Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Flight Log 9 : QF25

Brisbane (BNE) - Auckland (AKL)

BNE-AKL seemed a very short sector to be operated by a 744, but the answer to this little mystery lay in the fact that the flight would be continuing on to LAX. So I was back in one of my favourite places - the front cabin of a 747, although in this case it was to Business Class layout rather than First. I also noted that it was my last flight on a 744 on this trip, although there was still one sector remaining in a 743.

I was one of the first people to board the aircraft and certainly the first in the front cabin, so again I was able to take a couple of pictures without annoying anybody. I settled into my seat and accepted a pre-departure glass of champagne. Unfortunately, departure was delayed by 25 minutes due to a missing passenger. I couldn't help thinking, perhaps uncharitably, that BA would have off-loaded his luggage ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. I don't suppose there's the same contention for ATC slots in this part of the world. We eventually pushed back at 1230, but it was a lengthy taxi to the runway and it was 1244 before we became airborne.

I had a G&T while getting the IFE system set up, but I heeded the warning that there wouldn't be time for a full movie on this sector. With a three-hour time difference between Brisbane and Auckland, the flight time was only about 2.5 hours. The lunch menu came in two versions : a "full" version and an "express" option for those who wanted more time to relax or work. I couldn't think of a single good reason not to have the full menu   Here's what was on offer :-

Green Leaf Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
Main Course
Fillet of Beef with Roast Potato, Zucchini and Red Onion Jam
Linguine with Basil Cream Sauce and Parmesan
Salad of Chicken with Marinated Vegetables and Tzatziki Dressing
Seasonal Cheese and Dried Fruit
Ice Cream with Almond Biscuits

The express menu consisted of the green salad, chicken salad and cheese, I suspect (I'm speculating here), all served together. I had the beef and the cheese options, washed down with a very nice red wine (name unknown ) and a cup of coffee.

By the time the meal service was completed, there was very little time left for anything else. All too soon, I had caught my first glimpse of New Zealand as we headed in for an 1820 touchdown at Auckland. We were on-stand very quickly thereafter at 1823.

On the basis of this first experience, I would give Qantas's International Business Class a , but it will be interesting to see how the product performs on the lengthy SYD-HNL sector. It's just a shame that there's so little left of QF First.

Date: Thu 11 Mar 2004
Aircraft : B747-400
Scheduled dep : 1205
Actual departure : 1230
Scheduled arrival : 1800
Actual arrival : 1823
Cabin : Business
Seat : 2A

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