Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef via Qantas First Class

Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef via Qantas First Class

Reply

Old Jan 1, 19, 12:40 pm
  #16  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 13,075
And the Priority security lane which apparently operates on the honour system since no one checked our boarding passes or ID's
You do not need a boarding pass to enter Australia domestic airside. Anyone can enter. Just the security check. They can ask for ID, but I have never been asked.

... And the Qantas Lounge...
...
the First Class or Gold Lounge
.
QF domestically have Qantas Club lounge and at the bigger airports an additional business class lounge. 1 or 2 points better than QF club, depending on how crowded.

V good report. Enjoy Tassie & GBR (will be hot & humid up there)
Mwenenzi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 12:48 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: East Ester, Alaska
Programs: Alaska Airlines Million Miler, United Airlines Million Miler, Wyndham Rewards Diamond Level
Posts: 8,232
Nice to see you and Mrs. 777 back in the air again, SFO777 - in the inimitable style of Qantas' First Class no less . Having recently returned from Tasmania, this report has me yearning to return sooner rather than later. Here's wishing you a great trip and a happy new year in 2019.
Seat 2A is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 12:52 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, Hhonors Diamond
Posts: 3,701
Good to see you back SFO777

Flew Qantas F for the first time in a few years in early 2018 and find it the same as you - ultimately very disappointing. Other than the champagne, the drink list was basically the same as in business class (which is flown the month before) and the food was poor. Fortunately all other legs were with EK
darthlemsip is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 12:59 pm
  #19  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Sydney Australia
Programs: No programs & No Points!!!
Posts: 11,498
Welcome to Oz. No idea who the Grant dude is either!!
Annalisa12 is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 1:43 pm
  #20  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA LT PLT
Posts: 18,826
G'day from the Great Barrier Reef. Lots of amazing pics to share. But for now...





Originally Posted by NeedstoFly View Post
I remember flying into Hobart airport in 2000. Felt like nothing more than a shed. There was no baggage carousel. Bags were loaded onto carts and pulled into the shed by something akin to a tractor. Also I'm fairly sure we flew a regional jet (Ansett) between Mel and Hobart.
Thanks NeedstoFly. Yeah, Hobart airport has come a long way. Now with a very nice terminal.

Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr View Post
I was just thinking the other day that we needed a new TR from SFO777 to finish up 2018. Very nice so far.
Thank you HawaiiTrvlr.

Originally Posted by HawaiiFlyerDC8 View Post
Fabulous. I'd love to go to Tassie, maybe on my next trip to Australia. Sadly when I was in Sydney in November I fractured my shoulder in two places in the surf at Bondi. Caught the wrong wave too close to shore- even people from Hawaii make mistakes in the water.
Thanks very much HawaiiFlyerDC8. Ouch on your shoulder. Good luck on a speedy recovery.

Originally Posted by rosensfole View Post
Great start to the report SFO777, looking forward to seeing the rest. I recently watched a show about Tasmania and have been thinking about visiting some time, I'm sure you'll whet my appetite even more.
Re. the "Thank you for your patience" on the booze counter; I remember a film (though not the name of it) in which John Hurt lit a cigarette in a London Cab. The cabbie exclaimed "The sign says no smoking sir", Hurts reply was rather excellent: "No, it says Thank You for not smoking, I do not expect to be thanked".
LOL on that smoking scene. Thanks rosensfole. We thoroughly enjoyed our short stay. Beautiful scenery, friendly people and gorgeous summer weather.

Originally Posted by catmndu View Post
I was starting to go feel SFO777 trip report withdrawal symptoms
I'm looking forward to the rest of the report. BTW how far in advance did you book your TPAC flight using Alaska miles?
As always thanks for the great text and photography!
Thank so much ccatmndu. I booked about 7-8 months out. There were actually multiple 2 seat dates both ways between the 24h and 28th. They sat around for a month or so as we played with dates and tried to find seats that Alaska could see.

Originally Posted by roadwarrier View Post
I was thinking the same. We are missing some regular posters lately......
Thanks roadwarrier.

Originally Posted by 757 View Post
Excellent start to your trip, SFO777 and great to see a new report from you! Qantas F looks a bit underwhelming by the looks of your LAX-MEL flight. I would love to visit Australia sometime, the hotel you stayed at looks amazing!
Looking forward to the next parts. All best - and Happy New Year.
Thank you 757. The entire Qantas experience is underwhelming and disappointing, once you get past the First Class Lounge in LAX and SYD.

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
Sounds like a little stressless trip
So far, so good. Thanks offerendum.

Originally Posted by SW7London View Post
Great report!
Shame QF F food/drink has fallen so far. Even 5 years ago they had a degustation menu, top wine selection and generally good quality servings.
Its almost as QF isnt really trying with F anymore, only 3 routes have it I think and it shows. (lax/lhr/dfw?)
Thanks SW7London. Agree on the decline of QF First. And their domestic Business Class service is not very good, although still better than Euro-fraud Business on BA and other EU airlines.

Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
We were in Tasmania in early December. It was much more than we expected, from the Saffire Freycinet to the Hobart food scene. I look forward to reading your report.
Thank you SanDiego1K. We agree that Tassie also exceeded our expectations.

Originally Posted by Madone59 View Post
What a great way to start the new year!! Thanks for sharing SFO777
Thanks so much Madone59. Happy New Year to you.

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
You do not need a boarding pass to enter Australia domestic airside. Anyone can enter. Just the security check. They can ask for ID, but I have never been asked.
QF domestically have Qantas Club lounge and at the bigger airports an additional business class lounge. 1 or 2 points better than QF club, depending on how crowded.
V good report. Enjoy Tassie & GBR (will be hot & humid up there)
Thank you Mwenenzi and for the explanation about the domestic airside access. Unfortunately, the SYD Club was closed for renovations two days ago when we connected to Hamilton Island. The Business Class Lounge was quite crowded and filthy with neither pax or staff cleaning up the messes. The lounge dragon seemed quite taken aback when I commented "this lounge is disgusting". And it was.

Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
Nice to see you and Mrs. 777 back in the air again, SFO777 - in the inimitable style of Qantas' First Class no less . Having recently returned from Tasmania, this report has me yearning to return sooner rather than later. Here's wishing you a great trip and a happy new year in 2019.
Thanks so much Seat 2A. All the best to you in the new year.

Originally Posted by darthlemsip View Post
Good to see you back SFO777. Flew Qantas F for the first time in a few years in early 2018 and find it the same as you - ultimately very disappointing. Other than the champagne, the drink list was basically the same as in business class (which is flown the month before) and the food was poor. Fortunately all other legs were with EK.


Thank you darthlemsip. Yep, totally agree about QF. Unfortunately, we don't get to follow your EK lead. I suggested EK to Mrs. SFO777 but 36 hours was a tough sell, compared to 12 hours even in Business Class. No award availability at peak travel season, so we're flying BNE-LAX on the 789.


Originally Posted by Annalisa12 View Post
Welcome to Oz. No idea who the Grant dude is either!!
LOL. Thanks Annalisa12. We're having a wonderful time here.
Mauibaby2008 likes this.

Last edited by SFO777; Jan 1, 19 at 1:52 pm
SFO777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 1:55 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, Hhonors Diamond
Posts: 3,701
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Thank you darthlemsip. Yep, totally agree about QF. Unfortunately, we don't get to follow your EK lead. I suggested EK to Mrs. SFO777 but 36 hours was a tough sell, compared to 12 hours even in Business Class. No award availability at peak travel season, so we're flying BNE-LAX on the 789.
That's my favourite business class seat in the sky (that I've flown of course) - used it quite a bit from SIN-MEL on the A332, and have MEL-LHR on the 789 coming up too
darthlemsip is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 2:01 pm
  #22  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA LT PLT
Posts: 18,826
Originally Posted by darthlemsip View Post
That's my favourite business class seat in the sky (that I've flown of course) - used it quite a bit from SIN-MEL on the A332, and have MEL-LHR on the 789 coming up too
That's very good know, thank you. We wound up buying roundtrip HTI-LAX-SYD tickets as it was convenient and cheaper than a one way home and a relative bargain compared to any other combinations I could see.
SFO777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 8:31 pm
  #23  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA LT PLT
Posts: 18,826
About a mile south of the Central Business District is one of the nicest boutique hotels we've stayed at in a long time. With just 11 suites, The Islington is a beautiful urban retreat lovingly restored and redesigned from its main estate constructed nearly 180 years ago, not long after Hobart was settled. An amazing collection of original art and antiques can be found throughout the hotel.



















At the rear of the main buiiding a sleek modern restaurant and lounge...







... with views of Mount Wellington.















At the end of the main floor was our beautiful Regency Suite.













Less than 30 feet from our suite was the modern dining room where we ate dinner our first two nights.





I love G&Ts and was happy to hear about Tasmania's emergence as a gin producer. I sampled a number of craft Tasmanian gins. Tonight was the excellent Poltergeist.



Our dinner was tonight was terrific. We started with a lovely abalone dish.



And a mozzarella and procuitto salad. The diil right from the hotel garden was wonderful.



Our tri-tip main was outstanding and perfectly prepared, with potato gallette and fried duck paté.



And delicious veggies from the garden.



OMG, our divine dessert.



Back in the suite, the suite's ipad was playing soothing nighttime music.



After a great night's sleep, we were back in the restaurant for breakfast.











Mrs. SFO777's fabulous omelet...



... and my delicious eggs benedict.

offerendum likes this.

Last edited by SFO777; Jan 12, 19 at 12:02 pm
SFO777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 8:31 pm
  #24  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA LT PLT
Posts: 18,826
We had originally planned on day long helicopter tour but morning weather was nasty and windy, so we postponed that adventure until tomorrow. At little after noon, we headed out for downtown Hobart.











... and the Taste of Tasmania, Hobart's annual waterfront food fest with hundreds of food and spirits vendors, and music and entertainment.





















































Lunch from the Shredded Burger.


Last edited by SFO777; Jan 12, 19 at 12:02 pm
SFO777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 8:32 pm
  #25  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA LT PLT
Posts: 18,826
While researching Tasmania and Hobart activities, I found this really cool simulator experience. A 737 simulator... in Hobart?? Owned by a local tech guy with other businesses, the simulator is a hobby which he built on his own with parts assembled from all over the world. I had originally booked an hour for Sunday, but Robert was kind enough to get me in today to accomodate the helicopter reschedule. The simulator is in his offices right in downtown Hobart.








Inside the cockpit.









After a brief introduction, I was ready to fly. Rob's program and simulator lets you fly to and from any airport in the world. For the first fight, I picked LAX to SNA/Orange County-John Wayne. And here we are at the top of 24L at LAX. The controls are remarkably responsive, complete with engine noise and cockpit warning sounds and lights. I snapped some iphone pics but Rob also uploaded a youtube video of the entire session so I incorporated some of those as well.





Approaching rotation speed.



Turning back east.





Over LA.





On approach to John Wayne.







Landing at John Wayne. With Rob's expert and patience tutelage, I nailed it on my first try.



Up next we headed for Innsbruck, Austria where the mountains made landing more challenging and fun. Indeed, commerical pilots apparently need specialy training to be able to fly here. I did two take-offs and landings, one up and back on the same runway. The other was a loop close to the mountains for a more difficult landing. The view from the top of Runway 8.







Turning back to land on Runway 26.









Runway 26 in the distance.







The 2nd flight here was also a take off from the same Runway 8.



But this time I'm going head directly at the mountains to the south of the airport, skirt them and make a hard turn and descent to land on Runway 8.







Nailed it. What fun.



And finally, JFK to Laguardia. And since it's December, naturally there is snow on the ground.







Lining up for Runway 13.







Yes! So cool.



What a great experience, which I cannot recommend more highly to anyone, even those with just a passing interest in flying,
Coathanger, our_kid, wrp96 and 4 others like this.

Last edited by SFO777; Jan 12, 19 at 12:04 pm
SFO777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 9:39 pm
  #26  
ffI
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: WAS
Programs: AA 2MM, US CP, DL PM, UA 1k <=> HH DM, SPG/ClubC/Marr G, Hyatt/IHG Plat, FT RA ( Recovering Addict)
Posts: 3,738
A SFO777 TR and then a Seat2A; just after recovering from those, now I have yet another - my long weekend plans are dust.

How did you manage the 70k on AS?
I never seem to find space on QF with any of my AS miles.

I read somewhere that having Global Entry gets you expedited entry into Australia, but have not been able to try it out yet. But the lack of PreChek is a problem.
I can understand why you went for BA Gold now - the QF lounge beats any AA option.
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Unfortunately, Qantas is too cheap and/or lazy to sign up for PreCheck. So, we headed to the opposite on the terminal for regular security where this isn't even a premium lane. And then to Level 4 and the Qantas First Class Lounge, one of my favorite US airline lounges.

I'm here quite a bit as that BA Gold status gives me access when I fly American in any class. The new Winter menu which was introduced a few weeks.
ffI is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 10:48 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 419
My 13 y.o nephew was sitting behind you in 4A on that MEL>HBA flight. I dropped him off at MEL and waited at the gate with him so we probably crossed paths somewhere! I couldn't see him in that deplaning shot unfortunately.
Guvner067 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 11:07 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 25
Before you fly out of Brisbane be sure to pay a visit to the Kingsford Smith memorial so you can see the Southern Cross the famous plane of Australia’s greatest aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Sydney’s airport is named after him

also what was wrong with the pancakes they look pretty good to me
nancypants likes this.
AtlFlyer123 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 1, 19, 11:19 pm
  #29  
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: DL Silver, Hilton Diamond, Starriott Plat, Hyatt FreeBottleofWaterist
Posts: 7,563
Not totally surprised to see your comments about QF F. I flew them in J DFW-SYD in May and aside from decent food and service, there was nothing great about the experience with the very dated hard product. Also flying ex-DFW where they rely on AA for lounges and their inability to finish the Flagship Lounge sometime this century. Though it was impossible to turn down the direct flight, especially for 55K AS miles with a free stopover. IMO Virgin beats the heck out of Qantas in J service and hard product, though I admittedly haven't flown the QF Dreamliner yet.
krazykanuck is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 19, 4:46 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: QF TG
Posts: 9
Welcome once again. You could consider Virgin Australia. They have the AA seats but much better F&B. Associated with Delta. You d fly via SYD or BNE.
paulkaz is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread