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SYD-BNE-TSV trip on Virgin Blue

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  • SYD-BNE-TSV trip on Virgin Blue

    Aircraft: VH-VBL (737-700)
    Flight: DJ233
    Seats: 18E and F
    Flight time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
    My wife and I arrived at the Sydney domestic terminal at around 1:00p.m. for our 2p.m. departure. There was only a small number ahead of us in the check-in line so we only had to wait about 10 minutes until we reached the counter and checked our bags in and recieved our boarding passes.
    We then passed security and made a stop to buy a coffee and some refreshments to take on the flight. From there we headed to our gate to await departure. About 1:35 our plane arrived(behind schedule) and then boarding began at about 1:50. We were in row 18 so we got to use the back, open air steps to board the aircraft.
    As soon as everyone was onboard we pushed back from the gate and the captain congratulated the crew for turning the plane around in 25 minutes.
    After clearing the gate, we began our fast taxi down to 16L. As there were no aircraft in front of us, the captain was able to maintain the fast taxi speed right into the takeoff roll. We were airborne not long after and began a long, climbing right hand turn north to Brisbane.
    After clearing some low cloud we climbed up to our cruising altitude of FL390. Our flightpath was pretty much a straight northerly route to BNE.
    Shortly after the seatbelt sign was turned off the friendly staff came through the cabin selling drinks and food and shortly after that, the Virgin Blue merchandise.
    We had smooth sailing until about 25-30 minutes out from BNE when we encountered a wind change and some mild CAT. We were clear of the turbulence after about 5-10 minutes and then began our descent into Brisbane. We were originally supposed to land to the north, but it was changed at the last minute to landing from the north. We came in low over Stradbroke island and enjoyed a pretty smooth landing. We arrived at our gate right on time. The staff allowed me to get flightdeck shots and were very happy to answer any questions that I had.

    Aircraft: VH-VBI (737-700)
    Flight: DJ667
    Seats: 18E and F (again)
    Flight time: 1 hour, 53 minutes
    Our aircraft arrived at gate 40 at around 4:45p.m. for our 5:30p.m. departure. Again we got seats 18E and F so we boarded via the tarmac and the back steps. We pushed back from the gate on time and were on our way. After taking off to the south, we made a 180 degree righthand turn back over the city and airport for the trip north. There was very little visible light left from the already-set sun so after about 15 minutes or so it was dark outside. After 20 minutes the seatbelt sign was turned off and shortly after the cabin crew began moving through the aircraft selling food and drinks and then after that the Virgin Blue merchandise. Of course I brought my own food and drink so I had no worries. We climbed to our cruising altitude of FL400 and levelled off for the 1 hour and 55 minute cruise up to Townsville. The skies were clear all the way up as I could see the intermittent clusters of light from the many towns and communities. About 20 minutes out from Townsville we began our descent. It was pretty smooth and uneventful and we touched down on rwy 01 at 7:23p.m., 2 minutes ahead of schedule.
    To sum up, I was pleased with the friendliness and professionalism of VirginBlue. So far it is the only low-budget carrier that I have ever flown on, and I think it sets a pretty good standard.