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Flying to Australia on BA and Qantas in Economy

Flying to Australia on BA and Qantas in Economy

Dec 17th, 2006, 11:46 PM
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Flying to Australia on BA and Qantas in Economy

I made it to Australia--two years in a row. Left Miami on Friday and arrived in Sydney on Sunday evening. It is a very long flight--especially when you go through London.

Arriving before Christmas and leaving Australia after the New Year is considered very high season. I paid $2,100 in Economy through London, but it would have been $2,500 through LAX. This only happens during the Christmas holiday.

I got to go through the G.E. puffer screening in Miami. I had to keep my shoes on for that one and then take my schools off for the medal detector. I had visions of going through the puffer in drag and my dress and wig falling off and my manhood exposed. I don't think I will try that but it does make me chuckle a bit.

British Airways announced that several channels were not suited for young children and they would show you how to block the channels if you wished. They had 20 channels of entertainment. Volver was subtitled, and I didn't feel like reading on the small monitor.

They annnounced that they would offer everyone a "free drink from the bar." I had a rum and coke. They also announced that you were always welcome to pop into the galley if you need anything. I never heard the U.S. airlines say that one.

The food was pretty good in economy although there was no smoked salmon in the salad. I had the chicken which was good and a nice piece of apple pie. They "gave" me a red wine with my meal, yes, Wally likes red wine with chicken, too. When they came by with coffee or tea, I asked for another red wine because I saw it on the cart.

Take-off was at 5:31 and the Fasten Seat Belt sign wasn't turned off until 6:00 p.m. Wally was a little ed. The Fasten Seat Belt sign came on many times during the flight but would only stay on for about five minutes each time. The flight attendants Never said on the Intercom "The captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign except during the first and last thirty minutes of the flight. This makes for better sleeping.

The speed of the 747 aircraft was at 696 mph with a 128 mph tail wind. The only problem was Heathrow doesn't allow landings until 6:00 a.m. so the plane had to circle around for awhile. It was a rather rough flight with that speed. If it were a U.S. airline, I don't think the Fasten Seat Belt sign would have ever been turned off.

My wine was served in a plastic cup instead of a glass like Qantas on the BA flight. The pilot was female. Good job ladies. No threats like don't cue for the toilets, use the toilet in your ticketed cabin, etc. All in all, a good flight in economy.
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2006, 11:55 PM
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I had five hours to spare in London so I went to terminal 4 and found a free shower (private) as long as you had your own towel. It was near where Qantas was parked. Both the Perth and Sydney flights stop in Singapore for refueling, while the Melbourne flight stops in Hong Kong. I had reserved seat 39G almost 12 months ago, but was told the seat was broken. They moved me to an exit row in coach where I had plenty of room to stretch my legs and talk to the flight attendants during take-off and landing.

Five minutes after take-off from London, Qantas turned off the "fasten seat belt sign" and it wasn't turned on again for almost the entire 12 hour flight to Singapore. 20 minutes before landing it was turned on and the flight attendants also took their seats.

Qantas served Lamb, beef or chicken but first they came by with a free drink from the bar. Qantas had big bottles of most alcohol and I was given rum with a shot of coke. Quite good. More red wine in a glass with my lamb and ice cream. They also served quite a bit of fresh fruit on the flight including an apple and a banana. Breakfast included more fresh fruit, a bacon omelete and later, more red wine. I watch the movie, Beerfest and enjoyed the scene with the women. A 12-hour flight with no
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2006, 01:35 PM
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Greetings from Melbourne, Australia. I've got a cold. Yes, me, a person of perfect health has never felt so rotten. Woke up on my second night in Sydney and had a sore throat. Now, five days later, I'm blowing my nose every five minutes.

I hope your Christmas is a little more enjoyable that mine. Yes, good health on a vacation is so important. I think it was something in the hotel's air-conditioning at the first night in Sydney, although, exit rows on planes can be chilly.

I'm off to Tasmania (Hobart) tomorrow.
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 07:28 PM
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G'day from Tas. I arrived at the Hobart airport today. The small airport is located quite a distance from the city of Hobart--maybe 25 miles. Qantas served cereal, yogart, juice, coffee, blueberry muffin (included) during the 1 hour flight. Melbourne to Hobart and then to Sydney is a nice way to get back to Sydney.

Yes, the fasten seat belt sign was off 4 minutes into the flight. They used a 737-800 which was full. I had the last row seat but when they landed, they used the rear and front entrance. Wally was happy. I also inherited two blueberry muffins. Perhaps I can sell them to AA for $2 each.

It was very cool in Melbourne yesterday--around 63 degrees. Qantas allowed me to bring my water bottle (full of water) on the plane for the domestic flight. I will be doing some adventure tours in Tasmania for six days.

BTW, is anyone reading these postings?
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 07:32 PM
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Forgot to mention that on the Singapore to Sydney section of the flight they served Salmon for dinner--really good. They also served a lot of fresh fruit including papaya. I had a nice conversation with the flight attendant and asked him if he was excited about getting the A380's. He said not really. The 747-400 have been a workhorse for Qantas. They have been really happy with them. They haven't been as happy with the Airbus. They just don't hold up as well he mentioned. OK, Gardyloo, pat me on the back for that comment.

Merry Christmas.
wally34949 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2006, 07:36 PM
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Consider yourself patted.

Watch out for snakes.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:59 AM
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Wally's back home and unfortunately, back at work.

It snowed in Tasmania on Christmas Day. Yes, it was one of the coldest Christmas' in Australia. I was on a six day tour of Tas and at 1:00 p.m. it started snowing.

On January 1st, I flew from Hobart to Sydney on Qantas. I was able to check my bag from Hobart to Heathrow to Miami and I was quite happy when I saw the bag in Miami. This gave me four hours to walk around downtown Sydney on January 1st. I went shopping and had a quick swim before taking the subway back to the Sydney airport. Good thing I didn't fly the budget airlines from Hobart to Sydney.

Sydney to London on Qantas. This is a long flight especially since you are going against the wind. This plane had video on demand and Qantas does have an excellent selection of movies, television shows and CD's to listen to. I started watching "Snakes on a Plane," but the video system had to be reset several times. The plane going over didn't have this system.

On the flight, I received four meals and a snack. Chicken on the first, Pasta on the second, Fish on the third and a hot breakfast fourth. Qantas came through with fresh fruit (usually apples). I still enjoy the fact that the flight attendants are told to prepare for landing before the Fasten Seat belt sign is turned on.

The new Bangkok airport is much nicer than the old one but in my opinion, it lacks plants. They did have some fake palms, but with so much glass, it would be nice to have some green. I had about 45 minutes to walk through the airport and stretch. I had seat 39H, which is an isle seat. www.seatguru.com says there is no window but there is, it is close to the seat in front, which made seeing out the window easier for me.

Arrival into Terminal 4 in LHR. Like usual, there was a plane in our gate so after sitting on a plane for 24 hours, we had to sit for another 10 minutes and wait for the plane to move. Qantas apoligized and said, Terminal 5 was needed.

I transferred from Terminal 4 to 3 but could not find a shower in terminal 3. I had to settle for washing my face and a quick shave.

Several stores in Terminal 3 sell small bottles of booze. If you have already gone through security at LHR, and you are flying on a U.S. airline, you may want to buy a few and make your drinks--especially if you are flying on a U.S. airline. I would recommend using a Credit Card when purchasing. They were taking U.S. money but the change is given in pounds. Quite illegal, but so is going 66 in a 65 speed posting.

LHR to Miami on British Airways. They still do a nice job. I was given a complementary drink from the bar during the first 30 minutes of flight. The meal really filled me up. Chicken and veggies, Apple pie, smoked salmon salad, two bottles of wine--all included. I took three malatonin and went to sleep but awoke two hours later to very heavy turbulence and a flight attendant saying no one should be using the bathroom. The flight attendants stayed on their feet, tho. They did turn the fasten seat belt sign off until 20 minutes to landing.

Now the bad news. Last year I earned 29,000 miles on this flight. This year I earned only 7,500 because I only received 25% of the miles. I paid $2,100 for the flight and did received double miles (4,200) on the British Airways credit card, however.

For anyone who has wanted to visit Australia but has avoided it because of the long flight, Qantas does a good job. I just hope it stays that way.
wally34949 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Very interesting report. I have a question - why is it illegal to give change in GBP?, as far as I am aware they were doing you a favour in accepting USD !!

If I were at JFK and found somewhere accepting GBP I would not expect them to give GBP in change.

Remember when offering USD for payment they would only accept notes and not coins as they can only change notes.
flybob is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 03:51 AM
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The store I went by said $1.75 equals 1 Pound. However, if you are leaving Europe/UK, then I would avoid giving them $5 or $10 notes, because they don't have US change and change will be given in pounds.

BTW, I have a little system for when I bring back money from other countries. I count it, place it in an envelope and file it in my file under Passport. I have envelopes for Euros, Canada and now Australia.
wally34949 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 04:41 AM
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"They were taking U.S. money but the change is given in pounds. Quite illegal, "

flanneruk is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 01:42 PM
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Exactly my point - absolute rubbish, nothing illegal at all. If abroad pay in the local currency of he country, if not accept that they are doing u a favour. Sorry but I do really think that a very small minority of US travellers are out of touch with reallity.
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