I - GETTING TO THE AIRPORT II - LANDSIDE III - AIRSIDE IV - BOARDING V - FROM APRON TO THE AIR VI - CATERING - LIGHT VII - CABIN VIII - CRUISING VIEWS IX - DESCENT AND LANDING TO PARKING X - DEBOARDING XI - TRANSFER TO QF1854
I - GETTING TO THE AIRPORT
We had to meet other frenchies at the airport before midday but it was too early for us and indeed we couldn't be there.
We left the DoubleTree/Hilton at 12:15 PM and arrived 15 minutes later at ASP.
II - LANDSIDE
I couldn't use my favorite check-in kiosk 'cause there was not !
We went to the counter (5 minutes wait) where a 'normal' employee took our luggages.
Actually, she asked for my ID to find my booking even if I already told her the number (I memorized it, being the same for all my QF flights except the last one) and it was the first time ever I was asked for my ID in Australia (apart from the border obviously) !
It was so fast I forgot to ask for our seats to be changed cause we were not side by side and without windows for the QF1854 ! Lèse-majesté.
At that point, you should imagine the ton of paper I took back at home flying with QF…
Here it is :
This one took me a while^^
Security… fast and normal like anywhere in the world, this time ^^
Explosive powder detector again.
III - AIRSIDE
At 12:50PM we are airside, we will board gate ?
9… I'm a subscriber to Cloud number 9 !
We are seated in comfy but used chairs, there is a need to change them.
Before boarding, as we had a lot of time to kill, I went to the QF assistance desk and asked to a rather unfriendly staff to change my seats assignments.
She looked at her screen with my informations and told me that I should ask that rather at AYQ because they'll have, listen to that, a much clearer view… LOL !
Let me put an end to the suspense, the next flight was in fact 100% full and no seat was available, I am sure she did see that on her screen but had no intention telling me about it ! Bad point here. And I am sure she did as well know that the counters would be closed because they use the same employees to do check-in and boarding, my previous flight arriving just 30 minutes before the next one…
Furthermore, when I booked the flights on April, I did contact QF via Twitter to ask them a seat assignment on that flight and they answered me back that it was not possible due to operational requirements.
Well, all the other pax traveling by 2 or 3 were together on QF1854 so… Operational requirements ? Really ?
Back to QF1941
IV - BOARDING
We were called on time and I was first, at beggining, but as you may have seen here or anywhere else, because some people have no education at all, I ended up second, which is not too bad. I'd rather laugh at it, we will board the same aircraft, just the pictures won't be as perfect as I would have imagined.
Orange, purple and grey, colors of no education !
Our aircraft is VH-NXO, a QF 712, no surprise !
We live to take these pictures…
V - FROM APRON TO THE AIR
It is impossible being closer to the engine (I did it on purpose of course)
Take off. You can see QF did store their 763ER here at ASP, decommissionned of course.
VI - CATERING - LIGHT
Something wrong here.
On QF website, a lunch was scheduled on the flight. Instead, we got a water bottle. Did not understand that one.
But on the other hand, on the next flight, a meal was provided and it was mid-afternoon, so maybe the booking system did it wrong because on the QF1854, no meal was scheduled.
Still, could be worse.
VII - CABIN
VIII - CRUISING VIEWS
Better than a map, isn't it ?
I have the feeling being near the edge of space, flying Concorde or Space Shuttle
IX - DESCENT AND LANDING TO PARKING
Landing (actually, the end of the climb, part of the cruise and landing)
We can say AYQ is really Uluru's airport, they couldn't build it closer !
We arrived five minutes before schedule, the advantage is I couldn't miss the transit flight even if this one had a 4hr delay !
X - DEBOARDING
'cause the only aircraft at AYQ is mine
XI - TRANSFER TO QF1854
AYQ is pared-down compared to ASP but still there are a few shops just to occupy a few minutes.
No transfer zone, meaning you have to pass through security again before being airside, but it is frankly a short walk. The main issue is the boarding gate is so small, being the last ones we had no seats and it was very noisy.
When I told the QF employee about the seats, she then informed me that the flight was a 100% full… God damn I did not yet know who my back row neighbors would be like.
Talking like mills. Indeed, they started talking at boarding and just never stopped till luggage claim carousel !!
Headache 15 minutes into the flight and I had not enough power to do the FR… I just wanted silence ! Once the seatbelt sign got off, I rushed to my bag stored in the overhead compartment, grabed my headset and kept it till landing at CNS, that is to say.
Meal was excellent as always and the FAs stayed friendly. The male FA asked me if I wanted a drink with the meal, seeing I was in pain with the noise, I declined and so he told me that if I wanted one finally, just to call him and he'll do.
Nice touch which seems to represent the overall QF commercial training.
Alice Springs - ASP
Ayers Rock - AYQ
QF, well, I did already wrote a ton of congrats so just a thing. I punish them for being wrong on the website because if I did not take the transit flight, I would have count on them to eat and I would have been disappointed.
No IFE but for that short range aircraft it doesn't matter really.
Upset about the lack of transit zone at AYQ as well, even if the lady at security seemed very friendly.
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Those engines sure are noisy!
Thanks about your FR ! And nice pictures about Ayer's rock
You're welcome! Pictures from the ground are way better, it is not really a scenic flight unfortunately :)
Thanks for this series and the cool tour of Australia! Seeing these reports gets me excited for my trip Down Under in the few months! I'm surprised that since you were sitting in the back the noise of the engines didn't drown out the lound Italians, LOL, they must have been really really lound. It's kind of a shame to transit in AYQ, I would want to stay and see Ayers rock. Though I imagine besides Ayers Rock, there may not be much else to do there. I've been looking at trying to work a one-night trip to AYQ into my Australia/New Zealand Holiday. Will probably stay more on the East coast ...Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane etc. Thanks for sharing!
I am sure you'll enjoy it! For the transit flight, QF1854, I was seated at row 11, not at the back like on this FR, though, even if the engines are way behind the noise is still important due to the wing's location that doesn't cut off the whistling sound of the wind. But you don't hear the engines. So, basically, you expect a bit of silence ^^
In fact, I did not explain the booking part for the QF flights but, I had to choose between ASP/CNS (leaving too late on the afternoon and arriving at 8:30PM something) or ASP/AYQ/CNS (leaving earlier and arriving 2hrs before at CNS). So I took this option ASP/AYQ/CNS because it was the same price, and it gave me the opportunity to fly twice instead of just once more (more miles for BA AND QF btw). Aviation virus...
This is a bit weird, I know but, I took a Day Tour from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock and Kata Tjuta (Emu Run Tours, small very friendly company with BBQ in Uluru). Why? because the hotel fare at AYQ is quite expensive (if you don't want dormitories) and if you add the ASP/AYQ alone, the 2 transfers, the room price difference between AYQ (aprox. 238€) and the Double Tree ASP (aprox. 100€)... you end up with a very expensive option! To see the same things! A lot of french like us did that. Of course, if you do, expect a whopping 1.100km road trip in one day, like 6AM/11:45PM. You'll do a lot on the ground but that is very long I can understand that.
In AYQ, you have Uluru of course and Kings Canyon as well, but I did not see it so, can't tell you about. I haven't been yet in MEL, BNE or ADL, maybe in another trip :P
Thanks for your comment, I wish you a nice trip down there :)
Ah yes, that makes sense. I generally tend to do connecting itineraries too for the extra miles, and for the fun of flying an extra plan...unless I'm in a rush, that is. The important thing is that you got to see Ayers Rock!
You are right, I was looking at hotels in the town near Ayers Rock (Yulara, I think) and the prices are all ridiculous...most are over $300/night. Thanks for the information!
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