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Journey to Oz: The Fourth Chapter w/pics

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  • Journey to Oz: The Fourth Chapter w/pics

    OK guys- after a hiatus I've put my nose to the grindstone to continue the release of the Journey to Oz Series, documenting my trip to Australia & New Zealand in June of '04. If you haven't read parts 1-3, you might want to check those out too. All comments appreciated.

    Qantas #119
    June 16, 2004
    ETD: 0930
    ETA: 1425
    Boeing 767-338/ER (VH-OGF)

    This was our last morning in Sydney, my favorite city of the whole trip. After a very scrumptious breakfast at our Radisson, we boarded a bus that drove us to Kingsford Smith Int'l. As we were navigating our way to the terminal, we sighted lots of 744's, even Wanula Dreaming.

    Checking in was a little hectic- there were two other groups at the group check-in desk, but we made it out in a little over a half hour (which made catching our flight a challenge). After checking in, we had to go through outgoing customs. Naturally, as with all custom forms, we filled ours out wrong, which made us even more late, but hey- 'no worries.' Security went much faster than I expected- almost no line & everyone just kept moving through. Getting the laptop out of my over-packed backpack is always a challenge, but it's all good. After security, we hiked through a HUGE duty-free shopping area to gate 23. I swear, this was the largest duty-free shop area I've ever seen. But we didn't have time to buy anything; we were almost late.

    The duty free area ended at our gate, where we met our 767-338ER.

    Boarding began immediately after we set foot in the gate area, and as a group we received priority boarding.

    The 767 cabin was well maintained- didn't look old at all even though it was 14 years strong. I like the 767's overhead bins- sort of like the 777's in that they retract up into the ceiling, but a bit more boxy. The side ones are real annoying though- have to slam them shut or they won't stay latched.

    Today's flight crew consisted of an almost entirely-male cabin crew, sharply dressed with Qantas lapels (I wanted one so bad!). One was great, one was almost great, and the other three were just average. While pushing back, we passed by our neighboring gate-partner, VH-OJN. (Sorry for the dust spot.)

    Taxi-time was short (sorry, don't have a runway) and weather was clear. After a nice loud takeoff, we traveled west quite a ways before turning back towards Auckland.

    After backtracking, we passed over the gold coast for one last time.

    Unfortunately, one of the 'average' f/a's turned into a not so average one. After departure, I slid across the aisle (what I didn't know where the crew seats) to take pictures. After lifting up the blankets on them, I saw the "CREW SEAT" band around the cushion, but I figured "what the heck, I'm only going to be here for a few seconds..." So that's how I got the gold coast shot. One of the f/a's tapped my shoulder and motioned (not asked) for me to get out of the seats- the seats I had been nervously watching, hoping with all my heart that they wouldn't be filled, as I had accidentally deleted all of my gold coast shots from on the way over and wanted to make sure I got some during the last flight I'd see them on.

    The f/a gave me the excuse that "...if we hit turbulence, the crew's going to dive for those seats with you in it or not." I was dumbfounded. I guess their jumpseats weren't good enough for turbulence. So by now I'm pretty upset; we were a few weeks into the trip, and everyone was starting to get tired and grouchy (including an epsiode with my delegation leader in which she got mad that I needed two "GROUP" tags for both of my bags). I had somehow deleted my gold coast shots from QF26, and now I'm being told to get out of the seats I had been watching during the entire boarding cycle, hoping that they'd be open so I could get some pics. So I went back to my seat with my tail inbetween my legs.

    Around noon, lunch was served. We had a choice of pasta or roast lamb. I was hoping for the pasta, but unfortunately they ran out, and I was stuck with lamb. The mashed potatoes were good though. One poor woman next to me ran out of luck and got stuck with the lamb as well- she was a vegetarian. When asked for what I cared to drink, I requested a tomatoe juice on ice (a flying ritual for me- I ALWAYS have tomatoe on ice when I fly). Unfortunately, the same f/a that kicked me out of the seat didn't have it in his cart, and didn't feel like going back to the galley to get some, so he gave me bloody mary mix instead. I was fine with this until I tasted it (for the first time) and almost choked. So now I had hit rock-bottom & really wasn't feeling too hot. But that's ok.

    After lunch was collected, I got up and walked around.

    As I said before, the cabin was looking pretty good for its age, and I was enjoying Qantas's comfortable seats.

    I hung out next to the most important part of the plane, the galley, for quite some time.

    The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful, even though I was feeling like I'd had the wind knocked out of me- just one of those days. No turbulence or nothin.

    Our descent into Auckland was beautiful; although I couldn't see it myself, I had my friend videotape it for me. Lots of misty clouds over an unbelievably green landscape. Landing was a little bouncey, but you know those Qantas pilots- Captain Kangaroo was definately aboard our flight.

    After landing in Auckland, we deplaned and headed out to our hotel, leaving VH-OGF to rest.

    On our way out, we were met by a nice sight for virgin-727 eyes like mine.

    Overall, this was my least favorite flight of the trip just because it was a bad day for all of us. Although I think the f/a's could have been a little more outgoing, I don't want to seem overly-critical, since I don't know what's going on in their lives, etc., and if I had to care for 300 passengers I'd be a little stressed as well. This was my first flight on a 767 though, and I must say I enjoyed it- any flight is a good one. for Part 5: When the 733 Attacks. Thanks all.
    Click below.


  • #2
    This is a very good sequence of trip reports Justin! I love reading them all, your pictures are also very good! Looking forward to Part 5!


    Next Flights:

    October 14, 2006 - Airtran MDW-MSP
    October 16, 2006 - Airtran MSP-MDW


    • #3
      Good job, but remember you are the customer. You shouldn't have to worry wether they have had a fight with their partner or how much sleep they got. You wouldn't take bad service from Sears would you?


      • #4
        Originally posted by ptbodale
        Good job, but remember you are the customer. You shouldn't have to worry wether they have had a fight with their partner or how much sleep they got. You wouldn't take bad service from Sears would you?
        I don't shop at Sears. I dunno...anger doesn't solve anything.
        Click below.



        • #5
          Great shots I really want to fly on 767
          You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


          • #6
            nice report and pics




            • #7
              Nice Report + Pics
              - The baby will be back -