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2005 MEL-SYD-MEL. First time flying business class!

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  • 2005 MEL-SYD-MEL. First time flying business class!

    Hi all.
    This trip actually happened in 2005 and for some reason I decided to right about it now. Don't get me wrong, I have flown many times since then but this flight was extra special as it was my first time flying business class. I apologise I have no pictures. Enjoy!

    Date: Friday August 19th 2005
    Route: MEL (Melbourne)-SYD(Sydney)
    Airline: Qantas
    Aircraft: A330-200
    Reg No: VH-EBC
    Dep time: 9:00am

    I had to go up to Sydney for the weekend to see some friends of mine for a get-together. It was just going to be a quick up and down trip so I decided I would leave Friday morning so I would have the day in Sydney and come back on the last flight on Saturday night.

    I proceeded to the Qantas website to book my ticket and for some reason, I decided to see how many frequent flyer points I had on me. I had accumulated many over the years but I never really used them up and I decided I would on this trip. So I treated myself to business class just this once but only on the MEL-SYD sector! I was then given the list of flights to choose from for that day. As many of you probably know, MEL-SYD/SYD-MEL is one of the busiest routes in the world and there is about 30 or so flights a day between the two cities, and that's just Qantas! I knew that QF flew the A332 on this route once or twice daily and I was quite keen to try it out. Sure enough, the A330 was assigned for the 9am flight to SYD, perfect for me time wise. I proceeded to book the flight and was very excited about the upcoming trip.

    I woke up early Friday morning and braced the peak hour traffic to the airport. I wasn't going to leave my car at the airport as the cost to do this is outrageous so I left it at an airport parking center a few kilometers from the airport. The center has a shuttle bus to the airport which I used.

    I got to the airport and it was already extremely busy. My flight seemed to be a full one and there was a large line forming behind me for the same flight I was on. I got to the check-in desk and my bag was tagged 'priority' as I was travelling business class today and I was given my boarding pass with a big smile. A very nice touch, particularly for the early morning rush on the busiest day of the week. Unfortunately I am not a very punctual person and I didn't have time to go to the Qantas Club which I would have liked to do had I had more time, so I headed straight for the gate in the 'CityFlyer' terminal.

    Our aircraft was already there and I could see it was VH-EBC, the second newest A332 in the QF fleet. Our flight was then called and boarding was done quickly and efficiently. I then collected a headset, proceeded happily down the aerobridge knowing that this flight would be one of the best flights of my life! Straight away I was greeted by a smiling F/A who sohwed me to my seat, took my coat and stowed it for me. I was sitting in 2G, a window seat. I must say that QF domestic business was very impressive. The seat was very comfortable and the crew always smiling and attentitive. The F/A who had shown me to my seat promptly came to me with a tray of water, OJ and champagne. I just had a water which was nice and refreshing. Even though the flight was full, business class was relatively empty with only me and about 5 or 6 other people in the cabin.

    The captain then came on and welcomed us aboard and gave details of the flight. It would be a shorter flight than normal, only around 50 minutes as there was a strong tail wind. This was no problem for me as I would have a longer day in Sydney! We pushed back pretty much right on schedule and taxied down to rwy 34 for a departure to the north. We held short briefly as a company 737-400 landed and then we were up and away. The weather in Melbourne that morning was cold, grey and windy with heavy rain forecast for that afternoon so we did have a little mild turbulence as we passed through the clouds but the flight was smooth from then on all the way to Sydney.

    Once the seatbelt sign was switched off, I was given a breakfast menu to look at and a drinks top-up. Unfortunately I cannot remember what was on the menu other then the selection I had made. I opted for fresh seasonal fruit with berry yoghurt, OJ and coffee. A beautiful table cloth was put in front of me and my meal brought to me soon after in a gorgeous glass bowl with metal cutlery. I was making the most of every second of this as I knew I wouldn't be flying business class for a while after this! Breakfast was delicious and satisfying and the crew continued to make me comfortable with regular top-ups of tea/coffee and drinks and always with a smile.

    The aircraft itself was very quiet, new and modern, probably one of the best I have flown, especailly for a domestic flight. I played around with the seat a bit which had really decent pitch and positions and other cute features such a small reading light.

    We were then shown the morning news on one of the ceiling mounted LCD screens which I though were fantastic. Unfortunately however, the sound stopped working for everyone half way through the news so we were unable to watch with sound. It didn't matter anyway because we began our descent shortly after the news finished and were on our way down to Sydney. From what we could see outside, it was cloudy, hazy and grey, however not as bad as the weather was in Melbourne that morning. It didn't bother me anyway as I wasn't planning on going to the beach or anything like that but at least it was nice and warm.

    We approached SYD from the south and did the usual approach over Botany Bay arriving well ahead of schedule to a busy Sydney airport. After landing, my coat was returned and I thanked the crew for a wonderful flight. I really enjoyed that business class flight and once you have flown it, you really realise that it is the only way to fly! My bag was one of the first off at the carousel and I then proceeded to pick up my rent a car.

    I had a very enjoyable weekend in Sydney. I cought up with a few friends on Saturday, had lunch with them and just chilled until I had to go back to the airport for my 10:30pm flight back to MEL, the last Qantas flight to MEL for the day.

    Date: Saturday August 20th 2005
    Route: SYD-MEL
    Airline: Qantas
    Aircraft: A330-200
    Reg No: VH-EBD
    Dep time: 10:30pm

    Getting to the airport for this flight is a whole story in itself. I had been having such a great time with my mates that I lost track of time and ended up speeding to the airport hoping to catch my flight which I seriously did think I would miss. I was travelling economy home tonight but didn't mind as I knew it would be an empty flight and I would have room to stretch out. The aircraft for this flight was scheduled to be a 767-300 so I wasn't overly excited about this flight. I arrived at the airport just in the nick of time and was given my boarding pass which assigned me to the last row of the aircraft, a big contrast from the flight up!

    I proceeded to the gate and I could see that this was going to be one empty flight. What surprised me even more was that the aircraft was another A330 which apparently was assigned for the flight at the very last minute as there was a problem with the 767. I wasn't complaining though! As a result of this our flight was delayed by a few minutes but nothing major. We boarded the near empty aircraft and I decided I would move closer forward once the seatblet sign was switched off but would sit in my assigned seat for takeoff. We pushed back shortly afterwards and headed once again for a north departure but had to hold short as there was a departing SIA Cargo 747 ahead of us.

    It was then our turn and boy did we take off like a rocket! The seatbelt sign was extinguished literally 10 seconds after we took off and straight away I moved forward. It was a very uneventful fligh home. Smooth as silk, empty and boring. We touched down in Melbourne bang on time, got my luggage, the car and went straigh home and was in bed by 12 midnight!

    Hope you enjoyed the report. Anyone who has never flown business before, I highly recommend it, even if you do it just once as a 'trial', it really is the only way to fly.

  • #2
    Id be interested in knowing how many FF miles QF raped you for that short sector? lol
    I take it they wern't running the 300 series or the 744 at all on that day? That is possibly the only reason id think about u/g as its intl config. Sounds like a nice flt anyway.


    • #3
      Originally posted by BA747-436
      Id be interested in knowing how many FF miles QF raped you for that short sector? lol
      I take it they wern't running the 300 series or the 744 at all on that day? That is possibly the only reason id think about u/g as its intl config. Sounds like a nice flt anyway.
      Don't quote me on this but from memory I think it was 24000 points, don't forget I flew back economy.

      No they didn't have the 300 running on domestic services yet however there was a 744 MEL-SYD flight which I could have taken but it left at 6:00am and that was way too early for me!


      • #4
        24K. Dang, its like a 45 min flight isnt it?