cold in winter. Around 0°C for instance.
Darwin - DRW
Alice Springs - ASP
QF : Comfort top notch, a marvellous sound, even if some of you would perhaps hate that Crew : really professionnal and helpful plus I got a second meal, what more ? Captain was concerned about arriving on time, a final 20 minutes late, not dreadful, 1/6th of the flight duration. The score should be 8.34/10 but we can't so I'll stay on 9
DRW : upset about the security lady Access by cab is not courteous Service : nothing terrible, just a café with sandwiches on the departure lounge side and a real café next to the VA 738, paying for a view when you leave thousands AUD in a country you visit... you see what I mean
ASP is a modern airport and luggages arrived fast (no traffic at that moment)
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You must not travel to the US frequently, that security experience sounds like nothing compared to TSA. They'd give you a full cavity search ;)
I never knew QF had B717s, they looked well maintained and the pitch is good, it was in the standard 2-3 configuration?
Catering definitely looks good on this flight, and it sounds like you had a great crew. I've never asked for a second meal before, but with the low load it's not surprising they had leftovers and were happy to give you another (they would just get trashed anyways).
Never flew to the US, I mean, one to YYZ (AF356 /B744 - French FR) did land at Niagara Falls because of the temporary closure of YYZ but we stayed onboard.
They are well maintained yes, better than their old 738s it seems. They were retrofitted in 2011 or 2012 idk so the cabins were quite new. All the 712 are around 14yo and operated by the subsidiary QF Link, mine was an ex-TWA/AA/JQ... It was the standard 2-3 yes !
Indeed, that is because of the low yield I asked for a 2nd meal but on the CNS-SYD, it was full and I got one anyway.
Sometimes, even if it goes to trash, FAs can refuse to serve, which appears to be weird because trash is not the best option for food but it can be easier for them if they have to heat one or two again!
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