Complimentary Jetlag Express To Down Under

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by kraven, Feb 13, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. kraven
    Original Member

    kraven Silver Member

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    Last year, when I was on the way to my first RTW flight, one of my flights had some minor technical difficulties which resulted in cancellation of said one. Since this was in Europe, we all know what this means: Compensation time!
    But, as always, the airline declined any responsibility. So I had to sue them. Which I did of course.
    In the end, we negotiated a fine amount redeemable for new flights, which was fine for me.
    So, two weeks later, I found a sorta-errorfare from Spain to Australia. Furthermore there was also the possibility to remove some fat, so I thought, now this is the perfect opportunity to redeem my voucher!

    It all started on a crisp winter morning at Frankfurt Airport. As I was travelling with hand luggage only, there was no space for my winter jacket. So it was even more freezing.

    There are just a few things which are worse than the Holocaust. One of them is the food offering at the Iberia lounge in FRA. Literally nothing except some nuts and even the coffee was just lukewarm.

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    So, I skipped breakfast once and headed to the plane. Iberia Express is one of the few airlines where I proactively choose the exit row. Otherwise, well, we're back at the holocaust.

    The flight itself went uneventful and I landed in Madrid where I headed to the Sala Velazquez first. Time for breakfast!

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    As always, the IB lounges in MAD really offer a well breakfast with decent choices. I love the takeaway choices in the Schengen lounges, they obviously know why :D
    Lunch is spread out at noon, today there was a seafood dish on offer. Look at this, Bumshansa! No pre-processed chicken nuggets, real stuff! And lots and lots of garlic. Yummy!

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    At time of booking I was not aware of the fact that I eventually reached BA Gold again, so I just booked a 2hr layover at LHR. This resulted in taking a widebody out of Madrid. Until T -7d, the flight showed as operated by a 330-300, but unfortunately it had been switched to a 340-300?
    But, why unfortunately? Well, you have to work on the seats with a meat mallet so that they provide some cushion.
    I believe it's the revenge of the IAG-Brits for the Argentinians (on which route the plane is mostly used on) for showing so much interest in the Malvinas.

    And yeah, the 90s called. They wanted their plane interior back.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Legroom is quite limited and even more due to the presence of the IFE box.
    Iberia frequent flyers would say, which IFE? Yeah, there's only a big screen...

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    But you can put your tablet into the seat in front of you. And there's even a power outlet!

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    About two hours later, the plane eventually arrived in Heathrow, Terminal 5, concourse C. BA Powerusers know this gate area by heart, even if they don't depart from here.
    My connecting flight to Singapore also went out of T5C.

    "Sir, you're flying out of Terminal 5C tonight. Unfortunately, there is no lounge there, but you can spend 15 quid at Starbucks"

    mfw [​IMG]

    As I consider myself a BA Poweruser as well, I know my sh*t and went straight through the staff tunnel to the B concourse for some minutes lounge- and boozetime. Upgrades to WTP were out today, but there were lots of empty rows in the lower deck of the A380.

    Wait, the lower deck?

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    So I stuck on my exit row on the upper deck at first and head back to the gate area. I had some Starbucks duty to do as well.

    And there's the big question: I had my exit row on the 380 with legroom as huge as the appetite of a Somalian toddler, but on the other hand somebody is seated next to me. Who knows when he/she showered recently. I took the risk: I requested a seat on the lower deck, knowing in mind that boarding will commence soon and there will hopefully not so many reseating requests.

    I headed inside the plane.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    The blue light holds back any junkies 'cause you don't see your veins. That's why you will find it on toilets at train stations as well.
    Finally I arrived in my seat row and built myself the First class of the poor man.

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    But a quick warning for the average 'murican: The armrest won't go up completely. So if your bmi is more than average you'll eventually be having some problems.

    There was no time for the Flounge in Heathrow, so I had to eat some airplane food. You can't go wrong with a BA Curry. They know their stuff.

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    The movie selection wasn't decent at all, so I tried to get some sleep and woke up to the smell of the semi-full English Breakfast.

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    After 12 long hours the first longhaul sector (and the 3rd in the last 365 days on the BA11) headed towards the end and I landed in Singapore.

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    As I transited from the BA11 to the BA15 (hooray, more TP!) I had a few hours to spare. But there's so much room for activities at Changi airport. I really loved the butterfly garden.

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  4. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    There's even a lounge with a gym included, but hey, why should I pay for it if I can head to the QF lounge?

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    Of course I headed there. The Singapore Sling needs some more booze, but the food is damn nice.

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    Today there's chili beef on offer on the live cooking station. Delicious.

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    But then it stuck me.

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    Damn.





    I haven't checked the flight information in the BA app while I was arriving.






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    ...
     
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  5. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    A new seat popped up in the app.
    I had been upgraded.
    AND I WASN'T HUNGRY ANYMORE!!!!!!

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    I knew that the plane was as full as a refugee boat, but they told me only in WTP and CW.

    But the beef was damn delicious.

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    Time for some Ranitidine.

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    But the service pattern itself was not convincing at all: Come on, this is a 7hr flight. People want to sleep. Either by theirselves or with somebody in the loo. What does BA? It took three long hours to finish the service.
    Thankfully I skipped the breakfast (a sole muffin, kinda sad), thinking of some lounge brekkie.

    My connecting flight to Sydney was on the late afternoon, but Qantas is only able to check you in within a 6hr timeframe. They allowed me to switch flights and took the furthermost one at 1pm.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly it was just a 737 and not the 330.
    And, what was even worse, there's no free transit between the International and the Domestic airport unless you're on a QF flight.

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  6. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    How much Skytrax fake points does that airport have anyway?

    But, I was eligible for the free transfer bus, which I eventually took. But I ended up in the wrong lounge (the one for the plebs, er, OW Sapphire) and after a quick shower I headed for breakfast.
    Damn, the coffee was good. Freshly brewed by the barista, it was so black I had fear that it will head to Ferguson and start a riot.

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    After that I headed into the CBD and got 3hrs to spare.

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  7. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    There was a moronail once in the city, now it's deconstructed and only the stations remain.

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    Time to head back to the airport for some lunch. Potato salad, like in the Bumshansa lounge at home, but 1000 times better!

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    The views out of the lounge were quite good was well.

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    I headed into the 737 which was fitted with US Domestic F like seats. Well worn and well through-farted.

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  8. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    [​IMG]

    Flight time from SYD to MEL is roughly about one hour. One will think there won't be much food on such a short sector. But hey, they offer three meal choices. Three f*cking meal choices!

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    On offer was a warm sandwich, soup or caesar salad. I took the latter. And it was damn delicious. Even with pepper fresh out of the mill.

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    The Intercontinental in Melbourne only offers pseudo-upgrades for AMB, so I ended up in a room on a higher floor. The present was a voucher for a glass of wine. Well...

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  9. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Now it was time for the jetlag overcoming me, but I had to take a sip of my complimentary glass of wine first!

    On the next morning I woke up early and headed into town. All trams in the CBD area are complimentary now.

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    hhheehehehe

    After some coffee breaks (damn good coffee in OZ!) I headed to Albert Park, as seen on TV.

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  10. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    There was a festival on my way to St. Kilda, which meant one thing:
    FREE FOOD!

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    After some more coffee and a stroll through the markets, I took the tram at NANANANANANANANANA BATMAN!

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    By the way, Melbourne has the largest tram network in the world.

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    In the evening I headed back to the airport, you know the drill about BRG nights...

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  11. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Virgin Australia offered me as well to take me on an earlier flight. But sadly this meant only 30 minutes to taste all beers in their fantastic lounge.

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    I ended up in a center seat at the bulkhead but, well, I arrived one hour earlier as originally planned.

    The Holiday Inn Old Sydney has a perfect location, but the rooms show their age. Hey, it was complimentary!

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    The night was short, the breakfast for HI very good (even with a juice maker!) and now it's time to try Jetstar.

    JQ is one of the hand luggage nazi airlines, so thankfully nobody weighed my trolley. I ended up in the exit row with loads of legroom.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    There was a special security demonstration just for the overwings exit. Not bad.
    But the bad thing was the German beer on offer in the onboard magazine:

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    This. Is. Not. A. Good. German. Beer.

    Roughly after two hours I finally landed in Adelaide and took the bus.
    But I took the wrong one.
    The local bus!

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    There's a faster one as well, but it only operates once an hour.
    I had to walk to the Intercontinental and it also screamed "f*ck yeah 90s!"

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    At least it wasn't as bad as the IC Rome.
    I took the tram to Glenelg and headed to the beach.

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  13. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    A highlight for train- and busspotters is the O-Bahn, a 10km long busway through the woods.

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    On my way back I passed the local race track as well.

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    The next morning arrived. I took the fast bus to the airport where another 737 waited for me.

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  14. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    In regards to the succulent food options of the QF Flounge i choose the smallest menu, some antipasti.

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    Paid upgrades were possible today, but come on, for which price?
    Buying the whole city of Detroit is cheaper, and they even give you a part of Birmingham UK as a giveaway as well!

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    Guess I'll stay in Economy then.
    Time to visit the lounge. And gosh, it was better than I thought.

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    The food is like you'll find it in a good restaurants. And the wine!

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  15. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    I started with the signature salt&pepper squid...

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    ...before cleansing my palate with the Black Cobia Sashimi...

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    ...and of course some steak.

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    Another highlight was the pavlova, served together with the cheese board.

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    But there was still some space in my stomach. Time for some ice cream.

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  16. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    Keeping in mind that I had a long flight coming, I spend the time sipping on some GTs with local Australian gin.

    [​IMG]

    I spent the first 8 hours on the 777-300 in the exit row. Thankfully the center seat remained free, but on the other side was somebody who you can smell from a distance. Good thing on a plane is that the air circulation is quite good.

    There was a group of Frenchmen on board, who connected from a Noumea flight. I observed the same thing as on my last Openskies flight: Is it so hard to open the door to the loo? About 60% of them failed to open it. Protip: Push, not pull!
    5 minutes more and they would have surrendered by pulling out their white flag as always...

    This time there was only 1:30hrs connecting time in Singapore. But sufficient enough for a bunch of Singapore Sling. And I really needed them. Why? Because the next flight was on a High-J 747. And we all know, the bulkhead is horrible. There is literally no good seat in Eco.
    Beside me some Yorkshire retiree sat down and impounded 120% of my armrest. So, whats the solution? Some farts now and then will eventually be released in his direction to keep him away :D

    Still being full from the opulent flounge food in Sydney, I finally arrived in London. At 5 in the morning there is plenty of space in the Flounge. Not not at the security check.

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    Guess what comes next? Yeah, food!

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  17. kraven
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    kraven Silver Member

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    The eggs benedict were quite bland. 2/10 wouldn't eat again.

    [​IMG]

    Now it was time to get a facial at the Elemis spa (which gave me acne afterwards...) and there was even more time for the BA Flounge signature drink!

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    Finally, boarding for the last flight of this journey back to FRA commenced (of course I headed for a detour to T5C first) and I was back in Germany, after one week.
    I must say, Australia is really nice, especially Melbourne. I would love to go back there again someday.

    Anyway, now you can head back to your usual evening exercise, but thanks for reading!
     
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  18. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    I enjoyed reading of the travels, but I must admit that I found little humor in the racial and ethnic stereotypes and jabs.
     
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  19. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    "Freshly brewed by the barista, it was so black I had fear that it will head to Ferguson and start a riot."

    You're clearly a classy dude.
     
  20. skywalkerLAX

    skywalkerLAX Active Member

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    Great TR !!
     

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