Trip Report: Two Weeks Down Under
Flight Review: Qantas B747-400 San Francisco – Sydney
Lounge Review: Qantas Business Class Lounge, Sydney
Flight Review: Qantas A330-300 Sydney – Auckland
Lodging Review: Holiday Inn Auckland Airport
Lodging Review: The Pavilions Hotel, Christchurch
Our Time in Christchurch
Lodging Review: Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Our Time in Queenstown including Doubtful Sound Tour
Lodging Review: Avani Metropolis, Auckland
Our Time in Auckland
Lodging Review: Oceans Mooloolaba
Our Time on the Sunshine Coast
Lodging Review: Brisbane Marriott
Flight Review: Qantas B787-9 Brisbane – Los Angeles
We finally arrived in Auckland on Qantas flight from Sydney. Normally I wouldn’t review a 3-hour trip but our A330-300 was in an international configuration with lie-flat seats so I thought I’d include a brief overview.
Qantas 145 SYD-AKL
Seat: 4E (Business Class, Aisle, Center Section)
Scheduled Departure: 1135 (Actual: 1150)
Scheduled Arrival: 1640 (Actual: 1647)
Flight time: 3h 7m (Actual: 2h 57m)
We boarded through door 2L. We’d originally had two seats in the center section, but as on the previous leg, when my friend changed the first leg of her journey from an American flight to one with Alaska Airlines, her seat assignment was lost. Fortunately she was just across the aisle.
We were offered our choice of pre-departure beverage: champagne, still water or sparkling water. As I didn’t select it, I’m not sure if the champagne was the Duval-Leroy Brut or the Jacquart Brut Mosaique.
The cabin felt so fresh compared to the one we’d just flown on the 747, but that’s to be expected. I imagine the daylight helped the cabin to feel much airier as well.
Waiting for me at my seat was a pillow and a blanket.
The seat stretched underneath the armrest of the seat in front which made for a somewhat small cubby. But I didn’t stretch the seat out all the way to sleep, so it wasn’t an issue for me.
Down near the floor was a nice-sized compartment for storing things like a water bottle and eye glasses while sleeping.
My large armrest was on my left (aisle) side and had an enclosed compartment running around the privacy partition. In the corner was an area specifically for the water bottle. A peg for the headphones was just above the compartment. The headphone jack, USB port and electrical outlet were part of the exterior of this section. On the side was the seat controls.
The IFE controller was tucked underneath the armrest. A mirror was on the underside of the cover, making it easy to tilt it toward your face.
The tray table popped out from the side. While I could push it aside to stand up, I’m not sure I could have exited into the aisle while it was out.
As this was a lunchtime flight the service started fairly quickly after we reached our cruising altitude. The menu was as follows:
I selected the buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes for my starter. A small salad and bread came along with that.
For my main I had the pork with the mushroom and brandy cream pithivier (aka a pot pie). It was pretty decent.
When ice cream was advertised for dessert, I pictured a couple of scoops in a bowl. But it was something like an Eskimo Pie except with salted honey ice cream. It was pretty good.
Our cabin was mostly, but not completely full. The staff was good and there were no issues on this relatively short flight. When we returned to Australia toward the end of our trip I considered buying a business class ticket though I ultimately decided against it because that particular flight only had recliner seats.
In the end
This was basically the equivalent of a mid-continent-to-the-coast flight in the US, except on an internationally-configured plane. Nothing to get excited about but certainly nicer than flying in economy or in recliner seats. I was glad this configuration was available to tack on to the end of our long journey from the US to New Zealand.