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GLA-ADL via LHR & SIN

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  • GLA-ADL via LHR & SIN

    INTRODUCTION

    After spending six months back home in Scotland, it was about time I headed back to Adelaide. After some better than expected Year 12 results, I decided to treat myself to a holiday back home, and since I wasnít entirely surely whether I wanted to go to uni/tafe etc, I decided to have a gap year and go back to home for a visit. I had emigrated to Australia 3 years ago, and it was 2 years since I had last visited. In mid July, I decided to start looking at flight prices towards the end of August and into September. MH had recently received their first few A380ís, and were operating them between Kuala Lumpar and London, so they were my first choice as I would love to get an A380 flight. Most of my family wanted me to fly with EK, but I had flown over with them, so I was pretty keen to try out a different carrier. I was lucky enough to find flights with QF for around £660. I didnít even have to think twice about this, the rest were all £200 dearer. So it was all confirmed, on Wednesday 29th August, I would be making the very long flight back to Adelaide.

    To be honest, I had probably bought a little too much stuff while in the UK, to the extent that I needed an extra suitcase. After checking out the Qantas website, I figured I had to buy it online before my flight, but while attempting to do online check-in, that wasnít possible, as my first flight was with British Airways. So after a couple of phone calls to their customer services hotline, I was told it would be an extra $120. Not too bad I thought. After being picked up at 3pm, and saying goodbye to gran and grandad, my mumís cousin drove me the 45 minutes to Glasgow Airport. I was probably a little bit early, as check in were only allowing bag drop for the 4.30pm flight to London, and I would have to wait till 4.30pm for the 6.30pm flight. No problem with that, time to go to the WH Smith for a drink as it was quite a warm day (double the price than everywhere else). Just bought my drink, itís only 4.10pm, and bag drop for the 6.30 flight has opened 20 minutes early, good news as far as Iím concerned. One of the British Airways check in assistants confirmed the $120 fee for the extra bag, get to bag drop counter, and thankfully both bags are just under 23 kilos. Bag drop woman sends me to her colleague a couple of desks down, only to find out that the fee for the extra bag is actually only £20. Brilliant, that just saved me the best part of $90. Say goodbye to mums cousin, and Iím off up the escalators to go through security.
    After getting through the long security queues, as is the norm for Glasgow, I went through the ridiculous amount of duty free shops to see whatís happening out on the ramp. The departure gate screen said that BA1495 would be advised at 6pm, so I had an hour to find something to do. I got out my new camera, a Nikon D5100, and started taking a few photos. There was quite a few aircraft around, so Iíll let the photos tell the story. Not included here are BMI Embraer 145 G-RJXR, Flybe Saab 340 G-LGNM with 50 years Loganair stickers, and Flybe DHC6-300 G-BVVK.


    Flybe E190 G-FBEC being pushed back

    Malmo Aviation British Aerospace RJ85 SE-DJO. Only 2 months previously, she had been seen stored in England.

    Emirates use this end of the terminal, as well as Easyjet, KLM & Thomas Cook.

    Thomas Cook 757 G-FCLA just arrived

    One Thomas Cook 757 rotating behind another which was waiting on a gate

    KLM Boeing 737 PH-BCB about to go back home to AMS.

    G-FCLA taxing in to her gate

    Easyjet A320 G-EZUF just arrived

    A list of the evening departures

    BA1495
    DATE: Wednesday 29th August 2012
    AIRCRAFT: Airbus A320
    REGISTRATION: G-EUYI
    ROUTE: Glasgow Ė London Heathrow
    SEAT: 27A
    Departure: 6.40pm
    Arrival: 7:50pm
    At 6pm, I went back to the middle of the terminal, and the gate for my flight was now advised, although Iíve forgotten what one it was, but it was the usual BA one. Being in row 27, the very last one at the back of the aircraft, meant we had to use the back steps, which was a welcome surprise, as BA donít usually do this. Tonightís aircraft was G-EUYI, which carries a sticker advertising the London 2012 Olympics. After the captain made his welcome message, and the usual safety demonstrations were carried out, we began the long taxi out to the runway, taking off to the south, straight toward London. Shortly after take-off, the cabin crew started handing out drinks, along with a packet of nuts. As with any flight down to London, thereís not any IFE, so to stop myself becoming bored, I put in the iPod, took photos out the window, and counted the amount of football grounds we went past. I mustíve counted no less than 15.


    G-EUYI sitting at the gate

    BA Cityflyer EL190 G-LCYP taxing past

    On the tarmac walking out to G-EUYI

    Back stairs of G-EUYI

    She carried a sticker advertising the Olympics

    Taxing out to the runway

    Shortly after take off

    Cabin crew handed out nuts and juice

    Cabin crew doing the inflight service

    High above the clouds

    One of the many football stadiums we flew over

    Cruising at 23500 ft above the midlands

    The cabin of G-EUYI

    Just about to begin our descent

    The moon appeared

    Just as we were getting near to London, the pilot came over the loudspeaker, informing us that there would be a 20 minute delay due to the amount of incoming aircraft. Less than 5 minutes after this, he announced to the cabin crew that there was only 5 minutes till landing, so there mustíve been heaps of planes landing in that time. He also announced that we would be passing the Paralympics opening ceremony on descent, but I was on the wrong side. Instead I just watched the beautiful sunset. We also passed Twickenham rugby stadium on my side of the plane, as we came in for a 27L landing.


    Taxing past Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 G-VBIG

    Taxing past my ride to Singapore, Qantas A380 VH-OQL

    VH-OQL and British Airways 747 G-BNLR

    The cabin of G-EUYI

    Looking to see what gate I needed to go to

    We didnít need much runway, so we turned right passing Virgin Atlantic 747 G-VBIG (in the new livery), as well as Qantas A380 VH-OQL, who I would be seeing again in less than 2 hours. We taxied past BA 744 G-BNLR, which was under tow. Just as we pulled into the gate, an ANA 777 took off behind us, but the photo wasnít the best. Was the last person off, as I wanted to get a photo of the cabin, and just after I took it, the Senior F/A said not to take photos, only for the captain to but in straight away saying it was fine. Personally, I didnít see the problem, especially as the f/a up the back asked me if I had got good pictures.

    I then had to make the long walk to the flight connections area, passing security, and get the bus from T5 over to T3. While on the bus, we passed heaps of BA A320ís, 767ís and 777ís. However, as we got to T3, we knew straight away we were at the intíl terminal. On consecutive gates there was a Qantas A380, Singapore A380 and an Emirates A380. Bearing in mind that another QF 380, VH-OQL was still to join them, I was hoping they would still be there by that I got few security. Also of note I saw a Lufthansa A319 and an SAS 737.
    I had used up a bit too much camera battery on the flight down, so thankfully found somewhere I could charge it for free. Didnít bother charging it fully as it seemed to be taking for ever, and didnít know how long it would take to walk to my gate, so an hour later went to the gate, it was only 5 minutes away so I couldíve charged my battery more but it didnít matter.


    3 A380's in one photo

    9V-SKN

    VH-OQC

    VH-OQL

    A United 777 on the runway

    VH-OQL 'Phyllis Arnott'

    9V-SKN on pushback

    Our turn to pushback as A6-EDU is left behind

    QF10
    DATE: Wednesday 29th August 2012
    AIRCRAFT: Airbus A380-800
    REGISTRATION: VH-OQL ĎPhyllis Arnottí
    ROUTE: London Heathrow - Singapore
    SEAT: 83A
    Departure: 10:30pm
    Arrival: 6:25pm (Thursday 30 August 2012)
    I absolutely love the Airbus A380, and couldnít wait for my 4th flight on one, as well as my first international flight with Qantas. Having checked Plane Finder first thing on Tuesday morning, I saw that VH-OQL had left Melbourne a few hours previously, so this would be my aircraft. Just as I got to the gate, I couldnít believe my luck, I had the chance of getting 3 A380ís in the one photo. QF2 (VH-OQC) had just pushed back from its gate, while also having VH-OQL (QF10) and 9V-SKN (SQ 321) in the frame. Just a shame I got lots of reflections off the glass and it was dark outside. Boarding was soon called, and I made my back to 83A. It soon occurred to me that Iíd be having an awful lot of room. 83B was free, and the person in seat 83C hadnít checked in, so Iíd have 3 seats to myself for a 12 hour flight. The captain (Carl Bruce I think he said his name was?)
    As we pushed back from the gate, the cabin crew done the safety demonstration, as the Spirit of Safety safety video was played on the seatback TVís. We had a very long taxi to the runway, taxing past a United 777, BA 777, and I think also a Virgin A340. Soon after, we were airborne, and as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off, I went for a walk around the cabin and took a few photos. When I got back to my seat, I decided to have a stretch out on my 3 seats as it was now about 11pm, although not long after one of the flight attendants asked me to pull down my window shade. After an unsuccessful attempt at getting to sleep, I got out my laptop and started editing a few photos in Photoshop. The in seat power point wasnít working, so my laptop ran out of battery a few hours later. I just spent the next few hours playing about with the brilliant Qantas A380 in flight entertainment, including listening to the new Coldplay and Emeli Sande albums a bit too much.


    Really liked the lighting on the stairs

    The rear economy cabin of VH-OQL

    Lovely sunrise

    Self service snack bar

    Tailcam

    Sunrise again

    Much brighter now

    Soon after, we were treated to a lovely sunrise. Also around this time, the cabin crew delivered a refresh pack. Inside was a bottle of water, packet of nuts, and to my great surprise, some Walkers Shortbread. Being Scottish and loving my countries food as much as I do, it was great seeing the shortbread being handed out. When we were about 3 hours out of Singapore, when breakfast was being served, one of the crew members made a cabin announcement asking for any qualified medical people on board to make themselves known to their nearest flight attendant. I guessed one of the fellow passengers mustíve been unwell, and it mustíve been pretty bad as almost as soon as this announcement was made, the flight path showed that the plane had a changed course, and it looked like it was heading straight in the direction of Phuket.

    About an hour later, we turned back to our normal course, travelling south, flying right over the top of Kuala Lumpar and over a few islands just outside Singapore.
    While on finals, we flew over what seemed like 500 cargo ships, and flew over a few busy streets before touching down. While on the way to the terminal, we passed a FedEx MD11, before parking to next a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 to our left. Was one of the last passengers off, taking a few more photos of the cabin on the way out. Once I was on the airbridge to the terminal, there was a great view of VH-OQL parked at the gate, with VH-OQC right next to us. There was another passenger taking photos as well, and just as we were doing this, the pilot came out, came up to us and told us to follow him. It was at this point we realised he was going to take us into the flight deck. We spent about 5 minutes in the flight deck, and got the chance to have our photo taken in the pilots seat. Had a quick chat with the captain on the way into the terminal, and he said he prefers Boeing over Airbus. It was then into the terminal to find something to do for the next 4 hours before the flight to ADL.


    Getting close to Singapore

    That looked like a nice beach down there

    You know you're getting closer to Singapore when you see boats down below

    On finals for Singapore

    The middle economy section of VH-OQL

    VH-OQL & VH-OQC

    The flightdeck

    QF82
    DATE: Thursday 30th August 2012
    AIRCRAFT: Airbus A330-300
    REGISTRATION: VH-QPG ĎMount Gambierí
    ROUTE: Singapore Ė Adelaide
    SEAT: 55A
    DEPARTURE: 10:50pm
    ARRIVAL: 6.52am (Friday 31st August 2012)
    4 hours after arriving, it was time to leave again. After charging up my laptop and camera battery in the airport, and finding a Burger King for something to eat, it was time to head to the gate. Mustíve timed it pretty badly as, at Singapore, the security screening is at the gate, and it seemed like every passenger on the flight was there at the time. Not to mention the fact that the crew arrived around the same time and pushed their way to the front. After getting through security, I went up to the window and saw VH-QPG sitting there. I had saw VH-QPD at one of the gates earlier and thought she would be my aircraft, but she mustíve done Perth flight.


    Departures board

    VH-QPD

    VH-EBR waiting to operate JQ7 to Melbourne

    Mt Gambier waiting to take me home

    The cabin of VH-QPG

    It was soon time to board the aircraft, and made my way to seat 55A. My first impression of QPG wasnít the best. It just seemed to be old. Sheís 8 years old now, and seems to be getting on a bit inside. The IFE screens seemed quite smaller than most, and the windows were full of scratches, so I decided I would use this flight to try and get some sleep, seeing as I hadnít had any for about 36 hours. We soon pushed back, and after the safety messages, we had a long taxi to the runway, before taking off to the North. It was a pretty boring flight, and just spent most of it sleeping and talking to the man sitting in front of me, who was also returning to Adelaide after a holiday home in Scotland.
    At about 6am, the sky started to get slightly lighter. For the rest of the flight, we were treated an absolutely beautiful sunrise, until we got under the clouds. We approached from the east, flying in over the Adelaide Hills, the Adelaide Oval which is currently being redeveloped and the River Torrens, before touching down at 6.52pm, 12 minutes behind schedule. There werenít too many aircraft around at this time, only ourselves, QF B738 VH-VZR, QFB734 VH-TJS and JQ A320 VH-VGZ. VH-QPG would be continuing onto Sydney as QF82 in an hour, while most of the passengers were finishing in Adelaide, and joined the very long queue at Customs. Got through easily and was waiting 20 minutes for my bags, and was then out to meet mum in the arrivals hall, and the 1 hour drive home.





    Sunrise

    VH-TJS

    Quick photo of a business class seat

    CONCLUSION

    It was a very good, but long journey half way around the world. The flight on the A380 was absolutely brilliant, and Iíd say itís probably my favourite flight out of all the flightís Iíve been on. I took an awful lot of the video on the 3 flights, although Iím still trying to get to grips with Sony Vegas Pro, and once Iíve got them all merged together, Iíll put them on my YouTube channel. Thanks to everyone whoís read this trip report, and any feedback would be great.
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