CDG/NRT on AF, december 14th 2015, business class, no report NRT/NOU on Aircalin, december 15th, business class, no report Nouméa Magenta/Ile des Pins on Air Calédonie december 19th: no report but onward journey of the following Ile des Pins/Nouméa Magenta on Air Calédonie december 20th,http://flight-report.com/fr/report-13147.html NOU/AKL on Air Calin, december 22nd, business class, http://flight-report.com/fr/report-13154.html (in french only) Christchurch/Wellington, Air New Zealand january 12th, 2016, coach class, no report Wellington/AKL january 17th, Air New Zealand, coach class, http://flight-report.com/fr/report-13163.html AKL/Melbourne january 21st, Air New Zealand, business class, http://flight-report.com/fr/report-13188.html Melbourne/SYD january 26th, Qantas, coach class, no report SYD/Canton january 31st, China Southern, business class, That's here! CAN/CDG february 1st China Southern, business class, no report.
The last leg reported was this excellent flight from AKL to MEL on NZ business class; after a few days in Melbourne, see bonus here below, we flew to Sydney; nothing special on that QF flight which I did not report, but I give you some information and pictures hereafter.
We take the airport bus at the bus terminal which is just across the street opposite to our home in Melbourne; very convenient, fast and fairly cheap way to get to the airport on time; QF domestic terminal main lobby seems very basic and rather empty; lots of self check in machines and hardly any QF staff, whereas NZ who has lots of self check in devices has always several staff members around, just in case; anyway we manage to get our BP and tag our cases. Security goes fast and easy, then we have miles of corridors, steps, lifts to reach our concourse and boarding room. However I do appreciate these very large windows, they are on boths sides of the concourse.
I like public telephones too; with usb ports on which you can charge your iphone battery; very convenient; and so much easier than using charger + cable + adaptor and crawl on the ground like a crocodile to reach a mains connection on the baseboard. To keep you waiting, a few pictures of this short flight MEL/SYD just over an hour; they serve cold and hot drinks and a hot pie, not exactly delicious but at least eatable if not edible.
Pitch is good
A comfortable seat with harmony of colors similar to FAs'uniforms.
Sydney is the last stop on our 7 week grand tour; on january 31st we fly back to France with a stop over and plane change in Guangzhou; we fly China Southern on both legs as it seems easier to redeem Flying Blue miles on AF Skyteam partners than on AF themselves. No comment
Once more, Uber will take us from downtown to Sydney International terminal; mostly strange and unexpected in such a large city, the highway connects downtown Sydney to the domestic terminals, and then the road goes on through a small community with a long traffic light and a queue to enter the terminal area.
Anyway we left early and get there quite on time. Smart precaution as it's very crowdy; lots of departures to south and far Asia and the middle east.
The day before I've located CZ check in area on airport website so we make our way easily.
The queue to coach check in
Priority lanes are clearly marked
And immediately a member of staff waves us; she is very pleasant and efficient; our reserved seats on the CAN/CDG leg have been cancelled…mystery…but she very quickly offers two seats abrast juts one row behind the one we had selected; she gives us full information on how to go through priority lane for security and emigration and the way to the lounge as well as transit procedures in CAN.
A little walk in the terminal to post a letter
And we enter the priority lane
Emigration is a machine; no stamp on passports! what a shame. Security lane is very long with lots of scan gates and hardly anybody so it goes as a breeze.
No duty free for us; lounge is not clearly marked but we manage; we have got to walk thru a part which is still under construction; it seems it connects the main building with a new concourse in which we'll find the Skyteam lounge and our boarding gate.
There is an Amex lounge; we could try it with our Platinum cards, but…
eventually we make up our mind and go to the Skyteam lounge
Welcomed by two young asian women (ie smiling); they tel us there will be no announcement and we shall watch the screen; this will be a major issue later.
Then you have a choice, stairs, escalator, or lift to go downstairs; the lounge has large windows airside.
This quiet and comfy place will suit us.
I've hardly ever seen so many A380 in such a short time; KE is leaving, EK is taxiing in the distance and QF will keep on arriving and departing.
Until the star of the day arries, with a view of downtown Sydney in the background.
Beautiful, isn't she?
Star of the day which took the place of just pushed back KE.
Let us get closer
I take a walk round the lounge
Restrooms No amenities, but everything brand new, and fine…
I was about to add and clean But No
Do all users have problems? Look at the floor under each urinal.
Who is amulant? the males or the toilets?
A quieter area with no direct view on the tarmac
There is a smoking room, and a relaxation room with windows and a windowless TV room.
My choice: nothing extraordinary but tasty and am starving!
More people in the lounge now with flights China Eastern, Delta, Vietnam airlines and Garuda.
Another A380 just arrived.
Time goes and the screen still shows flights much earlier than ours, and no flight in the time range of ours.
But it's now 10:55am and BP says boarding at 10:40am
But nothing on the screen. So I check on Sydney airport website, and …I see our CZ flight says: final call !!!
So we pack our things very quickly; get upstairs, tell the employees that downstairs screen does not mention our flight; they say that they know!!! I presume they knew it already when we arrived. In fact there are two screens behind them, the upper one is a replica of the downstairs screen and the lower screen shows later flights, including ours.
Fortunately, the gate is pretty close; boarding with business gangway to the upperdeck; welcome at gate; then a female FA comes to us and gives us the menu; there seems to be no drink service, but may be too late as we are the last to board and doors will be closed right behind us. Just a few minutes later FA comes back and collects the menu; very little time to make my choice or to take a picture;
Then she kneels down in the aisle to take orders.
In the meantime, I discover my seat and environment for the next 9 hours or so
Storing capacity under the footrest and between seat and window
No otoman but this footrest is very comfortable; for now I store quilt and mattress
Seat control panel is retractable
The main table
Push back on time
Time to enjoy our gifts!
And show the content
Say hello to our cousin
And a few acquaintances
That's all you have as a show, because…
Indeed, in spite of several reboot by FA and pursel herself, that's all I get all thru the flight
As a matter of fact, very long to start, then many commercial, most of them for luxury western cars, and between each, this lovely chinese ad, I could not understand what it was about, but it was nice music and picture
And though, it's a large screen when it works!!
But mine went off everytime I wanted to enter the menu
Talking about menu… Meal time, no trolley!
These hot nuts are delicious, I take apple juice as usual.
And green tea for my wife. The Virtue league is on its way!!
Brand named cutlery
Starter with delicious garlic bread which will enhance the course that was a bit too cold
If you have keen eyes you may make out the slippers I now wear.
Mushroom soup was my second choice; it's delicious; but were there some turbulences?
My choice among three main courses was lamb chops.
Maybe overdone for some people, perfect for me.
No highlight for the dessert; I choose pana cotta/passion fruit coulis
It was like the picture!
Then come fresh fruits
And, is that some kind of british influence, then comes cheese!
Without port! so after all not so british.
No tea or coffee service; well we'll do without it
I've got a very good book on ipad, and since IFE keeps off, I'll read, sleep and walk around cabin. Let us start by the restroom
A rather rude passenger?
Because it was kept very clean throughout the flight
A somehow reduced offer, but enough for me.
Let's have a look
Comfy under the quilt, but half asleep and as blurred as my picture
About 2 hours before landing then comes snack time; when orders where taken at departure time, I wihed chinese noodles, but since we were last pax to board and order, there were no more; so I selected spaghetti carbonara…
… which a wizard seems to have changed into penne bolognaise; nice one anyway.
With a nice toast supposed to go with…nothing
And then will start a very long descent towards CAN; Purser will come and thank every passenger, apologizing once more for my IFE; then we keep on going down through a long and thick layer of clouds; it will get sort of clearer just seconds before touchdown.
No spotting possible except that kind of "impression soleil couchant" as night will come soon.
A modern aircraft or Noah's ark?
Leaving the aircraft thru lower deck.
Connecting passengers are met by a CZ staff member, one for each flight; ours must have been a hiking champion because we can hardly follow her; but police control is not that far and when she sees there is a small queue and some waiting time, she waves us to come forward , to cross over the yellow line and she blocks access of other PAX to the first free counter, and here we go, last in, first served
I wonder why we have this police control for PAX transiting and staying airside only, but …this is China I suppose. Anyway, the policewoman is smiling and makes things very fast , then she invites us to take the escalator behind her to get to the lounge upstairs. All in all 7 minutes from plane to lounge.
A welcome control outside the door, and a less formal one inside; downstairs is a restaurant with a noodle bar
Upstairs, first part is sort of a narrow "tunnel"; seen here entrance side, with the terminal building in the background
Then a large atrium with glass roof and full view airside, unfortunately the pouring rain keeps on and night has come.
It's about 6:30pm and the place is rather quiet; it will be busier and very noisy later with large chinese families and misbehaving children; but it will return to quiet atmosphere from 11pm till departure time
I ask for a shower; some form to fill in, but service is quick; place is cleaned just before I use it; quite roomy space, with wardrobe for clothes, plenty of towels and hot water.
I confess I will go down three times to the noodle bar; made on request they are absolutely fantastic. I did not take pictures, and I prefer to show you a vista of the terminal building seen from upstairs
From time to time a CZ staff comes round and calls for boarding flights; I think his chinese is easier to understand than his english but he does the job. Except the two noisy hours, this long waiting time, some 7 hours, was rather comfortable in spite of a rather too cool airconditioning. We'll board at a downstairs gate, I mean ground level, which means the plane is at large and we'll take a bus; a small bus is reserved for business class; a french PAX has put all his (many) hand luggage on the available seats, and situation turns to a mess when the last passengers arrive; all the more than a CZ staff member comes with each of them with a huge umbrella, because this heavy rain still goes on. Once everyone has found a seat, we start a several mile drive around the airport; our plane to CDG was parked at a very far gate; we have to board by this steep staircase usually used by crew members, still under the somehow cumbersome but very useful umbrellas. Nice welcome onboard, biz cabin is full, warm and comfortable. I do not have dinner because of the noodles bowl in lounge; i switch the IFE on and can enjoy flight information all thru the flight…at least everytime I open an eye during this very long night flight; I wake up above Sweden, when breakfast service is about to start. After boarding I had selected chinese breakfast, which surprised the FA. There it is
Landing time, purser comes round and thanks every passenger; she asks me about my chinese breakfast, and invites me next time, to take advantage of the free stop over in Guangzhou to enjoy cantonese cuisine. We walk thru miles of dark corridors in CDG, which any human being seems to have left, before we get to immigration ; long queues but rather fast for Skypriority
Well that's all for the reports of our long trip in and from the Pacific. This report may seem a bit messy, but the QF flight did not deserve a full report I think, and the CAN/CDG leg left so late, after our long flight from Syd and long transit in CAN that I did not feel well enough to report it. Thanks for having read so far and as a reward, please enjoy the bonus!
Melbourne comes first Queen Victoria market and its fabulous delicacies department
Wonderful botanical garden
On the way back, crossing over the river and a good view of new buildings outside the CBD
Modern and old buildings seem to get on well!
As you will see, I'm fascinated by this tower
Melbourne is a city of diversity, human and architectural
Sometimes the inside is as good as the outside
Inside the library of the State of Victoria
And what do you think of this theater?
The railstation opposite seems very sober in comparison
You may use this streetcar for free, as all streetcars in and all around CBD
I told you: fascinating
But if you prefer a ride round Melbourne, go to the National gallery of Victoria, and help yourself!
A short boat trip outside Melbourne, to Williamstown
Lovely early 20th century houses
Melbourne CBD from Williamstown
It's not la vie en rose in the ancient docks.
Did I say Melbourne or Yorkshire? Captain Cook's place was shipped from UK to Fitzroy Garden
And now, last but least, Sydney
This kind of architecture is frequent in residential areas of Sydney
CBD and roof of the opera house from the roof top of our place
From the same place, the street downstairs in Darlinghurst
Influence of British and Byzantine empires in Queen Victoria Building (1898)
An elegant shopping arcade nearby, in CBD
Here too, ancient and modern lean on each other.
On Australia day, I sat hours with my back against a tree, watching an open air show then fireworks; when I left my place, an opossum came down from the tree. It had been very patient.
We loved that sort of house in the Rocks…
…much preferred to Bondi Beach
As a matter of fact, the coastal walkway which goes for miles from Bondi Beach, leads to much nicer places, little bays and coves
A daytrip to Blue Mountains, 2 hours by train west of Sydney
Weather was very bad when we arrived but I could take some pictures later
Let us come back downtown
Harbour Brisge is of course a masterpiece
But I think the one you are waiting for is:
Seen from the city
The largest auditorium
Thanks for your attention
I hope the bonus helped you to read through
And now I give you a scoop: another report will come soon but nothing to dream about, a domestic UK flight!
See you soon!
Sydney - SYD
Guangzhou - CAN
So I summed up two flights and reported a third one; what do I think about CZ; all in all a rather good experience. Quick and pleasant service at check in and transit; nice crew showing interest and consideration for passengers; A380 very comfortable, I liked the 1-2-1 as it was not the fishbone style. Skyteam lounge in Sydney should improve information and restroom cleaning; very nice lounge in CAN. No doubt I'll fly CZ again if I have the opportunity to do so.
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