A night in Sydney and it was time to return to Canberra. I had booked an the evening flight back to Canberra and it would be operated by a B738, another aircraft type for me in the Qantas fleet. This flight would also proved to be the most impressive of all sectors!
Took the really overpriced train (A$15 for a 10min ride!) to the domestic terminals from Central station. Qantas domestic, which operates from Terminal 3, is linked direct from the train station. Went up to the terminal and printed my boarding pass using self-check in counters.
Qantas's first aircraft, now resting within T3 departure hall.
Qantas Terminal 3.
Wait through security with no fuss and into the gates area. Quite a busy evening today!
Flight would be departing from Gate 8, but the plane had not arrived.
Lets do some spotting then. Qantas B763 preparing for a flight.
Yes, I am in Qantasland.
Spotted a gem! CX Cargo B748F!!!
JQ A320 holding for takeoff.
QFLink Q400 landing.
DJ B738 taxiing for departure.
QF B738 in Optus livery!
Another B763 towed to the gate.
The plane operating my flight also being towed to the gate.
MY baby boeing, VH-VXG at the gate. Big brothers A380 and A330 parked behind on the remote stands.
04 December 2011 Qantas QF 805 Sydney (SYD) - Canberra (CBR) B737-800 VH-VXG Economy Class
Boarding started as scheduled and again I was welcomed by name at the door. Headsets were also available at the gate for yours to take.
Business Class seats.
But I was stuck in economy.
Boarding in progress. The flight was almost full, with only a handful of empty seats left, including the seat beside me!
Seat pitch, as usual, is not great but reasonable on this short-haul aircraft.
Inflight magazine, safety card and complimentary headset.
IFE controls on the armrest.
At the gate, with the Optus plane beside.
Boarding was completed as scheduled. However we were slight delayed with the pushback due to evening congestion. There were 5 cabin crew members on this flight and all of them were great, especially one of the senior crew in economy! She was a very approachable and kind motherly figure and while we were waiting for pushback, she distributed activity packs to all the kids onboard and chatted with them, followed by distribution of headsets again to other passengers who required them. Really impressive pre-takeoff service! The pilot then came on and announced that the flight today would be a very short 25min as we would be departing south straight towards Canberra and arriving into CBR from the north.
Finally pushback and safety demo done and we had a very short taxi to Rwy16R. Had to hold for a while for takeoff though as we were No.4 in the queue.
Finally took off for the short hop to Canberra. Weather was not too good.
Skimming across the cloud top.
Seatbelt signs were only switched off about 5 minutes after takeoff when we had cleared the cloud layers and service immediately started. No time to waste on this very short flight! With the rather full load, 4 crew were tasked to serve in economy today (2 distributing sandwiches and 2 serving drinks) with the CSM herself serving Business. Short features were shown on the drop-down LCD screens.
The excellent Qantas crew member! She was really full of warmth and smiles when performing the inflight service.
As it was an evening flight, a sandwich was served! Really unexpected for a flight of this length.
The sandwich was tasty and filling!
Just after I received my sandwich, the seatbelt signs came on and we started descending. However, the drinks cart was still making its way down the aisle. When the cart reached my row, I was utterly shocked!! In a good way though! It was total madness that the crew was offering a full bar selection of beer, soft drinks, juice, water or wines (wines at a cost of A$6)! There were even small packets of nibbles on offer, probably with wines/beers!! Total craziness!
I had a juice again.
Even though we were halfway through our descent, the crew still managed to serve the whole cabin effortlessly and cleared up everything prior to landing, all within 20 minutes from takeoff! We passengers were not rushed to finish our food and for those with bottled water or juices, we were advised to hold onto the bottles if we could not finish our drinks. Amazing Qantas crew! I have not been on any other airline which can pull off such a stunt!
Descending into Canberra.
Flaps down and making some S-turns.
Final approach into Canberra.
Landing into Rwy17.
Parked at the gate beside a B734.
Saying goodbye to Port Douglas.
Final look at VH-VXG. It would be operating up to Brisbane next.
Sydney - SYD
Canberra - CBR
This flight has totally wowed me as I never expected Qantas to have such fantastic inflight service on a short 25min flight. Halfway through the flight, I was still panicking for the cabin crew whether the service could be completed. Kudos to the crew for their flawless performance! Qantas really excel in short hops as almost no flight in Asia of such length could match up to this sort of inflight service in economy! Totally impressed!
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Thank you again for this return leg. How come you were amazed by the full bar ? I don't think QF ever charged for drinks. Anyway I agree it's still very good to offer both food and drinks on such a short flight.
You will never find any Asian airline offering full bar service in economy on a 25min flight in Asia!
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