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The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours

The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours

Old Jun 1, 07, 2:07 pm
  #1  
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The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours

Index to my trip reports

If you like this report, you may be interested in some of my other trip reports.
  1. AKL-YYZ with NZ/AC in F & C - my first trip report
  2. Europe to Iceland & return on Icelandair (FI) - somewhere different
  3. Some FTers DO the Inaugural Worlds Longest Flight SIN-EWR vv 28 June 2004 - 2 long flights back to back
  4. 7 Crazy Days - includes an almost inaugural flight
  5. Champagne and figure eights on ice - Antarctica flightseeing
  6. a Lit.tle sPRinG.Ly JoUrney (BUDding KiwiS Can zig-ZAG around Europe) - mostly central and eastern Europe
  7. Big DO DOs - or a Kiwi Flyer's Month of Madness - lots of flights
  8. Another Manic Month for Kiwi - again lots of flights
  9. Mini Tour of NZ - over 100 domestic flights in New Zealand covering all domestic routes (ongoing)
  10. Across the Globe in 5 Continents - criss-crossing the globe
  11. Auckland to National Park by Train - train in New Zealand's North Island
  12. Across the Globe in 5 Continents Again - criss-crossing the globe, but this time mainly on One World
  13. A Warm Embrace of the Tropics - short trips to the tropical South Pacific
  14. Singapore (SQ) new first and business class, plus a medley of 12 F & C SQ flights - name says it all really
  15. Across the Globe in 4 Continents - around the world on star alliance, including some unusual flights
  16. Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Sampler - a sampling of Qantas flights, domestic and international, in economy and business (ongoing)
  17. Around the World in Under 60 Hours - around the world in a weekend
  18. The Heat is On - another longhaul economy trip in under 60 hours - what a contrast, Asia and Qantas' new first class lounges
  19. Fast on the ground and in the air - it must be Shanghai – a flying visit to Shanghai + Maglev
  20. It's a Fine Line Between Pleasure & Pain: 4 wacky weeks 2 RTW C, inaugural longhaul Y – mostly One World
  21. Back and forth across the Pacific on a variety of airlines in a selection of classes - 16 crossings of the Pacific plus some other related flights
  22. It isn't every day that you witness a hijacking attempt + NZ's forgotten 4th island - a visit to Chatham Islands coincides with New Zealand's first hijacking attempt
  23. There and back - first day Air NZ flies to Coolangatta (Gold Coast)
  24. A Run Around (part of) The Axis of Evil: A Perfect *A RTW in C? - Axis of Evil 0 US Immigration 1
  25. Wellington to Auckland by train - self-explanatory title
  26. A mad couple of days flying, including domestic international flights - a double longhaul inaugural, domestic international shuttle and domestic leg of an international flight
  27. Regional C *A RTW & (hopefully) finishing flying every route (100+) for an airline - featuring new QF First on A380 special flight, "you have to get off now", and 105th different current route with NZ
  28. One World Revolutions - Around Mostly the Southern Hemisphere - mostly Southern Hemisphere and mostly on One World on a mix of products
  29. Cris-cros the Med & the Globe on Emirates, Qantas & Star Alliance in mix of F/C/Y+/Y – starting with EK First on A380 and ending with Qantas economy, with a lot of travel mostly on *A in between
  30. An FTer flies to a Do (or Why take the nonstop when you can fly 10 flights instead?) - combining an FT Do with an aerial tour of northern Queensland
  31. The Ultimate Qantas Flight - short report on the ultimate flight
  32. Premium Flying Across the Ditch (Between New Zealand and Australia) - experiencing the forward cabins on Trans-Tasman flights (ongoing)
  33. 5 Boeings Straight to the Airbus Do - FTer feasts in first, business & economy - my journey to & from the *A / Airbus Mega Do
  34. NZ route oddities & One World turns by night (redeye special) - an odd collection of flight routes & schedules around the world
  35. From my first low cost redeye to a first class trifecta - an insane fortnight - some firsts of all types
  36. G'day, kia orana - it's another inaugural flight in Air New Zealand business class - a day & night tripping around the South Pacific on Air NZ
  37. A Feast of First Class Flying on British Airways, Qantas and Emirates - long distance in style
  38. A Weekend of Old and New - Lufthansa first & business, Air New Zealand business - a quick longhaul trip featuring some old and new products
  39. Star Alliance tres primo, and tres biz - a trio of first and business on Star Alliance
  40. A few flights to end 2011 - a quick trip around the world + more
  41. Five Continents in 3 Days and Some Other Mad Trips in 2012 - a selection of my 2012 travels
  42. Sky Team madness - 14 weeks, 200k miles, 5 continents, CI brand new business – mostly Sky Team
  43. Off to Star megado on Oneworld - mostly business incl brand new AA 787
  44. A Glutton for Punishment: red eye, new world's longest flight & more, in comfort?

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:00 pm Reason: Updated index of my TRs
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Old Jun 1, 07, 8:38 pm
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Index to this trip report
  1. Intro
  2. Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) on QF 767 (domestic config)
  3. The new Sydney Qantas First Class lounge
  4. The new Sydney Qantas First Class lounge menu (dining area)
  5. The new Sydney Qantas First Class lounge menu (outside dining area)
  6. Sydney to Bangkok (SYD-BKK) on BA 744 (low J config)
  7. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Transit
  8. Should I stay or should I go now?
  9. Bangkok to Dhaka (BKK-DAC) on TG A300-600
  10. Dhaka to Bangkok (DAC-BKK) on TG A300-600

=======================

INTRO

Some months ago British Airways had a good fare on sale in economy to Singapore and Bangkok. As the fare was the same and I fancied a cheap side trip, I chose Bangkok as it is further (more miles ^) and has more cheap options for the side trip.

A quick check of my multi-page itinerary for the next 12 months that I carry with me for easy reference (its hard keeping track of 100 odd booked unflown flights), showed a gap over a long weekend that worked in nicely with the sale dates and had availability. A few clicks and I was booked.

In the intervening period I had lots of travel and time to ponder which new place I would go to on the side trip. I'll explain more later.

Time for lunch. I'll post some more when next I can.

Last edited by Kiwi Flyer; Apr 1, 16 at 4:01 pm
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Old Jun 2, 07, 11:43 am
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Apologies the next instalment will have to wait a bit longer. Dang OLCI isn't working so I have to come up with a plan B for a tight connection tomorrow.
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Old Jun 2, 07, 6:48 pm
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Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD) on QF 767 (domestic config)

After meeting up with KenF for dinner and drinks, and going to a few more places after KenF retired to hotel, I awoke to the chirp of my alarm after barely 2 hours sleep. Ack I probably shouldn't have gone to those extra places. A quick shower, take something for my building hangover, chuck the last few items in my rollaboard that weren't already there from the previous trip a few days ago and staggered out the door.

I took the bus to the airport. For once the driver asked if any customers were going to domestic terminal, and on the deafening silence skipped the drive to those terminals and headed straight for international.

I roll into the deserted premium check in area, well deserted other than a couple of check in agents and several immigration officers chatting. Pick up the couple of boarding passes and pay departure tax (credit card only for Qantas - no use (for now) for that $25 I'd put in my pocket to pay it (oops - thinking of NZ etc which accept cash payments).

I was too tired to notice that my seat had moved up one row. Earlier, before seat auto-allocation by Qantas, I'd deliberately selected an aisle seat in the second row of economy for the extra legroom and still quick exit. Qantas have moved me forward to the bulkhead, but at least I was still in the middle block of 3 = some chance of an empty middle seat.

The immigration guy processes me quickly and put the pre-cleared sticker which enabled me to bypass the main immigration line upstairs. That saved a couple of minutes, but at peak times it can save 30 minutes.

Security is slow. Again I lost the line roulette and pick a slow one. This time I manage to avoid the "random" manual search which has recently started for international flights. Then past the duty free shops, with a quick glance to check this week's super specials, and up to the lounge. I'm welcomed back to the F side as usual.
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Old Jun 2, 07, 7:13 pm
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Man of Iron!

Starting that trip with a hangover.....
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Old Jun 3, 07, 6:20 pm
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I grabbed a fruit smoothie in shot glass and some water, checked emails and waited for the flight to be called. When I realised the time I headed out to the gate before a call was made. Boarding was underway by now with huge queue at the BP reader, but the gate agent made an announcement for Chairmans Lounge, Platinum, Gold, OW Emerald, OW Sapphire and Business class pax to approach her at the desk. So I took her up on the offer and waltzed past the big queue, into the airbridge and boarded. Despite the odd looks from some other pax I was glad I did for it ensured my rollaboard was in the overhead bin by my seat. Something that not everyone else was able to manage.

As it turned out one of the few empty seats was the middle seat next door. After boarding was completed the CSD offered me a pair of seats at the very rear of the cabin. I thanked him for the offer but declined. I don't see a big difference between empty seat alongside as a pair or as a row of three, and I'd rather be near the front for quick deplaning and maximum F lounge time. While the offered seats would have had a bit more legroom than my bulkhead seat, I didn't mind for this shorthaul sector.

Breakfast was a choice of a sugary cereal or a greasy egg tomato and sausage, neither particularly appealing.

The movie on the main screen was the movie listed for the second half of the month (instead of the first).

I tried but failed to sleep.

We had a fairly straight in approach, which is unusual for me at Sydney. Must have struck it lucky. The taxi to the gate was short and quickly off and to international transfers. A continuation flight to Melbourne must have just arrived before us as transfers was the busiest I have seen it. Fortunately all the screening stations were manned and processing efficiently so it did not take long to get through. I did my usual trick to avoid the explosives test, went up the escalator and headed for the new Qantas F lounge.
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Old Jun 3, 07, 7:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
I did my usual trick to avoid the explosives test
Oh really? Do tell!

(Not that I have anything to worry about re traces of explosives, I just seem to get picked for the test more often than not so I wonder what I am doing wrong )
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Old Jun 4, 07, 12:30 pm
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At most stations in Australia they do continuous screening. So make sure they are busy when you walk past them, by either being very quick gathering your stuff from xray (my well practiced swoop ), or fumble a bit putting things into pockets (amazing how the plastic baggy refuses to fit back into that side pocket ).

If they aren't doing continuous screening (eg just come back from a break) try not to catch their eye.

The only time this doesn't work for me is when I am the only passenger doing an int->int transfer (eg at Adelaide in April).
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Old Jun 4, 07, 12:37 pm
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I forgot to mention that no one at transfers asked for onward boarding pass or ticket. Now I see how some FTers try to visit a lounge on arrivals in SYD (all lounges in the international terminal are airside).
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Old Jun 4, 07, 9:26 pm
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The new Sydney Qantas First Class Lounge

For the second time in less than a week I was lucky enough to visit a brand new (opened late May) first class lounge. Being their hub I was expecting good things despite the tired old lounge that was replaced.

Entrance is just before the business class lounge on the mezzanine level, ie where the old first class lounge used to be (ignoring the temporary location for the past 18 months or so). Outside the entrance a bouncer or three checks boarding passes for eligibility. Hopefully eligible passengers without a boarding pass are still okay to enter and get boarding pass issued inside.

Inside is a lobby area with several comfy chairs and a green wall. Not sure why anyone would want to sit in this area to be honest, as no amenities here and lots of foot traffic (so hardly an area of tranquility). Then up the escalator or lift (one escalator was out of service already!) to the main lounge level.

At the top of the escalator another check of boarding pass, which they swipe to enter in the computer. Then I'm free to explore. I notice the QF first class passengers who checked in at SYD are escorted into the lounge and given a brief guided tour. I presume they are asked if they've been here before first.

The lounge is, as expected, similar to the new first class lounge in MEL. It is much larger however, although not as big as I anticipated given Qantas' SYD-centric route structure.

There are nice showers by the left hand side bathrooms, no slow door entrance per MEL. Watch out the shower room has been serviced - the first 3 I went into had not The bathroom is minimilast and was lacking hand towels when I used it (with no air dryer either this is bad form). A second set of bathrooms are behind the lift.

There are a few computers in a work area between dining area and bathrooms. These were not as obvious as the main business center (eg not signposted) and seemed less well used. The main business center is to the right on entry, with about 8 computer stations. The only phones available for use in the lounge that I could see were in the designated meeting rooms and on the desks beside computers. In peak times I think there will not be anywhere near enough computers or phones.

There is a largeish library just past the business centre. It had a reasonable selection of books, and limited selection of newspapers and magazines. The only copy of the Australian Way (Qantas in-flight magazine) was the previous month's edition!

The dining area is nice. The tables closest to the windows are in high demand. Service however left a bit to be desired. They were noticeably favouring certain customers to the near exclusion of anyone else, but even for those lucky ones not up to the standard I'd expect for service marketed as top notch. How you might ask? Slow service - most passengers waiting for a flight will be in a hurry. Waiting 40 minutes for first food is not good. Not asked for drinks. Had to ask for water. Not willing to recommend anything(!) A list of items on the menu that were not available. Not at all proactive or attentive - many of us had to get up from our table and go to them to ask for a drink refill. And so on. Rather disappointing, and hopefully just initial glitches rather than here for good.

The breakfast menu is on until midday, then all day dining menu. Personally I'd prefer all day menu to start earlier. Some customers will have body clock on different time to local and appreciate different food than breakfast at 1130 for example.

Some snacks were available from by the coffee machine and drinks (non-alcoholic + beer) fridge. Wine put out only when all day dining starts (ie midday), but available on request at the bar.

I had a reasonable transit time, partly to try it out and partly to reduce annoyance of rushing through a tight connection. I had time to sample some of the amenities, get annoyed by the frequent requests for my boarding pass, book some future trips and catch up on FT. Overall it was a more pleasant transit than I'd have gotten in the old lounge.
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Old Jun 4, 07, 10:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Kiwi Flyer View Post
I forgot to mention that no one at transfers asked for onward boarding pass or ticket. Now I see how some FTers try to visit a lounge on arrivals in SYD (all lounges in the international terminal are airside).
If successful in doing this, how would you then get back landside?
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Old Jun 4, 07, 10:47 pm
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With difficulty. I'd guess you go down the stairs through transfer (no doubt get questioned along the way).
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Old Jun 4, 07, 11:08 pm
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Sydney Qantas First Class Lounge Breakfast Menu (dining area)

BREAKFAST
AVAILABLE UNTIL MIDDAY

Seasonal Fruit Salad

Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt and Organic Honey

Brookfarm Toasted Macadamia and Cranberry Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Warm Semolina Porridge with Poached Quince and Brown Sugar

Orange and Cinnamon Pancakes with Banana and Maple Syrup Butter

Manna From Heaven Mushroom and Parmesan Tart

Sourdough, Whole Grain or Fruit Toast, served with your choice of condiments

* Whole Grain Toast with Avocado, Snow pea Sprouts, Lime and Cracked Pepper

From the Bakery
Daily Selection of croissants, Danish pastries and freshly baked muffins, served with your choice of condiments

ORGANIC EGGS
FOR A HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS START TO THE DAY

Eggs Benedict or Florentine

Organic Egg, Smokehouse Bacon and Tomato Relish Sourdough Roll

Omelettes
Organic Egg Omelette with Leg Ham, Leek and Gruyere

Organic Egg Omelette with Tomato, Ricotta and Chives*

Manna From Heaven Mushroom and Parmesan Tart

Spanish Tortilla with Chorizo, Potato and Caramelised Onion

Two Organic Eggs
Poached, Boiled or Fried, served with Sourdough Toast

Choice of Sides
Smokehouse Bacon, Organic Breakfast Sausages, Smoked Salmon, Roast Vine Ripened Tomato, Sauteed Field Mushrooms, Hash Potatoes

BREAKFAST BEVERAGES
FOR A LARGER SELECTION SEE THE BEVERAGE LIST

nudie Passionfruit and Orange Energiser Drink, designed by Neil Perry

Freshly Squeezed Juice

Grinders Espresso Coffee

T2 Black and Herbal Tea

Hot Chocolate


* Healthier option
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Old Jun 4, 07, 11:16 pm
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Sydney Qantas First Class Lounge All Day Menu (dining area)

ALL DAY DINING
AVAILABLE FROM MIDDAY

Seasoned Soup – ask your waiter for today’s selection

Vine Ripened Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

Crumbed Goat’s Cheese with Roast Baby Beetroot, Walnut and Endive

Salad of Poached Chicken and Leeks Vinaigrette*

Our Signature Club Sandwich with Chicken, Bacon and Aioli

Our Signature Burger with Bacon, Gruyere, Dill Pickle and Tomato Chilli Relish

Poached Organic Eggs with Frisee, Croutons and Lardons

Organic Egg Omelette with Leg Ham, Leek and Gruyere

Fusilli Pasta with Roasted Butternut Pumpkin, Pine Nuts, Spinach and Feta

Grilled Fish with Celeriac Remoulade and Kipfler Potatoes

Fragrant Green Curry of Pork and Thai Eggplant

Crumbed Veal Schnitzel with Lemon and Parsley, Shaved Fennel, Cabbage and Parmesan Salad

Peppered Beef Stir Fry with Thai Basil and Jasmine Rice

Minute Steak with Café de Paris Butter and Fries


SIDE DISHES
TO COMPLEMENT YOUR MEAL

Green Leaf Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Oil

Sauteed Green Beans with Tarragon and Almonds

Fries

Roast Potatoes with Rosemary


CHEESE AND DESSERT
PLEASE ASK YOUR HOST FOR TODAY’S CHOICES

Seasonal Fruit Plate

Nice Cream Ice Creams and Sorbets – ask your waiter for today’s selection

Manna From Heaven Raspberry and Passionfruit Cake

Manna From Heaven Orange and Pineapple Cake

Cheese, hand selected by Calendar Cheese Company Farm House Cheddar, Rouzaire Brillat Savarin

PLATE OF THE DAY
PLEASE ASK YOUR HOST FOR THE DAILY ADDITION TO THE [last word chopped off!!!]

* Healthier option
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Old Jun 4, 07, 11:33 pm
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Sydney Qantas First Class Lounge Beverages Menu (dining area)

WINE LIST

White Wine

Knappstein Three 2006, Clare Valley, South Australia

Cape Mentelle Semillion Sauvignon Blanc 2005, Margaret River, Western Australia

Meerea Park Epoch Semillion 2005, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Giant Steps Chardonnay 2004, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Dominique Portet Fontaine Rose 2006, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Champagne

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial

Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin

Moet & Chandon Rose

Red Wine

Yering Station Pinot Noir 2005, Yarra Valley, Victoria

Meerea Park Shiraz Viognier 2005, Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles 2005, Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre, Barossa Valley, South Australia

Parker Estate Terra Rossa Cabernet 2004, Coonawarra, South Australia

Dessert Wine

De Bortoli Noble One 2004, Riverina, New South Wales


BEVERAGE LIST

Aperitifs

Campari, Cinzano Blanco, Noilly Prat

Spirits

Glenlivet 18yo Malt Whiskey
Chivas Regal 12yo Scotch Whiskey
Johnnie Walker Black Label
Bombay Sapphire Dry London Gin
Tanqueray Gin
Wyborowa Single Estate Vodka
Bellvedere Vodka
Bacardi White Rum
Inner Circle Dark Rum
Bundaberg Dark Rum
Wild Turkey Bourbon
Jack Daniels Bourbon
Cuervo Tequila

Beers

Cascade Light, Cascade, Heineken, Crown Lager, James Squire

Digestives, Liqueurs and Ports

Bailey’s Irish Cream
Cointreau
Drambuie
Tia Maria
St Agnes 5yo Brandy
Martell Biscuit VSOP
Grant Burge 20yo Tawny
Morris Liqueur Tawny
Morris Liqueur Muscat
Morris Liqueur Tokay
Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry


NON ALCOHOLIC

Range of freshly squeezed juices
Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Tomato Juice
nudie Passionfruit and Orange Energiser Drink, designed by Neil Perry
nudie Mango and Passionfruit Juice
nudie Strawberry and Banana Juice
San Pellegrino Acqua Panna Natural Mineral Water
San Pellegrino Sparkling Mineral Water
San Pellegrino Chinotto, San Pellegrino Limonata, San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa
Ginger Ale, Lemonade, Cola, Diet Cola


HOT BEVERAGES

COFFEE
ESPRESSO COFFEES USE THE PREMIUM GIANCARLO BLEND FROM GRINDERS COFFEE

Espresso, Long Black, Café Latte, Flat White, Cappuccino, Mocha, Decaffeinated, Filter, Liqueur Coffee

Hot Chocolate

TEA
A SELECTION OF TEAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY T2 FROM SOME OF THE FINEST TEA PLANTATIONS IN THE WORLD

Peppermint
Lemongrass and Ginger
English Breakfast
Earl Grey
China Jasmine
Chamomile
Chai
Sencha
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