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Showing posts from October, 2009

United 840 ( UA840 ) - Melbourne to Los Angeles via Sydney

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After finishing work at 0630 I went home for a 2 hour nap before the very long journey to the United States of America. Today would be my first visit to the USA since I was 15 years old ( in 1997). I took a taxi for the short trip to Melbourne Tullamarine airport for my 12 noon departure. I arrived at the terminal about 10am and headed for the United check-in.

United Check-in at Melbourne airport


Check-in was busy but the premium check-in area had no queue. I was checked in very promptly by a lovely check-in agent who confirmed I was crediting today's flights to bmi (British Midland). It was nice for a check-in agent to actually know who bmi was, although she did call it British Midland (the name used prior to 2001). I was invited to use the United Red Carpet Club, and given boarding passes in gold (for Star Alliance Gold and premium pax). I had 3 boarding passes in total, one for the first hop of United 840, Melbourne to Sydney, then another for the next hop of United 840 from Syd…

Bound for the USA

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I have finalised plans for the quick trip over to the USA. The combination of a strong Aussie dollar and the low prices currently on offer for Trans-Pacific flights due to increased competition on the route makes a short trip a possibility!

My allegiance to Star Alliance has me flying United Airlines on a super-cheap mileage earning fare. Sadly though, United has the worst in-flight product on the route, particularly when you are comparing the Economy class cabins. No personal TV's on United Boeing 747-400's in economy, only overhead LCD screens. But what United DO have that all the others do not, is Channel 9. This is one of the audio entertainment channels and so long as you have a captain who uses this feature, you can listen in to the VHF Air Traffic Control frequency your aircraft is currently tuned to! For aviation buffs like me this is FABULOUS! Of course, for the majority of the trans-pacific sector the aircraft communicates on HF radio whilst over water, so this is on…

Jetstar Starclass - Bangkok to Melbourne

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JETSTAR flight JQ30 Airbus A330-200 VH-EBC (the white as opposed to silver A330)
Bangkok to Melbourne
ON TIME - arrived almost 1 hour early

I recently returned to Melbourne from Bangkok and happened to pick up a very cheap Jetstar fare (about 8000 THB one way) with the thought to upgrade to starclass at the airport. I had read on frequentflyer.com.au that the price had recently dropped to 5900THB for the 'On Departure Upgrade' for this sector, which seemed like a bargain. Checking online the day of the flight showed 13 Starclass seats available, I hoped these wouldn't go before I got to the airport, so planned to arrive nice and early!!

Flight was scheduled out at 22.00, with check in opening at 19.00, I got there about 19.20 and went to the service desk for Jetstar to inquire about the possibility of a paid upgrade. There was no queue at the service desk, and on arrival I was told the price was 8000 THB! I was disappointed the price had gone up, but what the hell, you only…