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Sunday, September 16, 2007

QF400 - Melbourne to Sydney

This flight leaves at 6am from Tullamarine so we've booked a car for 4am to take us to the airport.

With such an early flight we had two options - go to bed early and try and get some sleep or just work through the night. As there was work that needed to be done after midnight option 1 clearly vanished as an option. In hindsight I just don't know if that will prove to be such a great idea. As it was we were both up and about around 7am Saturday morning, that puts us at 20 hours without sleep and counting.

The car arrives early, which we are happy about since we're just really ready to leave. On the roads, taxis and the like seem to be the prevalent vehicles and with the roads almost empty, we arrive at the airport in about 30 minutes.

I'm quite surprised at the number of people that are here - my choice would always be to leave mid-morning and until now I've managed that. This trip is a first since I'm actually travelling with Paalo and I'm travelling this early. As we're experimenting with different routes this was our only option.


It's one of the nice perks with travelling either Business that you bypass the queue and get the next available counter. Our trip has been arranged that we fly from Melbourne to Sydney on Qantas, then switch to JAL to Tokyo, where we overnight and then hop on the code-share Alitalia flight to Rome. We've arranged to have our bags shipped straight through to Rome and hopefully they will be there to meet us.

For those travelling, it's here at check-in where you must show your plastic bag of liquid/gel items and remember to keep them under 100mls and they all must fit in a 20cmx20cm see through close-able bag.


After check-in is complete we head off to have our carry on luggage scanned. I'm kinda expecting that this will take a little as we are both carrying notebooks and we've got two cameras and all the assorted cables and whatnots in our carry on. I think that this only happens here but you have to remove the notebook from it's case and it has to be scanned separately.

I'm actually really surprised that everything seems to go straight through...well almost. Paalo set off the metal detectors and he couldn't work out why. The guard keep saying you've got something in your pocket and he was insisting he didn't - until he realised she meant his shirt, he forgot to remove his mobile phone!

Qantas Lounge:

Doesn't open until 5 so we sat around and waited 10 minutes until it did. I don't think I've been to the domestic lounge in quite some time and didn't realise just how large it is.

Food wise, there's cereals, fruit salads, toast, juices, teas and coffee, in other words the usual suspects.

fruit and coffee

Paalo selects fruit salad to nibble on as we wait. The news is on in the lounge and the first reports are coming in about Colin McRae - I don't know but it doesn't sound good.

We get a good view of the plane we'll be catching at it looks quite small and a bit old. Paalo thinks maybe there aren't that many people flying, we'll soon see.

The Flight:

Unfortunately it's not an empty flight, the plane is full and the inside is as old as the outside looked. Business consists of 3 rows of 2 seats - all up its 12 people.

The flight was supposed to take off at 6am but we don't leave until 6.20am - no reason is given.

As I've come to expect there's always a little annoyance - this time it's the guy in front of me I've dubbed Captain Jerk seeing that he was in his pilots uniform. As soon as he could, back went his chair which given the already minimal space between the rows, left me with his head in my lap.

The problem of his seat position comes to the fore when I try to pull out the tray table, it ends up stuck and unable to fit in the non-existent gap. I only hope that Captain Jerk will have to move when breakfast comes around.

Yeah, well typically..he didn't. All he wanted was tea.

So forced as I was I gave his seat a good belting as I manhandled the tray into place but Captain Jerk seemed oblivious to my endeavours or perhaps he just thought it was turbulence.

By the time the attendant came to us all we got was the "what would you like to drink with your soft poached eggs?" Umm, what happened to the options the previous two rows got? Is that a bit slack that with only 12 people to serve you haven't got enough food to cover them?

These are the soft poached eggs (or breasts as Paalo referred to them) served with a wad of spinach, two rashers of bacon and 3 cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes could have been quite hazardous to white shirts if not sliced in the correct manner, they were ripe and ready to burst.

While Paalo's eggs were softish, mine were more on the firm side - they bore no relation to this poached egg.

fruit salad

Served with the egg was fruit salad and a choice of bread or croissant.

plastic knife

It's hard to slice with those plastic knives.

somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney

Even though we left 20 minutes late we seemed to have managed to made up most of the time and arrive nearly on time.


  1. Glad you had a safe flight Haalo. And what's with the notebook. I have never heard of it before at the airport. The poached (breast) eggs sure look..."real". I hope you have a great time with Paalo in Rome. Don't forget the pictures.

  2. Thanks Rose - we arrived safely though a little worse for wear. We're only passing through rome but will be back later.


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