Happy Wednesday. There’s just one flight left to review/talk about from last year’s trip. You remember last year, when you could take a flight home to Australia. Or away from Australia. Or indeed, anywhere! Remember those days? Ahhh well, what can we do? Latest here in Melbourne the news is that our stage four restrictions have been extended. But by the time this post is actually published we might be in stage three. But flights? That’s not happening until next year, if we are bloody lucky.
Anyways, my final flight of 2019 was on a Qantas Airbus 330 – 300 from Singapore back to Melbourne. It was around a 7 and a half hour flight, maybe eight, after that long in the sky it’s hard to know and I think we circled Melbourne Airport a couple of times to delay the landing. It was an overnight flight – YAY My favourite! But I did get a few hours sleep.
Qantas is many things. It’s Australian for one thing, and if you ask me if after travelling for two months getting on board an Australian carrier listening to Australian accents, giving me a feeling of familiarity is something that I experience, well… a little bit? Not as much as it would have twenty years ago.
Qantas is famed for an exemplary safety record, most notably mentioned by Dustin Hoffman in ‘Rain Man’ many years ago now, and largely, despite the odd mishap, that has continued – touch wood of course. There have more recently been a few near misses with emergency landings and the A380 that turned around and returned to Singapore, I think it was. That was featured in an ‘Air Crash Investigations’ episode I think. There is a feeling that to save money there has been a lot of outsourcing of maintenance and repairs which is a worry because, you know, Australians good others bad. But in fairness, we do have pretty exacting standards when it comes to maintenance.
Qantas works for me because of the Frequent Flyer Program you probably know I’m heavily invested into. By that I mean, I earn and use a lot of points and often use it as my go-to to keep my flying costs down. Plus earning and using points gives me a feeling of… achievement I guess.
But this flight was as uneventful as a flight gets. I don’t recall any turbulence, and I had the all important window seat which to me is… all important?? Apart from the obvious advantages of seeing where you are and being able to shoot out the window, more importantly on an overnight flight I have support to one side when I want to sleep.
I wrote down in my diary I got around three hours of sleep. I’d been at the Airport Transit Hotel in Singapore, and had five hours there after next to nothing on the flight from Dubai to Singapore, and so to total 8 hours after that, and plenty of time on the Qantas flight in a ‘half-asleep’ mode, was actually really good and I could stay awake all day once home in Melbourne after a morning arrival. What else do you need?
All in all, it was a 330-300, with a 2-3-2 configuration. Qantas likes it’s ‘faux-leather’ seating, and this was just one example on this flight. It’s not the comfiest surface to sit on, especially if it’s warm and/or humid. But they maintained a decent temperature through the flight so it wasn’t an issue this time.
Service was, as it usually is with Qantas, solid without overt friendliness. You can always tell Qantas cabin crews travel together a lot, because they always have excellent rapport with each other, and sometimes when they turn their attention to the passengers, it’s almost like they resent the passengers asking a question or bothering them, masked with a cold politeness. I’ve seen this on more than a few occasions when flying on Qantas, but less so this time. I should add that usually they come off this way mainly on very full flights.
Crossing Australia is always impressive from the sky. And this was no exception you see the different colours, and mainly the reds of Australia’s soil. We were a little late in leaving, but made most of it up touching down just a fraction after the ETA. I was alert and rested as much as I ever am after long haul travel – the whole journey had been three flights from Lisbon to home.
So there you have it, that’s Qantas for you. Reliable, but not full of ‘bells and whistles’, not really memorable, but solid. Thanks for reading – have you flown Qantas, and how was your experience? Please do comment below – and May the Journey Never End!