To Japan in Style - Thai Royal First Class (Part 1 - MEL/SYD)
I travel back and forth between Melbourne and Asia many times per year, often in business, more often in economy.... but never in First Class. It was time to do something about it, and with the end of BMI Diamond Club in sight, a first class redemption to Asia was in order. There were no first class seats available on Singapore airlines on the dates I wanted to travel and Thai only operate a first class cabin to Sydney so this report covers the beginning of my journey, which would eventually find me in Japan. A very early morning flight on Qantas between Melbourne and Sydney.
My plan was to take the 10am flight out of Sydney to Bangkok so this meant an extremely early flight out of Melbourne, the 6am QF400 service. At 4am my alarm went off and I was up and in the shower. I had packed the night before so was well prepared to go. A quick taxi ride up to the Skybus station and I had my ticket in hand for the 4.45am airport bus.
|Melbourne's Skybus ticket box at Southern Cross station in Melbourne|
It was too late to go back so I decided I would have to pick up a new jacket in Bangkok where I was having an overnight transit, or perhaps at the airport.
Just 20 minutes later the bus was arriving at Melbourne airport and I disembarked and made my way to the Qantas terminal and through security. I only had carry-on so I went straight to the lounge where they printed me a boarding pass.
|Qantas check-in, just coming to life at 5.10am|
|a Qantas Club breakfast|
|Seat 13A - exit row|
|Qantas Cityflyer marketing|
|QF400 - Qantas Cityflyer service is boarding now|
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 (Winglets) VH-VZL (9 months old)
Seat: 13A (economy class exit row)
Scheduled Departure: 06:00
Actual Departure: 05:57
Scheduled Arrival: 07:25
Actual Arrival: 07:30
When I first made the reservation for this flight it was scheduled to be a Boeing 767-300 but about a week or 10 days before departure it was switched to a B737-800. I switched my seat allocation at the time to 13A for a bit of extra leg room. I was not disappointed when I got on board, as I discovered I was onboard one of the new Qantas 737's with audio video on demand in every seat. Nice!!
|Welcome - iQ inflight entertainment|
|Heaps of legroom in the exit row, I could even cross my legs|
|Still pitch black outside during boarding|
At 5.57 am we pushed back and made our way to runway 27 just as the morning light was showing. A quick takeoff to the west and we were soon in cloud before popping out above it all with a beautiful sunrise in the distance.
|What a lovely morning!|
The trays were soon collected and we were on descent into Sydney where the weather was looking pretty ordinary. Quite a lot of cloud and rain around Sydney this morning. Nevertheless we made a smooth approach and touch down on runway 34L. We taxi'ed past a Thai 747 on the way in, much like the one I would be traveling on a couple of hours later. However it was not that exact aircraft, that one was performing the afternoon flight to Bangkok.
|taxi to gate|